Last week, I talked about how we, who have endured difficult health issues, have been blessed to be born without a comfort zone. I shared how I feel it has strengthened me both mentally and spiritually. This week, I’d like to share why that’s especially important these days and especially during Covid Times.
Have you noticed how even though society has so many “modern conveniences,” people complain that life isn’t easy? People seem to be offended by everything. They can’t seem to cope well with things the older generations thought were just part of life. I believe most marriages end in divorce because the younger generations no longer view relationships as something requiring work. They lost that loving feeling and so they simply move on.
Success in anything takes work whether it’s a business, a relationship, or an education. Unfortunately, fewer people these days will put forth the energy required to do so.
When I first began writing this blog post, I was doing it from my iPad because my laptop hard drive was failing and I was backing up all my work. I was typing with a stylus because my fingers shake due to Essential Tremors if I use my fingers directly. I was working on changes to my site on paper even though I had a massive headache. Why? You just do what you can with what you have.
It’s how you look at things. If you look for the bad, you’ll see it. If you look for the good, you’ll see that too! You’re not entitled to an easy life. A lot of American young people think so but it’s not true. The founding fathers knew this. We with chronic illness know this all too well.
If I go back a generation in my family, I see a much stronger work ethic than I see today. My great grandparents and my grandfather came to this country from what was then Russian to start over with nothing. My grandfather didn’t speak the language, but he worked hard and eventually was Vice President of a large Union in N.Y. He provided very nicely for my father and his brother.
My husband and his family came from Mexico with nothing not speaking the language. They worked hard. Made a life. They came for the American dream, but that dream was an opportunity, not an entitlement.
A job is hard work. A business is hard work. Marriage is hard work. Life is hard work. I think most people many years ago used to understand this. I think the younger generation can learn a lot from our ancestors. I also think they can learn a lot from those of us with chronic illness who don’t have a comfort zone. But I also think we should stop and think once in a while to learn from ourselves.
No, life with chronic illness isn’t easy. But life never promised it would be. And sometimes, if we focus on the strength it takes to get through a day with chronic illness, we can be proud of what we accomplished!
So, last week, I shared with you all the ways (at least all I could remember) in which life is different on my planet. I hope that you found some comfort in the fact that there is at least one other weirdo out there whose physical characteristics don’t match the norm. Well, I’m not done yet! Hold onto your child-sized hat because, if you didn’t relate to anything I shared last week, you might relate to something here.
Middle Name-less: When I was in grade school, everyone always asked your middle name. I don’t actually have one, but that wasn’t a very common answer so most of the kids assumed my middle name was so awful that I couldn’t even admit to having one! As I shared last week, most of my incredible height is in my legs so I have always joked that, at 5′ nuthin’, I just don’t have much of a middle.
Where Are You From Conundrum: Having moved around a lot as a child (and also as an adult), answering the question, “Where are you from?” always sent me into a tizzy. I’ve linked to my original post on this, but suffice it to say, where I was born, where I moved here from, where I spent most of my childhood, and where I grew up are all separate long stories.
Not in the Mood for Food: I don’t like food much. I don’t like cooking it, seeing it, smelling it, and I don’t especially like the taste of most foods. In fact, if someone would invent a pill that would keep you alive without requiring you to eat, I’d sign up. That being said, NO, I’ve not been thin all my life….and isn’t that incredibly frustrating?!
Hormone Wackadoodles: When I was a teen, my monthly cycle landed me in bed five days out of every month with excruciating pain so bad I was sick to my stomach. I was put on The Pill and gained 30 lbs in a month’s time! Now, for someone of my slight size, that’s a LOT! I tried everything to lose weight but it never worked. Finally, after being put on a different version of The Pill, I lost the entire 30lbs in one month through no work of my own. I’ll go into what I tried and how that DIDN’T work for me in greater detail later on.
