Life’s Manuscript

Dear readers, I like writing my blog mainly because I get to share my feelings with others, but most importantly with myself.

Well, probably your asking yourself, “Why?”, “Isn’t the point of having a blog, trying to get noticed out on the vast horizons of the world wide web?”.

Everyone seems to be craving getting their fifteen seconds of fame.

For me sharing my thoughts on life, wellness, and so much more people who have MG have to deal with is important, but finding my voice is as equal  or even more important.

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A voice that is often silenced the moment you say something that’s not in the manuscript. I don’t know if you get it or not, however for me it is a reality that hits home more often then I liked to admit.

The moment that I try to say something like,

“Life stinks.” (Believe me it truly does sometimes.).  Someone in my family will jump to begin saying, “You have so much.”

Do I???

These are the moments I miss my daughter the most.  She always says,

“Mamita, it’s okay if you think life stinks, you have a right to feel anything you want. Things don’t have to be okay.”

That’s part of dealing with all of this.

Having such a debilitating disease takes away so much, it’s overwhelming. Specially when you see everyone moving forward and you’re just sitting there watching as a bystander.

You know, I have an older sibling  who I admire very much.  We overcame a difficult childhood as best as we could.

I have mixed feeling each time I have to face the fact that he was able to complete a thirty year career in the Army overcoming a lot of things that happened to him along the way, and now as frosting on the cake, he’s about to begin a new career facing his retirement. He has a motorcycle he rides during the weekends and he seems to be happy most of the time.  In a nutshell, he’s free.

I miss my career so much it hurts sometimes.  Today the feeling of despair just creeped up on me and for just a second I felt without a purpose in life.

I thought , “Is this what people who feel like dyeing experience?

My life seems to be lived through a loophole, seeing only what others want me to see and even more dangerous pretending that everything is fine.

Nonetheless,  I snapped right out of it.

I still feel sad, but part of being well is our capacity to be sad.  As the day came to an end, I got my gardening gloves and this and that as I listened to Barbara Streisand sing about love, sorrow,  and life.  They say pets sense when something is wrong, so needless to say, my dog sat near me as I tweaked a bush or two, and got a longer pat than usual.

So my friends it’s fine to yell once in a while, even if it is to yourself, that life does suck for some more than others sometimes and it’s perfectly normal to feel bad about it and yourself, even if we snap out of it in a second or two.

See you around and remember to be kind to yourself and to others.

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Maleta and Go

Dear readers, thanks for stopping by and reading my blog.

I was thinking about something to share with you and I came up with my recent appointment with my neuro.   Navigating through the rapids of our neuro’s isn’t easy.  Just a couple of days ago I visited my doctor ‘s office for a check up, and since I’m not doing well I figured,  hmmm “He’s sending me to the hospital to get some Gamma and get me back on track.”, like usual.

Well, it didn’t happen.

I had all my stuff packed and ready for my seven day stay at the “Resort and Spa” a/k/a Bellavista Hospital , as we Puerto Ricans say I was all set for “Maleta and go”, which means I was up and ready to face whatever it is I needed to do.

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Nevertheless, he wasn’t going down that path, not at least  this time around.

He decided to  travel towards the Mestinon Extended Lane,  leaving my Prednisone dose a bit towards the high end.  Oh, and let me not forget that we talked about getting my thymus tissue removed.

The point I’m trying to make (and probably one you’ll share with me) is that getting on and off this roller coaster called Myasthenia is a hell of a thing.  There are so many twists and turns that it’s almost impossible  to land in one piece without experiencing the scare of your life.

I don’t know how long I can stay away from my next Gamma, but as of right now I’m grateful I’m home and not admitted in isolation in a nearby clinic.

The dice are rolled each time we come across a crisis and there is not much we can do about it.  However, the important thing for me is being able to calmly (I usually do the opposite) explore all my choices because at the end of the day  those are the choices that count.

Ultimately,  we are the ones who decide if we are “maleta and go” ready or if we need a bit more time to adjust and move forward with whatever it is we need to do. Nobody can take that away from us.

And remember to always be kind to yourself and move forward even if we can only take baby steps and I’m not talking in figurative language.

Take care.

 

Back to Day One

Dear readers, trapped in the nuisance of dieting I’ve lost track of the days.

For starters, my husband got on the dieting train and he’s done much better than me.

I’ve mostly been haunted by PMS.  I’m still wondering why in the heck am I still getting periods at my age.  I will be more than happy when my period goes away forever.

