The Pandemic Battle Curse


I don’t know your age and maybe it doesn’t matter much when we speak about the lack of moving due to our pandemic.

I can’t believe I have been pretty much in my home since March of this year. It has been long enough now, that it feels normal to me, but what doesn’t feel normal is the aches and pains I have.

I am pretty sure that some of it is due to my age and the other part is due to lack of movement. I have aches in my knees and hands and sometimes hips. I think there are also days of slight depression as I argue with myself about getting up and moving. I am really good at making excuses up.

I don’t stand very well. It’s way too hot outside. I don’t feel good today. I’m tired. I’ll do it tomorrow. Have you said any of those things to yourself? I am not talking about an exercise program or running a five k.

I’m talking about just beginning to do some stretches here at home with some music in the background. This is when I think I realize I have depression days. A time where I know what is best for me but a matching excuse on why I can’t.

It is summer time and each summer for the past three, I have had issues with swollen ankles. My doctor says that as long as the swelling reduces each morning, there is no reason for alarm. Maybe if I moved more, I wouldn’t have this issue. I’m not sure, but if you watch TV or read articles, living is all about the exercise.

The bad thing is, I never liked exercising unless it was fun and others were involved. I love swimming and used to do that a lot until the lakes around my area became more polluted. There is the YMCA and I tried that too but didn’t enjoy it so much in the summer as the pools were packed with kids and I didn’t like being cold in the winter after leaving the building from exiting the pool.

I used to love to take walks. I actually miss it a lot. It isn’t fun to walk any longer as it is more work than pleasure because of my Ataxia. I can remember as a youth, I loved to play tether ball and bad mitton. Did you ever play either of those?

After reading back my words, I believe I am too used to sitting and a bit depressed and not very energetic. Shame on me. This is one area that no one can fix but me. It sucks when we realize the truth and then battle with ourselves on what to do with that truth. I hope that you are dealing with this pandemic much better than I am. Hopefully, one day it will be over and we can go back to our old normal.

Now, let’s talk about that weight gain throughout these months of the pandemic. No, on the other hand, let’s not. That’s a whole other story.

Cried me a River


Each day of this pandemic has set me back health wise. I think it was beginning to do this a few weeks in but I ignored it; mainly because I thought this will be short lived and I can endure it.

I was suddenly thrown into a category of unexplored waters. Winter was here which I despise the older I get, plus the lock down began and continued on even to present. I became inactive.

Oh, of course at first, there is the salient holidays. The busy time of year where you go away from yourself in thought and think of others. The holidays are over and here in Indiana, the freeze and snow kick in for the next several months.

With my age and health concerns, being allowed out of my cage for any purpose other than food or medical, there was nothing much to do with myself. I like a neat and tidy home, but come on people, how many times per week do we want to run that sweeper and dust or how about cleaning that toilet?

Weeks turned into months and I really wasn’t consuming much more food than I was prior the pandemic, I just wasn’t getting any exercise to help keep me at my same weight. I have gained some too.

Each week I weighed myself, I saw a pound increase. I would tell myself, that I will watch more closely what goes into my mouth. I began to find myself hiding in the darkness and actually getting used to it.

I would think about taking my walker outside and walking the boring path of our parking lot. I didn’t though. I had great excuses. It was too cold or it was snowing or raining or I didn’t feel the best. Each of these were true but I would use them to my advantage also.

No, I am not beating myself up but rather telling myself the truth. I have to read this back don’t I? So at this point, I have crossed my own mental goal evidently, because as I looked at those scales, I actually cried this morning.

I cried not only for the weight gain; I cried for the loss of my life, or what I thought I had lost. I couldn’t control anything it seemed, not that I am a control freak, but maybe I am over my own self.

I cried at the loss of not being able to speak to my parents nor grandparents. I cried over the loss of my brother and I cried over the gray, dreary days. I even cried over the pandemic. I cried me a lake and I was the only one swimming. I cried at seeing people rarely. I just cried.

I actually believe I am depressed. I somehow let myself slip into this black puddle with or without realizing it. It really doesn’t matter the reason I guess, what matters is I recognize it. I think it is seasonal depression.

The lack of sunlight, the dreary cold and rainy days. I have spent too many times wishing I lived elsewhere. I have even dreamed of using my walker and going for a walk in November. So now that I know, what do I do?

I actually watched some U-tube videos on chair exercises for Senior citizens this morning, but I didn’t do anything about it. I actually used that dreary and misty morning not to do it. I have to though. I can’t keep being sad and gaining weight. It could cause more health issues.

