Stranger on the plane

As I wrote yesterday or the day before (damn the last week is a blur), I was pretty paranoid about leaving vegas after what happened last time I said goodbye to a friend.  All the bullshit I went through at the airport in Houston to get to vegas, had me dreading the trip even more.  (another story for another time)

As I walked through the door of the airport, a sudden calm washed over me.  Maybe it was the xanax kicking in, maybe it was that I was going to home to see girls, I honestly don’t know what it was.  Maybe it was exhaustion?  Either way I had not a care in the world.  I didn’t take more than 10 steps into the door before I found a porter ready and waiting with a wheelchair for me.  When I showed him the boarding pass on my phone I realized I was in seat 8F  ( yah window seat….maybe I could sleep?).

I barely remember that pat down, even though the foley catheter (who’s name is boppy, for bag of pee) set off the metal wand, I really don’t remember much about it.  We stopped for coffee and I was deposited at the gate.

I was the first to board the plane (after the pilot and flight attendants.)  The agent that took me to the plane even stashed my bag overhead for me.  I balled up my sweatshirt and laid my head on it closing my eyes to let the world drift away.  I couldn’t have slept more than a few minutes, before being awaken by this sight.flight home (9)

Meet Timmy

Timmy is the service dog for my new friend Bob…… Bob has Retinitis Pigmentosa, and is going blind, or as doctors have told him, he should have been completely blind years ago.  But I am getting ahead of myself, let me take a few steps back.

So I open my eyes, see this beautiful patient dog looking at me and let my eyes wonder up the harness to the man holding it.  He asks, “Are you ok with dogs?”…. I kind of shook my head and muttered, “um yeah, but where is he going to sit?”   thinking….Does he get a seat? are you putting a seat belt on him? is he going to sit on your lap?  The stranger responded, “oh he’s just going to sit down under our legs”   HUH?  (remember I have a German shepherd, who always TRIES to lay under my legs)…. Again, Ok.

Sure enough, Timmy laid under the seat in front of the stranger and between his legs.  As the other passengers finished boarding, the stranger allowed me to take several pictures, an introduce myself to Timmy.  At one point he said, I have RP and this is my service dog.  I actually knew what RP was…..well kind of, I knew how to say it, and that it meant he was going blind.  I think I surprised the hell out of him that I had heard of his condition.  You see, I follow and greatly admire the writer Susan Richardson, the author of Stories from the Edge of Blindness.  Susan has also been diagnosed and living with RP for 16 years.  If you don’t know Susan, please check out her blog, you won’t be sorry.

So back to the “stranger” on the plane, His name is Bob by the way, and by the end of the flight, he really was no stranger at all, but an incredible, smart, friendly guy.  We talked for the full four hours of our flight ( although it really felt much shorter than that)  We discussed politics.  yes I said discussed.  We disagreed about a few things, but I think we both LEARNED from each other.

When we were discussing how to find happiness while living with a health condition, he taught me a new term, “stamp collector” to describe a person that holds on to any and every misdeed that someone has done to  them.  We both agreed the secret to happiness is NOT collecting stamps, both literally and figuratively.

I could go on and on about the things we talked about, but I guess the whole point of this post, is that I am glad a “stranger” took a chance to open up about themselves and took the time to listen to another stranger’s stories and opinions.

I’m not a religious person by any means, but I do feel like I was “blessed” that day on my way home, and I am grateful for it.  I am also very grateful to have met so many wonderful new friends here on the interwebz.  Sincerely, I Thank you all from the bottom of my broken heart.

Soon, I’m going to have to tell you all about my Best Friend Gary, (the reason I went to Vegas), and about all the things he did to keep my mind occupied while I was there.  I really am a lucky girl.  For now though, I have the pleasure of Dutch’s company while Dan’s family finds a new home back in Illinois.

dutch

Is it a guy thing or a puppy thing that makes them take EVERY toy out of the bin?!?!?  lol

If you have nothing nice to say….

My parents taught me at a very young age, if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.  (I may still have the handprints on my face or belt marks on my ass to prove it.)  Although, I don’t necessarily agree with the methods used to teach me this, I do think that it is a very important lesson to have learned.

Lately, I haven’t had anything nice to say….so I haven’t said anything.  This isn’t to say that my life is terrible, but to be honest, I don’t even like being with myself lately …..so I say nothing.  I don’t like that I am getting angry over small things, and more importantly I don’t like that I don’t understand why I’m upset.

