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barefut impressions



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Whose Hands Are These?

Posted by barefut , 15 November 2013 · 245 views

Hard dry skin that cracks and bleeds
Sausage fingers do impede
Whose hands are these
That so betray me
Stiff and clumsy
Oh how they fray me
And in the cold turn white then blue
Not to mention painful too
Whose hands are these
I don't recognize
Fingers swollen twice their size
I lay them in my lap to rest
Before I put them to another test



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Scleropoetry

Posted by barefut , 12 November 2013 · 221 views

Telangiectasia are red
My fingers are blue
This disease feels like
Always having the flu

Sometimes I do well
Other times I do not
It's not just my body
My attitude is shot

So when I am angry
And I don't give a care
I come to this place
For my feelings to share

I know I am safe here
With my scleropeeps
For they understand
This awful disease



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Fending off an Anxiety Attack

Posted by barefut , 29 January 2013 · 604 views

Contrary to what I know you all think of me, I don't have it all together. Nope, I'm not the calm, cool, collected supermom with all the answers that I appear to be. ;) But make no mistake! I USED to be! (if only in my mind). :rolleyes: That could be why I suffer from the occasional anxiety attack today. Just talked myself out of a full blown, chest crushing, hyperventalating, finger tingling, arm numbing, dizzying panic attack - well with a little help from my doctor's nurse, bless her heart!

The first time I had a full blown anxiety attack was on a hot, stuffy, crowded plane. I managed to talk myself out of that one too. The fear of embarrassment and causing a scene was greater than the fear of what was happening to my body - even though all I wanted to do was rip off all my clothes and jump out the window. :o

The next one came in the middle of a meeting where as secretary, I was taking notes. I had to excuse myself and go home. The worst one was about 2 years ago here at home in the middle of the night. I thought I was having a heart attack and it may have been triggered by an esophageal spasm. I had to call 911 before I passed out. My youngest son is still traumatized by the EMT's taking me away.

Today, I just couldn't stop my mind from racing. I started fretting over - well, everything! The foremost in my mind - getting my son and his friend to their driver's ed class on time (I'd better be careful here or I may relapse). My mind flooded with what-ifs. What if the bridge opens for marine traffic and makes us late? If we're late they will charge us $15. What if there's an accident? What if WE are in an accident? I should not let my son drive...

From there it just went on and on until my stomach was in knots and my chest was so tight I couldn't breathe. I envisioned the medics coming again and I sure did not want that so I called my doctor's office and my nurse helped me to breathe regularly again. She consulted my doctor and he advised me to have someone drive me to the walk-in clinic and get checked out.

I told them I could have my son drive me there when he got home in an hour but after I felt a little better I decided not to go. I really, really do not want to worry him, or my youngest, plus I have to be here to babysit a 7 year old when the elementary bus arrives. I seriously considered asking my dad or my sister to drive my son and his friend to driver's ed but I don't want to put them out. So again, my fear of worrying others or having to put someone out of their way for me, overcomes my anxieties. I know that is wrong. But I cannot help it.

My nurse said turn on the tv for a distraction. Too annoying! Writing to yall here is a good distraction for me.

I made an appointment to see my doctor first thing in the morning to discuss what to do with me. Here comes the high school bus - time to suck it up - again.

*Sigh* I'll be alright - nobody worry about me! I mean it!

Later....

You - will - not - be - lieve - it! :blink: The bridge DID open for marine traffic! We were about 20 cars too late to make it across. I - do -not - be - lieve - it! I have not gotten stuck on the bridge in well over a year! Marine traffic is not a regular thing - maybe a couple times a week? And on the very first day of driver's ed class, the very thing I was fretting about, happened and made us late.

Thankfully not too late and as it turns out more than 1/2 the class (9 out of 14 students) all come from our side of the bridge. It's normally only a 1/2 hour drive but if you get stuck for a bridge opening (thus a closing) then you can add at least another 1/2 hour to your travel. The instructor didn't charge anybody for being late. I don't think that's fair anyway.

Well once there, the kids hurried in and I had brought my crossword puzzle book to occupy myself for the next 2 hours but there was a nice break in the rain and the night air felt good so I went for a walk. I had not walked through this olde part of this cute Scandanavian town in more than 15 years. It looks a bit like Santa's North Pole only without the snow. The shops are precious and the bistros and restaurants were warm and inviting as was the famous bakery which had all their wares in the window - taunting me.

It was a nice, peaceful walk, a good distraction. I got back to Betsy just as it started to rain again. I just sat and enjoyed the sound of the rain on the roof of the suburban. Before I knew it, the kids were coming out and we headed home. They have their first drive tomorrow! I can't believe my baby is driving.

Well it's off to bed now. I have an early doctor appt. Going to be pretty embarrassing. I hope he can fix me.

4:18 am - I'M UP!

In browsing some info on anxiety attacks, I found this from helpguide.org:

"A panic attack may be a one-time occurrence, but many people experience repeat episodes. Recurrent panic attacks are often triggered by a specific situation, such as crossing a bridge or speaking in public – especially if that situation has caused a panic attack before. Usually, the panic-inducing situation is one in which you feel endangered and unable to escape."


