Monday, September 20, 2010

It's a Monday

The only people who truly change are the ones that have to because they have lost a part of themselves already.

I am learning this through my own experience. God revealed to me the other day that I need to finish "giving birth" to myself before I can birth other things. (That may include books and yeah, of course, babies)

Meditation is a powerful thing, I believe in it more and more each day, especially when things like that get revealed.

I know it may sound trite, cliche, hokey or what have you, but I truly believe it and I agree with Him. I am still learning all about the "new me." I am in a state of change, of rebirth, of discovering what I can do, what I can't do, what I want to do, and what I have to do. That is what this chronic illness has caused and surprisingly enough it's one of the only encouraging side effects. I'm actually enjoying this self-discovery process, no matter how long it may take.

I'm learning how to walk like a new person, I'm learning to think like a new person, like a child I'm absorbing everything around me in a new and refreshing way so that I can understand myself and the "new" world that surrounds me. The world is new to me because I am not the same, my perception of people, places and events is completely different than what it might have been a year ago, and I am actually thankful for that.

Am I still stubborn and bluntly honest? Sure. Do I still hate doing laundry and dishes? Of course. But my perception of those things has been altered. My general approach to life is different. I cannot put it into words yet, for it is like the unborn child you haven't given a name, but I know that when this process is "complete" it will be a moment of miraculous wonder and awe.

I am moving forward on my own terms. I anticipate the future not with reckless anxiety but with a patient reserve for all the humbling and empowering moments that await. And not unexpectedly, I will cling to the past in order to see how much I've grown and understand that who I was then and who I become each day are linked by one thing only: my ability to accept their differences.

People only change when they've lost a part of themselves. I have lost myself almost completely and it has been perhaps the greatest gift life itself has ever given me.

Be still, be well

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Poem at 5am

You're probably thinking: This could be either really good or really bad. Well at this point I'M feeling like it just sort of "is."

I've received three publication rejection letters in less than two weeks. (Which I was actually ok with) But yesterday, the one that I really thought was the perfect fit said no. Not only did they say no, but they also said my characters were "too mean." I should seek peer revision. It's fine, I welcome criticism, but I guess it did bum me out a bit. (I will keep trying though)

Also, over the weekend I ran across some posts on a few Scleroderma sites that mentioned having to be on Cellcept (one of the meds I'm on) for life. I was quite astonished by these posts, since my doc has been pretty convincing about trying to get me off them. But everything I read said that when you go off them you relapse QUICKLY and when you try to get back on to stabilize they don't work as efficiently. Now I know that with scleroderma, every patient and every case and outcome is unique and different. But of course I can't help but worry and wonder: "will this happen to me?" Thinking about being on all these stupid meds for life is daunting not just because it's "for life" but because I want to have kids (eventually) and if I can't ever get off them, then I can't have kids.

So, being the investigative researcher I am, I asked around to see if other women had tried to get off cellcept and have babies and what they're experience was like. I received one positive response, and one really negative one. The negative lady told me she had a 3rd baby after being diagnosed, and now 20 years later she's still in horrible relapse. Says her third child doesn't know what it's like to have an active mom, she hates for him to see her sick all the time and she's made a lot of sacrifices. So, having read this at 4am today, feeling tired, annoyed by my insomnia, upset by my rejection letters, and just overall sore and fatigued, of course I began to cry. (And now I have a headache and a long day ahead)

Although I was upset for awhile, I recovered, and was actually inspired to write the following poem. Now, I am still going to do everything I can to try to have kids one day, but I know that there's a chance I may not be able to, so...that is what inspired this:

A Book & A Baby

Two dreams
a book
and a baby.
When the publishing world failed me
I tried to have a baby.
And I didn't think it was possible
But my uterus sent me a rejection letter.
And this is how it read:
Dear Conceiver,
We regret to inform you that
Your body needs too much revision.
Your lungs lack depth and sincerity
Your bones need creative precision.
Your muscles are anti-climactic
Your kidney's often seem static.
Although your mind has potential,
Your organs are too weak
And the overall tone of your skin is too rigid and meek.
The character of your joints are not round
The setting of your fallopian tubes too profound.
Your fatigue is an internal conflict too outdated,
And the irony of your hips is often understated.
We've considered your submission thoroughly
But your piece does not meet our needs at this time.
Good luck with reproduction,
Because WE cannot birth babies of your kind.

