Tag Archives: health

Travels…in my mind

I would love to say I’ve been traveled and that is why my last blog post has been so long ago. Ok, so I’ll say I’ve been traveling.  I often do, only it is never a physical trip; I never leave my house!  I go to all sorts of places, however lately I have spent a lot of time with family in California.  I think it is because I had planned a trip there over two years ago now and had to cancel because of a sick fur-kid.  Of course, in hindsight, I did not have to cancel and should not have canceled, but only hindsight can show me that.  Somehow, I don’t think my recent “trips” to the sunny state of California measure up to what it would be like to actually go there!

I have also made return trips to Hawaii, to bask in the sunshine and feel the warm ocean water again!  It is so beautiful with the tropical flowers and the bright colors.  And the Rocky Mountains, in contrast, with their strength and majesty.  The mountain streams cascade with a clear purpose and direction.  And there are so many other places that I visit over again, just to experience their beauty and the peace, the joy and the excitement I felt being there.

In reality, I have just been very stressed and exhausted lately.  I really don’t think the exhaustion has anything to do with my travels, either!  I’ve been having “issues” around the house and I guess I’m just not as good at dealing with them as I used to be.  It just wears me out.  It has set off the RA and the PsA, which as resulted in swollen and painful joints, especially in my hands.  This angers me, as I feel if I dealt with the stress better, I would not have the physical reaction.  And, we all know what this does…yep, makes the physical reaction worse!  Ain’t that productive!

Today, I am going to try to break the pattern and get back to what I want to be doing.  This is my start to that.  So I will try to be more “responsible” in my posting.  I am hoping that the problems  around the house are just about over…although owning a house usually means there is always something that needs tending to.  (I really like having little “projects” to do; I just like being able to DO them, I don’t like things going wrong that I can’t fix.)  Also, it is autumn, my favorite time of year…the colors and the smells are superb!  It will be awesome to be able to once again experience Mother Nature’s bounty! I am so grateful for all that She gives to us.

I won’t stop traveling though, I’ve found it to be a rather enjoyable pursuit.

 

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Getting Off the Emotional Roller Coaster

Once again, it has been it has been far too long.  I can honestly report that it is not because I’ve had nothing to say, just no time/energy to say it!  Just to catch every one up: Rudy, my Super Dooper Trooper is doing Wonderfully! He gave me another scare, and only one week ago I thought I was going to lose him.  Then, on Wednesday, 9/10, he had a “perfect” glucose level of 133! The vet and I agreed that we are going to wait one month before testing him again.  He’s been through enough tests and it’s time to just let him be for now.  Additionally, I have fallen twice in the past  two weeks, which has taken a toll on my body.  This may be the stress of everything causing a lack of coordination or just too much going on.  Either way it is taking a toll on my body!

Needless to say, dealing with this emotional roller coaster has left me fairly exhausted all the time.  I am still keeping up with the things I normally do, I am just not doing them at the same level.  I do think in the past day or two, I am starting to return to “normal,” whatever that is!  At least, I am feeling like I want to do something again!  I have begun to “study” writing, as I believe that to do something well, one must keep up on the skills of doing it.  In my case that means learning AND doing!  I have done that with just about everything I have ever done in my life and it has worked out well for me.  I just have to watch out for the tendency to get caught up in the learning and never get to the doing part!  Especially now that the doing is writing, which is very scary for me.  As I write those words, it seems very ironic that writing would be scarier than therapy! After all, therapy is, if done incorrectly, a far more dangerous enterprise. I mean, if I suck at writing, it is not detrimental to anyone’s life. (Except maybe my ego, but not my life.) Yet if I sucked at therapy, I could really screw someone’s life up. And I was not scared to walk into my office every day and see folks for therapy, in fact I enjoyed it.  So when I think of it that way, writing should be easy, right?  I think I will continue learning…

On that note, I just started reading a new book, entitled “Trying Not To Try” by Edward Slingerland.  It is based on the Chinese Philosophy of wu-wei, which is described as “an effortless way to go through life with spontaneity.”  It allegedly disputes all the thoughts about planning, reasoning and effort being needed for a happy life.  I am interested to find out more about the philosophy, especially since it fits into my theme of this year: “Just Be.”  Also, maybe it will help me be able to put words on paper; just write and stop trying so hard to make it perfect and planned out.  Which, of course, will probably go against everything I am learning about outlines, research and index cards!  That is what makes learning so much fun though…reading about all the different ways of doing things and putting them together to make the way that works for me!

After all, once I figure it out, I could write a book about it!

