To enjoy or not to enjoy….. the question of happiness…….

Have you ever read something that impacts you so much that you keep going back to it? I have, many times. Recently, I’ve been returning to the quote, as seen above. “I promise myself that I will enjoy every minute of the day that is given me to live.”

Attributed to a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhãt Hanh, who travels around the world for speaking engagements and retreats. He’s also an advocate for peace. Did I mention that he’s 91? I’m only 44 but there are days that I feel 200. And I generally don’t travel beyond a 10 mile radius.

It made me wonder, can anyone make that promise? Somehow I imagine that he can, especially since he said it. I bet there are countries around the world where people can live up to that promise. Places that can boast of regular vacations for all, healthcare for all and longevity. I picture beautiful the beautiful people in the movie, “Eat, Pray, Love”, drinking wine and eating fabulous meals. That’s not my life, or the life of anyone I know. LOL.

But can we make that promise? Too often, we get clobbered by “real life.” For most people, the everyday concerns about jobs/finances/healthcare/family care take priority status. People simply cannot enjoy every moment. There aren’t enough hours in the day. Throw health issues onto the pile and you’re just asking too much. Getting a life-changing diagnosis is too much.

I don’t want to get maudlin about it all. But if I’d asked the same question of myself ten years ago, I probably would have cried. That was pre-pump, pre-spine surgery, pre-real relief. Things were difficult. I was difficult to deal with I’m sure. Maybe not all the time, but I’m 100% sure my family coped with a lot. I’ve written about this in previous posts, so we don’t have to relive it now.

“I promise myself that I will enjoy every minute of the day that is given me to live.”

There’s another quote, from the movie “You’ve Got Mail,” that I often think about, and never shared with anyone. As I sat in the theater – crying over the fictional romance between Kathleen Kelly and Joe Fox – I was struck by a simple comment made by Meg Ryan’s character: “Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life – well, valuable, but small – and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven’t been brave?”

It’s a good question. I’ve started and stopped so many projects because I didn’t think people would like it or I just didn’t have the energy. And that was before RSD. Since my diagnosis, of RSD and lupus before that, I’ve been just brave enough to carry me through each day. Baby steps brought me back to life, becoming a substitute teacher and a costumer. Way too many times, my husband had to convince me not to give up, that I could manage.

And what about enjoying things? Since I’ve started school again and started to feel more like a “normal person,” whatever that is, I’ve warmed up to the concept of happiness. Personal happiness. I’m thrilled for others and I’ll be the best cheerleader anywhere when it comes to my loved ones and friends. But it took a long time to wake up the idea that – medical crap or not – I’m entitled to be happy, to enjoy life.

Getting sick is awful. Your life stops in those awful moments, “You have ——.” I know for a fact that when my podiatrist looked at my foot and said the words, “I’m sorry, but I think you have reflex sympathetic dystrophy. It’s rare, but I think you have it,” the air got sucked out of the room. I could hear him talking, but it was like listening through a fish tank. It took years for life to improve, to even consider happiness.

I can already tell that this is rambler. I’m sorry to those of you who’ve gotten this far. And a GIANT thank you if you’ve made it all the way to this word without asking, “What the heck is she going on about?”

My life is blessed. My health has reached a somewhat steady pace of calm, (famous last words), even with my knee, arm and back issues. Even with the day to day discomfort. Even with…. blah blah blah. My small but valuable life is worth every second and I should try, even when the fatigue is kicking me down, to live my best life.

That said, my best life may include days when I can’t do more than walk to the store or make dinner or just sit and binge on Netflix & gummy bears. Maybe I’ll power through days when I can get to Manhattan and walk around for hours. The days when I have a class and have to drag fabric or texts, I will revel in those days. I accept that those moments may be my happiness. Happiness that we’re eating sometime before midnight. Happiness that there are new episodes of a favorite show, (Hint, hint “Bosch” and “Stranger Things.”). Happiness that I can look up and see the magnificent texture of a tall building. Happiness in supporting those with the same diagnosis as me, to help them on their bad days as they help me with mine. There’s power in that.