A friend said to me today, “Are you ok Grace? I’m worried about you.”  My response was “No I’m not, but I will be.”.  I KNOW that I will be.  I don’t know when, but I will get through this slump whatever it is, just like I have 100x before.

For those of you that use music to relate or express your emotions….the song Downtime by Jo Dee Messina kind of sums up what I am feeling at the moment.  If you listen to it let me know what you think.  How do you handle those days when you’ve got nothing nice to say?

 

 

How did I get here?

I woke up this morning feeling,  I would like to call it “recharged”, but it is better than that, and I really can’t find a word to “define” it.  Liberated? Free? Optimistic?….I guess the definition doesn’t really matter, but the feeling is INCREDIBLE.

Today, I was “supposed” to run electricity with my dad, but the weather changed our plans.  As I reached for my “to do list” to fill up my day, a thought hit me.  I really LIKE this feeling.  Instead of rushing to fill the “free time” with some other task, I decided to do nothing, just for a minute…. Did I mention I like this feeling??!?!?  I still don’t have a word for it, but I really like it.

codependentyThose damn feelings of CO-Dependency kept trying to creep in.  Someone, somewhere must need something.  I am positive that I am forgetting something for the wedding, maybe I should start packing now, so I can recheck it 50x before we leave Friday morning?           STOP IT GRACE!!!

I looked at the calendar, everything is right on or ahead of schedule.  How the hell did that happen?  The last two? three? weeks are kind of a blur.

Okay so how did I get here?

I reread some of last weeks blog posts.  Oh yeah, I kind of remember doing that…. maybe?  I’ve been living on auto- pilot.  I have been “going through the motions” and not letting myself FEEL anything.

Yesterday, when I arrived at the hospital for my Tysabri infusion, the nurses kept asking me if I was ok.  “Are you sure, you’re ok?”  I replied, “Yes, I’m good, just overdue for this infusion and I’m really tired.”  and then they asked again…”Grace, are you going to be able to drive home after this?” I responded, “I’m not driving, I promise…my parents will be here in a little bit.”…. one more time….”Are you sure?”….. uh huh…..and I was out.

I woke up to my dad’s voice in the hallway calling out my name to see which room I was in.  The minute, I saw their faces, tears came pouring out of my eyes.  What the hell is this,  why was I crying?  It didn’t really matter, it’s not like I could stop the tears anyway.  So I just let them flow.

I don’t remember anything else from yesterday.  I know my parents brought me home.  I know I ate at some point etc etc.  and I slept.  I really slept.  I still don’t have the adjective to describe this feeling and I am going to let that be ok.

In the past two hours that I have been sitting here, drinking coffee and reflecting I have “learned” some thing about myself.

I can “handle” physical pain, but I do everything in my power to run from emotional pain, in fact,  I think I have done this my entire life.  I stay busy all the time.  I go out of my way to try to make people feel better all the time, because I can’t handle tears.  I can’t handle watching someone who is grieving suffer.  I literally would rather go to the dentist, get shot, jump off a cliff, you name it, than to FEEL emotional pain.

My first thought, was “that’s just pathetic”.  But then I asked myself, “Why?”.  Who says it’s pathetic?  Seriously, who’s voice is that judging and belittling me?  The voice was my own.  There is no one to blame.  It’s that VERY FRICKING LOUD “little voice”, in my own head trying to sabotage myself.  When I type it out in black and white, it looks just plain silly.

Ok, so I have some work to do on myself.  (But not today).  Today I am going to just be.  I am not “planning for tomorrow”, or “thinking about yesterday.”  Today, I am just going to be.

 

 

 

 

A Trailer “fell in my lap”

Ok not literally, but YAH I have a “Free trailer”

I have mentioned before that I grew up “in the sticks”, and I have also alluded to the fact that I was kind of raised as a tom boy.  I know how to drive a tractor, trailer, dirt bikes, 3 wheelers, and even a skid loader.  My father owns many of these items, but in his “old age” I think he has “forgotten” how to use them.  I am being very sarcastic here, because he still uses them all the time, except for in the winter.  For some silly reason, he no longer takes his truck off road, he barely takes it out in the winter for fear of rust….SMH (more sarcasm) AND when he bought his newest truck, he bought one with only a 6 foot bed.  real truck

(The guy who raised me telling me that if you couldn’t fit a full sheet of drywall or plywood in the back of a truck it wasn’t a REAL Truck, bought a truck with a 6 foot bed!!!!!!!!) SMH  He even owns two plows, but doesn’t drive his “new baby” in the winter?!?!??!?!