My Super Dooper Trooper – Not Saying Goodbye Yet

So we went to the vet yesterday to check on kidney functioning and glucose levels.  My Rudy is amazing!  His kidneys are now functioning within NORMAL RANGE and his glucose level has dropped 200 points!  While it is still way high (450) at least it is headed in the correct direction! The vet is pleased and said that we are not out of the woods just yet, but we are definitely headed in the right direction.

Of course, I wanted to take him out for breakfast to celebrate-or at least for a walk in the park.  Instead I brought him home to his “special food” and his insulin shot.  Poor guy, he’s worked so hard to get his levels in check and he can’t even have a treat to celebrate!  (It got way to hot to go for a way later in the day.)  And I think he was just so happy not to be at the vet’s office that he was okay with coming home.

I am now cautiously optimistic that he will be okay for a while longer.  My emotions have been all over the place and I am sure they will continue to be.  I know this is not the important part, Rudy is. It has been a roller coaster, though; maybe for him too.  I just feel very lucky to have more time to spend with my Begga-boy!  It doesn’t happen very often that we get that “little more time,” or that “one more day,”  that we so often ask for when it is too late.  Now it is my challenge not to waste the gift I have been given, but to make the very most of it I can!  I hope I am up to that challenge.

I also want to thank everyone in the virtual world who gave Rudy and me support and prayers, they made all the difference!  Without my virtual friends my days would have been much harder.  I am blessed in so many ways.

Now I must return to Rudy who is asking for something…probably a treat that he can no longer have…

Reclusive or Selective: The Semantic Game

I’ve told myself that I am not becoming reclusive; I am just more selective about what I do. I am not sure if I am just playing a semantic game with myself, but I am sure that my activities are changing.  I no longer log on to Facebook daily, but I do try to check in at least weekly to keep up with the people I talk to via messages.  I just don’t see much value in all the posts, seems like people put the silliest stuff on there.  I mean I guess it’s important to someone what you had for dinner, just not so much to me.  I also don’t tweet, don’t Pin anything nor am I linked in to anyone.  I really don’t spend that much time surfing any more either.  If there is something I need or want to know, I can usually find it with a quick search, read the articles and be done in fifteen or twenty minutes.   I also don’t go out as much as I used to.  I am quite content to stay in my house with my fur-kids. And they seem to get quite upset when I leave them.  Actually, it is getting hard to get me out of my house, not because I am afraid to leave, rather because I am just so comfortable here.  And I am always concerned that I will have to leave because of pain and cause disruption in the activity.  This causes me to stay home a lot also.

I did go “out” over this past weekend, however, and it was an interesting experience.  The “plan” was to go to a street dance that was a local fundraiser for the downtown district where I live.  Of course it was raining a lot, so they moved the party inside.  And they eliminated all the food vendors.  That meant going out to dinner, which we did and it was lovely!  The food was great, the company wonderful and the conversation fun.  Then to the “club” where the party was, which pointed out to me that it had been a long time since I have been in a club and I am getting old.  Wow, was it loud in there!  It didn’t take me long to re-acclimate myself and I found myself loving it! One of my favorite things to do is to “people watch” and there was the perfect spot above the main floor to do just that.  And the band, who were very good, was in the other room so they weren’t so loud! As a bonus, I had a fascinating conversation about a myriad of topics with a very cool woman.  I am glad that despite my desire to stay home, I went and had a great time. I was not able to complete the evening this weekend, as I came home early due to “wearing out,” but the going out was a good thing.

Being selective about what I do is a good thing, and I will continue.  Unfortunately, my stamina is not what it was and I cannot do all the things I’d like.  So I will have to make choices just like everyone else, even if mine are a little more limited.  Looking at the possibilities as though there are possibilities will make a huge difference in my choices.  

A Three Year Journey, Never Intended

Three years I began a New Life.  Or should I say I began a New Journey in my Life.  A New Journey sounds so much better and more intriguing, wouldn’t you agree?  I would assume it depends on whether it is a Journey one intended to take.

I went home for lunch on a Thursday afternoon, it was August 5, 2011.  I’d been having “episodes” of unknown origin, but they were mimicking TIA’s or mini-strokes.  I had been to the hospital ER many, many times; had more CT scans of my head than I probably should have in my lifetime; and, had freaked out my friends, my co-workers and myself more than once.  On this day, instead of going to the ER, I called my doctor.  I thought that was a wise move, since I was tired of wasting everyone’s time and resources to be told that they didn’t know what was wrong.  The doctor told me I had to see a neurologist and until I did, no more work.  Little did I know that it would take a year, and my insistence at seeing a third neurologist to get a diagnosis and a solution.  Of course, by this time, I had no job, which meant I had to move because I could no longer afford where I was living.  Of course this provoked just a little (sarcasm here) stress in my life, which caused the RA to go out of control.   Additionally, I lost two of my main supports, which were my old neighbors.  I had not planned on that.  I’ve never returned to work and my health is such now, that it seems unlikely I ever will.  Although, I would like nothing better.

