Satire on growth of an ulcer. The best advice I heard from a blind man was “If you can’t look in the mirror and laugh at yourself, then you have a problem.” Even then, looking at yourself might be more of a challenge. Introspection is the key.
One: Have a family that gives advice instead of encouragement. And then I thought, How much do I give a good word? So I got on the phone and found someone that might actually encourage me. It wasn’t family, sad to say. Years ago, we made decisions based on our “family.” We moved closer to extended family so that our daughters would know their grand parents. We left many close friends behind, but distance has not lessened the ties. Thank goodness many of these friends are still “close” at heart. Many of you, I am sure have families that have developed divisions and “rifts” that the past few years have seemed to accentuate. Mine has also. And unfortunately while many of us are trying to move on, the old battles still get brought up time and again. Then I look to those who have lost siblings these last few years. They would do anything to have one more “row” about some stupid divisive thing.
Two: Live in the country when you are blind. Yep, we still live with move than a mile to the closest neighbor. I’m not sure why that seems to be such a problem. But out here in the country, there are some that simply won’t “go the extra mile.” So, here I sit… Last year I tried to create a reason to get into town and spend time with people. The drought kept the garden on lock down, and we did not make it to the market more than twice. Also, there were times when I wanted to get out of dodge on the farm, and I knew that my husband had spend all week gone, simply wanted to stay home. Our unity of need has gone polar express. So while I desperately want to get off the farm, he simply wants to stay home and avoid the “kind of people that he spend all week working” with. Well, aren’t we a find kettle of fish? He’s the garlic and onions, and I’m the tilapia (in case you wanted to know).
Three: Have children and grandchildren along with aging parents. While any one of the three might make one’s hair go silver, Having all three at the moment in time certainly adds to the stress. Our Parents that are turning into toddlers and keys, and stoves need to be removed from grasp. Toddlers that jump off the backs of sofas and then slide across wooden tables, only to take out the sibling, or the lamp in flight really turn up the heat on the anxiety. Then there are adult children that seem to be returning to the rebellious teenage years though they are married and somewhat responsible career holders. What’s next? Could we just not have another life event “Derecho” and everything on the house and out buildings need to be replaced.
Four: Grow a garden in a drought. Yes, it’s true, our corner of the state set record level drought recordings. And rural water can’t make up for the rain that never fell. Nothing really grew well at all. We do have a plan for keeping the water in the soil better next year. More mulch-tastic ideas coming right up. From leaves, to straw to whatever else we can pile on there. And the size of the garden will be just about as reduced in volume as last year. The cipboards are not bare, so don’t worry. We have enough to eat here.
Five: Have an auto immune disorder that reverberates through your life even though there are “known” cures and helps. So yes, I had ITP for about twelve years. Took prednisone ans such until the spleen was yanked out. Then through the years my immune system has been over taxed many times so more steroids. Finally, a recent discovery that some new allergies had developed made my life change much. At least knowing what allergies I have, makes it a much better guess when choosing off the menu. Allergies can be very serious and life threatening. Scary. Not fun. At least most of my Outdoor allergies are much more manageable.
Six: develop food anxiety because of food allergies. I carry an EPI pen now. And it has been used this past fall. So when I eat food that other people fix, there is a “nag” in the back of my mind for at least fifteen to twenty minutes after the meal. Will I be okay, or do I need to keep the pen handy? However, even just recently I made something for myself and found out that the tin containing the whole wheat flour had been tainted with flour containing barley. That was a rough couple of days. So I have to admit that my diet has not been very good or consistent that last few months.
Seven: Have insomnia for five years or more. Lack of sleep is the best cultivator for an ulcer. Because I do not sleep well, (it’s kind of this hyper awake incredibly aware listening mode) it has made me rather tired. Brain fog is not even a strong enough name for the feeling you get that you are sleep walking all day. LOTS of coffee does not even help. I tried the… well….Those pills did not do me any favors. Summer time busy is a better plan. But winter? I need a gym within walking distance. Haha. So, yeah, coffeee and strong coffee is really bad for the stomach.
Eight: Live in a wold where social media is a prime communication tool. We have all experienced some bad thing on social media if we admit it. Finding out about engagements, babies, family deaths, you name it. When is the world going to go back to good old kitchen table gossip? If you don’t actually talk to the relatives yourself, there is nothing to care about. It feels like the populace has all gone into the “grey rock” mode of relationships. We can talk about the weather, the sky, the new car, but don’t ever tell anyone that we have food anxiety because of allergies. No, no, no….
Nine: Drink coffee by the potful to help stay awake. Maybe I mentioned that one already? Well, you know. When you love coffee and you drink a pot full before breakfast, that’s a problem. Just saying. Try starting the day with water. If you get heartburn so bad that you can’t eat your oatmeal? It’s an ulcer.
Ten: Get heartburn that dictates your meals or lack thereof. I did not know that my bird picking appetite was really the sign of a rooted and growing ulcer. Yes, bird picking. I ate every two hours, just a little bit. Because I am too close to the fridge and the cookie jar, picking at my meals was pretty easy to do. Now, I am force feeding myself the recommended foods on the “heal my stomach-starve the ulcer” diet. As if my food list was limited before, the next two weeks will really be limited. And with the holidays coming up, there might be some cans of chicken noodle soup in the back pack ready to substitute. It’s a good thing I like chicken noodle soup. Hey and those books are pretty good too! Except most of the stories are tear jerkers.
How to grow a worry wart? Plan the seed with insomnia, food allergies, and going blind anxiety. That’s some pretty fertile soil there. Water the ulcer with coffee, black tea, and frequent snacks. Feed the worry wart with more food anxieties, relationship struggles, friendship failures, and family bickering. Don’t forget to shed some light on the little wart with some enlightened political debates, social media discouragement, and silent cell phones. And finally, the best thing of all for the worry wart? Don’t let sleep get in your way.