Monday, August 30, 2004

Having Lots of Fun!!

Good day everyone!  Boy, I have been going, and going, and going...just like the Energizer Bunny!  My shunt must be working because I am actually keeping up with Chelsea and she is a teenager!!   I decided to include a picture of my Mama today as I wanted to honor her as a teenager.  I thought it might be interesting to compare her to my two teenaged children around the same age.  I asked my Mama what age she was when I first saw this picture and I was astounded to hear her tell me that she was just 17.   I have always thought that my Mama looked elegant and beautiful and graceful in pictures.   Her identical twin sister passed away in October of last year.   I am one of the few people that can pick out which one is my mother and which one is her twin sister, Chrissie, in pictures.  They were always posing in pictures together wearing the same outfits.  By their teenage years, though, they had their own styles and were not dressed alike.  This picture has me thinking.  I wonder where her sister was?  Well, more about my sweet Mama and her sweet twin later...

About Chels and her arrival... I greeted her at the airport with flowers and a couple of tears, goosebumps, and a big hug!  I had waited 12 years for this!!  Oh, to hold her and know that she was staying and not having a date to go back home to another state, another home, away from me and away from my arms.  I was elated!  She was greeted by me, my good friend Karen, her good friend, Ali (Alison) who is Karen's daughter, and her friend Erin.  We gabbed and laughed all the way home.  Chelsea's smile was so big and she had the darkest Florida tan because she had been staying at a resort which had been her home for about three weeks because of the hurricane.  We arrived home to balloons and a dinner prepared for her that were her requested and favorite foods.  We talked and shared pictures and stories and had a really nice time.  Chelsea talked alot about the hurricane and about how much she missed her two-year-old brother, Sammy.  He is cute as a button and they have grown very close.  He was the hardest for her to leave.  That really, really hurts my heart.  I will put pictures of Sammy in here sometime as he is just adorable and looks somewhat like Chelsea.  Our guests then went home and Chelsea and I spent a relaxing time talking, getting her settled in her new bedroom and spent some time on the computer.

The second day we visited my parents (her O'pa and O'ma).  We then went to my friend, Karen's, house and spent some time talking and roaming around on their land.  They live on a beautiful piece of land which was once a working farm.  It has beautiful trees, a barn, a running creek, a stone street you can walk on, an occasional deer or fox or whatever animal you might see, and  is just a great place to get away from it all.  It has concord grape vines and a swing, and, well, I just find something new there everytime I go!!  We picked up Ali and went shopping, shopping, shopping!!  Chelsea lost all of her belongings and most of her clothes and we are trying to replace what she needs.  So, you know teenagers and shopping!  It was alot of fun, though!  I knew that the articles we picked up were much needed!  Then we went grocery shopping.  And as the saying goes....Never go grocery shopping when you are hungry....and never tell a teenager to pick out anything they want! lol  Chelsea and I have totally different tastes in food.  I eat very little meat and like to eat nuts, fruit, vegetables, yogurt and cheese and very little junk food.  Chelsea likes junk food, meat, no vegetables, and lots of quick fix items and not too many fresh fruits or vegetables and milk products.  I think we are going to be eating seperate meals often.  Then we went home and Ali and Chels went out to a movie and out for a bite to eat at a restaurant while I caught up on a little housework and a little reading.  By this time my fibro. was really kicking in and my body was screaming from every pore.  Then Chels and Ali got home and Ali spent the night and they had a wonderful "girl time".

I am sitting here right now typing this as Ali and Chels were just picked up by Karen and they are spending some time over at Karen's house.  We are "sharing" the girls and as far as we are both concerned, we both have two daughters. Ali is just a great, great girl.  So, I have had a blast just being with Chels the past few days and having a house that is full of energy and smiles and noises and I am so happy that I have been able to keep up.  A year ago I would not have been able to.  Neurosurgery has saved my life and given me a life!  A year ago I would have been irritable by now.  A year ago I would have been in bed for three days after all of this activity.  A year ago I wouldn't have been able to make this journal entry.  I am so thankful that God, in His timing, and what beautiful timing He has, and in His wisdom, has given me His blessings and has brought my daughter to live with me.  Chelsea, thanks for choosing to make this your home at this point in time!  To all you out there in J-Land, may you all have a peaceful day!

