Cocooning

Have you ever woken up
And you feel like your nerves
Want to crawl right out of your skin?

You want to crawl back into your
Cocoon of a bed and sleep until
It’s all over. The pain, not life.

It’s rare for me these days,
But on this snowy, cold day,
Even with my favorite Buddy
On my lap and the beautiful,
Snowy scenery outside,

I’d rather be cocooning.
Wake me up when it’s
Safe to come out and play
Again.

© D. Elaine Wood-Lane
1/8/16

I feel very de ja vu’ this morning. I woke up briefly before Alan went to work and I guess I had coffee and let Missy (our cat) outside, then went back to bed and didn’t wake up until 9:30! As I was making coffee I was trying to remember why it felt like I’d already done this before today. I’ll tell you a secret about having fibromyalgia. Most people with fibromyalgia have terrible problems with insomnia. Eventually you can’t handle it so you get medications to help you sleep. I don’t take mine every single night because it makes me feel so sluggish and stupid in the mornings. However, when I do take it, man! It does a number on me. I feel like I’ve lost half the day already because of usually waking up so early.

I’ve got a LOT to do because….my kids are coming on Thursday!!! I can hardly wait and am so excited it’s unreal. I’ve been deep-cleaning the house before they come because, well, because I’m neurotic I guess. I want everything to be perfect for all of them, but especially clean for Milo, my grandbaby! He’s my sweetie pie.

Hope everyone has a great day!

Elaine

I have fibromyalgia. I have been doing really well lately so far as pain goes. Even on my trip to Europe, I felt pretty good most of the time. Tired and a little achy in the evenings, but we scheduled in days of rest. This was very wise.

Since we have returned my sleep schedule has been all messed up. I tend to wake up in the middle of the night. I’m usually not hurting, but just can’t sleep.

Out of the blue last evening I started hurting. The all over the body, just shoot me now, kind of pain. The pain that no matter what you do or what position you get into, nothing helps. EVERYTHING HURTS. When my pain gets like this I swear even my eyelashes hurt. It’s that burning, pervasive, what-the-hell kind of pain. I always describe it as feeling like having a bad case of flu after you’ve run a marathon. You know, where you feel feverish (I’m not), your muscles are on fire, your joints hurt, your skin tingles and prickles and you just want to lay down flat on the floor, spread eagle and die kind of pain. I’m not in this kind of pain nearly as often as I used to be, but, dear, kind, merciful God, please remove it from me now!

I hate the pain scale question that nurses and doctors always ask. You know the one: “On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest, what is your pain level today?” Usually it’s between 5 and 7, but I don’t even register that pain any longer. I’ve been inured to it. Get it above a 7, though and wow! Turn up the dial on that and it’s like 10 isn’t high enough to describe it. I personally think the scale should be 1-20. Tonight I would be a 20.

Ok, now, I’ve whined long enough. I know this too shall pass because it always does. I’ve taken my “only in case of real pain” medication. I’ll drink coffee and read something excruciatingly boring and the next thing you know, I’ll be asleep on the couch. When I wake up, most of the pain will be gone. The birds will be singing, the sun will bright and I’ll forget what this pain feels like. I’ll think, “Oh, good grief! There’s nothing wrong with me! Why was I making such a fuss last night?” and I’ll forget what I was feeling until the next time.

I read a blog post on Momastery tonight that made a lot of sense. It was referring to deep depression, but whether one’s pain is mental/emotional or physical, pain is pain. She recommended that when one is down and hurting, write a note to yourself so when you do go to the doctor two days later and you’re “fine,” you can show them the note of how you felt when you weren’t fine. Hence this self-involved blog post. I’m writing down my notes of how I feel when I’m not fine. I will take it with me when I go to the doctor’s office.

I’m not an artist, but in this I’m trying to represent artistically, how fibromyalgia pain feels. 

I feel better already! Confession truly is good for what ails you. God is good, all the time, and is bigger than any kind of pain we might bear. He won’t let us be tested beyond our abilities to get through things. I know that for a fact. Sometimes I just wish He didn’t think I could bear so much! LOL!

