Just One Thing

In Compathy With Lily Hobbs

Trauma Informed Care: Part 4

Previous blog posts Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 discuss Trauma Informed Care (TIC), the impact of trauma upon individuals and society and what some communities are doing to improve societal ills such as crime and homelessness. These posts were inspired by a 60-Minutes episode with Oprah Winfrey airing March 11th of this year.

A Closer Look at Trauma

There’s more to trauma than the apparent causes like combat, abuse, accidents, illness, bullying, etc. It is not just experiencing something life-threatening, it is also a “threat to the physical integrity of self or another” (TIC Project). Neglect, or the lack of physical or emotional care from significant others, is also traumatizing, especially to children.

“Responses to a traumatic event may include” intense fear, helplessness, horror and attachment. Trauma “overwhelms the coping capacity” for individuals emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually; “activates the survival responses: fight, flight, freeze, submit;” and impairs rational thought.

Survival Mechanisms

After traumatization, individuals make subconscious decisions about how to cope to prevent the perceived issues from happening again. “Perceived,” because children don’t always recognize what the real trauma is – they just know they aren’t safe, have no control, are in pain or are fearful. Their coping mechanisms are designed to prevent these from happening again. According to Psychology Today, survival characteristics can include:

  • Self-Reliance – “The world is unsafe. I can’t trust anybody, … I don’t open up and really let others in. Instead I manage others by being good and accommodating.”
  • Compliance and Passivity – “The world is unsafe. I feel I have little control, and not much self-confidence, and so I decide I just need to go along with others. They know better than me… and tell me what to do.”
  • Hypervigilance – “The world is unsafe, so I need to be” cautious and aware at all times. “I am always anxious, always looking for danger, always expecting the worst.”
  • Anger and Control – “The world is unsafe and so nothing is going to sneak up on me. I’m in charge and nothing happens unless I say so. People give me a hard time?  I fight back. If I don’t agree, you’re going to know about it.”

Social worker, CarmenLeah Ascencio, says, “People who have experienced violence or abuse don’t remember traumatic events; they re-experience them.” Untreated, adverse childhood experiences (ACE) “can affect an individual’s physical and emotional health throughout the life span.”

Look for Part 5 of this series that will list methods to aid in healing from the distress and suffering resulting from trauma.

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it. ~ Helen Keller

A Trucker’s Wife Sings the Blues

My husband is a trucker. It can be quite lonely for both the truckers and their partners. Many wives have a hard time adjusting so there are on-line support sites and Facebook groups for truckers’ wives.

Having been single for 15 years before we married, it wasn’t as hard for me to adjust to his job when he went on the road. Amie Taylor offers some great tips for managing our lives as truckers’ wives. I was glad to see I’d naturally fulfilled her suggestions and was doing just fine most days without him around to help with the trash, dog doo… well, you know the drill.

We’d both just simply prefer to be together daily, though. And then I missed him today, so here’s an ode to my trucker man.

A Trucker’s Wife Sings the Blues

I’m jealous of the road

That takes him from

My arms

Down long stretches of

Highway and adventure

That I could not

Compete with.

 

It gifts him with

Visions of sunsets

And sunrises that

I can only dream of,

Deserts and forests

Only in my imagination,

Lakes and mountains

I long to gaze

Upon with him.

 

The road guides his days

And his nights

Changing his landscape

With every mile

While my days are

Filled with visions

Of the same four

Walls, as I look for

Companionship,

conversation,

A touch.

 

Waiting for the road to

Decide when to release

Him back to me

For a day or two

Of warmth, of love,

Laughter interspersed

With squabble,

Bringing life back to

These four walls

Only to snatch

Him up again

Leaving me jealous

Once more.

[Top]

My Pinterest Obsession

My daughter’s friend asked, “Do you know how many Pinterest boards and pins your mom has?” “Yeah, I know. She’s obsessed.” Ok, ok. In my defense, I was recently retired after working my entire life and, being sick and not able to do a whole lot, I really needed something to occupy my mind and time. I’d heard of Pinterest a few years before, but it didn’t really peak my interest. I guess a difference in timing and circumstances led to how I became so infatuated with Pinterest.

Of around 175 boards and 58,973 pins, I’ve collected pins for gardening, dream houses, black and white photography, barns, humor, the four seasons, the six continents, 13 colors, favorite celebrities, great movies, jewelry to adorn me, health, poetry, creativity, inspiration, and so many more.