If that is enjoyment, then I can make that promise. “I promise myself to enjoy every moment of the day I am given to live.” And I’ll mean it.

Wishing the same for each of you. You’re lives are worth it. You deserve to enjoy each day, even if it’s just a moment or an hour. You deserve it. ❤️

Be kind to one another.

Peace and painlessness,

Beck❤️

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Remote healing…… the invisible threads we cannot see….

This week, I paid for all of the excitement and stress of last week. Not a huge surprise.

By Saturday afternoon, I was genuinely worried I’d miss my Sunday sewing class. But, by some miracle of adultness, I wound up in the classroom. A feat I’m still uncertain about.

Monday afternoon found me feeling exhausted, but staying home was not an option. I had an appointment that only came about because the initial back & forth between the receptionist & I got lost somehow, and she thought I was polite. I’ll take an earlier appointment ANY day. (Thank you Ma, for raising me right). And let’s not forget – (what was that quote?) – that I have a lot going on but I’m a nice person. LOL.

I can recall Tuesday mostly because I remember the intense Mack truck sensation running through my head. The chills started and stopped for hours. There’s never a good time to get sick, but this really wasn’t a great week for it. I had a meeting at my daughter’s school on Friday that couldn’t be rescheduled. College stuff, etc.

By Wednesday morning, I was convinced I had the flu or some other virus. After all, I’d seen several students complaining of the same symptoms I was having. AND my daughter was coming off of four days with it. But by the afternoon, I couldn’t quite tell if I was sick or just flaring. My chest wall hurt so badly, matched only by the agony that’d settled between my shoulder blades. Without sniffles, fever or other cold symptoms, a lupus flare seemed to be the perpetrator.

This is where my week got really interesting. My cousin Robin is a reiki practitioner. For anyone who doesn’t know, reiki is “a form of therapy that uses simple hands-on, no-touch, and visualization techniques, with the goal of improving the flow of life energy in a person. Reiki (pronounced ray-key) means “universal life energy” in Japanese, and Reiki practitioners are trained to detect and alleviate problems of energy flow on the physical, emotional, and spiritual level. Reiki touch therapy is used in much the same way to achieve similar effects that traditional massage therapy is used—to relieve stress and pain, and to improve the symptoms of various health conditions.”

That was the simplest definition I could find that I actually understood and could pass along. The closest I’d come to using anything like this was back in nursing school, when I’d taken an intense course about therapeutic touch. I was fascinated by all of it and came home to practice on anyone who’d let me. I probably had the most success with my brother in law, a treatment helped his back & neck. It was the coolest thing. But as the years went on, I forgot about the training and my own health prevented me from really assisting anyone else.

Fast forward to last Wednesday. My cousin – who’s based in NJ – messaged me that she could do a remote reiki treatment later that evening. Having witnessed and benefitted from her work in person, I agreed immediately. Note: I’m in NYC.

At 7:30 that night, I lay quietly on my bed as instructed. Admittedly, I was waiting for something. At the start, Robin texted me, telling me to take deep breaths. Within a few minutes, I’d relaxed enough to almost sleep. That’s when I began to feel as if an industrial magnet was being dragged from my head to my feet, pulling me toward the surface of the bed. The feeling was so weird and extremely strong, I called out…. It startled me. Then I just felt calm.

As the treatment went on, I had the sensation of being melted onto the bed. There was warmth in my shoulders, neck, abdomen and then legs. After a time, Robin instructed me to take a few deep breaths and to stay hydrated. When we messaged later on, she asked how I was and described what she felt during the treatment.

Ok, here’s where the whole thing took the most extraordinary turn. Prior to any of this, the only thing Robin knew was what I’d posted about feeling sick and achy. No specifics. About half an hour before we started, I got really nauseous. Afterward, Robin asked if I had been having abdominal issues. Not anymore!! Then she mentioned feeling pain in my shoulders & neck, but she stressed that it was more in my left shoulder. Unbeknownst to her, I’d discovered a chain of knots leading from my left shoulder down the left side of my back the night before. The pain had been awful. Not anymore! Part by part, without any prior knowledge, Robin – all the way from New Jersey – felt every one of my problem areas! And, as if she’d flipped a switch, they were NO longer problems! I felt tired but the chest, neck and back pains were gone! So was the nausea.