Peace and love,

Elaine

What Are Your Hands Doing?

I was reading Guideposts this morning and came across a quote so profound, I felt I had to share it and some other thoughts I have on the matter.  Here is the quote:
“Our hands are really servants of our thoughts, so if you want to understand what you’re thinking, watch what your hands are doing.”   Jewel, singer

  What are our hands treasuring?  What are they doing each day?  I like the idea that our hands reveal our thoughts, and to a greater degree, our hearts.  I wish I could say that all of my days are spent using my hands to help others, to do good works, and to enourage, love, and build others up.  I would be lying if I said that is what I do all the time.  For, my hands are often spent serving and entertaining myself, especially online on my iPad.  I also use my hands for housework, some gardening, knitting/crocheting, petting my animals, and touching people, hopefully in a loving way. I waste a lot of time, though, when my hands could be serving and loving more.

I did a search on my Bible app (via my ever present iPad) for the word “hands” in the New Testament. Do you know what came up over and over again?  Jesus or his disciples laying hands on people to heal them.  Jesus laying his hands on the  little children to bless them. Jesus lifting his hands in prayer to his father in heaven.  In other words, Jesus used his hands for the same things we can use our hands for–laying hands on people, helping them and praying. I’m not suggesting that all of us have the spiritual gift to heal people when we lay hands on them. I am saying that as a people we should be touching others in love and encouragement, more. We don’t do that anymore. Our hands are too full of things to reach out and touch someone. Our hands are even clenched into fists of anger, frustration, and protests so much that reaching out in a friendly manner and touching someone has almost become a taboo activity. Why is that? Have we become a society so filled with fear that we can’t be human?

I like to touch people, especially babies and old people. Now, before you start thinking I’m a pervert, I’m not. These two demographics of people seem reach out their hands to be touched, patted, and/or in a request for help. The interesting thing is, these people seem to inherently know when they see me, a complete stranger, that I’m a person whom they can trust and will touch them with love. I’ve had complete strangers walk up to me in public places, take my hand, and ask for help or just start talking to me. Babies, in public, when I pass by, whether I’ve seen them or not, laugh spontaneously when they see me (yeah, I’m funny looking and make lots of people laugh!) and then reach out their little hands to touch me. I’ve even had babies out in public spontaneously jump into my arms! I can’t explain this phenomenon, but both groups are right. They can trust me. I won’t hurt them. I will do what I can to help them. I actually love it when people reach out to me. It’s always a blessing to me and fills me with peace and joy the entire rest of the day!

So why don’t I reach out and touch more people? Why don’t I use my hands more often to help and serve others and God? Why do I waste so much time? It is easy for me to say, “Well, I have fibromyalgia and have a lot of pain and weakness. I can’t do things like I used to do because I don’t have the physical capacity to do so.”

A couple of years ago, God told me my mission, if I chose to accept it, was to simply “Knit, Pray, Love.”  That’s it. Three words. I started knitting/crocheting prayer shawls. As I would work on the shawl, I would pray for whomever was to receive the shawl and pray that through that shawl, they could feel my love and, more importantly, God’s loving arms around them. Sometimes I knew who I was making the shawl for, but, more often than not, I had no idea who would receive the shawl. Every time I finished one, I learned who it was for and would pass it on to them. I felt a great deal of peace, love, and usefulness in this work, but somehow let it lapse. Oh, I keep buying yarn and getting patterns, but I’m not doing what I was doing, what God asked me to do. I need to do that again. I need to use my hands for good instead of entertaining myself. I need to reach out and touch people in real life too. We all do. We’ve become a society afraid of touching and it is isolating us and creating huge rifts amongst family, friends, ethnic groups, religious groups, and the world in general. I think if there was more handshaking, pats on the back and hugging going on amongst all people, a lot of these tensions would melt away. I think if we used our hands to help and bless one another, no one would be able to take weapons up against one another in haste or hatred. Lives would be spared. All our lives would be blessed. 

