Tag Archives: strength

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…

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How Do I Say Goodbye to My Boy?

I know I haven’t written a new post for a while and I haven’t been reading or commenting on many blogs either. I have been very preoccupied and with good reason. My oldest fur-kid, Rudy, isn’t doing very well. He has diabetes and it has gone out of control. Last weekend he started having a lot of symptoms that pointed to high blood sugar levels. When I took him to the vet, the number was 653 (normal is around 100). In addition, his kidneys have been “compromised.” Not Good. I thought that I had lost him at that point and was trying to emotionally prepare myself, as if one can do that. The vet gave me a little hope by changing his diet. Although he told me not to buy any more insulin, he would give me some as I only have enough for about a week. When I asked how long before we would know if the diet was working, he said, “a week or two.” So, that means I could only have a week or two left with my boy.  IMG_0551

When I think back on the 12 years we have had together, there have been so many good times! He has been my “Beggaboy,” my “Ruddabegga.” He has helped me through some very dark times in my life and been there for me when no one else has. He has made it through three moves and has hung in there with me through numerous relationships (despite trying to tell me that one in particular was disastrous for us!) He has stuck by me despite my bringing two puppies into our lives and one very abused adult dog. He really doesn’t like puppies! And no matter what I threw at him, he has smiled through it all and continues as my boy; “da man of da house!” Someone said to me: “Yeah the little buggers break your heart when they leave you.” My response: “Yeah they do, but I wouldn’t trade the last 12 years with him for anything.”

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How do say goodbye? I have no idea. I know that I will have to. I don’t know if it will be this week or next or maybe I will have more time with him. In any case, I know that the time is coming faster than I want it to. Until then, I will love him and spend ALL my time with him. I will stay by his side and have no regrets about not being with him. I will not let him suffer. I will not make him stay when his quality of life is gone, for that would be selfish on my part. I do not want that for him. Hell, I don’t want that for me! For there is no greater love than what a dog has for his human, and Rudy has loved me far better than I could ever have loved him. Now it is my turn to fix that, I will not let him down. I will love him as he has loved me.

Even though it will be one of the hardest things I will ever have to do, when it is time I will say goodbye. I will hold him in my arms so that he knows he I love him as he takes his last breath. And I will keep him in my heart always. For that is what he would do for me. It is what he has done for me.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

External vs Internal: Does It Really Matter?

There have not been many external events happening recently, unless you count the illness stuff and I really don’t want to.  Or you count the recovery from illness, which is a bit better to focus on, I guess.  Other than that there has just been a lot of sleeping, watching TV and reading, which I guess does fall into that recovery category.  Internally, however, things are beginning to shift again.  I am feeling the need to get out of the house, not for purely social reasons, although those are important enough, but also for observational reasons.  I need to be observing life–people, places and things–so that I can write.  And I am writing again, oh, I guess that is an external change.  It feels so internal to me that I don’t notice when words actually leave my head and get put on paper…well, on the computer screen.  It is especially nice when they STAY on the screen after I put them there.  Yes, I “lost” two hours of writing the other day, just gone to great abyss of…wherever that shit goes when it goes somewhere!  The important fact here is that it is gone…bye-bye…see ya (NOT).  That was the bad news.  The other bad news is that I can’t just rewrite it, those words came once, not sure they will come again, although I will try.  The good news, I spent yesterday setting up a new writing system (another external change)! So hopefully that won’t happen ever again.  I hope.  At least not this week.  Or this month.  Or this year.

