Unreliable When Sick- A poem

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-cup-on-saucer-2662180/

I came across this poem I’ve written a couple of years ago when the pain was still intense and every day was a struggle. Looking back brings mixed emotions in my heart: on one hand, I can’t believe what I had to go through on the other hand I’m celebrating life and feeling better:) I wanted to share it with you in hopes that it may bring you some hope. You’re not alone. And that in itself feels good.

“Your party is so fun, but I can’t stay.”

“Why not? Don’t tell me. Feeling sick again?

What’s wrong with you? It’s maybe in your head.

Just stay! And drink! Soon you’ll feel the sickness fade.”

“No thank you, I must go, my friend.

I know you mean well, but I’m fighting, 

Something bizarre.” And I got up and gathered all my strength

To say goodbye to all the other guests,

Some dear sweet friends, a few I didn’t know at all. 

Once in the car, I hung my head real low.

“I feel so bad.” “Will pass.” My husband said.

“Not about that, I feel fake, I can’t withstand

The energy a party thus requires anymore.

I’m a bad friend.”

“Sweetie, no you’re not.

You need your rest. In truth, I’m glad to go.

The loud dance music, drinking, and the show,

Is not my thing. I’d rather go, and spend

The evening just the two of us, alone, eating some bread.”

Emotionally I was relieved.

But physically my eyelids were so heavy,

The body, craving safety and some rest,

It kept reminding me of one sure truth,

I was no longer superwoman.

Once home I climbed into our bed

And watched some “House MD” my favorite show.

I’ve lived in bed for many days and months now.

To go downstairs for a piece of bread

Was a survivor’s effort I did dread

As heavy, deep fatigue was now my plague.

A phone call from my friends became rare

As I kept suffering in bed, all hope but frail.

When someone called I lifted painful hands

And held with effort, the black plastic thing we call a phone.

“Hello?” “You feeling better? You left again so early.”

“So sweet you called. I was exhausted.”

“Are you okay?” “Not really, but I hope one day this too will end.”

“What is it?” “Don’t know, the doctors are dumbfounded.”

No diagnoses meant no cure.

And days passed slowly and the calls faded for sure.  

I heard some gossip going on behind my absent self:

“She’s just pretending. She’s not that sick. 

Attention seeking. My gosh, that’s awful! How pathetic. I know.”

And I did wish I was that stupid, to seek attention in that way

But pound by pound my flesh shrunk quickly

A thin ghost figure living in my house instead

That lingered like a feather ready to be spent.

And test by test and some more blood.

No answers. Just frustration and an empty bank.

My God! I’m passing all too soon. I’ll miss my loved ones.

Make sure my kids don’t hate you cause I worry. 

I pray my hubby will find peace after I’m gone. Protect them.

I am not ready. With one shallow breath: I’m scared and somewhat numb.

Yet, morning after morning my eyelids, although swollen and in pain

Kept opening, reminding me that hope was raining in my lane. 

Ten months now passed, too many tests to count,

I get a phone call. It’s a Sunday. Pick up my cell. The doctor:

“It’s Lyme disease, the test is positive.”

A diagnosis! Great! I’ll have a cure! But no.

A neurological dark storm would steal some more, 

Would bring me further to the hollowed grave’s door.

I stared at Death and made a deal:

“I’ll fight you! I won’t go without a shrill, a temper tantrum, and a prayer wheel!”

“Go right ahead dear, in the end, I always win.”

And then and there I thus knew

My end was coming. Prayed some more:

“God you must have the final say, I’ll be prepared.”

And thus he did. Four angels there they stood

In all four corners of my bedroom

Tall, strong, and guarding, silent like a tomb,

Too tall to see the end of them, but oh so sure

They were of themselves. “Thank you I whispered.”

To them and God. “But why? I am a no one.”

“That’s not true. You’re mine, my child, a value without end.”

I cried long tears held inside for years until I was spent.

“I must be valued for you to send such help.”

And only then believed what I did hope for years to be true:

I did have value! And nothing ever could, 

Take that away. No flaw, no stain, no human blame.

“Thank you, dear God. I now believe. You are the fiber of my very being.”

And day by day, some bad ones too, 

I kept on fighting, cause now I knew,

With God along my side, I will be cured one day.

And it took time to feel strong in my body.

Another angel, a God-like presence, 

In mother, form stood by my bed

And cried with me and brushed my forehead

When pain took over in that deep, intense way.

