Posts Tagged Dreams

Living with Chronic Pain or The View from My Sofa

There’s not much to see from here, but when I’m experiencing severe endometriosis pain, this is where my life takes place. I’ve been here the last couple days and I’m starting to get pretty familiar with my surroundings.

My world exists in concentric circles surrounding the sofa… In the first circle (the one closest to me) is everything I might need, immediately within reach: various pain meds and balms, tissues, my phone, water, pencil and paper (to chart how I feel and when I take medicine), a good book (collection of Sherlock Holmes stories at present), and the TV remote. The second circle contains items I can reach with minimal effort: the computer, the TV, and a book shelf full of books and movies. Everything in the third circle and beyond requires thought and a plan: the refrigerator/kitchen, the bathroom, the bedroom, the laundry room. Do I really need to go to the bathroom yet? Can it wait? I really want a sandwich, but that means I have to get up to make it… Yep, I’m hungry enough.

This may all sound pretty dismal, but it’s really not that bad. Yes, it gets a little boring and I get tired of laying around, but it is what it is. I actually have a really nice view of my backyard and the sky from here. I love it when there’s bad weather going on because I like watching the clouds change and especially the rain. I can see the birds flitting around out there too which is pretty amusing. You get used to appreciating these little things.

When the pain subsides I jump up and go to the bathroom/kitchen/etc, or sometimes out to the garden to pull some weeds and see how my plants are growing. This is the highlight of my day.

I pet my cat and try to keep my area picked up.

It is what it is. Sometimes it’s frustrating (especially because I’m on a treatment that is supposed to be preventing pain). Mostly I’m OK though. There’s nothing I can do about it besides ride it out. So I spend a lot of time on facebook to feel like I’m connected to a social life. I read books. I order more books, some about dealing with chronic pain, some about far-off exciting places. I try to make myself look as pretty as I can, even in my stretchy pants and t-shirts.

I’m really thankful that I’m not in school or working right now and that I am so blessed to have a husband who can provide for us so I don’t have to. I honestly can’t imagine what it would be like to have to even think about working or studying in a state like this. I am so lucky.

I wonder if I’ll ever be able to fulfill my dream of being a nurse. Sometimes I feel pretty good and can be out and about, but a lot of times, I don’t. Will I be able to finish my degree? Help people like me to feel better? Maybe work in a mental health wardΒ  or substance abuse center like I dream about? Can I physically do it? I sure hope so. But I know worrying about it doesn’t get me anywhere, so I’ll just keep dreaming.

I’ll keep lying here on the sofa, watching the clouds float by, and the flowers grow. I’ll keep trying to make the most out of these days and feel like I am still contributing to life and society. I will read, draw, study, and write. And I will pray.

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B is for Badass

In this yucky in-betweenish kind of weather my motivation to run spirals down the drain and gets all chopped up in the disposal. I can’t wait to run some races this year and really want to push myself to go farther and faster. In order to get to that point, I’ve got to put in the hard work. I don’t like hard work. But, it’s one those annoying life realities. So I dug out this old pic from Head for the Cure last year to remind myself that the work is worth it. If nothing else, the work is worth that calf muscle. BAM! πŸ™‚ It’s the little things, right?

I think I need to post this picture on my mirror or something to remind myself what a badass I can be when I set my mind to it. This picture was taken at one of the highest points in my life. This was my second 5K and my second time proving to myself that I could do something I never thought possible. Due to a mild case of asthma and the ever-present endo pain, I never thought I could be a runner and consistently told myself that for years. This is where I proved myself wrong. And it felt AWESOME.

I hope you don’t think I sound boastful or vain, because that’s not what I’m going for. What I AM going for is some of that all-important positive self talk. If I encourage and believe in myself, I can do anything and nothing will stop me. I think that’s pretty valuable.

So here’s to motivation and goals and encouraging ourselves to be awesome. May you dream big and, more importantly, believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that your dreams can become your reality.

“Decide what to be, and go be it,”
— the Avett Brothers

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Eat, Sleep, Nurse

My life right now consists of:

Nursing school.

I attend nursing class or clinicals all day, study nursing each night, study nursing all weekend, think about nursing while I’m “relaxing” and trying NOT to think about the nursing homework I should probably be doing. Oh, and I dream about nursing all night. Seriously, I’m not even a nurse yet and I’m literally having these crazy nursing dreams every night. Last night I dreamed I was performing clinicals at a hospital, taking care of some really sick people, one of whom was one of my instructors (no pressure, right?). I went to ambulate her and then she got up on this chair (no idea why, or why I let her) and FELL. I DROPPED one of my sick instructors! I almost died, and then woke-up. Phew! A few nights ago I dreamed my instructor was expecting me to do things beyond my level as a student and I stood up in the middle of class and screamed “I’m not READY to save a life!!!!!” πŸ™‚

Seriously, despite the crazy dreams and the fact that my mind and body are owned by the nursing program right now, I’m really enjoying it! I mean, three tests and a clinical in one week isn’t exactly easy or fun, but I’m doing really well **insert happy dance here** and I’m really amazed by all the knowledge that I’m gaining. I feel like I didn’t learn ANYthing in my first degree (Graphic Design). I didn’t care about any of my gen-eds and all my major-specific courses were art. I feel like I just did really cool arts-and-crafts for four years. I’m not saying it wasn’t interesting or fun, but it was all self-taught and I don’t think it furthered me as a person. Now I’m actually gaining essential information that will form the foundation of my professional career (not to mention the fact that this info will help me in my daily life).

Pretty cool, huh?

Well, that’s all I got for now, guess I’ll go do some homework and try not to kill anyone in my dreams tonight. πŸ™‚

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