This has not been the best of days for me. It started last night when I couldn’t fall asleep, despite medication. Then, when I did finally fall asleep, I woke up having a panic attack at 3 A.M.! That is one weird sensation. I mean, it’s similar to when you wake from a very frightening nightmare, but different because you know you weren’t dreaming. Of course, I’m sure it has something to do with my pending surgery and, the what-ifs that plague me when I try to fall asleep. I just wish I could meditate it away! I can’t help what happens after I’ve fallen asleep though.
So, at 3 A.M., I removed my nail polish, wrote my list of chores for today, and then, read #Superbia 3 by #BernardSchaffer until I fell asleep. I woke up around 8, and thought to myself…”Sure, sure, only when I want to look my best does this insomnia hit!”
I have a party to attend this evening and would like to leave the luggage under my eyes at home with the dark circles! Yeah, I can be a little vain…but I’m a woman and, it comes with the territory. I mean, after all, I’ve experienced scarring from my skin infections and surgeries, hair loss and paleness from the blood thinners, problems keeping nail polish on, and the occasional breakout when I’m on certain meds. It all seems superficial until it happens to you, then, it’s a different story. Recently, someone gave me a compliment about recent weight loss, and if I had $100, I’d have given it to him for making me day! One just never knows when they will be that one person that makes a difference in someone’s life. He turned my whole mood around. I was a blonde beauty long ago, and now, I’m this almost middle-aged woman watching age and illness change me. I grasp those things that make me feel “pretty.” I’ve fallen in love with some feminine trends I never would have in the past, such as wearing dresses and skirts just because. It used to be that the only time I wore a dress or skirt was to a wedding or a funeral. Now, I want to take the time to put on my face every morning, wear a nice dress and cute shoes, paint my fingers and toes….you get the idea. I don’t want to be a wrinkle-counter, but, I don’t want to be one of those women that just doesn’t give a damn and stops taking care of herself.
Even when I’m in the hospital, I wake up and put on makeup and fix my hair. Just because I’m sick doesn’t mean I have to look sick too. It seems to make me feel better too.
I guess I need to adjust my attitude because that’s really what it’s all about…..attitude. I do have attitude. I just need a good night’s sleep. I’m sure I’ll feel better tomorrow. For today, I’m going to focus on taking a nap, rejuvenating my spirit, and getting back to figuring out how to stop having panic attacks in my sleep. Maybe then, Mikki can work on gettin’ her groove back!
So, yesterday, I got ditched by some guy who claimed he was my friend. He made it clear we were no longer friends and, to put the icing on the cake, he threw my religion in my face. I give as good as I get and reminded him that he claimed to be a tolerant, accepting #Christian and, surely, wasn’t acting like a good Christian. I’m #Wiccan and, he just doesn’t understand. He closed his mind. That’s fine by me. I don’t need negative people like him in my life. The one who claims to be so fine and upright is the first person to cast the stone. Life’s just funny like that.
It didn’t bother me much to lose that person because the friendship wasn’t real. I see how cruel he is that he can be mean to someone like me who is sick and really needs friends for support and understanding. I said a prayer for him in hopes that his negativity be turned into positive vibes. I will do no harm. I’m not into black magic. I have practiced for thirty years and do not go against the creed. Ye do no harm, and so, I will just wish him well and pray that his black heart will be mended. The one that spews the most negativity is the one that needs the most love. Again, life’s just funny like that.
Daisy the bunny is growing noticeably larger. I would expect nothing less. She is, after all, eating and drinking on a very regular basis. This bunny wants to live. She has a zest for life that inspires me. She is such a fighter! Funny how such a little thing can have so much heart. Life’s just funny like that.
Lastly, I got my call about refilling my #Gammagard infusion for the month and, got great news! I can go down to two needles per infusion instead of four. This is going to make it so much easier to rotate sites. I can’t put them into my thighs as they bleed too much and, I can only use the back of one arm because I had #compartment syndrome in the left arm and, using it is out of the question. I’m so happy about this one tiny change. I don’t mind sticking myself, but two sticks is a reduction of infection risk and, I’m all for that. Sometimes, things do go my way. Life’s just funny like that.
