Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Respecting Yourself--Another Step Toward Acceptance

"Respect Your Wiring
Some people are excitable, while others are placid. Some people excel at following directions, while others are best at improvising. Most of us spend a tremendous amount of our lives wishing that we were wired differently, that we could magically shift the basic aspects of our personalities at will. This creates self-opposition, which keeps us from being present to what is. Accepting something about ourselves that we’ve long resisted, by contrast, is a wonderful way to relax into the Now.

The Practice: Select one aspect of your wiring that you consistently disdain. Perhaps you’re shy or talk too much. Perhaps you tend to isolate yourself or to socialize compulsively. Whatever it is, give yourself a moment to stop fighting. Just let it be. You don’t have to like it–just accept it. See how it feels to live without any opposition toward this trait. Keep going until you’re loose, expanded, and flowing with energy. Ironically, to whatever degree change is possible, this type of energy is exactly what will bring it about."

(I wish I could remember where I read this, the other day, but I guess I forgot to copy the source as well as the content, so if you know, please tell me so I can give proper credits.)

After reading this, I began to think, once again, about the importance of accepting my disease in the effort to cultivate peace in my life.

How often do we complain about our hair? If it's curly, we want it straight; if it's brunette, we want blonde, etc. Well, you can imagine how often I wish that I didn't have migraines. I wish that things were as they used to be when I was able to do so much more than I can now. I hate the migraines that have destroyed my life. And, so, isn't it ironic that I now have to accept my greatest enemy as a permanent fixture in my life. Because of that, I have to accept so many other things about myslelf that when I do this excercise, it seems like the list could be endless. Not only do I have to accept my hips and tummy, which, shallow as that may seem, is difficult enough, but I also have to accept the fact that I can't just get up and go to the mall; or "simply" go out to dinner, both of which take alot of pre-planning in order to do. And the mall, *shudders*, well, need I say that the thoughts of more than 15 minutes under flourescent lighting, with noise, and food court and perfume smells abounding, gives me the willies? I have to make sure that I've packed my medication; my rescue meds; my rescue emergency letter, in case I end up in the emergency room while we're on the road; take my meds before I leave, so the bumpy road won't hurt as much; my neck brace, to stabilize my neck on the bumpy road; and, last, but certainly not least, I have to plan WHEN I will leave and come home, because when I go out for a day that usually means that I'll be on the couch in pain for 1-4 days afterward, depending on how big a day it is. (It's worth it, though, just to get out of this stuffy little trailer, so worth it!).

Does that mean that because I accept the fact that I have alot of limitations in what I'm able to do and how much I can do, that I stop looking for treatments that will raise the quality of my life? Of course not. I may accept the fact that there are ants in my house, but that doesn't mean that I won't call in the exterminator to get rid of them. I'm not defeated by generating acceptance. Rather, I am allowing myself the right to exist, side-by-side with people who aren't challenged like me; and I am giving myself a gift of peace that I can rest in day-to-day, knowing that I have a disease, but the disease is not who I am. It gives me the confidence that I need to say, "no", when I am unable to do something that someone else wants to pressure me into doing, without guilt or embarrassment.

I think that's what Respecting Your Wiring is really all about. It's respecting yourself the way you are AT THIS VERY MOMENT, in spite of how you used to be and how you may be in future. It's being present in your own skin and with your thoughts. So, maybe I'm taking one more step on the path of peace when I try to respect my own wiring. What do you think? What was your experience when you practiced this in your life? How did that affect how you saw yourself immediately afterward?

Monday, November 28, 2005

Quick Update

First, I want to thank everyone for their emails. I had no idea that there were so many of you who read my blog. It was very sweet. I'm sorry that I haven't been writing much lately, but that will hopefully pass. I'm going through a combination of things right now, so I'll jsut give you a quick update today and hopefully I can break through this horrible writer's block by writing at least something, today. lol

I am doing better in alot of ways and in other ways things are the same. The Duragesic patch is working miracles for me. Am I completely healed? Not by a long shot, but I do get relief about 40% of the time. My daily pain level has dropped from 7-9 to 5-7. IT makes those really bad days easier to bear, knowing that they won't last forever, and there will be some kind of an end in sight.