Now getting back on track is going to take some willpower.

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For me it’s all about the cheese.  I love to eat cheese!

As I write  this post some cheese and crackers are laughing at me.  Teasing me, luring me into just taking a bite.  They  know I’m not suppose to snack on them.  However, my grandma would always say, “El que rie ultimo, rie mejor” which means thee who laughs at the end, laughs with more joy.

So, if I were the cheese that’s in the refrigerator and the crackers in the pantry, I would be extremely quiet because I could use some carbohydrates right now.

Which leads us to the most important part of this all.

Tomorrow I’m at Day 1 all over again.

And this time I intend to go straight to Day 10 without hesitation. Why Day 10?  Well, because those first ten days are crucial to staying on track.  My husband already is feeling the benefits of dieting, his size 36 pants need a tighter belt for fitting.

Finally I just need to add one word to this, FOCUS.

It has to become my mantra for pulling this off.  Each time temptation comes around the corner, I need to repeat FOCUS.

FOCUS on feeling better,

FOCUS on walking better,

FOCUS on living better, and so much more.

And don’t forget to do something that makes someone’s day better;  make me company on my way to wellness; and, repeat my mantra FOCUS.

 

 

 

Day 4: The Pasta Daze

Dear readers, these past few days have been challenging.

I’ve felt like a character of Poe’s  story “The Tell Tale Heart”, but instead of a heartbeat it’s more like a screaming cinnamon bagel that’s calling me.

I’m holding my own (if you don’t count my midnight bagel crime) or my cravings for some Pizza Hut pasta. Yogurts and salads will have to do.

  • Two things are keeping me motivated: one, my husband who is dieting with me, and; two, I don’t want mobility issues this coming Christmas.

So, I should place next to the pasta a picture of my walking cane, as a reminder to which way I want to go.

Remember, be kind to yourself and make me some company on my road to wellness.

Day 2: Dealing with an upset tummy 

Dear readers, all of us know how prednison can spike our craves to eat “anything” that has SUGAR. And not happy about that I have the situation that I developed Diabetes because of IT.

So, yesterday I felt the urge to dip in to some cake frusting in the fridge. Super bad idea!

Which lead me to one of the worst tummy aches I’ve ever had. 

But, I’m still hanging in there. 

Day 3 is all about getting some pampering. 

Hoping everyone is feeling good.

And, don’t forget to make me company on my trip to wellness.

MG Diet: Getting Back To Where I Was

Dear readers, it’s not about looking young (good luck with that), it’s about being able to walk. So, today is a great day to begin getting there. 

Day 1: so far, so good.

Not bad at all, Rosemary & Olive Oil Flatbread, veggies and some cilantro with a tiny stick of Sargento cheese.

Now desert as an issue if you live with a 5- year old. 

Let’s walk our way to wellness together. 

A Prayer For You

Dear readers,  I take my life one day at a time and I’m sure that all of you do the same thing.

Our routines and so much more have a direct impact on those who surround and love us deeply. They live through our ups and downs, sometimes voicing their feelings and other times just remaining silent.  It’s hard on us and at the same time for them as well.

Sometimes I forget that and today as I went through my daughter’s things because she  recently left to begin her new school year in New York I was remembered of that as I read   a prayer she wrote during the Summer.  One that I share with all of you today with much love.

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“I heard once that prayer is about redefining our desires.  It is about being open to ask for guidance and even though we do not control our journey that does not mean we are astray.

Today I pray open to hear, even when that fills me with fear.  

Dear Gracious God, I am not praying to give excuses or explain my silence.  Whom I am trying to fool? My silence is yet nothing more than silent panic. 

You know that.

I pray for longer walks, for less tiredness. 

I pray for more smiles and restfulness of spirit.

I pray that the spirit might comfort the body.

I pray for shorter naps and more energy.

I pray for coffee @3 pm between shared stories. 

I pray for our usual complicity to remain intact in times of sickness. 

I pray for our unspoken bond to grow stronger in the face of weakness.

I pray that we can share prayers.

I pray that her body can gain strength while her spirit stands strong. 

For now, I pray that she can rest knowing that we will do our best holding her so she does not fall.

Amen”

May the words of this prayer belong to all of us today.

 

 

 

The Lonely Path of Depression

Dear readers,  most of us don’t want to talk about “depression” or whatever name you or me want to call it.  It’s a delicate matter, a Pandora box, the white elephant in the room or the conversation.  Even if these are our “ifs” we don’t want to deal with them, or if we do we usually procrastinate it for a bit more, or at least that’s what I do.