I guess I’ll end there so I can go get ready to go to the #VFW to see my friends and watch the ball game…big #Cardinals fan here. Maybe they’ll even win tonight. I’ll think positive. Us native #St. Louisans know that our boys know how to lead us into #Red October-Life’s just funny like that.
What a crazy weekend! First, I had Mackenzie, my four year old niece from Friday till Monday. That kid has one gear-the ‘Go’ gear. We swam, read stories on the Kindle and, at one point she hit a button that popped up and, now all the extra bells and whistles are now unlocked-for $19.95!!! She’s a sweetheart and, we did have a lot of fun this weekend.
I barbecued on Sunday. I used my brand new Weber Kettle for the first time…I loved it! My nephew, my brother-in-law, and my nephew’s friends enjoyed the juicy, tender ribs and porksteaks. Mackenzie tried a sample of everything. I did discover that she strongly dislikes potato salad. Thank goodness I made corn on the cob!
After everyone had eaten and said their’ goodbyes, I sat outside for a little while. Suddenly, my dog, a Bouvier des Flandres, started barking a real funny bark I’d never heard her do before. It was a half high pitched bark and a cry. I immediately got up and went inside to see what was the matter. At first, I saw nothing and decided to get started on the dishes. As soon as I stepped in front of the sink, I felt this little whoosh and something sat on my foot. Thankfully, I’m a calm woman, as it was Daisy, my orphaned bunny. She had flown the coop and didn’t have a clue as to where she was or what to do. As soon as she heard me, she ran for safety and, in this case, it happened to be my foot. I scooped her up and put her back into her box which I secured, and gave the dog Pupperonis for being such a good dog.
Health-wise, I’m hanging in there. My surgery is scheduled for Oct. 3. I’m sure all hell will break loose at that time because my sister works two jobs, my dogs will have their noses out of joint…and then, there’s Daisy the bunny, if she is still here. We don’t realize my role in the household until I’m not here to do it. It sucks to foist any load onto anyone, but I have no choice. Cheri will have to feed the dogs, but there more to it than just dumping food in a bowl. Bear gets a #cosequin and a multivitamin broken up in his food, plus a half a packet of Moist and Meaty, and a pain pill and, a cranberry pill wrapped in cheese. His water is changed daily too. I also water the flowers on the back deck since I’m down there.
Then, there’s Zoey who gets a small sliver of the cheese Bear’s pills are wrapped in. Then, she goes out with me to feed Bear. Sometimes, she goes potty while we’re out there. Sometimes, she doesn’t even leave the deck. That’s when I know she senses Bear isn’t in the mood to play. Once we finish with Bear, I feed Zoey and change her water. Then, we go out and water the flowers which are everywhere-the front flowerbeds, potted plants and more plants on the upper deck, After watering, we crush soda cans, wash dishes, and, these days, feed Daisy her formula and chop up carrots, apples and celery for her to graze on between feedings. Anyway, there is a lot to be done in my routine. The saddest part is that Zoey will lay at the top of the steps and mope until I come home.
The surgery must be done though. I don’t want my gallbladder to become infected and perforate. The infection would kill me. The surgery is risky because of the clotting disorders and my primary immunodeficiency, but the hematologist cut the risks with the plan he designed to get me through it more safely. The surgeon’s concern is that I’ll bleed or develop post-op clots because he’ll be touching and moving organs around which can bleed from being handled. He also showed me the arteries that could possibly be nicked and, other areas that could be perforated.
I figure that I’m in good hands and will be ok. I’ve made future plans too…so, that means I have to be around. I’ve got tickets to see #Rain-A Tribute to the Beatles at the fabulous #FoxTheater!!!! I will probably miss seeing #Three Dog Night on Oct. 5th., But I’ll survive. My nephew will get to hang out with his mom and see a great show.
Guess I better end here as I have a lot of emails to check. I’m going to take it easy today because after 4 days with Mackenzie, I’m beat. Next weekend will be a blast as I won a pair of tickets to #LouFest-30 bands, good eats and lots of fun things to do. Take care, Everyone!
I’m up late when I’d rather be sleeping. I’m nauseated, despite having taken compazine. I’m preoccupied with this upcoming cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal). It should be a routine operation, but for me, having 2 clotting disorders, it’s high-risk. The doc will fill me with some CO2 to better visualize the structures-this, in itself, is risky, according to my surgeon. I’m on Xarelto to thin my blood, so there is a bleeding risk. I will be hospitalized a day or 2 prior to the operation to get me off the xarelto. They’ll heparinize me, get me at the level they desire, and perform the procedure. I’ll recover for a couple days and be weaned off the heparin to go back onto the xarelto. I should be hospitalized about 5 days if all goes well.
