Gratitude is such an easy thing for many. Perhaps it is because I have been alive so long and seen evil as well as goodness. When I first began keeping a gratitude journal the only thing I could think of was toilet paper.
Many people tell me I need to write a book about my life, only because they do not understand my reasoning behind not trying to do that again. I would rather share only the good, but for others to understand why I enjoy such ‘simple’ things, they would have to understand the evil that took place first. In my humble opinion, until you do without, you don’t realize what you really have. Plus, in writing a book about my life, in the past, the editors wanted me to expound on the bad and cut down on the good.
For people with chronic pain, just getting out of bed to go to the bathroom can cause a major issue. When the phone rings while I am not near it, by the time I can get to it, they have hung up and since I don’t know how to reset the phone so the machine can pick up messages, well… I think you understand.
I have a note on my front door that basically says “Please, ring the bell. I may not get here as quick as you want me to be, but I will get here as soon as I am able to.” This afternoon, I hear this feeble tapping on the door and a man’s voice saying “Hello? Hello?”
I yelled to him to please hang on so I can get to the door. As I struggled to get to the side of the bed so I could transfer to my wheelchair, I heard him tapping again. It took a lot just to reach the door, and as I did, I heard the lock box open. Two men I had been expecting – standing there, one very embarrassed said, “I got here first.” I was not all that polite when I asked “Did you bother to read the sign?”
Even my closest friends hate to watch me try to get into bed and then struggle to just sit up or move. But at least they know once it’s over, I am fine and able to laugh or talk again.
Frankly, I wish the Parkinson’s was my only problem. The only reason I have started shaking again is: I can’t take the meds, they make me vomit blood. I can’t take any medication orally, as it too causes me to vomit. While I do have pain patches, my doctor will not make them strong enough to work any longer, because my lungs are bad from too many bouts of pneumonia and bronchitis over the years, and narcotics slow my breathing even more. He doesn’t want to be blamed for my death. Bless his heart. Frankly, I think he is afraid I would put them all on at once. He knows I am not suicidal, so what is the big deal? He could lose his license when I die if they see strong narcotics on me. I don’t want him to go through that.
When my doctor first put on these pain patches that work 24 hours, he told me “I don’t want you to wake up dead, so don’t ask for anything stronger until your pain gets even worse.” They call what I go through: “Chronic Pain”, but unless you have it, you really don’t ‘get it’.
This last week my doctor spoke to me about morphine shots, but I turned him down. I really don’t want to become addicted, and I also do not want to be in a stupor; locked up in a home; strapped to a chair in front of a television set for the rest of my life. I would rather be in pain and think clearly (for the most part) so I can read, draw, paint, watch good movies and listen to good music of my own choice and be in my own little apartment so I can cry in private. Okay. Now I am going to blow my nose, and get on with my blog post.
My heart goes out to those who are alone and have small children as well as chronic pain. Back in the 1970’s, my youngest daughter was with me while I had to get treatments for my cancer. That was horrific for both of us. My heart goes out to young people with chronic pain. But there is a light in that memory: One time, she put a washcloth in the toilet to get it wet, then placed it gently on my forehead and said, “you all better now mama?” (she was too little to reach the sink; thus, the toilet was the only thing she could reach. Good thing I keep a clean bathroom, eh?)
Anyway, back to what I am gratitude for:
I am grateful for friends who come regardless of my sounds. I am grateful that there are those who respect my wish of staying in my own home and are doing all they can to ensure I can stay put. I am grateful for those who come while I sleep and see when I can’t do my dishes, then wash them and put them away. I am grateful for those who come and change my sheets each week so I don’t have to expend what little energy I do have on those particular daily or weekly issues. I am grateful for those who bring me treats occasionally. I am grateful for the Holy Scriptures and all the prophets, living and dead. I am grateful for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and all those who play instruments and write beautiful, clean music. I am grateful that I have a savior so I don’t have to suffer for those sins and mistakes I repented of. I am grateful I am only held accountable for the sins I committed and not for those of my husband or parents. I am grateful for our Heavenly Father who sent His son, Jesus Christ to be that Savior for me. I am grateful for Their patience with me and all of mankind. I am grateful for a Heavenly Mother who is anxious for me to get home. I am grateful for those of my birth family who accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ and to those who did work on their behalf. I am grateful to all those who created the FamilySearch program and maintain it. I am grateful for all those who have done and are now doing research and sharing what they have found. I am grateful for photographs of my babies as they grew up. I am grateful that the airways over America are not filled with bombs and missiles yet. I am grateful for pain patches and grateful I don’t have to clean up blood any more. I am grateful for friends I can call and just whine to and that they bring me cheese when I do whine, so we can all laugh together.
What are you grateful for?