She cried, I cried, and we held hands.

She cried for me and all the others

Who suffered in a similar bed.

They came from all nations, ages, and both genders,

Of all beliefs. Even those who hated God. She cried for them as well.

She cried with them, with me, and we were not alone. 

God, one thing I know

You’re never threatened by my pettiness, 

My weakness, or my anger, and all my questions,

And temper tantrums, my hateful speech, and all my hesitations.

And I love that!

Despite it all, you still love and forgive our deep frustrations.

When something awful happens

And I demand an explanation 

You have more patience,

Than I’ll ever do. 

In many ways, I love you too. The End– Carmen McKnight

Pack Your Bags, It’s Time for a Wellness Journey

Written by Jason Lewis

Have you taken a trip just for yourself? Not because the kids wanted to go to the beach, nor because you wanted to visit friends and family in another state, and not for another group get-together in the mountains? If not, it’s time you do. There are few things more refreshing than rebooting yourself with time away on your own terms.

Blogger Carmen McKnight takes a look at a few great destinations where you can unwind on your time.

Before You Take Off Work

Before we have you booking flights, let’s think about a few preemptive measures you can take at work to keep your phone from ringing while you’re enjoying the sunshine and breeze. Start by letting your customers, coworkers, and, if applicable, your employees know that you’ll be away during certain days. You might also consider outsourcing some administrative responsibilities to a virtual assistant or ramping up your hours in the weeks before you go to get a little bit ahead.

Start Booking

There is no single destination that makes sense for everyone. But, before you book a trip, think about going somewhere that you have never been before. You may just find your new favorite location right outside your doorstep.

Miami Beach

The beach needs no introduction, but what you might not know about Miami is that you have beautiful weather all year round. And, if you like to wind down with nightlife, you won’t find a better location than Miami Beach. There’s also lots of interesting artwork, amazing food, and plenty of nature to soak your soul into.

Orlando and Disney World

As we’re thinking about Florida, you can’t rule out Orlando – more than 59 million visitors (in 2021) certainly didn’t according to Visit Orlando. The area is home to more than a dozen theme parks, chief among them being Disney World, which comprises attractions like Epcot Center and the Magic Kingdom. You can make the trip to Disney World an affordable one by checking out the deals and reward program at Mouse Life Today, which also has tourist news and information.

Dallas

Dallas is a city steeped in history, from Cowboys to famous assassinations. According to the TourScanner blog, you’ll also find immersive art exhibits, a virtual zombie apocalypse, sports, and, if you have the courage, you can even take a fan-powered parachute flight with a certified pilot. Coincidentally, there are still many affordable vacation homes in Dallas. If you can swing 20% down (or have enough equity for a home equity loan or second mortgage), then you may even be able to have a permanent second home and a potential income stream.

New England

Covered bridges, lighthouses, and seafood! Sign us up. A quick trip to New England and its pine trees, sugar shacks, and rolling hills may be just what the doctor ordered. New England Today calls the area “a beautiful corner of the world!” While you’re here, take a charter yacht trip to see some landmarks from when our country was founded.

Seattle

Seattle might get a bad reputation for being rainy, but very few days are actual washouts. Don’t shy away from this West Coast Haven, and plan to spend the day on Puget Sound and the market center or strolling the corridors of the Museum Of Pop Culture, all of which are in Hotels.com’s top five picks for things to do in Seattle.

The benefits of taking a self-care “reset” trip can’t really be described in words. You’ll return relaxed, refreshed, and ready to tackle any challenge that steps in front of you. But, before you go, make sure to spend some time getting prepared at work and look for destinations you’ve never been to before. You never know, you might just find a new part-time home and income stream to help you afford your next getaway.

Image via Pexels

Carmen McKnight blogs about her journey back to health from chronic Lyme Disease. Connect with Carmen today to learn more!

Iran and its cry

Since it began on September 16th after Mahsa Amini a 22-year-old died in the “morality police’s” custody “collectively as a woman I felt the pain of the women suffering in Iran” as Eleen so beautifully put it. Who is Eleen? My son, Merrill’s, girlfriend. Born and raised in Tehran, Iran she lives in America which means half of her heart is still back there with her family. I feel with her, I feel with all the women fighting now for their freedom, for their rights, and dying dreaming to be free. Around 200 people died already, mostly students still in high school or college standing up to a dictatorship they no longer tolerate. It’s a unified cry of the Iranian people, of the Iranian women, a cry for freedom, and a call for the tyranny to end.