My old cookbooks and recipe cards rarely get used now that I’ve collected so many recipes on Pinterest – meals, desserts, drinks, paleo and ketogenic. When shopping, I collect potential purchases into one board, so I can remember what I like as I continue looking on different on-line retail sites. Lately, since we recently bought a home, I have boards for curtains, rugs, lighting, and shelf décor among others.

Most prolific are my writing boards – how to’s, blogging, inspiration, humor and publishing. I’ve learned a lot about writing from Pinterest posts. Another favorite is a board titled, “Words,” which I created after seeing many cross my feed that I’d not heard of before.

I planned my granddaughter’s sweet 16 birthday party, my husband’s 60th birthday party, Christmas gift shopping and the music playlist I want to make on Pinterest. We have a new family favorite game from planning on Pinterest – the plastic wrap ball. A great feature is making boards secret so they’re not available to the public and only to those I invited to pin to it. That way, I could plan for the parties without those we were celebrating seeing what we were arranging.

Another feature I’m no longer a fan of is being able to post a pin to Facebook at the same time it’s being posted to one of my boards. Once checking the box to post to Facebook, it must be unchecked to stop posting subsequent pins automatically. I caused quite a stir during one of my Pinterest-posting marathons one night. Another of my daughter’s friends, also a friend of mine on Facebook, asked her what was going on with her mom. She messaged me to let me know what I was doing. I then went back and deleted the dozens of pins I accidentally posted to Facebook and apologized for my frenzy. Unfortunately, I forgot a few more times before I learned my lesson. All this technical/social entertainment was just too darn fun, especially in the face of being newly retired and not knowing what to do with my days yet.

Of course, boards include several of my favorite things like a board for each grandchild, simple joys, coffee, really cool stuff, cityscapes, notes to self, heroes and meditation. Longer-range planning includes boards for my bucket list, our next trip, aging inspirations, products I want to try, books I want to write and books I want to read.

I’ll leave you with something from my board, “Hmmmm,” where I put weird and unusual pins I can’t pass up. If you love this lippy animal art, find out more here.

[Top]

I Finally Got to Use My Yoga Mat

When I was young and thin, I practiced yoga occasionally for relaxation and strengthening. Many years and many pounds later, the positions weren’t as attainable. Sometime between then and now, I bought some exercise equipment. That’s as far as I got. The grandkids have enjoyed the giant ball and the yoga mat has stayed neatly tucked in the corner of the closet.

But something had to be done after three auto-immune diagnoses and the pain to go along which kept me sedentary far too long. So, I decided to check out yoga once again and began last week with a private session to see what, if anything, this ole body could do.

Lindsay at Samsara Wellness Center here in Bakersfield was as encouraging as she was kind. I hated to tell her after 20 minutes of some gentle stretching that my body was preparing to enter into total rebellion, so I endured another ten minutes. The body, which gurus say we must listen to, was going into shutdown mode. I had to tell her. She understood and still encouraged me by noticing that I am strong and flexible. She didn’t strike me as delusional, so I took her words under consideration and quietly exited the building.

When I arrived home, I thought I was going to die. Sitting on the couch, I couldn’t move, so I leaned … more like slowly fell… to my side, laid down and took a nap. Not wanting to give up, though, I decided to act on Lindsay’s encouragement and go to chair yoga the following week. Linda was our instructor and provided a lovely lotion smelling a little like Mentholatum for our necks, but I had her put it on my low back. Oh, how wished I could bathe in it.

It was a bit of a workout but relaxing and calming, true to yoga’s purpose. My hips and low-back began complaining about a half hour into the sitting exercises, so I was glad we stood to do more exercises. After an hour I wondered how much longer it was going to go on, praying it would end soon. Seeing that it wasn’t because she kept starting new stretches, I decided an hour was a lot better than the half hour I did last week so I wrapped it up and snuck out as quietly as I could. I was delighted afterwards that, other than some nagging pain in the left hip, I didn’t think I was going to die.

Next, I decided to try Samsara’s restorative yoga class since restoration is what I’m ultimately hoping for. Even though getting down and up from the floor is difficult, I expected that once I was on the floor I could do the stretching exercises. I was wrong. My extra-thick yoga mat that I was finally using didn’t even help. What I had forgotten was that the normal fibromyalgia trigger points for most patients are not really points on my body. My entire midsection from waist down is one large trigger point. Laying on that area was excruciating at first, and I thought I wasn’t going to be able to stick around for this class after all. But I worked on relaxing and breathing and soon my low back was beginning to cooperate.

