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You Don’t Know Me

I could be your mom, sister, aunty, niece, daughter or friend. I may even be your co-worker or neighbor.

But, you don’t know me.

You see me, you think I look fine. You talk to me, you may even ask me how I am.

But, you don’t know me.

You may recognize me, you may remember me.

But, you don’t know me.

If I tell you what struggles I have daily, you don’t quite believe it and if I talk about small triumphs, you can’t appreciate it.

Because, you don’t know me.

You judge me for what I have become. If I ate healthier, exercised more, prayed harder, practiced more positivity, I would be better.

But, you don’t know me.

But, I DON”T WANT you to know me.

I HOPE you never have to feel the pain of knowing me.

May you forever be FREE of me.

I am chronic illness…

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Dropping Dingleberries

From the late night infomercials to the esteemed office of the President of the United States, and all the stops in between, everyone is dropping dingleberries. Little nuggets that they perceive as truth when in fact are just plain pieces of shit. There is no other way to say it. Everyone has dingleberries. Trust me when I say, I don’t want you dropping yours on me.

Remember that I am coming from a chronically ill, incurable disease position. I have been given unsolicited advice from countless sources as to how I can cure myself. I have been told that miraculous things can happen if you get chelated, colonic’d, eat vegan, exercise your ass off, drink this brew or that brew, throw in some eye of newt, meditate, do yoga while wearing a tin foil hat and humming a Bollywood tune. Okay I’m dropping some dingleberries on some of those but you get my meaning.

Just because someone says something does not make it truth or even helpful for that matter. We live in a free society with free speech and that is a wonderful thing. Opinions are great. Facts are even better. What has happened to common sense? Is spanking a child really detrimental to their psyche or is fear of repercussions from wrongdoing a fairly good way to curb bad behavior? Is drinking coffee good or bad for you? Is the war on drugs really working or just a big drain on society? What is really going on in the government? Do we really have to be told what we can do with our own bodies, minds and environment? Why, as consumers, do we have to put up with people not doing their jobs? Dingleberry commentators tell us everyday how stupid we are. Just read the damn news, it’s getting stinky in here.

Are we really that inconsiderate as a society that we can’t take care of our young, old and sickly?

The american dream has become a pit of dingleberries. The health care system is a f**ken hailstorm of dingleberries. Finances, schooling, GMO, all victims of dingleberry drops. The very people we rely on, teachers, military, police, judges, banks, farmers, health professionals, religious leaders, at one time or another, are dropping dingleberries. They talk out the side of their mouths. Explain to me why we can’t get a handle on homelessness or gang violence or drunk driving. Explain to me why we allow celebrities and athletes to influence our decisions of how we dress, look, vehicles we drive, political leanings, and what is acceptable behavior in this world. Can you say good PR,  AKA: Dropping Dingleberries.

DD’s can also be confused with excuses or reasons. Upon further examination, it is still a dingleberry. Droppers are even too self-absorbed to recognize the mess they are making. I will no longer tolerate it. If someone wants to really learn what I go through on a daily basis, then I will consider their advice. If not, save your dropping dingleberries for some other unsuspecting fool.

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The Burden of Isolation

prison

I have never really been a lonely person. I have been told I am a bit of a loner at times but have always felt surrounded by family and friends. I would say I am lucky to have lifelong friends that will always support and love me. As for my parents, well, they are the most beautiful people in my world and have loved me the way humans are meant to love their children. There was an incident at age 13 where I was nothing short of a little lunatic. I was mad at my mom for something, funny how we can never remember what. Standing across the kitchen from her, I blurted out, “you’re such a bitch!”. The way that word dripped off my tongue with such venom, hate, and animosity was quickly replaced with stunned silence. She came across that floor like a ninja and slapped me square in my mouth. Sitting there on my ass, I had the first realization that maybe there are lines that can be crossed even if someone loves you dearly. Even given that early lesson, I never felt anything other than complete devotion from them.

