Minneapolis

This was my home. This is where I lived…

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This is what a protest looks like I’ve been told

This is justice for George Floyd I’ve been told.

I’ve been told, supposedly schooled, even screamed at.

But.

I don’t see justice. I know what I see. THIS is not justice.

I wonder what you will see when it comes to your city?

I have nothing left to say. ~k.

 

The Opioid Crisis? A Lie. Suicide Due to a Lack of Pain Management? Very Real.

All of the following information is available on many sites on the internet. The National Health Association, the World Wide Health Organization, the CDC, and etc. You should just google suicide rates. I knew as medication was withheld, my people would choose not to live. It is happening! We are losing our chronically ill brothers and sisters at an alarming rate.



This is what I found…

 

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Rest in Peace.

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Enough. My heart is tired. If you are not a chronic pain patient, you should not have any say regarding our medical methods to suppress our pain.

~Kim

I’m Stuck

I don’t know how this post is going to turn out, but here it goes. Maybe if I write it down, I’ll figure it out. I’m stuck! And I need to get unstuck.

We are once again planning on putting our house on the market, and we have so much to pack I don’t know where to start. Anywhere at this point would be good!

I’ve mostly been stuck in bed and have been since the 2nd week in January! I honestly was getting over pneumonia and the flu for the significant part of January. At that point, I’d had pneumonia twice since September, and then ended up with horrible flu over Christmas. However, we are almost through April! My exhaustion, pain, and anxiety still have their way with me nearly every damn day! This has got to stop!

I’ve thought maybe it’s because I’m lazy. I was thinking perhaps I am genuinely exhibiting sloth-like characteristics (one of the seven deadly sins) and this was entirely in my control to stop this lazy behavior. If I stopped being so lazy, maybe I’d feel better?

I planned my next day. I had a schedule full of activities! I wrote down what I’d wear, eat, and when I’d clean, blog, read blogs, walk the dogs, even when I’d rest! Goodbye sloth person!

The next day I got up, got dressed, and crawled right back into bed. My back was killing me! My ears were painfully ringing. Then my anxiety kicked in, and I had a panic attack. Not my idea of a good day…

Was I freaking myself out? I could’ve prevented that panic attack, probably. Time for a new plan… I would “meander” the next day. I would trick myself into thinking nothing was going on as I got dressed, ate, and did my tasks. I must admit, it worked for about three days, then exhaustion took over. I didn’t have enough energy to do anything. I looked like a newborn Bambi when I tried to get out of bed. But I was in so much pain, I couldn’t sleep! Painsomnia is real. I’d doze off for an hour here or there but even hoping for a three-hour consecutive stint of sleep was an unobtainable goal.

This is where I am today, AWARE that this is a problem! AWARE that something has to change. AWARE that the weather’s getting nice and I need to get outdoors, not to mention pack so we can sell our house! So I’m going to do something about it. I’m going to try something drastic… I’m going to leave my home!

My siblings and I now own my dad’s old farm place in western Minnesota. This has turned into our family retreat. This Sunday, I am going to the farm by myself for one week. (One of my sisters does reside there so I won’t be completely alone.) 

I am counting on a change of scenery to get me out of the stuck place I find myself lingering in. I am relying on reduced awareness of pain and the inability to stay in bed as there are things that must be done on the farm. It is not a farm with animals but the land is farmed, and the house and surrounding grounds are huge and need constant attention.

Sometimes we need to jump out of the frying pan into the fire… don’t you think? Sometimes a change of scenery is the best gift we can give ourselves. I am slowly packing this week and am nothing short of terrified that this is not a smart move, but I have a backup plan in place (my husband will come for me if I need him). I’m tired of feeling like a lazy and sloth-like sinner!

I’m jumping!

img_0992-4~Kim

My Apologies

I wrote a post about a night in my life recently where I made a decision that could’ve had dire consequences. I took that post down. The responses in the comments were very emotional. From fear based to downright anger with many passionate requests for me to seek some additional help, counseling, resources, etcetera.

