Previously on Chronically Rediscovered:
Chapter One: Tosha and Mike visited friends in Delaware, saw some oddities and classic charm in Annapolis, Maryland, and launched sky lanterns at a Christmas Eve service in West Virginia.
Chapter Two: Tosha’s parents, niece, and nephew visit. Fort wars, Christmas lights, and New Year’s Eve poppers, oh my! Schweenie (shih-tzu – miniature dachshund) Eleanor Roosevelt enters Michael and Tosha’s home and their hearts.
Now, let’s move this tale into 2012. Onward and upward with the great Tosha recap!
In Chapter One, I talked a bit about the dualistic sides of life. As the fireworks fizzled out and 2012 rolled in, I was reminded of another duplicity in the chronic illness world. The duplicity of adrenalin. Visiting chronic illness sites and speaking to other chronic illness soldiers, some Adrenalin Truths begin to emerge. The good: Adrenalin is amazing. Adrenalin can get you through almost any holiday or event. You might not be the life-of-the-party that you once were, but you will be able to get off the couch, accomplish some necessary prep-work, and taste some of life’s goodies (figuratively – digestively is another matter). The bad: Running on Adrenalin means at some point running into a brick wall. An adrenalin crash will knock you flat on your tuckus and only time will tell how long you will be down before your body can begin to lift itself back up. January was mostly about surviving this crash.
My family rolled out of here and my hubby went back to work after the new year’s festivities. This meant that not only was I trying to care for my mangled body, I had a teeny-tiny puppy on my hands. A puppy I was determined would not be another casualty of my illness. I knew that I wasn’t the “ideal” puppy trainer, but I still wanted to meet Ms. Roosevelt’s needs to the best of my ability. This meant that on days where it was painful just to stand, I still wanted to make sure that she got fed, received some exercise, and was taken outside to do her business. Eleanor might not be a human baby, but she was a life in my hands and I wanted my hands to be more like the good hands of Allstate than the well-intentioned but fatal hands of Lennie Small. I plan on writing more on the subject of puppy training with chronic illness in later posts, but for now, let’s celebrate that Eleanor Roosevelt survived my January crash and is alive and licking! (And boy does she love to lick! It’s the dachshund in her). Not only that, but in January, she also experienced her first bicycle and motorcycle rides! (Check out the bottom of the post for videos). Huzzah!
As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I’m a reader. However, my Keppra (for my seizures) has made it very difficult to read. Now don’t get me wrong, I can still physically read a sentence. However, my brain functions differently. Besides being dizzy, there’s a feeling of detachment from the source material. I’ve probably started around 20 books only to abandon them after a few pages. However, I keep trying to read. Why? I’m a reader! So, January brought the continuation of this effort. Besides a dog-training book, I focused my efforts on a book inspired by my dog, or at least her name. I downloaded to my Nook You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life, by Eleanor Roosevelt. I thought that if I read a book by my Schweenie’s name-sake, then perhaps I would feel more attached to it and this one was easily available through the Nook store. While I’m not devouring the book like my old-self (I’ve read 34 pages in 48 days – yikes!), I’m still plucking away at it. Often I read just a sentence or two at a time. But – we’re going to call this progress and have another celebration. Say it with me now, “Huzzah!” Besides keeping my eyes plodding along, the book has further enlightened me to how incredible the First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was. It has also become somewhat of my spiritual guidepost. It certainly wasn’t intended for that, but it has given my questing thoughts direction.
February brought my discovery of Pinterest.com. I know what you’re thinking, “Tosha, this is your GREAT recap. You consider Pinterest blogworthy for such a monumental post?” The short answer is, “Yes.” The slightly longer and more polite answer is, “Yes I do friend.” You see, I have never been prone to getting lost on the internet, but I can get deeply and wholly lost on Pinterest. I think part of this comes from the new way my brain is functioning on the Keppra. I can click, pin, and move on in a matter of seconds. No deep attachment required. In addition to its ease of use, Pinterest also appeals to me in another way. Like my desire to be attached enough to a book to see it through, I also want to be inspired enough to complete a project. Since my Pinterest boards are available for quick perusal at any time, I can pin without great attachment and come back to be inspired. And it has inspired me in a few ways, which I plan on writing about soon.
