Pain Can Make You Or Break You

I'm sorry I have been away for so long, the physical pain I was dealing with was beyond what I could handle. I often thought that if this was the way my life was going to be, I couldn't see any good. I was negative, unhappy and I had lost hope. I had got to the point that even moving around my home was almost unbearable... the doctor gave me pills to deal with the pain but they only exhausted me and made me loopy... I was barely functioning and if it wasn't for my very good friend I may never have left the house. 

In that time period, Valentina had to go to the hospital and have her embedded teeth removed as well as her four wisdom teeth. She really handled it well, I am grateful it is over with and that she won't have to deal with that pain in the future. She is now taking great care of her teeth, which I am very happy about as I know more than most people how important it is to have nice and healthy teeth, it makes smiling so much easier. 
About two weeks ago I went back to see my doctor, I told her that I couldn't handle the pain as I was barely making it... I was thankful that I was able to work from home as that would have only brought more stress on me. Worrying about finances was not another trial I needed to deal with at that time. My doctor suggested a new prescription that may help with nerve pain... I started them immediately and within three days I was able to deal with the pain. It's still there but it no longer controls my every thought... now I have to work on getting back to walking and exercising.
I will definitely be taking it slow, I don't want to reinjure myself...  however; I really need to lose some weight to take the pressure off my back as I know that isn't helping me at all. Thankfully summer is almost here and it is quite light in the morning, I can take a quick walk around my neighborhood to get me started and my friend and I will be able to start swimming in the lakes in the evening very soon. We are both looking forward to that, it's a good way to exercise without putting more pain on our back and joints. 
I know it will take some time to get back on track to be healthy again but I have hope now, I feel like I can see that light at the end of the tunnel. I had nearly given up many times over the past year, I held on because I am tenacious, I don't give up. Some days were much harder than others but I found something deep inside to hold on until I found some relief to deal with it... I will never take it for granted, I am incredibly grateful that my doctor found something to help. 

I want to thank each and every one of you for all your comments, emails, and messages on all my social media. I didn't think I would be gone this long, I truly missed you and blogging a great deal... I just didn't want to write while I was so negative. I tried to write a couple of times but I felt like the pain blocked me from any good thoughts... that's not what I wanted on my blog all the time. Sure we all have ups and downs but I felt perpetually down. Life and trials are never easy to deal with, pain can make or break you... I am thankful it didn't break me...
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The Light Always Shows Through In Time

It's been awhile since I blogged, I was hoping to come back with a little positive news... I saw my doctor, she prescribed a medication that has side effects I am not fond of, it makes me groggy all the time and it makes me dizzy... which is not good while working, I end up being a little loopy. It's only been about a week and a half, I know medications take time to work, so I am giving it a chance. ... I am not feeling hopeful as the pain has not lessened in my legs at all... if anything there is more pain.

Friday I took a vacation day and pampered myself by getting my hair cut and colored, it has been a long time... it took them seven hours (it's a school) ... I got some more purple in my hair and got a root touch up, plus fixed what I did while I didn't go to a professional... I won't wait so long in between, it normally doesn't take them that long. It feels good to have it done, it makes a difference, it gives me a boost. I plan to get an updated picture this week, once I do my make up and have my friend over to take the picture.
Even though I think things feel bleak at the moment for my health, I am trying to stay hopeful... maybe these pills won't work but something else might... I want to thank everyone who reached out to me, either through the blog, email or messenger. One person gave me hope as she went through something similar quite a few years ago. It took awhile but her doctor figured out what the issue was and she was able to get her health back, along with her life.

Our spring is just around the corner, or at least we hope it is... there still seems to be a little more snow on the way but I know the spring will be here before we know it and winter will be a distant memory... although it is painful to walk, I am going to walk a little each day, even if it is only for 10 minutes ... despite not feeling like it, I don't want to stop moving completely. I've seen people who have given up, I find they just get worse... I don't want that to happen to me.
I was talking to a friend of mine in Australia and I told her that I felt like I was being selfish because the pain I have been dealing with is all that I can think of or talk about... she was kind enough to tell me that she didn't feel I was being selfish and that it was human nature to focus on ourselves when we are in pain... it made me think how there have been so many times in my life that different types of pain have taken over my life... when I was raped I wondered if I would ever see the good in men and trust them again... I did. Then losing 'him' I wondered if I could love again ... it took me a long time but I think I could.