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Chelsea Is Arriving!!

YAY!!!  Chelsea is coming toay!!  In honor of her I am typing this in her favorite color and putting pictures in here to share with everyone today!!  I do hope you enjoy her smile and get a glimpse of the joy that she shares with her family and friends!  She is a wonderful young adult!  We have a little party waiting here for her with a dinner, flowers, cakes, balloons, etc. for her!!  Oh, I do hope we don't overwhelm her.  It is a muggy day out today, but I am sure she is used to that.  Poor Krissy is suffering asthma and can't leave her air-conditioned home, so those who are prone to praying, that would be appreciated :).  She goes through alot - Krissy does.  I am off to get ready for the day...Yoo-Hoo...

Friday, August 27, 2004

Pics of Matthew

These are the pics of  Matthew that I promised.  He still hasn't contacted me from his friend's house so he had just better call his Mama and give me the phone number where he is at!!!  I will be putting pictures of Chelsea in here this weekend and also a picture of my mom when she was the same age as Chelsea is now!!!  Cool, huh?!  Have a good evening all!

A Wonderful Poem

The Invitation
Oriah Mountain Dreamer
Copyright (c) 1999
Published by Mountain Dreaming


It doesn't interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for,
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love,
for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow,
if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled
and closed from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own,
without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own,
if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy
fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be
to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself;
if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul;
if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty, even when it's not pretty, every day,
and if you can source your life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine,
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon, "Yes!"

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief
and despair, weary and bruised to the bone,
and do what needs to be done for the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not
shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

My beautiful sister-in-law, Shawn, sent me this poem this morning and I wanted to share it with everyone as I thought it was a wonderful one and shared sentiment that was in my soul as well.  Living daily life is important, but actually jumping in and experiencing life with empathy, desire, trustworthiness, gusto.....etc. is extra important.  I know that this is particularly hard when one has daily depression, mood swings, and daily pain as I do.  So I salute all of you who are joining in with life and actually winning this battle.  Even if it is something small on some days.    I hope everyone enjoyed it!   Krissy and her fiance, John, are coming over to watch a movie, The Princess Diaries with me today at 1:00pm.  I am really looking forward to this as I haven't relaxed and taken any time out for myself and just "gotten away from it all".  To those of you in the U.K.-  My prayers are with all of you, that Charley will be kind to you and that there will be little flooding and damage done.  I know that when it rains on me and it is windy my fibro. acts up as does my depression.  It is the curse of the chronically ill.  Do take care of yourselves over there!  Sending prayers!

Thursday, August 26, 2004

I'm Thankful Tonight

Where, oh where, have all the AOL alerts gone?  Oh where, oh where can they be?  Oh well.  I had fun jumping around everybody elses' journals and looking and seeing what everyone wrote today and investigating instead of being alerted and just reading my alerts.  I do love reading other's journals and I think it is cool that we can "peak" into other's lives.  I am a little bit socially phobic and like to stay at home alot.  So blogging is a good way to meet people and be honest and say what is on your mind and still be in your p.j.'s. and not have to worry about the social gathering part of finding others.  I do believe that I am not going to find a husband this way, though, so I better get over my social phobia!!  I am feeling grateful tonight, though, as it is getting closer to my daughter's arrival!  Two more days!!  I am "nesting" here.  I have been doing all kinds of housework and all kinds of preparations for her arrival and the gratification is enormous.  I have not lived with my children for twelve years, so I have not felt this kind of gratification since Chelsea was six.  I know it sounds crazy that a mother has not had her children for twelve years, but that is a long, long story that I will write for another entry.  It is a source of enormous pain and will take alot of energy for me to write.  It will also take some trust in my readers.  Chelsea called me last night and told me that they have to bulldoze their house and that it is a total loss.  She said that when you walk into the house there is mold on the walls and windodws and there is no roof anymore.  You sink into the carpets as there is so much water and they lost all of their possessions.  They are destroyed by this toxic mold and fiberglass and water damage.  Now my son went to live with a friend for six months or so until they can build a new house.  His darn (I want to use a stronger word!) father never gave me the address or phone number of the friend that he is staying at so I have no idea where my son is!!  My son is 16 and his name is Matthew.  I plan on putting a picture of him in my journal tomorrow.  He is a wonderful kid.  He had better call his Mama soon!!  I also wanted to tell the world tonight that God is very good and that He is my heart and I wanted to praise Him!  He has done so many good things for me recently!  I don't say it out loud enough, but God is the center of my universe and everything spokes out from Him.  With that, I will sign off and hope that everyone is well tonight and that everyone is feeling peaceful....