So, I am excited about today because I get to spend it writing.  I really hope the words come.  If not it doesn’t matter.  I have a new mantra…Keep My Butt In The Chair! I say it to myself a lot now.  It is the only way that I am ever going to finish anything! It is the only way that anyone ever finishes anything.  I know I don’t have a lot of stamina and I can’t stay in that chair for long, but I have to give it a try.  You know, one hour of writing, two hours of napping, one hour of writing, two hours of napping, etc.  That is about how life goes, no matter what I try to do.  And somewhere I will slip in my “observation” time.  It will happen.  I just have to keep my motivation and my dream in front of me.  And the other negative crap, self-defeating thoughts, in that great abyss of…

I am also finding that the balance is hard.  The amount of time “required” being alone so that I can gather my thoughts so I am able put words together into a story, along with not being so isolated that I forget how to interact with people.  It becomes easier and easier to become reclusive.  I do miss laughing though!  I find I don’t laugh anymore.  I haven’t for a long time.  And I miss it more and more.  I realize now, that even when I find something funny, I have a hard time laughing at it.  I wonder, is laughing a skill that one learns and forgets?  Or is laughing something that, with enough pain, too difficult to bring back?  Either way, I want it back!  I love to laugh…or at least I used to!  I used humor at work all the time, I was known for it and it worked! I do not know how to get it back, but I do know I am going to work at it.

It seems I’ve made a list for myself:  Keep my butt in the chair; Make observation time; Keep my dream in front of me; Find the balance; Re-learn how to laugh again.

Okay, I’m exhausted just looking at the list!   Is it nap time, yet?

Monday Morning Musings

I haven’t been able to “write” here lately because of my clumsy, accident-prone self.  I didn’t quite make that four-inch step coming into my garage, so the door trapped my foot, took off my shoe and decided I should take a nice hard fall to the concrete floor…with both hands full, of course.  I was having such a fun time, too!

My three kids watching a video!

My three kids watching a video!

My three fur-babies very generously graced me with flowers and potting soil for Mother’s Day, so I was planting them in hanging baskets and planters, so I could display them for the summer.  I was just finishing up, when I took the nose dive into the concrete floor.  I guessing it was a good thing I was almost done! Of course, the plant I was carrying at the time did not fare so well…although while I was laying on the concrete, I did put the soil and the plant back into the now-cracked pot.  I figured I couldn’t get up right away, so I might as well do something useful!  I also assessed my “body” for any damage while I layer there.  It seemed my knee took the brunt of the fall, as I couldn’t use my hands to help.  At least it was the same knee that has already had four surgeries, I thought as I laid there.  As I slowly got up, I realized I was correct, the knee hurt A LOT!  But I looked outside an all the plants I had loving re-potted were sitting in the hot sun and had not been watered yet.  Yep, I watered them, hung them in the shade and cleaned up my mess THEN, I headed for the shower and the ice pack.  It was in the shower that I discovered that my right hand got messed up too.  Hence, I could not write or type!  It is still sore and hurts after use, however I wanted to write, so here it is. It has been over a week now and while I am feeling better, I know that it is not healed.  I did get x-rays and nothing is broken, Yay!  Of course, they say soft tissue damage, which could be worse than a break, but not in my house!

Of course the stress of all of this has made the Psoriatic Arthritis, Psoriasis, and Rheumatoid Arthritis act up like crazy, which helps nothing.  However, I am blessed to have great nephews who help me out with my yard work and other stuff.  And I have friends who will bring me lunch or cook dinner when I can’t, which is also a blessing!  I hope they all realize how grateful I am to and for them.  I have struggled with relationships since moving home, and I am now at a place where I am learning to just accept everyone where they are.  While this is not always easy, and I am always learning, I am getting better at it.  I am absolutely positive that it has not always been easy for everyone to accept me either!

I realized that writing here is a great stress reducer!  I have found that the ‘sphere is a loving and supportive place.  Bloggers, at least the ones that I have met, are accepting and helping.  I know that I am very new at blogging, and I have not met a lot of people, but my life has never been about quantity; it has always been about quality.  And in that way, I have also been blessed and I have much gratitude for the people in my life I trust.  I digress, again!

Writing is a passion.  It is something that if not done, will fester inside until it becomes so painful that when touched, it just explodes.  I find that this is how it is with me.  I have developed a need to write.  Before it was a desire, a want, a something I’d like to do; but now it is something much , much larger.  It is a passion, a driving force.  I find that on days that I am pulled away from my writing, I am becoming resentful.  Not that I don’t want to do the things that are pulling me away, just that I want to write, too!  It is all about balance.  And if I didn’t wear out easily, become so tired and go into the brain fog that comes with these auto-immune dis-eases, I could balance these things much more easily.

