Busy Week, Lots of Inspiration

It’s been an interesting week.  I use a scooter to get around.  Last Friday my scooter didn’t want to work.  This meant I had to struggle to get into work.  I had help.  The people in my building are wonderful and willing to give aid.

My husband came and worked on my scooter so I could get out of work without causing more pain.  However, the damage was already done.  My legs hurt – the scale of 1 to 10 didn’t touch how much my legs hurt.  I spent the weekend in the recliner in the hopes my legs would feel better.

Recently I was diagnosed with Vitamin D deficiency.  This means I hurt everywhere and I’m tired all the time.  I’m on massive doses of Vitamin D for the next month.  I guess this is the penalty I get for the sun hating me.  I’m also probably going to have to take the vitamin for the rest of my life.

All of this led to a somewhat lazy weekend.  Saturday I slept.  I slept on and off a lot.  Ken and I ran errands.  We mailed out the books to the winners of my Goodreads giveaway and did a couple other things.  We weren’t gone for more than an hour but by the time I got back, I was done.  I curled up on the couch and tried to sleep.  Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful because I started sneezing and couldn’t stop.  However, by mid afternoon I put my head down and slept.

Sunday I wrote for a while.  I’m working on a new novel.  I don’t know how I feel about it yet.  I like parts of it but I’m always hyper critical until after I’ve done edits.  Ken and I watched tv (nothing new there) and I finished the scarf I was working on and a second one.  Now I need to work on the skirt I need to get done.

In my head, I’m starting to make a mental list of all the things I want to get done and I’m thinking I need a second me.  I’ve discovered something about myself though.  I reach a point where I’m doing all these things  – writing, crocheting, editing, publishing, family… and so on – and I reach a point where I need to be quiet.  Maybe it’s just watching a program and not having my hands busy or maybe it’s curling up with a good book.  If I take this time, steal it from all my tasks, I let my brain rest, and come back to the quiet place where all the good things come about.  I’ve had a couple of these days where I let everything slip away and allow my mind to wander.

On Memorial day Ken and I watched a western and two war movies.  I got ideas for my books.  I’ve been watching Criminal Minds.  I got more ideas for my books.  It almost makes me laugh as I’m curled up not thinking and suddenly something will strike me and my brain snaps into focus of – huh if I used something similar in this book / novel, it would make an interesting story line.

Not plagiarism because I’m not writing a western or even sticking to the same story line.  It’s usually line or something small which grabs my attention.  Then my imagination grabs hold of it and twists and turns it until it isn’t recognizable as coming from whatever it originally came from.

Dear Businesses

I’m a hermit.  I freely admit I’d rather stay home than go out.  When I do go out, it has become more and more difficult for me to go places.

I’ve been feeling a bit annoyed with myself over the anxiety I feel when I have to go to new places.  It’s hard for me to know whether I’ll be able to get into a new place of business or not.  Yes, we supposedly live in a world where everywhere is supposed to be handicap accessible.  We don’t.

My favorite craft store in my home town does not have automatic doors.  I know this may seem small but without them it makes it more difficult to get into the store.  When an employee sees me struggling to get in, they do come help.  Also I had complained to the manager about how difficult it was to get through their aisles and it has been somewhat better.

Ken, Alicia and I went out to supper last night.  Alicia and I were going to do a Paint Nite event at this restaurant.  I was excited and looking forward to it.  Alicia went in to see where in the restaurant the event was going to be held.  If it was close to the door, I would have walked but it was at the back of the store.  We were told we could go in the back.  I drove around but there was a fence surrounding the back and you had to climb over the fence to get in.  Does this sound handicap friendly?

I drove back to the front of the building and went in.  Now had I been on my own, I would have had a hard time getting in because the doors weren’t automatic.  Fortunately, Ken was there to open doors.  I got all sorts of funny looks when I drove my scooter through the building.  We got to the area where the event was being held.  They had all these plastic lawn chairs or tall bar stools.  I can’t sit on a bar stool, my legs go to sleep and I can’t walk.  I asked the bar tender if they had sturdier chairs.  I’m a big person and the plastic chair wasn’t going to cut it.  She ignored me.  When I asked a second time, she rolled her eyes at me.  Fortunately, Ken isn’t shy and he went into the restaurant and got me a better chair.  Again, had I been alone, I wouldn’t have stayed.

