Saturday, August 14, 2010

gOiNg ThE DiStAnCe

This is such a broad topic that encompasses so many thoughts for me. 

Instead of focusing on just one I thought I’d share my perspective on a few of them. 

We all know people who go the distance.  They follow through, they do what they say they will do.  There is no grey area, no compromise, no substitute.  There is passion, deliberate action, and complete confidence for whom they associate with.  Going the distance is a description of excellence.  I used to be one of those people.  By choice it was something I worked hard to be.  In many aspects I am still that person, just on a much smaller scale.  If I say I will do something I will.  I now give myself and others less firm deadlines, and more flexibility.  But I am still a person who can be counted on to do her very best to deliver what was promised.  I too appreciate people who go the distance.  These people are RARE!  I am happy to say I can call many of my friends people who go the distance. 

I’d like to open your mind to some other types of distance and other ways to “go the distance”…

Right now, the distance I have to walk to get from my bed to the bathroom is difficult and painful.. I’ve done something to my hip joint that is causing me a great deal of discomfort.  I can walk, thankfully.  I wish I knew what I did to hurt myself like this.  I have no clue.  I just woke up all messed up.  Ugg.. Joys of EDS (ehlers danlos syndrome)  I am now wondering if I should stop eating and drinking…  I seem to need to make this trip all to often today..    I know that many others also struggle with physical aspects of daily life, making sacrifices in choosing what to do or not to do.  Some days I choose to clean a bit, other days, I choose to have fun instead.  Today is a day where I did unload the dishwasher, but I am also planning to go to a birthday party for a friend, thanks to my friends who are coming to get me.. (more on this type of distance below.)

I’ve started seeing a pain shrink… Yet another Dr. G.. funny!    We talked the other day about mental distance.  Moving your mind from a former reality and dreams to a current reality and building of more dreams.  Acceptance basically.  This is a very difficult distance to cover.  Not only am I having to cover this distance, but so is Jason.  So are my friends.  So is the rest of our family.  Seeing you for what you were, and accepting and embracing who you are now can be difficult for people to reconcile.  It is difficult for me to reconcile it has been a large painful distance to over come in my mind.  I still travel it most days.

When I have gotten to the floor either by choice or by chance the distance for me to get back on my feet can seem impossible for my body to achieve.  Having Luka or Jason around to help me up is a great way for me to over come the distance to standing upright once again.  Jason helping me is by far the easiest on me.  Luka helping me makes it possible for me to do it on my own.  Both are great ways for me to get back on my feet.  I am leery of help from others, in part because they may not know how to safely lift me for themselves as well as for me.  (proper lifting techniques are important)  Because I am so bendy and weak I can also be a rather flimsy object to pick up which makes it harder to get me up, and increases the chances I will get hurt in the process.  The other thing to consider is an even bigger fear that I face.  One that is an all to familiar reality… a fellow blogger shares her story here in her post titled Helping Hands.  

This morning my husband said to me in preparation for a vacation he is about to go on… “I don’t know how to relax and enjoy my trip.”  He will be going on vacation with out me.  Going with me is not really a “Vacation” for him.  He feels so far away from relaxation and enjoyment these days.  I hope the distance he feels from relaxation is able to be overcome on his journey.  Other caretakers/family members know this distance all to well.  I felt it when taking care of my mother during her terminal bout with pancreatic cancer.  She and my father lived with us and I was her primary caregiver/organizer.  I wasn’t only taking care of her, I was running my business, managing her nurse care, her friends who came to also stay with us and visit/help with her, other family and friends who would pop in and out, spend time with my father, and still be a wife to my husband who just really wasn’t sure what to do with all of the people that had invaded his castle.  Jason was also my lifter, gatherer, money maker, and all around emotional support guy.  It is tough.  We’ve been through allot.  How do you separate yourself from this mayhem?  How do you find you “happy place”.  How do you go about keeping who you are from what struggle you are going through at the moment?  I think the distance between your mind and you heart grows longer with each stressful moment, each night without much sleep, each day that answers don’t come.  How do you bridge the gap?  How do you find space as a caregiver for yourself, without the guilt or the fear?   I hope Jason has the most glorious trip.  I hope his journey brings him moments of peace calm and rejuvenation.  I hope he has fun! 

The extra distance my friends have to go to spend time with me.  Since I no longer drive ( well not much lets just say)  and I live out of the way from most of my friends, they have to travel out of their way a fair distance and take a portion of their time to come get me and then return me.  This has taken some adjustment on my part as well as theirs.  I hate asking for help.  HATE IT!  I do not want to be anyone’s burden.  At the same time, I hate not hanging out with my friends or doing things.   So for the most important things I am starting to ask.  My friends are also starting to ask me more as well if I’d like to come along, and they’d come and get me.  So I guess this is something that can work both ways, decreasing the distance of friendships.  I am blessed to have such amazing and understanding friends. 

I have also just gotten a scooter.  I have yet to use it, as it has some minor issues that need to be fixed first.  I am hoping that this scooter will help me with becoming more active.  I have a fear of getting stuck somewhere because of exhaustion or a fall, even with Luka by my side.  Some times the physical aspect of moving just becomes so much and my body crashes.  I plan to use my new to me scooter to take me to the grocery store to get groceries, to the care center to see my neighbor, to the park to go play with Luka, downtown to the bank, out for walks with my friends and more. 

Will I stop walking?  NO.  But I will use the scooter for longer distances, and then walk the shorter ones once I am there.  Like my car!  I don’t drive the car because I am medicated most of the time and I don’t want to cause an accident.  But with the scooter, it reduces the chances of this greatly so I am feeling excited about expanding my world once again!  Yippeee!!!!

These are a few of my thoughts on the subject of distance.  I hope that they make sense to you or give you a greater understanding of what goes through my mind. 

I plan to go the distance!

Pink Doberman


Anonymous said...

Those of who have a service dog and/or train them certainly will appreciate the recognition due to these beautiful animals but what about the common public? Yes I have a service dog and Mirage has been trained to assist me in my seizures. Though having fame (e.g. 1st seizure response dog trained in Ft. Knox & KY by WAVE-3 News, has been on Animal Planet, only lady knight in Knights of Columbus) you'll still come across one in a while businesses that will throw a fit and say "No Pets Allowed" or folks on the street that either just have to pet Mirage or scream and run away.
Oh well, if the avenue of service dog is selected there will be those "pros & cons" like in every thing else but I very much found it to be worth it.

Pink Doberman said...

Ignorance causes pain. Ignorance is not bliss.

I hope in some small way this blog can help create a larger awareness to educate ignorant people.