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

I I Could Be....

I found this in someone's journal and liked it and (with permission) I decided to fill it out.  Enjoy!

If I Could Be


If I could be a time of day, I would be:  evening when the sun is setting.

If I could be a planet, I would be:'s natural

If I could be a direction, I would be:   horizontal...I like my bed....or north..I hate being hot

If I could be a piece of furniture, I would be:   a big over-stuffed chair

If I could be a stone, I would be:  garnet

If I could be a tree, I would be:  a weeping willow

If I could be a bird, I would be: a hummingbird

If I could be a flower, I would be:  a wild African Violet

If I could be a kind of weather, I would be: I would be the four seasons, but my winter would be mild and my summer would never go over 68 degrees with low humidity..I have enough moods to be the four seasons ;-) 

If I could be a musical instrument, I would be: the wooden flute

If I could be a color, I would be: red

If I could be an emotion, I would be: compassion

If I could be a sound, I would be: humming

If I could be a car, I would be: a Toyota Corolla 

If I could be a material, I would be: cotton

If I could be a taste, I would be: mango

If I could be ascent, I would be:  the smell after the rain

If I could be a word, I would be:  This one is

If I could be a facial expression, I would be:  ;-o

And if I could be anyone, I would be:  I would only be me!

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Chicks and a Goat and The Amish

Good evening everyone.  I had a pretty laid-back day.  It was calm and fun and at times humorous.  When I woke up I had told myself that I must get some housework done.  I was resigned to do this when a friend asked me if I wanted to go for a car ride with him.  I don't much like housework and I love car rides, so it was a pretty easy decision to push back the housework for a later time.  We hopped in the car and off we went.  First we went to Wal-Mart where I picked up bird seed, cat litter and a stuffed animal for Chelsea's new bed.  Then we headed off to my friend, Roger's, aunt Linda's house.  She lives right in the heart of Amish country.  A few of you asked who the Amish were.  To explain them simply, they are a Protestant sect of religious folk who choose to live away from mainstream life.  They have no electricity or plumbing and farm off their land.  They go to their own schools - only to the eigth grade usually - at which time they are needed on the farm or at home or at their family's business.  They ride in horse-drawn buggies and are pretty strict disciplinarians.  They have lots of kids and take care of each other very well.  The women wear dark skirts and a blouse and bonnet and are very "hardy" and the men wear dark pants, shirts and suspenders and a hat.  The married men have beards but no moustaches.  They do not have to pay taxes in the U.S. and do not believe in the government.  I visit them here and there to buy from their orchards or from their baked goods shops or eat in their restaurants, etc.  When you visit them you can't help thinking about the "meaning of life" or what things were like before we were inundated with so much technology.   Anyway, Roger's Aunt Linda is friends with the Amish and she (his aunt) was watching about five small children today.  These children "borrowed" two chicks from her Amish neighbors.  I sat and held these chicks for a long time.  I was amazed as I had never held a bird before in my life.  Birds have kind of frightened me.  These chicks were very, very calm.  Right next to these birds were two dogs frolicking about.  I was amazed that the dogs did not try to eat the birds.  As I was holding the chicks I felt very peaceful.  Then one didsomething I thought was quite amazing.  He kept pecking me.  So I thought he wanted down and I let him down right next to me.  He had to go poo-poo. lol.  Then he hopped right back in my hand.  So these two birds snuggled in my hands for a couple of hours and any time they needed to poo they just pecked on my fingernail and I let them down!  Then they would hop back up!  Then the children took the birds to the miniature goat that was tied up in the yard.  This was the first time I had met a miniature goat before, too!  They set the chicks in the yard with the goat.  So, now here are two chicks, a goat and two dogs and they are just sitting and staring at one another!  I was amazed!  I guess I am a city girl, but I would think that they would be fighting!  Then one chick jumped on the back of the goat and about thirty seconds later the second chick jumped on the back of the goat and they fell asleep!   And the goat is walking around with two asleep chicks on its back!  It was too funny!  So I pet Betsy The Miniature Goat for awhile before I left because I had never had the privilege of meeting a goat before.  She was a sweetie.  The kids gave the chicks the names "Fuzzy" and "Eagle".  They were grey and tan with spots.   We then said goodbye to everyone and all the animals and took a long drive back home.  