Figuring I still had a few more weeks of winter before I had access to a truck and trailer, and the ‘silly doctor’s’ “don’t lift 15 lbs for 2 weeks limit” I’d been packing a little here and a little there to try to respect the doctor’s restriction, so I had stacks and stacks of rubbermaid totes all over Einstein’s house. ( a few in this room and a few in that room)  but then a trailer “fell in my lap”….how could I resist?!?!?

Thing two and her boyfriend “D” were using D’s truck with my father’s trailer to move a couple motorcycles and I “conned” D into giving me a couple hours of his time in exchange for homemade lasagna.  The ‘Catch’ was, I only had the trailer and D’s help for a couple hours…. hurry hurry hurry.

OK PRIORITIZE, what goes first?

  • Air mattress already set up at the new place…so don’t worry about the bed
  • You’ve got some clothes and essentials there so don’t bother with more ( besides they will fit in your car)
  • The most important non negotiable material things that I need a trailer for are my Grandma’s kitchen table and my desk  (both had to be disassembled though)  So I decided to start there.  I went into the office…and froze… OMG this is real.

Anxiety Can Paralyze You

I immediately started having doubts.  “Were things really that bad here?”  “So much work, for so many years….shouldn’t I try harder?” It didn’t help that Einstein has been the man I fell in love with for the last couple weeks since I said I was moving, he even tried to take care of me post surgery and cooked me dinner?!??! (ftr this has NEVER happened) He helped me with a 3 d printer design and and and….. oh no….NOT AGAIN….. You’ve got this Grace.  So I froze. and then I stopped breathing….wtf?!?!?  I was just about to walk out of the office making excuses that I should follow doctors orders blah blah blah and then not one but two familiar faces popped up on messenger….”Just checking on you grace.”  Suddenly I could breathe again. (This anxiety shit really is no joke.)

The Therapeutic Power of Music

I selected random play for the music on my phone and Kesha “Praying” came on.  (  I am in no way religious, although maybe it would be helpful if I was, I am not.  It doesn’t change the fact that the song is incredible and something I will continue to listen to)  If you have a second, the link is for her official video, and for me it hits home.  The next song was “New Rules” by Dua Lipa, followed by “Not meant to be” by Theory of a Deadman.  Before I knew it the desk was not only disassembled, but I had dragged it out of the “office” to the front door.  I set up a card table where the desk used to be and reconnected my computer.  The legs were removed from my Grandma’s table ( I couldn’t dream of moving that by myself though, WAY TOO HEAVY)  But I did it!

One Step at a Time

 

 

The Finale is really only the beginning

As I sat trying to figure out how I was going to move ALL of my belongings from a however many foot ranch with a full basement to a one bedroom “apartment” ( kind of) I felt like a teenager again.  My coffee pot is set up in the bathroom (to try to conserve space) but yah closer to where my desk will be set up?  I am trying to look at this as a fresh start where anything is possible.  Sure it’s scary, most new things are.

I am/was struggling with what material things need to come with me and which ones will go to storage.  But yah that will help me focus on what is most important to me?

The photo albums do have to come!

Actually I think I am going to start scrapbooking again as a healing tool.  Originally,  I started scrap booking ( more picture taking with LOTS of  journaling) for my children. In addition to being diagnosed with MS at 26, I was also diagnosed with cervical cancer AND my kidneys were being damaged because of my inability to urinate.  I was afraid that I was dying and no one would tell them the “whole story” about their mother.  I knew people would share the pedestal stories with them, but I also wanted them to know the one’s that I am not proud of, and about the personal struggles I faced.

photo albumI started making and filling photo albums, not only about my life but albums for each of my girls highlighting their birthdays, sports, Christmas parties, school events etc….who knew that I would end up with so many?!?!?!

I have scanned  most of the albums to disk and tried to give the actual books to my daughters, now that they have homes of their own, but they don’t want to store them.  They also will not let me throw them away….smh… Whoever said raising girls was easy, can kiss my ass!!!!!

To be honest, I don’t think I could throw them out either.

Ok so the photo albums are coming with me.  (This is only one load in the back of my car.)  The final deciding factor to bring them with though, is so that they will serve as a visual reminder for myself of all the things I have survived, and all of the good times I have had in my life for the days that I don’t feel strong enough.