I’m so grateful for the time and energy Robin used to help me. The thing about any of this is that the person being treated must be open to it. Otherwise, it’s wasted.

A few hours later, I felt emotional and overwhelmed by all of it, but not in a bad way. It’s humbling to see the connections between people – the threads we cannot see – having an impact from one to another.

Maybe people won’t believe me. Maybe they will. I know what I felt. I know what I’ve witnessed. At a family event last year, there were people who’d never met Robin before. My younger sister was in tears because of a brutal headache, she nearly left the party early. Robin saw her and asked about doing a treatment. After about 30 minutes, my sister was laughing, headache completely GONE. That was when a few guests asked if Robin would mind trying to help them. Everyone was blown away.

Our brains are way more perceptive and receptive than we realize. The concept of holistic healing may seem unreliable or even fake to some, but tell that to the countless people who rely on its benefits. Without extra meds, I got relief. So have others. And isn’t that worth a try?

I asked my cousin’s permission before relaying all of these details since she’s not someone who’s ever walked around bragging about her talents and skills. So I decided to brag for her. Robin is AWESOME. My husband wanted to post testimonials for her. This is mine. As someone who, for more than a decade, has been forced to rely on conventional treatments and procedures to relieve my chronic pain, I celebrate anything that doesn’t add another pill to my daily regimen.

I’m open minded for a number of reasons. Maybe one is that we’re talking about family, someone I’ve known and trusted for my entire life. That likely helped a lot. But another could be because chronic illness is exhausting. Trying new meds or treatments is exhausting. None of us like to do that, or at least no one I know enjoys being a guinea pig. So avoiding the “normal” route to relief is welcome.

It’s been 5 days and I STILL feel good. That’s incredible to me. I’m thankful for it. And for Robin. In addition to helping me through the flare, I’ve felt tremendous calm ever since. Can’t we all use that? Even a little bit of peace in our lives?

I know I can. 😊

Be kind to one another. And try reiki. 😉

Peace and painlessness,

Beck❤️

The weirdness of doppelgängers… seeing our old selves in new places….. 

What is it about trains, as they emerge from underground, that make young children so excited? It’s as if the conductor has brought us all along for a magic trick. The New York City marathon was today. As I rode the subway into Manhattan, I saw lots of families with small children heading in to watch the runners. Each group of kids inevitably turned to look out the windows as we emerged above ground. They even gave loud exclamations of “wow! look!” Meanwhile, the adults barely reacted. Why is that? Have we all become so jaded between life’s various transitions that we don’t even notice them anymore? Beyond the changes of light and shadow, I mean. And though it was early in the morning, time didn’t seem to matter.

It’s sort of felt like that earlier this week. I happened to be a witness in a medical situation. The old Becky snapped to attention, that nurse is still in there somewhere. Clearing the area, I called for help and cared for my “patient” until additional help, mainly the paramedics, arrived.  It was an adrenaline rush for sure. As scary as it was, part of me was angry. Angry at myself – as ludicrous as this will sound – because my nursing career shouldn’t have ended the way it did. Prior to Wednesday, my last non-family medical emergency was a student having a seizure in my daughter’s third grade classroom. I happened to be volunteering that day and cared for the student until mom and the paramedics arrived. But that was ten years – and a lifetime – ago.  Suddenly snapped out of the “tunnel” I’ve been traveling in every day – for years – onto a bright and only semi-familiar track. It scared the heck out of me. I’m not one for surprises like that. 

Though it was mere moments before assistance arrived, I felt like I was having a slow motion, out of body experience. Seeing a person who resembled me, standing in once again as a nurse. Staring at that shadow of my former self: an energetic, young person who was excited to go to work every day. When I think of the circumstances that led me to a forced resignation……. well, there’s nothing to be done and no point in looking back. Not in anger anyway. It’s just been too long. 

