Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Little Background

I want to, first of all, thank Denise for her insight about my anger last week. I hadn't even thought about the steroid shot playing a part in my anger issues. I feel a lot less angry today. But I am feeling quite discouraged as the week gets underway.

I want to say that I don't like to complain. I prefer to count my blessings and I don't like to draw attention to my own issues. I'm much more comfortable sitting and listening to other folks' problems than I am talking about my own. I always feel guilty for talking about my problems. I think, "There are so many people (even ones I know and love) that have life so much harder than me. What right do I have to complain?"

I guess there are just times I have to get some things off my chest. If I carry them around, the burden gets heavier and heavier and the weight crushes me.

Way back when, even as a child, I liked not making waves. I liked not being an inconvenience. I created my own little world and there I found peace.

My grandmother always said....

that she would be cooking or cleaning she would all of a sudden wonder where I was. She hadn't heard me make a peep in hours and she'd suddenly panic and run to look for me. She said I was always sitting somewhere, off on my own, playing quietly. She said I could sit for hours and play without needing to be entertained. I liked being alone, because I wasn't truly alone. I had my imagination. I had the world at my fingertips. I had my own world, where parents didn't walk away from their kids and life was quiet and safe. Where life was simple and happy and full of joy.

Another thing my grandmother always talked about....

.... and my birth mother agreed with (the fact that they agreed was a miracle in and of itself!) was about my health as an infant/child.

My birth mother left my dad, my brother and I when I was four months old. So she didn't have much time to get to know me, but what she did remember was this:

I was allergic to practically everything that I came in contact with. My hair would fall out from being allergic to my baby shampoo. I couldn't wear disposable diapers, and my cloth diapers had to be washed in non fragrant soap. It was difficult to find a baby formula that I could digest. I would break out in hives and rashes if anything new was introduced into my environment. I coughed and sneezed and was sick 90% of the time.

I personally remember.....

...having my first asthma attack. I was laying on a bean bag chair, watching tv, holding one of our cats, and I stopped breathing. I panicked, stood up, dropped the cat, and ran to my grandmother. By the time I got to her, I could breathe again. She scolded me for being "overly dramatic" about it.

Later that year, she took me to the allergist she went to. When the allergist told her to get rid of the cats, put them outside, but keep them away from me, she stopped taking me to the allergist altogether. The cats remained in the house.

I didn't have another asthma attack like that until the fall of 1998. I had just moved to a big, old rental (fully carpeted) house. I had just started working where I currently work. I was sitting outside, watching the kids play with our dog, and enjoying the fall splendor. Suddenly, I couldn't catch my breath. I went inside and took a Benadryl and was able to breathe normally within an hour or so. Later, I found out there was mold in the roof of the house we were renting at the time and it had no dust filtration system on the furnace.

Lately, the way I feel is.......

I joke that one day I will have to live in a bubble. It's funny most of the time, but it's not funny some days.

Sometimes I get sick of living like this.

I like to pretend that I can do anything I want to. I like to think I can clean or work outside or eat without wondering if I'm allergic to something in the food.... or play with my dogs or have my cats sit on my lap without paying a price for it.

I haven't been able to breathe right for the last week or so. Every breath hurts. I think it contributes to my depression because of depleted oxygen levels.

Or maybe it's just that I'm tired.

I want to live a normal life. I am angry that this is a chronic condition. I want to go home, dust and do laundry and hang up clothes without getting sick. I want to eat pizza or lasagna or chili or whatever and not have Robert have to cook something different for me. I don't want to have to wear a mask for everything I do or pop pills or puff an inhaler every five seconds to just get through the day. I want to live a normal life.

I want to mow the grass if I choose to.

I want to try a new shampoo without getting hives.

I want to buy a new lotion without getting a rash everywhere.

I want to buy a fragrant dryer sheet or a scented laundry softener.

I want to wear my wedding ring or a pair of my grandmother's earrings without having a reaction.

Or put a band aid on my cut without swelling up.

I am just sick and tired of being sick and tired.

I don't know if my life is going to ever be any different.

I'm turning 35 this year and I've been like this since I was born.

What purpose does this serve? What cosmic good is going to come of being born into a weak body? A body that overreacts to any and everything?

My spirit is willing, but my body is weak.

My illnesses continually knock me off my fitness goals.

My illnesses inconvenience my family.

Being on the eight different medications that the allergist wanted me on cost my family financially....dearly....but not being on them is no better. I keep having to go for chest X-rays and tests and pay out co-pays for doctor visits when I get down sick.

My body is causing my mind to deteriorate.

I want to be strong. I want my body to be what my mind thinks it should be. I just want to be be able to do what most people my age can do.

What I'm realizing lately is that I can't have both my health and a normal life.

I talked to Robert about this last night.

I cannot continue to do the things I have been and survive.

My lungs are in terrible shape. As of right now, only 1/2 of my left lung is functional from years of scarring from pneumonia.

I'm not and never have been a smoker. But my lungs are a mess.

I told him that I have such a strong desire to contribute equally around the house and yard.

If I don't I feel like a failure.

If I do I get sick.

His reply is that he'd rather do more and have the kids do more than to lose me one day. He feels like I need to stop pushing myself so hard. I need to stop trying to be superwoman.

Right now I'd just settle for being a fully functioning woman.

I am depressed, my friends.

I really don't want to post here. I want to go inward with my pain until I work it out.

I will typically talk myself out of these funks.

I will force my mind to comply with my optimistic view of life in general.

I've gone down this dark path before and came out okay. I've battled depression and anxiety time and time before.

I will post here, against my natural instinct to hide, because I wouldn't want my blogger friends to hide their pain from me. I would want to hear the pain and be able to be a friend.

"Eventually, I will be okay. I'll get through this pain." That's what the hopeful Kris says.

Right now, the tired Kris thinks.....

"Nothing is ever going to change. I will always be this way. I am an inconvenience."


pat said...

I have been in your shoes a dozen times. I have found that talking about the issue even if it is painful is part of the healing process. If you do not get the feeling out, you cannot move on. I am glad you felt comfortable and trusted us enough to let us in your thoughts. Even in the dark, there is light, you need to just reach out for it and you will be ok. Promise.

Holli said...

Honey!!! You are not an inconvenience! We love you allergies and all! You family loves you allergies and all!
I am assuming that weekly allergy shots don't help you? I would think that with those you wouldn't have to be on 8 different meds.
I am sorry that you are having such a tough time right now. I will take these things in prayer and we're always here for you if you need to vent!

neicybelle said...

*hugs her and loves her and just sits and holds her*