Tag Archives: moments

The real cost of being sick

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 There is so much more to chronic illness expenses than doctors appointments, tests, and prescriptions. Those are the more obvious expenses. Those are costs that you can control to a certain extent with the type of health insurance  you have. These are some of the less obvious costs…

Lets start with diet.  I don’t mean the kind of diet you go on when you want to lose weight. I mean the kind of diet that completely changes how you eat. I won’t say that I avoid trigger foods altogether–I am human. I know [emotional? you just said “eating” which is good!] eating it is not the best idea, but sometimes it’s emotional therapy.

Many times the prescriptions that people with chronic illness take can cause digestion and gastrointestinal  issues as well. What that means for me is I can not rely on a good quality multivitamin to catch any lapse in diet. A good quality highly absorbable multivitamin can cost fifteen dollars or more per month.

The reality is fresh fruits and vegetables cost almost twice as much as canned or frozen fruit. Why is this an issue? Well this ties into the digestion issues. Many people with chronic illness cannot process the additives, extra sugar, processed sugar, and preservatives as well. This makes canned and frozen fruits not the best choice. I am not saying I never get these but its not my preferred choice, and I always have more issues after eating these foods.  I am lucky in my diet the only issues I have are preservatives, additives, lactose and corn.  This still makes it difficult, it could be so much worse.

While my family normally tend to be fairly healthy eating to begin with even before I got sick, it’s not even a choice now. It is how we have to live.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, just another hidden cost people don’t think about. I did do about six weeks of juicing with fresh fruits and veggies. It worked really well, and I did feel better. It cost me  about forty dollars a week. When it came down to it, I had to start focusing on making sure my family had enough groceries for the week and not just enough to juice.  Its great to juice or make smoothies, but I still have to feed my family.

Next we have what I like to call my toolbox. A list of things that you can do to help alleviate some of the chronic pain that goes along with chronic illness. Oh just take an Epsom salt bath every night. I use Icy hot and love it. Pick up some Tiger Balm. Pain patches, supplements, and exercise are what helps me.  It is one thing to say that but here is the hidden cost.  To be effective you need to use at least a cup of Epsom salt per bath, while recommended amount is two. At one point in order to take a just plain Epsom salt bath every night I was paying roughly fifteen dollars for salt each week.  This is just plain epsom salts. This was not for the ones that have added benefits of lavender or menthol or eucalyptus, rosemary or ginger added to them.  Not to mention its not like I can just jump into the bath tub any old time I need to.

Then you also pick up a variation of rubs, creams, and ointments. Each of these run from as cheap as five dollars up to twenty  bucks each. Since we often use them multiple times daily, we might get a week or two out of a tube or bottle–if we are lucky. Pain patches, however wonderful they are, are one short use and they are done. Five dollars for five patches that if you stretch it can last you four days. It gets to a point that you can easily be spending fifty to sixty dollars a month on these kinds of things.

There are some more natural remedies that you can take to help bolster the prescriptions that often you have to take. I have gone off a lot of prescription medications and have gotten down to my bare essentials so to speak. My bare essential prescription cost is about  [$150] {or} [One hundred fifty] every three months.  It was almost that a month at one point in time.

It is easy to say “go pick up a supplement.” Looking at quality matters a lot here. Turmeric, which is great for chronic pain, is a minimum of ten dollars for a month supply. Then often people in chronic pain use Magnesium which can be relatively cheap, again the type and quality counts here. The one I have had the best success with is fifteen dollars a month. I use a strong omega three supplement as I have both heart issues and mental health issues, and that helps with both.  I also take Melatonin as opposed to a prescription sleeping aid.  It is not hard for me to spend fifty dollars or more on supplements [a month? how long?]. Fifty dollars is where I am at right now with just the basic cannot-do-without supplements.

This is really just the first layer of unseen costs of being chronically ill.  This is not even taking into consideration that the kind of mattress you sleep on matters, keeping shoes fresh and supportive by changing them out every three to six months.

This does not even take into consideration that people that have chronic illnesses tend to not be able to work but yet not meet the terms for disability through the government.  I am lucky I have decent insurance and my costs are low comparatively speaking. Shockingly enough, to many the answer is not through medicaid, I actually paid more and struggled more going through the medicaid system.  The stress the system puts you through to jump through the hoops to get what you need……it’s unbelievable.  Even with the good insurance we have now my out of pocket expenses are anywhere from 100-150 a month. This is not including prescriptions that are significantly cheaper with insurance.  This is what I have it boiled down to as essentials. It could easily be twice that.