All was well in the end, thank goodness, but the whole event was so weird for me. I’ve spent 14 years running laps in my mind about all of this. Being a nurse…. that stupid heel spur……. surgery…….. recovery, or what should have been recovery………. nursing career ending…….. medical stuff….. medical stuff….. medical stuff. It’s taken a long time to blame myself less and accept what’s happening more. There are moments when I look at my husband, the mountain of everything that he took on without ever complaining that it wasn’t fair (it wasn’t) or that he couldn’t deal with it (he’s dealt with all of this like it’s been nothing). I don’t know how he does it. Really. Because I am perpetually playing a track in my head about it, about the guilt involved. Some days are better than others. 

And when, nearly seven years ago, I started volunteering with the dance program….. who knew it would bring a whole new path into my life? I certainly didn’t. It’s meant studying and getting my substitute teaching license. And leaping between costuming the student dancers and the professional dance company. It’s meant finally becoming an FIT student. It’s meant paychecks for the first time in YEARS. It’s meant validation. And I needed it. 

But when we ride the same “train” of sorts, day after day, always in the tunnels…. the slightest light change is off-putting. Am I making sense? After all that’s happened, I don’t expect to play nurse anymore. It’s a door that seemed shut, for good. Unless it’s family. If it’s family, I turn into something that looks like an angry bear in scrubs. LOL. Mama Bear appears and makes people do their jobs, taking better care of the people I love. 

This is probably one of my more rambling blogs, I’m sorry for it. But what a week! It’s not often that we catch a glimpse of our old selves in such an extreme sense. Nursing brought me joy and challenged me constantly. Being a costumer, working with middle schoolers, that’s a huge challenge. And I love it. New chances, new opportunities for joy. 

As I traveled to class yesterday, watching child after child reacting to moving from dark to light, from in to out of the tunnels, I began thinking about how much life is exactly like that. We’re all creatures of habit. Day after day, week after week. Every now and again, something happens to change that. I’m not sure why it always seems dramatic to me. 

Being a chronic pain patient, someone who consistently deals with doctors, etc. likely has a lot to do with it. Any time I’m sick, or just rundown more than usual, it takes me weeks to build my stamina up again. I’m not sure that emotional changes are any different. Playing nurse again, mainly because I had no choice, was strange. I closed that chapter out of necessity and basically started a different book! In a completely different section of the bookstore. LOL. 

I ride the same subway line into Manhattan every time. Maybe I’ll start reacting to seeing the light change, to being above ground. Maybe it’ll make those real life transitions less dramatic. Maybe I need to be more childlike in that sense. Seeing the possibilities in any situation, in an uncomplicated way. 

I’ll certainly try. 

Be kind to one another.

Peace and painlessness, 

Beck❤️

It is what it is….. and that’s not much.  

Hello friends! It’s a rainy, gray Sunday here in my fair city. I’m a born and bred New Yorker and I LOVE it here. Even with the crowds, chaos and streets that may not always seem the cleanest. It’s the skyline that makes my heart feel better. It’s the place I learned about from my parents by actually walking around the streets, in different neighborhoods. It’s the place I met where my husband. It’s the place where our daughter was born. I just love it. 

That being said, it’s also been the stage of my entire medical drama – good and bad. There are days when I’m cursing the crowds. Repeatedly cursing the MTA for the subway messes that never seem resolved, even after months and months of alleged repairs. And sometimes, despite my best efforts, the thought of traveling “all the way into the city” makes me tired.  Still, I love it. ❤️

This morning, after sleeping through 3 alarms, I nearly missed my class. I got there – complete chaos and all – with two minutes to spare. The lab is on the seventh floor of the building, so – naturally – the escalators were off. There are elevators, but students aren’t permitted to use them – unless there are special circumstances. I stood at the base of that first flight and cursed everything I could think of: My bad knee……. My jammed-up whole body……..The people who are fit and could easily run up the stupid 7 floors. Those were the folks who earned the most mental venom this morning. After several breaks between floors 3-4, and then 6-7, I thought I’d have a heart attack. But, miraculously, I didn’t. 