The cool thing is that I've been able to get out of the house occasionally which has done wonders for my psyche. It's so bizarre to go out to lunch with my mom and a couple of her friends and find it hyper-stimulating! lol And, to have such an appreciation for being able to do that that it almost brings tears to my eyes to think of it. I mean, that sounds so pathetic, but it's sort of like being released from solitary imprisonment.

The Adderall, which is the medication that my doctor put me on to keep me awake and counter the drowsy side-effects of the duragesic patch, is working great. It's also an ADD medication and, since I have ADD, that's the perfect med for me to be on. I am going to talk to him about upping the dosage today, though. I'm having a very hard time hanging onto a complete thought, which is also giving me problems with my writing, and we just can't have that, can we? I think if we tweak the dosage, we'll get to the point where I can form a complete thought and carry it through from beginning to end. lol I know that sounds silly probably, but it's a typical ADD symptom. I just can't keep my attention on any one thing for very long and get bored extremely quickly with EVERYTHING. lol It's so frustrating. But, I'm beginning to feel like my "old self" again. The person I was before that quack put me on Lamictal, the bi-polar drug that I was on for over a year. I'm so much happier, now. That medication was so depressing. Ugh!

ok, well, that's it for now. I'll try to write again, soon, but if I don't write for a couple more weeks, don't worry, it's just because my brain isn't cooperating with me. Thanks for hanging in there with me, guys.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Over One Roadblock, Onto the Next

Ok, well, I called the insurance company and it turns out that they're being punks just because they want to be. Seriously. I'm not kidding! I spoke to someone, we'll call her Luisa, and she said that they were investigating me for pre existing conditions. I said, well, I thought that if I had insurance up until I got this new plan, that the pre existing clause didn't count. She agreed. I said, so what's the problem, since I did have insurance. Luisa informed me that they just wanted to investigate it and it could take months. I asked her what they needed. All they want is a letter saying that I was insured by Medi-Cal before I got this new plan. I said, why would it take months to ask for a damn letter? I'll get the damn letter for you. So, then, she gives me a mailing address. I said, wouldn't it be faster if they could just fax the letter to you? Of course it would be faster! It's like she'd never heard of technology. And even then, it was like pulling teeth to get a fax number. She said that the case worker would have to call this one phone number and then they'd direct her to a person who would give her a fax number. I said, what is this? Are you guy's the CIA or something? Why does she have to call a bunch of numbers, wait on line, get transfered around to get a fax number? Just give me the damn number now and I'll get you the damn letter! Why is that so difficult? This isn't cloak and dagger. It's just a fucking letter! What a bunch of bullshit.

So, to conclude this annoyingly frustrating story, after they get the letter and update their information they'll pay on our claims and everyone will be happy. I also asked her why they didn't let us know that that's what they needed months ago when they started getting the claims? You know what Luisa said? Because they wanted to investigate it. What kind of nonsense is that? It's mindboggling. This is why our rates are high. It's not because people are sick. It's because they have all these incompetents spending time on stuff that could take a 20 minute phone call at the most to get the information. So, the lesson here is, don't go around to the back door, when the front door is wide open.

My husband's heart calmed down after I told him how easy (knock on wood) that this will be, so I think he won't need a quadruple bipass too soon. We may be able to put the heart attack off for a little while longer. Ugh!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

It's a Long, Long Road

I think it's back to the drawing board--again. My head's been absolutely killing me this past week and a half. I have a feeling that it's because of the new stimulant, Provigil, that's supposed to keep me awake. I stopped taking it yesterday and my head felt better. So, I won't take it for another day or two and if my head's better, then I'll have to call my doctor's office and let them know. *sigh*

Oh, but it gets better. We just found out, after having our insurance for seven months, that they're not covering any of my medical costs pertaining to migraines, because it's a pre-existing condition. So, I've probably already got about 7 or 8 thousand dollars of medical debt, now. If I'd known seven months ago, I never would've gone to this expensive new doctor, or gotten an MRI or anything. Now, we're screwed financially, again. We just finished our bankruptcy where we had $35,000 in debt, of which $33,000 was medical debt. So, we now have a very healthy jump on our next bankruptcy. My husband is so beside himself about it that he just started sobbing the other night. We just can't seem to get a break. And, now, I need another appointment with that doctor. Things are very stressful for us right now. It will be such a miracle if we stay married and if someone doesn't off themselves in our relationship. So, I'm praying for a miracle.