I am learning how to be more clear with myself. This is harder than it sounds. Especially when you are currently extremely hypothyroid after having your thyroid removed. The brain fog is beyond anything I have experienced up to this point. I know my TSH number will go down to an acceptable level of functioning at some point with all the meds adjustments. Just have to be patient.

Anyway, back to clarity. After a session with a dear client, in which we were discussing her own need for internal and external clarity, I realized this is a very powerful tool to use. To consistently practice and come back to. Questions such as- What is my WHY right now? What do I need TODAY? In advocating for myself, whether with my multiple healthcare providers or my insurance company, what do I need to be very clear about and how do I communicate this efficiently and effectively? How can I express myself in a way that conveys my experience transparently?

As someone who has always used lots and lots of words and descriptions and has a challenging time getting to the point( because words and feelings are so fun, and sometimes little details matter, y’all!), practicing clarity can be quite difficult. Just ask my family -they are quite easily annoyed by my story-telling and attempts to communicate ( AND maybe they need to practice patience)…

It has most recently become clear to me that I can no longer pretend that I am “fine” just to make other people more comfortable. I have gained clarity that I detest the word fine – so many of us humans say it and it is meaningless at this point. And it can mean different things for different people. It has become clear to me that I am not available emotionally or physically or mentally to lie about or to sugarcoat what I am experiencing. It takes too much energy and right now I don’t have any to spare. And that its awkward for me to tell the truth. When someone says, “Well, you look good,” I might just say , “Well, I’m sick not ugly.” Or when people ask how I am feeling, I might just say “like shit” and then just carry on with the conversation. Because that is truly the reality and I am actually more accepting of it after almost 18 months of this new normal. Since the day to day symptoms of all the Fuckenings can be unpredictable and in flux, each day can present itself differently- so it also takes extra energy to fully allow myself to listen to what my body is saying and needing each day. This is not annoying AT ALL. Which means I just cannot waste energy pretending or worrying about how my communication regarding my lived experience might effect someone else. Wouldn’t it be kind of cool and freeing if we all allowed more of this authentic transparency to exist?

I felt so sad and disappointed that I had to cancel a fun morning with my Mahjong Ladies today – AND it was clear that my body and mind were saying NO NO NO. I am proud of myself for gaining clarity by really listening to myself instead of pushing through. Pushing through is sometimes necessary and empowering and awesome – other times, pushing through is a disservice and waste of limited energy that creates more harm than good. So here’s to being more intentional about practicing clarity multiple times a day. And here’s to having an ongoing permission slip to be more clear (truthful) with myself and others. No more bullshit.

So may we all extend ourselves the gifts of clarity. And the patience and grace to practice it as much as we need to. And the shedding of guilt that might arise when we are honest and it makes other people uncomfortable.

An Invitation.

Recently, I have become increasingly aware, both through my own lovely vexations as a human and through listening to my fellow MS Warriors (we are a circle of infinite support and badassery who will one day have the pleasure of meeting in real life) and through having real life relationships with friends and family and seeing what plays out on social media…. that there are some humans who take other’s issues and offer “support” by trying to introduce them to some product they are now selling that could be life-changing and ever so helpful.

Ummmm- NO. Just NO.

This type of “support” is different from the offerings of actual kind humans who mention healing products and modalities that they have found vital in their own experiences with whatever fuckery they are traversing through in their own lives. And sometimes even these well-intentioned suggestions can feel overwhelming and/or defeating because there is no one size fits all product or treatment for any of us. And many of us have tried all sorts of things already and/or have researched the hell out of tons and tons of alternative treatments.

And, as my dear mother used to say, unless someone specifically asks you for your opinion or advice, do not offer anything other than compassion. And as a therapist, I can wholeheartedly affirm this concept.

So back to the sellers and pushers of products guised in the “So sorry for…. various and sundry issues”- this is my invitation to y’all ( not just my own but also on behalf of all of us already dealing with enough and spending copious amounts of time, energy, and money on all types of health care and healing/pain/stress management tools)- I cordially invite you to cease all fake kindness in your quest to sell me a product that will cure me or remarkably impact the quality of my life. I encourage you either to stand in your truth of what you are selling and wanting my money for without all of the unnecessary bullshit of extra words (especially if I have not seen you for 35 years and you recently friended me on social media…true stories for many of us) OR just don’t even get involved. Stay in your own lane. I am not your woman to try to take advantage of- especially at this specific time when I am still recovering from all of the intrusive things that have been done- for good reasons- to my already vulnerable body.

No need to RSVP to my invitation to stop the bullshit.

So may all of us who are dealing with all the different things that life challenges us with go forth collectively and with compassion and real-ness and with the understanding that we are all beautifully unique. And with the wisdom that we can say NO to all of the “invitations” that come our way and we can say yes if we choose to do so and that is ok, too. We get to choose. We will find the tools we need and search them out based on our own grit and research and internal knowledge.

Sending extra compassion and support to all the people who need it today. Not because I am trying to sell you anything. Just Because.

This Too I Can Accept

And I can feel overwhelmed and enraged and thankful and fatigued and empowered as I practice surrendering to the fuckenings.

The CAT scan the Gynecologist ordered based on his YEARS of EXPERIENCE as a MEDICAL DOCTOR and his CONCERN for his human patient who he thoroughly EXAMINED and deemed it quite MEDICALLY NECESSARY to gather more information to make the next right DECISION to actually treat me and the medical ENIGMA-ness that is my BODY was DENIED by our insurance company. By some ridiculous person who does not consider my humanity or the knowledge of the doctor- HOW INSULTING . A CAT scan costs a LOT of money even with insurance. DUH.