I’ve asked Eleen’s help so I’ll choose her own words “This is a fire under the ash. They (the police) may act like they still have power but the power is in the people’s hands, they are done with the lies. Literally, they are ready to trade their lives for freedom even if are not alive to experience it.”

Well said.

I pray for complete freedom for the women of Iran, may the women choose what freedom is to them not another man saying what their freedom should be about. My heart is hurting with you and praying for your success.

Carmen

How to Help Loved Ones Living With a Chronic Illness

Written by Jason Lewis

Chronic illness is more common than you may think; according to research, up to 45% of Americans have one, and a smaller percentage have several conditions. When a family member or friend gets diagnosed, it can feel like the world is crumbling, but individuals with chronic diseases can live full, happy lives. You can help by offering your support in the following ways.

Learn as Much as You Can

If you want to help a loved one living with a chronic illness, the first step is learning more. The best way to research is by consulting with a medical professional, but you can supplement your knowledge with reputable online sources:

  • Cleveland Clinic
  • National Institutes of Health
  • MedlinePlus
  • Mayo Clinic

What if you feel called to take a more hands-on approach? A nursing degree can equip family members with the necessary skills to become full-time caregivers. Online universities offer flexibility and affordable tuition, making them an excellent option for working adults. Before registering, ensure the school is accredited to avoid getting scammed.

Help Your Loved One Adhere to a Management Plan

Management plans can minimize symptoms through lifestyle changes, medication, and medical treatment:

  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Pain management
  • Socialization

Depending on the condition and patients’ ages, they may need assistance sticking with a plan created by their doctors. You can help by organizing their medication, scheduling exercise classes, and taking them to social gatherings.

Create an Accessible Home Office

Working from home offers flexibility and comfort for people with chronic conditions. Home office design significantly impacts productivity, especially when individuals have health issues, so look for ways to create a welcoming, adaptable workspace:

  • Choose low-maintenance flooring
  • Find a quiet area
  • Get a desk that’s comfortable to work at

Additionally, you can help your loved one increase natural lighting, which can boost energy and mood. Buying an ergonomic chair is also essential, as it can drastically reduce physical discomfort over long hours at the computer.

Ask What Your Loved One Needs

You should have an open dialogue with loved ones about their needs, including their emotional states. These discussions aren’t easy, and you may need a professional to help you navigate them. It may take time for individuals to adjust to their new limitations, so be patient and ask what you can do to assist in the meantime. Above all, don’t assume you know what your loved one needs. People with chronic illnesses still have agency and deserve respect.

Helping Around the House

Sometimes chronic illnesses cause pain, stiffness, and fatigue, making it difficult for patients to accomplish tasks they efficiently completed before. You can help your loved one stay comfortable by completing household chores:

  • Sweeping
  • Mopping
  • Doing dishes
  • Cooking

Read About Others’ Journeys

Dealing with a loved one’s illness can be overwhelming, and sometimes family and friends feel at a loss. Reading about other people’s experiences may help if you’re in this position. For example, you can find blogs about caregivers’ journeys or read books about patients’ struggles.

Get Outside Help

Even with an extensive support system, families of people with chronic illnesses can’t do everything. The good news is that there are many resources to help:

  • Support groups
  • Religious organizations
  • Transportation services
  • Foodbank
  • Nonprofit organizations

Getting diagnosed with a chronic illness is a huge life change, but the support of loved ones can ease the transition. With the right approach, you can help your family member or friend get high-quality care and enjoy life.

 Image via Pexels

I love collaborating with Jason and I’m looking forward to future articles:)

God Bless:)

Life’s work, Life’s shadows and Some Small Contentment

Poem

Photo by Carmen McKnight from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/leaf-autumn-fall-macro-3269009/

The same God that made you, made me too.

I may be weak, you may be strong

I may be strong, you may be weak

But that will pass, we’ll change again some more.

Some days we’ll cry, some days we’ll dance

I will fall down, you will regret

You’ll celebrate, I will get up

Cause in the end the same God

Made me and made you too.

I am a woman, at times confused

You are confused, at times a man

May walk alone or hand in hand.

We cry out loud and make no sound

Or talk too much, forget to touch

The child within who’se lonely often

Or lays thus crushed under an inner coffin.

We speak in vain and often roar

Our hearts pretend while minds do war.

