Life and Blogging on the Disabled List

Welcome sports fans, it’s baseball season! Unfortunately, I’ve been on the DL since April 3rd. I’ve made an effort through the years to keep this blog upbeat, positive, and encouraging. What I’ve noticed is that when I don’t feel those things, I tend not to write.

The regular struggle for me is that as a stroke survivor, the right, dominant, side of my body is permanently weak, less than coordinated, and has inconsistent sensations. That leads to balance and stability problems all the time. The day I fell, I was having a good day, feeling rather healthy and able to take on the world–I get about two of those days a month. By breaking a bone in my left foot and injuring my left wrist as well as the sprains, bruises, and abrasions, I put my strong side out of the game.

Fortunately, I’m part of a great local, real life, writing community. A dear friend, whom I met through a local writers group, has been by often, bringing food, news, loaning me a shower stool, and walking Gizmo. Another writerly friend called yesterday just to say, “Hey dudette! I’ve been out of the country and you’ve been out of commission– we need to talk!” That 25 minute conversation did more for my attitude and inspiration than I can say. A new friend from another writing group offered to bring a meal, share her joyous preschooler, and walk Gizmo — it was great getting to know her better. (…Not to leave anybody out, as great friends from church, my needlework circle, as well as family members, etc., have jumped in to help as needed during this time. But back to the topic of writing…)

My blogging buddy, Rainer Bantau who writes as thedevotionalguy, came by to walk Gizmo for me this afternoon. As we visited, the topic of writing came up. I made a comment about one of his recent blog posts, and eventually a comment was made that I haven’t had any recent blog posts. I confessed that I struggle to write when I don’t feel well because I don’t feel inspiring or optimistic or encouraging, and I want my blog to be all those things. It’s been all I can do to put on a happy demeanor for social media. We then talked about content calendars and strategies to plan ahead since most writers struggle with writing on a schedule, and my life with chronic illnesses makes it next to impossible.

As we talked, I was again hit with the realization that life with disabilities is not a day at the ballpark. If I’m going to be honest, Rainer pointed out, and a useful advocate for living with chronic illness, it only makes sense that I share the downsides as well as the upsides. So here goes…

The downsides of this past month include, but are not limited to…

  • the obvious additional pain on top of the migraine attacks and central nerve pain,
  • not being able to do things when and as I want (big and small thing like showering, typing, cooking, wearing clothes with buttons and zippers, walking the dog… you get the idea),
  • the added expense of doctor bills, convenience foods, and eating take out, and
  • imposing on family and friends to help me with transportation for the additional doctor appointments, and walking Gizmo, and checking on me while Steve’s at work.

The home run here is that I got to spend more time with friends than usual. And, I was able to get some writerly work done over the last 5 weeks, even though it wasn’t all that I had hoped.

  • A sweet friend stepped in to be my writerly assistant while my wrist heals– she has done more technical and administrative things than I could have imagined, including creating a logo for my authorpreneur endeavors, formatting the new Unleashing newsletter, and setting up MailChimp for me.
  • I have become more adept at using talk to text, or voice typing.
  • I’ve rounded third base, and am heading for home in drafting Why’s That Dog in Here?, and set the lineup for the next steps toward self-publishing this book.
  • Being laid up provided extra time to participate in the online Peak Work Performance Summit and Migraine World Summit.
  • I’ve had time to read some great audio books.
  • And, not related to writing, but I’ve had time to listen to Ranger games on radio while recuperating from the injury as well as from migraines.

Spoonies must learn to be flexible, and change expectations according to health dictates. That’s a lesson I am still struggling to learn. I go back to the doctor for x-rays and a follow-up on May 21st to find out if I am healed, or need more time in the walking boot and wrist splint. Hopefully I, and my Texas Rangers, will get it figured out as the season progresses. I’ve always thought they were the comeback kids, and I aspire to be one, too.

My new blogging goal is to post weekly, whether I feel like it or not. Those posts may be long or short, on topic, or not. I intend to be more honest with you, and myself, about living life as a chronically abled stroke survivor and migraineur, for better or for worse.

Here we go… Play ball!

Every Spring I get nostalgic for the Little League years… Our sons are now grown and gone, but what fantastic lessons, friendships, and memories we all caught through fifteen years on the baseball diamond.

 

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