When my daughter came in May from McCormick Seminary in Chicago to take care of me in the hospital she brought the subject up… more or less like this,

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“Mom, you should consider therapy to manage stress…”

She brought it up with the word “stress” because she thought I would be more receptive.

To which I replied  with a startled  look….

“I’ve been managing quite well for the past ten years.” (Whoa…. where did that come from)

To which she replied with her usual “Uhummm”, (keep in mind that she’s going to be a minister), she uses that little sound to gain some time before recollecting her thoughts for a good comeback.

The thing is that we were back and forth for a while, but she suddenly dropped the topic.  Just to bring it back when I got discharged from the hospital.  And my dear friends, she took me where she wanted and I ended up making that phone call.  I do need therapy.

Admitting it to myself is the hard part.

 

Depression like any other mental health issue stands in a lonely place and going there and facing it isn’t easy.

Even if I do want to think I’m happy most of the time, the truth is I’m not always  happy about my life.

My Myasthenia took away one of the things I loved about my life, my teaching career.

When I graduated, I told my husband  before my first day as a teacher,

“Am I blessed or what??? I get to do what I love the most and I get paid for it. I could do this for free.”

Little did I know that my teaching career wouldn’t last ten years.

Each year when the school year is about to begin is when I feel uneasy and pretty much sad.  My heart just skips a beat and I would give anything in this world just to get ready to go to work.

My husband and my neurologist try to make me feel better, telling me this or that, but deep inside it hurts really bad.

Now after all these years, I’m going to give therapy a try.

And this my dear friends, is only one aspect of the emotional ups and downs I go through each day, each week, each month and each year.

I have to cope with so many things and I’m sure all of you have to as well.

Not dealing with our inner turmoil hurts more than it heals, even if I don’t deal with it or bury it so deep within my soul feeling for a nanosecond it’s not there.  I can’t wish it away, it’s going to stay there until I deal with it.   It’s like a cancer cells that repairs all that’s close to it, just to get stronger and destroy everything that’s in its path.

The good that come out of all this is that I can’t give up and neither can you.  We have to stand strong and just put one step in front of the other in this day to day battle,  never loosing hope and gripping hard to our faith.

Thanks for being part of my road to wellness, see you around the corner.

The Patient of 152B

Dear readers, it’s been a while since I’ve shared anything with you.

Sorry for that but, I’ve been feeling weak for some time and all of us know that when we’re weak, we’re weak.  Everything in our lives becomes a colossal task.NYUWork-009

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Which by the way got me admitted on Monday for an IVGG treatment.

When I’m in the hospital I feel vulnerable, and a bit lost to tell you the truth.  It’s nice when I hear a resident call me by my name, instead of the patient in 152B.

Most of the nurses who work here don’t really know much of Myasthenia, never mind pronounce it.  Yesterday I had the opportunity of having a young nurse who actually came around and talked to me about MG.

As she was giving me meds and changing my infusion lines, she told me she had never had a patient with MG, and as soon as she got home she was planning on getting information about the disease.

I told her that she was more than welcome to ask me anything she wanted to know.

We had both a nice and educational back and forth for a while, it felt good that she was interested enough to ask.  Awareness is an important thing for MG, few people understand what this is all about.  I thought about the hashtag #HaveYouHeardofMG that has been going around lately as we spoke amicably.

I face so many unknowns after those two bracelets are fixed on my wrist.  One with my name and information and the other orange label that warns nurses and medical personnel that I am at risk of falling.

Thoughts of how things will turn out this time around feed my fears and jitters take residence in my tummy.  Never mind if the people who love me the most in this world try to reassure me it’s going to be okay, it’s never okay.  Although, I do appreciate their love, and the strength they give me along the way.

In a world where patients are treated with dignity and respect as human beings and not numbers or otherwise maybe these fears would be less, but sadly we don’t have this type of healthcare system.  The system that prevails is one where our family can’t leave us alone for a moment under the care of nurses and medical personnel due to crippling fear that we will be neglected and put at risk.

Testament of this would be my daughter running to fetch my tray because they forget to bring it in because I’m in preventive isolation and my food tray is the last to be delivered in the hall.

So, my dear friends today is not a good day for me, however I know and believe tomorrow will be better.  If I loose the ability to believe in this I have lost one of the most important battles we deal with every day and that is never to loose hope.

See you around the corner.