What if you had to put a puzzle together without a picture, would you be able to? It would take a bit longer but it can be done.

Now what if 1/2 of the puzzle’s picture was torn from the box? A bit easier than no picture at all. You can get a pretty good idea what it should look like as a whole by looking at what is in front of you. You would think so anyway.

Then you start to piece the puzzle together. Working outside in. Things start coming together. The picture is looking mostly the way you envisioned it would. Mostly. You continue, one piece then the next. Piece by piece. The final puzzle piece. Finally! You place it triumphantly in its place. But something is off.

You stand back and look at the complete picture. That one piece changed the entire picture. It changed everything you thought you were looking at. Everything. It’s funny how that happens.

Memory loss

I was in an accident when I was younger that turned my world upside down. In addition to needing many surgeries, my brain hit my skull causing me to have debilitating headaches. Headaches that put me in the hospital. My doctor decided to put me on morphine. I was put on 800 mg of morphine a day.

The headaches kept me from being able to relax and sleeping was impossible. I was very young. I had no clue what morphine would do to me. I just knew I was finally able to get some sleep. What I did not realize was the morphine caused me to black out. It wasn’t until I hit my head and it woke me up did I realize what was happening. It apparently happened frequently.

I started winging myself off of it within six months of being given my first script. Once I got down to 300 mg, I threw my pills away. Big mistake. My body needed the morphine. My body was adapted to functioning with it. I don’t like to use the word addicted. I never took it for a buzz. It was taken to help me survive horrendous pain. Pain that had me contemplating suicide. I ended up in the ER in withdrawals and in agony. It took the ER doctors 4 hours to finally contact my family doctor. In the meantime I was treated badly. Once they spoke to my doctor, their attitudes had changed. He told them that on my own I had began winging myself off of the medication and also let them know why he prescribed it.

It took five years to finally get off of morphine. To this day, if I need a surgery or a procedure, I refuse morphine. It scares the hell out of me.

Did morphine save my life? Yes it did. It gave my brain the time it needed to heal. It helped me get the rest I needed so my body could heal. Unfortunately, it stole my memory. I have five years of my life that all I have are bits and pieces. My family is my memory for that time. I couldn’t even remember my parents’ ages, my age, important dates. I didn’t talk about these things. I was embarrassed. I couldn’t remember meaning of many words. I had to learn things all over again. Not everything but some things. I did this on my own. It didn’t take long for things to come back to me, once I began living again. But I had to work on remembering certain things.

One issue I still have to this day, remembering people’s names. I could know you and talk to you daily and still go blank on your name. It’s hard to make people understand. I’m a very smart woman. But this made me feel stupid. Maybe that’s why I kept it to myself for years. I handled it on my own.

It’s hard when a piece of your life is just missing. That part for me is harder than having to learn things over again. You can always learn but once a piece of time is gone, that’s it.

Game nights with friends-gone

Chicago Cubs game-gone

Daily conversations-gone

Acquaintances or friends made during that time-not a clue.

Vacations-only bits and pieces.

I had people talk louder to me when I couldn’t remember someone or an event. Like that was going to bring it back. I wasn’t deaf, I had memory loss.

I cannot bear the thought of wasting my time. Or allowing anyone to waste my time. Time is precious. To all of us. I understand this better now than ever. Don’t waste your time being scared to try new things. Don’t let fear stop you from anything in this life. Go on little adventures. Take pictures of these adventures. I don’t care if it’s something as simple as a night of karaoke. One day, my memory will fade once again. It will happen to us all. Maybe if you keep a record of your days, when that time comes, it will take you back to that place and time. Life goes on! Don’t waste a single minute!

Many blessings!

Laughter is the best medicine

I know some people don’t get my humor. I really don’t care. I have experienced things in my life that have rocked my world. I have chronic pain and Fibromyalgia. One thing I have found that will always get me through bad days is laughter. No matter what you have going on…life goes on. Some days it isn’t that easy. Some days picking yourself up seems impossible. I assure you nothing is impossible. You find things that make you laugh. It is a fact that laughter causes the release of endorphins. AKA “feel good brain chemicals”.

So find your happy place! Blessings!


Adrien & Sarah

The attached article is a beautifully written synopsis of my nephew and my niece. Six years ago today Adrien left this earth. If you ever want to know what strength is-look to these two siblings.

Adrien was born with a heart defect that resulted in him growing up having multiple surgeries. Later he would have a heart transplant.

Sarah is a breast cancer survivor. Unfortunately, the cancer has returned and she has been undergoing treatments for it once again. She knows the reality of her situation and faces it with courage and grace.

I think about my sister and Adrien and Sarah’s dad. Again, such strength. My sister came into their lives when they were still young kids. She loves them as if they were her own. No parent should have to experience the loss of a child. I can only imagine the pain they feel.

Love your kids. Make them your #1 priority. Give them all the love you have. Adrien knew he was loved. Sarah knows she is loved.

#hearttransplant #breastcancer #strength