Thursday, May 11, 2017

"The leftover"and other terrible tales

*CONFESSION* this post  has been sitting for months as a draft while I decided if I would post it or not! Here you was meant to be shared!
So, I don't know exactly why I've been feeling so blue and down for months now. But, I'm going to tell you two stories about a few of my worst moments growing up.  Maybe somebody needs to hear them. Now, if you don't know me personally you need to know that I am/was a very shy, sensitive person who tends to be very critical of herself, insecure and sufffers from terrible self-esteem. I have never felt like I was particularly great at anything, I still struggle!

Here is a story about me, in 9th grade, on an Earth Science field trip to dig for Trilobites, Google it they are real (some ancient creature that left fossils about an hour and a half from where I grew up.)  It was field trip day and right before everyone got on the bus our teacher told us to find a partner for the day. Everyone quickly paired off. Everyone but me! There I was, the only unwanted leftover.  As we loaded on the bus people found seats with their partners. I had to sit in the front seat with one of the teachers....gag! Not even a nerdy girl wants to do that.  It didn't occur to the teachers with us (both male) to have pity on "the leftover" and simply allow one group of three to save my dignity. Nope, their solution was one of them would work with me. So, there I rode in the front seat, on the inside with a teacher. It felt like the ride of uncomfortable shame! I was mortified! When we got there everyone got to pick their location while I was forced to remain on the edge of the digging site so the teacher "working" with me could still keep an eye on the group. While others are digging and laughing, there I am on the outside chiseling away by myself. And no, I did not find one of those ancient sea bug fossils. Then we returned and if it wasn't for my homeroom pal, S, or my 10th grade lab partner and friend, N, I would have left high school with many more self imposed scars!

Now this next story still makes me cringe. And to be honest, I don't want to tell you all the exact details but I will.

Also, in high school we used to show horses in 4-H horse shows. This particular day it rained all morning, like poured.  The show ring was muddy especially along the rail where class after class wore a nice ditch for water to collect. Now my horse (okay, mule, there I was riding a mule) did not like getting her hooves wet. And mules, being smart and thinking for themselves, don't do anything they don't want to like walk in water when they can't see what lies beneath it. So, I was the only one in this particular class (shocking since it was a mule class,right?  I have no idea why my sister wasn't in it with me though.) Anyway, there I am going sideways around the ring as my very skeptical mount flared her nostrils and kept a good eye on the ring of water I wanted her to step in!  All I could think about was how my horse, back at the trailer, would have stepped in mud for me! Having no mercy, the judge made me reverse and go the other way. It made no difference to a mule, sideways we went the other way; walk, jog, lope all sideways.  Finally, I lined up in the middle completely humiliated thinking I'd just hold my head high and walk out of there with my ribbon.  What I did not expect to hear in a class with only me was, "In second place riding Candy, is Lisa..........." Now I'm mortified.  I get my ribbon and get out of there as fast as possible.  I didn't make eye contact with anyone and just hiked back to our horse trailer to hide!!!  I mean this was 4H, not a high class show, show a little mercy people.

So, now you know why recently when a friend noticed I wasn't at an event and seats were filling up, she saved me one and I was so touched by her kindness I almost cried! Okay, but I was also tired and tears usually follow that too! This event I was going to was a Brain Injury related one. It was "downtown" and I knew one place to park and the lot was full. I was directed to another one, which thankfully I knew about from numerous trips to the hospital, the only other route I know!! To make a long story shorter, that lot was full and I was directed to another. I wrote down the name of the street. The attendant instructed me to just follow the car ahead of me (Ummmm, OK it was already out of site and who knows if they were going there or not!) So, there I was making turns here and there guessing the direction I wanted to head.  I found myself on an undesirable street. The stories I heard about this street during my pharmacy days were all very bad!  I was sure a car hijacking was immanent! Naturally, I found a newer store parking lot to turn around in and stayed just long enough to type the address into my GPS. I have a terrible time following GPS but I was desperate!!! I did make it to my destination without hitting anything and only slightly rattled! I parked and made my way to the event.  And there in the front row was a seat saved for me, it made my day so thank you, AMT, you have no idea what that means to me!!! ! Take that "left over girl with a second place ribbon," maybe you aren't as forgotten and invisible as you sometimes feel!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to faithful reader and dear Aunt (you know who you are, I try not to mention names unless I ask first!) I thought this year was a big milestone year, even had it starred in my planner.  I was year behind :-( I had a card all ready to send, it is on it's way but will be late. I have been living in utter brain fog for the last few weeks!  So, Happiest of St. Patrick's Day Birthdays to you Dearest Aunt N <3 and="" lisa="" nate="" nbsp="" ove="" p="">