I miss people, this is for sure. I am a big people person and here where I live; I spend mainly alone. I don’t think I am my own best company during long periods of time. As I finish this post, I am telling myself, the weather is changing this afternoon. It will be warmer and some sun for a change and the weatherman said no more really chilly days. This gives me hope to change things.

Have you or are you going through any of my feelings? Is it the pandemic causing this? I already have an anxiety medication to use when I am anxious or stressed, but I didn’t think I needed it. I am actually pretty calm. Is that crazy or what? If you understand any of what I have said, how did you handle it?

A few things to keep in mind if you comment may be, I can’t drive very far because of my beater car. I can walk only with my walker and volunteering at this point is not an option because of the virus. Are these excuses too? Wow, maybe I am weird. Oh, by the way, I did a positive thing this morning. Instead of remaining in slippers and PJ’s, I got dressed. I asked myself, what for, but then I ignored that question and got dressed anyways.

The Survivor


My brother  has been gone  for almost two years next March. My father  and  mother are gone. My half-sister and I  have been apart  from each other since dad died.

I’m  still here. I usually  feel a sense of displacement. Sometimes  I  wish I didn’t  have to live through these empty days . Some days I  can’t  seem to feel grounded. I’m  tired.

I have never felt needed  like I did when I  was  caring for my father  and  brother . It was a special  kind of being needed .  It wasn’t  like when your  kids need you  or your spouse  wants extra attention .

It was different ; hard to explain  I guess. I’m  labeled through my medical  records as having  depression .  I  always  thought  depression  centered around sleeping ,  medications ,  maybe  a little zombie like. I  can pull smiles off. I  can be with  my friends.

Put me in a room by myself, and thoughts of the family  that once was, comes rushing back like flooding  waters . I  just can’t  seem to snap out  of this for good. I  guess the doctor  was right. I have mild depression .

I want to work, but am too unsteady. I  usually  feel in the way or a bother, or the old person. I  really don’t  like feeling  this way. If things get too rough ,  I  will  call my friend and let her walk me out of my sadness.

That’s  the name, sadness. I  am  so sad without  my family. I  have not been  able to fill the void. My grandkids come closest to being a natural  medicine  for me. I  listen to them  talk and giggle and I   can feel my smiles come once again .

Alvin is at peace now. He has no more pain. He is free from the clutches of MSA. My dad is free from his bone cancer and Leukemia. I had no idea my healing would take so long.

I want to go back to the  person I was, but I  don’t  know if or when that will ever happen. Right now I am looking  for small things that bring me peace. I smile when I  see the frost make the ground look snow covered .  I  look at my silver Christmas  tree and get lost in the    memories  of when I  was  a  little  kid, and watched the colored wheel cast lights on  grandma’s  tree. I   think  about  what   it was like being a young mommie.

I  look at me now and ponder on what’s next .  For me, it was more than losing my brother  to an ugly disease .  It was an uninvited , forever  change in my life, which I  am  still trying  to heal from.

image

This is Mourning?


My doctor says I am mourning still. What exactly does this mean? I seem to be fine when I am involved with my family. If they call or come over I forget all about me and dive into their issues.

If I am with friends I am happy but it doesn’t take long until I feel the blues coming and want to rush home. This is not what I expected from losing my brother. My son who lives the closest to me went away for the weekend.

Within an hour I was at my all time low. Why? I have tried to rationalize this since last night when I crawled into my bed at eight- thirty. I could have been with my friends who tell me they enjoy my company; but instead, here I had run home to hide in my own pool of anger because I can’t seem to move past this.

I have new grandbabies I adore. I have kids who love me. I have food and a place to reside. I can’t find a job. My bills are beginning to worry me. I need a vacation but can’t think of a cheap place to go. Three times last evening I heard, it is your age keeping you from getting employment. So many things I can’t do because of damages from my diabetes.

I am afraid I am leaning to heavy on my kids for what, I don’t know. They are grown, I am grown. If this is mourning than I guess the shoe fits. My doctor says I will move past this. I ask, when?

Thanks For Letting Me Blabber On


My friend left this past Wednesday. I did alright, I didn’t fall apart. Even the next day I did good. I did so well I didn’t even need to take the stress reliever medicine. But the next day was Valentine’s Day.

Maybe without wanting to admit it, I felt a little left out of the over-rated love day. All I heard on TV for days was what men were going to buy their sweethearts. Flowers of your choice for any woman’s taste.valentinered rose

All I know for sure is I started sinking inside. With all the snow still lingering and the news of more snow storms coming tomorrow I started becoming sad again.

Yesterday I spent almost all day in bed. I napped off and on, but the sad part I was recognizing was I just wanted to be buried under my covers and as far away from Al’s illness as I could get. I would get up off and on and go check on Al.