All through my adult life, I collected strays. People and animals. Even when I was alone, I wasn’t really isolated. I could be happy sitting in a restaurant, reading a book, enjoying the solitude. Or, I could be whooping it up in a bar, dancing the night away with countless friends. I used to jump in the car to take ‘road trips’. If anyone wanted to come for the adventure, great. If not, I would be just as happy. Not having the phone ring for days, no problem, I would entertain myself and revel in the non-responsibility of someone else’s whims. If I had company, I would try to make that experience mutually satisfying. I was able to do that quite well with humor, liquor, physical activity, and at all times having a huge pair of shoulders to lean on. I loved to throw parties. Don’t bring a thing, just yourself. Afterward, I would revel in the quietness that followed knowing that fun was had by all.

Isolation was not a burden back then. It followed a whirlwind of good times and was a healthy way of recharging for the next escapade. It was self-imposed isolation. A tool used to distance myself and just feel me. A chance to reflect on what social crimes I may have committed. Time to examine my lifestyle and if it was satisfying or not. A moment to understand the importance of friends. I felt loved. And most of all, for me, to try to figure out what I bring to the table of life. I never thought it would be any different.

Today, isolation is a burden.

It is no longer self-regulated. It is a symptom of this sucky disease. It is not a choice. It is a sentence handed down by the fates. Sure, I could still reach out to people with my god-given talents, whatever those may be, but it appears, it’s not enough. The nature of this beast does not lend to happy, good times. There is no spur of the moment. Try to plan something for the future, probably not going to happen. Wanting desperately for others to understand what you go through on a daily basis is just sheer torture. Wanting to be happy for them and their totally healthy lifestyles and continuing growth in life knowing they can’t reciprocate, makes me want to stick a fork in my eye. The guilt of those feeling run deep. It is hard to justify the selfishness of it all. I have to live myself 24/7. I have to address my medical condition 24/7. It does not go away. Isolation is a burden.

My world is no longer inviting. I am not the initiator. I am the unpopular girl at the high school dance. I watch the world move around me through windows. When I feel the tinge of loneliness, I try with all my might to shove it down. It is uncomfortable. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth and makes my heart hurt. My fear is that it will become less so as time goes on. The isolation will become my friend. I will welcome it as I used to welcome all into my home.

I have parents and a caveman who do their best and love me without limits but they too feel the burden of my isolation. Sometimes I recognize that they are impacted as much as I am by it. For that reason, I will continue to fight this and I have hope that this is just a short sentence with this prison disease.

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Wookieeness

No. This is not me.

No. This is not me.

One would think calling a woman a wookiee would be just downright mean. I do not. The simple fact is I feel like one. Why, you ask? Because I have to take this drug that others know well called prednisone.

This drug is an organ saver for me. It has let me keep my eyesight and prevented damage to other organs in my body. It has, at high doses, given me the energy to make it through some hard days. It has been a front line warrior against my disease.

It has also given me diabetes, hump back, moonface, crazy ass mood swings and wookieeness.

Think mutton chops are sexy on a woman? I didn’t think so. Unibrows? yea, not so much. Would you want a woman with a mustache better than yours? No way! And thats just the wookieeness above my neck. There are others places my wookineess has dared to occupy and desert. The hair on my thighs and arms has stopped growing but my lower legs have turned into a forest that rivals Yosemite. When did I get hair on my toes? Holy canolli, I don’t knoes.

As the prednisone dose is lowered, my wookieeness is retreating and turning more wookiee-ish. I am starting to look less like a female drag queen. My bone structure is becoming more pronounced and the unruly hair is becoming peach fuzz.

Little did my caveman know the potential that lied beneath my smooth, sexy exterior. Poor guy thought he was evolving, while I was devolving. Oh well, I guess it makes for some warm, cozy nights.

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Somethin’ for Nothin’

Call me old-fashioned. Participation trophies are just that. Empty, hollow gestures that literally suck the lessons out of competition, excelling and the satisfaction of being the best. Second place is first loser.

Not politically correct? I don’t care.

There is nothing better for the development of someone’s character to feel the thrill of winning and the agony of defeat. It is something to be learned early in life to give balance to an individual that will face many trials in the years to come. Awards, accolades and certificates are all earned throughout a lifetime. Reprimands, probations and poor performance are also earned.