Pain has a way of making us selfish, I think it's a way of protecting ourselves at times... at others, I feel like it helps us to look inwards to find answers... it ends up showing us that we are stronger than we think we are, we learn that no matter how difficult emotional or physical it is... there is a way through...  I always hold on to that in my toughest times, it might seem dark and that there is no way through... but the light always shows through in time...
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Life Is A Beautiful Struggle

Since I have been waiting to see the doctor, I have almost been in limbo... I know that she won't be able to figure out immediately what my issue is and truthfully I am frustrated. Part of me is fearful that it may take a long time for a diagnosis... if there is even one. I am trying to be positive and hopeful that she will be able to find a solution to my pain. The whole thing is depressing me, making me feel as if this is it and there might not be a way out.

I don't want to think like that but I know people who live with chronic pain... I have and I have had empathy for them, with a great deal of gratitude that it wasn't one of my trials. I couldn't imagine how they dealt with it, now that I have been dealing with it, it brings tears to my eyes... and I am saddened that many people have to handle such physical burdens. Once again life has intervened and thrown another wrench it to change it again.
I thought because I had to cope with one struggle after another and since I didn't end up with the dreams I had hoped for... I believed I deserved a life without debilitating trials, I wanted to travel in a few years. Once Valentina was grown up, I had nothing holding me here anymore... I figured maybe that was the way it was meant to be, I didn't believe that if I was with someone that I could travel to wherever I wanted to... whenever I wanted...

We don't always get what we think we deserve and life continues to give us trials ...  often they don't make sense until long after we get through them. I believe if I had the choice to take other paths in my life, knowing what I know now...  I wouldn't go down other paths. Truthfully if I was asked while I was going through them I would have run in another direction as quickly as possible... it only makes sense much later with deep reflection. I never did figure out why losing 'him' from my life was needed, I just ended up putting it on a back burner... otherwise, it would have destroyed me.
With my health deteriorating ... it has me questioning why? Not that there is an answer, it's just another challenge I have to cope with. I might sound a little selfish here but frankly, I don't want to go through this, for once I wanted one of my dreams to work out... I never took my health for granted, especially in the past couple of years where I worked so hard to be healthy, I felt blessed that I had put it all together at one time after many years.

One conclusion I have come to over and over but more now than ever, if there is something you want to do in your life, do it... don't wait. There will never be a good time, something will always come up. I often let everyday living take over, instead of seizing the opportunity... I do know that if I can get my health back on track, I won't be waiting for anything, I will just do the things I've dreamed of... hopefully, I will be given the opportunity to follow those dreams and more ...
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Being Kind To Myself