I spent the bulk of the class fighting with my sewing machine. Thread breaking, loading my bobbin case the wrong way. It was like I’d left all of the skills I’ve acquired, over 30+ years, at the base of the broken escalator. Thankfully, at some point, my stress level went down. My professor was helping me with the machine and said, “this is very stressful but you’re doing fine. Please try not to worry about it. And don’t fight with your fabric.” I must have looked at her like, “What the heck are you talking about?” She pointed to my left hand, clutching the fabric like my life depended on it, instead of merely guiding it through the machine. I know better than that! But lots of things about today, the class – you name it – had me wound up like I would break.

Isn’t that the case for all of us? At least sometimes? I allowed my fear of the machine, of failing at a task I just learned, guide my actions. I also allowed my exhaustion and stress to make the whole situation worse. We all do that. 

Sometimes it’s easier to hold on tight than to loosen our grip on the things that worry us or annoy us. Mainly because we’re operating under the illusion that we have control. Control over everything. Good grief, I never learn! I DO NOT HAVE CONTROL OVER EVERYTHING!!! If it wasn’t raining so hard, I’d be screaming it in the street. How many times do I need to learn this lesson?!?! Once? Twice? Ten thousand? 

Doing the best I could today, which – let me tell you – isn’t much, is all I have today. Even as I’m sitting here, desperately trying to summon the energy to make 14 simple costumes for an African folk dance, I’m barely hanging on. But I am hanging on. I showed up. 

And that’s what counts. 

Whatever you’re doing, give yourself a break. Sometimes the bare minimum is as good as it gets. But you’re showing up. You’re making the effort. 

And that’s what counts. 

We can not control everything. And fighting  with the “fabric” of it all won’t change that. Let go a little. I’ll try to do the same. 

Be kind to one another. ❤️

Peace and painlessness, 

Beck❤️

Shifty patellas, strange days and “flooring it”…. on a sewing machine. 

This week was very busy. It got away from me, I fully admit it. 

To start, my daughter had a big birthday. That was Wednesday. Since her birth, I’ve always considered her day the best of the year. She was our miracle baby, by all accounts. And – as you already know – she’s just amazing. Ok, mom bragging is done. For the moment. 😉

After some careful scheduling, I managed to finally get my physical therapy started. This was Tuesday. But I spent the ENTIRE day thinking it was Wednesday. Oh boy, my calendar was a mess. 

Anyway, I arrived at therapy to find the office remodeled. Bright colors and modern graphic designs dominated every inch of the waiting room. Actually, the party started at the front door, which is now painted a bright yellow. A pleasant surprise! When I started p/t after my initial RSD diagnosis, no one had heard of it. Big shock. I spent many painful appointments in a sports medicine practice, packed in ice and not understanding why things weren’t getting better. Someone – and I wish I could remember who – told me to find a place that understood the needs of the RSD patient. You’d think my being a nurse would have made that an automatic part of the criteria: do you know anything about RSD? Yes or no? Instead, I based my search on the following: clean office? Check! Nice staff? Check! Close-ish to home? Check? 

I guess I imagined that all p/t practices were the same. Obviously, that’s not true. But it took me a while to figure that out. So I called around and found the one place that immediately recognized the words “reflex sympathetic dystrophy,” (CRPS). I showed up to small office with a very young physical therapist. He was certain his program could get me walking properly again. He was right. So, 13 years later, loyalty and trust keep me coming back. In that time, he expanded the office and completely modernized the facility. 

So, on fake Wednesday, I arrived and was wrapped in a heat pack and a TENS unit. Although I haven’t had good experiences using the TENS, they set it at a low frequency and let it run. I was fine. 

A therapist on the team examined my knees next. I was told: 1) that I have the loosest knee joint he’d ever seen;  2) that my kneecap is shifted in the wrong direction. What the?!? How does a kneecap shift?!? Apparently, years of loose joints. 😳 Who knew?