Now, the surgeon very frankly said that he could kill me if he did this procedure. He said the Co2 alone could be a nightmare. He recommended not having surgery at all due to the clotting risks and, infection risks.
My primary doc said that leaving the gallbladder in would be riskier. If it infects, with my history, I’m toast. He said it should come out within the next 3-4 weeks. We will get the hematologist on board, and he’ll monitor me throughout the hospitalization. I will see that doc in 10 days for his preliminary exam and, discussion of game plan with the surgeon and my primary. Oh, and me. I’m very active in my care.
Having said this, that leaves the real possibility that I may not survive the procedure or subsequent infection I may acquire from the hospitalization. They will monitor me for any sign of infection very closely due to my primary immunodeficiency.
So, for now, I’ve found myself trying to make certain that I’m reconciled to the possibility that I could die. I’m scared, but not of dying. I’m scared of leaving loose ends. I want people to know they were loved and appreciated. I want my family to know how much they mean to me, especially my sister Cheri. She has stuck by me throughout thick and thin. She has helped me get where I am today. She has been my role model, my best friend, and like a mother. Because of her, I have achieved dreams. She has helped me overcome my demons. She’s always been the most constant person in my life. Together, we’ve felt the caress of a Caribbean breeze. Together, we’ve faced tragedy and triumph. Together, we’ve climbed mountains. We’ve laughed hard, played hard and, worked hard. Always together.
I love my whole family, and have been lucky to have them all in my life. My daughter has taught me what’s important, I mean truly important. She is the best part of me. I have wonderful friends that have enriched my life. I think of the fun I had going to nursing school with Kelly and Jessica,and many others. For all the strife, we helped each other get through it. There are just so many. Nic made me see why we don’t t should never eat our own young. Stephanie reminded me of me when I was younger. Tony shows me the importance of following one’s dreams. Mama Sherry has shown me acceptance, forgiveness and unrequited love. My siblings have brought great joy into my life. I’m proud of them all. A few of my brothers have taught me not to be selfish and estranged from the people that they should be closest to. I’ve felt the love of a good man. Box helped me stand on my own and work for my keep. Construction wasn’t easy, but at least it payed some bills. I’ll never forget him and will always be thankful to him. There isn’t and never will be another like him.
So, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. I’ve been retrospective and introspective. I’ve been creating so that there will be happy memories. I made a necklace today. I made portraits of Mackenzie that I framed to give to my sister, Michael, Mackenzie’s paw paw and to my mom Gloria. I’ve been cleaning my room and carefully choosing what stays and what goes. Momentos. In the end, that’s all this stuff will really be. Just stuff that says, “I was here.”
That’s life, a collection of pivotal moments with people that helped me become who I am today. Somehow, like a sculpture, I carved out a pretty decent life once Cheri helped me see what a decent life was really all about. I’ve learned to put others before myself-a lesson I learned from my child and, from my residents at my former job. Mistakes? I won’t dwell on them. I’ve made quite a few, but they helped me be who I am today, I will say that I didn’t learn from my first or second mistake…sometimes, I made mistakes in multiples, but work hard every day to be better than I was the day before. You live. You learn.
I don’t have a bucket list despite the thought that I might die, either from this surgery or some insidious infection, because everything just about on my bucket list costs too much money! Lol! So, I guess I won’t be going to Ireland or having lunch with Brian Williams. I won’t be partying in Amsterdam or swimming with dolphins. I will set my sights to things more immediate, like having fun with my friends on August 24th at the VFW when we host Disco Night, hanging with my dogs, feeling giddy when I’m around someone special, or getting a rush when Cheri and I go shopping and bringing home our treasures. The simple things. That’s what really matters. It’s the simple things that make me feel best. When I feel my best, I’m truly in a positive frame of mind. It’s is this positive frame of mind that is going to help me get through this surgery. However, if I don’t, I’ll go in peace. I’ve been the best person I can be. It’s just that simple.
It’s becoming somewhat difficult to remember feeling normal. I’m not feeling well most days, and will soon have my gallbladder removed.