I have a passion, I am blessed.  And I am grateful.

I have a goal, I am blessed.  And I am grateful.

I have the tools, I am blessed. And I am grateful.

I have loving support, I am blessed.  And I am grateful.

I have the ability, I am blessed. And I am grateful.

Now to get on with it…

Lessons of My Tree – Part 2

Spring has finally arrived!  I, like so many, am ready for the warmer temperatures and the end to the seemingly endless snowfall we have had this past winter.  I am ready to spend time outside: basking in the glorious sunshine; breathing in fresh, clean air; listening to wonderful sounds of all of Nature’s glory; and, sitting in the shade of my tree!  Yes, you heard correctly, the shade of my TREE!!!!  For those of you who haven’t read my earlier blog about my tree, please do so now, as this won’t make a lot of sense otherwise.  (   )   When I went out to fill the bird feeder earlier this week, I was very happy to see buds on the tree branches.  I went over to my tree and gave her a big hug and thanked her for hanging in there with me.  I swear I heard a sigh.  And I felt her strength.  And I’ve hugged her each day since then; and she has given me strength each day since then.  I hope I’ve given her some too.  I don’t want to take all of her strength, as I want my tree to live and to thrive; I want the “tree man” who looked at her and said she was dying to be wrong.  I want to heal her and help her to live.  And she has.

She survived the “polar vortex,”  not just once, but many times this past winter.  She stood strong against the cold and piercing winds that shook her branches.  She maintained her strength when the ice and snow clung to her and froze her over and over and over.  She clung to life and has been able to show the “polar vortex” that she is stronger than its cold wind, ice and snow.  She is a pillar of strength of what is good and just in this world.  She asks for so little, just water and air, and she gives much in return: strength, oxygen, beauty, grace, shade, healing, etc. And even through her own suffering and pain, she continues to give out all that she can, all that she knows she must, as she knows, innately, what her purpose is on the earth. And she honors that purpose.

I have spent so many years searching for the purpose to my life.  I am not sure that I have found it, however, I do think that whatever I came here to do, I have either done or it will find me, as long as I am open to it.  Maybe I am tired of searching.  Maybe I feel like searching is taking up too much of the time I could be living.  Recently, I’ve spent more time wondering what my “legacy” will be, or if I want one. I do not have children, not human ones at least, so there will be no descendants.  My fur kids are spayed or neutered, so none there either (bet most of you didn’t think of your fur-kids as descendants!)  And, considering my cultural background,  descendants is where it’s at.  My parents worked hard, saved a lot and left us, their children a tidy sum when they died.  I will not have children to pass things down to, but I will keep my parent’s things in the family; I’m big on stuff like that.  I’ve taken a financial beating to keep stuff “in the family.”   But I digress.  Again, I wonder what will be my legacy?  Will I leave any mark that I have been on this earth?  Is that even important?  I am not sure what the answers to these questions are at this point, but I am beginning to realize that my tree may hold the answers for me.

My tree’s purpose is clear: to give the earth oxygen, beauty, shade, nutrients, healing, etc.  She has, probably, never questioned her purpose on this earth since was a little sapling.  She has always, probably, known what she was born to do and she has done it with grace and strength, the way she innately knew how to do it.  So, what can she teach me about her legacy?  After all, she has no saplings that I know of;  I never let those little maple “whirligigs” grow; you know, the ones that clog your gutters and get everywhere every spring! (Although I might try to grow a few this spring, just to see what happens, you know.)

So what will she “leave behind?”  For one, there will be an enormous hole in my life.  She will not be there to wake up to each morning or to say goodnight to each evening.  I will not be able to converse with her and gain strength and wisdom from her.  The shade won’t be there in the summer and the birds will not have a place for their feeder to hang in the winter.  Her beauty will be missed by all, as many comment about how much they love my tree.  My neighbor has even asked the “tree man” how to save her; she is very loved!  There will be less oxygen to breathe because my tree is gone, although I am not sure that will be one of the things that is thought of at the time.  And I know a myriad of other ways that she will leave her mark on this world that I that escapes me. What strikes me as I write this is that once I am gone, either by moving or death, the memory of my tree will be gone also.  But I think that is the way it happens with people, too.  My parents are remembered by their children and grandchildren; but their great-grandchildren never knew them and, so, the knowledge of who they were as people, will die.  Yes, there is a tombstone for genealogists or family who want to know, but they will never really know, they can’t.  Just as no one can really know my tree.