What’s dark in us somebody one day will expose

What’s great in us mostly will be ignored.

And thus we roam among the people of this earth

Some do pretend, some are content

But in the end we realise

The falsehood in another’s life

Was once thus whispered in their head

By broken people whom knew little of love’s bread

But kept repeating a leaned script instead

Of words which hurt, or maybe brought some light content

Some spoke encouragement. In the end

Most kept the hope high as a trend

Which one are you?

I hope I am the second. And now the end.- By Carmen McKnight

Moved

We moved on the 24th of August and it’s been a continual exhaustive trail of hard work, but slowly the results give us the energy needed to get up in the morning and do it all over. I’ve lived in the city for so long that I’ve forgotten how much work life in the country requires. But country life has its beauty and rewards, as seen in the video above. I wasn’t talking about the deer I was talking about the weeds that still need pulling…okay that was a lame joke but that’s all I’ve got today.

On a goofy note, we just watched all the Twilight movies. Remember Twilight? And we went to Forks last Wednesday. I’m team, Charlie. That’s about as deep as I’ll get today. I’m emotionally and physically exhausted so I do not have much to share with you today.

What’s going on in your neck of the woods, or neighborhood? Keep me updated;) Have a good day, we all need good days. I’ve seen on Facebook all the weddings you guys have! So wonderful! I’m glad when I see people celebrating life.

God Bless:)

5 Simple Ways to Become Healthier

Written by Jason Lewis

Maybe you’re dealing with a chronic illness, and you want to get your symptoms under control. Or perhaps you’re just ready to take charge of your health. No matter what, there are always a few basic things you can do to feel better on a daily basis, from seeking a more fulfilling job to incorporating exercise into your routine. If you’re struggling with unexplained symptoms, you can turn to Carmen McKnight for guidance. Furthermore, these tips will help you embrace a healthier lifestyle, one step at a time.

Switch Careers

What if your job is causing you undue stress? Perhaps you feel frustrated and unfulfilled at work, or maybe you’re just itching for a change. You might find that switching careers boosts your mental health. For instance, if you’re interested in medical coding, you can leverage this into a new job. By choosing among available medical coding online courses, you can learn all about assigning accurate codes and correctly identifying service claims and medical procedures. To finish the course, you’ll take an assessment validating your skills.

Exercise in Short Bursts

You might feel like you have no time to exercise because your schedule is so packed right now. But you may be shocked by how effortlessly you can fit more physical activity into your daily routine, even if you don’t have much free time. For you, this might mean taking the stairs instead of an elevator when you have the option or going for short walks during your lunch breaks.

Change Your Sleep Schedule

Maybe you find it hard to get a full eight hours of sleep each night. But restructuring your routines so that you can wake up feeling well-rested is worth the effort. If you tend to scroll on your smartphone around bedtime or fall asleep with the TV on, it’s time to make some changes. Healthline recommends easing off caffeine consumption late in the day, avoiding sources of blue light in the evening, skipping daytime naps, taking melatonin supplements, and figuring out the optimal sleep temperature for your bedroom.

Meditation

Meditation can dramatically benefit your mental health. But if you’ve never tried meditating before, you might assume that this practice is too difficult or boring. Meditation is truly what you make of it – and it can be quite soothing! To begin your personal meditation practice, Shape recommends sitting on a comfortable chair or cushion, putting on instrumental music, setting a timer for five minutes, closing your eyes, and simply breathing through your nose. If your thoughts begin to wander, bring your attention back to your breath.

Cook at Home

It’s all too easy to order takeout after a busy day at work or pop a frozen meal in the microwave for a convenient lunch or dinner. But cooking healthy, home-cooked meals will help you fuel your body and feel your best. You don’t have to be a professional chef to whip up a tasty meal! You can start by mastering a few basic recipes and branching out from there.

It can be hard to cook at home regularly if you work long hours. This is where meal prep comes in handy. By prepping meals over the weekend, storing portions in your fridge or freezer, and simply reheating them as the week goes on, you can eliminate the need to have food delivered.

Making healthy lifestyle changes, like finding a better job or exercising, can feel intimidating. But you can gradually shift to a healthier lifestyle over time – you don’t have to make lots of dramatic changes at once. With these tips, you’ll be able to care for your physical and mental health.

Are you dealing with a chronic illness? Find inspiration and support from the blog of Carmen McKnight. Browse the blog today for tips and advice on managing your health.

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