So here is my little rant.  If I could I would send this to all business owners.

Dear Businesses:  We may be a minority but we still have money to spend.  If you want a handicapped person to come to your store make it easier for them to get there.  Have your doors easily accessible for people to get in and out of.  Train your employees to assist without judgment.  If I feel like I’m inconveniencing you, I won’t come back because I don’t want to inconvenience anyone.  I don’t want my visit to be a production.  If it is, I’m less likely to come back.  I don’t like to be stared at or considered a difficult customer.   Think about whether your customer – all customers are going to be comfortable when you pick your chairs.  I shouldn’t leave your establishment in more pain than when I came in just from sitting on an uncomfortable chair.  Flimsy plastic chairs are not going to work well for larger customers.  If you don’t want my business, no problem.  I’ll take my money elsewhere.  But you can bet your bottom dollar, I’m going to make sure everyone I know is aware of how poorly I was treated.

These factors contribute to my being a hermit and the anxiety I feel going to a new place.

I can only do what I can do

My desks at home and at work are piled high with work.  I have so much to do and my gout is flaring.  I keep trying to tell myself it’s okay for me to spend a day curled in a ball doing nothing more than listening to an audio book.  Unfortunately, I don’t believe me.

If I’m taking a day off – like I did yesterday, I want to accomplish a list of things whether it is crocheting or writing.  I want to see progress and feel good about it.  Yeah – I know.  Stress is bad for gout too.

I hate just being a vegetable because it hurts when I try to close my hands.  I hate it when I’m stuck home when I know people are relying on me to be at work, accomplishing all the things I need to accomplish.  If I’m going to spend a whole day at home alone, I want to have something to show for it, not just pain and frustration.

And then I take a deep breath and scold myself.  The frustration and stress I’m putting myself under are not helping so I have to have a more zen approach to life.  This is hard when I have a week filled with pain.  Yet I try to bring my mind back to the center.  I can only do what I can do.

Good news – I took the new drug tonight and don’t seem to have a reaction.  Next step – continue to take it and see if it helps to lower the uric acid levels and keep the flares from happening.  That is a long term – let’s wait and see thing.  I can only hope it does so I can lead a somewhat normal life (well as normal as I get anyways).

I sat tonight and cut out coupons.  I sat up to the table to do it because it’s easier that way.  My feet are swollen and sore.  I’ll take another dose of Tylenol (my candy apparently) and hope it will help.  Tomorrow I’ll work a longer day to make up some of the time I missed and get some of the work done I need to get done.

I have to balance that with how long it will take me to do bills when I come home.  I will have been sitting at my desk at work so I’ll have to make sure I can spend enough time paying bills once I get home.

I’ve already told Ken he will have to do the errands.  I’ll try to get a grocery / coupon list made up for him tomorrow night so he doesn’t have to do that part of it.  Saturday I want to try to get a book out if not do the prep for all three but I’m keeping that chant in my head.  I can only do what I can do.

On the plus side, I have had two more reviewers agree to read one of my books.  Ken took the books to the post office today.  I can only hope they will be so intrigued once they get them, they will read them right away and post the review.  Maybe if I’m lucky, they will come back and ask for more of my books to review.  I can only keep my fingers crossed.

This week I’m struggling with my mantra of I can only do what I can do.  I’m usually fairly zen about it but apparently my determination is outweighing my sense.  I’ll say it again and maybe I’ll actually believe it – I can only do what I can do… everything will get done eventually.

A Burden?

You would expect those closest to you to best understand your limitations.  They don’t always.  I suffer from arthritis among other things.  Pain is a daily – minute by minute part of my life. 

Many of my family members treat me as if I’m just being lazy when I am unwilling to do certain activities.  One of my sisters always has her family events in her basement.  This is fine for everyone except me because I cannot do stairs.  It hurts that she is so inconsiderate of me, but at the same time, I don’t want to demand the party be in another part of her house because it is her house. 

