Patience …?

HHMMPH! DWELLING ON THINGS you have no control over is terribly counterproductive. My Friday visit to the ER a couple weeks ago left me with tons of questions, some of which are being sorted out with a scheduled test and upcoming appointments. But I’m finding myself very impatient, wanting answers NOW. Ugh. Yes, I AM part of the “now” generation. I’ve tried very hard to shed that “layer” but it rears its ugly head now and again. Especially when I am frustrated.

I even had another visit to the ER a week later. A different “problem”, or so I thought. Turns out, probably the same issue: my spine is finally protesting all of the abuse I’ve given it over the years. The frustrating thing is, many of the symptoms are so close to what one would experience with a heart attack or stroke—so it’s not like I can simply brush it off and just get on with my life. It requires a trip to the ER (well, I’m getting a stress test to see if I really need to do that every time symptoms pop up—like I had on my last two visits).

It really is a nuisance. In the meantime, my neurologist has me doing physical therapy to help with the pressure on my spinal cord and he has me on a lifting restriction (no more than twenty pounds). Ugh. That certainly puts a crimp in my working around the yard. Well, I keep saying I need to hire a gardener … I do believe it’s time to make good on that “threat”. A housekeeper may be a wee bit more tricky since they want to come in and do a deep cleaning before they do routine weekly stuff. I’m going to need to have a little chat about tossing that requirement out the window from the get-go … (giggle) we’ll see how that flies.

With all my doctor visits and PT, I almost forgot to finish up this blog (oopsie). Matter of fact, I seem to be more forgetful (if that’s possible) of late—I forgot to take all of my usual meds yesterday. I think that’s a first. But, thankfully, even if the PT will be continuing, my doctor visits are slowing down and I can get back to living normally. Well, as normally as as one can expect for me.

In the meantime, I think it’s time I hone my “patience” skills (insert eye roll here). And, I need not forget who is truly in charge. I need to remember to “give it to God” …

Summer is just around the corner and this week looks like it’s going to be quite warm. May this weekend and the upcoming week be a blessing to you all.

 

Moving Forward

IT’S BEEN A ROUGH COUPLE of months (sigh … make that six months), the New Year has been celebrated—along with a few other holidays—and I’m nearly into the middle of April—how on earth can time go by so fast? I feel like Alice In Wonderland‘s little white rabbit (even more so than usual of late). You know the one. Always looking at his pocket watch, zooming off into the distance proclaiming, “I’m late, I’m late I’m late—for a very important date …” Yet, I feel like I’m in a hamster wheel, getting nowhere fast.

The dust is slowly settling after losing my fur-friend of so many years. I’m nearly done with my taxes (yeah … I’ll be doing an extension—again) and my primary goals at the moment are to get ready for the Good Old Days weekend event—tomorrow? … yikes!!!—in Pacific Grove and starting to unravel the mysteries of a cervical spine issue rearing it’s ugly head. I have two appointments. One with a DO to discuss possibilities of alternative choices. Then one with a neurosurgeon.

But enough of that. Because of the loss of my little fur-baby (and all the other distractions in my life), I’m finding creativity blocked. I have an edit that needs completing. Really needs to be done if I’m to have it ready to go to press this fall. But that elusive creativity is key to getting this done. It’s not just a red pencil edit. I’ve got lots of things I have yet to put into the story—to flesh it out, so I need those creative juices flowing as I “edit”. Wanting to sit down to do the work is another part of the problem. Focus, desire … or, should I say lack of it. Too many disjointed things bumbling around in my head are acting as stumbling blocks that need to be swept away—fast!

Connecting the dots seems to be a challenge at this time. Maybe, once taxes are done, once the book signing has happened (I always find a well of energy comes up after these things) … maybe then I’ll rediscover my muse and will begin my dance with words and images once again. One can hope …

Maybe … just mabye, my next blog will be photographic (insert huge grin …). That would be nice!

Until then, I wish you all a wonderful, blessed day and weekend. Enjoy your weather—whatever that might be … find that silver lining in whatever cloud hangs over you (I’ll be working/walking in the rain for the next three days—I can hear “… dancing in the rain …” forming in my head).

Until next time. Be blessed.

 

 

 

Time Stops For No One …

WATCHING MY DOG AS SHE ages can be hard sometimes. In people-years, she’s surpassed 86. The vet says Kaeli is relatively healthy for her age (other than elevated liver enzymes that are slowly returning to more “normal” every time she is tested). Arthritis has her panting—or is it the abnormal tests? Either way, it distresses me. I hate to see her in pain.

I sure wish she could speak to help us out in trying to help

Waiting ...

Chilling whilst mom works on her blog.
2016

her through this time in her life … I do wonder at times if she is truly enjoying life. Am I being selfish, prolonging things? I’d rather not think about that at this time … denial, maybe?

