This beautiful Angel is Casey and he belongs to my dear friends Bob Kaegi and Deb Kaegi. The pic is perfect for this article ❤
The other day we had a beautifully warm summer feeling day. All the windows open, it was lovely. In the afternoon a soft shower began and as I soaked in the wonderful smells of the wet earth it reminded me. I use to take the birds out for summer showers. It is so important for us to give our feathered babies as much nature as possible. It was amazing watching them as the clouds roll in and a little thunder sometimes. Their wings rise up as they anticipate the rain that is about to fall. You can just feel their joy! I always stayed out with them, they were either in cages or on a harness. While I haven’t been able to do this in a long time, I am going to try and start doing it again. We have a ramp that was built so I could take the birds out by myself but I can no longer manage moving it so I will find another way. I hope you all try this, it is so wonderful for our birds to have as much nature as possible. Just make sure they are harnessed or caged for their safety always 🙂
Another thing I love to do is cut branches and vines and string them around their play areas. This truly gives them a better feeling of being outdoors and they forage and play. This is very important for birds in captivity. In the wilds food is not served in a bowl, so having to search and find food is wonderful stimulation for them mentally and physically. You can tie up lil bundles of treats on the branches or even hang items for them to find.
Pine cones are another great source of entertainment for them and you can hide bits of food inside. Make sure to bake your pine cones before giving to your bird to kill off any bugs etc that might still be on them. Just 200° for about 15 mins. Make sure they are from a tree that has not been treated with any pesticides or chemicals.
When I struggle to find words, please be patient with me…..my illnesses have made my memory foggy.
When I walk slowly or need help to move, please be patient with me…..my illnesses are destroying my joints.
When I need help with the simplest of tasks, please be patient with me…..my illnesses are making everything harder for me to do.
When I say something that is annoying, please be patient with me…..my illnesses are making me struggle with my emotions.
When I seem to need so much rest, please be patient with me…..my illnesses are draining all of my energy.
When I am being stubborn, please be patient with me……my illnesses are making give up so much that I am holding onto as much as I can.
When I cry, please be patient with me…..I am still inside this broken body and missing who I once was, and what I use to be able to do. I am terrified of what is coming but still trying to be brave and face my future with dignity and grace.
As you all know for the past 4 years my health truly started failing me and at a pace that I just had such a difficult time dealing with it all. I also became very depressed and while I tried to share with all my Facebook friends and family, I was still in a very dark place. I began to feel as though I was being punished and God had just left me here alone to struggle with all of this. I kept so much buried inside and that is never a good thing for anyone to do, it just allows one to be swallowed by darkness. My depression just fed off of this and got worse. I tried to put on this happy face, when inside I was just feeling so alone and broken. I was so focused on what was coming in my future, that I forgot to just be happy for today. I finally started reading my bible again, listening to my favorite music and I allowed myself to feel Jesus again. He never left me but I had forgotten to just give him my pain and tears.
I now have a therapist that I will be seeing to help talk things out, I am very happy to finally have someone who I can truly vent all of my feelings and fears as I haven’t wanted to share those things with my family. I also have specialist now for each of my illnesses, unfortunately none of my disease are curable or even have simple treatments.
The Rheumatoid Disease has progressed quickly and most of my joints are affected with my knees being the worst, so walking is always painful now. I have chronic bronchitis and only get a few days of relief in between starting treatment for it again. My depression is fairly well controlled right now, which is a huge blessing. My cognitive memory loss is probably the hardest for me to deal with mentally. I use to remember everything and now I forget so many things and struggle to find words.
I truly believe that I needed to go through all of this to help others who are also struggling and keeping it silent. I thought my days of joy were all over. But….I was wrong!!!! By the grace of God I am still here and hopefully for many more years. And I am Beautifully broken! As long as there is breath in my body and lungs, I will keep sharing my story in hopes that it helps others. There is a reason I am still here and I won’t waste a moment of it. My story isn’t over yet….
I try to post positive information for all of us going through chronic illness and pain. However I have to be honest and also let everyone know that there are days where I am just lost and cannot find a ray of happiness at all. We all are gonna have these moments. Sometimes we need to just have a good cry and accept it. We do need to try and get past it when possible. We cannot linger in the pain and sadness for too long or it will consume us. But when it happens we have to work our way through it, whatever it takes us to do.
We have to let our family and friends understand that we cannot just change this or do a hobby or listen to music, go shopping….nothing can change depression. It takes over and our brain cannot change it or send it away. We need to tell our family and friends that we have to just go through it and to please accept it and just be gentle with us. Please do not offer ideas of how to fix it.
I do take two kinds of medication that truly helps. I no longer spend day after day crying and not even knowing why. Now with the meds I have days that are just rather sad. No specific reason, it just happens and I have learned to accept it and hopefully the next day will be better. Living with constant pain takes its toll on each of us, even if we have pain medicine. There is never enough to truly get rid of all of the pain.
So to all my lovely friends who suffer like me, you are not alone and you can always send me a text. Cry, rant, rave….whatever you need to do. It is so important to have someone to share with that will listen and understand.
