… So Basically I’m GONNA LIVE FOREVER!


Green Tea from Costco … my favorite brand

Compelled to Change by Negative Triggers

About four months ago I caught a nasty 24 hour virus.  The only thing unique about this virus was the timing of when the symptoms appeared.  I had my morning coffee and THEN became sick.

Now you have to understand that I’ve been drinking coffee for twenty-four years.  After years of going to school and working I found that I was a 4-cup a day, coffee drinking addict.  I add that last part because frankly, my son reminds me that caffeine is a drug every chance he gets.  (Darn, those assigned research papers on drugs in 9th grade! Could I have known he’d take this information to his grave?)  I always get out of bed before my kids.  In part, the result that MY alarm clock (Chloe, hearing assistance dog) does not have a “snooze button”.  When it’s time to get up she… well, makes sure I’m UP! I normally hit the “on” button as I walk past the coffee maker.  Alternating between French Vanilla, and Hazelnut sugar-free creamers, meant my coffee was my favorite part of the day. I will admit that the fact I had some quiet time to myself during this morning period, also contributed to it being the favorite part of my day.

Nothing spoils “a favorite” like a virus.  When a stomach virus’s symptoms hit after having only consumed your morning coffee, little else “reappears” other than that coffee! I won’t go into all the gory details, but suffice it to say that I can no longer even SMELL coffee. Being married to a psychologist, I’m assuming I’m experiencing psychosomatic symptoms.  The reality is I may simply have a very good memory. All I know is that I can no longer drink coffee.

But when one is addicted to caffeine, (repeated for the benefit of my 18-year-old son who continues to remind me about common, over-the-counter and legal stimulants), one can’t just ditch the coffee and survive. Yes, I realize I might should have taken this opportunity to “kick the habit” once and for all.  Frankly, I love curling up with a hot cup of “something” first thing in the morning!  Desperate to find a quick and painless alternative “source”, I turned to green tea.

Change Can Lead to Discovery

I love the fact that someone MY age can discover something new.  Discovery?  I love green tea.  In fact, I drink green tea most of the day.  After consuming approximately 4 cups of regular green tea, I drink decaf green tea the remainder of the day.  In the four months I’ve been a tea drinker, I tried numerous brands and actually love them all.  I do have a favorite, however, thanks to the Christmas gift of one of my students who happened to stick a few tea bags of Kirkland signature ITO EN into her “goodie basket”.  (Thanks Sarahann!)

I received February 2009 Ladies Home Journal in the mail over the weekend. Saturday evening while trying to find something new to read before going to bed, I decided to curl up with the magazine (and a cup of decaf green tea of course!).  The article, “The Healing Power of Tea” caught my eye.  I learned that ANY kind of tea has health benefits, but green tea seems especially potent in protecting against some of even the deadliest diseases.

According to the article written by Paula Dranov, “… scientists are finding that drinking tea may keep your heart healthy, protect you from cancer, boost your body’s ability to fight off germs, strengthen your bones, prevent cavities and sharpen your concentration”.  Evidently it lowers your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol as well as lowers the risk of plaque build-up in the arteries.  It may lower the risk of a variety of deadly cancers, and boosts immunity to ward of bacteria and viruses… you know, the kind that make you throw-up your morning coffee!  L-theanine  seems to heighten concentration, and another antioxidant found in tea may stave off Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s! Tea even strengthens bones, and prevents cavities as it contains fluoride.

Now that I’m a tea drinker?  Well, basically I’m GONNA LIVE FOREVER!

Good can come from even nasty viruses.

Compelled to Change by Negative Triggers – Part 2

Change can occur by design, but for me it is often because I’m forced to do so. Does that make me stubborn? (Hmm, scratching head and pondering that). I think I’m just a creature of habit.  When change occurs in my life, it is usually because circumstances forced me to adapt.

