10 Minutes, 10 Hours, 10 Days, 10 Weeks, 10 Months, 10 Years

The memories that pop up on social media seem relentless this time of year.

I don’t mean that in the negative way that it sounds either, but I’m not sure I can really come up with more adequate words.

August is the month I flew to Portland and made my way to Washington State.

August is the month I made my final preparations for a full year of rehabilitation.

August is the month friends got married and others took their first vows, on the same weekend no less.

August is the month I first went Chicago for a week, not knowing that it would become a yearly event.

August is the month friends took their final vows.

August is the month I’m buried under numerous deadlines, and social engagements to juggle on top of that.

It’s so many memories crammed into on month that it’s hard to keep track of how long ago they each were.

Whether they were 10 weeks ago, 10 months ago, or 10 years ago…….

They all seem 10 minutes, 10 hours or just 10 days, away.

It’s getting harder and harder to remember when they all occurred, other than it was August; I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not.

I’m sure at some point it will all even out, but that’s not the case, at least right now.

For now, I’ll let the memories run together, until others join them.

Please Get Out Of My Kitchen

I was supposed to write an open letter to my worst (or best) healthcare provider but I’m going to do something a little different for two reasons (1) it’s been an interesting few weeks with my and various provider offices and (2) I can’t find the post I thought I had already written on the subject.

Instead I kept coming across a different post that expresses a similar sentiment but better than I could have done in letter form (at least that’s what I think).

I wrote this after yet another appointment that left me frustrated and defeated. I was also somewhat younger than I am now, yet I don’t think I would’ve done a thing differently if I was in the same situation now (although I don’t think I would’ve had the choice either).

I was still months away from one of the biggest days of my life (so far) after waiting months to just to get to the point where I was months away from one of the biggest days of my life. It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that the waiting had pretty much consumed my life.

Looking back on this, since I have a lot of it in writing, I can’t believe I actually lived through this, and I mean that literally. You know the saying, “when you get to the end of your rope tie a knot and hang on”? The knot was getting loose.
____________________________

Technically I’m still under the care of two surgeons and technically two will be performing my surgery, but I haven’t met that second guy yet. Although I do consider one mine and the other just an extra opinion, and no I won’t say who is who, mamma didn’t raise no dummy.

Plans for surgery are still full speed ahead, although not necessarily very quickly.

Even though the plan hasn’t changed I still have plenty of time to get more opinions on the subject, whether I like them or not.

I recently went back to the surgeon that wanted a lock strap put on my AFO because he thought it would help my crouch, just to see how I would like it (I hated it, and so did everyone else, except him). We had an interesting discussion. Now he says he would do surgery, but not to the extent I’m planning on. He told me it’s basically my decision, but he would only do surgery on my right side, because the left side doesn’t look bad to him (even though test/studies say otherwise).

He also expressed concern about my age (AGAIN!). In case any of you are wondering 25 in the CP world is pretty much the equivalent of retirement to a nursing home.

How the conversation usually goes:

“You’re not a kid anymore.”

“I know.”

How I’d like the conversation to go:

“You’re not a kid anymore.”

“I know I’m not a spring chicken, but can we please get past that.”

“Sure.”

Is that so hard?

At least Dr. who-I-hope-will-do-my-surgery-says, “You’re older than the oldest patients that have had this, but only a little.”

O.K. not the most positive thing, but still more positive than what I usually hear from other doctors. I’ve also heard, “I’d like to help you, but I don’t see anyone over fourteen,” of course this was after I’d been in his office for over an hour. Nice right?
(Although I do like the guy so if you’re in the area and need an orthopod for your kid let me know)

Dr. “You-know-you’re-not-a-kid” also expressed concern that it would be a long recovery and the surgery itself would be fun for him to do but rather painful for me. (Because I wouldn’t think of such things on my own, and I haven’t thought of that for months) He also said I’d be “stuck here” for a while so if I wanted to go away again that would be out of the question. Recovery would be twice as long, 12 months instead of 6. He finished with, “If you do this, this will probably be it for you.”

