Monday, June 29, 2009

Personal Freedom

What does freedom mean to you?  

What freedom means to me is the ability to speak freely from my mind and from my heart.  What freedom means to me is the ability to go where I please, say what I please, feel what I please.   And, to be exactly who I need to be.  

I believe that we are ALL entitled to have the life that we were given or that we have worked hard to have.  I believe that we all have the right to have the life that we have created for ourselves.

In this life, let no man nor woman get in the way of our pursuit of happiness or our right to be exactly who we decide to be.  

Side Note:  While searching for a picture; came across this quote that is so appropriate for this blog.

The secret of happiness is freedom and the secret of freedom is courage.
- Thucydides


Friday, June 12, 2009

It's Me, Tara; Standing Independently

Something very exciting happened to me this last weekend.  It was the first time in a long time, that I have gone out to a party and visited with a number of my friends from my daughter's school.  

All these people were around at the time when I had the massive stroke on both sides of my brain.  I have spoken to you, my faithful readers, about this before and I have relayed a lot of the sadness that has been connected with this event.

However this time, was so wonderfully different.  The reason for the difference, firstly was that during my daughter's graduation I had actually walked up a flight of stairs on my own!  Yippie!!  This was so exciting to have people turn around and stare at me because they had seen me only in a wheelchair.  

Following the ceremony, the party was in full form.  It was during this time that I surprised myself as well as many other people.  I was actually standing independently, that is without the help of anyone.   This was beyond exciting because of my plans for the future.

My plans for the future include some travel to the Greek Islands, Paris, Venice, the  South of France, Spain...  and several more exciting destinations.  

I can't wait!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Did You Know?

Did you know that if you have problems with having a greasy face; the good side of that is that you won't become a wrinkled up prune?

That's Just the Way it Is

I'd like to introduce the ladies who help me produce my blog each week.  They have become my dearest friends and confidants.  I gladly present the ladies to you, my faithful audience.  

Jennifer, April, Debra and Estee; these are the woman that help me thru this process. 

I realize that one of my blogs last week was very serious.  It was very difficult to write, but I think it was an important one.  My mentor in this reminds me how important it is for me to tell the truth as I see it, even though at times the truth is very painful to write about.

There are times when my blogs seem very blaze', subdued and unimportant.  Then there are times when I feel like I'm really on to something.  There are difficult blogs and there are funny blogs.  There are times when I just want to post beautiful flowers that make my heart sing.  Then, there are times when I feel more serious and I can only speak of how heavy my heart is feeling.  

I suppose that what this speaks of, is just a mirror of life.  Life can be a big bowl of flowers and it can be a big bowl of caca poopoo.  And, that's just the way it is.   

Sounds like a song doesn't it?  Oh Yes!!  It IS a song.   Remember Bruce Hornsby?  He sang Mandolin Rain and That's Just the Way it Is.  

Write in if you like Bruce Hornsby and want to see him come back to Maui again.  We'll let him know.

Stay Tuned.

Friday, June 5, 2009

My Wonderful Life, Turned Nightmare From Hell, Part II

Four years later...

What I am dealing with now is the aftermath of the aforementioned events.  On the bright side, I can speak as well as I could before:  Thank God!  I can also walk. Improvements seem slow, but I never really cared much for running anyhow.  I plan to be snow skiing in the next couple of years, and spreading good cheer to all those who are less fortunate than I.  

What I really think I need to do is let it go and get on with the life that I now have.  It's just that the life I now have sucks in comparison to my old one due to a list of continuous infirmities.  The worse part is, IT NEVER SHOULD'VE HAPPENED, but, thanks to one bad doctor and a poor excuse for a hospital, it did.  Suing is too tough, because in medical malpractice it is nearly impossible to prove unless you have a lot of connections and/or cash, neither of which I have.  It has cost me and the insurance companies countless millions already.  

It is truly awful, and I have no one offering me the kind of empathy that I feel I need and deserve.  It seems that empathy should be the least form of comfort from the people in my family who are aware of the extreme nature of my pain, and yet I am sad to say that I don't receive it.  So what I do is take the medications I need to take to have help enduring this awful nightmare that has become my life at least a good portion of the time.  

I am still vision impaired, so it cuts to my very soul that I can no longer read and write. The persistent, sharp pains in my feet are like bolts of hot lightening that shock me and at times make me lose my train of thought.  I wish that I could say that this was the end of the list, but sadly for me it is not!  Let me tell you, this is all really frightening to me.  

You see, when you have one autoimmune disorder, you are subject to getting all autoimmune disorders.  When the body goes through so much trauma, especially in my case as a woman, it is common for autoimmune disorders to become amplified. My Sjogren's syndrome does nothing other than further aggravate the situation because now my mouth, my nose, and my eyes are terribly dry. My voice is altered depending upon how much moisture is being created.  On top of that, in the back of my mind I fear that the malignant cancer that was in my right kidney could return.