Kaeli’s definitely not the tail-wagging sweetie I knew a few years ago. Only occasionally do I see the tail-wag I long to see and even less frequent is the trot with a spring in her step. Both

Kaeli chillin'

“… I didn’t say I was comfortable.”
Kaeli resting, 2015

happen, but not as often as I’d like to see. Her walk has slowed to a stiff gait, more often than not dragging one rear foot as she pads along. Her head hangs low, as if too heave to hold erect; tail tucked in painful submission. I hate that I live in a two-story house and she feels obliged to follow me up, tripping on steps as she plods after me whenever I need something upstairs or am heading to bed. Then, there’s the awkward “oh … I need to come back down, don’t I?” look as she stands at the head of the steps, staring down at me. Usually, I let her come at her own pace. Sometimes immediate, but more than likely it’s after a bit of courage-mustering … she’ll then treads carefully down the steps. I love multi-level homes, but this is a huge disadvantage—as much for me as her.

I think Kaeli’d rather be at my side than wander around in the yard freely all day—or perhaps, she’s simply resigned to the fact. I am working (slowly) on creating a smaller compound within my 3/4 acre yard that deer cannot get into (hopefully, as she noms on their droppings and this may be the reason for the abnormal labs) … and in an area clear of

Chillin' With Mom

Kaeli chillin’ with me at Open Ground Studios
2016
(Sorry it’s sideways—can’t seem to remedy)

poison oak for her to roam freely. The later is so I will feel more loving—hard to get all snuggily when I know I’m apt to end up with poison oak. Hopefully she will want to wander—she really needs to build up her muscle mass. All the “shadowing”—snoozing whilst being at my side … or sleeping in the car whilst I run errands has given her very little exercise and I feel guilty for thrusting that upon her. Getting back into the yard will be good for her. She just needs to stay on level area so she doesn’t tumble down the hill.

She’s not the only one aging—but she’s certainly doing it far more gracefully than I.

Me an' My Mom

Kaeli and I at the beach, 2015

Groan. She and I have a disability in common—arthritis. She never complains—oh, you can see how it’s effecting her gait and demeanor, but not verbally. She’s quiet as a mouse. I try not to complain. I’ve gotten pretty good, but occasionally fall into my old habits and find myself grumbling now and again … and hosting a pity party once in a while. I try to remember that I have it so much better than many others. That usually humbles me right there … and pulls me back to reality—thinking about quite a few of my friends and their struggles. Their trials and tribulations are far greater than mine. I find myself realizing how blessed I am. And blessed to have an awesome group of friends and family to lean on—they keep me accountable … and shake me loose from my pity parties. A good thing for someone living alone, don’t you think?

With all the daily reminders that time time waits for no one,

Ready to Roll ...

In my Miata, waiting for me to stop taking photos.
2014

sometimes I worry a little about being away from my furbabies for so long when I go on holiday. If only I could bring Kaeli with me (Sebastian would be fine … so independent, but he’s certainly glad to see me upon my return)—a selfish thought, really—that would be even worse for her.

I will simply continue to count my blessings. My days with my sweet little Kaeli are numbered and I chose

Sebastain and Kaeli

… we’re friends—really.

to cherish them all. I will hurry back from each trip away, ready to snuggle with her and celebrate my return with her—and Sebastian.

They are both great companions.

Have I mentioned, I am blessed? Indeed!

 

More?

[This little gem was gleaned from a Note post I made on my personal Facebook page August, 2013. Because it’s still applicable, I’ve only made a few minor changes, then expounded upon it. Enjoy.]

SIGH. TODAY IS ONE OF THOSE ‘MORE‘ DAYS. You know the kind I mean.

When I woke up, I felt like I needed more sleep; after consuming a 6-cup pot of coffee, I felt like I still needed more coffee. My “energy” in a cup. After my shower (and nearly draining the hot water in the tank), I felt like I needed more time under the hot shower … and then a massage!

So, what do you do on those kinds of days? Many times, I’ll make another pot of coffee, or crawl back under the covers in an attempt to reclaim some lost sleep … but today, I think I’ll do something different.

Instead of more sleep, I’m going to exercise. Crazy, right? Reports say it gives you more energy. We’ll see …

More coffee? Nope, I’m going to stick with herbal tea and lots of water.

A hot tub would be nice, but aside from the obvious fact that it is prohibitively expensive, that would mean far more work than I’d like—just to maintain it. Instead, I opt for layers of nice snugly-warm ‘comfort’ clothes for both body & mind as I work on the last bit of my manuscript before submitting and preparing for the next phase.

Since I wrote this, back in August of 2013, a lot has happened. With these philosophical changes and new mind-sets, I managed to lost weight, became less dependent on coffee … or even tea (the herbal tea kick didn’t last long—nice black breakfast tea from Ireland for me, thank you very much) except on days where I still don’t get much sleep and need to get moving right away (then I need only one cups of tea—or coffee—to get my engine going). I fell in love with walking again—lots of walking—and finished my first … then my second book. And the third is nearly ready to publish plus now I’m working on the fourth in the series. Wheee!

