Whine On!

Twenty-eight days since fracturing my ankle (but who’s counting).  I was looking forward to my doctor’s appointment yesterday (“looking forward to a doctor’s appointment” – now, that’s a first for me) thinking I will finally give the orthopedic boot the boot and be frrrrrrreeeeeeee.  Not.  I forgot the ligament was going to take longer to heal than the bone.

  • The good news: The bone is healing, I don’t have to wear the boot to bed, the wrapping is off and can take a shower without my foot sticking out into the room.
  • The mediocre news:  I have to transition from the boot into an ankle brace sloooooooooowly . . .  for a month.
  • The bad news:  My ankle hurts if I walk and pain makes me crabby.

Elixir Fixer by Peggy

This would make a lesser person take to the bottle.  Which reminds me, today is National Wine Day. Read this fascinating post on the benefits of wine which include things I need RIGHT NOW:

  • Anti-aging  (who knew?)
  • Blood thinning (so it no longer boils)
  • Boosts immune system
  • Increases bone density
  • and . . .  6 more benefits (you’ll have to click on the link below to learn how all 10 benefits help you)

Click here: WINE ON!

 

Who knew I’d be a “national symbol”?

I’ve written many posts about my history of fibromyalgia, just not recently.  

My “foot episode” has caused a bit of a fiber flare-up, just in time for National Fibromyalgia/ME Chronic Fatigue day on May 12th.  

Here’s my story and I’m sticking to it:

In 1995 I contracted an invisible “illness”.  Out of nowhere I experienced excruciating burning pain in my hands, arms and legs followed  by years of gastrointestinal, cardiological, dermatological and emotional symptoms.  At the onset I was also in peri-menopause and experiencing mood swings, wildly, uncontrollably ric-o-shaying swings between happy to annoyed – which I’m minimizing for public consumption.

Back then fibromyalgia was not recognized by the medical community as a “real” ailment. Doctors considered it to be a syndrome: Unexplainable, unverifiable and psychosomatic. It was a Hysterical Middle Aged Woman’s Syndrome, as doctor after doctor told me. based on test, after expensive test coming back negative.  I was told nothing was wrong with me and to go home and “Get a life”.DSCN1413

Forever imprinted in my memory is an appointment with the chief of neurology at one of Los Angeles’ major medical schools (the doctor and medical center shall remain nameless because this is a true story)  He reviewed the test findings, looked at me knowingly – as if we shared a secret – and said, “You’re a psychotherapist. You know about psychological issues”.  He leaned forward, compassionately touching me on the knee and winked,  “Go home, live a good life and take up a hobby like kick-boxing.”  The only reason I winked back was to blink away the tears that were threatening to disrupt the façade that I wasn’t a hysterical middle-aged woman.

DSCN1414

I searched for anyone – gynecologists, gastroenterologists, cardiologists, neurologists, rheumatologists, environmental specialists, acupuncturists, immunologists, chiropractors – to name to what I had, to give what was invisible to everyone but myself a label other than HYPOCHONDRIAC.  I looked fine, acted fine, and thousands of dollars of medical tests came back negative.  All I took away from the 100’s of doctor’s visits was a stack of psychiatrist’s cards doctors handed to me on the way out of their office.

After years of  pain, escalating exhaustion, depression, countless doctors and tests I did qualify, on all counts, as a hysterical middle-aged woman .

Well over a decade later fibromyalgia was recognized by the medical community as “real”.  Current research indicates it might be a neuro-inflammatory/auto-immune disease impacting the  central nervous system.  No one knows for certain and there is no current cure.  

I’m no longer middle-aged or hysterical.  

But the doctors were right – it is, all in my head.

 Check out Carolyn Thomas’ My Heart Sisters –“You look great!” – and other things you should never say to heart patients and lots of other great posts about invisible illness.

  • Why, when you tell someone who is ill that they look good, they’re offended?
  • Practical ways you can encourage someone who is ill.

