Sunday, October 27, 2019

Being Disabled

This weekend has been a bittersweet one.  Elated one moment and in tears the next.

I've been in the process of seeking disability. A few weeks ago, they sent me to have a lung function test at a hospital an hour away.

The results were that I am at 35% lung capacity. 1% away from end stage COPD. That's bad news for me but good news for my disability appeal.

Here's the elated part.
I got a phone call from Social Security on Friday.  I was finally approved!!! I was happy beyond measure to hear this news because it means I can finally get what I need to make this chronic illness a little more tolerable.

The decision was favorable because of the lung function test results, the fact that I'm on oxygen all the time and also that my doctor has put me in a wheelchair. Walking more than 20 feet drops my oxygen saturation levels.  So that was the good new. I'm approved to start recieving Disability income, Medicare, and anything else that goes along with being disabled.

On the other hand, here's the sad part.
I was crying all weekend because the approval for disability means that I am now officially classified as "disabled" by the government. That's a hard pill to swallow because I have been somewhat active all of my life. I don't do well confined to a box, regimen, or labels.  I am much more than labels.

I already knew I was going downhill quickly. Facing that fact is another story. In spite of everything I've done to try to hold on to health, that hasn't happened for me.

I quit smoking two years ago. My doctor told me that I might be able to halt the progression if i didn't smoke. I didn't expect to get better.  But I expected the decline to become a slower process. Instead, I've only gotten sicker. Rapidly.  I've advanced 2 level in this disease in the last year. There are only 4 levels and I'm at stage 4. The overall outlook and reality is that the prognosis isn't a good one for me.

This disease is progressing so rapidly and I can't keep up with it.  There are just some things I cannot do anymore. That reality left me in tears this weekend. I'm not over it yet.  I still feel like crying.  It's  a natural human reaction to news like this. I'm not over it, but I'm not giving up.

Having Social Security on my side with this means that I'll finally be able to see a pulmonologist and get the portable oxygen concentrator I so desperately need.  I'm on oxygen 24/7 but it's  with a stationary machine my sister bought me. It definitely limits where I can go and how long I  can be gone, because I can't take it with me.

I'm running the gambit of going through so many emotions with all of this. Enough of the sad sob story.  All I wanted was to be approved so I can finally get the care I need. Getting the approval means Social Security admits my days are numbered.

Writing about it helps me to move past these deviating feelings. Besides this blog, I keep myself busy by writing my books.  Write. Write.  Write.

Now, we regroup and take the next stage as best as we can.  I say we because I'm definitely not in this alone. I may be the one feeling it from the inside... experiencing  it... living it.  But I have family and friends rooting for me, helping me and encouraging me to stay positive. Having everyone's emotional and physical support means so much to me and it's how I make it through each day.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Writer's Life

It's been a while since I've blogged, here. The last post was on my birthday in July. There's a very good reason for that.  I have been writing.

Most of the time I write from my bed with a phone app. On days when I feel ok, I move the writings to the computer and do the editing and illustrations.  I wrote my first book and published it this way. "Beanie, The Bat Who Drank Way Too Much Coffee" was the result.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019



What kinds of images come to mind when you think of these words? Old cars? Old clothing? Antiques? If I drove up to your house in a shiny, black on black 1969 Ford Mustang GT500, you would probably think, "Woah! What a classic!".  You might even ask me if it still had all its original parts!

Monday, July 15, 2019

Vaping-Attention To Prevention

When was the last time you saw kids stand up for anything? It literally nearly takes an act of God Or Congress to fervently move anyone to act on the major life-changing issue. Teens? Forget about it!

If this is how you feel about our youth of today, you're in for a surprise! Rewind that old methodology of thinking.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Even In Darkness, Something Beautiful Still Grows.

Painting by Veronica Lee
I'm all about growth; personal and otherwise. Growth of anything takes time, perseverance, mastery, and attention. This is true for plants and humans alike.

Friday, July 12, 2019


If you want to get inside someone's mind, listen to the music that moves them. The songs that make them get up and dance, and the songs that make them cry tell a novel about who they innately are as a person.