No one ever asks for a disability.  Whether congenital or adventitious, disabilities simply aren’t something one HOPES to learn to deal with in their life.  I mean… life is hard enough!  Yet, those I know with disabilities seem to be masters at learning to adapt and to change.  That doesn’t mean it’s always done right – yet, change will happen. One must learn to do things a “new way”.  Many times a person has to learn to ASK for help. Sometimes it means giving up some things you really loved, and learning to enjoy “replacement” activities instead.  There are times you have to “take 5” and just feel sorry for yourself – as long as you get back out there and embrace life when your “5” are up!

I consider deafness and Meniere’s disease negative triggers. Yet the change wrought in my own life, has made me who I am.  I am comfortable in my own skin, with all my gadgets and technology. I’m totally OK with being accompanied by an assistance dog, and I wear my hair up so that my cochlear implant and hearing aid are visible. However, I didn’t start out this way. At first, those triggers only caused me to isolate myself. I lived in a 24/7 pity party. I’m thankful for all I learned through HLAA and from a well-read Bible.  Both were necessary and influential in my life.

Change Can Lead to Discovery – Part 2

Some people look at me like I’ve lost my mind when I explain I’d never want to hear normally (or walk a straight line). I like who I am. As I have not always “liked me”, I’m glad I can say that I do now.  Change ultimately can bring a self-discovery of talents, skills, interests and passions that one never dreamed of before. With a little direction and “cheerleading” from those who have “been there”, change can be an easier transition for those learning to “ask those tough questions”.  Why me? How can I cope? How can I work? How can I communicate? How can I ever be happy again?

The biggest plus to having a disability, is that one usually discovers what is really important. The things that use to “stress” me no longer do. (Likely, I have new stresses!). Life’s big picture sort of SNAPS into place when you have a disability. Family, friends, community, communication become really important. (Don’t believe for a second that someone who is deaf with a communication disorder cannot communicate.  You simply aren’t listening!).

At times “getting there” is not an easy road. But the discovery of who I “am”, allows me to help others and make a difference in my own small corner of the world. Do you feel “change” coming? Don’t run from it. Stand still and let it happen. With the right attitude, support system, and even childlike faith, change can create very real and positive discoveries for YOU.

Denise Portis

© 2009 Hearing Loss Journal

5 thoughts on “… So Basically I’m GONNA LIVE FOREVER!

  1. Denise, what an informative post!

    I drink about 4-6 cups of hazelnut coffee every morning! I’m also a tea drinker, too!

    Usually when I am sick, my family can tell because I almost stop drinking coffee AND tea and drink hot lemonade instead. (I make it with about 2 TBSP of lemon juice, sweeten it, and add hot water.)

    I also love how you said that when one has a disability, they discover what is really important. You are so right. Life is a journey!

    Blessings, Laurie

  2. Ohhhh…forshadowed warnings of having to get off the soda. Did you have to bring that up?! LOL
    Glad to read a post from you again! You always make me smile!

  3. Yea! A new tea convert! 😉

    I converted John to a tea drinker…he was a coffee drinker in the past.

    BTW, I passed your blog to a friend. She’s got a good friend with hearing and balance issues and is thinking about a Hearing Dog. She was wanting experiences and thoughts on having a dog like this…so I immediately sent her your blog address! No one does it better!

    Erin and The Reds

  4. Thanks for the reminder! I love hot tea. I’m gonna have to dig out the hot water pot and start having that in the mornings again!

    I, too, find myself “comfortable in my own skin” with my disability, BUT I could really wish there wasn’t as much pain involved so much of the time. LOL! But that’s my reality, and I live in it.

    I would not want to give up any of the “wisdom” or experience I have acquired as a result of the arthritis and fibromyalgia. And I certainly would not want to give up Emmy!

    In Orthodoxy, we learn that God can use our diseases and disabilities, our grief and sorrows to bring us closer to Him. He does not “punish” us with them, but allows us to experience the world’s “negatives” in order to bring us to the Positive – Him!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s