A Lack of Serenity?

Does my current mood come from “general overall depression”? From frustration? Or am I lacking in Serenity?

We know the Serenity Prayer: God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.

SerenityI am having issues with that accepting the things I cannot change thing.

I’ve sorta come to accept that I cannot drive until June 15. I’m sorta willing to accept help and knowing that I can ask for help with getting from point A to point B and back again. I know that I have to have the co-workers handle the bank run (for the store) even though I should – on the days I’ve opened the store.

But…

Yes, that word, that thought, just hangs around and adds to my issues.

There are people in my life with issues of their own. I have a bad habit of letting their situation effect me, even though I know darn good and well it shouldn’t. I guess empathy is just kicking in – too strongly. Why is that?

I am frustrated and discouraged over my own situation (definitely not feeling any Serenity). Then I go and let others’ anger and frustration over their situation get to me. I try to find ways (at work) to help them not feel stressed. But in doing this, I get overly stressed.

I’m guessing that this is the point where I have to have the Courage to change MY perceptions of what to do in these situations. I have to have the Courage to understand that I can be a Lead Clerk (basically a “junior” manager), run the store – do my job – and not let the emotions of others effect my judgement. I have to understand that they are venting and that it does not effect me directly.

But (there’s that word again), I do worry about others. Well actually for others. I have to learn that I have to know that I need to take care of ME. I have to understand that I do not have any control (and really don’t want to) over others’ emotions/anger/frustration. All I can/should do is simply listen, then let it roll off my back.

My health – physical and mental – would be much better served if I can actually do what I just said.

Although, it would be easier if people (me included) would NOT bring home to work and work home. That’s one of those easier said than done things. On the plus side, June 15 is getting closer.

Only 2538 Days to Go

It’s been a while since I wrote anything in my blog (no I didn’t fall off the face of the Earth), many changes and just hadn’t gotten in to a new rhythm yet.

Well, I had found my rhythm and was (actually) feeling pretty confident. Then WHAM! A doctor (we’ll be getting a new family doctor), didn’t pay attention to my epilepsy and the medications I take. He only looked at my allergies – well that is a plus. The strength of prednisone he prescribed basically counteracted my seizure medications. It was as if I suddenly stopped taking them. Four days of taking the prednisone I had THREE seizures (in a 12 hour period) and spent two days in the hospital. I really don’t remember much of the week of December 15th.

1-2-15 resetAfter being seizure-free for SEVEN YEARS (2555 DAYS), this development is heart-breaking. It’s safe to say that my confidence level isn’t what it used to be; especially since I’ve never been big on having to ask for help. Someone needs my help – I’m there, what’s needed. I guess that right now I’m too busy being depressed and trying to find a way out of this pit.

I don’t understand some of the changes I seem to be going thru – they seem worse than before (not in any particular order):

  • I feel more tired and a lack of focus
  • It seems strange, but I seem to need my glasses more (I used to wear them all the time – but the last seven years I didn’t need them)
  • My emotions seem off – I don’t really seem to feel much of anything (although I am still furious with the family doctor for putting me in this situation)
  • I feel I have to fight to make my thoughts coherent – and explain myself clearly
  • In 2006 when I had sooooooooooooooooo many seizures I felt like crying each time – this time I just feel drained

1-2-15 acceptI know this sounds like an oh woe is me kind of thing. I guess the point I’m trying to get across – life isn’t always what you expect. It’s that “stuff happens” thing and you can’t always have things go your way. So, I’ve got to get my groove back, and not let things get me down.

Hey, it’s only 2,538 days till I start a NEW record!

Life in Different Directions

At various times in each person’s life, directions change. This can be good.

medicalWhen I started working (after school), I planned on the medical field. I was there for quite some time and in various forms. I was a medical assistant, hospital staff phlebotomist, customer service in a medical lab, secretary/receptionist in a durable medical equipment company, then secretary in a peer review organization. I learned much from each position.

 

food serviceThen things changed and I worked in a corporate office of a food service management company as an administrative assistant (secretary). I had a lot of fun with this job – yes it was hard work and some stress – but I loved that job.

 

 

dentalThings changed again, I worked as an education coordinator for a dental company. I had fun here too – but a lot more stress.

 

 

virtual-assistantThen WHAM! Things changed again. Since my seizures got worse and stress is one of my triggers I was advised to not work in an office for a while. Well that’s been seven years, I do wish that edict would lift (I’ve been looking for a full-time job for quite some time now). That change caused me to start my own business. What I can do in my business is very good – as a virtual assistant I’m dedicated to helping my clients. When things got to a point where I knew I wasn’t the help I could/should be, I gracefully stepped away from my client.