I was very grateful to have gotten out today as it was so beautiful and sunny out.  It had finally stopped raining.  I was getting tired of the rain leaking through my roof.  Drip...drip...drip....drip...Chinese water torture.  I called my landlord this morning to report that, yes, it is still leaking (since he hasn't fixed it yet!) and would he please fix it soon.  It has been leaking since I moved in at the beginning of the month :-( Every once in awhile a piece of plaster comes down and clomps to the floor.  Oh well.  I told him today that Chelsea is moving in next Saturday and he said that would be just fine.  I was a little worried about letting him know that she was coming.  I don't know why, but I was.  Anyway, Chelsea gets here in six days!!!  I am so excited!  Her family is staying in a resort down in Florida that her aunt works at.  The resort has kindly given them a suite for free!  I don't know how long they can stay, but it has been over a week already and they are already okayed through next Wednesday.  I think that is so nice of the hotel.  So, if anyone is going to Walt Disney World, stay at Celebrations in Orlando!!!!  Well, I think I will finally go do some of that housework.....toodles.....       

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Feeling Slow In The Head

I have been wanting to write in here for three days but my head has been feeling pretty stupid.  We have been getting lots of rain and when it rains it raises my intracranial pressure and I get headaches and it feels like my shunt isn't working.  Then I feel stupid and I get writer's block.  I am going to try and write anyway.  I am getting very tired of the rain.  I live in an area that is very grey and rainy.  It is not uncommon for us to have rain at some point in the day for a month or have a cloudy few months at a time.  It is cloudy ol' Pennsylvania.  I do love it here, though.  It is calm and serene.  The people are very nice and the nature is fantastic.  You can hop in the car and you are just a mile (or a few) away from a library, store, movie theater, campus, bowling alley, book store, you name it!  It is your own fault if you get bored here!  There are also places to escape here.  There are many parks.  There are mountains,cows, sheep, pigs, trees to sit under and Amish not too far away.  Boy do I love visiting the Amish!  They are so friendly and they love to talk and laugh and they can make you realize what is really important in life!  Our family has an Amish couple that are our friends that owns a craft store.  They are so humble.  They are in their 70's and have a bunch of grown children.  Eli and Katie are their names.  Eli owns a horse named Sparky and when we visit them I like to go out and talk to ol' Sparky.  He has a really nice stall outside that he lives in and Eli made him a neat place to stay near a chicken coop where he can look out a window all day long.  Eli loves Sparky.  He only takes him out when they need to take out the buggy for a ride.  He spends alot of time outside brushing Sparky and talking to him.  His face lights up when you ask him about this beloved horse.  It is so dear.  I own a quilt that I have on my living room couch that Katie made.  Whenever I look at that quilt I think of her and their way of life.  One day we were at her house and we were eating some goodies as they ALWAYS offer us food and drink.  We were drinking Mountain Dew.  Katie was saying how much she and her family loved Mountain Dew.  I told her it was because of the sugar and thecaffeine.  She said, "It has caffeine in it?";  I said, "Oh my, yes, much more than coffee does!"; and she just howled out laughing and said, "Oh, that is why we like it so much then!"  It is interesting how many people think that the Amish are standoffish.  They are not at all.  They just like to have their way of life.  They do not want to be influenced by the "Englishers".  They are always pleasant to us Englishers, though.  One big fallacy about the Amish is that they are somehow ignorant, also.  The young children actually know German and English by the time they are in grade school.  And yes, they do not allow their picture to be taken.  They are very, very humble.  I notice as I talk to them that they are the same as any of us -- same worries, fears, conversation, humor, etc.  They place you at ease immediately.