Gentle loving hugs to each of you,
This song truly expresses how I feel during those very sad moments
In the avian world, we use the term “forever home” a great deal. To be very honest though this is usually an impossible statement. Most birds are going to outlive us, unless they are elderly when we get them, or they are ill and had a rough life before coming to us. Then there are the other reasons that happen, called life.
While loosing a bird to death is so very heartbreaking, there are times when we must give up our precious feathered ones for reasons beyond our control. The thought of giving up my babies is almost more than my heart can bear to think of. What if I give them to one person and they then have to give them up to someone else. Will my precious spoiled babies end up as just another bird in a rescue, wondering where I am and why I gave them away.
I knew from the beginning that most of my birds would outlive me and so I started making plans as soon as each bird joined my family. However even the very best laid plans can go astray. Again life happens and maybe the person you planned on taking your bird or birds is not able to when that time comes. I am facing that very issue now, and while I have to change the plans, I don’t want to. I want to stay with them forever to make sure they are loved and given all the care that they are use to.
I have to face the hard facts though that I will not be able to care for them eventually. I will need someone to do that for me. I am already having issues holding some of the larger birds due to the weakness in my hands and arms. I still give them loads of attention but when they ask to step up, I have to decline and distract them into something else but I can see that they don’t understand. For me having these precious angels isn’t just about food and vetting, its also about giving them a lot of personal one on one time.
I have some wonderful folks picked out to take some of my birds, others I thought were going to my daughter, but it isn’t fair of me to ask her to take so many. She has a full life already and while she is taking some, it is just more than she will be able to handle with my other babies.
This is why I have always said that you need back up plans just in case. What we hope to happen isn’t always the case. I never thought I would be so ill this early in my life. The strain of just cleaning cages and feeding the birds is a huge effort for me now. I will never be ready to say goodbye to my babies, but I know for their sake….that day is coming and it is my responsibility to make sure I have plans in order for them. This is part of being a good caregiver, and a parent for my feathered babies.
My Beautiful Babies
I am sure there are several people who are ill and would rather not use the term broken, but it is the term I use often for myself. Most of my illnesses are autoimmune diseases and there are no cures for any of them. They are a sentence of lifelong pain and not only discomfort but also a shortened life. My body is a prison that keeps me from being the person I use to be.
I have to stay home for the most part, as going out for the day means a many days of pain as my punishment. So while I watch my family go out for many fun little activities, I must smile and pass on the invitation to go along. This leads to a great deal of boredom. There are always cleaning chores that need to be done, but I am not always able to do that.
I want to be the person I was. Always so positive and ready to jump and go anywhere on a moments notice. Loved working and playing outside. Spending hours playing with my feathered ones. It has become a distant memory. I miss so much the person I was.
I now accept who I am for the most part and what I can and cannot do. I can now forgive myself for tears and anger towards all these dreadful diseases. Fortunately my depression has responded well to medications and so the tears are less than they use to be.
I have learned to be happy for every moment in life. I have learned to forgive those who have hurt me. I have learned to look at the world with new eyes and see how precious each blade of grass is.
I may struggle to keep positive some moments but I know that I am Loved by God and this is all just part of my journey and I am very blessed. I will continue to fight for each moment and I know God is helping me every step of the way. I will try my best to help others who feel trapped and alone with their illnesses as well.
So while I am broken, it took this for me to truly appreciate what my life here has been. My journey has been a blessed one regardless of the illnesses. I thank God for every moment he allows me to have here. I know once my time here ends that the next journey will be even better! So being Broken is not always a bad thing ❤
When we deal with chronic illness, we of course have to protect ourselves as much as possible from many things that can put our bodies in further jeopardy. This would normally mean germs or events that could cause further pain etc. However there are two dangers that can compromise us quickly and they are “Stress and Drama”. I have learned this the hard way but hopefully I can help others to protect themselves.
I have always been horrible at delegating and then truly allowing others to do what I have asked of them. I have finally learned that I can let others do things for me. I have always been one to try and be the peacekeeper and help with all issues which can draw me into others unnecessary drama. Even with all my illnesses, I have finally had to start letting go and not allowing myself to carry around the added baggage of others “Stress and Drama”. The damage that this can do to a person living with chronic illness, is overwhelming. It drains our bodies and souls faster than most anything else. It is critical for us to keep our minds, hearts and souls full of as much joy and happiness as possible. We already deal with daily pain that others cannot even begin to understand, each item we add to our daily list further pulls us into very dark places and makes it harder to heal or even just maintain. We have to learn to smile and just say no.
I also believe in having a quiet place that is just for you and you alone. Where you can go and be happy with your surroundings. A place to feel peace and love. A room with special things that give you joy. My bedroom is my special haven. The colors and furnishings make me feel cozy and comfortable. It is a place where I can rest and let go of any stress or drama from the day. I go in there several times a day just to rejuvenate my mind, soul and body. We have to put a protective bubble around ourselves and try to keep out all the unnecessary emotions that will only harm us.