"Be still, be well."


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wine and Piece of Chocolate

I perhaps was in a not so good place last I wrote. Insomnia will do that to you I suppose. But today I am rejoicing. I am celebrating. I am calm.

I want to rejoice in the fact that I have all my limbs and organs virtually intact. I want to rejoice about the fact that my brain and my body are still whole. I want to rejoice because rejoice is a word that is not used often unless you're at chruch.

I am celebrating the fact that I have tried new things and had fun while doing them. (Using a cheese grater, swing dancing, visiting a new garden, writing a children's poem and many more) I am celebrating the fact that I finally feel successful at life. (I am meditating regulary, my house is clean, I take my meds everyday on time, I feel confident at work) And I am celebrating life.

I am calm because life is too short to be stressed. I am calm because it is what God wants me to be right now.

Everything is as it should be and my day is made complete with a glass of wine and a piece of chocolate.

Be still, and be well.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Aside from the Fact...

"La carcajada de otra madrugada..." (The insane laughter of another dawn)

Yes, that is exactly what it feels like when I wake up in a cold sweat with uncontrollable tremors at 2, 3 and 4am almost every night. Anxiety throbbing in my chest, my insides oozing out of my pores and an earthquake running through my body. I try not to wake the hubby, but some nights it's inevitable. Even our plush, no move sleepfoam bed can't handle my shaking and Lupe awakens to comfort me.

I used to blame the anxiety on my old job. I quit that.

I used to blame the anxiety on a lack of exercise. I walk/run, zumba, swim and yoga.

I used to blame the anxiety on caffeine. I quit that. (Yes even chocolate, mostly)

I used to blame the anxiety on anxiety. I meditate 4-5 days a week.

Now, I know the anxiety must be the damn medicine. The doc has mentioned this to me before, I've always known it to be a side effect, but Jesus, it sure seems amplified these days. I sleep no more than 4-6 hours a night and am usually awakened by the sweat dripping down my face and my body rocking back and forth. This is, needless to say, miserable. I've also recently started suffering from vertigo. Complete loss of balance and the room spinning, while I'm in a freaking chair! So, yes, I will be calling the all-mighty rehumatalogist today....

Aside from the miserable side-effects I seem to be suffering, the new trabajo(job) is GREAT! I don't work more than five hours a day, planning usually doesn't take me more than 1 hour to complete, and neither does grading. I love being able to sit around (literally) and talk about books all day. Even if yes, it is sometimes to students who A) haven't read the material or B) couldn't care less about why John Steinbeck wrote The Pearl and what influence it has on their lives. It's still fun, and I'M excited and sometimes that even gets them a little excited.

Most of my students are weird. But in a good way, they all have really awesome quirks and funny senses of humor which I get a kick out of. The other English teachers on my team are cute older women who remind me of everything I wanted to be when I grew up. I'm sure they're all wondering what the hell I'M doing there, but they'll learn in due time. It's too soon to allow anyone to try and feel sorry for me yet. I feel like I need to prove myself first. (Flawed mentality, I know, but it ain't going away) It's a good gig and I'm really happy to be there.

So now you see, why I'm completely flustered by these mid-night anxiety attacks- makes NO sense!

I was going to go off on a tangent about pain-free days when I first started writing this, but that seems quite irrelevant now, after the night I had and will have to wait for another day. I will end on a positive note:

I submitted one of my children's book to a publisher (the one I'm REALLY hoping to get published by) so, wish me luck and we'll know in about a month.

"What would YOU attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?"