I saw my sister, Therese, this week.  She is sister number 1.  I have four sisters - Therese, Krissy, Grace, and Deirdre  Therese came to my apartment today.  I hadn't seen her in probably six years or so.  It was really nice seeing her.  She and her husband and three children live in Maryland.  I also visited with her husband and one of her sons today.  I hadn't seen them in an even longer time.  I discovered that Therese and I like alot of the same artsy things - beading, quilting, fabrics, crocheting, nature.  It was really exciting talking to her about these things.  My kitty cat, Honey, also loved her.  I think Honey knew that she was my sister as she went right up to her and Honey NEVER does that.  Honey is skittish with anybody who is new.  All the females in my family have a very, very similar deep, melodic voice and Honey seems to know who is related to me and who isn't.  She took to my Mom right away as well as to Krissy and my sisters Deirdre and Grace.  She has not taken to any other stranger except after many visits.  I find this amazing.  Cats have an extra sense, I guess.  Oh, she doesn't like men very much.  I don't know why this is.  I think they walk harder and have a booming voice that she doesn't like.  I have led a quiet existence for the four years that I have had her.  I have been sick most of the time and have crept around and have been very pleasant to her and have had very little company.  She is used to my tip-toeing around.  So when there is alot of commotion she gets upset.  She is used to my pleasant dispotition and my quiet living.

I was thinking today about how wonderful Krissy's John is!  He has done so much for me and I wanted to thank him personally in my journal.  He has done so much for me over the past six years or so and he is a super person and I am so proud to call him my friend!  Whenever I have been sick or needed someone he has always been there, and for that I am so truly thankful!  Thanks, John, I will always love you!

I am signing off head hurts....take care all!! 

Monday, August 16, 2004

When It Rains It Pours...

Jeepers, I just talked to Chelsea.  She called me from the hotel her family is staying at while they are getting their home repaired from Hurricane Charley.  She sounded very resigned.  She called to ask me to locate her a flight on the internet for August 28 or 29.  She then told me about the new troubles that they were having.  Her brother who is a toddler seems to be coming down with chicken pox and has a fever of 101.  Her car also broke down.  Her Dad lost his job today.  She lost all of her belongings in the hurricane -- every single one because the roof fell in and fiberglass and rain mingled with everything. 

She seems very relieved that I made her a home here already.  I finished up her bedroom which is nice and cozy and warm.  It is so freshly and happily decorated.  People are donating things for her like crazy!  Thank you, guys!  She has a new bed, dresser, night stand, decorations and clothes and can use anything of mine so I am sure she is relieved as she has been homeless since Friday and will be homeless until she gets here.  She has warm p.j.'s here and a kitty that likes to sleep in her bed.  I know it won't replace what she lost, but I do hope she can make it all her own.  I have lost all of my belongings a couple of times myself.  I know how hard it is to "start over".  My starting over wasn't from natural disaster, but from running from a dangerous partner.  Also, I have had all of my belongings stolen from me.  It is very hard to lose your photos and books and clothes and whatever possessions you have that make you what defines you and shows your personality.

I have been very happy with this new shunt!  I have been able to think more clearly and the pressure remains stable in my head.  I am amazed by the power of medicine!  If I lived just 50 years ago, there would have been no relief for me!  I would not have survived, actually.  That amazes me.  The body is a fabulous, wonderful machine.  It is not connected to a power source (although God created it!) and yet can run on its own and do many incredible actions and show its magnificence.  With just a tiny glitch though, it canbreak  down or go haywire. 