I often deal with people who are very flippant about my chronic issues because they are not visible nor are they the same from day-to-day.  To date my diagnoses are: Myofascial Pain Syndrome; Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; Fibromyalgia; Degenerative Disc Disease of cervical, thoracic , and lumbar spine; Irritable Bowl Syndrome triggered by a corn intolerance; Supra-Ventricular Tachycardia;  Raynauds; malabsorption of Vitamin D, Potassium, and Magnesium; severe outdoor allergies which borders on allergic asthma; OCD with tendrils of ADD.

I don’t look sick. I don’t like to talk about being sick or what I can or can’t do. If I am discussing it in detail with you, I trust you a lot.  I am not willing to continually prove my conditions to people over and over. What would I do to do that? Carry X-rays and MRI reports and blood test results around with me constantly? I am not being lazy or taking the easy way out and yes I can read that in your eyes. After dealing with Doctor after Doctor after Doctor who did not believe me, I can tell exactly who does and doesn’t believe me. Some of the disbelief comes because I was super active and really did a lot one day. The next day it takes everything I have to get out of bed. I am paying for being so active. When you have a kid, you tend to push yourself to do more, for them.

I have gone through the disability process with the government. Essentially they believe I have the issues I have but because I can parent to some extent and function to some extent, I am not disabled. What I was doing when I was working and trying to parent was not functioning.  I was a mess. I could not enjoy any time with my daughter. I focused on getting through the day til I could medicate and hopefully sleep. I had no quality of life, not to mention the immense damage to my organs that the prescriptions were doing. It has taken two years off of three medications to get my liver and kidney functions to somewhat normal levels. TWO YEARS.

It has been a long hard road to get my health back to some extent.  We are lucky that we have family and close  friends who understand and help us. We are functioning, barely, at a fourth of what we were earning when both of us worked full time, and this is with my husband working two jobs to help support us. If anything ever happened and he could not work, we would be completely screwed.

************************************** some exciting news in store***********************************************************

 

Below is a brief outline of the campaign, which illustrates what we’re trying to achieve and how people living with chronic conditions can help.

 

Via the “Hidden Cost of Chronic Illness” campaign, Debt Advisory Centre aims to raise awareness and visibility of the challenges faced by those living with chronic and ‘invisible’ conditions. We’re also conducting our own research into perceptions of chronic illness, especially in relation to the work environment.

 

 

We’d like to know the following about the patients that use your services;

 

  • How long they’ve had their condition.
  • What their specific condition is.
  • How it affects them (professionally, socially, emotionally)
  • What things they have to purchase in relation to their condition.
  • What other financial disadvantages they face.
  • Roughly how much they spend per month in relation to their condition.
  • How they feel others perceive their condition (employers, friends, strangers)

We’re keen to gather as much user-generated content as possible and welcome contributions via email and video.

 

Once we’ve gathered the information, we’ll combine it with research we’ve conducted ourselves and research supplied by other organisations ourselves. We’ll then be distributing and sharing those findings with the media.

 

Patients can find out more by visiting the campaign page http://www.debtadvisorycentre.co.uk/advice/Illness-and-Debt-What-are-the-Hidden-Costs-of-Chronic-Illness-0-4163-0.html

 

Please note, if you aren’t already aware, that Debt Advisory Centre is a fee-charging debt solutions provider and not a charity.

 

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Nature’s Gift

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Today I turned a year older. I didn’t really want presents. I have no room for anything and really don’t need anything. Instead I wanted to go on a hike at a new place with friends. I had seen pictures of a place that was a bit of a drive but still near by that intrigued me. Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve. I just can’t even begin to tell you how perfect it was.

There are quotes on plaques at certain spots along this boardwalked path. Between the sighs and sounds of the preserve, and the quotes. Nature was talking to me. Letting me know that I am on the right path and to keep it up. It was nourishing in a way I didn’t even realize I needed.

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“You learn that if you sit down in the woods and wait something happens” Henry David Thoreau.

The soft sunlight, the smell of cypress and the chatter of birds in the trees. It was all just so perfect.

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“Falling in love with the Earth is one of lives great adventures. ” Steve Van Matre

Its true. It was like falling in love with the Earth all over again. Every step. Every new discovery. Every new enjoyment from the kids.It doesn’t matter that we have lizards and squirrels. These were here now! We saw them! It was right there! Watching their delight was truly a gift. Using our imaginations and just taking our time walking. We even saw a tree looking at us!

