My favorite folks ! :)

16 October 2013

The way of things

Last Friday Duane and i had a really lovely morning in town.  We saw lots of folks we know and had some fun, interesting conversations.

We started out at the chiro.  The lady ahead of me was conversing with the receptionist.  I smiled at her across the room.  After the adjustment, Duane and i went to lunch at his favorite place.  A few minutes later the same lady from the chiro came in and saw kitty-corner across the aisle from us.

We had several fun conversations with a couple of people while we were there.  The lady let it be known she was listening on our conversations and enjoying them.  So we had quite a conversation with her, too.  I love that where we live so many people are friendly.

At the end of our conversation she said to us (but mostly Duane), "I think you have an interesting life."

I was a bit amused by that, but i agree, i think Duane leads an interesting life (tho "interesting" can also be "stressful").

We went grocery shopping and saw a couple more people, and then to the hardware store where we saw two or three more and had a fun conversation with the checker.

For someone who had been housebound all week and alone much of that time, the day couldn't have been better!

Duane left for a Search And Rescue weekend on Friday afternoon, however.  I'd already been alone Tuesday, Wednesday, and most of Thursday.  I now was alone again for part of Friday, Saturday, and more than half of Sunday.  I was still in a lot of pain, too, and having trouble moving around.

At one particularly difficult point in the weekend i snorted at the idea of an "interesting life."  I thought, "if that little lady could see my 'interesting life' now!"

Because the truth is everyone has a few highs, and then long, long stretches of flat lows.  I think books are a lot of fun, but they distort perception.  I just finished an Agatha Christie book of lots of vignettes.  It follows one man thru about 8 years of occasional interesting circumstances.  The book hits the highlights of those years, but in between, of course are days and weeks of everyday activities, not noteworthy or interesting.

Even Harry Potter - one of my favorite series - has that.  She touches on his boring existence when he is with his Aunt and Uncle, but even in a book you can't get the real flavor of the days and hours where the minutes crawl by feeling as if they will never end.  Of course the books also talk about homework and how exhausting and overwhelming it was, but the books can't convey the reality of those hours stretching out.  No one would read books if they were that real!  Books and movies hit highlights!  When we compare our lives to one another, we tend to compare other folks' highlights to our drab, boring time that everyone has.

A few pics i have to add some color:

Today is the anniversary of the date we lost our first baby.  I find it to be a really cruel twist of fate that this is also the birthday of my niece's first child.  I've an article in mind, not on this specifically, but touching on it.  But i'll be posting it elsewhere.


13 October 2013

Life, In Repose

The wedding is over.  I could write pages about it, but i will simply state i found it strange, weird, and very different to anything i've attended before.  We have no pics.  I'm hoping that some of them will turn out well (of Duane and me together), and that we will get to see them.

Here is "the dress" but i'm not "fancied up" for this pic.  I took those cute little shoes and painted them gold and added glitter.  Not that it mattered.  I don't think anyone even saw them and i went barefoot for most of the evening.

My garden suffered while we were away.  I'd meant to move our tomato pots into the sunroom, but ran out of time and didn't.  It froze while we were away and all the tomatoes were spoilt.  I do still have some tomatoes in the sunroom that were there all along, so i've still hopes for a few.  I also have bell, jalapeño, serrano, and ghost peppers in the sunroom that are coming along nicely.  And i've a few herbs growing there, too.

We had a considerable apple crop this year, tho this pic doesn't look like it.  I haven't processed all the apples yet, but i have spent (or paid for help) about 25 hours on them so far, and have more to do.   I should take some pics of the apples i now have in baskets.  They seem to be of a Braeburn type or maybe some sort of MacIntosh cross.  They are good for eating (although my stomach doesn't handle raw apples well), also for baking and applesauce although i prefer them to be a "chunky" applesauce.

We have had a really gorgeous fall.

We have an "oak bush" that turns lovely colors for a day or two.  I suspect that there was once an oak tree where this "bush" is and that it was cut down but the stems have grown up from the roots remaining.

