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5

September 1st I started a gratitude art journal. I wrote down a few things I'm grateful for then decorate the page. After reading through daily entries I see the thing that pleases me most is getting basic needs met like those today. My CNA showed up! I got a shower and a hot meal and slept in a clean bed.

Today the CNA that arrived made a wonderful chicken curry dish. Tomorrow she will help do some more organizing here. This is a photo of how things are coming a long so far. I love my new art table to bits but I've still not used it. I'm not going to push it though. It'll come.

studio in progress

...continue reading "Gratitude and Gratitude Misses"

7

I stay seconds from tears. I can laugh and engage but it feels like tears are just behind my eyes waiting to escape. Today I listened to a set of symposiums on courage and just balled my eyes out. I do not feel courageous, I feel broken. I feel like I've got a lot to be happy about but lately tears have remained in my eyes.

I'm tired. I cleaned my little apartment today then went to the grocery story. That took a lot out of me. My foot is screaming! What's new? The pain all over my body is unbearable. It makes me want to do anything at all to make it stop. ...continue reading "Lupus and Heroin"

4

I am, first and foremost, grateful for life itself! I'm grateful for each breath, even when it's labored, even when it hurts. I'm grateful to be alive. I'm about to be 47 years old at the end of this month. I can say I've earned each gray hair on my head which is why I refuse to ever color them.

I love my friends. I am very happy for my friend who became a great-grandmother for the first time. It's amazing to see her progeny, her beautiful family blossom and bloom over the years. How amazing it must be to know these lives all lead back to her. She has been enduring, strong and graceful during her recovery and deserves the happiness that comes with new births, dances, graduations and all those picture moments in time. I'm so happy for her right now.

I am pleased to finally get a look at my gifted 55 gallon terrarium. I knew it was being given to me and was the property of a young man who died. What I didn't know was that he painted the wood stand and top fire engine RED. Yes, bright red!!! Ha ha ha ha haaaaa! It's tacky but I shall paint it and make this free gift fit my decor. ...continue reading "Gratitude Expressions 8/26/18"

2

Someone to Watch Over Me
Someone to Watch Over Me

I asked you to do the surgery. You said you could or a colleague but I trusted my life in your hands. It felt like there was so much at stake, more to lose than body parts. I can't explain how afraid I was that I'd throw a blood clot or bleed to death. I was so scared I kept calling to my mother!

I had a dream about her last night. She was a helpless infant in my arms. I rolled around in my wheelchair with her head on my shoulder. I made sure she was safe and warm. Safe. ...continue reading "Not Cut and Dry"

I'm not brave. I'm not. I'm not rolling with the punches, I'm just getting punched. As I said, I've walked through the fire and I'm all burned up. I'm skinny, starving for a moment of real rest, of relief. ...continue reading "The Brave Face"

Stone and Shadows
Stone and Shadows

I see "the surgeon" tomorrow, the one who amputated my toes. I wonder what kind of person it takes to look at a foot rotted black, take a saw and hack off a body part to be thrown away? What allows his mind to go there and his hands to follow? Though beyond repair, black as night, shriveled to nothing and dry, they were still mine.

My heart knows 100% that this surgeon was one who helped save my life, mine and many others. He is loved and honored, rightfully put on a pedestal. He has taken people with slim odds and brought them back from the brink. In my heart I see him that way, but behind my eyes I see the man who methodically removed part of me and threw me away.

Faith Austin

1

12 painful stairs to a tiny room. Each step felt like I couldn't cry any more than I did one step earlier. I made it up the stairs and laid on the air mattress with a slow leak and asked myself, "is it worth it?" can't I just stop taking meds and let nature take its course in a matter of days? Then the real me took a breath! I was reminded that this is very temporary. I'm with friends who, though of humble means truly love me. And honestly, I'd rather be here than in a nursing home with workers who like me but who don't do half of what they should. ...continue reading "A difficult start"

2

Fact: With healing comes pain. And I'm in a lot of pain. It makes me angry and irritable. I'm tired of it.

I am healing. The surgery incision is closing naturally and looks clean. Despite pains that shoot through it, it's healthy and progressing well.

I'm irritable and sensitive. ...continue reading "Pain and Healing"

3

July 8th I'll be discharged from the nursing home whether I have an apartment or not. Here's a shot of me holding my bears.

I worry about my lack of stamina and how it will prevent me from getting basic needs met. I'm not whole, not ready to be discharged to care for myself. How will I shower? I don't have the stamina for these things. ...continue reading "On fear and focus"

6

I need a blog entry so I've decided to interview myself. The questions and answers are off the top of my head. I'll do 5 questions.

Question: Faith, what have you done this week to improve your quality of life?

Answer: Wow. That's tough. Off the top of my head I'd say I have worked on better accepting the amputation this week. I've been doing some encouraging reading and feel a little more hopeful about things.

Question: What have you done in the past week as an act of self kindness?

Answer: I've let go of my mistakes. When mistakes have been made I've quieted the cruel, crushing voice in my head that shames me. The nicest thing I can do for me is to speak to myself kindly.

Question: What do you think about Dr L, the surgeon?

Answer: I find him intriguing but he makes me nervous. I can't tell if he's angry. I have a need to please him and follow instructions for my foot 'just so'. I don't want to disappoint him. I always forget what he looks like until I see him. There's a great deal of trust in him concerning my foot. There's a need to put up a wall between me and him. I'd say I'm all over the map with him. The man cut off my toes, I assure you my feelings are complex.

Question: Are you going to date again, do you have someone in mind?

Answer: Yes. I've been thinking about dating again. There's no one in mind at the moment.

Question: Why do you want to date?

Answer: I want the fairy tale. I want to get old with someone. I want to sit on the porch and watch the birds, read together, have tea together and be happy. I want to be past youthfulness, past childbearing years and more settled in who I am. I want him to be past the crazy years, working through midlife crisis and settled in who he is. I hope I can find him.

After answering these questions there's one thing that stands out, I'm future oriented. I think a lot about what I want and how I want to feel. Also, I think a lot. Lol

Things I'm grateful for this week 

  1. I think it's super cool that Dr L is treating the amputation site with medical honey.
  2. I've been moved to the rehab section of the nursing center which is much more lively and very much what I need to stay on the healing path.
  3. I had a lavender and hemp foot soak on the left foot. It was great.
  4. I can reach down to my feet and put on my own socks. I only put a sock on the left for now.
  5. I am back to transferring myself from the wheelchair to the restroom on my own. I'm back to being able to get dressed on my own. It feels good!
  6. The nurse finally gave me a razor to shave my mustache. I was 2 whiskers away from changing my name to Steve. Thank goodness for razors.

Faith

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