I handled the information I delivered in that post very wrong.

I had hoped to relay in my post that even though we have good things going on in life; friends and family that love us, depression can and will sneak in and make you do things that no one would expect you to do. Depression doesn’t make sense! It doesn’t “fit.” It is a senseless disease that I hate admitting I have.

This is clinical depression.

This is a diagnosis that brings me to my knees at times. There is nothing to be depressed about, so why am I depressed? It is all in my head, literally. Due to a closed head injury, I now lack the necessary serotonin in my brain to achieve an overall sense of well-being. Depression, for me, feels like a very selfish disease.

How am I suppose to tell someone who they, themselves, have their own difficulties that I am feeling depressed? How do you walk up to a homeless person and complain you wish you had more storage in your house??? How do you complain when others have many more difficulties than you do? You don’t.

What seems irrational becomes rational. Things that I believe I would never do sometimes seems like the only thing to do. I have clinical depression. I must take care to relay my feelings when I am not feeling safe. I admit I failed to reach out. Depression embarrasses me. Depression makes me feel weak. Depression makes me feel like a self-centered, self-absorbed child.

The reality is I have clinical depression, it is a disease I did not ask for but I must deal with.

I do my best to fight, but the simplest things can become overwhelming. I get so tired, I get mixed up, and I got careless… I made a very bad decision.

I don’t need to be chastised. I beat myself up on a regular basis. I know how I should handle this disease, but I make mistakes.

When you are dealing with a person who has an illness, the most powerful thing you can ask is “How can I help?” Those are significantly powerful words. Even if the person doesn’t know, it opens the door for further communication.

“How can I help?”

 

Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 12.48.43 PM~Kim

The Heart Remembers What the Head Fights to Forget…

I know it was at some point this week, 15 years ago… I was searching for a flight. (ANY FLIGHT!!!) A flight from Minneapolis to the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. My mother had called me; Kory, my brother, was shipped stateside. He was active USA Army, stationed in South Korea, (incidentally where we had adopted him from 27 years prior)… he was at the hospital with aggressive cancer, they expected the worse…

Mom had just had gastric bypass surgery, my brothers and sisters were working; two babies from two different siblings (with sweet little families) were due any day… I lived on my own in an apartment with this ‘little’ issue called ‘fibromyalgia’ making it impossible for me to have any kind of schedule…

“Can you get to Kory?”

(“Can I get to Kory?”)

… can i…???

“I will be on the first flight out!”

Rest, my brother, I am on my way.

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I can’t make this a long story… it hurts too much, my brother did not last, the fucking, unforgivable cancer took him at 37 years of age. This is a difficult month for me. He died on August 18th, 2003. My family members were all able to see him, tell him we loved him then we had to watch him die… I hate August.

I Almost Lost.

As I sit here, this morning, I need to write about something that makes me feel weak. This results in a feeling of embarrassment and shame. But neither of these feelings are mine to own. What I just went through is a fact of depression, not the exception. While this is still fresh in my mind, I will share it with you. I hope, if you are familiar with these episodes, it may help to know others’ fight to survive them, too.

I have just gone through a significant depression flare. After dealing with depression for over 20 years, (co-existing with my chronic disease) these episodes of deep, dark depression are few and far between, but they happen. They are terrifying.

It started with fatigue, I could not get enough sleep. My neck hurt making it difficult to hold up my head. My lower back screamed in pain no matter sitting, walking, or lying down. But, I-had-to-sleep. My dreams were a black void of nothingness. I teetered on the verge of reality from a bottomless pit of unidentified sorrow only to wake in incredible pain. I felt awareness leave me then return, each time pain attacked my first waking moment. My only conscious thought, “I do not want to be here…”

Yesterday, I reached the deepest part of the vortex. I felt as if an actual blade had pierced my chest, leaving a gaping hole, feeling immeasurable physical trauma. My pain was almost palpable. Growing insidiously with each waking moment, every breath. (“I do not want to be here…”) I was stricken with grief! I felt hot tears release from my eyes, losing the fight for my sanity.