I have seen packages of fake oak leaves in the stores where the leaves look very much like this.  I had always assumed they came from someone's imagination of oak leaves, but here they are on our tree, looking very much like the fake ones.

We had our first snow on Wednesday night/Thursday morning.

The first pic is Wednesday, the second is about 15 hours later on Thursday.  I tried to get the angle/view almost the same.  The snow melted off quickly, tho, and we are now back to fall weather; it is cold at night but the days are mild.

This morning there have been several jays - scrub and stellar, and a couple of flickers out at our bird feeder.  No snow, sunny and clear, but windy and i think pretty chilly.  Which means the living room will be chilly.  I need to go pick up twigs from the yard (i'm slowly clearing away the deadfall) and start a fire to warm the downstairs.


Pity Party

The wedding is over.

I took the week before it off because otherwise we would have been in OC from Tuesday until Sunday afternoon and i couldn't be away that long.  We also both took off the week after the wedding, tho Duane wasn't sure until the last minute he could take the time.

It was our plan to do a lot of "fall housecleaning" and preparing the yard and garden for winter.

The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often awry    -   Robert Burns

Tuesday morning i got up to shower and life went awry.

For many years (at least 20) i've been having what i called "panic attacks" for lack of a better term, but i knew they did not fit the clinical definition, largely because they do not last for the time period specified.  I called them that because i feel a bit breathless and disoriented for a minute or two.  In very recent times i've come to recognize that they are neurological in nature, in fact, probably (i'll abbreviate "m-/-s").  They, with the migraines i have, are probably the result of a pretty severe head injury i had when i was 11.  However, they seemed to be benign and self-limiting.  They rarely occur and most often in the shower and last less than 2 minutes all told.  I'd discussed them with a couple of different docs and we didn't consider them anything over which to be concerned.  That changed Tuesday morning, the 1st of October.

I remember having a mild one and thinking, "That wasn't so bad."  The next thing i knew i was on the couch with a very scared Duane sitting by me.  Since i have no memory of it, we can't be sure just what happened.  He heard me fall and came down to check on me.  Almost certainly i had a full-blown s.ei.z.ure.  I hit my head in 3 places, and bit thru my tongue in 4.  I also severely wrenched my low back when i fell.

I called a chiropractor right away, but no one that i trust was available in BB that day.  I had a friend come and give me a massage.  It probably helped, but the pain was so severe that moving at all was a challenge.  We did end up going to ER that afternoon as i was very nauseous - a head injury red flag.  They did a CT scan no contrast.  It came back clear, which basically only means i don't have a massive tumor in my head.   The doc i work with reviewed the d/c preliminary reports and didn't feel i needed to be seen immediately.

I was VERY careful what i told the ER folks.  In 2000/2001 DMV got involved in my life and made it Hell for 18 months, even tho the health practitioners i had then told them i was no danger/threat, etc.

Instead, i am voluntarily not driving until i see the doc in early November.   I'm trying to be as responsible as i can be without getting higher authorities involved.  I don't want to do anything that will endanger anyone, however, i don't want to be told "officially" that i can't drive.   Hopefully the doc can clear me at that point.  I've not had any more m-/-s or worse.  I've never had one while driving.  They generally do occur in the shower, tho i've had them happen elsewhere.  Duane has been with me once or twice when they happen.  I have to stop talking for a minute or so as i'm slightly disoriented, but nothing more.  If i didn't tell him it had happened, he would not know.   They are weird, a kind of a Déjà vu feeling, where a lot of pics flash thru my mind very quickly, too quickly to hold on to the images.

I could write PAGES about all of this.

I have seen a local chiropractor 3 times now.  I don't care much for manual adjustments; they have hurt, but i needed to do what i could.  By far the back injury has been the most limiting.  Although my tongue is not fully healed, i can eat again.  I had only liquids for about the first 5 days.