I don’t think I need to go into how much is wrong with those statements from my point of few, but I want to anyway.

1) I’m already in constant pain so intensifying it for a while is worth is if there’s even a chance I could be in less pain, or pain free, once recovered.

2) I’ve thought about how hard and painful recovery is going to be. I’m not stupid, Nor am I afraid of pain, surgery, or intensive PT. I’ve done it before and I can do it again. I retained my entire body to do things people take for granted at 3. I think I can handle it at 25.

3) I want to do this so I have a chance at going away again, and hopefully out of the country at that. I’d rather be “stuck here” for a while instead of “stuck in a wheelchair” in five years.

4) I feel so bad now there a good chance I’ll feel better sooner than a full recovery of 12 months. There’s a reason why it’s a projected 12 months and not a definite 12 months. He of all people should know since I recovered faster from my last surgery faster than he anticipated.

5) Let’s let advances in medical science and I decide what’s “it” for me, thanks.

But it’s in my head now, should I just have surgery on my right side? The right needs more work anyway. I might just end up needing to have the same thing done on the left anyway. Should I take the risk of less?

My first instinct is to just have it all done at once and rebuild. It makes more sense and I’d rather do everything so we don’t need to go back and fix what we should have the first time. But now the other thought is there.

In addition to this new opinion, or rather changed opinion (?). I still have to get a second opinion, at the request of the surgeon who I’d like to perform my surgery. So I have one more opinion coming my way, at least.

I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that my surgery is scheduled for fall. Actually I might even be starting to see this as the best thing. I realized I don’t want to be in the hospital in the summer, either type of hospital. I don’t want to be home on the couch without having the option to go out and enjoy the weather either. So if you remove the summer months from the calendar, that makes the time frame more manageable. Granted my thought process might chance in 5 minutes, as it usually done.

Have you ever heard the saying, “Too many cooks in the kitchen?” I’ve officially reached the point where I have too many cooks, and I’m the kitchen.

I have just one thing to say GET. OUT. & SHUT. UP.

*A similar version of this post was written on March 20, 2009

I’m participating in WEGO Health’s Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge. If you want to find out more about Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge visit their blog, Facebook, Twitter. You can find more posts by searching #HAWMC.

About That White Cap

A few months ago my swim cap ripped, so I had to get another one. What’s the big deal right?

(Other than the obvious) The store only had 1, and it was the one color I swore I’d never wear on my head ever again. I seriously considered not getting it but given that it was at the end of swim season & it was half the price that I was used to paying I pulled it off the rack and paid for it.

“It’ll turn brown in a few weeks anyway, just enough time to find another one.”

You see I have an emotional history with swim caps. They were used at a summer camp I went to as a kid to indicate a level of skill, as well as what you could and couldn’t do during coveted free swim periods.

I was a “white cap swimmer” for all but one summer, 1 summer I was the color below the white caps.

A white cap represents being stuck, not being able to make any progress.

A white cap is failure in the form of latex (or whatever they’re made out of these days).

The only saving grace to the whole thing is that any white cap I’ve ever had has turned brown in a matter of weeks so I wouldn’t be wearing failure on my head for very long, or so I thought.

A few weeks later a happened to meet people from Adaptive Sports New England and talked swimming, basically did they have any tips for gaining better access to my current pool or any others.

It turns out I’m not the only one who has had trouble finding a lane to swim in, and safely. I’m still not sure if I feel comforted by this, knowing I’m not alone, or bothered, because it means more people than just the lifeguards aren’t doing their job.

I also mentioned that I’ve turned to Y0uTube for tips on better technique. Which I realized was a ridiculous statement; I didn’t realize just how ridiculous it was until the words came out of my mouth (and I’m pretty sure at least one person wanted to laugh in my face).

