Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Always the Student?

I'm not one of those people who could be termed the perpetual student.  It just seems that LIFE -- yes, life in capital letters -- is always throwing stuff at me to learn.  (By the way, I just read that stuff is a terrible word to use in blogs.  It is too nebulous, not defining one's subject enough.)  But stuff encompasses many things in an active mind; or perhaps, it is what keeps a mind active -- that curiosity, the desire to understand.

Here's a portion of my present list of things to know, things I have explored: how to blog better

  • what kind of bird was that by the pond?

  • at 5 a.m., looking up on the internet--what causes diarrhea in puppies - arghhhhhhh

  • information about CFS, FM, Hip and ball joint arthritis, spondylitis, etc., etc.

  • what scripture answers my question about ... 

  • how does this or that gadget work?

  • The general idea is I have an active mind:  I always have.  So that makes me a lifelong learner, whether formally or informally, and I think it helps me to be healthier.  It certainly does make life more interesting.  I suppose that is why this musing fits into my blog; at least, it does for me.  I am an active particpant in the treatment of my physical problems.  I make informed decisions about the medicines I take, and I learn enough to question the doctors.  I participate in a support group online, not heavily as some people, but enough for me.  I read articles and books.  I seek and I question.  Recently, this process has improved my quality of life, because I have had a change in medicines that has significantly impacted me.

    Presently, I am learning how to be a better blogger.  Please be patient with me.  And please leave a comment on my blog sometime, so it looks like the big boys' / big girls' blogs.

    Friday, June 3, 2011

    Stagnation versus Change

    My Puppy and Bear  -  photo by D. Bolton

          When one has a chronic illness, change sometimes becomes the enemy.  Change means one has to move from the little niche that has kept one mentally and emotionally safe. However, even when one feels safe, stagnancy can creep in making one needy within,  I am not saying that one should feel guilty at being in a cocoon for a time.  Butterflies need cocoons.  Bears and other animals need safe places to hibernate in the winter.  And sometimes, a person needs to step back into his/her safe place and stay there for a while. However, eventually, one needs to move from Point A to Point B:  or, he/she becomes withered and diseased to the core of one’s soul.

    Me and One Small Change
    photo by courtsey of my 
    sweet husband taken
    for me.
    How does a person, who is ill, do this?  I can testify to how I have done it, and how I am still doing it.  I have taken baby steps.  I have even thought back to my development as a child; and in a sense, I have allowed myself to become that child again. This may sound strange, but it is really very simple.  And believe me, SIMPLE, is just what I have needed to make my move.  Anything complicated has only served to frustrate me and has ended in failure, so simple baby steps have been something I welcomed.

    First of all, I want you to know that I had not turned in my adult card.  I may have brain fog occasionally, and I may have brain glitches, forgetting a word or name here and there; however, my faculties are fine.  I still have a working computer in my head.  I make more lists than I used to, and I have been known to forget my lists.  I also do better if I place my purse in one of 2 places it usually ends up when I come home, and my keys really need to be in my purse.  You get the general idea, I am sure.

    Secondly, I need you to know that my period of hibernation -- not convalescence, since that implies one has actually healed--had bred some bad habits.  Or perhaps, it was that I had a loss of good habits. I especially abhorred the loss of my good habits, which I identified so many years as being the me I knew.  I became someone I no longer recognized at times, and I hated that.  I had become stagnant and diseased in things that were not my illness, and I struggled to get out of the mire; but, it was too difficult to pull myself out.  And apparently, no one else could either, or could he/she?

    That leaves me to the final thing for this long-winded blog.  There was one thing, one person, but I had to listen very carefully, because I had not been able to when I was in my deepest fogs.  The person that helped me the most in physical and emotional comfort was my kind and patient husband, who could not change me from within.  He could pray for me, as could family, friends, and counselors; however, none of them could change me. The one person that could take me out of this stagnation was God.  In my heart I knew that He would help me, although the road was longer than I liked.  I nearly lost my faith on the way:  I certainly had doubts.  The road was longer than I liked, but I had / have lessons to learn along the way.  This is the first baby-step in my road;  for without this one, no other step is possible.

    And He has helped me.  I was already a Believer, but my faith was tattered and torn, and full of a few bullet holes--not literal bullet holes, but painful nevertheless.  I took my sparrow-sized faith to God through Jesus Christ my Savior, and asked Him to help me, to restore the joy of my salvation -- and He has--glorious God that He is.  He is teaching me as I go, retraining me gently, as any loving father would do for his wounded child.  How I love Him!  And how thankful I am that God has not given up on me  -- or you. 

     "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find ; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives ; and he who seeks, finds ; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish ; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" ( Luke 11: 9-13, NASV)

    P.S.  I am not saying by posting pictures of my puppy that one should get a dog.  That is just one of many changes, that came about among days, months, and years of others.  Nor am I saying change is easy.  It took change for me to become as ill as I was, only it overwhelmed me with illness' insidious entry into my life.  Life circumstances, medications, and becoming more sedentary (despite efforts to continue being active) loomed over me, until the proverbial straw broke; and I was a shut-in (in more ways than one).  It would take a book to answer the questions that I think readers have.  I will say more in future installments, hopefully not 9 months from now.  (wry smiley)