living with the greatest evil

Saint Augustine once said, The greatest evil is physical pain, and all I can say right now is preach on good saint!

I like to imagine that I can handle pain. I mean I have birthed babies with no pain meds on board. I road a bike from Spokane to Coeur d’Alene and back the next day with my right arm in a cast. I’ve run my fair share of half marathons. Come on, surely I am capable to handle a little pain and survive.

But time, spondylosis, and osteoarthritis is telling me otherwise. Forget an exhilarating 5K run to start the day. The same goes for a slow walk around the park just around the corner from The Big Top. Reach for that salad bowl on the top shelf or bend down to tie my shoes guarantees the constant throbbing to amp up to knives stabbing the spinal column, hips and knees. The 20-30 commute to work just might kill you were it not for the salvation of the heated seat in that fun-sized Dory-car. The pain of swollen fingers,, hands, wrists and elbow promises that sleep will be interrupted numerous times through the night…or day for this night shift nurse. Yes, I tell my ortho doctor, I do take THAT much Naprosyn daily – my stomach is fine, for now. Late at night, as I attempt to console a baby born addicted to opiates because of mother’s addiction, I find myself having a better understanding sometimes what that mother must have been living with and trying to erase with prescription and illicit medicating. I’m still Team Baby, but as my back, neck, shoulder and elbow scream in protest while I hold their baby in comfort from their own withdrawal pain, I can imagine wanting to do just about anything to make this pain stop.

I’m working on it with the help of my ortho and pain specialist doctors; but this chronic suffering did not come about overnight so I imagine that relief or adjusting to a new normal that I can live with, work with and play with will take time too. I tell myself that. I tell myself that a lot – every day, every week.

Today though, today was not a good day because that chronic pain is peaking with no relief. I might have ugly cried at least three times – driving home from work this morning, trying to find a comfortable position to sleep this morning and waking up just an hour or so after falling asleep to that same pain. Days like today, and last night at work can be much too much sometimes.

But hurray for a new ball cap representing the fact that I am just a Steeltown girl and that, in spite of the pain, I woke up like this.

You just do it. You force yourself to get up. You force yourself to put one foot before the other, and…you refuse to let it get to you. You fight. You cry. You curse. Then you go about your business of living. That’s how I’ve done it. There’s no other way. ~ Elizabeth Taylor

somewhere between

Today’s distraction from the destruction of America is midlife crises, aching joints, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, old lady problems, Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition and braids.

Really! These are the bright, shiny objects that I might allow myself to focus on rather than Senate Republicans show how easily that they can be bought by a newly minted Education Secretary who has no fucking clue; and how easily offended they can be upon hearing the words of the late Coretta Scott King. Poor little snowflakes!

Arguably, these might be issues in today’s news that deserve my time, my energy, my focus…and they have had that until…

Um, over 55? This? Well, okay, yes, this IS over 55 but come on, The Times UK! I will be 55 next month. Sure, I am struggling lately with osteoarthritis and chronic pain that makes me hate life; especially when I need to get something out from those cupboards under the counter or the kitchen sink or just get through a typical day. But I can still rock the pigtails here.

Instagram Likes tell me so.

And just as I settle in imagining that I remain forever young in spite of media’s perception of what 55 and over looks like and whether or not pigtails are appropriate for women of a certain age  or the fact that I literally can not crouch down or run or walk any distance…

there is Christie Brinkley. SIXTY THREE YEAR OLD Christie Brinkley in a bikini in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.

Damn!

 

and when they learn to read and write

I once said that I have never felt old while my children fast grew from babies to teenagers and adults, nor even when that first grand baby was born…or the second. But when that first grand baby started kindergarten, suddenly I began to feel a little bit old because life does speed up when the kids skip off to school. But it’s all good because when they learn to read and write they enchant you even more with thoughts and words and dreams and wishes that will always make your day.

Always.

I will leave this one right here for you, for me, for everyone…until she erases it and writes something else.

Happy New Year’s Eve Eve!

temperature control

Well, good night honey. He walks over to the bedroom window to close it shut.

Wait! 

What?

You’re not really going to close that are you?

Do you know how cold it was this morning?

No.

Do you care?

No.

I woke up shivering. My teeth were chattering.

Pats the bed. That’s what the blankets are for.

Remember when you were the one who was always cold?

Good times!

Menopause sucks.

You have no idea…Can you turn the fan on please?

nurses of Instagram, and me

So, this happened yesterday.

Yeah, that’s me

Nurses of Instagram posted:

This week’s amazing #WomanNursrWednesday goes to the beauty @nicurnmama who has been a nurse for over 26 years from Cali!

Wait…beauty?????

I am honored and I have loved the comments and attention; but beauty????

No, I am not fishing for compliments.

I swear.

The thing is I almost never see it. There has been a lot of self doubt and unwelcome events in my life. Self doubt cultivated and nurtured in an environment that declared there was nothing pleasing to the senses about me, the child, the teen, the very awkward young woman.

Lies. All of it lies. As a mature woman I realize that. I accept that.

As a mature woman I also am acutely aware that a mature….middle aged…woman doesn’t hear such adjectives thrown in her general direction very often. Lines on the face…that crepe-y thing happening on the décolletage in spite of ALL THE SUNSCREEN AND MOISTURIZERS, those freckles or age spots along with the swollen, aching joints on my hands that now look more like my grandmother’s hands than my own make me acutely cognizant of the reality that I am not as young as I used to be. I’m not even going to mention the lumpy, bumpy post menopausal body because it is what it is.

Beauty????

I’m sorry, I don’t see it.

But I will accept. it. I will blush fiercely, almost as red in the face as the ginger in my hair (thanks to my darling, talented daughter, Hollie); and I will say thank you.