Learn to love yourself enough to let go. Find something to smile about everyday. I do not mean you wont have those tearful painful moments, but try your hardest to start fresh each day ❤
When I first became aware of what my illnesses were going to do to me, I panicked and was so sad to have to tell my children what was coming. It is easiest for me to write out my words and so that is what I did. A two page letter explaining each disease and what it was and what was coming in my future.
I gave them all the letters at the same time and asked them to read them privately. I knew it was going to be hard to watch their faces and see the fear they would feel for me. I had always taken care of them and been strong for them. Now I had to tell them that I had all these weaknesses that were going to consume my life.
However you chose to tell your families about your illnesses, I think it is very important for them to know what to expect. For me it was imperative that they knew, since eventually I was going to need their help to function. I also had to be prepared for my birds so that they would be cared for, when the time comes for me to say goodbye to them. Trust me my heart ached with every word and decision that had to be done, but it would not be fair to anyone if I didn’t.
When a person has chronic illnesses, each day is a gift. We have no idea when things can get worse or even end. We have to take the time (regardless of how difficult it is) to make all the needed preparations and put things in place so your family knows what to do. None of us have a promise of a certain amount of time so this truly applies to everyone. For me the chronic illnesses just made me more aware of the time I have left.
Sharing with my family was also important due to my depression. They needed to be aware that there will be days where I am in tears and I cannot hide it or pretend that it isn’t happening. They needed to know that there was nothing they could do to help or change it, but just love me through it and leave me be.
I also have days full of pain where it is very difficult for me to do anything, including walking or even turning on the faucet. There are times where I can’t lift anything but the lightest of items. These times I need their help greatly and they needed to know this ahead of time.
The thing I hate the most is the memory loss. There are days where I struggle to remember the simplest of words at times. I had to share this with my children though so they would understand it and know it would happen from time to time.
The hardest thing of all though is feeling their pain for what I am going through and seeing in their eyes how much they wish this was not happening. So while I had to let them know everything that was happening and going to happen….it breaks my heart to see and feel their pain.
For those of you that are having to tell your families about your illnesses, I truly understand that this is the greatest of all the pains you will ever feel. Nothing is harder than having to share this sadness with your loved ones. My heart goes out to all of you who are going through this and I pray for you all to find peace in your journey ❤
When we struggle with chronic illness, we tend to hide ourselves away and keep our pain quietly inside. I know because I have done this myself. We never expected our lives to become so full of pain and loneliness. We try hard to hide it all away. We give up and stop believing in hope. We see our futures as bleak and sadness. I wont even pretend to say that everything is going to be better, because chronic illness does not go away. However we can learn to accept it and even find happiness. We need to surround ourselves with positive people who truly care about us. We need to open up and be able to share with others the pain that we carry around. We have to stop putting on a fake smile and saying “I am fine”. We still matter and we need the world to know what we go through. We especially need to have those who are part of our lives to understand and be willing to listen when we need to talk and share.
We are here for a reason and our illnesses are a part of our journey in this life and I believe with my entire heart and soul that it is important to share and bond with others who also are hiding behind a mask. We have to live just one day at a time and stop looking to far into the future.
We have to LOVE ourselves enough to keep our life as positive as possible, share with others and show love to anyone who is also struggling. Feel patience and empathy for those who do not understand as they are missing out on our loving hearts.
The most important thing we must remind ourselves each day is that we are not alone. When times are really rough, we are being carried. The Lord wraps his wings around us and keeps us safe. Each of us is his child and masterpiece. We are not broken we are here for a reason. I give thanks everyday for my life and I pray when I am gone, I will be remembered as a loving person who shared kindness and faced my challenges with a smile and courage.
When I first began to be diagnosed with illness after illness, my life fell apart and I was slipping into a dark place. I couldn’t understand why all of this was happening to me. I spent my entire life loving God and trying to be a good christian and give back to the world whenever I could. So why was my body attacking me and at such a fast pace. I was terrified and felt so alone. I struggled with depression and anxiety. I felt hopeless.
After these past few years I finally found a strength, I turned to God for my answers. I still do not know why all of this is happening but I know I need to give it my best fight and also help others along the way. Not to say there wont be those low moments but I am gonna give it all I have to keep myself strong and healthy for as long as possible. I am not giving into any of this. I will take it all and use it to share Gods Love and Grace. He did not do this to me, but I know he would want me to help others with what I am learning and going through. I refuse to let this get the best of me….every scar is a reminder of who has carried me this far.
For all my beautiful friends who are struggling, I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers always. I pray you can find your inner strength and hope, to get you through any of your dark days. And for those who are not ill, I pray you find it in your hearts to help others with kindness and words of hope. We are all beautiful, especially when we come together.
I may never be the person I was, but that is ok…..I am not going to allow the shadows to consume me. My life has been so blessed that I cant even begin to count how many blessings and I know the Lord has never left my side. I will walk in the light of Grace and my new journey has just begun. My story is far from over.