you just know

January 26, 2016 at 4:20 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

there are moments in our life that we can either look back and say “yeah, that changed my …” or you may actually just know at the moment that something important has happened.

it may change your life forever.

it may change your perspective.

it may change your soul/core of who you are.

it may be an event.

it may be a person.

it may be a book.

it may be a simple sentence spoken by someone at the table behind you.

it does however change you and in those moments we sometimes get a glimpse of how it is changing our world.

there have been many of these events/moments in my life. one of the most recent would be the blood transfusion.  even as we were walking through the doors where i would receive this ? i felt an urge to turn around and walk the other way back to our car.  notice i say walk back to our car? well on that day i was walking from the parking lot, although from the closest handicapped spot, but i was walking without assistance most of the time and without all consuming pain.

after that day, three days later actually, my life has been changed once again.  i had to be admitted to the hospital after the transfusion. i left there with a walker and oxygen. i was no longer able to travel and forget about driving.  outings with friends and family were now highly unlikely. a friend living in another state whom i wanted so much to come visit was not able to due to my serious health change.

the fluid buildup means i have difficulty breathing. at times i cough so hard it feels like i am going to suffocate.  even with the oxygen these attacks come.  it is frightening to say the least. the fluid around my heart is more of a problem.  don’t get me wrong none of this is unexpected.  it is the suddenness of all the changes that has caught us off guard.  i have a progressive disease that should have claimed me before year five. it has been two and a half years longer at this point.  there are no complaints here.  we have had such a great life together.

he still talks about the future.  after talking about some event in 3 years he says i will be here for it to take place. this is at once endearing and heartbreaking.  my voice says please accept the reality and talk about how you are going to move forward with these plans without me. his voice says “you don’t know” and “i can’t think about that now.”  i understand but then who do i talk to and feel like they will help him when the time comes?  it seems unfair to burden the kids even though they are adults.

funny that the moment i saw him walking down the street with that little bounce of his i knew my life was about to change forever.  i had no way of knowing just how true that would turn out to be for us both.

on good days and bad i like to take a few minutes and think about the moments that have made my life this beautiful experience.  there are too many to list here. if you think about it you have more of these little moments than you think.  i hope that even when i am gone you will keep me on your life of moments, you will always be on mine:)


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as if

January 2, 2016 at 4:35 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

there are many theories in psychology and some therapists use one while others avail themselves of all that feel right for the patient.  over the years i have come to recognize for me it had to be the use of what would help the person sitting in front of me.  like most things in life there is seldom a one size fits all unless you happen to be that size.  when i first started my internship i had to declare what theory i would be using and i chose one that while not freudian was similar.  it was created around the “listening” theory.  the idea is if you let people talk after a while they know what they need to do and are now able to do so.  you can not give any advise even if they persist in asking what you think.  you can only be this blank canvas, imparting nothing of yourself in order to keep the process clear your influence.

it was not long before i knew for me that didn’t always work.  there are people who know what they need to do and just need to be able to say it aloud in order to act on it.  others really do need a sort of guidance or reality check and you are the one place they can receive that gift.  notice i said receive? that is there are certainly others who could and would give them this gift , however, it is can they receive it under those circumstances?  for some the answer is clearly no.  this is where the as if comes in to play.

with behavioral therapy it is obviously focused on behavior.  one element of this is to act as if. sometimes there are things we don’t like or want to do, there may be things we are afraid to do, with this technique you ask the person to go ahead and do this thing and act as if it’s ok.  the reasoning being pretty soon your brain will tell you that it is ok to do this thing.  here’s an example- when i was in the army running was a big part of my life.  it is part of the physical training and once a year a part of the physical test that you must pass.  long before i knew about the as if theory, like most of you, i was using it.  i had a friend in the army who hated running.  she avoided it at every opportunity.  as we were in the medical field we were often on our own for keeping up with our fitness.  lots of soldiers fail the pt test (physical training) the first time around.  they sort of cram for the next one and barely scrap by unfortunately.

wanting to help my friend i suggested she run with me and act as if she liked doing so.  over time it became easier to get her to put on her running shoes and head out with me.  what happened was her endorphins were kicking in and telling her this was enjoyable.  by acting as if she liked it she actually started to like it.  this obviously will not work with all things but for some it is a near miracle.  the mind is a powerful tool my friend, very powerful.

today i used my act as if theory as i often do when pain becomes almost unbearable.  walking down the hall each step became so contrary that i started laughing.  while it did not stop the pain it did distract me long enough to get to the bedroom.  it makes me wonder about something people say, more than once i have heard someone say “i can’t act as if i like something i don’t.”  actually you can and probably do more than you realize.  if over time my friend had still hated running it would have been true for her.  i can’t help but wonder if that would happen if she had not let herself act as if?  on the other hand i am finding it more difficult to act as if.  my guess is there comes a point where the body says “hey you are not fooling me! this hurts!!”

thank you for listening and letting me have that safe place to go where i can receive the “listening” from someone who will not judge me.  it is the new year now.  for the first time i have no plans for the future.  we, however, continue to act as if there is one.

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