What are your hands doing? 

  

Middle-Aged World Travelers, Chapter 1, Packing and the First Day of Travel

When you’re of a certain age and decide to take on the world through travel, there are many things you don’t know in advance.  You know you’re too old to backpack through Europe and stay at hostels.  You imagine their beds are lumpy and at this point in life, you need a full support mattress.  Also, at this age, you don’t want to share a bathroom down the hall with a lot of young college-age strangers.  Heck, you don’t want a bathroom too far down the hall at all because you get up at least twice during the night and that journey would be too long! 

So you know you’re not going to be backpacking through Europe, but you want to see as much as you can in the two weeks you have free to travel.  If you’ve never traveled for that long or out of the States at all, it’s quite the conundrum as to what to pack.  So, you read books and websites about traveling light and what to take.  Nearly all the books and websites I researched said that if you’re a woman, all you need to pack are a pair of black dress slacks, a pair of good khaki shorts, two or three tee shirts that can be washed and dried easily, and maybe one dress if you think you might go someplace dressier.  Hmmm, a problem already.  I don’t have or wear black dress slacks or khaki shorts.  I rarely wear tee shirts any longer.  I’m 53.  I dress like a woman.  I wear and prefer to wear colorful wraparound skirts and comfortable, colorful maxi dresses.  Sometimes I wear jeans and tee shirts, but mostly when I’m going to be doing some heavy housecleaning or gardening.  I’m not a snob, princesss-sort woman.  I’ve just learned to love and appreciate dresses.  They’re more comfortable, easy because there is no matching to do, and come in all kinds of colors.  Whoever convinced women that jeans were a more comfortable alternative to dresses was a good salesman!  Some jeans are comfortable, but generally they’re not the ones you wear out in public.  (Ok, I admit I have a problem with jeans that most people don’t have. As my fibromyalgia has worsened, jeans cause me great pain because of severe chafing where the heavy seams are.  It doesn’t matter if the jeans are tight or loose. The Princess can’t handle jeans any more. Are you happy now?)

I’m trying to travel light and am delighted when I figure out how to get everything I’ll need for 15 days into a carry-on size suitcase.  I pack carefully and am quite proud of myself by the time I’m packed!  I am ready!  4 dresses, 4 skirts, 5 or 6 shirts, a lightweight sweater, a white infinity scarf with a little wool in it for warmth, all my undies, and a nightgown.  Oh, and medicines and toiletry items.  Oh, and some yarn so I can continue to work on my crochet and knitting projects.  And my iPad and iPhone and journal so I can write or stay in touch with my family and friends back home.  I can also read books on either i-things and have a good map resource.  I am ready now!  Sunscreen.  Dang, I’ll have to take that too!  And a raincoat and umbrella because in Ireland it rains frequently and unexpectedly.  Ok, that ought to be it!  I’m zipping up my luggage now!  Oh, forgot my swimsuit for Spain! If I’m going to be staying by the Mediterranean Sea, by golly, I’m going into it!  I wonder if my swimsuit still fits? No matter. It is all I have. One black tank swimsuit tucked into the edge. Ok, now I’m zipping up my suitcase and if I forget something important, so be it!

My carry-on bag that’s so well packed is heavy, at least for me it is.  My husband has elected to take the boat-sized suitcase of our set and I’m looking at it with disdain.  Aren’t men supposed to be able to travel light with the bare necessities?  His suitcase weighs a ton because he has brought 6 or 7 pairs of jeans. 