Unconscious…

Conscious…

Unconscious…

My husband never left my side.

Today I crept carefully out of bed, as a doe struggling to stand for the first time. The dull ache of where the blade pierced my chest is a reminder. I know nothing could have been done to prevent that emotional nightmare. While in it, I was not safe,  but I had not the means nor the fight to… “end it.” And today I will recover, slowly, the time in the black vortex still incredibly vivid in my mind. I will fight to remain despite it, I almost lost, but did not.

“I want to be here.”

image-14~Kim

I Just Might Break

Today I am beginning this post with the hope of answering my own question. I believe I am struggling with coping. I don’t know if it is the heat? The barometer? My medication? Or is it the overwhelming feeling of dread waiting for my body to flare once again. It is basically a fact with fibromyalgia. I know to expect it. I have put together a fibromyalgia toolkit with the items I need to combat a flare. But. I am questioning will this be the last flare I can handle?

I’m tired of feeling almost normal for days then being knocked down by a flare. I’m tired of feeling the increased pain followed by painsomnia. Yes, painsomnia is real. The pain is so excruciating that you can not sleep. All you want when you are in pain is to sleep and find some peace in that slumber. When painsomnia hits, you will not be sleeping. Your flare symptoms will increase even more and will remain with you a few extra days. Why? Sleep heals us, no sleep exacerbates the pain.

I think my body will not give up because it has been beaten down by worse things in this world. I am wondering if mentally I just might break? Fibromyalgia is the gift that keeps on giving. The cruelest part of fibromyalgia is that it is a trickster. You fight through the first few years of this disease in constant high levels of pain, basically flaring non-stop, but you can sleep. In fact, that is about all you can do until your body realizes this is no virus you are fighting but a lifelong central nervous system disorder. Then you get a chance at a few, low-pain, ‘normal’ days.

Mentally, this disease works you over. It makes you think before every action and react to every situation. If I do ‘A,’ then ‘B’ will happen, probably. If I do ‘A’ and ‘B’ doesn’t happen, I may try to do ‘A’ again. This time ‘A’ causes ‘B,’ and you flare without really understanding why it didn’t cause that reaction before. This disease toys with you as a cat toys with a mouse. Soon, if you aren’t careful, you begin to play dead all the time in an attempt to escape the pain.  (It works for the mouse at times.)

Try to imagine the worst pain you’ve ever felt. You are given pain relievers to combat the painful incident. Then it stops… you are active again, feeling good, going to social events then the pain comes back. Now, imagine this horrific pain happens to you every month. Now times that by three ‘episodes of pain’ in one month. Each flare lasting anywhere from 1 to 3 days, up to a week or more. How many good days will you have in one month? (None of them will be pain-free, you lost that privilege once you were diagnosed with fibromyalgia.) A few good days, you may even have many more good days than bad. But that flare is always coming!

I consider myself pretty resourceful and very resilient. I have had fibromyalgia for over 20 years. I prepare and plan my strategy going into and coming out of every flare. But I am feeling less prepared this month. Less confident in my abilities. 

So, when does one break?

Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 12.48.43 PMKim

 

 

Monday, Memorial Day.

For all of you who have a folded flag in your home on this Memorial Day.

Blessings to you.

We will Remember.


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Rest in Peace, SPC Kory Jon Severson, 1965-2003.

IMG_0299~Your sister, Kim

Before I tripped Over a Stone, Fridays, #15

Getting ready to go back to college! I had been to college for a year back in 1986, but I was unsure what I wanted to major in. So I took some time off to work. After four years of working in clinical settings, I knew my best bet was to major in social work, and minor in criminal justice. I was living in an area called “Uptown” in Minneapolis. A very artsy/eclectic community at the time. I lived in a brownstone with my sister. I loved that apartment. It was hard leaving it.

