Monday, August 29, 2005

Bitterness and blessings.... 

I guess I'll start with what's making me bitter tonight so as to get it out of the way.

Realized today that I have declined physically in just the past three months. One of the chores I have always handled was fertilizing the lawn since Dan has to mow it (I can't push the lawnmower). I fertilized the front lawn in May with no problems except for a bit of extra fatigue after. But today, I had trouble pushing the lightweight spreader through the grass and had to stop several times to rest. And steering it hurt my hands. When I finished, I had some fertilizer left over, so I tried to pick up the spreader to pour the excess back in the bag. But my arms gave out, I dropped the spreader and spilled fertilizer all over the driveway. I also got short of breath and had to go in the house and ask Dan to help me. He had to finish emptying the spreader and rinse it out. I've been exhausted and weak and sore the rest of the evening....this simple chore just sucked the life out of me. I hate when I get worse without even realizing it.

Now that I'm done with ranting, I want to spend some time reflecting on what is right and good in my life. I realized that I've been mentioning how blessed I am in e-mails here and there, but I haven't really blogged about it lately. I don't want to whine 100 percent of the time (although you might not be able to tell from certain posts lately).

I do have surprising good fortune despite the health setbacks. I've never lost my home to a natural disaster, never been a victim of a break-in or had my car stolen, never had to live on the street or in a shelter. I've never gone hungry. I have only been hospitalized five times, only one of those times since the age of 18. I have not broken any bones except my big toes. I've never had pneumonia. I have better than average bone mass for my age. Despite my cognitive dysfunction, I am still reasonably literate and am still able to express myself in some fashion. I have never lost anyone I'm close to due to murder. I know what it is like to be comfortable financially. I have gotten to own a home. I live in a diverse neighborhood that happens to have the lowest crime rate in my hometown. I have been to Las Vegas three times and have never come home with less money in my pocket than I left home with. I have been to 35 US states including Hawaii. I was able to get two college degrees. I belong to a church that accepts me and my eccentric beliefs. I have never been in jail or been arrested. I've never been addicted to anything other than food. I am seldom bored because I am easily entertained. I swam with a sea turtle while snorkeling and have seen dolphins in the wild. I live in the most beautiful state in the US except maybe Hawaii. I do not have cancer or anything immediately life-threatening, and my heart, kidneys and liver are all sound. I have 20/15 vision. My sense of humor is almost always intact no matter what happens. I have seen several famous comedians in comedy clubs. I can still hear well enough to enjoy music. I have been to over 30 concerts and have seen everyone from Stevie Ray Vaughan to the Beach Boys to Don MacLean to Janet Jackson. I look and act younger than I really am. I got to work for awhile in an industry that I enjoyed, radio, and got to be funny on the air, write and record commercials, and meet interesting and famous people. I have good medical insurance.

I am particularly blessed, though, by the people in my life. I have a devoted, loving husband who spoils me. I have a very special pup who comforts me when I cry (I know, he's not a person, but I'm still blessed to have him in my life). I have friends all over the world, all ages and backgrounds. I have friends I have known for a few months and friends I've known for a few decades. I get way more support than most people with chronic illness can ever hope for. Thanks to the wonders of e-mail, I can communicate with these friends anytime I wish. Through my church, I have access to open-minded seekers of peace like myself, even people with different religious affiliations who participate in interfaith ceremonies. I am prayed for every single day, even though some doing the praying have never met me in person. It boggles my mind and makes me very humble to know that someone somewhere is thinking of me each day. I have good doctors....a few of them are even great. And I even seem to have a rapport with strangers....I get smiles from people in a town where no eye contact is the norm. People will see me in a room full of strangers and decide to start a conversation with me. I have no idea why I seem to be more approachable, but I don't mind. I meet interesting people all the time, in waiting rooms, in line for something, in stores, at parties. And I have lots of family within 50 miles of me.

I have completely drained my brain writing this, but it was worth it just to remind myself how good I really do have it. Next time I get too whiny, someone remind me of this post, ok?

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