I have been thinking a lot about how I have been feeling about myself lately... I know I have been harder on myself than I would ever be on anyone else, I think I expect too much of myself and I don't cut myself a break because I sometimes believe I have too many excuses. I haven't wanted to use justification so that I have a reason not to change. However; these past two weeks have shown me that I am not rationalizing anything... I'm honestly in a great deal of pain. Walking more than a few blocks have become intolerable, just standing up is an effort... I have kept thinking this will pass so that I can get back on track.
I took an additional two days of vacation off with my weekend, I really needed the time off from work to think and relax  ... While I was off, I tried to do a little shopping and I finally had to admit to myself that this is worse than what I had been admitting to myself, there's something more going on that I need to take the time to find out, it's not normal to have this much pain. When I get back to work tomorrow, I will be looking to take a vacation day next week or the one after where I can make an appointment with my doctor. 
The good thing is my friend and I are planning on joining the Canada Games Center this month, swimming will be about the only thing I can deal with right now as I don't need any added stress on my joints. Once I join, I plan to go there 3-4 times per week, I would love to say more but I don't want to push it... I can always add to it later. Also, my friend loves to swim in the lakes once the water is warm enough, so we definitely plan on doing that often this summer. Until I find out what is going on with me physically I am not going to overdue it with anything. I'll probably have to see a physiotherapist... I am hopeful I can turn this around. 
Also, Valentina saw the orthodontist and we have two options, one that we are leaning towards but we are waiting until the dentist receives the file, then we can make an informed decision. The good thing is that either method will fix the issue she is having, which I am grateful for... I know how important it is to have nice and healthy teeth, it makes such a difference with your self-esteem. Since I grew up with less than stellar looking teeth due to the fire I survived, I want different for my children if at all possible. 
I have been reading a great deal blogs over the past two weeks and quite a few of them involved learning to accept and love ourselves for who we are... and not putting ourselves down if we fail from time to time. If we are afraid to fail, we will never succeed. If I slip up it doesn't mean I am weak and unlovable, it means I just need to find a different way to succeed. There will be a way, it will just take time to figure out ... Admitting there is a physical issue is the first thing I need to do so that I can find out what is happening and then I can find what will work for me. 

Spring is just around the corner, we have been pretty lucky with the winter here this year which I have been really grateful for... it has been a blessing that I have not had to go out in it daily... with how I feel I don't know that I could have dealt with the commute much longer. I'm not going to be disappointed with myself, this isn't something I can just talk myself into... it's the same with depression when someone feels like this, they can't just tell themselves to get up and do things... they need to get help. The answer is that I need to be kinder to myself, the way I am with others...
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Comebacks Are Stonger Than Setbacks

Time has been flying by so quick lately, I have been busy at work, doing overtime, staying late to get work done and starting early. By the time I'd get off, it was all I could do to just make a meal and keep up with the housework. There are less than two weeks left for the busiest time of year at work, I am looking forward to having time for myself again. This weekend is a long one for us in Nova Scotia today, it is Family Day... I made sure I had all the housework and grocery shopping done so that today would just be for me to write... oh and get caught up on my blogs... I am way behind and I have truly missed you all. 

I think I need to consider giving television up again, I did it for 5 months before and I didn't miss it... it is such a time waster for me. I haven't been able to give it up totally, so I have been contemplating having one day a week where I can watch a couple of my favorite shows and turn it off for the rest of the time. Then I could actually use my time for other activities such as cooking, reading, exercising and keeping in contact with people I love. I have been questioning what I really want as I find that I am doing the opposite of what I say I want... I do wish it was easier to commit to doing what I say... 
I remember being so committed, I had a goal and I was driven... it's like I let the challenges break me. I am being honest here, I let those challenges break me, it's like I am terrified of committing to anything... I have failed so many times in the last year to year and a half. Part of me thinks if I don't commit I won't fail again... When I know that if I don't commit I will fall backwards... because the truth is if we are not moving forward, we are going backwards. I want to change that feeling, I want to face the fear and move through it... 

I have been acting like I am weak and unable to fix the broken parts of me... somehow it seemed easier than facing the truth and making the changes. I have grown through many challenges that I often believed were impossible for me to see through to the other side... Each time the trial seemed insurmountable and yet I made it over each mountain over and over... becoming stronger. Every one of us has numerous tests we are given, we all have to decide for ourselves if we are going to fight to get through or let them bury us. 

I have been allowing it to bury me and frankly, it hasn't felt good... I have talked the good talk for months but they have been empty words, admitting that I have been going backwards is the first step in moving forward. I know I cannot make all the changes I want all at once, I have to start prioritizing what is important and then build on it each day. No one climbed a mountain in one day, it took climbing hills and gaining strength and knowledge to get to the top of the mountain. I know I have to commit all the way but... I don't have to commit to everything all at once, that will just continue to make me feel like a failure and I won't ever succeed at anything. 