Ha-Ha-Ha!!! :lol:


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Humor

Posted by barefut , 29 January 2013 · 540 views

"Humor is the sword with which I battle this disease" ~ Barbara Lowe

Whether you are battling a chronic illness or just life itself, humor is the sharpest, most effective weapon we have at our disposal. It's free, easy to use, you don't need a permit or any special training and you can't accidentally kill anyone with it (at least I don't think so). And the best part? You can open carry.

So where can we find this thing called humor? Well besides all of the obvious places like Comedy Central, your spam folder and the sheriff's log, it's everywhere. You just have to look. There is a variety of humor to choose from - something for every personality. And there are endless places to find it. Start by looking in your own home. My kids, for example, crack me up. Whether I am laughing with them or at them, there is never a shortage of humor there.

Facebook. I have been facebook free for 29 days, 9 hours and 15 minutes. The thing I miss the most, besides my friends, is the humor. There's nothing like starting your day with a good abdominal workout from the belly laughs. Just be careful about drinking and scrolling or you could end up with the proverbial milk through the nose - in my case coffee - not pleasant.

We all know that laughter is the best medicine. Again, it's free. It's also safe, legal and you don't need a prescription or a green card. The only side effect is that it may be contagious.. The best thing? Overdosing on laughter is a GOOD for you!

It's hard for me to think of any downsides to using humor - unless you happen to run across someone who has never themselves used it before. With these individuals, you can take your best shots, using the most high calibur humor and still, they may remain impervious to it. You can try as you might to get them to take off their armor but if they don't want to, it's best just to move on to another target and hope for a bullseye. It's those bullseyes that make all your efforts worth it.


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Good Morning!

Posted by barefut , 21 January 2013 · 453 views

No need to bother opening the blinds this morning. It's going to be another one of those dreary, cold, winter days in the Pacific Northwest where the fog never lifts all day. There is no distinction between early morning and early evening because the light stays the same dark grey all day. Best to just keep the ugly outside and try and make my inside as cheerful as possible. On goes my happy light and I scoot it extra close and set the timer for the full 45 minutes.
Then it's time to don my sound blocking headphones and blog up my peeps because that always cheers me up.

My youngest is so very perky and chatty first thing in the morning, not unlike a small terrier scampering around your feet. "Are ya still gonna make strawberry shortcake for breakfast, mom? Are ya? Huh? Are ya still gonna do that? I'm hungry, can I help? Can I? Huh?"

I was up from 3am to 6am browsing the archives of my "Barefut Impressions" hoping that would put me back to sleep. I got a whole hour nap in from 6am - 7am before I was awakened by a cat's wet nose poking me in the face. "Are yew awake mama? Are ya huh? I'm hungry. Are you going to put some food in my dish yet? Are ya? Are ya huh?" Poke poke poke.

OKAY! I'M UP! Food in cat dish - the strawberry shortcake can wait until I am able to move without hobbling and I can remember my name. I warmed up a cup of the really, really bad coffee that I brewed at 3am. Note to self: Don't buy the cheap stuff anymore. No kind or amount of cream or sugar in the world will make it taste any better.

It is chore day. All day. Bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchen and laundry. My kids are going to hate me all day and because of my lack of sleep, I will be especially intolerant of their whining and half hearted "efforts" to get their jobs done. There will be a lot of yelling, from each of us, and a lot of door slamming and cussing from my youngest.

This is starting to sound like that new orange juice commercial where the guy sits down with everyone he will encounter throughout his day and they tell him what he is in for, "At 9 am you will have a flat tire..." And after hearing about all of his challenges for the day he smiles and says, "Good thing I have my orange juice".

I tell ya it's going to take a lot more than orange juice to get me through this day with a smile. I'm having a flashback to a dream I had recently...

"Hey mom! When are you going to make the strawberry shortcake?!"

Gotta go....


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Dreams Can be a Wake-up Call

Posted by barefut , 20 January 2013 · 440 views

I just woke up from a dream that I was with a group of about 5 people who were supposed to be working with me as a team trying to save a bunch of precious historic photographs and stone artifacts before the tide came in and destroyed them.

Instead of gathering up the stacks and stacks of photos and putting them into the boxes, one woman kept taking them out of their boxes. Then she ripped one of the boxes and everything went everywhere. Everyone else was just fooling around on the beach, not helping at all.

It started raining tiny razor-like raindrops and the tide started washing over the stacks of photos that were sitting on the rocks. I tried to grab as many as I could and put them up on higher ground. My efforts were futile and everyone abandoned me on the shore because they didn't want to get wet and didn't understand why I cared so much about any of it.

I noticed that the water went from crystal blue to muddy brown. I was angry and frustrated and overwhelmed but I still kept on trying to save whatever photos I could as I yelled at the others trying to convince them that this was important and we had to get it done.

Wowza, well this one is a no-brainer to figure out. If you know me, this is my waking life. Dreams are fun, funny, weird, scary and sometimes dreams are a wake-up call.


