Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Living with chronic pain and fatigue is a challenge. I thought I understood what it is like for others who experience this kind of pain and fatigue. If I were honest, I quickly came to realize  that I didn't have a clue what it was like to live that way day in and day out. It is one of those things that to truly understand you have to experience. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. The most frustrating part for me is that I am a mom to young children. My oldest is 19 but the two little ones are only 8 and 9. They still need me and better yet they are still at an age where they want me! It breaks my heart to not be able to make plans from one day to the next because we don't know how I will be feeling. We don't know how bad the humidity is going to be and blatantly we don't know if I will be physically capable of much more than getting out of bed! My fun factor has taken a serious hit. My husband and kids disagree but even I know the difference.

We play board games in my bed, watch movies, talk and get lost in wonderful books. We still do things like visit the Toronto Zoo. I have slowly been learning to do things differently than I used to. When we go to the zoo, we go for a couple of hours in the morning before the heat gets too bad. We use the zoomobile to get from continent to continent and when needed I can rent a wheelchair. Thank goodness we have a family membership and can go as many times as we would like. This has allowed us to see all of the zoo this year broken up into manageable chunks. I can't imagine being without a zoo membership. We also have an Ontario Science Center membership and the same rules apply except it allows us to go anytime of the day because of the air conditioning. Loving indoor activities in the heat of summer and the cold of winter.

Santa knocked it out of the park last year when he gave the kids the memberships for Christmas. Gifts that are remembered, used year round and do not clutter the house. Those family memberships have done wonders for us this year. I am looking to see what other memberships are available for things that are near by (as I don't travel distances well) and will encourage family activity year round. Mind you these two memberships will be hard to beat!

I have spent many an hour in the past 8 months feeling sorry for myself. My life turned upside down, the pain, the fatigue and not knowing if my legs will work from one day to the next. Having to use a cane to make sure that I stay on my own two feet rather than on my backside. Balance issues can be bad and certainly embarrassing when they occur in public. It is amazing the looks I get when I; use accessible parking (I have a permit), when I walk with a cane or on bad days when I use a wheelchair. I guess it is hard for people to understand when there isn't anything visible to help them understand. I have also become very aware of how inaccessible our city truly is. Again something you only see when you are faced with the challenge of having to get around. Our cities need to consider using individuals who use canes and wheelchairs to get around to be the ones to provide them with information on what is and isn't accessible.

I think the biggest lesson I have learned this year is that I have control over only one thing in my life. Yes, just one thing. My attitude. It is my attitude that makes a difference in my day to day life. I choose my attitude no different than I choose the clothing I am going to wear each day. My attitude affects how I feel, what I do and how I do it. It impacts each and every aspect of my life and the lives of those around me. I choose to see the glass as half full. I choose a positive attitude. I choose to surround myself with positive people that have positive attitudes. There isn't anything that I cannot accomplish if I approach it with a positive attitude.

I truly believe that attitude is half the battle. Once you are armed with a positive attitude you can do anything. Your attitude affects your ability to do everything. There are some quotes that I use to remind me about the value of a positive attitude and it's impact on my life.

"Do or Do Not there is no Try" - Yoda

"Destiny is not a matter of chance, It is a matter of choice, It is not something to be waited for, But rather something to be achieved" - William Jennings Bryan

"Be the change you want to see in the world" - Mahatma Ghandhi

"Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today" - James Dean

"When the student is ready the teacher will appear" - Buddhist Proverb

"You become what you think about" - Earl Nightingale

"To "try" is failure with honour" - Unknown

What does your attitude say about you? What are your favourite quotes that inspire and motivate you?

© 2011 Rhonda

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