Cooking has become very difficult.  I can’t stand at the stove long enough to watch items cooking.  This means my husband is stuck cooking.  More than that though, I need to have items packaged in a way that is easy for me to grab and go.  It sounds ridiculous but to make a sandwich by the time I’ve gathered all the items to make the sandwich I’m almost in tears from the pain.  To gather items for breakfast and lunch during the week, I look for simple solutions like poptarts (not a health solution).

I don’t mean to complain – the people in my life have the best intentions.  I can sit and do nearly anything – cut things up, package, season, mix, and so on.  However, walking around to gather or standing to cook is painful.

Most people just go through their morning routine and if they forget something it is just a run back to get it.  What I do is plan out my steps – literally, I plan every step of what I will do because the more steps I take the more pain I’m in.  If I forget something, I gauge whether it will be worth the pain of retracing my steps to get the item – especially if I have to go back up steps.

I wish I could do all the things I used to.  I miss taking hikes, cooking, doing all the everyday things I used to.  Sometimes I feel stuck in the recliner.  I often feel like a burden when things need to be done or I want things done but can’t do the tasks myself.

In the past, if I wanted a room rearranged I would just do it.  Now it is impossible for me to do this type of task on my own.  I’m a take charge type of person, if I don’t like how something is I just fix it.  Sadly I can’t anymore so I have to ask.  This makes me feel like a burden on those I have to ask.  I’d rather do without than ask.  If I don’t ask then people won’t look at me as lazy.  If I don’t ask then I am not beholden to people.  And yes I know if I don’t ask then it won’t get done.

I’ve gotten good at telling people what I can do but I’m not very good at telling them what I need help with.  Is this because I’m stubbornly independent?  Is this because of the reactions I’ve gotten from people in my life?  Probably a bit of both.  If I think on this logically I know people are willing to help but there is still that voice in me that says do it yourself or let it go.


I hate asking for help.  It has been three months of relying on others for assistance, and people are so kind and willing to help.  Yet I hate asking for help.  Yesterday I was stubborn – ridiculously so. 

We had a storm here in Wisconsin.  I was up and on my way to work just as the rain was turning to ice / snow.  I should have at that point said – it might be wiser to just stay home.  I know I thought it.  However, I have missed so much work and have stuff to do at work that I wanted to go in and just get it done.  I went to work, drove cautiously to work and got out in a stinging rain.  I unloaded my scooter and it was dead.  No power at all.  I felt defeated.  It was surely a sign that I should have gone back home.  Part of my brain told me to but then the stubborn part said no. 

I called my sister and asked her to come help me.  We put the scooter on freewheel and she pushed it up while I walked in.  This caused my foot pain and to swell.  I took it easy at work.  My student workers got me water and helped out wonderfully.  The snow started as Alicia and I were walking into the building. 

My husband text me to let me know the roads were getting bad and my stubborn self said I’m sticking it out at work.  I am pretty sure he wasn’t happy about it but I stayed at work.  By early afternoon the snow had stopped, when I looked at the radar online though it looked like we were going to get hit again (and we did just not as bad).  At 3:30 I opted to go home before it all started.

My student worker helped get my scooter (now charged) unplugged and lined up with the door.  I hobbled over with knees, legs and a foot that hurt.  I got within 10 feet of my van and got stuck in the snow.  I was still on the sidewalk.  There was a spot on the sidewalk that had about 3 inches of snow for about 3-4 feet.  My scooter is good and goes through a lot.  I wiggled and rocked and tried to get through the snow – all to no avail.  

I was sitting on my scooter getting colder and trying to figure out how I was going to manage to walk through the snow to my car and drag my scooter with me when a young man stopped and asked if I needed help.  I wanted to say no – I think I’ll be fine.  I said “maybe”.  It was my one concession yesterday.  The very nice and kind young man asked what he could do.  I wiggled the scooter to a clearer spot so I could stand up and walk to my van.  The young man carried my scooter to the van.  I thanked him and told him to have a nice day.  He was polite, helpful, and kind. 

I know if I had called up to my office my student worker, chair, or almost anyone in my office would have come to my assistance.  My sister would have come down to help.  Yet I was too stubborn to ask them.  This young man – a complete stranger – helped teach me a lesson.  I have to let go of some of my pride and let people help me.