Well, it is a sleepy night and I haven't been taking care of myself in that department.  I have suffered with insomnia my entire life.  I suppose it goes along with the depression I suffer with.  I have tried everything.  If anyone has any suggestions let me know!  It is common for me to see the sun come up and for me to nap a couple times during the day.  My body just seems to want to come awake at night and get things done.  It craves the quietness and seclusion of the darkness and can perform during the night hours.  I can tell you every program that is on every TV channel throughout the night, and believe me, they are terrible!  I have been this way for 20 years or more.  I may fix it for a few days or a week or so, but I always go back to being a nocturnal being.  Tonight, though, I am going to try to sleep as I have had too much anxiety to keep this body awake.  Good night, all!    

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Nature Is Powerful

Life has been kind of crazy since Friday.  I haven't been sleeping more than two or three hours on a pop.  It is strange how my kid's life in Florida really affect my emotions up here.  When they go through something, I feel it!  Whenever Chelsea breaks up with a boyfriend, I lose ten pounds!  When she was in a car accident (and she wasn't really hurt) I lost 15!  I think it might be worse with my not being around than with my actually being there as I worry about what "could" go wrong and I don't and have the answers immediately, and I can't  give my motherly advice right when I want to.  Anyway, I was on the computer and the phone with my kids on Friday as Hurricane Charley was coming up the coast.  They live in Kissimmee.  Charley took an unexpected turn and hit them dead on.  Before the storm actually struck I was on the computer talking to Chelsea (before her step-mom and Dad got home) about what to do in a hurricane.  "What room are you going to go in, Chels?; Do you have water?  No?  Go boil some!  Oh, the room you are staying in has double walls and plastic windows!  Great!  You have a mattress you can get under, great!"  She called me on the phone again right before it struck, "We got grandma and grandpa to come!  They weren't going to.  You know how grandpa is, but I said in my sweet voice, grandpa, will you come to my shelter?"  "Mommy, Michelle (her step-mom) did go to the store before work and get water and food and batteries and everything we need"  ("Well of course she did," I thought, "She is a mom!")  Then they hunkered down and the next time I heard from her was at 10:30pm.  She called on her cellphone from outside with a flashlight in her hand, "Mommy, that was much worse than I thought!"  I heard her Dad in the background laughing.  I said, "What is he laughing about? She said, "The people across the street are asking if that is our roof in their front yard!"  I said, "Oh my gosh, you lost your roof!"  She said, "All the shingles, anyways!"  Then as they were surveying the damages I heard, "The swingset is bent in half, poor Sammy (her 2 year-old brother), our <metal> fence is blown away.  Trees are down on roofs.  None on ours, though!  2 or three inches of water on the ground.  Oh, Mommy, water was pouring down our walls!"  Then she said she had to get off, or was it I who told her to get off as the other side of the storm was coming through?  I asked her to please call me after 1am when it came through.  I stayed up, but got no call because there was no electricity in the area by this time.  The next call I got was from her cellphone the next morning around (oh, what time was it?  I was losing track of time?  I wasn't sleeping!)..the next day anyway...she said they were driving around surveying the damage.  She said that their ceiling was caving in.  Water was coming into her house through the roof.  They could see the sky!  She guessed they needed a new house.  They were in high spirits, actually.  This amazed me!  They were all prepared and knew what they were doing and had high spirits and didn't worry about their things!  The final call I got was this morning.  Chels told me that her arrival to come live with me would be delayed as her Dad would be busy and she can't get to her things and they can't even get into her house and the electricity will be off for four to seven days.  I told her that was all okay as no body was hurt!  I told her I was proud of her for keeping in such good, good contact with me!  Chelsea has grown into such a good, young, responsible woman and I wanted to let her know that!  For all of you in Florida, I want to let you know that my prayers are with you and I am sorry for you losses (especially of life) and may you know that the rest of the country is praying for you. 