I worked along with instructor Cathy’s healing voice, using extra padding and adjusting poses and stretches as my body needed. About three-quarters of the way through the program I was glad that I had stayed. Until, that is, what I’ll call the pretzel move. Everything pre-pretzel became a blur. Sitting, she had us bring our knees up, feet on the ground separated hip width apart. Then we were to sit up straight and put our hands down at our sides with our fingertips resting on the ground just behind us. “Did I forget to tell her that I have arthritis? In my fingers too?”

Cathy then had us move our right arms to our left sides, turn the upper portion of our bodies to the left and rest with our faces on our bolsters. But my body wasn’t having anything to do with this contorting. I wondered what in the world she was thinking… how anyone, let alone this 60-year old, full-figured grandma, could imitate the shape of a pretzel. She said that the right knee will be resting inside the ball of the left foot on the floor. “No lady, it won’t.”

Next thing I know, the nurturing instructor was next to me assisting with my positioning. She made it effortless and voila! I’m a pretzel. It felt good. I struggled through this yoga session, but the hour and fifteen minutes went by much faster than my previous two sessions. I made it through the entire workout. I felt like a rock star.

It always seems impossible until it’s done. ~ Nelson Mandela

 

[Top]

Trauma Informed Care: Part 3

Trauma-Informed Care (TIC), which was discussed in my last two blogs, is provided by organizations and healthcare workers who equip themselves to understand the effects trauma has upon individuals, how to aid recovery for traumatized persons and how to avoid re-traumatization. You can watch the 60-Minutes episode with Oprah Winfrey discussing TIC on line.

The TIC theory has six components that contribute to a healing practice (Alameda County TIC). Individuals seeking help for developmental trauma should look for environments embodying these competences.

  1. Trauma Understanding from which compassion, and well-informed actions can be offered
  2. Safety & Security providing stability in the daily lives of victims of trauma
  3. Cultural Humility & Responsiveness so that differences can be responded to sensitively
  4. Compassion & Dependability to help re-establish trust
  5. Collaboration & Empowerment to provide confidence and a sense of equality
  6. Resilience & Recovery to live a thriving life rather than simply surviving

Trauma Specific Treatments are interventions “specifically designed to treat symptoms or syndromes related to trauma.” These include education, treatment and recovery for PTSD, addiction, trauma and mental health issues; peer-to-peer approaches; individual and group interventions; resiliency and empowerment programs; teaching practical skills such as de-escalation and emotion regulation; and other methods. Find out more at SAMHSA at www.samhsa.gov/nctic.

Community Involvement

Tim Grove of SaintA, providing TIC for families and children in Milwaukee, got the community involved by giving training and education about trauma to over 50,000 people and agencies. “Among those trainees are … teachers, … the Milwaukee Police Department’s trauma response unit and judges in the city’s children’s court. What the judge now knows to ask a child is ‘what happened to you?’ before asking ‘what’s wrong with you?’ SaintA repeats that mantra to any Milwaukee organization that will listen.”

When traditional methods for dealing with “issues like homelessness, domestic violence, child abuse and drug abuse” weren’t working, Tarpon, Florida, former city council member, Robin Saenger, developed Peace4Tarpon based on her research on trauma. Community leaders are involved in this Initiative for a Trauma Informed Community as well as the Juvenile Welfare Board, the local police and fire departments, schools, the hospital, the library, churches and many others.

 

The Permanente Journal states the criminal recidivism will decrease when treatment interventions “focus on the effects of early life experiences.” The Trauma Informed Care Project reports “the 5th Judicial Unit of the Department of Corrections has made several changes to improve services and include Trauma Informed practices.” They provide reports of the success of these changes.

Project Kealahou works with state child-serving agencies in Hawaii for girls who’ve experienced trauma. With more and more growing TIC communities like these, we have hope for America; for a decrease in mass murders, crime and media reporting that sensationalizes crime, which can be traumatizing in and of itself.

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

This post is a look at the general concepts of recovery from developmental trauma. In Part 4, I’ll discuss healing from a more personal, in-depth approach. There is hope.

Allow me to talk about my past without saying, ‘Stop living in the past.’ A listening ear for the moment is all I need. ~ Tatauq Helena Muma

[Top]

Trauma Informed Care: Part 2

Following up to a recent post regarding Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) and interviews by Oprah Winfrey airing on 60 Minutes on March 11th, this is a look at the effects of trauma. Interviewed by Oprah was Dr. Bruce Perry, whose research reveals how trauma changes the biology of the brain and, thus, behavior later in life. The take-away from the show is to ask people who find themselves in dire life situations, “What happened to you?” rather than, “What’s wrong with you?”