 

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It was truly an enjoyable walk. It was exactly what I wanted. It was gorgeous weather. The humidity and barometric pressure were steady, important tidbits when dealing with arthritis.  We lost track of time watching the turtle weave around the pond. We delighted in watching them eat the algae.  It was a secure enough trail that we felt confident enough to let the kids wander ahead of us.  Letting them explore and make their own discoveries.

 

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Its camouflaged  very well but I promise you there is an alligator in this picture. We watched him rather lazily swimming around for a bit.

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I can’t even imagine what it was like here even just fifty years ago. These trees are relatively small for cypress. There were some bigger ones. I just love the cypress knees sticking up.

 

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I think one of my favorite things was how many Yellow crown night heron’s we saw. It was like once we saw one we kept seeing them. We even got to watch one eating a fish.

 

It was the perfect escape and the perfect way to turn a year older.

 

We followed this with a visit to Tropical Smoothie Cafe. The kids were super excited for smoothies.  It was all very delicious and the food came fast enough that the kids didn’t get too delirious and were so well behaved. Enough so that they even got cookies.

 

When was the last time you….

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Stopped to smell the roses. Wait, no I am serious.

As parents we have a unique chance to always enjoy the little things. We just have to remember what it is like to be a child, when everything is new and wonderful.

Does it really take that much out of our day to

……Stop and smile as you watch a butterfly flit around.

…….splash in a puddle or two after the rain.

…….wore something just because it made you happy.

I find that when the pain is the worst or the most annoying that if I focus in on what my daughter is involved in, the pain isn’t as bad. It may mean that I have to get down on her level. Let’s worry about getting back up when it comes time.  Sometimes with chronic pain and parenthood we are so focused on doing that we forget to just ….be. That it’s okay to slow down. Sometimes just acknowledging that I am in a lot of pain and to slow down is enough to lessen it.

One of the joys in my life right now, is that I am an auntie and a family friend to enough other kids that I have my pick of age ranges. I can immerse myself in the infant stage or just chill with some eight year olds. If I am feeling really adventurous I even have a teenager or two I could annoy. I regularly get to enjoy my friends five year old as I help out by taking her to Tae Kwon Do. I am so immersed in the life of a parent of an eight year old that I forget what five was like.  Sometimes it is not that thrilling. I completely forgot how at five my daughter was slow as molasses on doing ….well….anything. I forget how determined to do it themselves they are at one.  I forget how exciting and perplexing a bird is to a nine month old.

Its amazing to me how much even just five minutes focusing on them can help sort us out. The pain is a bit more manageable, the stress is still there its just less. Does it always work? Nope. If I am really honest with myself though, its because I have not been slowing down enough. It is because I am trying to do everything all at once. There is so much guilt associated with being a parent who is in chronic pain that we tend to push our limits, all the time. It doesn’t help us. This is something I work at remembering every day.

When was the last time you……..

Sat in the grass and examined it for bugs?

pulled a part a flower to see what is inside?

stopped to blow on a dandelion?

took delight in watching the birds fly around?

As I think about the last five years dealing with chronic pain and parenthood. There were times that it was so easy to ignore everything around me and focus on the pain. It has been a slow  journey to find myself again. The things that stand out in my mind are when I was basically hyper focusing on my child/family instead of my issues. Unplanned moments that just stick out in my mind.  Will my daughter look back and see a parent in pain or a parent involved?

I hope and strive for a parent involved.

The quiet grief

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It is so subtle.

It is just a little niggle in the back of your heart.

People talk about a ticking biological clock but, who thinks it is still ticking after you have had a baby? It didn’t even occur to me that is what I was feeling.

After all the years of infertility, after the miscarriages you would think I would recognize it.

People talk about aching ovaries, but they don’t tell you it is your heart that aches.

My biological clock is screaming tick tick tick tick. It has me thinking about what a second child would look like. Would this baby be such a complete blend of both my husband and I as our daughter is? Would this baby have blue eyes I could get lost in like my husband and daughter do? What kind of bond would my daughter have with her newest sibling?

My brain tells me that it is not responsible to get pregnant any time soon. Financially or even medically,probably both,  it would be a disaster.

I have said I am done having kids for awhile. I mean it. I know in my brain that we are done.

Then a friend is pregnant, or someone has a baby.