We arrive at the Denver airport so early it is nearly empty, but there are always people at the Denver airport.  We show our passports at least three times, go through security, and boom!  We’re ready for our United flight to Boston and then our Aer Lingus flight to Dublin.  We will arrive in Dublin at 5:00 tomorrow morning, just in time to celebrate our twentieth anniversary with a series of recovery naps.  When you’re middle-aged and one of you has fibromyalgia, it is very important to schedule in rest and recovery days so you don’t have problems with pain or extreme fatigue while gone.  Our United flight is so cram-packed with people we can hardly breathe, much less move!  United has become the official cattle car of public, commercial air travel in my mind.  If you’re taller than six feet and weigh more than 190 pounds, you won’t be comfortable. At. All.  (Ok, you won’t be comfortable if you’re 5’3″ and weigh 131 pounds either.) By the time we reached Boston, I was almost suffering a panic attack from the sheer numbers of people crammed in that plane.  We’re told which way to go to make our connecting flight on Aer Lingus.  Of course, the Aer Lingus gate is on the other side of the airport and is being remodeled so making it for our connecting flight was challenging to say the least!  We hot-footed it as fast as our middle-aged knees would let us! I’m having a hot flash by the time we get to our gate.

In Contrast, the flight on Aer Lingus was like a first class adventure.  Bigger seats, entertainment centers at each seat, open aisles, smiling flight attendants.  This was going to be easy!  We flew through the darkness above the North Atlantic and the temperature gauge on the entertainment center in front of us showed the temperature dropping like a rock.  By the time we reached the area in which the Titanic sank, it is -75C!  I can’t imagine having to escape from a sinking ship into that cold North Atlantic sea. We finally reach Dublin, but it could be Dallas for all we care at that point. We take a cab to our hotel, speak briefly about what a nice room it is, kiss each other goodnight (at 8:00 AM) and promptly fall asleep.  I can hear the sounds of Dublin awakening as I drift off to sleep. What new adventures will tomorrow bring?  I can hardly wait to find out!  Dublin town, here we come! 

  

Fibromyalgia Fun and Pain, A Haiku

Yesterday was fun.
Physical therapy fun.
This morning, great pain.

Colorado Spring, A Haiku

image31
This is me and Daddy in the Spring of my life. I was 8 months old. He was 48 years old. 

Sun was shining bright.
Flowers and trees bloom.
Now, wind blows in cold and snow.

Family Tree Changing, A Haiku

Old limbs fell in wind.
We are old limbs now.
Are we strong enough to love?

Grief Brings Wisdom, A Haiku

Elders teach us life.
While young, we won’t hear.
Grief brings wise enlightenment.

Pleasure of Love, A Haiku

Lips touch, passion born.
Love comes, pleasure blooms.
Age gives us warm simple love.

© Elaine Wood-Lane
4/16/15


This is Milo, my first grandchild, who is about 8 weeks old in this picture. I’m 53.  I so look forward to watching this little guy grow up and see what his generation will be like!


I awoke very early this morning (3:00 AM) in significant physical pain and with some grief as well. Mother’s last sibling died over the weekend so the “older” generation of my family are all gone now and it dawned on me that now I am in a member of the new “older” generation. This generated lots of thoughts and feelings regarding the seasons, both in nature and in human maturity. I feel I’m in my Autumn season. It’s a shocking revelation. Anyway, I was in the mood to write simple, brief haikus about all this. I love haikus. They pare my many words down to what I really want to say. Peace and love to all of you today, Elaine

I went to a physical therapist for an evaluation to see if there was anything they could help me with for issues associated with fibromyalgia. We discovered my two biggest problems are a severe lack of balance, extremely stiff and tight back and shoulders, and a lack of stamina in standing, walking, etc. due to the above.

I was there for a over 2 hours because, well, I fell asleep on their lovely heating pad and nerve stimulation unit. (They wanted to try out the nerve stimulation unit on my shoulders and upper back to see if it helped relax them. It did!) They didn’t realize I was still there because I didn’t ring the bell to tell them it was done because, well, I was asleep! I asked if I could have one of those at home. It was wonderful! I bet I could even sleep past 3:00 in the morning if I had one of those! LOL!

Anyway, I’m to do home exercises and go back once a week for a while to do things there and continue to be evaluated. I didn’t want to go, but now I’m glad I did because I think they can help me after all! 😀

Elaine