And this is not my first rodeo with playing this game. Last year they initially denied an MRI ordered by my neurologist. How is that even a thing with someone who has MS-?! I asked if they would rather pay for me to be hospitalized again from the stress they were creating because that would be even more expensive for them and since they were mostly concerned with money, wouldn’t it serve them better financially just to listen to my doctor? And I’m not even a math or business type person, but even I have a tad of common sense.

The CAT scan that was already done yesterday that showed some further significant issues regarding my colon and small intestine that require a referral to a Gastroenterologist before we can even address the other stuff happening that the GYN can help with.

The CAT scan that was a comedy of errors because the Tech could not understand that I physically could not put my left arm in the position she wanted it in and then was pulling on that arm as I was screaming-NO, NO you can’t move it that way, OWWW, please STOP, I have shoulder impingement syndrome from MS( which I had already EXPLAINED) and you could dislocate it- while I was holding my right arm with the IV in it straight up. And she kept saying that if I kept my arm up in the only position it can go back in that it would hit the CAT scan machine. I kept saying – OK, it can hit the machine then but I cannot get it in any other position.

So that was a complete clusterfuck of ridiculousness and unnecessary pain.

So now we wait to get in with the gastroenterologist. And to probably have a million more tests to figure out WTF my body is doing NOW- now that my thyroid can no longer be attacked because its gone, I guess my body is attacking these other parts of me?! This too I can accept- what is more pain at this point? I’m getting used to it. What else can I do but warrior on and cry and laugh and scream from such a primal place inside and inhale and exhale.

And fight with the insurance company. I have already called the two people from the insurance company that tried to “help” me appeal their decision on denying further physical therapy appointments in 2018 and 2019. Their “help” was quite ineffective as all of my appeals were DENIED… I’m sure they will be thrilled to hear from me again.

So now I will pretend I am back on my acupuncturist’s table where for at least 20 minutes I have a cessation of pain and can feel all kinds of cool stuff happening and I will count down the days until my next massage. Ever so grateful to have these lovely experiences with these two different types of healing energy. Ever so pissed off and over it at the same time that I accept it all.

It’s a weird feeling to be both proactively fighting and surrendering at the same time- a good weird.

So as this next batch of Fuckerys continues, for all of us humans in all the different forms that it may present in our unique lives, may we give ourselves permission to show up for ourselves in the ways that create the good weird- the fighting and the accepting, the staying and the surrendering.

Inhale. Exhale. Laugh. Cry. Repeat.

It is hilariously and sadly validating when one of your doctors calls you a medical enigma.

I’m writing this with my left foot propped up because I have strained it from overuse ( but YAY the x-ray showed no breaks or fractures!!) Always funny to tell the doctor- I cannot really feel my foot all the time because of MS so right now I’m not really in that much pain per se and I can’t even really feel you touching it right now but sometimes I can REALLY feel it and it HURTS in a WEIRD way-MD 360 Dr was like- but can’t you see the bruising and swelling?

So I’m already frustrated that I can’t walk with my life-sustaining friend all week…Poor Mac the dog will NOT be happy and will be running around the house like crazy whining and looking at me like I am his enemy.

And then I go to my regularly scheduled GYN appointment (shout out to that wonderful practice for moving me around since I was still at MD 360 during the initial appointment…)

And then the gynecologist who I have never seen before becomes my new BFF for lots of reasons :

1) my quirky arm had a difficult time putting on the flimsy paper gown so I accidentally broke the arm hole and I was just kind of holding it up and he came in and said “Let’s get you a new gown because that doesn’t look too comfortable and we have a lot to talk about”

2) he’d actually read my very very very long chart and was familiar with my story and made me feel not only physically comfortable but seen and heard and understood (which certainly helps as he’s about to give me a pelvic exam and we all know how fabulous those are- NOT)

3) he spent a long time listening to the new issues and then, upon the exam, discovered some interesting ( hence the word medical enigma) things going on and then calmly explained that the next step would be to get a CAT scan of my whole lower and upper abdominal area and go from there. And he basically had it scheduled immediately so that’s what I’ll be doing tomorrow. In between seeing clients- which we all know is one of my favorite things to do. So I’m very grateful not to have to cancel the whole day.

And this dear man wanted to see my foot that was causing extra trouble and we talked about how because of not being able to do all of my regular exercising while recovering from surgery, its an overuse injury from walking more than usual and because I’m not 21 anymore and have MS – blah, blah, blah. And he understood because he says he has been there and uses exercise to manage stress as well. Lots of compassion going on in that exam room today. And to top it all off, he said he loves to operate and will gladly do that but thinks it’s best to give it a bit more time because of all my body has been through recently AND we have to impatiently wait for what the CAT scans show. He gets me and we have only just met- gotta love that!

So what a day. A day of some fuckenings. Or as one of my MS soul sisters says- Fuckerys. Both words are powerful and necessary!!

At least I can do my strength training exercises. And write. And use all the other outlets I incorporate into my high maintenance lifestyle of existing as a human in this body of mine.

So please send some love to Mac (our Old English Bulldog) as he has to suffer this week as well. He is looking at me like WTF right now because this is the time we usually go for our walk.

And please also send some love to my family as I might be a tad moody and more irritable this week as well- nothing they aren’t already used to…

And I will continue to offer gratitude to all of you out there who are living examples of kindness-givers and encouragers as I give myself permission to feel all the emotions. And painful things inside.

So may we all practice giving and receiving compassion- to ourselves and to others. And to letting ourselves honor one another’s experiences with acceptance and humor and empathy so that we may keep inhaling and exhaling and laughing and crying and repeating that process together.