May 12th has been designated as International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (CIND). The CIND illnesses include Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Fibromyalgia (FM), Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).

May 12th was chosen as it is the birthday of Florence Nightingale. She was believed to have suffered from ME/CFS.

This is National Invisible Illness Awareness Week

P.S.  There are hundreds of millions of people with “Invisible Illness” in this world.  Click above to  read more information.  

Fractured head to toe, day 10

Judy judy in a chair

TV blaring, messy hair

Foot throbbing, rumbled clothes 

bleary eyes, throbbing toes

Judy judy bored bored

slowly going out’a her gourd

Judy by judy

 

Meet My Foot Feat, day 4

It’s only DAY 3 of my “convalescence” and the thought of spending most of my time sitting with my foot up for 3 WEEKS is __________.  Fill in the blank and it’s probably close to the mark.

So far I’ve worked on CATNIPblog posts, worked on Peggy & my Happiness project, started reading a new book and watched far too much TV.  My “rear-end” is already beginning to hurt as much as my foot.

I have more time on my hands (and feet) than ever yet have less focus than ever.  Looking for something creative to add to my sit-down-activities I decided to finish pages (upon pages) I started years ago in my many journals.  

judy’s journal, collage, acrylic, marking pens

Today I picked a page that required no thought, just schmearing a bit of paint with my finger and doodling with marking pens.  I have no clue why I wrote the fishy-poem I remember from childhood on the page.

Fishy fishy in a brook

Papa catch ’em with a hook

Mama fry ’em in a pan

Baby eat ’em like a man

Need to catch up? Here’s what happened to me:

In pain, Need Sympathy

Food for the HEEL

 

 

 

 

In pain, need sympathy

A stroll was my goal

Stepped in a hole

Spring, sprung, sprankle

twisted my ankle

It’s a painful thing

Put my foot in a sling

Can still squawk 

but it’s hard to walk

Read What the doctor said here

How to get the most from your hot soak

Here is the follow-up to 

research on lowering blood pressure, helping dementia and brain trauma with hot baths

 “A hot bath is the original hydrotherapy — water treatment — and still the best. Immersion, buoyancy, heat, and vibration (if you’ve got jets) all have useful biological and sensory effects, many of which are useful to people with injuries, pain, anxiety, depression, and more”.

Bath Buddies

1. Don’t make it too hot. Hot baths are a soothing escape, but too much heat will stimulate the nervous system. While you may feel tired ,you are not as relaxed and  may not be able to sleep for a while.
2. Cool your head–or feet. Sticking your feet out of the bath lets off some excess heat, while keeping the benefits of a raised body temperature. You can also pour cool water on yourself . This will help you to feel better after the bath.
3. Do some self massage in the bath.  
4. Stretch in the bath. The warmth decreases muscle tone, flexibility is increased and the buoyancy makes me stretches easier. 
5. Drink water-you will sweat in a hot bath (which helps eliminate waste from the body). Drink before and after. Being dehydrated can make you grumpy.
6. Baths are a great treatment for muscle soreness. The heat gets in much deeper than using a heating pad/pack. They are especially good for low back pain. Most low back pain is muscular, especially “knots” in muscles, which a hot bath can ease.
7. Try deep breathing-it may increase your relaxation. Not slow breathing but deep and strong.

Source: https://www.painscience.com/articles/bathing.php

Click here for the research on lowering blood pressure, helping dementia and brain trauma with hot baths

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What were you thinking upon waking?

img_00021

Mask Workshop – Pain & Pleasure

I follow Phylor’s Blog

She writes beautifully, candidly and creatively about her experience with pain, dis-ease, chronic illness or she describes it: “pain, poetry, bipolar, prose (and a little whimsy on the side)”

Her poem, not only provocative, is so relevant to current research on how our thoughts signal our limbic/autonomic nervous system to create the neurochemicals that tell our “bodies” what to do – messenger molecules that determine blood pressure, pain signals, auto-immune responses etc, etc . . . essentially all our body’s systems.

