07 September 2011

Tweaking Things and Other Minor Accomplishments

Back when I could work for a living, which seems like forever ago, my employer paid a long term disability insurance policy for me in lieu of paying for medical benefits. I was blessed to have good insurance through my work in public safety. God's providence in that is the only reason I have maintained an Internet connection, food in the fridge, car insurance and can purchase the gas to drive the silly thing. I am grateful for the policy. I try to remind myself of that when I have to fill out the scads of paperwork they require from me to document my disability.

It really does take an emotional toll to have to write over and over again all the things you cannot do. It also piques my sarcasm. I want to write things like, "I will never be able to participate in yak racing again" or "just the other day the pain in my neck was so severe I realized my days of being a casteller are behind me." I am not sure they would appreciate my humor. It's what I do to get by though. I like to make fun of things including myself and I am an easy target. I can screw up a one person rock fight.

Today I was trying to motivate myself to get some chores done. My body hurts and I want to simply medicate myself into oblivion, but that's no way to live. I mean, I take the drugs when I literally can't stand it one minute longer. I spend a lot of time testing that theory. Can I make it just 30 seconds? But once the pain is too severe, the medications are useless. It's a delicate balance. Anyway, I finally got up and started on my house reclamation project. My best friend has been staying with me for the last two and a half years. I loved having her. She's purchased a house and started moving out. Neither of us thought she would stay with me as long as she did, and though we love each other, we are both excited to have our own space. For her it means purchasing things and setting up house. For me it is reshuffling, reorganizing and re-purposing. It also means making many trips to Good Will so they can re-purpose my excess.

Sadly, I am twice the woman I used to be in some ways and worse than that I am half the woman I used to be in others. I tried to take the glass shades off my ceiling fan lights to bring them down and wash them. I couldn't do it. The nerves in my neck that are being pinched won't allow my hands to work if they are above my head or extended in front of me. Most the time I can only get my left one over my head anyway. You can't unscrew the the things that hold the shade in place and keep it from crashing to the ground with the same hand. Know that part of your arm where a "MOM" tattoo would go? Something in my neck makes that muscle quiver and turn to jello and if I don't pay attention to that warning and stop trying to lift my hand above my head. Next the "I tol' you not to do that" cattle prod like shock wave hits. Yeah, that one gets my attention every time ensuring I will stop. Immediately.

I pride myself in being a problem solver so I decided to go ahead with some ibuprofen, ignore the other stronger medications and see if I couldn't get some things done today. I targeted cleaning my refrigerator and began making a plan. I could put some laundry in the washing machine and while that was working I would clean the fridge. Plans made I began the execution. I stripped my bed, put the sheets in the wash, pulled out my handy dandy step thingy and got busy cleaning the fridge. I tried to think happy thoughts while I was working on changing the water filter, which requires stretching your arm out and up and then grabbing. Any one of those things can send me to fetch the muscle relaxers because of spasms. However, I am a cheap date and I know if I take one the next few hours will be spent watching bad television programs and drooling on myself. Not becoming. I thought about adding cleaning my refrigerator to the list of things I can no longer do when the next set of insurance forms come and suddenly I had an idea. "Why be so negative? Why not start an accomplishment journal?"

I swear to you, if I could have high-fived myself, I would have. I am totally jazzed by the idea of keeping an accomplishment journal. Never mind the fact that I have failed at prayer journaling, journaling about my day or keeping a gratitude journal. This idea is pure genius. Heck, I could get so excited about documenting my accomplishments I would display it on my freshly cleaned fridge! OK, not so much that but really, what a great way to keep me motivated. With renewed vigor I finished my work in the kitchen and went to put my sheets in the dryer, I was even cocky enough to consider putting the next load in. As I was yarding out my sheets, I heard a funny clunking sound. There in the bottom of the washing machine was the remote control to the bedroom television. One of the hazards of not being able to sleep is watching TV in bed. I guess when I took the sheets off I didn't realize I had scooped up the remote at the same time.

Accomplishment Journal First Entry:

Today I cleaned the refrigerator, stripped my bed and washed my sheets. I learned that sometimes, if you're not careful, you wash your remote control. Now my fridge, bed and remote are clean and fresh smelling.

Proverbs 17:22a "A joyful heart is good medicine."

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