It would be remiss to not include the fact that I broke my hip in an unfortunate accident, and not mention, of course, the spasticity in my right side from the massive stroke I had four years ago.  Once again, it would be silly if I were to skip mentioning the thyroid near total removal a few years back.  

You can image that I thought the worst had been experienced!  Ha!  Guess again, buzzard breath, I say with tongue in cheek laughter.  Gosh, let's see, is that all?  Oh, I'm sure I fail to mention that my family looks to me as the head of the household and therefore everyone expects that I will stand up, brush myself off, and say the rehearsed words, "I shall prevail!" and not let this world get me down, meanwhile I really feel like I could crumble at almost any time.  

They all think of me as being so strong, but I just shake my head and think, "So strong... yeah."  What makes me so strong is the amazing love I have for my two children.  It's amazing how much love one can have for their children, while interestingly enough, you're really raising your children to stand on their own feet and leave you at some unannounced time. 

I just want to tell my story and not sound like a whiner.  So that is my story.  Please write on my wall with suggestions about how to deal with the enormity of this, I would love to hear any thoughts you might have.  

Aloha nui loa, a hui ho!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Wonderful Life, Turned Nightmare From Hell

I want to tell a story about a lady who had a wonderful life, a life filled with all kinds of love and laughter, healthy children, and good times living on the gorgeous island of Maui. What a glorious dream I created for myself! 

One day the dream crashed into a series of indescribable nightmares.  I had a massive stroke on all sides of my body, leaving me comatose for at least a couple of weeks.  During that time, some of my dreams consisted of being tossed into a large vat of human feces.  I believed that I had died.  When I awakened from the coma, I found myself paralyzed, blind, and in indescribable pain.  My life resembled a horror film. 

I keep attempting to awaken from the horror of this nightmare, but I don't seem to have the capacity to let it go.  I desperately want to, but the more I try the more I realize that in fact this is not a dream, this is real life--that is, my real life.  

I am so tired of the pain, so tired from the endless medications I have to take.  I'm so tired of not being able to see my wonderful son and gorgeous daughter, and at times it brings me to tears in a single moment.  The tears don't seem to go away, they just continue to haunt me.  At times I have frightening flashbacks of my nightmares. 

To be continued...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

for your kicks and ha has!

Sending you a day filled with bliss, joy, laughter, and unabashed giggles!  

Monday, June 1, 2009

Laughter Is the Best Medicine

How many times have you heard "Laughter is the best medicine"?  

Has it made you kind of want to rip their throat out?  Or instead, has it given you pause for thought about the genuine good wish that hopefully was intended?  

My way of thinking is to learn to laugh like the tinkling sweet laughter of a friend of mine.  She has what I presume is a lovely good nature to her, that brightens up her smile and the day as well.  It is honestly sweet to be in her company and I can only wish that  I might learn from Estee  how to capture peoples hearts as no doubt she has always done.  

Indeed, it is my belief that to remain in good cheer and in fact "fake it 'til you make it" is truly the best medicine.  (even when you don't feel it all)  This my friends, is how I have been able to cope with the enormity of having had a stroke at what seemed like the best time of my life.  

"My Word" may I say that I have had to learn to "Fake it" for up to a year at a time, so that I could again learn to live with the pitfalls I have had to overcome.

You know how people often say these days "it's all good"?  Well, I'm sick of people saying  that.  You know,  it isn't "all good."  That saying is overused.  "It's all good" with a plastic smile made to look like you really believe it.  

Truthfully, it's NOT all good.  But, we can learn to fake it and if it doesn't work the first time; fake it again.   And, then maybe, fake it again. ect., ect,...

My Mom Was Right

You're going to be able to swim with the turtles.

Just remember Tara, that someday you will be swimming with the turtles!

My Mother was right.  Although I have not put my snorkel and mask on yet, I am absolutely certain that I will be doing that very thing soon.

So Mom, you see, that I really do listen to what you say.  (at least much of the time)  

It may not seem as though I have listened intently, however, I suppose you could say that I just do it in my own time.

The stroke that I suffered still stings and I suppose that it will sting for as long as I hold onto the feeling that I have lost something.  What I think that I have lost is time-time being a younger person perhaps.  Or, maybe it's just time.   All of a sudden I blink my eyes and I'm another year older.  And, I don't think I like that.  But, I say to myself somewhat caustically (with Billy Crystal voice),  "What can you do about it?  It just is what it is." 

I guess that Good Ol' Mom didn't get to be Good Ol' Mom in a day, she too had to go thru the "Mommy Ropes" in order to give sound advise at times such as these.  

I only hope that I don't pass on the legacy of having a stroke or any other such calamity to my beloved daughter Malia, who, by the way, is the apple of my eye.  God love her.