Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Well, I ended my vacation with a bang - literally. The short story is that I tripped over my niece in the parking lot at the Tamarack in Beckley, WV and landed on my head on the pavement.
The longer story is that both my sister and I got a stomach virus and were very sick our last day of vacation, unable to eat or hold anything down. The morning we had to head north, neither of us had any appetite. We drove to North Carolina where we spent a pleasant evening with a wonderful friend of ours before heading north for the longer leg of our journey.
I was very thirsty after we got started on the trip. Mike was finally able to pull over at the Tamarack in Beckley so we could stop for water - they were out of bottled water at the rest area, and the fountains aren't great for really getting hydrated. So, I think when I got out of the car, I was both dehydrated and hypoglycemic. I didn't pass out, I just tripped and then totally lost my balance. I came down smack on my head hitting the pavement so hard people came running because they heard my head hit and saw my head bounce. Then when I sat up, I was pouring blood from my forehead. I think Mike was terrified, as we lost his mother to a blow to the head almost exactly a month ago.
A bystander called 911, and an ambulance arrived within minutes. One lucky thing was that the hospital was only 6 miles away, another lucky thing was that while I had a head injury, I did not have a concussion. The ER nurse was able to glue my cut so I did not need stitches. After making great time on the highway and thinking we would get home early, it took 2 hours in the hospital getting evaluated and glued back together.
Once we got on the road, we made good time until we hit Charleston, WV. Then the car started wildly wobbling. Mike pulled off at the first possible exit. Again we lucked out. Right off the exit was this tiny, filthy auto garage with a couple of men in it playing cards. At first they ignored us, but when Mike told them what was going on with the car they put the car up on the lift and checked it out. It turned out the steel belt had broken loose - we were just about to have a blow out. So he changed the front tire with the full sized spare we had and refused payment. Yes - there are still lovely people out there. Mike slipped him a $20 anyway, and we were back on the road safe and sound.
That was yesterday.
Two more lucky events: Both my massage therapist and chiropractor were able to fit me into their schedules today, so I was able to have cranial-sacral work done and also get adjusted. Aside from that, today I am laying low, icing my many injuries, taking Traumeel and Rescue Remedy, and soaking in Epsom salts.
On the way to recovery!
Barring the stomach virus, we actually had a wonderful vacation in Myrtle Beach. I will write about it and post some pics when my headache abates.
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
This has been today's meditation. I could only fit a small part of this quote on my status page, so I am entering the whole quote here.
"One of the best ways to begin familiarizing ourselves with the virtue of patience is to reflect systematically on its benefits. It is the source of forgiveness. It has no equal in protecting our concern for others, however they behave towards us. When patience is combined with the ability to discriminate between the action and the one who does it, forgiveness arises naturally."
-The Dalai Lama
The last sentence is so important! So many people bear grudges and long lasting hatred which solves nothing and only serves to keep the anger or hatred alive.
I have been spending some time regrouping, finding my center, and physically catching up with things that need to get done, so I have been a little absent from Spark, blogging, and with checking in with others.
The rest of this blog will be an update.
On Sunday, Jeanie went into the hospital with complications of her chemo and cancer. She had gotten an infection, and alo had a lot of fluid in her lung lining that had to be drained. She is in good spirits, and returned home on Tuesday.
On Monday, Stella had her teeth cleaned at the vet - she had to have anesthesia for the procedure. The vet rechecked her for Lyme disease since she had a slight positive on her last test. Fortunately, the test was negative for Lyme disease. I had blood work done to see if perhaps I have a folic acid deficiency. I take supplements and eat food with folic acid, but some people don't digest the folic acid and can end up with neuropathy. This is one of the screenings to find out what is causing the pain and numbness in my feet.
On Tuesday, I had an MRI of my lower lumbar area to determine if disc compression might be causing the neuropathy. I had to fill out questionnaires galore, including the question of whether I am claustrophobic. I put no. I had an MRI when I was having gall bladder issues and was fine with it. Something was different this time though. I opened my eyes inside the machine and had a major claustrophobic reaction. I hit the little panic button the technician gave me, and she rolled me back out for a minute. When I went back in, I kept my eyes closed and all was fine. I used the time to meditate, and actually came out feeling better than I did going in.
I also picked up my friend's dogs to dog sit while she is out of town for a couple of days. Chris's Summer Camp for Dogs is back in session.
Today, I took Stella to get groomed. Here she is sporting her new St. Tropez (or Miami) cut.
That should be quite a bit cooler for her in this heat wave. That Stella certainly does like to cheese for a camera!
Tomorrow, my brother will visit with the oncologist and find out what his treatment options are for his prostate cancer. His test results looked good; there was no spread of cancer showing on the bone scan or the CT scan. He is hoping he can just get treated with the radioactive seed treatment. Me, too!
Then on Saturday, my sister and niece will arrive from Alaska. We will all go on a road trip to Myrtle Beach the following week for a reunion of as many children from Hannah's orphanage as can get there.
This photo is from the reunion 2 years ago (they occur every two years) at Virginia Beach.
We are all looking forward to a much needed vacation!
Getting my bike was perfectly timed in terms of the difficulties I've been having with my feet, but poorly timed in terms of how busy I became and how hot it has been this past week. No worries, I am getting physical workouts packing boxes at Glenna's house to take home or to Goodwill depending on the contents, moving furniture, unloading boxes at my house, reorganizing the house, and deep cleaning at Glenna's house, Jeanie's house, and my house.