They suggested I get in contact with the head of an adaptive sports program that could put me in touch with a swim coach. Now I’ve had similar things like this happen to me before and none of them have ever worked out, so although I was excited I was pessimistic.

I went home and send an email, just to be able to say I gave it a shot.

I talked to the head of the sports program then traded emails with the swim coach, again waiting for something to fall though.

Suddenly I had committed to attending the first practice of the year. I say “suddenly” but really I’d been waiting for an opportunity like this for decades. And I was indeed still waiting for something to make this not happen, because after decades why would this happen now?

And there was one big mental barrier I had to deal with; I still had that white cap, because it hadn’t turned brown.

I practically ran to the store hoping to find another cap, any cap that wasn’t white. I couldn’t bring myself to go to a swim practice, even one that was billed as “nice and easy,” wearing a white cap. If this was going to turn into anything at all it was going to be all about progress, not allowing myself to be held back by unpleasant memories.

And lest we forget that if I got in the water and failed while wearing a white cap I would’ve blamed the cap, regardless of my abilities.

I needed to get the white cap off my head, for good, and bought 2 new caps, just in case.

But as the day approached I rethought my “anti-white cap” stance; actually I rethought it about 375 times. In fact I wasn’t even sure what I wanted to wear until I put it on my head.

I climbed into a pool of real swimmers wearing a white cap and waited to be judged on my lack of ability, just as I had during those summers all those years before.

I faced my worst nightmare.

I’ve been attending team practices since the fall and I love it.

It isn’t what I expected. It hasn’t been easy. But what I’ve been able to accomplish in just a few weeks is pretty amazing, not perfect, but amazing none the less.

It turns out I’ve had more fears to face besides not being a total failure while wearing a cap of a certain color.

It’s all been done wearing the dreaded white cap, which has slowly turned a suspicious shade of orange.

I have no idea where any of this is going to lead because I don’t have any feasible long term goals at this point. Frankly I think I’m still waiting for someone to tell me to get out of the pool because I’m not supposed to be there.

The Practice Of Unremembering

Anyone who knows me knows that fall is probably my least favorite season (yes, I’d even take a snownado before saying yes to fall). The pumpkin spice craze is enough for me to give the season two thumbs down.

It’s been my least favorite season for as long as I can remember, but in the last few years it’s gotten worse. I had surgery in the fall, which was a positive, but many days recovery literally meant not leaving the house (or even bed).

1 year, 1 month, and 1 day after surgery I took my first independent steps; a good day, but a long time coming (so not as great as one might think).

Then people started to die.

I made a conscious effort to remember all these important days and it’s draining as hell. I’m not the biggest fan of crying, even in private, and there I’d be sobbing as soon as I walked in the door.

I was so concerned that I would forget something so “important” that I was slowly destroying myself emotionally.

I thought this year would be different.

Then a close family friend of close family friends died. Someone I barely knew when I knew them, yet I spent many nights reading comments online and looking for memorials.

I was trying to remember someone I barely knew.

I realized I had to change my thinking or I was going to drive myself crazy, perhaps literally.

I need to learn the practice of unremembering. It’s OK to remember, but to attach it to a specific date forever means (for me) that I’m living between sad moments to other sad moments, that somehow I can’t allow myself to be happy just because something else came before and took that spot on the calendar.

Fall may never become my favorite season but maybe I can make things a little easier on myself.

Do you have any hang-ups that you need to let go of?

Remembering Jack

From a school in Copper Valley, to a legacy of thousands.

As the story goes a group of Jesuits and some of their Sister friends went to Copper Valley to open a school for Native Alaskan children.

Almost 60 years later the legacy continues to make a world of difference.

One of the Jesuits from that Copper Valley School decided to walk to Bethlehem in the name of peace.

He and his fellow pilgrims arrived in Jesus’ birthplace on Christmas Eve, or so the legend goes.

(Did you think I meant the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania? So do most people when they hear this story)

That same Jesuit joined me in a buffet line one spring in Seattle and invited me (and my community) to a meal at the local Jesuit residence.