I don’t wake up thinking . . .

by Phylor

I don’t wake up thinking today will be
a pain day
a crying day
an angry day
a disillusioned day
an anxious day
a hypomanic day
a worrying day
a backwards looking day
a beat-myself-up day
an inside day
an in-bed-a lot day

I don’t wake up thinking today will be

a less pain day
a happy day
a calm day
a dreams-might-come-true day
a confident day
a stable day
a positive day
a looking forwards day
a kind-to-myself day
an outside day
a mobile day

I don’t wake up thinking today will be . . .

Add a comment to her post: http://phylor.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/i-dont-wake-up-thinking/#respond

It’s Hard being Human.

I snapped at my husband today.  I felt justified to boot.

Why would a therapist, who KNOWS relationship dynamics, why would a therapist who counsels others on how to conduct themselves to make their life better, why would a therapist respond in such an unhealthy way?

Why would a woman with a husband and friends who love her and dog who gives her licks upon request, why would a woman who believes that we are all connected and God is in all  feel alone?

Hate to admit it, but I keep getting reminded that I’m human.

After the stress, excitement, tension of  being “up & on” all day yesterday I’ve crashed.
My body’s aching, my face, feet, legs and arms are burning, I’m exhausted and yes, I feel alone with it all.
Humbling experience.

Ironically, one of the pictures I talked about yesterday was the collage I did depicting my exhaustion and the part of me who yells to pull myself together, get up and get going, the part of me that just sits, frozen in place, and the exhausted part that just lays there listening.

I also talked about the Buddhist saying –
Pain is inevitable.
Suffering is optional.
Today I told that yelling me to shut up and leave us alone.
I choose suffering.

“Gumping” Through 2011

Forrest: “That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d just run across Greenbow County. And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I’d just run across the great state of Alabama. And that’s what I did. I ran clear across Alabama.

For no particular reason I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean. And when I got there, I figured, since I’d gone this far, I might as well turn around, just keep on going. When I got to another ocean, I figured, since I’d gone this far, I might as well just turn back, keep right on going”.

At the end of every year I find myself at another ocean, re-viewing my own “run” . . .

2011 has been an eventful year — Tallulah was falsely blamed for my light-headedness, chest pain.  That went on for about 3 months.  I was visited by “mysterious visitors” that kept me up all night coughing.  That went on for about 6 months. (recurs periodically but still don’t know why).  Couldn’t run without pain for about 6 months. (Finally gave in and had a cortisone shot).

I worked 7 days a week.  Every week I figured since I already had worked 5 I might as well work two more.

Consequently I got fibro fogged and messed up my appointments – double booking or forgetting to write down the right time or writing the right time on the wrong day …

Those are the things that went wrong.  What went right?  I’m sure there was a lot – I just don’t remember where I wrote them down.

Not quite sure what I’m suppose to learn from 2011 . . . yet.  With years of hindsight I figured out that having fibromyalgia gives me greater compassion; Having  heart problems reminds me to wake up everyday with a  loving heart;  My study of Baha’i removed my fears and gave me faith and  a bit of wisdom.

I can hear my friends saying it was time to apply the compassion, love and wisdom to myself and stop running.

Hey, Forrest, pass me the box of chocolates . . .

P.S.  In case you didn’t notice, I have been lying on the beach without a computer for the last several days!


Do Your Tears Dilute Pain?

As I read Ramesh’s poem, I reflected on my own experience with tears.  Tears for me do dilute pain.  Tears also signal truth.  

My first experience of tears and truth was when I was in therapy over 30 years ago.  Whenever my therapist made a comment that was a truth I hadn’t consciously known or acknowledged I would unexpectedly, spontaneously burst into tears.   Tears that welled from the core of my being.