In 2014, I managed a seriously walking-heavy trip (groan—but it was awesome!) in Wales, Ireland and the UK and am now planning for another trip to Scotland and England (to include a group trip to Cornwall, which will most likely be another walk-heavy adventure) and a maybe for including Ireland and N. Ireland) for 2016. I did gain a little bit of the weight back over the holidays—oh, bother—but I’m attacking it with proper diet and it’s on the downswing once again with walking. I got out of the habit over the holidays and it’s taken six months to get my act together. I’ll be rarin’ to go for next year’s trip—just you wait and see! I can hardly wait! Most of my trip is still in the planning stages, but I’m excited already.

I still think about the hot tub when my thyroid battles with my immune system (hmm … maybe that’s supposed to be the other way around) when I feel like I’m living at the arctic circle (when in fact, it’s reasonable weather). But for now, I’m enjoying the summer weather—next few days are supposed to be nice and warm. I didn’t used to like warm—or hot … but as I get even older, and with my wacked thyroid, I certainly do like the warmer climes.

Now, instead of overdoing, I’m learning to moderate. Well (as I think back on yesterday’s activities), most of the time at least. You’d think I’d have learned that lesson long ago. Ha! Moderating the food I consume (it allows me to have things that would be taboo if I Ate-The-Whole-Thing …), and after I did something to my ankle (insert very grumpy face), I’m reminded to not go the “all-or-nothing” route when I walk. Slowly build up my time and distance serves me much better. Now if I can only remember that one, I’d be good to go …

All of these things are so basic and easy, yet for some (me … raises hand energetically) it is so easy to forget. Plowing ahead without thinking. Enjoying life a wee bit too much … without thinking about the consequences. Sigh.

I do love my life with all of the complexities I’ve created within it. With all the complexities God has provided for me. With all of the beauty, great and small, natural and man-made that surrounds me. I cannot get enough of it. Despite my needing more of this and that now and then, really … what more could I ask for?

How about you?

 

Let It Go!

FINE.  I’LL HAVE TO ADMIT IT.  MAYBE THE DOC was on to something.

I had a splendid week, full of energy that I haven’t been able to muster for…I can’t remember how long.   I’ve gotten more of my novel written this last week than I have since NaNoWriMo ended!  Chores done that have languished for ages.  In addition, I’ve slept like the proverbial baby!  A wonderful feeling!

And it began the day one doc told me I might have SAD. That’s Seasonal Affective Disorder, in case you were wondering (seasonal depression caused by lack of sunlight), which is weird because you wouldn’t think California would be too far south for it.

I thought about it as I waited, freezing to death and using the delightful sun as a way to keep warm, for my next appointment.  After about fifteen minutes in the sun, the doors opened and I went in (to warm up) for a revisit with another doc.

Now that my throat had cleared up he was able to give me a better diagnosis of an underlying problem.

Now, two problems reasonably resolved.  I left his office feeling better, finally able to put a name on the face of one of my dragons.  The sun shone down, even as it started its last dance in the western sky just above the horizon.  Energized.  SAD?  I think not.

By the end of the day, I was feeling better.  Not as fatigued.  Able to easily stay awake to watch the late news–something I haven’t been able to do for months. That, in itself was invigorating.  As the week progressed, the sunny days buoyed me, keeping me warm.  I was back to my old self…well, almost. My sinus infection was finally gone too, but the sinuses were still talking in whispers (forever-allergies will do that). I could certainly live with that!

Uncertainty has a habit of dragging me down. When faced with a problem, I must know the why and what so that I can move forward. Not knowing drains me. Just all my exaggerated aches and pains, some with known causes, some not, were slowly draining me.

These last two days grew cloudy, with only glimpses of sun. My energy seemed to take a bit of a nose dive.  And, sadly,  my old sleep patterns returned.  So, now,  new questions arose.

Was it indeed, SAD that pulled me down for so long, or perhaps was the uncertainly, the unanswered questions aiding in the decline?  Or perhaps, with me spending more time outside in the wind, might my allergies and sinus infection be rearing their ugly heads again?  And with my renewed energy, perhaps I’ve been trying to ‘burn the candle from both ends’ a wee bit too much…

I have a dear friend that I can count on to give me sound advise, and I can hear her speaking to me in my mind as I am pondering all of this, “You are over thinking things again, my friend.”

Perhaps I am. Perhaps I should just let life happen and quit requiring those whys and whats. Simply put it all in God’s hands, get out of the way so He can do His job, and move forward.  It is much harder than it sounds, but well worth the attempt!

I foresee this child doing a give and take with that for years to come, but hopefully, when I finally remember to give it to God, I’ll let Him keep it a little longer each time until finally surrendering each problem, each worry — each health issue — forever.

In the meantime, the groundhog has forecast an early spring, so I’m looking forward to renewed energy staying with me for a long time to come, especially if I cloak myself with the promises He has given me.  I can deal with my chronic aches and pains as long as I have Him to turn to.

Happy belated Valentine’s Day and a beautiful Spring to come — watch it emerge with new life and rejoice.