I thought I had worked through this and was on my way to I don’t know….. worrying or grieving about something else. When all of a sudden my biological clock says HELLO, I want a baby!  It just adds a little melancholy to otherwise sweet moments snuggling others babies.

It is only made worse when people ask when are you having another one. When someone complains about how chaotic it is having more than one kid. When someone asks how many kids I wanted. Just a little nudge, just a small twist. Its like a barb that is lodged in your heart and words can just nudge it just a bit, make you wince.

It is not something I bring up often because I am truly and completely happy for my friends with new babies. I am completely thrilled with hearing all the details of pregnancy and breastfeeding and all the cute little newborn things. I don’t want anyone to think they can’t tell me that stuff. I was at that place once, when we were dealing with infertility. I don’t want that strain on my friendships.

It really is this quiet grief, a grief of what can not be.

It seems in my blog reading I keep clicking on others, others about rainbow babies, and infertility and new babies. Not to say I am not happy for them, Not to say I don’t get the warm fuzzy feelings that are meant to be conveyed. Its like that small smile of happiness that doesn’t quite chase the sadness from your eyes.

I debated even publishing this. I thought well I wrote it, I got it out, so maybe now it won’t be so heavy on me. Then I thought about my readers, others who struggle with multiple chronic illnesses at a young age that know they can’t or shouldn’t have more babies.  It is a personal look deep down but so much of what we deal with is super personal. So here it is.

A lot going on in there

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On the tail edges of my cymbalta withdrawl, I have been completely off of it for four days. I will be starting prozac on monday. All that to say, I have not been able to handle my normal amount of stimulation. I can’t have the tv on while I am on the laptop while also sending texts, while having at least ten tabs open on the laptop. I have been reading more. Sometimes it is my current books that I am reading,yes books as in plural..I have three going right now. Sometimes it is blogs. I have taken the time to go a bit slower. Really digest what each blog I read is saying. You know I have been really big on #Depressedbutdressed in collaboration with It’s not my workout.  For once I have been taking the time to follow embedded links. It is where I stumbled upon One Little Word (http://aliedwards.com/shop/one-little-word-2014). I have been thinking and reading other blogs that have posted their word.

What would my word be?

Sorting through words that describe me, or that I want to focus on, or that I want to be better at, I come across these.

Love

Honesty

Integrity

Courage

Thrive

Inspiring

Starting to break these down into what I could do with them on my own since I can’t pay for the workshop right now, it was interesting to me. Even a little eye opening.

Love being the first one. Without love I am nothing. If I don’t love myself I can’t love others. Love must coat and cover everything I do without smothering at the same time. There is one song that I will always always always sing out at the top of my lungs when it comes on. It is the one that when I am having a bad day, it starts to turn it around. Love is all you need by the Beatles. It is not by coincidence that the very next song on my playlist after that is Eight days a week. I may have a thing for the Beatles huh. I mean those two songs just say it all.

Honesty is the second one I keep close. I love the TV show Bones primarily for Dr. Temperance Brennan. I admire her ability to be honest,even if it is socially painful sometimes. Really we need more of that. Maybe a little less of the ego but, I have to say she has earned her ego. When I was in the midst of teenage years and untreated ADD/OCD I was really horrible at honesty. For me this word still circles around love as well. When you love someone you want to be honest with them. When you start by loving yourself, you tend to be more honest with yourself. Even when it is not pretty.Once you do that, being honest with everyone is a natural next step.

The third one may catch some of the people who know me off guard. I have been told over and over I am so courageous to deal with what I deal with everyday. I am glad I project that. It is not however how I always feel. Most of the time I feel like Piglet. Piglet doesn’t even realize that sometimes just the fact that you keep going is courage. It is something that escapes my notice a lot. Yet again I find that this word ties into the first two. Because I love myself, I can be honest with others when they say I so admire all that you do on a daily basis. I can tell them, thank you it means a lot to hear that because I rarely feel I am doing anything really major. I am again forced to stop and think about what exactly I am doing everyday. What I am doing that they admire.

Thrive has really what the last year almost two years has been about for me. Finding ways to thrive in spite of everything that is going on. Finding happiness during hard times.  I am not letting go of thrive either. It is an ongoing pursuit and goal.