After having my 2nd child in my later 30s, I began the fun and exciting process of peri-menopause! Oh yay!!! Each year I gained just a little bit of weight that no diet or exercise would reverse.
Finally, about a year after my total hysterectomy, I really piled on the pounds. I found a lovely lady who is a health coach who has been able to guide me in losing over 12lbs and 16 inches thus far. But it hasn’t been without its own weirdities. My body doesn’t react to things like most Earthlings. She’s had to tweak my program many times. If you find that you’re weird in this way or would like some help losing weight with some guidance for health concerns, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with Mary!
Hot Flash Happenings: What also began after my last child was born is the dreaded Hot Flashes! Mine were high octane ones that began in my midsection deep inside and spread outward over my upper body. The heat fogged car windows and the sweat caused me to have to change my pjs three times a night! My ears even turn beat red and burned like pins and needles.
I once exited a Walmart wearing a tank top and fanning myself during a snow storm. The guy and his young son gave me a look like I was from outer space and now you know he’s not wrong. This is just how things work on my planet!
I’ve always felt that a Space Stork must have brought me here from another galaxy cuz my body doesn’t work like everyone else’s here on Earth. For one thing, I was told that peri-menopause is a ten-year process of which the woman only feels mild to moderate hot flashes for the last two or three years. I beg to differ. I was also told that, while natural menopause leaves the average woman with hot flashes for a few years, surgical menopause has most women experience worse hot flashes but only for six months. I call poppycock! I’m 57 and this stage women go through has now become a lifestyle. Yay me!
Weird Wrinkles: Now here’s a really bizarre one for you. I almost always have wrinkled fingertips. I’ve read that this can indicate that one is dehydrated. And at most times in my life, you’d be correct. I don’t like most drinks and I only tolerate water if it’s freezing cold and plain without added lemon or flavorings as it just tastes like watered down fruit juice to me.
However, does anyone out there have fingertips that get MORE wrinkled the more you drink water? And I feel drier the more water I drink. I’ve been like this most of my life and I’ve shared this with several doctors and all over social media. I’ve Googled it too and came up with bupkis. Anyone out there have this little gem?
Bifocals Bye Focals: In my early thirties, I began having problems reading and got my first pair of bifocal lenses. At the time, the optometrist told me it would take a few days or a week to get used to glasses with bifocals. Several weeks later I came back because not only was I not used to them, but I couldn’t read with them on. I had to take them off. You see, bifocals don’t work for people from my world!
I’ve had a few prescriptions from different optometrists in different states and none of them work for me. I have to take off my glasses and bring the paper up close to read. And, as I age, the small print has left me squinting or asking my son to read the directions on the Rice A Roni box!
Turn Blue!: You know how kids say, “Turn Blue!” when they are mad? Well, my hands do. My hands turn blue sometimes when I am cold and also turn red sometimes when I have a hot flash. Sometimes my feet are freezing and my hands are blue even WHILE I’M HAVING A HOT FLASH! And what’s THAT all about?
Smelling Smoke That isn’t There: Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve hated the smell of cigarette smoke. My dad used to smoke 3.5 packs a day. He’d wake up early and start smoking downstairs til I could smell it upstairs even with my door closed. Later on, I noticed that I could smell cigarette smoke coming from three cars ahead of me on the road.
I began noticing that my throat would feel like it closed up when I smelled smoke of any kind–even from the toaster or when making a tortilla over the burner flame. Now, I smell smoke that isn’t even there!
Just Say No to Yoga: Shortly after my hysterectomy and gaining weight, one of the exercises I tried was Yoga. Simple stretching and low impact sounded good til I put my head down below heart and got light-headed! Any bending over to where I put my head below my heart for longer than a minute or sometimes less, will leave me feeling so light-headed I can’t do anything for a while.
Well, that’s some more of the weird issues I have. Any of those ring a bell for you? Anything similar? I hope that helps you feel just a bit less like an alien among earthlings, but if not, I’ve got more coming next week!