Once again, my tree all ties everything together. My tree’s purpose is to “Just Be” and by doing so provides those that love her with the gifts that they need.  Once again, she is showing me the way, as my theme for the year is to “Just Be.”  Hopefully by doing so, I can give someone else a gift that they need.  Her legacy?  Well, I guess that is yet to be determined, as is mine, but she is teaching me…

 

Dilemma In The End Of Denial – My Tree Is Dying

I have a tree in my front yard. Not such an unusual occurrence, as many folks have one or many trees in their yards.  This tree, however is one of, if not the reason,  I bought my house.  I spend many hours each day looking at my tree, for it has many patterns in its branches and I can see faces and facial expressions in its trunk.  At times, it seems that my tree is expressing what the Universe is feeling about a decision I have made or an action I have taken (or more likely have not taken).  The branches of my tree come out as if a gentle hand is cradling all of nature’s bounty–the sun, the rain, the snow.  It’s as if they are making a bed for anyone who wants to lay within them and, for awhile, become one with their strength, beauty and absolute love.  For there, one can contemplate the absolute power and glory of nature!

As you can see, I love my tree. I can not remember ever relating to a tree like this since my childhood.  As I stood looking at my tree during this recent “polar vortex,” I watched it become blanketed in snow and I was grateful that the snow might keep it warm from the cold winds that were shaking it and making it tremble.  Then I noticed what I had perhaps been pointedly avoiding, my tree had holes in the “v’s” of it’s branches.  I thought of all the frigid air rushing in and through my beloved tree and I realized, like a dagger hitting my heart, my tree is dying.  I’ve known this in my head for over a year now; but I have lived in that wonderful state of denial, refusing to believe that it would really happen.  Yes, there were far less leaves on it last year and yes, branches have to be cut from it so they don’t fall on anyone, however, denial is a strong ally! It struck me that I cannot be in denial forever:  my tree is dying, and then the sadness enveloped me.

As I allowed myself to actually feel this sadness, I wondered: Does it hurt? We know that humans and animals often have pain and suffering during the dying process, so do trees and plants share this trait?  They are living beings also.  Do they feel embarrassed by their shabbiness in the loss of leaves and branches? Do they wish their existence to be cut short as humans do, to save their dignity?  If any of these are possible is it humane, or “treemane,” to keep it alive just because I can’t bear to part with it?  I can’t bear to think of losing its strength that I can feel even when I sit inside, or its shade that cools me on a hot summer’s day.  When I feel so weak that I can no longer fight the good fight, I only have to walk to its side and rest my hand there, and my strength is renewed.  So the dilemma remains:  Is it “treemane” to keep a tree alive because I cannot let it go?  This seems rather selfish to me.  I’ve heard other people say “you can not cut it down, it is too cool” or “it’s not hurting anything.” I understand that it is not hurting anything else, but IS IT HURTING?

You see,  I believe that everything has its own energy given by the Universe/God/Source. I believe that everything has value and worth and I do my best to honor that value and worth in my daily life.  That also means that, for me, everything is equal.  Does that mean then that I should, in compassion, euthanize my tree? Or do I allow it to die a “natural death”?  An existential question perhaps, but one that I will struggle with long after the air warms and the snow has melted.  The “polar vortex” may fade in memory, but my tree, no my tree will be with me always.  For it has been written upon my heart, just as the tree from my childhood.  I still have no answer to my question, however I am, as I write this, becoming certain that my tree will give me the answer I seek.  For just as it seems to “comment” on my decisions, give me cooling shade on hot days and strengthen me when I am weak, it will also guide me as to its own existence.