Just like people do every day, except this was only the 2nd time I’ve crossed paths with this Jesuit. Typically this kind of gesture, although nice, would seem odd to me.

Except for the fact that this Jesuit seemed to possess a level of generosity and kindness of spirit that I hadn’t encountered before, and haven’t since. I knew he meant it.

This kind Jesuit with a boundless spirit and unforgettable sense of humor has touched many, a goal many reach for but very few achieve.

People thought he was nuts. I’m sure there were times he though his own ideas were nuts too. But he went for them anyway.

I laugh to myself whenever I wonder if I’m about to embark on something people think is nuts. Jack would probably be one of those people too, the only difference is, He’d tell you you’re nuts with a smile on his face, then tell you to go for it.

What the Lord can do with a restless spirit is truly amazing, and only something the Lord can do.

I have been truly blessed by his example.

Father Jack Morris S.J.
1927-2012

“Our human task, if you like, is to not flee from the ill-being but to transform it.”
–Jack Morris, June 2012

*A similar version of this post was written on October 8, 2012 & October 22, 2014

Swimming Half-Naked

I was getting ready to head out to the pool deck. I’ve got a routine that I follow so I don’t forget anything & be quick as possible. However I was having trouble putting my cap on, nothing unusual other than the fact that I’ve been able to put it on flawlessly since June (which I attribute to a flawless haircut by the woman who cuts my dad’s hair).

When I took it off to try putting it on again I noticed it had ripped. I hoped it was a small enough rip that I could still use it. I keep a second (sometimes 3rd of 4th) of everything that could break or rip easily, or be forgotten, in my swim bag at all times.

Everything except a spare cap and the rip was too big to swim with (you can see a picture on Inst@gram), even if I could manage to get it on my head.

“Well I might as well swim naked.”
(I have since been informed that the above statement could be classified as overkill)

I’ve swam with a cap since my first summer at Girl Scout camp; which is so long I can’t even remember how old I was when I went to Girl Scout Camp for the first time. Wearing a cap was a way to identify swimmers by ability and keep copious amounts of hair out of the pool filter.

I started keeping my caps from camp to use during the year. It wasn’t for fashion or style but practicality. It kept my hair out of my face.

I could swim better when I wasn’t trying to see through my hair to get to the wall, or moving my hair out of my eyes once I reached the wall. My goggles didn’t slide all over my head either. (#CurlyHairProblems)

One of the main reasons why I dislike open water swimming is because I hate swimming through and/or around seaweed so I really dislike swimming through my own hair.

I was never the fastest swimmer in the pool, not even close, that’s not a title I’ll ever hold in my lifetime, most likely anyway. But a cap enabled/enables me to have one less thing to worry about and have a chance at swimming faster, even if it was/is just a slight difference.

I thought, for a split second, to just pack up and go home until the sporting supply store opened so I could buy a cap and come back later. But I knew I was being dramatic, and the pool was practically empty, so I put on my metaphorical big girl pants and slid into the pool.

And swam naked.

Was it the big tragedy I imagined in my head? No.

In fact it reminded me how far (and how anal) I’ve come as a swimmer. I remember struggling through lessons for so many reasons, which included but were not limited to, feeling self-conscious both cosmetically and physically.

Do I wish I had a spare cap? Absolutely.

But not because I’m self-conscious, at least not in the same way I used to be, but that’s beside the point, maybe.

I started wearing a swim cap begrudgingly, because it “outed me.” It pointed out that I wasn’t nearly as good as almost everyone else in the pool. I kept and keep wearing a cap, even when I don’t have to, because I realized it has helped me become better at something I truly enjoy. So being without something as simple becomes a big deal.

Isn’t it strange the little things that can toy with us mentally?

After swimming umpteenth laps, and probably freaking out yet another lifeguard for some unknown, and probably unreasonable, reason, I headed to the store to buy at least one new cap (because fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me).

I only found one cap, in white, again not ideal, but this one will be harder to get over.