He showed me pockets of fluid in the tissue below the knee. Then came the words everyone wants to hear: “I’m just going to be honest. This will really hurt. Your knee is in bad shape.” This will really hurt?!?! Really hurt? Why can’t it just be mildly uncomfortable? 

They let me go for the day with exercises to try at home. I did try them……. just not as frequently as they asked me to because of work and my new class. All of the walking and standing around made my knees sore. What irks me most is that my knee and I had settled into a sort of “I won’t bother you if you don’t bother me” deal. Now, all deals were off and it hurt. All over again. Before I left, I booked my next four appointments believing that it was Wednesday. Completely mixing myself up.

So, that was on “not-actually-Wednesday.” Between then and Friday, I was playing phone tag with two doctors’ offices and it was annoying. One of them is new, making the whole effort that much fun-ner. 😖

But on Thursday evening, I was prepping my supplies to teach on Friday. It was the first time this academic year. I actually turned to my husband and said, “I’m excited to go back!” Maybe that was my mistake. 😫

It wasn’t a great day. It began with waking up later than I planned. Always a winning start! Not. Somehow, I arrived early, like really early. I was able to set up my visual aids (that I made myself) and the film we were watching. So that helped. But the day went down from there. I’ll just leave it at that. 😐

Saturday seemed normal. Although it was too quiet…..a waiting for the other shoe to drop quiet. Maybe that was because my new class was starting on Sunday. It’s six weeks long, learning to sew on industrial machines. Those have always scared me. I spent years hand sewing everything, too afraid of my sewing machine to take it out of the box. And that is the portable, home sewing version! These school machines are heavyweight, super fast and scary. 

The foot pedal on an industrial machine is not unlike the gas pedal on a car. If you step even a tiny bit harder than you should, your fabric goes whipping through at a pace too fast to control. There was a lot of that happening yesterday. Which struck all of us very funny. I threaded my machine – a process involving 12 steps – quickly but then couldn’t get it working. It’s too much to explain here, but it took my a while to get used to all of the gizmos and gadgets needed to sew a simple line of thread. Yes, we only had to sew simple stitches across the fabric. That took me over an hour. 😂 If I’d been driving, my car would have been up a tree! Yikes. But I love it. Isn’t that what happens? At least that’s how it usually works out for me. I love the challenge. 

The great thing is that I’ve wanted to take this class for years. And it happens to be an elective in my program. I’m lucky. 

I just need to remember what day it is. 😉

Be kind to one another. ❤️

Peace and painlessness, 

Beck

The Control Myth…..

Control: 1) to exercise restraint or direction over; dominate; command. 2) to hold in check; curb.

How many of us believe we’re in control of our own lives? Or the lives of others? I sometimes get caught up believing it, about myself. But the truth is, far too many factors influence our day to day lives. And when we really examine them, control isn’t always in our favor. 

I think my struggle with control really began after my RSD diagnosis. My daughter was a preschooler. She’d go to school and I’d pick her up in the afternoon. That she’s as level-headed as she is, is NO thanks to me. I had the two of us on the tightest schedule imaginable every day. My thoughts were on a loop: do (activity) and then I can sit down. Then (fill in activity) and I’ll be able to rest. This was every day. And she patiently went along with it, without much choice. Poor kid. I cringe when I remember. 

Why did I believe that I had control? Maybe it was a coping mechanism? Maybe it was the stretched-to-the-limit thread that I grasped from morning til night, just to survive. 

My pain was tremendous back then. So much was out of control in my medically-managed life. Maybe it’s a blessing that I don’t remember all of it. The fact that my husband and daughter didn’t run for the hills still amazes me and fills me with gratitude. 

I wasn’t a nice person to be around. Outside the house, I managed to keep up the veneer of “everything is awesome!” But once we got home, the mask came off. I was miserable and in agony. The fact that no one at school ever knew what was happening shows the level of acting that I did, all so no one would know our business. Why?!?! Why was I obsessed with keeping control over that? Did it matter that I was having procedures all the time? To the folks at school? Mostly it was because I didn’t want our little girl to miss out on anything. I cried at the thought of her not being able to go somewhere with her friends or not being able to have friends over. So, what did I do? I’d let her have occasional sleepovers. She always maintained friendships with great kids, so I didn’t mind. Our apartment is large enough to give then space but small enough that I was aware of everything the whole time. I controlled it all. Until I didn’t. 

