coping with uncertainty

while I remain optimistic, in spite of threats to our health care, I am also realistic. Cuts to medicaid will have a profound affect on my life. This isn’t political, it’s personal! I will admit to becoming so worried , that had direct impact on my health.

I have had shingles a number of times, but recently the shingles in my cornea became active, which affects my vision ( I was blind in my left eye for 4 days, very very scary to me! of all my senses, that is the one most precious to me), This is a result of stress! I am on my 2nd week of acyclovir, 5 times a day. It’s getting better, but at the same time I got a wicked cold which quickly turned into sinusitus. If it’s not one thing, it’s another! I am slowly recovering, but it was a good lesson to mitigate my stress.

This includes too much Facebook, too much news, too many interactions with people who have no respect for my opinions or beliefs. I am trying to limit contact with them, but it’s not easy for me to say the word “NO”. I am a people pleaser! I am the peacemaker in the family (well, I used to be! I am hanging up that particular hat).

For now, I am spreading my story in hopes that it may soften some people’s opinions of living and coping with a serious disease.

Embracing Suffering, Embracing Happiness

Long ago I read a book by Thich Nhat Hahn , which talked about embracing your suffering, so you can transform it into happiness. It’s the same principle as “taking the bitter with the sweet”. I know my suffering is impermanent, which is very comforting. If I am down, I know I will go back up. I know I have friends and family that will help lift me when I don’t have the energy to lift myself. I have lately become very honest about this, and my friends have responded with inspiration and treats, visits and phone calls. It helps!

A friend told me you only experience intense feelings for 10 seconds, and then they pass.. Just breathe through those 10 seconds untill you get to the next 10 seconds, which won’t feel like those first 10. If you like, you can put a hand on your heart and one on your belly, and just breathe.

I like to visualize what color, what shape, and what my suffering is saying to me. Then I wrap my virtual arms around it and wait for the peaceful feelings to return. I am a hugger by nature, so this little meditation is good for me.

If you are too squirmy to sit quietly, you can walk slowly around your garden or house, just concentrating on touching your feet to the earth, and enjoying your surroundings.


Hope is HUGE!

I will always latch on to any shred of hope for dear life, and then run with it! Since the beginning of my 3o year journey with HIV, I have always taken the most optimistic opinion the Doctors could give me. When I was first diagnose,I  was told I probably had 2 years to live, maybe 6 if I was really lucky, I DECIDED I would have at least 6 years, and by then some new drug or treatment would appear. If I could only hang on by my fingernails, I could stay alive long enough to see things improve. Trust the unfolding! That has been a good mantra for my life, especially when I devolve into worry or fear (and I do! I’m a human bean after all).

Yesterday i met with  my naturepath, who always gives me a list of possible things to help me. She has a couple of ideas to treat my neuropathy, and hopefully get me walking again. This tiny shred of hope, even if it doesn’t pan out, will keep me going untill something better comes along. I believe it, so it will happen!

zing in my toe

I woke up with a zing in my toe! 

After 30 years of HIV, 2 cancers, various bouts of shingles etc etc, I have severe neuropathy in both my feet. It has been a struggle to walk for the past few months, and after many tests we still can’t identify the specific cause. It is what it is, but it’s very frustrating. My feet have been numb for months, but this morning I felt a zing in my toe! YAY! In the past, this would have bummed me out because it interfered with my sleep. But this morning , I choose to embrace this sensation , because I know this means my feet are waking back up! I have been hitting this malady with everything I’ve got, including lots and lots of yoga, physical therapy, including constant toe tapping (helps to listen to some jazz!), and massage and acupuncture. I am seeing a new chiropractor at the end of the week too. My friend just brought me the cutest hot pink cane , and I am getting a foot brace made so I don’t keep tripping on the right foot. I plan to motor around the neighborhood with these tools, and then build stamina for some small hikes! YAY! I won’t be curtailed or defined by this situation, I will just keep hurling all my energy at it until I am mobile again!

Optimism is a choice I opt for!  stay tuned for more posts, as I navigate through my health situation and find ways to cope. When my e-book is ready to publish, it has my full story and the tricks and tips I have learned along my journey out of depression and into hope and positivity.