There are many details, twists and turns that life has taken throughout these past three years, far too many to mention here.  The life lessons are always the most important; the demons we struggle with and overcome; the challenges we face and win; and the realization of who and what really matters.  I know that these will continue throughout my life, I hope to get better at dealing with them and at letting go of the little things and the things I cannot change.  I am finding that, unfortunately, that also means letting go of people.  There are people in my life who let me down to the point that I can never trust them again; who have shown me their true character and, not that I am perfect, it is cruel; and, there are those who have, at least in their own honesty, walked away from me.  This has been the hardest part of my journey during the past three years.  Or maybe it has been the hurt I have caused others, for I know I have.  I have let people down in ways for which I have many regrets.  I have tried to make amends where possible and apologies when I can.  And tried to do it better the next time.  I guess that is all to do.

It has been an interesting journey.  I have learned a lot about myself, my world and the people in my world.  I have been to the depths of depression and have had wonderful friends to pull me back up.  I have had major health crises that without my friends I would literally not have survived.  And I have had triumphs that my friends were with me to celebrate and share.  What have I learned? That I have the BEST FRIENDS, that I am BLESSED they are in my life; that no matter how dark or lonely some days may get, they will ALWAYS be there, just one phone call away.  I have also learned that I can handle much more than I thought I could, and I really thought I was pretty strong before.  I’ve learned to be more independent and to ask for help only when it is truly needed.  I’ve learned to let the little things go and not stress about them as much.  I’ve learned to be GRATEFUL for all that I have, for it is so much!  I’m learning to ENJOY EACH MOMENT because it is all I really have and to stop expecting things to be a certain way.  It appears that when I can release my expectations, I am pleasantly surprised by something new!  The biggest thing I’ve learned about myself is that I have a lot to learn!  This is good, for life will continue with its twists and turns and how boring it would be without them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Consequence of Fear

So much for my “Just Be” theme of the year.

I think the Universe is giving a me Giant Push which is getting stronger and stronger.  I, of course, have not recognized it until now.  I am a bit slow in these things.  I tend to be the complacent type–no that’s not right either.  I am the one who gets really excited about doing something, so I get all kinds of “stuff” so I can start it; which I do, then I quit and everything just sits there.  I then kick myself for spending bunch of money for something I am once again not using; starting and quitting something again; and, feeling like I am never going to accomplish anything.  My next move, you ask?  I hit the couch, turn on the “I don;t have to think about it” electronic box, pull out the electronic game pad so I really don’t have to think and I can zone out for days.

Of course, that is not the only reason for this lay on the couch behavior. Usually it is because of the pain being bad enough that I just can’t function that day.  Sometimes it is because the depression has taken over and I just don’t care that day.  And sometimes it is because I am running away from feeling as if I give up on the things I want to do, without ever really trying to do them.  I’ve never thought of myself as a quitter before, at least not until I began writing the last sentence.  I really don’t like it.  Feels quite yucky, for lack of a better term.  Wow, I have to change that one.

One thing that I have not quit and will not give up on is writing.  A couple of weeks ago I was away from home and did not have any information about the book I have been working on with me, but I did have my laptop with me.  So, I started typing about my life, thinking it would be more cathartic than anything.  I really didn’t intend for it to turn into anything I would ever consider publishing.  It seems that the Universe may have other plans. The most interesting ideas about my writing comes to me around 1:30 AM, so I have learned to keep a notebook, flashlight, pencil and my phone (it takes dictation) next to my bed every night.  Last week, I “received” information about what I thought was my cathartic writing.  I really don’t want to go into all the details here, but the title I was “given” was “The Consequence of Fear.”  I then “received” reminders of all the things I didn’t do in my life, that I wanted to do, because I was too afraid to do them.  The list was much longer than I remembered.  It was also very sad.

Choices. I have had many to make and I don’t think I’ve always done such a good job at making them.  I know:  I did what I did and I can’t change anything.  I’ve learned from the decisions I’ve made and there is no use in looking backwards.  Except, to use what I see to make different choices now.  To overcome the fear when given the opportunity to make a choice.  To do something different.  To step outside of my comfort zone and do things differently.  To work on that Bucket List!  It is now or never, I suppose.  After all, “You have to have some fun every day, who knows if you will even have tomorrow.” This is a statement made by my great-niece recently, that has resonated with me ever since she said it.  She is wise beyond her years!