Anyone care to place a bet on how long it takes for my hair to turn the inside brown?

Grad School: The Second Summer

This was my 2nd summer as a grad student.

I was looking forward to this summer because last summer was so amazing. I’ve never been a school person but the idea of spending 3 weeks immersed in school was so exciting. I wished there was a fourth week.

By the time I actually started the third week I was more than ready to go home (it was my 3rd locale in a week, who could blame me).

Truthfully I had a minor meltdown when I got to my room and realized how quiet it was. My brain just couldn’t take it, CNMC just shoved my brain into overdrive and it stayed there, I guess. I begged friends to stop by for a quick visit but they were too entrenched in coursework (as I should have been) to oblige.

Have you ever seen an introvert in desperate need of alone time when they finally get it? It’s not always pretty. I think I spent 10 minutes trying to decide what to put in the bathroom and what to leave on the dresser (and trying not to cry about it).

I also missed the blessing dinner for the graduates. This year it was a lunch which I just couldn’t fit in with my over packed schedule. The blessing of the graduates was a highlight for me last year so I was disappointed to be missing it this year. I also have a lot of friends graduating this year so I wanted to say good-bye to them. Luckily I ran into the ones leaving the next day later that night so I got my wish, just not in the way I pictured it.

I knew the 2nd week of classes was going to be the most challenging. Not only was I taking 2 classes but I was registered to fulfill the 2nd part of my formation requirements for the year.

It basically boiled down to 12+ hour days Monday & Tuesday. I wasn’t running on steam before the week was half over, but let me just take a second to publically thank God for great friends and equally great study groups.

I was feeling better about Wednesday. I think because the first two days were so packed and stressful I just let things go. I did what I could the best I could and left it at that. I didn’t worry about not getting to read Humanae vitae or whatever. If I needed to read it, I’d get around to it.

Also after living through my 1st ever tornado warning, complete with sirens and please take cover in the hall, my nerves needed a break.

Funny story behind my history with Humanae vitae, I’ve read it twice previously for fun none the less but I couldn’t remember a single thing about its contents. (Please tell me you find that funny, and not incredibly sad.)

I was also down a highlighter and a pen in spite of bringing more supplies with me this year. I’m thinking this might just become par for the course during the summer.

Wednesday night I ventured downtown with a small group of friends for Symphony Night in the park. Who wouldn’t want to be able to say they’ve heard the Chicago Symphony live, and for free?

I was feeling much better about Thursday and Friday because it meant I had survived the roughest part school wise. At the same time I was getting closer to having to say good-bye to more friends.

One of my classes many graduating friends in it, more than I realized actually, in fact when we were heading to class the first day one said, “oh we’re in the big room.” Not only were we in the biggest classroom available but we filled to maximum capacity, at least comfort wise.

I knew most people don’t stick around for the 3rd week but I was hoping to be surprised, in a good way, by the number of people who did. In the end I think 5 distance learners, my self-included, stayed for the 3rd week (one of whom I never saw so I have no idea if she was even there).

A group of us went out Friday night for one last gathering before departures began first thing the next morning. It was a wonderful time of relaxation and fellowship, and I discovered I do in fact like Thai food and it does like me (although I’m not sure it would ever be my 1st choice).

Basically week two ended with a lot of good-byes followed by self-imposed seclusion over the weekend. Not only was I tired but I needed to take the time to allow a new reality to set in. I was basically alone on campus for two days. It gave me time to reflect, which I needed in order to fulfill my retreat requirement, but it was also very lonely.

I greeted week three with guarded optimism. I was looking forward to class because I’d wanted to learn from this particular professor since I heard him speak at a conference 2 years before. (And people claim I can’t be a patient person?) But I was preparing to spend much of my free time living as a hermit (and finishing Burn N0tice), which I basically did.

The environment of week 3 was so different compared to the first two weeks it took some time to acclimate to; although I’m not sure I can say I ever fully adjusted to it. There was much less socialization between students so I spent time with the girls in the recruitment since we share some important interests.