In 1991, I packed up my car and headed to the St. Cloud State University in St.Cloud, Minnesota. I had rented an off-campus apartment in a basic eight-plex of square boxes. Boring but the price was right. On the day I drove the 60 miles to the college it was 102 degrees. I kept thinking my car tires would melt! 100 degree days are infrequent in Minnesota!

I settled in and went job hunting. And hunt I did! This was a college town, but luckily I started the search that summer before the other students arrived. I got it down to two offers; a nursing home facility aid or an overnight counselor for teens in treatment. What did I choose??? Teens in treatment! I thought, well, they’ll be sleeping anyway. What harm would be in that? (This would be nothing like my psychiatric technician shifts) I received my job description; a cleaning list and some basic bookkeeping responsibilities then I would make breakfast in the morning. Easy Peasey. (If only.)

I made it through the summer just fine, working while registering for fall classes, we used to have to stand in line to register. (Yes, I am aging myself!) We had to stand in line for everything! Signing up for classes, paying bills, buying textbooks, it was a practice in patience.

So I began working at a very well known children’s home in St. Cloud. This used to be an orphanage during WWII. It was the weirdest building I had ever worked in. It had a substantial inner structure of offices, central kitchen, and classrooms, like a school. And a vast basement, locked rooms, and a gym but it was really a bomb shelter. Around that inner structure was one huge circular hallway and the ‘cottages,’ where the children lived, were attached to the exterior of this round hallway. You never had to go outside, except for church. The grounds were so beautiful, hauntingly beautiful.

I heard my fair share of ghost stories, people seeing children in period clothing, nuns and priests walking through the interior building towards the church outside. There was the ‘burning room’ in the basement. It was basically a timeout room that is never used anymore but was in the past. A child had started a mattress on fire when he was made to sleep in one of the locked rooms and died … it still smelled like sulfur. Whatever... I already knew! I could sense stuff. There were a few oddities, but I never felt threatened until one night, the little boy on the tricycle came to visit.

(Continued, Before I Tripped, #16)

img_0156~Kim

Ample Make this Bed.

I am reposting this in honor of my special “cheeky monkey” who passed away in 2017. Every holiday you are missed and now we remember you on your birthday …the first one without you.

Ample Make this Bed by Emily Dickinson is by far one of my favorite poems. Maybe it had such a big impact on me as this was the poem read in Sophie’s Choice (after the death of two endearing characters). Whenever I am sad, whenever life takes away someone that I love… I revert to this poem.

I find comfort in her words. I find peace. I have lost a person I loved. I believe the whole world would’ve loved her if they had known her. All those who did know her loved her so. Her loss is deeply felt. Rest now, my dear friend.

Ample Make this Bed.
Make this bed with Awe;
In it till judgment break
Excellent and fair.

Be its mattress straight,
Be its pillow round;
Let no sunrise yellow noise
Interrupt this ground.

img_1036~Kim

Mind Field Monday

Doing the best I can,

With everything I am…

 

Nobody’s perfect.

IMG_0193~Kim

My Brother, My Soldier

Kory was 37 years old when he died from a very aggressive form of cancer at the Brooke Army Medical Center, in San Antonio Texas. Kory was a Specialist in the U.S. Army. Kory became my little brother when he was 9 years old, we adopted him from South Korea. Kory was my brother for 27 years until his life ended on August 18, 2003.

He was holding our Dad’s hand as he left us. We miss him.

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Army Specialist.

My Brother, My Soldier

We are so far from home,

he and I.

Engulfed in a land so foreign to us,

a city within a city.

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At times he is stubborn and full of mischief.

Teasing and laughing, the brother I know.

There are times when he is reflective,

Speaking as if communicating with the Divine.

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He is so thankful for the help he receives,

and so apologetic when he is in need.

He loves and hugs all who are near,

Only they and I experience the fear.

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His body tires and his eyes close,

he puts his hand in mine.

I wait silently for him to wake,

and I greet him with a smile.

~

I tell my brother he is a good soldier.

I tell my brother I love him so.

I tell my brother God is with him.

I tell my soldier it is alright

                                      …if he is called to go.

 

 

~k.Lynel

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