Bondage, Broken, Discouraged, Encouragement Today, Inspiration, Journey, Life, Rawness, Real, Strength

Set Yourself Free From The Bondage of Masks

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“Good Morning”, the cordial greeting of the day. You put a smile on your face and you return the appropriate greeting and then comes the common follow-up question which is, “How are you?” While you are still smiling, you say good and you?

This is how the typical Monday morning goes. You put on your mask and life is all good again, but is it really?

Do your masks look anything like mine? Do you have a happy face that is well-worn and beginning to fall apart? Do you have the, as my husband says, the neither here nor there face? How about the grouchy face (which if I am being honest is rather worn out)? Do you have the worried face (which has been my go-to mask with all the sickness my family has been through) or how about the frustrated and the angry face? These are my masks I have to hang beside my keys which are ready to grab as soon as I get my keys to go out the door.

Which mask do you grab for the concealment of your everyday real emotions? As for me, I grab a happy face because I can not show others that everything is not ok. Only the people who are close to me know what my real face looks like. To everyone else, they only know the mask I wear.

I often think of the masks I wear every time I mow my lawn. It is important to me to keep my lawn mowed because if my yard is in order then it reflects a well-ordered life from the outsider’s perspective. What the average person driving past my house does not realize, is that if they came through my front door, they would quickly realize I am struggling to keep the chaos and disorder at bay. My house many days is a mess (as my husband often says, and so is everyone else’s, who cares, but he doesn’t understand that I care). I have dog hair (in clumps at the moment) all over the place. My bathroom is in dire need of cleaning. I struggle to keep up with the laundry and my floors need to be vacuumed and mopped. Overall, the house is in desperate need of some love, cleaning, and maintenance.

I know many are reading this thinking I thought we all struggled with this every day? For me personally, it is a struggle I wish I didn’t have. When I gave up my career years ago to come home to be a stay at home mom, I took my responsibility seriously and part of this responsibility was to keep our home and family happy, organized, and free of chaos.

Unfortunately, unhappiness, chaos, and disorder are how we seem to live now. Money is tight, so when something breaks, we can not usually afford to fix it (unless it is something that is serious, such as my car). I am sitting at the car repair shop just this morning, waiting for my car to be fixed as I write this.

Between all the doctor appointments, I am always on the road running between appointment after appointment. Then when we get home from them, it is back in the car to get Kiddo to work, then run errands and return home to decide which is more important, the housework or trying to start my craft and graphic design business to get it off the ground so we can make some extra money, that we are desperately in need of.

So with all of the personal revelation I have made and the rawness of my “real” life, now you know a little more about who I am, personally. The “superficial” me is about keeping up appearances. I grew up being taught we are to be responsible and keep our feelings to yourself. You do not allow anyone to know how bad life can be. You hide this because outsiders are to only see your “best” behavior. Now years later, I find myself struggling with the fallacy of how I was raised while keeping up with the appearance that says, I look responsible and organized. The problem with this is on the inside I struggle with who I am now. I struggle with what I consider to be important. I find I am struggling with trying to figure out who the “real” me is for all the masks I have worn for so many years.

How about you? Do you struggle with this same identity crises because of the years you have worn your masks? Have you finally broke free from the bondage of the masks or are you still hiding? How did you break free?

I think the time has come to remove the masks and let our true identity be visible and shine through. I am challenging you today to make a commitment with me to allow your “real” face to be seen by others.

Today is the day we unmask and set ourselves free from the bondage of false identities.

Remember Today… You are beautiful when you are being your “real” self. Allow that person to be seen by everyone now.
Broken, Exhausted, Journey, Life, Medical Journey, Rawness, Weariness

The Pain of A Mother’s Heart

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I am clinging to this hope and believe it with all my heart. 

Tonight, I am writing from the perspective of a  broken down and worn out heart of a mom who has to watch her child suffer in one of the most agonizing ways imaginable. She lives life as a Chronic Migraine Sufferer.

I needed to ponder my thoughts tonight in order to close them out and be done with them.

It has been a whirlwind of events for quite some time in our household. The number of doctor appointments we have been going to in my household has been crazy.

My husband has been down between sickness and a back injury since July which produced countless doctor appointments for him.

Then there is my daughter who has chronic migraines, chronic sinus issues (inflamed and often times infected), an immune deficiency, which has been identified in the past few weeks as getting worse, and out of control allergies. So she has a lot of doctor appointments on her own. But when you add my husband being sick and injured on top of her, this means life became chaotic.

This whirlwind of events got worse when Kiddo went into a migraine cycle which became worse as a result of Hurricane Florence. She has been in pain since way back then, but was able to push through it by living minute by minute and taking medicine to keep it from becoming a mega migraine which she is not able to fix at her level.

The struggle for her is daily, but something went wrong on Friday. She lost the battle and her migraine blew up in a two-hour window into a mega migraine. In the morning we went to her migraine specialist for his nurse to teach her how to self-inject the new migraine medicine known as Aimoveg. By the time we got home, her head just exploded in a massive pain and so we headed off to our local Urgent Care with the hopes they could make this pain better and bearable again.