Then there are the three dogs to walk several times a day. After Daisy attacked and nearly killed my favorite chicken, Eleanor, the last time I took care of her, there is a new policy at my house. Daisy and Shadow need to be walked on leashes when the chickens are out. So, for all but the early morning and late evening romps, the visiting dogs have to be walked with their leashes. Chickens are happier, I'm happier, I get several good walks in, and the dogs get confused..."Hey, we never had to do this before!"
"When patience is combined with the ability to discriminate between the action and the one who does it, forgiveness arises naturally."
When practicing patience and forgiveness, don't forget to include yourself. So many of us are self critical and unforgiving of our own lapses. Kindness to one's self then easily expands to kindness to others.
Friday, July 02, 2010
I had to share this with you; it is so glorious! When I went out to feed the chickens this morning, I got a whiff of a sweet perfume in the air. It wasn't until I was headed back to the house that I saw what it was. My first moonflower of the summer bloomed last night. It looks gorgeous with the sunlight shining through it.
I wish I could send you a sample of its aroma.
Have a lovely Friday!
Thursday, July 01, 2010
Today is one of particular poignancy. My granddaughter, Lilee, would be five years old on this day.
The birth of my first grandchild was an extraordinarily happy day for me. I was her mommy's labor coach, breathed with her, measured contractions, and watched Lilee's heart beating on the monitor. I would have been there at the time of her birth, but Lilee was delivered C-section, so Mike and I had to wait until she was brought out into the nursery before we could meet her.
Kim and Lilee in happy days.
Lilee and her proud Grandpa.
Our German shepherd, Rudy, never left her side.
Lilee grew to be a happy, sweet baby, but just 3 days after this photo was taken she took her nap at her baby sitter's house, and never woke up. That was one of the most painful days I have ever endured. Followed by the immobilizing pain of her funeral. I didn't know if I could walk into the funeral home. I had to concentrate on my feet. Right foot up, step; left foot up, step, until I crossed the thresh hold of that door. Followed by the agony of instead of holding a warm wiggly baby, holding a very small, cold bronze box.
We buried her ashes under her own special tree in our back yard and planted lilies and forget-me-nots around the base of her tree.
Lilee's tree has grown, the loss is now believable and manageable. Lilee has a huge place in my heart and her garden has become my meditation garden which we have expanded to include a water garden with water lilies.
It is a place where I go to find serenity and to meditate on life, love, loss, and all of the things that make us human.
I downloaded SP's July De-Stress Calendar and this is today's entry.
Develop a network of friends and family who you can rely on and confide in.
Call or visit them when you need to talk or vent.
By sharing and listening, they will help you calm down. "
I found it appropriate for this very hard day.
If you were brave enough to read this post, thank you. To all of you who have lost a child, may you have strength to endure the loss and go on loving.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
A couple of my sweet Spark Friends invited me to vent privately since I am usually so positive. I answered the best way that I know how; that I am not much of a venter. I never have been.
Then, after trying to be objective about my response to them ( I love you for your offers, by the way) I had an epiphany. Yup. Not a venter. But....
when I joined SP, it was after coming out of a 4 year depression.
What caused the 4 year depression?
(in chronological order)
My friend broke a toe, got an infection, and died.
My granddaughter went to sleep, forgot to breathe, and died.
10 days later, a student I was very fond of got hit by a car and died.
My aikido partner died of mesothelioma.
My German shepherd died of liver cancer, poisoned by his dog food when there was a melonine contamination.
Two of my good friends developed breast cancer (both are now cancer free - good ending here)
My father developed lung cancer, which metastasized to his brain.
I had painful gallbladder disease and had my gall bladder removed.
My friend died of a heart attack.
1 week later, my father died.
3 weeks later, my mother died.
I developed a hernia after lifting my father when he repeatedly fell, and had hernia surgery.
This was in the course of 3 years. My doctor reassured me that being depressed was natural under these circumstances, and I believe that was true. I worked my way out of depression, and was finding my way back into the light of life. I joined SP to begin healing my body after a few years of spending my vacations driving to NY to care for my parents and two abdominal surgeries. I was feeling better about my life.
Now, I have to say, it is true that I have handled these things with as much grace and humor as humanly possible. I am indeed an optimist. And I am a strong and resilient person. But perhaps my downfall is NOT venting.
I am now weathering the loss of my ex-father in law and my mother in law, both due to falls, plus my brother's prostate cancer (no new news yet on whether or how far it's spread) and my good friend's cancer which was misdiagnosed and just re-diagnosed to ovarian cancer. From very bad to much, much worse.
So... I thank you Kim and Jim.
I think I forgot to vent.
I hope this is venting.
I HATE cancer! I HATE sudden infant death syndrome.
I do NOT understand why a baby or a teenager have to die. I miss both girls every single day.
I am scared for my brother and my friend.
I am pissed off that Gino did not know about his cancer soon enough that it wasn't already advanced, that they screwed up Jeanie's diagnosis and wasted a month with the wrong treatments, and that Glenna was so stubborn she refused to follow medical orders and ended up falling and dying before she got to enjoy renewed health after her valve replacement and pacemaker implant.
I cannot say that I feel any better now that I vented.
I do not know if it will help anything.
But I'm trying it.
And that's my vent.
Now I will go back to my normal ways of coping, with the addition of trying this out.
I think I like the other way better. I hate complaining and whining, I prefer action when necessary and seeking solace in mediation and nature.
Thank you for listening to my vent.
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