 

 

retailWell you guessed it, life has changed again. I’ve been working part-time in retail for a few years now. It’s OK, but not exactly what I was/am looking to do. Now, the company I work for has offered me (I accepted) the position of Manager. The last time I was in charge was waaaaaaaaaaay back there in that medical assistant career! YES, I am nervous. YES, I do worry as to whether or not I will be good at this part of my career.

 

YES, my husband and I both worry about my seizures. I have been seizure-free since August 2007, I plan on continuing this wonderful aspect of my life. I do have to find a safe and perfect way to manage my stress because the last thing I want would be for my seizures to start again. YES, I do know that worrying is a form of stress and just that alone could be a cause of concern. My personality is that of a Type A, work like crazy has to be perfect kind of person. (No, I’m not like this at home) It is a challenge finding a diplomatic course – I’m usually blunt, I have found that in customer service blunt isn’t always a good thing. But that being diplomatic thing is stressful sometimes!

So, yes I am looking forward to this new adventure. Yes, as I tell others, it is important to keep an open mind and a positive attitude. That positive attitude is what will get me to where I need to be, and how best to handle situations. Just have to remember that one!!

Does anyone have any stress relieving/preventing techniques you could share? I would really appreciate that information! (Oh, and think good thoughts for me!)

Memories, Seizure Induced Dimness

You have heard the song Memories from the movie The Way We Were and that they “light the corners of my mind” well, I’m finding that my memories aren’t so bright. Some of the light has dimmed. Sure I can “remember” events that people have told me about or traumatic enough (like the night my Mom was killed by a drunk driver), but actually remembering things on my own, seriously challenging.

memories-2Part of the memory issues are chemically induced results of the anti-seizure medication, some of it is a result of where the seizures “fire” from in the brain. After a certain amount of seizures or strength of seizures, they do damage parts of a brain.

The other night we were with friends celebrating a birthday. Everyone was reminiscing about their childhood: the I did this, Mom/Dad did that as a result to what I did. Mom would… Dad would… my brother did… and remembering some fun times. What did I do? I sat and listened to what they were saying. I was wishing I could remember specific things. The friends could remember specifics of what a parent/sibling/friends did. From what they were relating, I would have been happy just to remember a generalization. Once in a while I can flash on something that happened, but I can’t “remember” it to call it up when I want to share that moment.

I’ve gotten very good at playing down my concerns about my memory. However, it is getting to a point that folks have started saying things like well you know, you are getting older and your mind is slipping anyway… That comment I don’t laugh off, my memory issue does stem (a lot) from my medication – so says my neurologist.

Periodically I check things that are suppose to be an “all natural” way to boost memory/brain function. The latest thing I’m thinking of trying is coconut oil. When I read this in an article, I feel I should check it out for myself:

Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), the primary type of fat found within coconut oil, have been found to boost cognitive performance in older adults suffering from memory disorders as serious as Alzheimer’s — and not after months or even days of treatment, but after a single 40 ml dose!

I really want to know how this works, and will it work for other adults with other forms of memory disorders. I’m willing to try. The article does go on to state that it’s a good idea to use the coconut oil/fat in cooking or to even use coconut milk. I went to Amazon and found virgin coconut oil from Viva Labs and have ordered the 16oz size. I want to see how well it works before I go whole hog and order a 54oz size.

At this point I’m thinking, what could it hurt? Hopefully it really does taste good. 🙂

Mission: Possible – What Makes You Giddy?

What is your Mission in your life?

What is your Passion – what drives you? (no I don’t mean your vehicle)

contrary-2I’ve come to the conclusion, looking back on my life, my Mission seems to be: being contrary. I mean really??!! We’re always told to find our passion, our bliss, the thing that makes us tick and pursue that as a career. While this works GREAT for most people, it seems to backfire for me and I’m not completely sure why. Being contrary may not be a blessing in disguise.

One time I was told to follow my love of art/photography and somehow make that in to a career – there are so many possibilities. Except it turned out that the more I did with my artistic side to make a career, the more I hated what I was doing and doubted my abilities. Oh sure, I’m still creative I can see things others can’t, I can improve on the layout of a picture. But be enough to make a career out of this skill – apparently not so much. I either lose interest and/or faith in myself.

I am very good at what I do as a virtual assistant. However, I have found that I am happiest when I’m a “worker bee” and not a “queen bee.” I flat out do not like the “business” end of owning/running a business. Sure, I can assist others for their businesses, but I can turn off that worry at the end of the day. Run my own business? O M G!!!!! Then to throw in the idea of selling myself (most people call this marketing) – GULP!