First off, the severity of the back pain is entirely my fault.  I counsel folks i work with all the time that low back pain indicates that the core/abdominal muscles are weak and need to be worked on/strengthened.  However, i did not act on that myself.  Low back pain has not been an issue for me until the past year, but in the past year there have been warning signs i should have heeded.

Second, however . . . well, i'm having a hard time voicing it.  Sometimes i think i am too soft on myself, don't push hard enough, "baby" myself when i should just soldier on.  I think this incident indicates that probably this is not so.  I think that if i push too hard there is a good chance i could lose all that i have.  I think this shows that i should trust myself a bit more when i say i shouldn't push it.  (I have not been pushing, but i've been berating myself for not doing so, for being "lazy" or other unkind things.)

I often have the feeling that my ILs think me very weird, with the food i choose to eat and other things i do.  In fact, i would guess that they are saying, "Look at what Kathryn does and how sick she still is.  What a waste of time, effort, and money!"  However, from my point of view, i can just imagine how bad off i would be if i wasn't so careful.

After Duane told his folks about what had happened, his mother called me wanting a blow-by-blow account.  I told her she would have to ask Duane as i have no memory of it.  She seemed surprised (and she did NOT ask him - she thought he was too worried already anyway).  I've spoken of the "stress of the wedding" as a diversion for why this happened when people ask.  However, it kind of backfired on me with her.  She is a bit critical of my feeling stressed ("she" didn't stress over it, she said; while i think i stressed more than she, i think she is deceiving herself on this one).  I quite honestly do not want ANY criticism over the incident.  Back problem = my fault.  Everything else is probably my fault, too, but from choices i made YEARS ago and have no control over now.

A couple of Duane's uncles gave me a bad time during the wedding week.  They said, "Everybody has to die sometime!  You might as well be comfortable until then."  I got rather angry over it.  They just don't realize what they are saying.  I know this won't keep me from dying!  I don't really care when i die, honestly, but i want to be in as good health as possible until then.  I don't want to be wheel-chair bound or housebound.  I don't want to live in a nursing home.  I don't want to lose my cognition with Alzheimer's or something similar.  Part of my gift of life (from God) is my body and my mind and part of my stewardship of it is to take care of both to the best of my ability.

Another issue that has come up has been help.  To whom do i turn?  Duane was gone this week, and with snow coming i had a ton of apples to get in.  I did walk to a neighbor's and ask if they wanted apples, but they did not and i didn't say, "I need help with this."  I'm not sure if it is a matter of pride or shyness or what.  I did talk to someone from church, and she stopped by.  She would have taken me to town if i'd needed it.  I want to be independent and self-sufficient.  !  Well, who doesn't?  I'm not sure what my options are when i don't have that ability.

Not driving is a very dismal thing.  At least before i had the opportunity to get away from the house for a while.  When i did the not-driving thing before i found it very frustrating.  What would take 10 minutes in the car took an hour or more by bus, and far more energy.  I do not have that energy to spare now.  What are my options?  A taxi?  I think there is one - ONE - in BB, and it is quite expensive.  Even the bus service here is expensive compared to similar trips in OC.  I don't have the option to go into to town or to see the chiropractor when Duane is away.

I've often felt that my life limits me a great deal.  I don't have the option to make a trip to OC for a weekend family get together without a lot of planning.  It takes so much from me.  Now, with this limitation i feel that life keeps getting smaller and closing in on me.

Several times on FB i see "Don't give up on your dreams" or something to that effect.  What am i suppose to do with that?  What dreams can i hold on to when so much is taken?  I know this sounds self-pitying, and i'm fighting it.  I'm already almost as limited as my grandmother was when she was about 88.  How am i suppose to live another 30 or 40 years like this?

I AM thankful for the things i still can do.  I am able to walk in our yard and do a little gardening.  I can enjoy our cats and watching the birds.  I still am able to knit and to visit with folks.  Duane and i had a very enjoyable trip into town on Friday and i don't look disabled.  I have the ability to make choices that will effect my future - please God, let me make good choices!