In general, I make the best of my time. I keep my chin up & do as much as I can everyday. If I hit a wall from fatigue, I take a nap. I don’t push myself too hard &, I do whatever it takes to stay infection-free.
This past weekend, my sister Cheri & I took my great niece Mackenzie to the World Bird Sanctuary & to Lone Elk Park. It was hotter than a well digger’s ass, but we kept walking & viewing the beautiful birds. I especially love the hawks, owls & eagles. I think my sister & Mackenzie were quite taken with the peregrine falcon. Any bird that can fly 280 MPH has my vote.
We drove through Lone Elk Park after touring the bird sanctuary & saw several elk & 5 adult bison & 3 baby bison. It was a peaceful drive.
The best part of the day was being outdoors & watching Mackenzie experience something new. I completely forgot all about my illness & just had fun. I felt more normal than I have in months. It was wonderful!
It was like that again today. We went out and, did a little shopping, checked out some cars, ate lunch, stopped by my former place of employment to visit some of my residents,then came home, put away our treasures & our friend Kelley came by for a visit. It was a very positive day.
I wish I could go back & work there again. I really love my residents in the Alzheimer’s unit. I really liked that my sister came in with me & spent time visiting with the residents too.
Other highlights of the day:
8 new books
3 new tops
2 bottles of nail polish
Retail therapy is good for the soul!
I plan to wake up early to tend to our flowers- they need a good morning soaking. My moon flowers should bloom within the next 6-10 days. Always a gorgeous display!
I’m participating in a bird study too. That’s pretty exciting. I mean, I see the birds here, but I don’t really see them.
There’s just too many positive things for me to ignore. Life goes on with or without me- I’d prefer to go w/ the flow.
We’re even planning a relaxation day, Zoey- my Velcro dog will be staying in her first motel. Dogs like a change of scenery too. Cheri & I really need to decompress. A short day trip will fill the bill perfectly.
I’m just going to live like there’s no tomorrow. I’m not going to let negative thoughts bring me down & when I come to a puddle- I’m jumping smack-dab into the middle of it!
How are you enjoying your summer? Where are kid & dog friendly places that you’ve discovered?
Please feel free to comment.
I just wanted to do a bit of free-writing today. I’ve had so much on my mind lately, especially after my first COPD exacerbation. I’m also changing blood thinners. No more Coumadin. I’ll be starting this new drug call Xarelto. It’s a little scary because I don’t know a lot about it. I’m reading everything I can because the more I educate myself, the less apprehensive I am.
One thing I’ve been thinking about is how tired I am of being so careful about where I go, what I touch, who I am around- I’m tired of being afraid I’ll get an infection or get injured & bleed to death. Whatever happened to that old saying when a kid gets a scrape “…just rub some dirt in it, it’ll get better.”
When I was a kid, it was a good enough philosophy for me.
Nowadays, there’s superbugs, many that are antibiotic-resistant, flesh-eating bacteria (had it, don’t want to go through it again,) & a host of other bad bugs that are insidious & deadly. I’m damn near afraid to go to the grocery store, for example, because I can practically see the germs on the cart, the products, ect. Same with handling money- that stuff is loaded w/ nastiness.
In developing these fears, I’m cutting myself off from the rest of the world. This is so not cool!
So, I got to thinking that I don’t want live in fear. I’m ready to take my chances. I’m just going to ‘rub a little dirt into it,’ as they say.
I’m going to start the Xarelto & not look back. Whatever happens, happens. I have too much living to do to waste my time worrying. I’m going to focus on enjoying life. I’ll exercise good judgment, but not to the extreme.
I guess I’ve adopted this new attitude because I hate being told I can’t do something. I can! I’m defiant & will find a way.
In my case, willfulness is a good thing. It will help me do the things I wish to do, like traveling & socializing. Nothing is going to hold me back.
I spent the day with my nephew Michael & his 3 y/o daughter Mackenzie yesterday & could feel their’ positive energy, see their’ zest for life. I want that! I’ll have it too. I mean, just watch little kids playing & you see it. Kenz giggles & runs & goes until she drops…she has fun & goes for the gusto. Michael is like that too. Oh, and when he laughs, it’s infectious.
So, watch out, World! I’m back in the game! I’ve been enlightened!