Some other blogworthy news from February. (Some might say more blogworthy, but they just haven’t visited the Pinterest site yet). I had a follow-up eye appointment. My dear husband got me Lasik surgery for my birthday. It was something I definitely wanted but we debated on whether to follow-through with that want. After all, it would mean more appointments and another surgery. Following the initial consultation we were even more hesitant. We discovered Lasik is not FDA approved for people with autoimmune disorders. However, Dr. Frenkel spent a lot of time talking to us and answering our questions. He reassured us that he had performed many procedures on people with autoimmune disorders and that my medications to suppress my immune system were actually an asset, not a deterrent to the surgery. According to Dr. Frenkel, complications arise when the eye tries to heal itself too quickly and scar tissue is formed. My medications would help prevent this and he would also be giving me steroid drops to further slow the healing process. After some great contemplation, we decided to go ahead with the surgery. (When I say great contemplation, I mean HUGE. I had to sign a paper saying I knew I could go blind from the surgery and I knew that it wasn’t FDA approved for me. That raises the anxiety level a bit).
And how did the surgery go? Before the surgery, my eyes were very dry from my dehydration tendencies (due to my inflammatory bowel disease, lack of colon, and medications). This meant they were excessively dry and light sensitive (the two are linked) immediately following the surgery. It felt like the Sahara in there! But all healed well and I am pleased to announce that I now have the best eyesight in our house- 20/10! And I was a rock-star on the peripheral eye test. In fact, all my scores were the best the office had seen following a Lasik procedure. Can I get another Huzzah? “Huzzah!” (Thank you). I asked if I could enter my initials on the leader-board but sadly the office didn’t have one. Besides not having my initials immortalized, I think the only other post-Lasik regret belongs to my husband in that he can no longer send me pictures of bats wearing glasses.
February also brought a case of the fiddles. No, I didn’t learn to play the fiddle. There will be no fiddle face-offs with the devil in Georgia for this gal. But, I have fiddled with the layout of this blog. It’s a work-in-progress but I’m hoping the outcome will be more user-friendly. Bottled Time also has it’s own Facebook Page now. And full posts show up in email subscriptions, rather than just teasers or summaries. Unfortunately the pictures may be sized or appear strangely, but you can still see the fun hidden captions (from mousing over the pictures). Sorry, this still isn’t available on mobile devices. The email is also still linked to the original post so you can easily visit the site to enhance your experience, leave me some comment love, and click those adorable like/share buttons.
What else will be born of these fiddles? Stay tuned! If you haven’t already, hop on over to the side-bar and order yourself up an email subscription and/or join the Facebook page. You’ll thank yourself later. While you’re scrolling around, might I suggest you jump to the comment section at the bottom of this post and let me know what you think about the blog changes? Do you like having the full post in your emails? Is the new layout easier to navigate? Do you have any other suggestions? And while you’re down there feel free to also comment on the content of this post! 🙂 Gracias!
Now that, my dear friends, concludes the Grand Tosha Recap. Were you tickled pink? I thought so. Already want more Bottled Goodness? Don’t worry, the grape harvest is underway and new Bottled Posts will be coming soon to quench your thirst!
Thank you for reading!
Check it out!
*Watch a video of Eleanor Roosevelt’s First Bicycle Ride:
*Watch a video of Eleanor Roosevelt’s First Motorcycle Ride:
Related Articles from This Site:
Want to learn more about what it’s like to live with chronic illness and pain or how to explain this lifestyle to “normies?” Check out Spoon!: What Is Chronic Illness, How Do The Symptoms Affect Daily Activities, And How Can We Explain It To Others Who Aren’t Sick?. Christine’s video explaining the Spoon Theory is included.
Related Articles from Other Sites:
- Everybody’s Broken (http://nowucme.wordpress.com/): I’m not the only one seeking insight and inspiration for my Chronic Illness journey. The author of My Life: In the Toilet came across the quote, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle,” which stirred inspiration in his daily living and the writing of this post: “Everybody’s Broken.”
- Seeking the Sunshine Daily While Coping With Chronic Illness (chronicillnesspaindevotionals.wordpress.com) – A devotional about finding some light in the chronic illness downs.
- Ask Me about my Colitis (http://www.bloodpooptears.com/): Jackie from Blood, Poop, & Tears often inspires me. In this video she discusses the empowerment she felt by wearing an “Ask Me About My Colitis” Great Bowel Movement shirt.