Those of you who've read my blog over a period of years know most of the time my life runs at a fairly energetic pace. Not that I'm out and about a lot, because that's not the kind of person God made me to be. My nature is grounded in the home, and I truly do bloom within my own domestic sanctuary.
It's actually my mind that travels at the speed of light, the next new idea tapping at the heel of the one before and always just minutes or if I'm lucky maybe an hour apart, and this happens even in my sleep. I've never had the fortune to find that elusive 'off' switch beside my brain that would allow me to zone out and simply shut down all ideas and plans. My mind literally clicks over and over and over, day in and day out, and it gets exhausting.
This past year has been a new learning curve of daily sifting those ideas as quickly as I can into a 'discard' or 'keep' mental bucket. The more time I've had to practice this, the easier it has become to let go of more than I hold on to.
However, something else happened this year which has also helped in the strangest way. At first I thought I was losing my mind, then I thought I was becoming a hypochondriac and began freaking out about the conclusions I was making about my mental health.
After a pretty bad fall last year I found physical fatigue to be a regular companion. I mentioned it to my husband, Blossom and Aisha - mostly because I couldn't hide it - but didn't tell them just how bad it really was. I also told two close friends, but again, didn't expand as much as I could have.
A few more symptoms came in to play this year and I started toying with the idea I had chronic fatigue. The downside of this was that apart from the actual fatigue I didn't have the other symptoms of that condition.
In June I went downhill fast and was diagnosed with pnuemonia. Fair enough. I didn't bounce back the way my doctor had hoped and the fatigue just got worse than ever. More symptoms came into play.
I began a new migraine preventative drug in early October (45 years of chronic migraines and this drug is for epileptics so is the last resort for me) and a few side effects mimicked things I had been experiencing for over a year, but now they just got a little worse. A few weeks went by and I came clean with my doctor and told her the full extent of what I'd been experiencing for about 18 months. She sent me for an MRI.
Now you might wonder why I'd not told the doctor everything from the beginning, why I never even told her about that bad fall last year either.
After 45 years of migraine, after my father living with migraines all his life and dying of a brain tumour at age 59, after my Uncle Brian dying of a brain tumour at age 57 (I am now 57)...well, I just didn't want to go looking for a tumour.
It took me months to get to a place in my mind and in my heart with God, where I could lay aside fear and walk with confidence into that magnetised machine and find out what was going on inside my brain.
I do not have a brain tumour.
But I do have a brain trauma injury which is causing the symptoms that made me think I was going a bit nuts, the symptoms I've attempted to hide or downplay for about 18 months.
The injury is permanent and will not improve. Some things will not get any worse, and some will.
The incredible physical fatigue that hits hard out of the blue and takes me days to recover from will be my lifelong companion, and I can't do anything quickly anymore. Life seems like it's going in slow motion for me, but really, it's normal pace for most people and I'm okay about that.
I've been forced to slow down, and now I can see the view.
The insatiable thirst that never slackens is mine forever because that part of my brain is damaged, and it's also the part that tells me I always need to pee. That really makes me laugh! LOL!!! Truly, I do get a lot of laughter from this because there's some weird stuff my brain does now.
Just having conversations makes me really exhausted - dialogue wearies me, you know? Who would have thought that?
My close-up eyesight has been on a downward slope for 18 months, yet it used to be perfect. It was my distance sight that has been a problem all my life. Now I can see in the distance, but need glasses to read the computer screen.
There's other things, but they are my things...stuff for me to know, my family to know.
So what now? I'm simplifying my life, little by little.
Even my threads. They were such a mess. I have five boxes like this to 'make nice'...
Because I hand embroider it seems wasteful to have much fabric so I gave most of it to Blossom and she will be selling it to buy what she needs for their little family.
This is all I have now, a few little piles on my sewing room shelves, and it feels peaceful in my heart...
I did keep a bundle of one hundred 5" pink & green squares and a little yardage for a quilt I'll be making with the designs from December's Stitchery Club patterns...
I'm still designing.
It's what I do, it's what God gifted me to do.
I won't do as many tutorials, but I will keep blogging to encourage you in your God given roles as incredible women who have stories of your own, stories that make you who you are, stories that you can share to encourage others.
I'm not telling you about me today because I want you to feel sorry for me, or because I want any kind of sympathy or a pat on the back - goodness me, no!
I'm really happy this happened to me. It has made me appreciate LIFE, the gift of who I have, what I have, and where I am.
It's not life threatening and compared to so many of you, I have got it easy.
There are other areas of my life that I'd rather not have experienced, things way worse than a manageable brain injury, but that is the point I am making.
We all have a story.
We each have a good story, a sad one, a brave one, a hard one, a generous one, a compassionate one, a still-in-process one, a yet-to-be-lived one, a miraculous one...every person you meet has a story to tell, so be kind to them, and pray that your seeds of kindness will reap a harvest of kindness back into your life when you need it most.
In our Gentle Domesticity Facebook Group last week, a dear member, Jan, lost her husband rather suddenly. She's a woman who posts quite regularly in the group, a lovely lady, an encourager.
In that message, sharing the news of her beloved's passing she again encouraged us with these words,
Love each other, hug each other because you never know.
The response from our group members, wrapping their arms around Jan through their comments brought tears to many eyes I'm sure...and that's what mattered most. Her story matters to us, her sorrow and loss and knowing we can't be there in person but we can listen, we can pray, and we can let her know we truly do care.
I gave our group members this stitchery over the weekend because I think we all, at some time, need to be reminded that kindness is a free gift, and something every person has need of.
If you'd like to join the group and access the free pattern from our files you are most welcome.
I think that's certainly enough from me today, don't you?
God be with you always, and may you be blessed in abundant measure with every good thing, especially kindness.
love and hugs