To this day, tears are a barometer of both my pain and my truth.   Perhaps my pain and truth are one in the same?

by Ramesh Sood

White sheet of paper
And the poet in me 
Got tempted
As the thoughts 
From the heart
Started flowing,
I scribbled
“Presence of pain 
In my heart doesn’t mean 
I am not happy……”
Suddenly, a lump in throat 
And a tear from the eye
Rolled out and fell 
On the paper
The word ‘Pain ’ got
Scattered and diluted 
. . .      . . .
And hey, haven’t I

Found a truth here:
Tears indeed dilute pain…

http://rameshsood.blogspot.com/2011/12/i-p-enjoy-writing.html

Thank you Ramesh for a beautiful and thought-provoking poem,


Scientists Find a Gene that Regulates Chronic Pain & A Link that T-Cells Play Key Role in MS.

When I was 8 years old I had no clue that one of the most significant findings of our times was made when James D. Watson and Francis Crick described the first correct double-helix model of DNA structure.  In my mid 30’s the sequence of a gene was unraveled.

Since then the understanding of the human body has developed at an astounding rate.  Here are excerpts from two articles in Reuters that I just read.  Hopefully these findings will benefit all of you who have touched my life while I’m still alive.  Here’s hoping!

Gene that Regulates Chronic Pain

 by Kate Kelland, Edited by Sitaraman Shankar

“What is exciting about the work on the HCN2 gene is that removing it — or blocking it pharmacologically — eliminates neuropathic pain without affecting normal acute pain,” McNaughton said in a statement about this work. “This finding could be very valuable clinically because normal pain sensation is essential for avoiding accidental damage.”

“Neuropathic pain, which is distinguished from inflammatory pain, is seen in patients with diabetes — a condition which affects an estimated 280 million people around the world — and as a painful after-effect of shingles and of chemotherapy in cancer patients. It is also a common factor in lower back pain and other chronic painful conditions.”

Read more from Reuters

Lymphocyte

A Link that T-Cells Play Key Role in MS.

By Kate Kelland

LONDON | Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:55pm EDT

(Reuters) -” Scientists have found 29 new genetic variants linked to multiple sclerosis (MS) and say the findings should help drugmakers focus treatment research on precise areas of the immune system.

In a study published in the journal Nature on Wednesday, researchers said the newly found links point to the idea that T-cells — a type of white blood cell responsible for mounting an immune response — and chemicals called interleukin play a key role in the development of the debilitating disease.”

Read more from Reuters

Face-off: Which gets the most hits -Epiglottitis OR Butterfly Fish?

Butterfly fish started it all.  I don’t even remember how I got on the subject but since then of EVERYTHING I’ve ever written about DAILY the most searches that land people on this blog are butterfly fish or just plain fish.

My good cyber-friend Laurie Fessler wrote the following post and guess what!  The most word searches she gets are “epiglottitis!

I proposed a face-off between butterfly fish and epiglottitis.  She posted a piece on butterfly fish http://hibernationnow.wordpress.com/2011/10/09/butterfly-fish/ and I’m reposting her original article.

The two subjects are like Mutt & Jeff, Oil & Water, serious & frivolous, pain & pleasure.

We’ll keep you posted!

Calling Epiglottitis A Bitch Is A Vast Understatement

Picture from Wikipedia

http://hibernationnow.wordpress.com
By hibernationnow

I have had epiglottitis twice; it is an ulcerated part of your epiglottis, below your throat, hidden in thieves. It is the worst pain I have ever had and I’ve had it two years in a row. Nobody knows what causes it, they think it’s a viral infection. As much as I have BEGGED for answers on how to prevent from getting it again, there are no answers. The doctors shake their heads kindly but have no information.

The first time I had it the ENT ( Ear, Nose,Throat Specialist) scoped me through my nose and saw it he literally said “How the hell did you get that?” Those were not comforting words to hear. I don’t know how I got it and I don’t know how I got it again. I just knew that this was the worst pain I have ever had. Childbirth was a breeze compared to this long, incredibly painful illness.

Has anyone out there ever have this monster of an illness? I’d be interested in knowing. The most my doctor could do was promise me to give me pain medication. If I could, I would prefer being asleep for the ten days that I have it. It makes sore throats seem like a cute tickle in your mouth. It feels like a hot, serrated knife butchering you every time you have to swallow.