Halfway through the week I had had my fill of the same theologians and then I realized my classes had some overlapping qualities. You’d think this would be a good thing, but when you’re not 100% of anything you’re learning it can create some worry.

I joked, although not really, that I was going to end up writing my papers all wrong, or I was going to come up with some brilliant insights that were going to change the study of Theology as we know it.

I’m not sure where I ended up with that one; maybe a little of both?

I can hope, right?

Week 3 ended with another good-bye dinner, which I coordinated. Thus making it my 3rd good-bye dinner in 3 weeks (too much, way too much) but I’m glad I got the chance to have time with such good friends, no matter how exhausted I had become.

With that my summer classes ended, but as someone said (and I happen to agree) the work was just beginning.

 

#CNMC15

The 1st stop of my trip was The Catholic New Media Celebration in Atlanta. Which was well over a month ago and as much as I wanted to write about it sooner but whenever I had the words I didn’t have the time and when I didn’t have the words I had the time.

At the last CNMC my recap consisted mostly of pictures. This time is different though, because I didn’t take any pictures (or tweet a thing) thankfully I’m not alone.

And if it works for Greg Willits than its good with me too, at least that what I’ve been telling people when they ask to see pictures (and then I have to explain who Greg Willits is).

Tiffany was generous enough to agree to be my roommate and companion during the weekend. We met in the airport and went to check in at the hotel (after my attempts at the damsel in distress routine to gain assistance from Billy Newton failed miserably).

You should probably read Tiffany’s account of the experience since her post was fresh in her mind when she wrote hers, unlike this one.

Our room wasn’t ready for us so we headed over to the Eucharistic Congress while we waited for a phone call from our hotel. We decided pretty quickly against attending any of the talks, mainly because we were both sleep deprived. Instead we strolled around to see if we could find anyone we knew.

One of our first stops was the SQPN booth, after a quick detour to my school’s booth) but more on that later), where we met Fr. Cory & Fr. Darryl and took our now pretty famous extreme selfie.

Once we realized it was past check in time and we still hadn’t gotten a call about our room we headed back to the hotel to check in & finally decompress for 5 minutes.

While Tiffany was at the Jubilee Dinner I did homework. And by did homework I mean I went to the gym, ate dinner, took a shower, and kept tabs on the Jubilee Dinner thanks to the #CNMC15 Tagboard Lyn Francisco created. Basically I should’ve gone to the dinner because I wasn’t I wasn’t helping myself out in any way, at all.

The next day was when all the real fun happened. Tiffany & I sat at the same table with Sr. Anne which was total Providence, in my opinion, so it was nice to talk to her in person since I’m been telling people in my life about her for a while now.

Greg Willits’ keynote was amazing and just what I needed to hear, without knowing it’s what I needed. Don’t you just love when that happens?

The rest of the day was pretty much a blur of workshops and networking, and most importantly genuine community.

I had a list of goals in my head of things I wanted to accomplish and a list of things I’d like to accomplish but it would be OK if I didn’t. I was able to cross off everything on both lists and then some. 🙂

Like cornering Capt. Jeff, The Airline Pilot Guy, at lunch and asking him all kinds of air travel type questions; such as why “closing the bridge” due to lightning means people can still get off an aircraft but anything gate checked needs to stay put. Thanks Capt. Jeff & sorry about the inquisition.

Other highlights of the day were meeting Lisa Hendy of Catholic Mom and talking to her more about how she got started as well as talking to Maria Johnson in person since I’ve been bugging her for her feedback on various things for at least the last year.

After the conference was over I headed back to the hotel with Mac & Katherine Barron, of Catholic in a Small Town, who happen to be two of the nicest people ever. I had a great time talking with them and I hope to have the chance again in the future.