Unfortunately, this experience did not go well. The doctor there was less than compassionate or understanding. This was not what she wanted to experience. She wanted him to simply help her to get the pain back under control (I did not make a mistake there, for her, she is used to pain, she knows her pain will not go away, but wanted it to become managed again). Her doctor, however, did not understand her situation. Instead, he made her/us feel like she was a druggy looking for a drug fix.

I am here to tell you, this momma was not a very happy one, and realized quickly that if my daughter was going to get any help I had to fight, yet but again, for her health care.

He did eventually agree to help her after denying her help three times (yes, this is not a misprint, he denied her help three times before agreeing to offer her an attempt at a treatment plan).

As it was, her treatment plan was a different one than what she normally receives, but we were not willing to advise him what works as that would only give him more of a reason to not believe her.

So with one Kiddo in mega massive pain, she gives up the fight and lays down on the exam table and the nurse comes in to place an IV in her arm to administer her the  “concoction” as the doctor called it, with the hopes pain relief would be in sight.

My poor child lays there waiting for the pain medicine to work and the nurse comes back to check on her pain number. She went from a ten (because he does not believe pain can be worse than that), to a nine. I am still remaining hopeful this is going to work even though she has never had it before. So a little time passes and the nurse comes back and she is at a nine. Now I am getting a little concerned because some pain relief should be happening now. By now about 30 minutes have passed and the doctor comes in the exam room to check on her and asks if she has relief and she says no, her pain level is still at a nine.

Now I am getting really concerned and I am beginning to think we would be at the Emergency Room next. The nurse returns back after some time to change her IV bag and I expressed my concern to her and she agreed if we can not get the poor child some relief I would need to take her to the Emergency Room after leaving there.

Eventually, the doctor returns and asks if she has had this one particular medicine before and I said no, but that my husband has for his migraines. So he has the nurse give her the shot.

By now I am doing a whole lot of praying this will work and my child gets relief. After about ten minutes I ask her does she have any relief and she says that beautiful word, “yes”. She is now at an eight. I had never been so happy to hear that wonderful number as I was at that moment. This might actually be working finally.

After about five more minutes the nurse comes back and checks on her and she is down to a seven now. I was beginning to feel some relief now. Seven means we should be able to go home without needing to go to an Emergency Room next. By the time the doctor comes back, she is down to a six pain level. This made him happy and was ready to release her when she felt she was ready to leave.

We stayed maybe another half hour passed his we can go home time because we were not leaving until she knew she could to make the drive home.

I tell you this story because you needed to see why this was so stressful. My poor Kiddo suffered severely on Friday and to have a doctor not believe her was infuriating.

We did eventually leave and come home, but her pain level did not stay down. By the time 7:00 PM came around her pain level was spiking and that fear I had earlier began to return. By an hour later she was back up to an eight and it was only getting worse. How much worse could this become? I need to come up with a plan and it needs to be one that will work and work effectively.

I had to rely on my mom intuition which is really scary to do when you are not a doctor and this is over your head. Well, it all came together. I came up with a plan, one we have done in the past, so although it made me nervous for all the medicine she had consumed that day, we had to use it.

I told her my plan and she was okay with it. By the time I left her bedroom with the hopes and prayers her pain would come down and she would go to sleep, her pain level was back up to a ten.

I was so nervous. I slept with one ear always listening for her to make a noise or if she were to need me.

She said about 2:00AM she finally began to get pain relief again. My plan thankfully worked.

By the time she got up Saturday morning, she had her pain managed again. She also had two more doses of her migraine cycle breaker consumed. Thankfully with the help of her own migraine medicine, she was able to keep her pain managed as well as rested all day Saturday.

We were both relieved to be back at this level again and relieved to know we did not have to take her to the Emergency Room.

Today, as we get ready to close out the day and finish the weekend, I am beyond relieved to know she is pain-free, which she does not experience very often. It appears her migraine cycle breaker is working finally.

Now if she can keep her stress of being behind in her college classes under control and her professors will be compassionate and understanding, then she should be able to get a lot of work done and get caught back up again without carrying the stress of being behind on her shoulders.

As I tell this story, the feeling which is still raw all came rushing back. It has been an extremely stressful weekend, and I am hoping by writing about it, I will be able to release the pain and heartache and move past this traumatic event.

It is also my hope and prayer if you live a similar life that you know you are not alone. We know your pain and your fears. We know the frustrations and the concerns.

Life is hard, but to know you are not alone, makes it all a little more bearable.

If you have experienced a similar circumstance, feel free to leave a comment below and tell me about what happened to you.

Discouraged, Journey, Rawness

What Do You Say…

boardwalk amidst trees in forestWhat do you say when your words are few?

What do you say when your words are inadequate?

What do you say when your words are lost?

What do you say…

My friend, you don’t. You pray! 

If you find yourself in a position where no matter how confused your words may be, or no matter how scattered they may be thrown, know this is the time you do not need to speak.

Just stop… just pray.

It is okay to have a period of silence for in that silence, you can hear God more clearly.

Life does not always need the words to be spoken, they just need to be felt.

Stop, be quiet, listen, and take this time to pray.

Let God do the rest.