Friday, January 27, 2017

Another "new normal"

I really don't care for the phrase "new normal." I don't personally associate it with good things.  What I hear is "suck it up buttercup, this is how it is going to be now." Doctors and therapists love to use it when tears begin to fill my eyes (so you can imagine,I have heard it a lot.) I have a new understanding of the autistic student I taught. He would pinch you when you said certain "trigger phrases" like,      "say (insert any word here)." If I could get away with it I might pinch people when they said "this will be a new normal." Of course, in my head (usually) I'd think "not if I can help it." A few weeks ago, my beloved, super sassy, Lab mix, Mookie, "crossed the rainbow bridge." It was not unexpected but still a hard thing for me to deal with! My dad used to lovingly tease me that he wasn't sure where her quirks started and mine ended, or something like that. I think we fed off each other. But, for many years she was the easiest thing to relate to, mostly because she didn't talk or require me to! She was just there and she knew my routines, sometimes better than I did!! She checked on my every 10 minutes and never left until I gave her a scratch on the head. Unless I was sleeping, then she must have just checked if I was still breathing.  .  Although, I knew she could really do almost nothing to really help me it reduced the anxiety of being alone! Being without her is another post-aneurysm "new normal."

I looked for my Cardinal bird the day she left but got this sky instead!

When we first adopted my precious, Mookie (she had that name, we kept it because I figured she was already used to it) I thought it was because she needed us. I was wrong. I was going to need her, more than I could ever imagine at the time! Even before my aneurysm, which rocked her world too, she was my buddy, nursing me through migraines when hubby was at work. She quietly crawled into bed with me when I was shaking from pain. She just understood me and I her, we "got each other" in a very odd way ,that way only an animal can. She never would come when you called her. This caused me anxiety to no end. She would stay right with you until she saw something to chase and then realized her freedom and would take herself on an adventure blissfully unaware of the busy traffic she narrowly escaped.  I was always very careful about who I left her with when we went away.  There were very few people I trusted enough to leave her in their care. The list pretty much begins and ends with my parents, two hours away.  I would also trust my Mookie loving 8 year old niece and 6 year old nephew. They were always so concerned about Mookie being on her leash and always fed her from their hands so the anxious dog would eat something, if only they weren't 3 hours away! Once, I left her with family she already knew. They lived much closer and were right on the way to our destination.  I thought since it was only an overnight ], I would survive the separation anxiety I had.  Even though they knew, I left very specific instructions about always having her on a leash outside, especially in an area she wasn't familiar with.  Upon arriving to pick her up the next day, she was in the yard running around without a leash near an extremely busy road.  Thankfully, my prayers for the weekend visit were heard and answered that day and it all turned out okay. Well,  except for my disappointment that my instructions were ignored and her safety and my sanity disregarded.  Needless to say, trust was shattered that day and I drove the extra two hours each way or my dear parents met me half way so I could go away without having to worry about my poor, dear, anxious Mook Dog.

To this day hubs says he has never been more jealous and so happy at the same time as when I woke up after my aneurysm and the first thing I asked was if he fed Mookie.  Now, my hubs did things no man married for 2.5 years and in his 20s should have to do for his wife. Unfortunately, my memory of that time simply doesn't exist BUT I will never forget the moment when we had just brought Mookie home from the vet after seizures in 2015 and instead of sticking to the ridiculous notion that ,"she was a dog, and I was ridiculous." He picked her up and carried her down the stairs that night. I snapped a picture of the moment, I was so touched!
Her face is saying, "this is silly, I can totally do it myself."
My motivation for learning to walk again? Mookie loved walks, it was her very favorite thing. She needed me to walk again! After I came home she learned many new ways to tell me what she needed or found it on her own. You know, like there is always water in the toilet if you run out! So, at the equivalent of being almost 105 years old in human years here are a few lessons Mookie has left us with. And, thank you to everyone for loving me and for the cards and gifts.  I simply couldn't include them all and was too distraught to take a picture of everything!

Flowers from dear friemds that arrived not even 5 minutes after hubs left to go to the vet!

* Take a walk every day!
* Don`t live to please other people
* Always be ready for a little adventure
* Be loyal to those who truly love you and ignore your critics
* Be pleasantly persistent if you need something or find a way to help yourself
* Cherish every day you are given
Gift from dear friends that sums her up perfectly!
* Recover like a fighter
* PTSD is real!
* Be cautious who you call friends
* It's okay to take more than one nap in a day
* Clean up after the cook and you will always be fed
Plaque from neighbors that will go in a "Mookie memorial rock garden" in the spring!