The Cycle of Trauma

SAMHSA reports from a three-year study that 93 percent of homeless women had experienced trauma in their lifetimes. The Homeless Clinicians Network says that homelessness is both caused by trauma and causes additional trauma. “Individuals flee abuse at home only to rediscover it on the streets or in shelters.”

But at the Nia Imani Family Center in Milwaukee, Belinda Pittman-McGee breaks that cycle by helping homeless women and children re-establish themselves. She began helping other women just like her after she left an abusive marriage. Her husband, like many men in Milwaukee, couldn’t hold a job during an economic upheaval in the 1980’s, according to the Journal Sentinel. Belinda tells Oprah that 90 percent of the fathers of the Milwaukee center’s children are incarcerated.

Besides homelessness and incarceration, there are oodles of information showing how trauma leads to mental illness, addiction, illegal activities, joblessness, etc., as well as how these consequences of trauma are also traumatic events in and of themselves.

Trauma Victims We Know

Eddie Ray Routh, former marine with post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD) shot and killed Chris Kyle, former Navy sniper.

A baby born to a 16-year-old alcoholic prostitute who named him “No Name” was traded for a pitcher of beer. Charles Manson’s psychological and behavioral problems escalated into some of the most tragic accounts of murder in US history.

Manson’s family members were victims of trauma. Dianne Lake, who admitted to killing Sharon Tate, lived much of her childhood at a commune with her hippie parents. Before turning 13, she had participated in group sex and drug use including LSD.

Emotional abuse and neglect resulted in James Hancock’s grades deteriorating which caused more harsh punishment by his father and prevented him from joining the track team. He spiraled downward until he stole his grandmother’s gun and shot two students, injuring them and two others from the shrapnel.

Is Compassion Toward the Assailants Possible?

Something I try to remember; the offenders are most likely trauma victims themselves.

I saw Dr. Perry’s theory displayed long before I saw the 60-Minutes interview. A friend of mine who studied the book, “A Course In Miracles,” which teaches that people do things either out of love or fear (a lack of love), said that he had compassion on the murderer of a little girl. “When I saw her on the news, I just wanted to wrap my arms around her and ask her what happened to her. She had to have a hole so deep to do something so horrific.” This was a new thought to me, an enlightening moment, seeing the depth of this man’s compassion.

This friend is my hero. These people asking others, “What happened to you?” and helping them to heal and rescript their lives are my heroes. They are breaking the mold from the routine of unconsciously labeling, blaming and punitively demanding justice in situations we know little to nothing about. I’m grateful for these seeds of light and I seek within myself in the hope that I may soften my own heart and contribute to reversing the cycle of trauma in the world.

No monster, though, is born from nothingness. Charles Manson was a child once, and that childhood was littered with tragic moments. No one would claim that these stories are sad enough to justify what he did, but they might shed light on how monsters are formed. ~ Mark Oliver

[Top]

Trauma Informed Care: Part 1

When Oprah Winfrey told her friend, Gayle King, on CBS This Morning that she wanted to dance on the table to get attention about her 60-Minutes segment on Trauma Informed Care (TIC), I wanted to join her. The TIC episode aired on March 11, 2018 and shed light on the root cause of the individual and collective sufferings affecting us as persons, as a nation and as a world. Among several interviews was one with Dr. Bruce Perry, M.D., Ph.D., a psychiatrist and world-renowned expert in childhood trauma and behavior. His clinical research has been instrumental in describing how traumatic events in childhood change the biology of the brain (Wikipedia).

What is Trauma-Informed Care?

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines it as “an evidence-based practice that teaches service providers and their organizations about the triggers and vulnerabilities of trauma survivors, and effective interventions. It involves understanding, anticipating, and responding to people’s expectations and needs, and minimizing the chances of re-traumatizing someone who is trying to heal.” In short, it meets people where they were wounded and helps them heal from those wounds.

Dr. Perry’s “work has examined the cognitive, behavioral, emotional, social, and physiological effects of neglect and trauma in children, adolescents and adults.” People with developmental trauma are more likely to have physical, mental and social health problems and are often in a state of acute need and are easily triggered. Social Work Today (SWT) reports healthcare workers need to be aware of the possibility of a history of trauma, regardless of whether the patients are being treated for trauma or something else: and, to be appropriately trained to intervene.