The good thing for me is that spring is on its way here, still a month or so away but I am seeing the light... and Valentina has her orthodontist appointment in less than two weeks, so I will finally have a price to fix her teeth. Half the issue is not knowing, I can't commit any other money anywhere until I know what I will be needing on a monthly basis. Also, I will then be able to get around easier when the snow is gone and the daylight will last later in the day... I have hibernated with winter, more so than usual but it's time for me to take the first step of ascending that mountain I want to climb to the top of... Although there will be setbacks, the comeback is always stronger...
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Be About Actions, Not Distractions

It's funny how time gets away from me, before I know it a week has passed by, I have been overwhelmed with things going on. I feel like I have been doing catch up for quite some time. You all know I love working from home and how grateful I am to have that blessing, I thought I would have all this extra time to do those things I never seemed to have time to do... but I think until I actually make a plan or a commitment to myself, nothing will change. No amount of extra time will inspire me to follow a plan because the truth is that the lack of time wasn't stopping me from working on myself. Although I said that and felt that, I believe it was an excuse. 

I know from past experience that I will never be successful with anything until I am all in, not just dipping my toe into the water. The excuses I have had for myself for well over a year are just that excuses... the question is what do I really want? If I don't commit fully, do I want to change? I am beginning to think what I am saying has been lip service, even to myself. It's funny how we think by declaring something that we will follow through. Thinking doesn't change anything, actions do... talk will never help me to attain any of the goals I say I want, actions are the only thing that will do that. 
I talked to my friend last night about joining up with the Canada Games Centre, we both want to work on ourselves and I feel that if we do it together it will help immensely... I know that it won't keep me on track as I am the only one who can do that for me... however; I think the buddy system helps to start me on the right path, what I do there when I get there is up to me... I have tried a little and I do mean a little yoga but I feel so uncoordinated with no balance. I didn't commit to it, yet I am fully aware that whenever you start anything it takes time to get to where you desire. 
Then I read a blog this morning My New Happy which reminded me that I can't do everything all at once, I can't be my best the first time I try something and I can't give up because of it... the first day I decided walking was what I would do to get healthy and exercise, I walked one mile, it took me close to 23 minutes to walk it... it was tough, I had to stop and rest twice, I was red, out of breath. I wondered how anyone could walk a mile in under 15 minutes. The next day I walked another mile, I built on it slowly, before I knew it I was walking 3 miles a day. It took me nearly 6 months but I got my mile under 15 minutes.  
I didn't give up because it was hard, I committed to putting the time in because I made it important to me. So, as difficult as yoga seems to be, I am going to commit to 10 minutes starting tomorrow. Before I know it I will be able to hold a pose or balance for 10 to 30 seconds... along with this my sister has advised me of two very simple exercises where I can strengthen my back muscles, just because I am 53 I don't want to give up on myself and think this is it... plenty of older people live healthy lives with very little pain. 
I'm sure the excuses will come, they came with walking and I didn't give up because it was important to me... I want this to become essential to me too. I have given up on myself many times, I keep fighting back and I became stronger each time.... It's about time for me to commit to myself again and not give up so easily. I have set the alarm clock to get up 20 minutes earlier, eventually, I want to make it an hour... I loved my mornings in the past, it was me time where I could relax and get things done... it's quiet in the mornings, fewer distractions. I need to be about actions, not distractions!
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There have many many posts going around about choosing a word for a year, as I read them I became inspired to come up with one for myself. At first, it was quite daunting, I came up with a few words but nothing resonated with me. By day three I began to think it was futile... but I didn't want to give up, that was when FOCUS came into my mind, then each day that went by, I heard it and it reverberated with me more and more. 

With choosing the word FOCUS, I came to a conclusion about my health... sitting here wanting to find a way to make a change is all good but without making a plan then nothing will change. I kept hoping that an easy method would be laid out in front of me, which is silly as it won't be simple, it will take a great deal of work and a great deal of FOCUS.  When I was successful in the summer of 2013, I didn't let anything get in the way... not even my 50th birthday, I was in a zone, I was FOCUSED.
So, I made a plan to get started, this weekend was the one to make plans, first I sat down and created a budget... I had played around with one for the last few years but never really sticking to it... There were times I would go to the grocery store and wonder if my bank card would have insufficient funds, other times I would check at the last minute and realize I would have to take money out of my savings account to cover living expenses. This year is different, I have budgeted for everything I can think of and mainly I have started a decent savings account which I don't want to dip into unless there is some sort of emergency. 