At some point, the mask cracked. Everything hit the ground all at once. And I was faced with being honest, changing the way my health was managed and how I interacted with the people I love most in the world. So, I got the pump, my pain was managed and we started talking. It was honest and real, no acting for the benefit of anyone. It was just me. 

Fast-forward to now, all of this is on my mind for a number of reasons. One of the biggest is that my daughter is growing into an adult. She’s looking at colleges! And I can’t make that huge choice for her. It’s not about what we like for her anymore. It’s about her. Maybe since she’s an only child, that fact is amplified 100 times. 

Another was pointed out to me by a new friend, about life in general. We think we’re doing a great job, balancing loads of plates in the air. But when one slips and shatters, we’re faced with the harsh reality: I can’t control everything. I can only control my reaction to things, how I-me-myself handle various situations. As hard as it is to accept that, it’s the truth.

I’m trying to focus myself on the year ahead, trying to manage myself. Not anyone else. And it’s hard. Looking at colleges, dealing with work, planning holidays & events – there’s only so much control to go around. Plates will fall. They will break. More than a few will. And it’s not the end of the world. 

I’m reminded of one of my favorite prayers. It’s one I say often. More often than usual, lately. 😉

Be kind to one another. 

Peace and painlessness, 

Beck❤️

Short but not so sweet..sending up flares…..

The fatigue is brutal. I’m not talking the “it’s been a rough day/long week” variety. I’m talking about the kind of tired that you feel in the very fiber of your being. The very act of breathing takes work. Picking up a mug – one that’s full of coffee – takes Herculean effort. That’s the fatigue I’m referring to. And the kind that I’ve been dealing with for about three weeks. It resolves a bit, then amps up again. Resolves and returns. 

The lymph node under my right arm was swollen and sore again. That’s my marker, beyond the tiredness. That and the light red coloring that’s made itself comfortable across my face. That’s it: I’m officially in a flare. 

When my immune system has been taxed as it has recently, my body falls into this mode. Although my joints hurt more than usual, it’s the fatigue that gets me. I can work with pain, I already do that most days. But when I don’t have the energy to walk across the room? That’s a problem. 

The only things that forced me out of bed were seeing my daughter off to school and going to class myself. Those three day intensives make missing one class impossible. I’d have had to take them all over again. There’s literally no time for that. And it would have infuriated me to have to do it. 

Since the second half of my term doesn’t start for a few weeks, I’ll try to rest a little bit. That’s not always possible, as we all know. I’ve been exhausted during the day, falling asleep at odd times. By bedtime, I’m wide awake again and up during the night. This only adds to the upside-downness of my life at the moment. 

Outside of that, I’m intensely proud of myself. The courses I’ve just finished wrap up my basic requirements! Now I move into completing my track-specific classes – some of which I’ve already taken. It’s exciting. I’m debating between sticking with my original focus, wardrobe technician, and a double certificate that would include costume design. There’s a lot of overlap, so I’ve already taken classes in both areas. I’ll have to see how I feel along the way. 

By the way, I worried needlessly about that last class. My partners were awesome and we actually had a lot of laughs as we finished the final project. I wore a long-sleeved shirt and leggings underneath all of the pinned garments, so my skin wasn’t exposed. And we worked carefully and slowly, so I didn’t have to worry about being moved suddenly. It was fine. 

This is my life at the moment: fatigue, fashion, and family. On a loop. LOL. 

I’d write more, but the headache I’ve been battling on and off for a month, (it feels like it), has been with me all weekend. It’s sinus pressure time!

Sending all of you good vibes and hopes that your feeling well. Hopefully, the weather will change – for real – and we can finally enjoy fall. 🍁🍂

Be kind to one another. 

Peace and painlessness, 

Beck❤️