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Pic of Me and Chelsea

Good afternoon all!  I wanted to let you all in J-Land know that my sister (whom alot of you have read) has posted a picture of me and my daughter in her journal today.  If you want to see it it is at:

Now, mind you, Chelsea is beautiful.  This is her mother speaking, of course.  I, on the other hand, just had major surgery in my head, and have a little bit of a bloated face and appear to be "a deer caught in a headlight".  I allowed the picture to be taken, nonetheless, because, you see, my sister, Krissy, and my daughter accompanied me to the hospital and brought the camera and I would deny them almost nothing if ever they asked.  They are my heart and soul and make my world turn.  I believe Krissy has a picture of herself in her Journal also.  Krissy has been such a wonderful sister and we seem to have a soul-connection and are even thought to be the same person at times by other people (who are not too astute, lol) or mistaken for twins.  Now, mind you, we don't look that much alike, but our mannerisms and speech are very, very similar as are our beliefs and our hearts.  We call ourselves Twins Born At Different Times (TBADT).  Chelsea has that similar soul and people tell me how much she is like me.  I am flattered as Chelsea is such a good, sweet and gentle young woman and I welcome the comparison.

I went to my psychiatrist today as I see her for bipolar depression.  She said something today that made alot of sense.  She is a very kind doctor.  I saw the compassion in her as she explained this and somehow it just hit me like it never did before even though it is so simple.  If any of you have a hard time explaining your "depression" or "obsessional thinking" or "anxiety" to loved ones perhaps this will help --She told me that when you have a physical disease anywhere in your body (except the brain) there is pain and we feel it.  The brain feels no physical pain.  So when the brain is having a physical problem the consequence is a "thought".  These thoughts of course are beyond our control and can be bizarre.  We think we are responsible for all of our thoughts.  When we are ill, we arenot.  We suffer and wonder why we can not be like others and wonder why we are thinking what we are thinking.  We are thinking what we are thinking because our brain is damaged in some way and this is the symptom of this damage.  I know this sounds simple, but it rings very true in my ears today and maybe I need to hear this.  For those of you who are hurting, may you find relief soon, and may you be kinder to yourself as you go through hard times.  You have a kindred spirit here and God knows what you are going through.  Prayers to all whomever you are!

Monday, August 9, 2004

Me Oh My....

I did something so stupid last night.  Well, it started earlier in the day, and culminated with a large mistake.  From the time I woke up yesterday morning (which was Sunday morning) through the entire day, I thought it was Monday.  So I went about my day as if it were Monday, making phone calls to businesses wondering why their answering machines were telling me to call back at business hours (!!this still didn't clue me in!!) and wondering why Monday TV wasn't on the boob tube.  I have a medication-minder (which is a seven-day, 4-times a day plastic container) that holds a week's worth of medicine.  Well I took Sunday's on Sunday still thinking it was Monday.  Well, Sunday night I went out to look at my med-minder (after taking three doses of medication from it that day, mind you) and thought, "Oh my!  I haven't taken any medication today!"  So I proceeded to take Monday night's medications.  So, at this point I was double-dosed on about six medications and some of them were two pills already!  I take quite a few pills a day for my chronic illnesses, so after doing this stupid deed, I was very dizzy and loopy and had to stay up until I was certain any ill-effects of what I had done to myself had run out.  So I did not go to bed until 5am or so.  When I woke up today, which was about 1:30 in the afternoon it felt like my head was going to pop off, but atleast I knew that I was okay.  I really must be much more careful from now on!   My day was pretty shot and I am hoping I can make up for it tomorrow and get some things done!  Take care, all! 

Sunday, August 8, 2004

Life Without Hair

My neurosurgeon had to give me a "buzz" haircut when he insurted the shunt in my head and he apologized several times for my being bald.  I really anticipated it being a bigger shock than it was.  You see, my hair has been my biggest frustration and I would even go as far as calling it shameful.  I am not sure why it has caused me this much pain.  I hate my hair and always have.  Perhaps I have body dysmorphic sydrome (or whatever it is called) when it comes to my hair.  When the surgeon took it off, it was almost a relief.  I didn't have to worry about how it looked or how to fix it, because I had no choice.  It wasn't much of a shock to me either.  It is easy to take care of and keeps my body much cooler.  I have always been too hot and uncomfortable when the temperature raises above 68 degrees.  My mom was always telling me to put my coat on as a child and I was always taking it off when I got outside.  I continued not wearing a coat until I became ill in my 30's.  I labeled myself as having "temperature disregulation".  Now I can get too hot or too cold whenever my body wants to.  Anway, back to the hair.  It is so easy to care for and I know it is not out of place (because there is not much hair to go anywhere).  People do look, but they don't look so much at the hair - they look more at the scars possibly.  That is also uncomfortable, but, hey, not as uncomfortable as I felt when I thought my hair was out of place or frizzy or whatever.  Now I know this sounds whacked and whatnot, and I probably should be getting some "help" for this! lol, but I am enjoying not having hair for the moment and enjoying the very easy upkeep of it.  Now, don't get me wrong, I don't believe people are staring at me every time I go out of the house.  I do hold my head up straight and smile usually, unless I am in one of my funks, or I am irritable or tired.  Oh, and I do see a therapist twice a month.  lol  

