Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Personal Cravings

Food, the ones we all enjoy, especially the crunchy ones. The gums won't accept those. It's a huge loss. Can't even begin to describe how great an impact this has had. My incredible weight loss without dieting is a perfect indicator.

Cigarettes, still have to have a few every day but having to go outside has been a major lifestyle change that I am not happy with. Just wish I could go out on the balcony for the odd puff when the craving becomes intense. That's all I need at this point. It really has had a major impact on so many levels. Would never have done this had I not been forced to financially. I have smoked 30 cigs. a day for 55 years and yet when in the hospital and all kinds of tests, it appeared much to everyone's surprise but mine, that my lungs are clear. Haven't had a cold or cough for the last 12 years. Probably because of my isolation from the general public so not exposed to all the crap spread around by everyone else and the environment. Cigarettes has become the scapegoat IMO from having to look at all the other factors in our environment. Chemicals are present in everything we use or buy. Plastics particularly and cleaning products. Still think it would be helpful if everyone never picked up and lit the first one. I did when I was 12 and there was no information in terms of health risks. The train I took to work every morning for an hour even had special Smoking Cars. Every desk in the office was provided with an ashtray. Every armrest on a plane had one as well. It was a very acceptable aspect of normal life. In fact, it was considered the polite thing to do back then when you took out your package that you would pass it around to anyone nearby. My God how times have changed. It makes me realize how long I have lived when I can recall having no indoor toilet.

Gardening, drive around my neighbourhood every day to see what is coming into bloom and making some new discoveries. I have a balcony but no desire to have plants because my focus has always been on Perennials. Probably will never wake up in time to sit out in the morning to enjoy them. The truth is, I really have no interest this year. Perhaps if I could sit there enjoying my cup of coffee and cigarette with lovely music in the background, I would find it more enticing. Something has to shift in the way I live my life and what I can get excited about. The outlay of money is also a major concern. With the little I have monthly, do I want to get some new clothes or spend it on a few plants? I have lost so much weight that I have nothing to wear during the hot summer months.

Family, This is such a huge topic that I could write a book around my feelings. My husband is gone, all but 3 of my friends have moved away, my best friend died recently and I miss him immensely since he was the only one I could share my youth with. My step children live in another province and haven't seen them in years. They are very good about staying in touch via Email and phone for which I am very grateful. My youngest son lives in Japan and the older although only 5 minutes away, never phones or drops by. Have no idea why but it pains me greatly. The only living original family member is my sister whom I had to divorce because of her constant abuse. In truth, I have become an orphan at the age of 67. Who would have expected that? Aging is difficult enough especially with disabilities but without our children to depend on for assistance make it far worse.

Friends, I have many over the years as we all have at this stage of life. They come and go depending on circumstances. It's like a dance. I isolated myself for 11 years so although they are still in tact, somewhat, they will never as they once were. We have all changed but me especially with the onset of PTSD. Nobody could/can relate and some chose not to. I felt I had to protect them on some level so as not to burden them with my problems for which they had no solutions.

Pets, Have had cats all my life and my favorite animal of all. When I lost my beloved Myki 3 years ago to CHF, I made the decision never to have another. I could where I live now but with my health problems so uncertain, I don't want to subject a pet to an unexpected separation etc. I saw what a toll it took on Myki when he had to spend a week at my girlfriend's while I recuperated from my hip replacement.

Health, I remember so well hearing the standard saying of how important health is as we get older. Because I was so fit and strong at the time, I couldn't imagine that it would ever occur to me. Well, Lo and Behold it did at the age of 50 and my life has been forever altered. All my health problems have been skeletal versus internal. Thank God for that. I have become so insecure since my last fall that I lack confidence when I am walking. Can't believe this happened just as I was beginning to build up all my muscles after being sedentary for so many years. Have also lost confidence when driving because the nerves in my right leg have made part of my foot numb. Never quite sure of how much pressure to put on the gas or the brake because the feelings are not there. My Chiro has told me after doing some tests that my strength is still there, I just don't have the same sensation. I had two near misses in the last month and this now leaves me with a great deal of stress. If I have to give up driving, I will loose all independence I have left. No doubt, this occurs to most seniors at some point and a heartbreaking turn of events. I am much too young! to have this happen now.

A normal mouth. Have lived with a burning tongue and dry mouth now for over three years. All stress related. Over the years the saliva problem improved and then during a very stressful period, it returns. As a result of this when it first occurred, all my fillings and crowns fell out resulting in a complete removal of all my upper teeth and requiring a dental plate. It never fit right, the technician was aggressive and unhelpful and after having spent $1000, I didn't want to return for another abusive encounter. As a result I don't cook anything I can't gum because the taste has changed so dramatically. This is a huge loss as I was a gourmet cook and loved to eat. Especially all the crunchy things which I no longer can. My dream today is to win the lottery so I can have implants and once again be able to enjoy food. Food really is a constant craving that everyone can relate to. We all have our favorite and most include chewing.

Ability to read and listen to music. Two passions I have depended upon all my life to sustain me both during bad and good times. I probably read 3 books a week for 30 years and listened to music constantly. Opera was a special passion but have had a very eclectic taste. I once told my husband that my answer to the proverbial question, "What would you bring with you if you were stranded on and Island?" Most respond by stating books, but mine was music. The loss of ability to read is based in my PTSD and not being able to shut down the hamster on the wheel of my brain and focus my thoughts. I have made countless attempts over the years and have discovered I have to reread the same paragraph over and over again. This is a major loss. When I attempt to listen to all my favorite music, I end up in tears so since can't stand crying, I don't listen. I can however, with new music that doesn't conjure up past memories.

A purpose to wake up for. I have none and that is the most problematic of all. Haven't had any since I was forced to go on disability in 2000. Since then I've had a series of health/financial issues to deal with that don't allow for even thinking about doing something externally as in Charity/Volunteer work.
Ability to take pleasure in all the things that brought me joy in the past. That really speaks for itself. All of the above pretty much describe what they could have been.
Laughter. A daily stomach aching and tears rolling down the cheeks laughter that was part of my life with my husband for 20 years. Nothing is more stress relieving or joyful. Miss that more than I am fully aware. So little on the TV anymore to watch that provides for that outlet versus the 'Golden Years of Humour' during the 50's - 60's.

The lack of Anxiety and Depression.

Most of all 'peace of mind'.
I expect I could continue to add to the list as I am so unhappy with my current life and have no idea of how to fix it or make it better. The move in the last year has softened the edges and I enjoy having a living room and a couple of couches versus just my PC chair. I now have an option of where I want to sit.

PTSD is playing a major part in terms of my ability to enjoy whatever pleasures are still available to me. Since my fall it's reared it's ugly head once again and I am currently struggling. Wish there was a pill or something to relieve this burden. Expect all other sufferers feel the same. Will it ever go away.... I expect not. It's become part of the psyche. How does one erase the cause? Impossible! There will always be triggers as we encounter life and the unexpected. I am never aware of what the triggers are until a month or so later when I experience the aftermath. That is just as traumatic as the trigger. Hate this state of being.

~ Tutte ~