Before I Tripped Over a Stone, #23

(Previous post, Before I Tripped, #22)

I was settling in and getting comfortable as the director of the Bishop Lewis State Work Release program in Seattle, Washington. I had worked with a government narcotics unit to safely (and quietly) remove a strain of black tar heroin from the community. The facility was moving in the direction of intensive training for the staff. The cognitive-behavioral model was being introduced, and all staff who were shift level supervisors and above would be trained in this practice. I was at a point in my life where I finally was able to breathe!

I began to focus on my personal life, and the first step was finding a new place to call home. I enjoyed living in Seattle, West Seattle is where I called home. No, it doesn’t rain all the time, contrary to popular belief. It usually rained overnight, and you woke up to the clean scent of evergreen trees and salt water. Seattle has a nickname, the Emerald City. In the mornings, after the sun burns through the gray, misty fog, you can view the city sparkling as it wakes from its nighttime cleansing showers. Everywhere you go the presence of the Cascade Mountains and the incredible, awe-inspiring Mt. Rainier, make their presence known. In the distance, you can see Mt. Hood. The Puget Sound encircles the city, with lakes and parks inviting you to get out and enjoy nature. I was in my element.

I found a little post-war bungalow with a carriage house to rent. Amy, who I had moved to Seattle from Minneapolis with, decided to move with me into the bungalow until a year later when she, too, would find a place to her liking. The little bungalow was precious! All complete with a white, wooden swing hanging in the front porch. Life was good, and I intended to continue to make it all that I dreamed of.

I was at peace, finally.

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Time would happily pass … after two years, I got engaged. He moved in. His daughter stayed with us every other weekend. One Saturday afternoon, in August of 1998, he and I decided to go adopt a kitty from the local shelter. He drove. I never saw the Tahoe coming at us until he yelled, “Hold on, Baby, he’s not going to stop!”

Before I tripped … abruptly ends. Like my life, as I knew it.

I tripped over that stone in August 1998, its name is Fibromyalgia Syndrome…

IMG_4892~Goodbye Kim. 1998.

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Thanks, everyone for following Before I Tripped Over A Stone. I used to be a lot of things… I used to be mine.

(Start from the beginning; Before I Tripped Over a Stone, Fridays, the series, #1)

41 comments

  1. Hi Kim;
    Powerful ending today. I know tripping and falling (at least i fell) is the worst thing one can do for a lot of us, You Dear Lady are the epitomy of what it is to get back up and to show that no matter the struggle each one of us can pick ourselves up by the boot straps and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Thank You!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Heidi. It took many years to find those bootstraps. Some days they just can not be found! Your comment is so kind and very much appreciated. I realize just how much as “Before I Tripped…” comes to a close. No one is ever prepared for a chronic illness diagnosis, it comes at us when life is simply happening. 💜

      Liked by 3 people

  2. You certainly grabbed my attention. I have visited Seattle twice, for five days each, and it did not rain a single time I was there while I was awake. It is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited.

    Liked by 4 people

            1. You are going to get me into trouble. (You just make me smile!) I don’t have a lot else… he was not a real hands-on dad until he needed to be. He was smart, always told us he loved us and instilled many traits about hard work. I’ll see what I can come up with? It is difficult as I have had to promise my sisters that I wouldn’t talk about family or show pictures of the family. The stories I remember include my sisters and brothers. I’ve had to take down posts in the past because it was felt I had crossed privacy lines, I don’t want to make this mistake again! What a headache!!! I keep running into this with Seattle, too. Most of the work I did there I can’t discuss… it is a fine line. Whew…

              Liked by 3 people

  3. I think the song is beautiful and imo describes who you STILL are. I know you didn’t ask for this to happen to you Kim, but do you ever think about the butterfly effect of things? I would never wish fibro, ms, or any other illness on anyone, but look at what you have done with it… I am grateful that it brought you into MY life. You give me courage my dear friend.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Grace. TBH, I do think about the Butterfly Effect, now. Now that I am through grieving for 1998 Kim and all that she was, all that she accomplished. I’ve come to the realization that I was offered two lifetimes in one! It was only a matter of seeing this as a uniquely complex experience instead of a tragedy. Not one life, is entirely better than the other, just different. Who can say they lived two lifetimes in one? Anyone who experiences a chronic illness can! 💜

      Liked by 3 people

  4. I’ve really enjoyed this series Kim. It’s good to look back and be grateful for all the experiences we’ve had and learned from. Each one prepared you in some way for AFTER you tripped over that stone and helped you become the strong woman you are today. Thanks for sharing so much of your life with us!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a finish! I was happily reading along and wondering what was coming next when … wow. But I don’t have to tell you that. One moment can change all things.