So the last word I came up with is inspiring. I didn’t start my facebook page or this blog for anyone other than me. It was more of an attitude of this is for me and if it helps someone else great. It has been slowly shifting to , I want it to inspire others. I want it to show others that we are not just our illness. I want it to show others that there is no reason you can’t thrive in the life you are living right this very moment.In an odd way this started about me, became about others and is slowly becoming about me again. Becoming about me as others inspire me or ask for advice, I tend to go back inside myself and look at things. I have made progress in areas because others asked for advice and I had to really look at something. Often times it was something I knew I was sort of dealing with but not really. Others have become my inspiration to keep making progress on my own issues.

I don’t really think I could find one word that I would stick to. I will keep thinking about it and I have followed some specific blogs that are participating in one little word. I want to make sure that my ADD does not let this project fizzle out of my head and get lost in the 1,324,4545,4591,342,528 other things that my brain likes to bounce around.

Rest when you need rest

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Rest! I can’t rest I have a house to run! I have stuff to do! I have cleaning to get done! Oh and I got to get time in for me and get everyone where they gotta go and think about dinner and I CAN’T POSSIBLY REST!

This is the one area that I am constantly struggling with when it comes to managing chronic pain and illness. I am absolutely horrible at it. Then when I do rest, I feel guilty about resting!

I know I have been doing too much. I know it. I have felt it. I did it anyway. I had a lot to get through. December always brings so much running and doing. I can’t tell you how many times already that we have been double triple or quadruple booked this month.  Of course on some of them we made decisions not to go or not to do it.

I get caught up in wanting to see my daughters reaction to things. To seeing Santa to seeing the Christmas lights. To experiencing it all through her again.

So when I crash. I really really crash. I rarely sleep during the day as I already have soooo much trouble sleeping at night. Today though it wasn’t a choice. It was a demand. My body demanded I nap.  For once when I woke up I felt better. That doesn’t always happen. It tends to happen more when I crash though. This is the second time in five days I have crashed like this. I need to get better at truly resting. Laying down in bed watching tv. Sitting down to write is not resting. I need to just lay down and read or lay down and watch tv. Not try to always engage my brain.  If I need to grab a cat and snuggle and just pay attention to petting the cat, then that is what I need to do.

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It doesn’t do any good to beat myself up more for resting. It doesn’t I know that. This morning though I was feeling guilty about not getting any cleaning done. Not moving the laundry along, not finishing the few dishes , not getting the floors done.  Then I realized I was not getting anything done until I at least attempted to sleep. Sleep I did. I now feel that maybe when I come back home I can get some cleaning done at least do the few dishes and make dinner.

So today I have a renewed motivation to be better at resting. To pace myself better. So that I can better enjoy the season. That even when I make sure to schedule in self care in a walk for myself I need to also schedule in time to rest. To actually rest and to not feel guilty about resting. It is a form of self care and my body needs it more than most. To rest and say, its okay to rest.

The insomniac waltz

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Fibromyalgia brings many joys. Like learning how to do the insomniac waltz. A mixture of sleep deprivation and pain.

 

Get comfy in bed. Got to go pee. Get up to pee. Get comfy in bed.

Five minutes later flip to your left side. Close your eyes again. Deep breathes.

Sleep for maybe thirty minutes. Wake up.

flip to your right side.

Sleep for maybe an hour. Wake up

lay on your back.

Nope lay on your stomach.

Nope lay on your back. Listen to deep sleep meditation. Listen to another one.

Get up have a bowl of cereal.

Count how long its been since last medications. Take some more.

Lay back down. Play Facebook games until can’t keep eyes open.

Go through relaxation techniques. Fall asleep somewhere in the midst.

Sleep for two hours. Not a second more!

Wake up stiff and sore.

Change positions. Scroll Facebook.

Fall asleep.

Thirty minutes later……

alarm goes off for the day.

Serenity Sunday 11/24/2013

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So….Serenity. You have been very elusive to me this week.

Princess P always always brings me serenity.

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and being able to watch her breastfeed is truly one of the most peaceful things about this past week.

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Then there is the kid… The one the only the kid.

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Serenity really seemed hard to find. I felt like I had hardly taken any pictures and for me it was less than normal but when I looked back through them. Serenity was there. I just didn’t notice.

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From playgrounds at sunset to friends to chat with to the cats I adore…it was there.

 

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Sometimes Serenity is just admitting you are grumpy.

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It took walking home from church today for it to hit me. Not once this week did I take a walk just by myself. Not once did I make sure I was taking care of myself. Not once did I make sure I was centered.

So not surprising that I flared Friday Saturday and part of Sunday.

When I stopped to look I found the reason.

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Next week I will do better. Even if I have to schedule it in.