Don’t come again, you mean and evil illness. I’ve had enough.

Doctors Call For Pullback On Narcotics For Chronic Pain

I am prepared to take some flak for what I’m going to say.  It’s simply my truth.
I’ve avoided taking pain medication because I was intimately privy to the experiences of my clients who have been on pain medication. I’ve never met anyone with a painful chronic condition, with the exception of terminal cancer patients, where I believe pain meds made their life better.  Initially their pain was more tolerable but their life was not better.  In the worst cases, it was a downhill spiral, needing more and more medication, higher and higher doses which led to less and less functioning.
 
I’m not against pain medication or meds in general. I do think narcotics are appropriate for intractable pain.  Thank goodness my own Mother and Father were on morphine at the end of their life (my Mother for years with spinal nerve pain).
 
 The people I see whose internists have put them on pain meds without exploring alternatives and watching them get worse and worse as they up their dosage are the ones I am speaking about.
 
Medications are a gift to be used when appropriate.  Ultimately  it is only the person who suffers who can make that decision.  The difficulty is that when pain levels are so high there’s desperation for any relief.  Initially narcotics provide that.  I’m not convinced it’s needed for many who have been on them with little or no relief.

Doctors Call For Pullback On Narcotics For Chronic Pain
by SCOTT HENSLEY

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/09/16/140540259/doctors-call-for-pullback-on-narcotics-for-chronic-pain

“Painkillers like these being counted at the Oklahoma Hospital Discount Pharmacy in Edmond, Okla., need to be used far less often, some prominent doctors say.
In a bracing call to action, three doctors from California are telling their peers to think twice before prescribing potent narcotics for patients with chronic pain.

Drugs such as Vicodin, Percocet and Oxycontin have become among the most prescribed in the country. Between 15 and 20 percent of patient visits with physicians the U.S. include a prescription for an opioid, the modern painkilling medicines whose roots can be traced back to the opium poppy.

But their editorial, published this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine, says there’s a troubling shortfall in the evidence to support the use of such drugs for long-term treatment of pain. And, there’s ample evidence of harm.

“Unfortunately, the use of prescription opioids currently results in more deaths in the United States due to intoxication than heroin and cocaine combined,” says Dr. Mitchell H. Katz, a co-author of editorial, in a podcast. “That’s shocking.”

Doctors’ prescriptions for the medicines that are supposed to decrease pain and improve patients’ ability to function, he says, are “killing more people than two drugs that we think of as lethal, so much so that they’re illegal.” The death toll from the legal pain pills is about 12,000 a year, he says. “It’s a public health problem.”

So what’s their prescription? Until there’s more scientific evidence, doctors “should not continue to prescribe high-dose opioids” for chronic non-cancer pain. Narcotic drugs for short-term relief of pain are fine, but Katz says there’s insufficient evidence to support their use over the long haul.

Instead, doctors should talk with patients about the limits of pain relief and give alternatives to opioid drugs such as physical therapy or yoga, their due. To some patients, doctors may need to give a sobering message, Katz says in the podcast: “This is not something I’m going to be able to completely take away.”

The bottom line of the editorial, part of a series in the journal called “Less Is More,” a rethink on these narcotics that is overdue.

What do the pain specialists think? I asked for a comment on the editorial, and got a statement from Dr. Robert Chou, who heads the group at the American Pain Society working on guidelines for clinical practice.

“While it’s important for clinicians to be more thoughtful about who they prescribe long-term opioids to and to stop opioids when they aren’t helping or there is evidence that it is causing problems, the American Pain Society believes opioids have a role in the management of chronic non-cancer pain in carefully selected and monitored patients.

There is evidence from long-term observational studies and evidence coming from some long-term clinical trials that opioids are effective for improving pain in some patients.