What they feel...
   what they love...
      what they fear...
         what they desire...
can all be heard clearly in the lyrics of a song.

It's Only Laundry

I used to be an "all or nothing" person. If I didn't think I could do it all, quickly, my motto was "I ain't doin' nuthin'!"

That's how it is for a lot of us, isn't it? We see seemingly insurmountable tasks as unatainable if we can't do something right away.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Part Of Your World

We only understand something from the perspective by which we've lived it. Think about it. 

Picture in your mind the horrors of the
• Jewish Holocaust
• Pre Civil War Era American Slavery
• The Genocide of Native Americans
as examples.
(I capitalized them because they demand respect.)   All of them were atrocious parts of our world's history.

I have great empathy for them because I take to heart the plight of others. I will spare you the history lessons, and instead, say that I feel very badly when wrongs are done to other human beings. I empathize. I don't understand.  I didn't live through any of it.  I can only see it from the angle of an outsider looking in.  I can't possibly know it from the viewpoint of someone who went through it.

To say I understand is a severe misconception.

I understand nothing I have not personally experienced.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Listening With Compassion

I had a post on Instagram that asked for idea suggestions for future blog posts. My beautiful friend and kindred spirit, Gigi Brown, answered that post. She told me that she would like to know how best to support someone with COPD.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Rockin' The Pixie

Growing hair out to the rump takes time, patience and an extreme amount of care. I had very long hair for many years. Dying, washing, blow drying and styling it took a huge amount of time and energy. With COPD, those are luxeries I can no longer aford to invest in.

Vacation Time?

Oh, the wonderful places we could go!  The wind blowing across our cheeks, the fun in the sun, the shopping and cruises!  It's a nice thought, but it's not a likely scenario, for me.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

An Act of Compassion

I've said it before.  "Put it out into the universe, and the universe conspires to make it happen." This very thing just happened in my life a few days ago.  I had a need. I put it out into the universe believing that somehow it would happen.  The universe does not disappoint.

Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

I first read the Desiderata poem by Max Ehrmann about 20 years ago. I had a copy of it hanging in my house on parchment paper for a very long time.  I'm posting it here because sometimes, we still need to be reminded what a beautiful world this is.  His words were true in 1927 when he wrote it. They are truer still, today.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Not Another "Stop Smoking" Speech!

Yes. But not exactly.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and the WHO (World Health Organization), COPD is the 4th leading cause of death in the United States in 2016. The American Lung Association's current statement is that the disease is now in the number 3 spot.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Love Yourself First

There was a time in my life that I can honestly say that I didn't love myself. I didn't even like myself. I can even say I hated myself. I hated everyone.... hated people in general.  "Persons" were nice but people, as a collective, people were confusing.

The Courage to Sit

Sometimes, when we aren't even looking for it, inspiration reaches up and grabs us by the heart. We stumble upon a person so full of light, that it feels as if their soul is shooting a beam of hope right into us.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Coming Up For Air

Watch a movie in your mind with me.

Let's go to a place I hope you never experience in reality. We're going on a COPD Journey.


Lung Limbo

Sherie. She's my older sister. Four years older, to be exact. She's been my champion and shown me such unwavering love throughout my COPD Journey. We're two hours away from each other but there is no distance of the hearts where Sherie is concerned. She is the reason I have oxygen, right now.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Finding Peace

     When I first learned how devastating this illness would be to me, I crumbled.  I practically gave up.  That's a raw part of the grieving process. Grieving for everything you can never do or have again.  Grieving for the lost "you".

     This isn't an easy disease. COPD often robs us of our energy, light, hope and of course, our breathe.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The Difference of a Year

What a difference a year makes.

On the left is me about a year ago.  I still had COPD of course.  But I still had many good days.  I could still go to the store at that point. Still walk around my yard.  Still shower without issues. Still play with my dogs.  Still cook. Still get the household chores done. I was even still running every day,  enjoying being outdoors in nature.