I got a box!

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Nevermind the fact that I asked for the box to be sent to me.

I GOT A BOX! It was like Christmas came early!

I tore into it not unlike a kid at Christmas time.

And then the Mamalode exploded on my bed.

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I had to spend some time pouring through them. Laundry and dishes obviously had to wait. This was way more important.

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Not only was I excited by the back copies but I also was touched by the card and that inside it was handwritten. It is rare anymore that anyone anywhere sends things handwritten unless they are among friends.

As Mothers we are pulled in so many different directions all at the same time. This is a perfect magazine to have in the car to flip through while sitting in carline. There are quick little reads as well as longer articles. One thing that really caught my attention was the last page, a poem by a child typically a preteen or teenager. I love seeing things from their perspective.

So I took some to the baby rhyme and sign at the library and it was a pretty big hit. Some of the kids were actually a little more interested in the bright and colorful candy on the front…ooops.

Princes P says it tastes just fine.

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So I read some as I was waiting for the girls to get out of school. I kind of just flipped through but got stuck on one about pregnancy loss. It touched me deeply and it took all I could do to not cry in the car. There is a little section in the front called “Because I said so.” very easy to read a submission here in under a minute. Truthfully a friend of mine keeps her Mamalode and other Mommy magazines in the bathroom. You know sometimes that is the only few minutes we mothers get to ourselves.

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The girls were pretty enthralled with the back copies. There were a lot of discussions about pictures and it turned out some of them were advertising pictures. Something that as a Mommy I passed right over.  There was some discussion about what a trailhead was….which quickly digressed into what happened at school today.

However they were drawn back after our trip to the library, yes my second trip today, for reading with the dogs. I looked back at the stop light to see this in the back seat.

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I am pretty sure however from the amount of giggling that they were whispering amongst themselves and using Mamalode to “hide” from me.

On the Facebook page for this blog I call our followers Stalkers. Stalkers in a good way. We support each other and laugh together. This is exactly what Mamalode does as well. So go be a good stalker and follow them everywhere. I do and its nice to see things pop up in newsfeeds and whatnot amongst all the other things that are in my newsfeed. This is one that feeds me. So that I can keep feeding others.

So get stalking already!

Instagram: http://instagram.com/mamalode

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Mamalode

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Mamalode

Pintrest: http://www.pinterest.com/mamalode/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/MamalodeTV
and of course good old fashioned online website :http://mamalode.com/

Don’t forget to renew yourself

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I think I am on top of it. This whole self care thing. Then I realized that I was trying to find things to do other than take a walk by myself. My phone app had told me it had been three days since logged my activity…Still I didn’t want to walk.

I got the kid to school and then found myself driving to a park down the street I had not walked the trails for awhile. I don’t even remember making a conscience decision to go there. Then I thought, well its just a short walk. I can walk it a second time if I feel up to it. I started off by the little pond. It did not disappoint me.

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It was early and the locals were out and about.

I spent the first bit of my walk……possibly five minutes with my head down.

It was not a bad view

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Once I realized I had been walking looking down and was still inspired to snap a picture. I realized maybe I needed this walk. Just me. My phone camera. Nothing else.

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Pretty sure this path leads to Narnia. Pretty sure. It sure feels magical.

I have walked this trail many many many times. I am still captured by some spots. I am still amazed at how the seasons change the same spots.

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Then I saw things that really truly made my heart happy.

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The red on the tree is called Red Lichen. It is a good indicator of good air quality. Breathe deep take it all in…this is the good stuff here. By this time I was feeling pretty good. Not the mess of pain that I woke up in. Why do we put off self care things we KNOW we need? The pain was less, not gone just less and slightly easier to deal with.

So I decided to see if I could locate how to get onto this other trail I could see but had not found the entrance to.

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It was worth looking for.

It was exactly what I needed. I even saw a black racer snake. I didn’t scream…..big win for me. He saw me and took off.

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This is when I realized THIS was what I needed. This was my sanctuary, this was my temple, my heart was full again in this moment.

Although I had a good walk. It was time to go back. I did reach the end of that new trail. I was shocked and disappointed it deadend at a golf and country club neighborhood. The way I felt it should have ended with picnic tables and a serene lake. It was that magical feeling.

I got back to the main trail. I look over at the other trail.

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A different local was seeing me off. Don’t worry he was down on the shore. The trail was above this. Besides for the most part, gators don’t like humans. We don’t taste right.