I enjoy working with others, and helping them look good. Truly I do! It seems that even though (in some situations) I don’t mind being somewhat assertive; I like having a set thing to do and not have to worry about how the financial end of the business is doing, how is so and so doing with getting more business. So while I’m still working at a reduced level with my business and working at a part-time job, I’m still looking for the full-time job – I want to get back in to working in an office with people around.

So, have you found your answer to my first two questions? What is your Mission in life? What is your Passion – what drives you? I sure would love to read your answers!!!

Finding the Positive in My Experiences

There are times in a person’s life when they’re just not sure of themselves. You know, sometimes not comfortable being in their own skin. I was told/taught at an early age (three) that I’m not pretty; Mom wasn’t sure how to make sure I wouldn’t grow up to be vain. But that slap across the face and telling me that I wasn’t pretty took care of that concern. Mom wasn’t sure how to reverse that teaching (that’s what Dad told me after Mom died). So, over the years I had a lousy self-image and low self-esteem.

I’ve gotten better.

Then I became a person with a chronic condition (I’m not nearly as bad as others) and I didn’t want to admit I have epilepsy. I rationalized that I perhaps had a mild seizure disorder that wasn’t serious and would go away. I mean when you have one seizure, then a couple of years would go by… of course I wouldn’t (willingly) believe that I have epilepsy.

This morning I was thinking about how special today is; you see 32 years ago today (Valentine’s Day) was the first time my husband said “I love you.” I remember this because I had tried to say it the night before. He gently put his hand over my mouth and wouldn’t let me say anything. Well, that hurt. But in the morning he fixed me breakfast and said those three wonderful words. Then the silliest thing, we went to the store, looked at Valentine’s cards handed one to each other (the one we would have bought) and hugged and kissed in the store. Silly yes, but definitely a memory that has stayed with me all these years.

You see with my seizures I have gotten to a point where there are a lot of things in my life I’ve seem to have forgotten.

So, while I was reminiscing about 32 years ago, I was going thru some cards and letters I’ve kept over the years. I have the first letter he wrote me – he went out of state for work. It took him a while because he’s not the greatest at writing, but he wrote me. Don’t misinterpret, we talked every other day. As I got further into the stack of cards I found the cards from co-workers from my days at HDS (that job that I would still be working at today if they hadn’t merged, or at least I like to think so). I was in the first group to be laid-off, we had a farewell celebration. One of those “goodbye, we’ll miss you we wish you (those of us leaving) the best of luck.” I still have the gifts I was given and the cards. I was reading the cards. I truly liked working with all my former co-workers, I still like them and miss them, but you know with that self-esteem thing I didn’t really think they liked me all that well. I had always thought they simply tolerated me.

As I sit here thinking of all that’s happened since 2005, I think that perhaps being forced to go to the higher stressed job was a good thing. Because you see that job, was where I had my record amount of seizures – even two in one day. That job is where the co-workers were afraid of me, my seizures, so they did their best to drive me away and forced my leave of absence. If I hadn’t gone thru all the massive stress of that job I truly believe that I would not have had all of those seizures. I wouldn’t have had the tests (including surgical test) I did in 2007. I believe that I wouldn’t be seizure-free since August 2007.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI will always miss working at HDS. I do miss all my co-workers (I do still keep in touch with some, even if it is only via facebook and we have gotten together for dinner). But I do know that re-reading those cards, does remind me that I have made a positive impact in my life. They tell me that yes; I am a good person, that people found a positive value in me and truly wished me well. While yes, I need to know that for myself (I’m still learning), it is good to know that others have felt that way about me.

Seizures in the Oddest Places

a acid showerThis Aunty Acid comic reminded me of an “event” – my first seizure to really scare my husband. (That’s saying something since a previous one was while we were on the bike going 50 MPH!)

I was getting ready for work, doing the usual shower thing – much better for waking up – when the next thing I know I’m in my robe and in bed. Not sure what freaked ME out more:

  • the fact that I had another rotten seizure (at that time I’d have one then a couple of years would go by then I’d have one seizure)
  • that I was in bed with my robe on (THANK YOU honey for putting the robe on!!)
  • or I was in bed with EMT/firemen standing around me and my husband in the doorway

I can look at this comic, years later and can laugh at the visual. I’ve gotten past this particular embarrassment. I know I had no control over the situation. What I do now – everyday actually – is be very thankful that I’m seizure-free since August 2007!

Besides, I was in much better physical shape when I had that seizure than I am now! (I would really be embarrassed NOW) Sometimes in our lives we need to be able to look back at something and learn to not be upset about what happened.

(Oh, the reason my husband was more scared – I had stopped breathing and he didn’t know what to do.)