Barely Treading Water With A Hint Of A Smile

May 30, 20010

I think I may just have to live an old life, actually a much older life at a slower pace, a gingerly walk and question mark for every day. I may need to stop all the medications I take for my auto immune disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis,  and inflammatory disease and  just live with even less energy, more aches and pains and even more inflammation. It wouldn’t really matter, I don’t think, because with all the medicines I take now, I still feel those things. I feel those things every day along with nasty side effects from the prescribed medicines.  I am not drowning in the ocean, nor am I swimming powerfully, I am mostly trying to manage to keep my head above water. I am not depressed or suicidal, I am not happy or ecstatic, I am just living in a state of symptom to symptom, energy for an hour, napping, reading, napping and tired.

I don’t notice much improvement, if any, from the medications to begin with. Can I go from bad to worse? Possibly. Can I learn to adjust to that? Maybe. The lack of energy is probably the worst part, I can live with aches and pains and holding on to staircases to get up the stairs. But,  when a beautiful day presents itself to me as a present, like today,  I cannot live, not knowing what or if I can do anything at all. It’s not fair to me but mostly it is not fair to my husband and I feel bad about that.

It’s Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, the sun is shining, the sky is a pastel blue, the bountiful green oak tree leaves are swaying softly. Birds are serenading us with their sweet high-pitched songs.  My husband and I had no plans for the entire day and he was up to doing anything. Go to the city? Go to a park? How about a museum? He was willing to do whatever I wanted to do and having my now familiar stomach ache (side effect of the medication) and being tired, I chose a nap. There was no back and forth discussion of which place to go or what would be more fun because of me. The bar is set so low that staying home sometimes is my only option.

I don’ t know what to do, other than go on one more expensive tour of doctors again. I will do it, I will try, for the last time. After that, I don’t know. I don’t say that with depression or despair, it’s an option I need to consider. I live a sedentary life now, truly, if I have two hours during the day that I feel energized it’s a good day. Lately I haven’t even felt that. I’ve been stuck at home, happy just to be alive.

Do I think it’s fair? Not really but I don’t think it’s unfair either. People live with far worse things. I find it frustrating and disappointing that I have lived life like this for the last three years. I awaken, each morning, with a question mark, to see if I feel better, but it hasn’t happened yet and I don’t see it happening anytime soon.  Is it is better to deal with a new reality and no side effects than be stuck with the old one?  I have no idea. What am I going to do? I honestly don’t know. I need help, more doctors, different doctors. no doctors?  I am feeling a little overwhelmed and I think what I need the most right now is a positive attitude and plenty of of good luck.

Dedicated to my wonderful husband, Danny.

How Target Saved My Sanity

It was one of THOSE days. One of those days that I knew I had to get out of my very small house that was threatening to eat me up alive. Our little cozy  cottage was filled with my husband, two bored teenagers home for February break, our yawning dog and me.  I needed to get out and drive somewhere and I needed a destination. I was looking for someplace where I could walk indoors and get away from the 22 degree temperature and howling winds. I loathe winter. The snow has been piled up for months and I felt claustrophobic and depressed and all the problems (unemployment for my husband, chronic pain for me) were feeling insurmountable.  I wanted to see different things, admire vibrant colors, and more importantly see people I didn’t know; people of all shapes and sizes, colors, width and height; speaking different languages, interesting strangers.

I headed  to Target and it was terribly crowded but I didn’t mind; I weaved  in and out of the store  using their bright, red carriage for support. As soon as I saw the clothing and shoes section I immediately felt happier. SUMMER!!!  All the clothes were short-sleeved and summery, and the textures were light, like a softly worn handkerchief. The colors bloomed throughout the store like daffodils: yellow, pink, rose, white, aqua, baby blue.  The shoes were flimsy flip-flops and sandals; not a muddy brown winter boot in sight! I honestly felt relieved and joyful when I saw that the aisles had been cleared away of all the winter gear and the store was telling me, that yes, winter REALLY will be over and  summer is not just a fantasy.

On the way home though, I felt blue once again, worrying about things I can’t control, fretting about things I shouldn’t fret about. With tears streaming down my frozen face I started feeling miserable again, especially when I heard the forecast and an additional 6 inches of snow was on its way. I crawled into bed, to try to relieve my aches and pains and I gently put the covers back over my face and sighed. Sleeping is very good therapy for me.

When I woke up I felt much better, perspective restored. I got out of bed, headed down the stairs with my brown, white and red Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer slippers to the kitchen.  I made a piece of multi-grain toast with butter and honey. Honey is one of the world’s loveliest foods. To me, it is a delicacy, delicious and beautiful in every  shape or form. The color of honey in itself is a work of art, like a beautiful painting about warmth and the sun and love.  Honey is comforting, it’s deliciously lovely, it soothes and calms.  While Target got me out of the house, honey, saved my spirit and welcomed me back home.