    I really love your take, responding to a couple of posts above, about how you’ve gotten to live two lives, before the stone and after the stone. Before the stone may be over, but after the stone your story carries on.

    And I think you should talk to those sisters about lifting restrictions. You have great stories to tell, and a gift to tell them well.

    Thank you for BITOAS and for making it real. You’re quite the talent, Kim. You’re quite the wonder!

    Like

    1. Most appreciated Tom! I think I went as far as I can with BITOAS. “Talk” to the sisters, hell no! That is opening a can of worms full of drama. That’s one lesson I learned in my second life, ITOAS… don’t piss off my kin! I respect their wishes. Heck, I have enough to write about. They are both very private, stubborn, bullheaded Scandinavians…like ME! I’m holding up the mirror Tom, I can not lie!!! 😉 I think my ending was pretty much what really happened, I wanted more adventures, more work experiences… I did rattle along for 3 more years in and out of my job because of medical issues that turned chronic. 2001 they finally said no more. Wasn’t my proudest moment. All of it is now a past memory, I can’t change the past but I can impact my future. As you do, Tom. The power of the written word! I really like what is flowing from your keyboard on your blog. Keep that up and I’ll be out of the blogging community for good! You completely took over that future self, letter- Wow! Impressive! Thanks again, Tom. I appreciate our tribe!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. She’s worth it, I’d do it all over again. Honestly, something else would have happened to me to bring the fibro monster on full tilt.
        I just emailed you back, damn it, better late than never! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Yet again another truly powerful and amazing post Kim! You are without a doubt one of the most amazing and inspirational people I have had the privileged to get to know. Your strength and wisdom gives me so much courage and for that I can’t thank you enough!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have 15 of the symptoms that you listed. Who and how were you diagnosed? My primary care doctor hasn’t mentioned it at all, but he is arranging a referral appointment with a neurologist.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no! The fibro symptoms? I was diagnosed after 3 long years of diagnostic tests. I was finally diagnosed by a small town, general practice, family doc! He did a “trigger point” manual test and It was painful at every specific tender point he pressed on, I believe there are 18 areas and in order to have fibro you need to have a certain # of tender points. Google it. Arm yourself with good info! Don’t believe the lies that you need to see a big time doc! Recently, I found out there is a blood test they can run, it is called the FM/a blood test. Google that too. The neurologist, you’ll have to see one anyway for fibro, just once, but they are the specialist to see for confirmation. Good luck with that appointment. By the way, PTSD is considered a contributing diagnosis to fibro. Along with many other factors I’ve listed and talked about. Please let me know how your appointment goes, Walt. ~Kim

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Kim. Yes, the fibro symptoms. I’ve read about the trigger points, checked only two and definitely painful. Haven’t had the nerve to check others. Thanks for all the info. I’ll keep you posted.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. As do I. I had back surgery on a herniated disc 7 years ago and have had leg problems ever since. Aching, heaviness, horrible restless legs, weakness in both legs. A sleep study showed that i was running a marathon every night. I am tired all the time because i don’t sleep well. MRI on my back two weeks ago showed degenerative discs, progression of my scoliosis. My right foot, ankle and calf very swollen for over 2 weeks now. Ultrasound on leg showed no sign of blood clots. 10 days of Lasiks did nothing, doctor sent me to my cardiologist. Cardiologist on Thursday put me on a stronger fluid med and is doing a heart ultrasound this Thursday. I’m on pain meds, muscle relaxers, restless leg meds and fluid pills. I’m tired of it all and want answers. End of rant. 😕

            Liked by 1 person

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