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No Food, Sick Kid and Fried Nerves

Posted by barefut , 10 January 2013 · 416 views

yogurt
bagels and cream cheese
eggs
toast
cereal
instant oatmeal
bananas
strawberries
pancake mix
sausage
instant breakfast drinks
coffee
orange juice
milk
hot cocoa

"Most GOOD moms would not let their kids go to school without breakfast or at least would have food in the house!"
The honeymoon is over. Pretty amazing how quickly a mom of a teenager can go from feeling hugged to feeling kicked in the gut. That is the list of "No Food" you see there. Pretty obvious that it's not a lack of food in the house but rather the lack of a mom who is able, available or willing to get up and make it for him. I hate mornings.

And this morning I have someone else's sick kid home with me - coughing and gagging and hacking his germs all over the place. UGH. I had him 3 days last week too. We just finished going over the proper way to wash our hands - and when we need to wash them. He's pretty good about coughing into his shirt collar but I am mad that I threw out the child masks I picked up last week - though he wouldn't put them over his nose, he at least wore them over his mouth.

My nerves are fried. A coma sounds nice. I hate that I require so much down time. I swear, if I had no responsibilities to anyone but me, I would sleep for days and when I woke up, I would enjoy complete solitude for weeks before I would feel like I needed to rejoin the rest of the world. And it's not that the rest of my world is all bad - it's not - I love my life. I just wish I had the energy to live it.


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Our Precious Kids

Posted by barefut , 10 January 2013 · 369 views

My 15 year old son gave me an unsolicited hug this morning then a few minutes later we had this exchange:

He: Do you feel really bad when you don't take your pills?
Me: Yes
He: Do you feel really bad when you do take your pills?
Me; Well some of them do have some bad side effects.
He: Like what?
Me: Well 2 of them make me dizzy and nauseous but then so does this disease (gastrointestinal involvement) And one of them makes me irritable (we smile at each other)

Me: Why are you asking?
He: Because I just want to know how you feel.

Me - instant tears. What sclerodermian does not want to hear that?! From ANYONE let alone their children? Ohhhh I'm going to feel hugged all day. This gave me chills yet made me feel warm all over. And then I thought about what it must be like for him to have a mom with scleroderma.

I would love to interview children of parents with chronic illnesses and put together an anthology. In fact I am composing questions in my mind as I type this.


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Back To School!

Posted by barefut , 07 January 2013 · 330 views

Ahhhh it was back to school for the kids today after their 2 week holiday break - which felt more like a month! I tell you, I couldn't get them out of the house fast enough this morning (Where IS that bus?!) I was easily irritated and felt like my nerves were fried with the first clink of a spoon this morning. I don't do sudden loud noises very well. If I was a cat you would find me clinging to the ceiling by my claws. I'm not usually that bad in the mornings but alas - it's a wonder how very little sleep will change your personality.

So being as I hardly slept last night, I curled up on the couch with my heating pad the minute the last kid set foot on the bus. Now I am up from a 3 hour nap, feeling as fit and refreshed as a troll run over by a bus and ready to start my day at the crack of noon. As it should be - and guilt free. (Yea good luck with that guilt free part there kiddo.) Although there is a lot for me to do around here I decided to allow my body one do-nothing day. Now if I could just get my mind to follow suit.

Dirty bathrooms, piles of laundry, and moldy window frames are haunting me. Not to mention that giant box of papers I need to dive into, sort out, and figure out, in preparation for the Little League Auction and Spaghetti Dinner in April. It's been 15 years since I worked in Banquets/Conference Services but I have not forgotten what a lot of work it is and how attention to details - and lots of them! - is mandatory. I am worried that my now feeble sclerobrain will fail me - and therefore everyone! AGH! The pressure!

I'm going back to sleep.


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January 2nd - My Thanksgiving

Posted by barefut , 03 January 2013 · 297 views

January 2nd - My Thanksgiving 7 years ago yesterday I heard my doctor say "diffuse systemic scleroderma" to me over the phone. It was the same day my friend and neighbor heard his cancer diagnosis. I am thankful beyond words to still be here and call myself a survivor because my friend did not make it. He fought hard for nearly 3 years and left behind a 13 year old son, my son's best friend.

I always take this time of year to reflect back on everything I have been though with this disease and then count my blessings for having been able to come through it. To be able to continue to be mom to my boys is - well there is no greater gift.

And I remember all of those precious fighting spirits that we have lost to scleroderma. All amazing people who suffered more than anyone should have to with any disease. All of whom were always there encouraging others and always seemed to be smiling though they themselves had it so hard. When I think of what they fought through I am ashamed of myself for complaining even one little bit.

It is from them that I draw my strength and perseverance every day. I feel like I owe it to them to take the best possible care of myself and my boys - because I am still here. I am one of the lucky ones. Scleroderma has been kind to me in that it's onset and progression has been slow. I have been blessed with time. Time to learn, and love and laugh. Time to grow spiritually, emotionally and creatively. Time to just be all that I am, warts and all and to share the precious time that I have been given with my boys and my family, friends and community. And for that time I am thankful beyond words.






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