I remember getting black circle stickers on my song book from my horrid piano teacher when he felt I hadn’t practiced enough. I also remember getting pulled out of the pool by my dad, when I couldn’t move my legs because I had just swam the race of my young life and beat my 6 year old nemesis with the blond pig tails. There are many examples in my life where I have failed tremendously and succeeded brilliantly. Each experience has earned me character.

Now that I am a sicky sarky, I am grateful for all those losses and all those wins. It makes me appreciate when I overcome a particularly bad day and makes me work harder when I can’t quite get to the finish line. You wouldn’t think as an adult that we still need to prove ourselves but we do. That is a lesson learned early. Nothing is free. Nothing comes without a price, good or bad. Nothing is achieved for just showing up.

I just started this blog a little over a week ago and I have been working hard on it, given my condition. I was surprised at how pleased it made me when my blog gave me kudos.

Most Likes in One Day
On Tuesday August 20, 2013 you surpassed your previous record of most likes in one day for your posts on Lana’s Lessons Learned. That’s pretty awesome, well done!
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10 Likes!

Congratulations on getting 10 total likes on Lana’s Lessons Learned.

Your current tally is 12.
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Most Follows in One Day
On Tuesday August 20, 2013 you surpassed your previous record of most follows in one day ( 2 ) for your blog Lana’s Lessons Learned. Nice!
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5 Followers!

Congratulations on getting 5 total follows on Lana’s Lessons Learned.

Your current tally is 7. 

You see even a blog can recognize when someone is motivated. Maybe the blog is smarter than some in this society that would deprive people of advancement by their own true grit.

Also know that I am not comparing encouragement to the lame gesture of participation trophies. It is important for all people to do their best. The only way to push their limits is to feel pain, loss, discomfort and,  yes,  sometimes humiliation. My grandparents felt it, my parents felt, I felt it and still do at times.

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The Love of a Funny Guy

dad goof

My Dad. Other than co-giving me the gift of life, he passed on a strange, wicked, often misunderstood sense of humor.

It appears he had a funny bone starting as a child. I didn’t realize this character trait until I was an adult. We were sitting, watching tv and we just started to crack eachother up, bouncing witty, sarcastic, mean, funny comments back and forth. I laughed so hard I almost wet myself. That’s the moment I recognized that we were two ‘pees’ in a pod.

 

Thinking back to my childhood, he was a bit of a joker. He loved to tell stories that were in a word, bullshit. Of course, I always believed him. Outrageous, off the wall, weird stuff. Stories designed to to gross me out, freak me out, sometimes scare me, and some that were just plain entertaining. And, not just stories, he would skew situations just enough to not quite know what the truth was.

 

I can’t help but mention, that during part of my childhood, my dad owned a septic pumping business. Anyone that deals with other peoples crap all day has an endless supply of ‘whole nudda leval” bathroom humor. He enjoyed picking me up from Jr.High in the poop truck. No shame at all, he would pull right to the front of the school, and blow the horn. Of course it took me many years to laugh about that one. He would tell me that poo puts clothes
on my my back and food on our table, ewww, right? That’s my Dad.

 

Two months before I got sick, he was diagnosed with Parkinsons. That was a bitter pill to swallow. The upside is the endless self-depricating humor we share about both our diseases. Not a day goes by that we don’t laugh through our tears. When I have pain in my legs, he tells me he can slap my head and take my mind off them. When he flys food from his tremors, I can blame him for starting a food fight. We mutually provide eachother the
appreciation of a sick sense of humor.

 

Sometimes we are the only ones laughing, while others stare at us in either disbelief or disdain. My mom does the ‘shushing’ but is usually not successful. I truly believe that humor has kept me from going nuts most days. A lot of people blame their parents for screwing them up. I , however, am grateful for the life my dad has given me, filled with laughter and kindness.

 

So, here’s to my Dad, a funny guy who loves his kid.

Some things never change.

Some things never change.

 

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