Trauma and Our Society

Child Trauma Academy, which is founded by Dr. Perry, recognizes “the crucial importance of childhood experience in shaping the health of the individual, and ultimately, society.” SWT also reports statistics from 1995 research citing over half of the US population experienced at least one traumatic event in their lives, while 15 percent of those experienced three or more such events. A more recent study in 2013 found that nearly half of the nation’s children have experienced trauma.

The 60-Minutes presentation noted that the cycles of poverty, joblessness, homelessness, incarceration, etc. cannot be resolved without addressing trauma. Oprah interviewed representatives from two Milwaukee organizations that pattern their treatment of troubled families and children after Dr. Perry’s groundbreaking work. Tim Grove of SaintA, a family and children’s center, said, “We might not be able to ever prevent the stuff that happens to kids, but we’re fully in charge of how we respond when we see it.”

Belinda Pittman-McGee of the Nia Imani Family Center in Milwaukee recognized early on that clients needed to learn how their traumatic experiences were directly related to their aggressive behavior and homelessness. Focusing on experiences before trying to change behavior, traumatized individuals for the first time in their lives feel heard, feel seen, and can begin “re-scripting their lives and the lives of their children.”

The take away from the interviews is that, instead of asking, “What’s wrong with you?” we should ask, “What happened to you?” Healing can begin from there.

Forecasting the need for TIC can be done through the ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) test, a crucial tool predicting physical and mental health issues later in life.

This is Part 1 of a three- or four-part blog series. Check back for more information about TIC, including how people can be healed from developmental trauma.

In order to prepare a truly human future, it is not enough to reject evil. We must build the common good together. ~ Pope Francis

[Top]

Around-the-House Get-Up-and-Go

Yesterday, my dining room rug was delivered. I ordered it not being entirely sure how I’d like it but it’s yummy. The blue swirls against the gray background look a little like water at first glance, like perhaps a lake or even the ocean.

 

 

 

 

 

This morning, I made a new lemon cookie recipe with the fresh lemons I picked from the neighbors’ tree branches hanging over into our yard. They turned out delicious –  even those I slightly overcooked. I prefer my cookies slightly undercooked if I had to choose between the two, but these cake-like sweet, lemony treats melt in your mouth.

Now that the rug in the dining room is in place, I could finally unpack the Liberty Blue collection that’s been moved and stored for many years. I unpacked and washed four boxes of blue dishes and some Princess House Fantasia pieces.

Then, our wireless doorbell arrived from Amazon. I ordered it yesterday. It’s a miracle. My husband installed it and we had fun picking out a ring tone that wouldn’t get the dog barking. We decided on Frère Jacques for now.

I’ll save the story about why we even needed a through-bolt cover for the front door handle of our new home for another day, but Keith went to Home Depot for the right size washer. Unfortunately, the bolt-cover still wouldn’t stay on the door, so he improvised and dabbed a little super-glue to the edge. Voila!

We had quarter-pound hot dogs from Costco for lunch, we had naps this afternoon which we almost never do, and we relaxed and watched some silly, oops, I mean sci-fi on TV. I’m not into science fiction but he is and he’s only home on the weekends, so he gets to choose what he wants to watch.

All this while trying to avoid the colorful bowl of candy I picked out for my grandkids who’ll be here for Easter dinner tomorrow. Who am I kidding? The Lindt chocolate truffle eggs are to die for!

Living for now became my new goal: living in the house we have in the city where we are, and in the moment when we’re alive. ~ Dana K. White

[Top]

The Ginger at Sam Lynn Ballpark

The Bakersfield Sam Lynn Ballpark’s age only adds to its charm with giant trees and leaves so thick, they are a refuge from the blazing sun in the dry, valley town. It was Spring, so the trees and grass were especially verdant and the azure sky surprisingly clean and clear. Smiling faces in the crowd, kids playing calmly and my happiness at being with my family revealed a collective serenity – one of those serendipitous moments that seems to appear right out of another realm. With the sunlight glimmering through the trees and the anticipation of watching my grandson play ball, the afternoon was as invigorating as it was calming.