I really had to make a budget as Valentina will be seeing the orthodontist in the next six weeks and I will have a monthly bill for a few years ... it's a necessity though as I feel teeth are extremely important for your self-esteem.  I am very aware of this as my teeth were damaged excessively from the medication I had to take after the fire I  survived as a baby The Fire - 48 Years Ago. I was very blessed to have met a woman from my church in my 30's who offered to pay to have my teeth fixed, the dental school then took me on as a project and I didn't have to pay anything, for this I was incredibly grateful. It changed my life in ways I never would have believed, it was a blessing...
With the budget, I made room to spend a little money on my health... I will talk about it more in upcoming posts, although I have a great deal of weight to lose, I am not thinking about a number, I am using this opportunity to get healthy. Many of you gave me some really great ideas, I plan to try the indoor walking again as I physically cannot handle walking great distances outside and Yoga is my number one plan as I need to gain balance. I have seen it work for many older people, it gave them back their lives.

When I started working from home I took the opportunity to sleep in until 7:00 am and sometimes 7:30 am when Valentina has no school. With that I was staying up much too late at night, sometimes 11:00 pm which isn't helpful for me to get the proper rest I need to function... So, I am making 10:00 pm my bedtime and then getting up at 6:30 am spend 30 minutes doing yoga and meditation. Also, one of the best things I have done for myself is that I plug my phone in across the room so that I no longer play with it at night and when the alarm goes off, I get right up... it was a good decision... it will help me keep FOCUS....
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Change Becomes Easier With Support

I have been contemplating if change is as easy as some people say, I know that there have been times in my life where one minute I was living my life one way and then within a moment I changed and never looked back. Other times I want to flip that switch inside, only I fail over and over. I question myself as to what the difference is between my successes and my failures. For me, I think I succeed when I am no longer afraid of failure and I believe in myself.  

I have been trying to get back on track food wise and failing miserably... I wake up with good intentions and before I know it I fail. Part of me believes I cannot have success without cardio exercise and at the moment it just isn't possible. I have to come to terms with that, I need to take a step in the right direction and have confidence in myself again.  I achieved a goal I had long ago thought wasn't possible, I did it in a moment and for very long time I didn't look back... not until I injured myself and this is where I allowed failure into my life.
When I was injured, the switch I had turned on a couple of years ago was turned off, depression took over my thoughts and mind... the more pain I had the more I turned to food. The sad truth is that I am in more pain because of the weight gain...  it was difficult to exercise right after I was hurt... I lost sight of my long term goals. I gave into the short term injuries... and caused them to be worse... Sadly, I believe we all do this to a degree in our lives.

Why?  Excuses, fear, rationalization, doubt and feelings of inadequacy... Regardless of the story we tell ourselves, we either live with those choices we made or make a decision to choose better and do the work needed. Change can be easy when we commit with our whole heart, otherwise, change is difficult... but always possible. . .
As scary as it sounds and feels, the power to change anything is within us... the only thing stopping us is ourselves. Do I like admitting that to myself? No, it is easier to put the blame on other people and outside forces, however; I also know until I decide to do this for myself, I will not move forward with my health. The older that I become, the more I understand that without my health, I really don't have much.

So, I am open to ideas from everyone, I need to think outside the box... I would love to get motivated again. If I could get started with simple yoga and easy strength training ... I think it could get me started down the right path of becoming healthy again. If anyone has YouTube sites or websites that they find helpful, could you leave the links in the comments. I feel a little overwhelmed when I do searches as usually I find sites that are too complex, which means I don't stay with it. Also, maybe a group I can check in daily with to keep me accountable. Change becomes easier with support...
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