For example, we do not believe that a trial of low doses of opioids should be denied to a low-risk woman in her 70’s who has severe hip arthritis, who may be able to garden and walk with decreased pain on it.

While the data on overdose deaths and abuse of opioids should concern all members of society, it does not justify an  extreme blanket position of no opioids for chronic non-cancer pain.””

Lost in pain or drugged?

Questioning where my life went

Don’t know which is worst

Pain is Not a Coincidence

Fear in the Face of Pain, Acrylic on Canvas Board by judy

“On a serious note – YES, I can be serious, seriously!
I believe that life isn’t random and there are no coincidences. Everything that happens is to help us learn to let go of what is not needed and hold onto what is. The trick is learning the lessons before we are towed under. It’s hard when the lessons involve pain. But then again I believe the most important lessons always involve pain of some kind. It’s still hard”

I wrote that in response to a blog post on another blog.  The reply I got back was,  Weird how I believe there are no coincidences with good stuff and interesting stuff. I never thought of it for this [pain, catastrophe, etc] but I do now.”

I was surprised. I had never considered that there might be people I work with in my practice who believe pain, physical or mental, was a coincidence, a random happening when they collided with fate.

I know that all the most important learning experiences I’ve had come from pain or fear.  Even the most basic of things.

I lose weight because I fear what others will think of me in a bathing suit.  I eat healthy because I have gastric pain.  I rethink my life when in the throes of betrayal.  I could go on and on and on and on – which is my tendency, as my good friends know.

Here’s an exercise I’ve taught: Reflect – How many significant changes, how many important life altering lessons did you learn when you were happy, pleased, content, complacent, oblivious . . .?

Draw a line through your life and find the common thread of what you’ve lost, what you’ve had to let go of, what you feared losing,  losing a dream of what should be, could have been.  Almost always there is something difficult, painful, trying that recurs in different forms, different times, different ways throughout our lives.  Most often it is about loss, letting go.

If you follow the thread and how it weaves into your life you will probably find the lesson(s) you are here to learn.

My big lesson I have had to learn over and over in different times and ways is that I am not my pain, I am not what I do or what I have.  And I am here – as I believe we are all here – to serve with love and help each other grow with wisdom.

 My pain is still here. I’m still learning.

My Pain -Therapeutic Creative Expression Journal, in progress

Collage page from Judy's Journal

In preparation for the next Therapeutic Creative Workshop – a 4 week Mask Painting workshop which focuses on The Face of Pain, The Face of Pleasure – I reviewed some of my past journal pages on pain.

This page is still in progress but it is an example of how to start your own non-verbal expression of feelings.

Here’s what I did and you can too.  It’s easy.

How to:

  1. Cover the page by smearing craft paint on the page with an old credit card.  Let dry.
  2. Pick, quickly, spontaneously and intuitively pictures that represents pain.   I used magazines.                          ( The pictures can be a literal, symbolic or metaphorical representation.)
  3. Cut away the entire back ground of each picture so you have just the basic images.

Processing for Understanding:

Even though my page is not finished I am beginning to see some of the unconscious meaning.

  • 3 Hands:  Only one hand is complete and that is the right hand where the arrows are pointing.  My pain is directed at my whole being
  • THe largest hand has no fingers, only a thumb.  Without opposable finger on that hand I cannot grasp what pain has “handed me” in life.
  • The third hand only has fingers.  Again, without a thumb I cannot grasp.
  • There are 3 round circles that reach between the two hands, almost like “thought bubbles” reaching across the page.  Both hands trying communicate with each other?

I’ll do more on the page and let you know how it progresses.

No One Skates Through Life Without a Tumble or Two

I heard Scott Hamilton being interviewed this morning.  What Scott said resonated with me:

Scott Hamilton

“It’s not about falling.

It’s about getting up.”

Scott Hamilton, 1984 Olympic Skating Gold Medalist

I’ve been having more and more conversations with clients about really painful things that continually happen their lives.  The perennial questions and thoughts:  “Why me?”,  “Am I being punished?”,  “What is the reason for this?”,  “It’s not fair.”  I’ll never recover from the impact on my life.”  I must be guilty and deserve this.” . . .  “How do I release the pain?”

