Angina – Life with a Chronic Illness

Broken but ok

Broken but o.k.

Simply stated, the word BROKEN, in my humble opinion, best sums up the world of chronic angina.

Broken, but o.k.

One is not the whole person they profess to be, not the person they once were, nor the person filled with hope and dreams when your life is affected by chronic angina.  You know vehemently and dolefully that you have limitations.  You are “broken”.

You become the mechanical wind-up toy that no longer springs ahead once the key is turned.  “Your get-up and go has truly got up and went.”

Let’s get real.  Chronic pain exists everywhere from chronic back pain, fibromyalgia, headaches, depression, chronic joint pain, gastric pain – the list is endless.  I would guess each and every human being can relate to my analogies.  Although this post deals with chronic pain associated with angina.  I do not want to lessen the pain or importance of any other medical condition or struggle.

Chronic pain is chronic pain, no matter which illness or disease process chisels away at our human form, making us the person we are today.

We all fight some demon every day.  I live with angina every day.  I stay “normal” by doing my best to make a difference in someone else’s life.    I remain positive.  There is always an advantage to every disadvantage and I find it.  I do not fully understand how it helps me, but it does.  Perhaps it gives me self-worth at a time when I feel I cannot live up to my full potential.  I have some limitations.

I write this so others can relate to my words and life.  Writing reflects feelings. Writing shares emotion.  I want others to know that I feel what they feel.  We are all here for each other.  I don’t want anyone to have to fight alone.

I want to share what angina is all about. Read More

The Story of the Five Bears – Part III “Teaching Academics”

The Story of the Five Bears - Part III - Teaching Academics

The Story of the Five Bears – Part III – Teaching Academics

As you may recall, once upon a time in the year 2014 there were Five Bears, who lived together in a crazy, multigenerational household, filled with crazy, unconditional love and crazy – sometime uncontrollable commotion and organized chaos.  All the Bears called it simply and tenderly “Home, Sweet Home.”

One of them was a little wee-size boy bear named Wee Bear who loved Nerf guns; and one was a small average-size boy bear named Small Bear who loved computers, and one was a medium-size mother bear named Mother Bear who loved her boy bears.  One was a medium size grandmother bear affectionately called Grams Bear or just plain “Gramsi” who loved writing and the other was a great big grandfather bear called Bumpa Bear who loved trains.

The five bear family found multi-generational living as a life that is gratifying and whimsical, loud and zany; full of love and peanut butter sandwiches, Nerf darts and Ripsticks, adventure and rocks in pockets… and life is precious and sometimes even bursting at the seams.  These frolicking bears found multi-generational living all about the action verbs: love, compromise, improvise and adjust.

Ahhhh… the life and times of the Five Bears… It has always been “just right.” Read More

Making Your Mes-othelioma Your Message

Let's Hold on Together.

Let’s Hold on Together.

It was just a few week ago that I wrote about “making your mess your message.”  I had heard the phrase declaring that “Honey, everybody’s got something” on the CBS morning show Good Morning America.  The true-to-life words were fashioned by the mother of anchor and newscaster Robin Roberts.  It is also the title of Robin Robert’s new memoir.  Her mother would always follow that statement with the wise words: “Make your mess your message.”

How ironic that shortly after that post I received an email from Heather Von St. James.  She was reaching out to me “in hopes that I would help her with a cause that is very near and dear to her heart.”  Heather writes for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance which offers an enormous amount of information on mesothelioma and asbestos exposure.  Her mission is to educate and inform the public about this preventable disease. Read More

Your Heart, My Heart

Take Care of Your Heart

Take Care of Your Heart

Your heart.

My heart.

Merely using the word “heart” conjures a wave of nostalgic and exposed emotions, images, people, loves and memories.

Our heart holds them all.

The journey our heart has taken leaves an imprint that makes us the person we are today.  The heart holds a special place in our consciousness and being.  The heart is synonymous with love and compassion.

It seems the heart is more than just an organ within the center cavity of our body.  I have taken my share of Anatomy & Physiology classes and can think of no other organ of the human body that elicits any such emotions.  I have never heard “Have your liver in the right place” or a “broken pancreas!”

