Fear Is Normal 

I have something to admit: I am scared. I am scared about a lot of things – with young children I fear for their well-being and hope for their happiness every single day – but right now I am scared about what’s going to happen to me in the near future. I have actually spent a lot of time lately wallowing in self-pity, but please indulge me to do the same here…and then I need to buck up and shut up.

Let me back up. Almost 3 years ago I started getting terrible headaches. I saw a nurse practitioner, afraid that perhaps I had a tumour or something, and she assured me all was fine and that I should take an aspirin. Months later, when the headaches had not gone away (they were coming daily and were very bad), I went to see my doctor. Since then I have had to take prescription medication daily for my headaches. After a lot of tests, it was determined that I have degenerative disc disease in my neck (which is also curved the opposite way it should be), and that it is an accelerated degeneration. That is what has been causing, and will continue to cause, my headaches. 

Because I also have scoliosis (a curvature of the spine), I have sought the services of chiropractors, physiotherapists, and massage therapists for many, many years. About three decades actually. However, things got particularly bad about 8 months ago. Since then I have been a regular at various medical facilities and, to be honest, I would be surprised if those who are part of my personal medical health team –  my doctor, my chiropractor, my 2 physiotherapist teams, my massage therapist, my reflexologist, and my physiatrist – aren’t sick of me by now. Not a week goes by without me seeing several members of my team. Though I have loads of respect for them and think they’re fantastic, I think it might be nice just to have a week free of any kind of appointment and reminder of my messed up body. 

As I have mentioned before on this blog, a good friend of mine was hit by a car and paralyzed about a year and a half ago. She spent months in a rehabilitation facility, and she told me that the majority of the people she met there with spinal injuries have the same disease as I have. That made me scared. Incredibly scared. Could I be paralyzed soon? Will I be in a wheelchair in the next few years? I have young kids with whom I barely play because I am always sore and in pain. Will I even be able to get down on the floor with them or go for a walk with them in the near future? It’s scary to think of my future. I see my friend and her new normal and she struggles every day. She is an unbelievably strong woman – physically and mentally – with incredible determination, but she faces challenges and obstacles every day. I hope I can be as amazing as she is…but I really don’t know. 

And that’s why I am scared. And that’s why I crawl into bed and cry alone for hours when I hear my doctor say this is my new normal. Fear is my new normal. 

But it’s okay to be afraid. I guess it’s okay to wallow every now and again too. I just can’t make THAT my new normal.



Five Reasons I Hate Birds (for Ketchup With Us)

Day 9 of the numbered post a day challenge from Ketchup With Us – brought to you by Michele at ODNT and Mel at According to Mags – and this one from me is letting you in on something that’s not quite a secret to people who know me well.  I don’t like birds.  I actually would even say I hate them.  That hatred stems from an intense fear I have had of them for a long, long time.  The fear started when I was a child, walking down a very long laneway to catch the school bus.  There was a bird who’d made a nest on a fence post, about halfway down the laneway.  It decided my brother and I were threats, and so every time we walked down and up it would fly toward us, circling our heads.  Sending us a message.  Things didn’t get any better after my brother thought it would be fun to shoot a BB gun at it.  (I guess he was a threat, but not poor little me!)  The bird got more aggressive…and I can’t say I blame it.  However, it made my walk to and from the school bus TERRIFYING.  Luckily, the bird wasn’t there that long, and the terror ended.  But not before I developed a fear of these winged creatures.  So, for my Ketchup With Us blog post today, I decided to list the…

Five Reasons I Hate (More Specifically, Am Afraid of) Birds

1)  They’re unpredictable.  You never quite know what they’re going to do.  Land on you?  Fly into your hair?  Poop on you?  Peck your eyes out?  Once when I was living in Toronto, I stepped into the apartment building elevator, and didn’t survey my surroundings like I almost always did.  About halfway into the trip, I looked to my right and saw a young woman with a bird.  Not in a cage or anything.  Completely free.  I started panicking inside.  If only I had looked before I stepped on the elevator, I would’ve waited for the next one.  I was now stuck there.  I just hoped we’d get to the lobby quickly.  But it wasn’t quick enough, because the bird started flying at me!  Traumatizing.

2)  They swarm.  I remember throwing a stone at a seagull once in Florida, because I wanted a bird to leave – I should’ve known better – and suddenly I was swarmed by dozens of seagulls, thinking I was throwing food.  It was like something out of the movie “The Birds”.

3)  They have sharp beaks and claws.  Ouch.

4)  They have beady little eyes.  Have you ever looked into a bird’s eyes?  Freaky.

5)  They are messy/dirty. The ones in my neighbourhood come out on garbage day and rip into the garbage bags, making a big mess.  It doesn’t matter what time we put the bags out, the crows always have time to make sure the garbage is strewn all over the lawns and street.  They also make an absolute mess on our deck, our vehicles, our driveway, and our front steps whenever they feel the urge to poop.  Gross.

And knowing that a group of crows is called a MURDER makes them all the more scary, doesn’t it???  See???

You, too, can take part in the numbered post a day challenge this month, just like Michele, Mel, and me!  You can get the details on their websites!  Happy writing!