Getting back to that Giant Push I am feeling.  Things are changing, shifting in my life.  I feel disconnected from people I know, like I am being told “it’s time to get out there and do new things, meet new people.”  This is really tough for an introvert, especially one who has isolated herself for the past three years. I also have to be cognizant of my health concerns, financial concerns and physical abilities.  Of course, I also have to be aware of using these as excuses too.  They have been a convenient way to explain away my isolation.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to get ill.  I was exposed to pneumonia in May; I got it the first of June and I am still dealing with the effects of it at the end of July.  Health issues are a valid concern.  Yet the Push is getting stronger, no doubt about it.  Soon it will not be something I can ignore.  I don’t want to ignore it anymore.  I want to do some of those things that I have avoided.  It all comes down to the choice–let the fear rule or overcome it!

 

Friday’s Fears

It has been too long since I have posted.  I know this, not because of the date, but because my head is exploding with words.  It seems that the only times I have a lot to say are the times I have little time to write.  While the times I have a lot of time to write are the times I feel I have little to say.  I believe that is fear, my friends.  So, today I am taking the time to write and hoping that I am ready for the company that is coming in 70 minutes.  No, I am not showered or dressed yet, so I will have to type rather quickly!

I am back in my funk.  That bicycle I bought July 4th has left my garage three times and one was to go to the bike shop to be repaired.  So I have only been on it twice.  Okay, so I’ve had a double ear infection like forever and the doctor said riding it might not be good, and I have had trouble just keeping my balance while walking, but this would not have stopped me in the past.  So is my common sense getting better or am I just becoming too compliant? I hate being compliant!

The weather here has been perfect, 70’s and low humidity.  We have set records for cool weather in July!  I have slept.  In the house with the windows open at least, but I have slept.  Of course, I found out this has contributed to the double ear infection problem, so now I am sleeping with the windows closed and the air-conditioning on while the weather outside is perfect.  And the kicker:  I am 53 years old and I may need to get tubes in my ears…I think I am a little young to be going through my second childhood!  Don’t little kids get these when they are like 3? I’m no expert on these things, I didn’t have kids and dogs generally don’t get tubes in their ears!

Speaking of dogs, my youngest, and some would say my favorite, Willie (Princess Wilhelmina) has now been diagnosed with allergies and is taking daily medicine.  She is also eating a lot. She is supposed to be a mini doxie, but I am unsure how long we will be keeping the mini part.  I’ve already started the diet; I did that the day I started the medicine and we went to the park for a walk before we started the medicine.  I am very familiar with steroids.  I started them the day before.  I did not do the diet or the walk for myself, however.  I’ve always been better at taking care of others.  I did begin to be more careful with my diet last night, right after I ate the candy bar and the cookies.  I did not eat them in front of Willie, though, so that counts, right?  Today, I am hoping to go back to the park with Willie and might even take my oldest, Rudy, who is diabetic. (I didn’t eat the candy bar or cookies in front of him either.)  Of course that would leave the middle child at home by herself, which would increase my guilt significantly.  This usually means we all stay home.  And sleep.

My other project for today is to “let go” of my former life.  In my previous life I was a mental health therapist.  I was very good at what I did and I believe I helped a lot of people.  This illness has removed my ability to do that work anymore.  I could never handle the stress, the hours and the mental acuity required.  I no longer have the memory that is needed.  That all sucks and makes me extremely sad.  So I have decided not to look at all the books I have that related to my former life.  It is time to give them to someone who can use them.  I have no idea who that is, but maybe my local library does.  So I will start there.  Today a friend will help me box them up and I will deliver them next week.  In addition, I am going to make my “office” at home more of a “studio” where I can be more creative.  Now, it looks like an office, very practical and business like.  I am not business like any more.  Now I am all over the place, I “flit” and that’s okay.  I want to be comfy when I create, not sit at a desk in a desk chair that hurts my body.  So that needs to change.  And today is the day it begins.  It will be a fun project.  I will start with cleaning out the space, so I know what I need/want.  Then I can hit the thrift stores to see what I can find.  What an adventure! Kind of exciting, getting to create a new space in which to create. I am a writer now: maybe not an author (yet), but a writer.  That is my new profession and I am very grateful that I have it.  If I can ever get past the fear of putting the words on the paper!