He hasn’t been very responsive as of late. The illness continues to leak out of any orifice it can find. His eating is down to about a half of a jar of baby food at a time. His eyes will follow me, especially if I have the blue bowl in my hand. He knows there is ice-cream, well sherbet in that bowl.

We had to take him off of ice-cream and switch him to sherbet as he choked too bad on the ice-cream. The more I looked at him, the more I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to do anything special to make me look better.

I remembered when my friend was here she actually had me rolling my hair and putting make-up back on. I did that too the day after she left, but before I knew it; the desire left.

My girlfriend had been calling each evening and she called my yesterday morning announcing she was returning. She came late afternoon and I was already a tense mess. I was ashamed that I was still in my house robe but yet I didn’t seem to have the energy to actually get dressed or even care.

I had to break down last evening and take one of my special pills again. I was fighting it so hard. I just didn’t want to take it. To me, it is a sign of weakness. Too screwed up to fight these feelings I was forced to lean on the little pills.

I don’t know why I allow or let myself fall into this trap of being so sad and depressed. It isn’t even me that is sick, it is Al. I look at him laying in that bed of his and I think, Wow, look what a trooper he is. Staying in that bed for months and yet he never complains. But here I am; able to walk and move around and I am feeling so low.

I then kick myself in the rear for being such a big baby. How and when did I let his illness become mine? I am my own worst enemy. I take on others feelings as if they were mine. The worst part is no matter what I tell myself I don’t stop. I let myself get too emotionally involved. Maybe it is because he is just not a patient, he is my brother. Yet, I still need that little pill to keep going.

My friend said she will see how Al is, and if there is no change, she will leave Tuesday. It is alright. I can’t tell her what day he will pass. I can only tell her that Al has hours to days as the nurse says and just wait. I realize my friend has a husband and a dog and her life to live. I don’t want her here waiting for something that may not happen when she is here.

Yet, if he passes when she leaves I, well I don’t know what I will do. I imagine knowing me like I do, I will stand tall and carry forth what needs to be done. I won’t break down or have a heart attack, I will do what I have to do.

My mother and friend have always said I am a survivor. Maybe I am, but I feel anymore that if something doesn’t break soon I am going to temporarily go nuts. I have made it for seven years taking care of family, so why now am I not as strong as I used to be. I don’t know most answers anymore, I tend to just go with the flow or hide under my covers.

Picture it & Write/ Ermilia


http://ermiliablog.wordpress.compictureitandwrite2copy-1

sunset-jarIt’s where I wish I was

Right now, for I feel

Trapped within my own

Jar of life

The lid tightened

The colors foggy

Pressing against

The glass no one

Sees me as my

Reflection bounces

All around me

Forcing me to

Look inside

At my own person

I cry to get out

But you don’t

See my tears

It is up to me

To turn my

Entrapment into

A release

For my soul

For my health

I stop, and listen

My mind speaks

I must be free

Once again.

Written by,

Terry Shepherd

08/04/2013

Al, Pain & Me


I went to see Al this morning, and he was not having a good day. I stayed about an hour and a half, while he went through some deep heat therapy. His legs were in great pain and he was in freezing modes today.

The therapists and I could not get much out of him today, as the pain was bigger than the day. He even asked me to go get the nurse for some pain medications. The therapy has stopped for Al, as far as the physical therapy. The professionals say there is no more that can be done for his legs any longer, but when they see Al struggling to walk or his legs buckling, they haul him into the therapy room and use the deep heat to try to loosen up the nasty Parkinson’s.

I left him when I walked him down to the lunch room, and I saw three two-handled cups sitting there for him a long with weighted silverware. I am so happy they are having him use these, as the last time I took him out to eat, he could barely lift the glass to his mouth, and struggled to use a straw.

I am just amazed at how Parkinson’s can move along so quickly, almost like week to week you see changes.

I have had so much good advice from all of you on here about me. I have just been so far down in the dumps, I can barely climb out. Everything makes me cry, the dog is causing me more grief than pleasure. I just don’t think it was probably good timing getting such a young pup at this time.

I decided that I had to do something. I am afraid to remain like this in this stage, for fear I will slip into some depression and I want to fight it if I can, so this morning, for the first time in months, I put make-up on. I looked in the mirror and asked, is this really you?

After leaving Al in the pain that he was, my heart felt so much lower than ever, I got in my car and the car or God took over, or something grabbed a hold of me, and said press on young lady, you have a life to live, now get out there! I am sure it was my own self scolding me, but anyways, my car went to the beauty shop, parked, and went in, and when I came out, I looked like this!

It has helped some, I am back to my down feeling, but some good happened today also, so I am  hopeful.