Then, in the midst of this savoring moment, it was as if something beckoned my attention – I noticed movement from the dugout. A lanky teen sauntered toward home plate with his bat confidently resting on his shoulder and thick, red curls billowing out from under his helmet. I love gingers, especially the strawberry blondes – like mine had always been until I turned 50 when it turned a ghastly dirty dishwater gray. The batter had to be twelve to thirteen years old in this league, he was slender and about five and a half feet tall. I imagined knobby knees and elbows under his baseball pants and three-quarter length sleeves.

The Ginger took his position to the catcher’s right – he was a lefty. He took ownership of his place by raising his left arm and positioning each foot squarely and firmly into the dirt as if he was holding our massive planet in place beneath his feet, as though he was directing it to do its job in support of his mission. This Ginger’s authority and defined stance reflected ownership of the space orbiting him.

He was a natural ball player, but he had attributes setting him apart from other kids his age. His interest in the game was genuine and the immature emotional expressions that are typical with this age group eluded him. Frowns, yawns, and staring off into space showed disinterest by some kids. Wide-eyed or “deer-in-headlights” stares reflected performance anxiety by others. But not this Ginger. His eyes were always on the ball, where the play was happening or looking ahead to his next move.

After his hit, the ball player made it, limping, to first base. Stealing was natural for him and he made several attempts to do so as though it was his one and only responsibility in life – to score for his team. He was having trouble with an injury not obvious earlier, so he was taken out and replaced with another runner. He showed no disappointment as he hobbled to the dugout.

When the young ball player was called from the dugout to pitch during the next inning, the crowd silently wondered how this would work since his injury took him out of the game earlier. I suspected the coach saw this kid as the team’s super power and took advantage of his best resource in a time of need. But, the Ginger’s injury turned out to be his kryptonite that day. He was removed from the mound after just two or three pitches. It didn’t matter, though. He’d be back. If not today, then tomorrow. Depending upon the seriousness of the injury, it may be painful to play ball, or it may not, but he will play nonetheless.

Sometime after the young Ginger disappeared into the dugout, my attention was drawn back to the brilliant canvas of colors that welcomed me when I arrived. Under the shade of the tarp and overgrown trees, I sat in the bleachers of the time-honored baseball park, once again relishing in the setting that seemed prepared just for me… and I rested in the tranquility of the moment.

Let us come alive to the splendor that is all around us, and see the beauty in ordinary things. ~ Thomas Merton

[Top]

What I Want, What I Need, or Both?

When it comes to furniture, personal comfort has been a priority for me, especially since 2010 when my body flared up with the auto-immune conditions fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. My husband and I found a bed we both liked even though he likes firm and I like cloud-like comfort enveloping me on every side. It served us well for a good eight years, but it was only a queen size – a choice we later regretted. Additionally, I was experiencing more pain on my pressure points with the mattress as time went on.

We ventured into a local mattress store to look for a king-size bed with a good level of comfort. We found it – it was more expensive than we thought we’d ever pay for a bed but we both loved the puffy comfort on their showroom floor.  After delivery, I was surprised at how hard it was. It was not the same mattress we tried and thought we were purchasing despite the paperwork all stating it was. We were within the 100-day trial period, though, so we decided to trade it for another.

My daughter, who has some auto-immune issues too, was experiencing success with a Tempur-Pedic® mattress she purchased last year. I was hesitant because I didn’t like memory foam mattresses that I’d slept on before. We found a possible compromise – a hybrid that includes cushion spring coils but testing it on the showroom floor didn’t give us that cloud-like comfort I so loved. We took a chance anyway realizing the level of immediate comfort just might not be the ultimate indicator of what’s best for our aging, aching bodies. Delightfully surprised, I’m experiencing no pain from pressure points and my husband and I are getting a good night’s sleep every night. Also, it’s incredibly comfortable!

We went through the same process for our new living room furniture. Due to low-back and hip problems, I need to recline with my feet up. We expected our former pricey, leather recliners to be good for us but we found they had no lower-back support, so they required replacement. We ordered a good-quality reclining sofa and love seat which turned out to be harder than we like when simply sitting. Initially, they didn’t necessarily have the “feel” of low-back support, yet I feel great after sitting on them. We’re delighted that they’re providing healthy support.

These experiences taught me something about myself – what I need may not always be what I initially want but can turn out to be just the thing I really do want. Now, maybe I can apply this lesson to my eating habits and switch from the seemingly satisfying foods that I think I must have to more nutritional foods. Maybe I can realize a new health where my body is genuinely satisfied and fit, not relying any longer on the cheap, fattening, sugary starches. Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?

Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it. ~ Kahlil Gibran

[Top]