Once back at the hotel I met up with Tiffany and a few friends to go to dinner, except those few friends had turned into a group of 17 (?). I’m not even sure how many of us there were but it was one of the best group dinners I’ve ever been to, and I know there are a few pictures of it floating around F@cebook. During dinner I sat next to the older sister of a college classmate which is pretty unbelievable, even considering our alma mater).

Lisa, from Of Sound Mind and Spirit, was also at my end of the table with her kids. She was great to have dinner with and now I want to visit Houston!

After dinner I had every intention of packing and going to bed but Tiffany invited me to go with her to meet a few people in the hotel bar. So we headed back out the door and downstairs (I blame my severe FOMO, in spite of my introverted-ness) where we enjoyed more socializing and met (all too briefly) Jennifer Willits.

After such a great day with everyone I really didn’t want to go to bed but one can only hold off reality for so long. Thankfully Allison, of Reconciled To You, and Tiffany had made plans for breakfast so the next morning we said our good byes to Steph (TV Rewind Podcast) & Marika (@oneeyedsmiley) in the lobby before heading to the airport for breakfast.

My CNMC experience ended, at least for now, with a final good bye to Dee, of Catholic Vitamins, before heading off on the second leg of my trip. Now that home I have one final thing to say, well Steve Nelson said it first, but I agree.

And if you want another good review of CNMC15 you should read Steve’s thoughts (and/or Maria’s link up).

Comfort Foods

I should be really good at this one since I’m forced to watch the food channels at PT as everyone “pre-game” for dinner, even if it does drive me nuts.

Also, I don’t cook, probably for a few reasons, but one of the biggest is CP. It’s hard to balance and cook and I’ve had to catch myself very close to stoves and ovens so I just try and avoid them.

Plus I hate cooking, as anyone I’ve ever lived with. I do much better with assistance from someone else. I do even better when I’m someone else’s assistant.

I will tell you though many of my favorite memories involve food. I’m not fan of eating at parties (like holiday parties) because I feel like I’m being judged for everything I do or don’t put in my mouth by people I may or may not know. Anytime that happens it involved “uncomfortable foods” no matter how much I may like the food being served.

However I do enjoy meals with people, especially people I enjoy spending time with people I love over a meal. I love going to my great aunt’s house for Sunday (or Saturday) dinner especially.

The act of cooking brings me nothing but stress and aggravation.

It’s a 50/50 split when it comes to the actual eating, but that’s dependent on situation.

I like food the most because it’s a way to bring people together, whether you’re eating it or not. It’s also the best way to find out information about people without seeming nosey 🙂

I’m taking part in The Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge this month (also known as #HAWMC).

Keeping Track Of Memories

How do I go about remembering things that have happened in my life? It really depends.

I have a journal that I write stuff in, that sometimes doubles as the closest thing I have to a scrapbook. I’d like to tell you that I have scrapbooks as well but I don’t have the time for that, and more importantly I don’t have the patience (even if I had the time).

I have things that remind me of different periods of my life. A lot of them are things that I kept “until” a certain time period has passed, or “just in case,” and I’ve never gotten rid of them.

Like a pair of underwear that I wore the first day I put on real clothes after my last surgery.

(You’re welcome for that tidbit)

Or the tricycle I rode around the hospital on after my SDR.

(I won’t even let anyone borrow it)

Then there’s another category of things I’ve kept.

The “things I keep, but want to get rid of, but don’t in case I need them again,” category.

Those things would be things like, crutches, night braces, wheelchair parts, thera-bands, AFOs that still fit, copies of used prescriptions, restrictions notes, a transfer board, bed pads, even a bedpan.

Eventually though, that last category gets smaller and smaller in terms of items. Usually during the cleaning phases that involve playing “what’s in this box anyway,” however anything that falls under the category of durable medical equipment that required a prescription and/or insurance approval stays. I will never wait MONTHS for a pair of crutches ever again. Ever.

So that’s how I keep track of my memories. It’s unusual but that’s just how my life works.

I’m taking part in The Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge this month (also known as #HAWMC).