What have I learned about your heart and my heart? Read More

The Story of the Five Bears – Part II “Teaching Kindness”

The Story of the Five Bears - Part II "Teaching Kindness"

The Story of the Five Bears – Part II “Teaching Kindness”

As you may recall, once upon a time in the year 2014 there were Five Bears, who lived together in a crazy, multigenerational household, filled with crazy, unconditional love and crazy – sometime uncontrollable commotion and organized chaos. All the Bears called it simply and tenderly “Home, Sweet Home.”

One of them was a small, wee-size boy bear named Wee Bear; and one was a small average-size boy bear named Small Bear, and one was a medium-size mother bear named Mother Bear. One was a medium size grandmother bear affectionately called Grams Bear or just plain “Gramsi” and the other was a great big grandfather bear called Bumpa Bear.

On a warm spring day, Mother Bear proclaimed “today’s children should be taught kindness.” Mother Bear had been reflecting on Mother Teresa Bear, who captured us with her heart of compassion and her words: “Three things in human (and bear life too!) life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. The third is to be kind.” Read More

“Everybody’s Got Something”

We see the same moon, you and I ... and everybody's got something.

We see the same moon, you and I … and everybody’s got something.   Photo courtesy of Moondreamin’ at https://www.etsy.com/shop/moondreamin

 

 

We are all human.

We are all different and still all the same.

We all live under the same sun.

We all see the same moon.

AND…

“Everybody’s got something.” Read More

Stony Trail Railway

Model Railroading - a dream come true for a little boy!

Model Railroading – a dream come true for a little boy!

He arrived home from yet another Model Railroad Show.  Although his heavy-lidded eyes revealed the weariness of his long day, he was energized.  He was full of stories.  He still had that sunny glint of new adventure in his eyes as if he had recaptured some of his youthful exuberance.  He became an indefatigable story-teller.   He chuckled to himself as his own Huckleberry-like tales of the railway display interactions with young and old unfolded.  He was animated and lively.  He relived the moments of the day as I watched him in contemplation.

I can see it every single time my husband, Steve, finishes another weekend model railroad show.  He and his railway enthusiastic club friends set up huge displays of model railroad trains with miniature worlds of village layouts, people, animals, trees and all the paraphernalia that make it look real and life-like.  It seems like far too much work to me, toting it all from one place to another and then back again.

Yet, he always appears so uplifted and rejuvenated after these gatherings.

I had to pause and think about that. Read More

Laugh Every Day to Keep a Heart Attack Away

Laugh Every Day to Keep a Heart Attack Away!

Laugh Every Day to Keep a Heart Attack Away!

“HO HO HA HA HA!”

You heard that right.  We are learning how to laugh!

I have been hearing about some health and fitness craze known as Laughter Yoga.  There are even trends called Laughter Therapy and Laughter Clubs!

HO HO HA HA HA

HO HO HA HA HA

“HO HO HA HA HA!”

The chant – “HO HO HA HA HA” is how class begins.  Laughter yoga is a combination of laughter, breathing, stretching and clapping and chanting.

“HO HO HA HA HA!”

This is followed by a few minutes of meditation, followed by more “fake laughter.”  It is an interesting spectacle where you become childlike. Read More

What’s in Your Easter Basket?

My Easter Basket

My Easter Basket

“My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished 2 bags of M&M’s and a chocolate cake. I feel better already.”

Humor columnist Dave Barry penned that wise and thought-provoking statement. I tried to achieve the same inner peace recently with two chocolate ice cream sandwiches and a “few” Oreo cookies.

And, amazingly, it worked! Read More

Who Has the Softer Heart?

Hard Words Soft HeartI have always been the daydreamer, the idealist, and the tenderhearted.  I have always believed in the goodness and kindness of others. 

I believe that makes me “soft-hearted.”

I doubt I will ever change.

That is the way God has wired me.

Yet, a recent story, from 60 Minutes Overtime, with Lesley Stahl, discloses that I am strong-hearted.  Nah… Could I really be hard-hearted? Read More

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“It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.” ~ Erma Bombeck