My daughter is coming to live with me in 11 days.  She is 18 and is the light of my life.  I also have a son who is 16 and is the best son in the world.  They have been living with their father for 12 years as I have been chronically ill.  This is another story that I will tell you someday.  My daughter, Chelsea, lived with me for almost six years and Matt for almost four when they were young.  It has been very hard for me to have them so far away, to say the least.  I am in Pennsylvania and they are in Florida.  I have been seeing them in the summertime when school lets out and usually during their winter break.  Now they both want to go to college in PA so I am very blessed.  Their coming to PA is one of those things that you pray for for many years and have to be patient about and trust God for and eventually things come full circle.  It is very amazing to me and I thank God very much for it.

I will let you guys know how it goes with Chelsea's arrival!  Thanks for your comments!  Toodles and God bless!



Saturday, August 7, 2004

A New Beginning

Good Morning everone!  This is my first entry in a very, very long time!  I am sitting in my new apartment with a kitty that is very skittish.  Cats just don't like getting used to new surroundings.  She is very comforted by my voice and my presence, though.  My Dad swears that he read somewhere that cats are more comforted and attached to surroundings than they are by their owners.  I KNOW this is not the case!!!  If I was not here for my "Honey" she would be a basket case and still under the bed!  I have babied her for a couple of days and she is now getting used to the sounds and is eating, drinking and using the litter box.  When I have left her alone for a trip in the past she has refused to eat her food and even go "poo-poo".  I guess she doesn't go poo-poo because she doesn't eat! lol  When I get home she is relaxed within a few short moments.  Thankfully, I do not have one of those cats that is angered by my actions and ignores me when I do something like leaving her for a long time!

So, I have been through quite a bit in the last couple of months.  I just had a v/a shunt put in.  It goes from my ventricles in my brain to my jugular vein going into my heart.  It is to control the extra csf pressure caused by the the chiari malformation I have.  It was an interesting experience having it put in.  The surgery wasn't as extensive, nor was it as hard to heal as my suboccipital decompression/craniectomy I had about a year and half ago.  I feel blessed as I have had little complications and feel lots better.  I wish I had done this awhile back, but you just don't know!  I am feeling alot more energy from having less pressure on the brain already!  I wanted to thank everyone out there who has prayed for me!  I HAVE HEARD and FELT your prayers!!!!!!!  They have meant so much to me!! 

I LOVE my new apartment as it is about 3 times larger than my last apartment!  It has ceiling fans to keep me cool!  Lord knows I get hot all the time! lol  It is also in a neighborhood that I can do alot of walking and I won't feel so secluded.  I have so much room for all of my "stuff", too! lol  I downsized before I came here (I threw away 18 big green garbage bags!), but still don't know how I have this much stuff for one person.  I like to think I am a minimalist.  So, if one is looking inside my apartment, one might think it a little bare.  My daughter, Chelsea, is coming to live with me in about 10 days also!!!!  I am so excited I can't believe it!!  I am preparing her room and "her" bathroom, which is really both of ours, but she has instructed me on how to decorate it! lol

Well, I am off to get the last of my "stuff" that is left behind today.  It is so beautiful outside.  I hope everyone has as beautiful weather as we do here in PA!!  God bless and good day!  I hope that I can write in here atleast a couple to a few times a week now so stop on by and see what blah, blah, blabbing I can do!!!!  Bye now!!!!