After over 2  1/2 decades now working with people in emotional and physical pain (and having had a small sampling myself) I have arrived at these conclusions:

Michelle Kwan, Olympic & World Champion
  1. “Life is about loss, changing, growing, and making the right choice(s)”.
  2. Pain is the signal that loss has occurred. It’s our body and mind’s signal something needs to change.
  3. The motivation to change, grow and make the right choice are PAIN and FEAR.   As I always say: NO one has ever come into my office and said “My life is great.  Here’s money.  Let’s talk about changes I can make”
  4. When we ask  questions “Why me.  It’s not fair etc.  I view it as  a spiritual crisis.  Whatever religion or persuasion (and yes, atheism is a belief system)  when we ask these kind of questions, we are asking for answers about belief. We are asking the questions because we search for meaning or “positive reasons” for what befalls us – regardless of whether we know why it has happened.
  5. Faith in God is based on the rightness of life, not the “wrongness”.
  6. Fairness does not always mean pleasure. Somehow some of us have erroneously developed the idea that when things are FAIR it’s because “I like the outcome”.  Life is fair whether the outcome is pain or pleasure, whether we like it or not.
  7. Our work is to embrace what happens and learn, change, grow and make the right choice(s).  Which brings me full circle back to #1.

That’s my belief.  I wonder what yours is?

Scott Hamilton doing Back Flip

 

Skating, walking – sounds a like LIFE to me:

The difference between walking on a floor and skating on ice is the lack of friction –– the force that occurs when two objects slide against each other dissipating their energy of motion. The rougher the surfaces, the greater the force of friction they will exert. The smooth surface of the ice allows the skater to glide across without friction stopping her as soon as she has begun.

Friction does play an important role in figure skating. Without it, skating would not be possible. Remember Newton’s first law of motion? An object in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted on by a force. It is the force of friction between the skate and the ice that allows the skater to come to a stop.”


“For me, grief comes at funny times, over funny things.”



Picture my Dad carried in his wallet of my Mom in her 20's when they first met

I read a beautiful blog post on Phylor’s Blog about her Mother, Father and memories.  She ended it with “For me, grief comes at funny times, over funny things”.: http://phylor.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/funny-how-grief-is-musings-on-baseball-bracelets-and-tears/

I replied to her post and had to stop when I started to tear up.

My Mother died 10 years ago today.  I have a VERY bad memory for dates.  But I know it was December 12, 1999 because December 12th is my dear friend Joyce’s birthday and I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that Mom missed living to 2000 by only 2 weeks.

It seems Mom was always both behind and ahead her time:  She gave birth to my brother when she was 30 years old — extremely rare in those days — In 1950, 30 was OLD to have a child; She upcycled clothes when upcycling was not in the dictionary; She learned to swim and DIVE and had her first airplane ride in her 40’s.

Mom gave me my love of creativity. She knitted, sewed, tailored clothes, made jewelry, stained glass, copper enameled, painted, water-colored, tooled leather, did ceramics – she would try anything.  I am always a bit sad that she’s not here to experiment with me at all my new creative endeavors.

I do remember her at funny times, over funny things:  She loved eating anything off the bone, particularly turkey carcasses; She kept a sign up over the stove “This is Selma’s kitchen.  If you don’t believe it start something” – where that sign came from I don’t remember; and when things were difficult she always said “This too shall pass.”

She had polio as a child and one leg was shorter than the other.  You couldn’t tell until she took a photo – the pictures were always at a slight tilt.  As she aged she developed post-polio syndrome and was in excruciating, intractable pain the last years of her life.  She never complained but you could see the pain in her eyes.

It doesn’t really matter if I believe she is no longer in pain and in a better place.  I  miss her.   I also believe there never is an end to grief as long as I am in this body called human.

This year my grief came with Phylor’s blog post.