Tag Archives: keep trudging

Nursing to goals.

I strained my arm again; too many hours of overuse and not nearly enough self care to make up for it. Yet, after lots of work on my own, and even some more with help from Nathan and all the staff at the clinic, it’s on the upswing. Like my shoulder it may take a short bit to clear the hurdle, but I know I will.

It’s funny how logically I have known for 15 years that it is possible to injure oneself with repetitive actions, but apparently I didn’t have a full understanding in terms of my work and my self care routine. The work continued and I was getting my massages, but my self care in the evenings disappeared with familial adjustments these last few months. I didn’t keep track of time elapsed well because I have been functioning day to day, moment to moment. Yet my arm hit a wall, and simply gave up, which I’m now going to have to nurse for a while to repair damage done.

So, I now sit waiting for my daughter to come out of her new job, and saw a man struggling to load groceries onto a bike for a cold ride home this very fall evening. I realized he was not prepared for such an endeavor. His bike had no baskets and it seemed he struggled to find a balance between the two sides of the handle bars, and this isn’t weather anyone riding for fun would typically choose. It was clear that his lack of understanding was partially his upbringing, education and awareness, and partially the aspect of having to do something he’d probably rather not. It was an unpleasant combo.

I’m glad I’m able to avoid that scenario. I’m grateful I’m able to choose when, where, and what weather I ride a bicycle in. I’m also grateful that I have a vehicle to handle cold and wet, fall and winter weather, safely and comfortably. I have choices in this matter and it feels good to know that.

Yet, I immediately thought of English and Irish peoples who still to this day ride bicycles miles upon miles for all sorts of needs. They ride rain or shine, from town to town to run their errands and go to work. It just is the way they were raised. It’s part of their culture. The same is true for people from Portland or even like my brother on the east coast. Some people just know that it is a safe environmentally friendly choice of transportation, which if you are prepared and have proper equipment can also be quite enjoyable.

I missed that as a kid, and realized that as I contemplated my upbringing.

I was aware that bicycles could be ridden long distances because my brother would disappear for what seemed as hours on end to ride his bicycle. But I was a tiny baby and then toddler when he was riding. I had no real concept of time or distance. By the time I was old enough to figure that out I was left with family that thought bicycles were more for occasional recreation, rather than exercise or any other kind of daily routine. There was no incentive to invest on that vehicle, it was slower and could not carry lots of weight or passengers, it didn’t make the cut, so a plain and basic bike was my tool to learn the experience of bicycling. It was far from a full experience of all that word can mean. I now have a greater awareness, but at this point I lack the endurance to to use it as transportation for any distance. I’m willing to change that, but it isn’t something I can do overnight.

I am contemplating getting a bike I found on Amazon, maybe by next spring. I’ll put a pic below. It is an electric optional bike, where I can pedal as normal or start the motor and let it do the work. I think it would be helpful in building my endurance and beginning to commute to work by pedal power. See I haven’t been on a bicycle at all in maybe 4 years, and the last time I did ride regularly it was on relatively flat terrain. We would ride with Ian in the pull-along bubble, but we were on bike paths around Riverside and it was very flat and very smooth. Even then my distance was limited. So contemplating my 8.5 mile commute which has several very big hills is a bit daunting. I want to, and I want to get good at biking, but the process seems a bit much to handle. The electric bike would take the daunting out, as long as I stayed motivated to do as much as I could on a given day. I don’t know, maybe it’s just another variation on pushing myself too hard. But, it seems like it would solve both a transportation issue we are having with only one reliable vehicle, and also solve part of my self care puzzle by reintroducing exercise to my daily routine post dialysis interventions. It’s at least worth the attempt and a good bike is never a bad thing.

I guess what I’m saying is that my shoulder, and the biking picture, both are an analogy of the whole picture of life. We only know or understand something fully from the experiences we’ve had, and can only guess at what something is like until we have first hand knowledge. Sometimes we take risks because of that limited knowledge, and sometimes those risks end up hurting us or someone we are close to. It’s not something we should beat ourselves up over, but it is a learning lesson that can help future decisions.

I have now painfully learned that injury can happen whether it’s a singular intense incident or a chain reaction of several minimal ones. And I’m describing it to you with the best my words hold, knowing that you don’t fully comprehend the weight of that, with the core of your being, until it has happened to you. We can never judge another’s experience because we were not in their shoes, but likewise we need to estimate our own limits better knowing that we don’t really know. It leaves less risk, less hurt, but keeps us safer in general.

We can never know the fullness of anything until we have experienced it, but knowing what we do know and knowing that our perspective is limited, can sometimes help us avoid pitfalls of life. Be kind to yourself and others when estimations fail, because we’ve all been there and done that in some way, shape, or form. Healing is possible, and sometimes it requires asking for help. For me right now, I’m past the worst of the arm injury and slowly recuperating, but I still know it is a symptom of a bigger picture needing addressed. I spoke with my friend the office manager about schedule adjustments to attempt to enable self care at work. Beyond that I am still grasping at straws, and don’t know who to ask for what yet. I know I need help, but I just don’t know what to ask for, or who can provide it once I figure that out. Maybe a few more days will bring clarity. For now I continue, moment to moment, day by day, because it’s how I’ve gotten through all of this.

May you understand your needs and what to ask for. May you see where your knowledge is limited and safely estimate you own personal limits. May you have adequate time and space to care for yourself so that you can continue to care for others. May you know that you have everything you need and it’s a simple question away. Above all may you know that the divine loves and supports you in all that you do.

Om Shanti

The bike I’m working towards:

Punch a Monk

I told Nathan that’s what I want to do. I wouldn’t really, it’s just words to express my frustrations.

I’m not some monk sitting in robes in some mountain monastery all day for the rest of my life. In fact that sounds like a really great permanent vacation at this point.

No phone, no internet, people all busy taking care of their inner world, being served minimal extra healthy meals, getting perfect amounts of sleep regulated for the group as a whole. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that picture and the human experience.

In fact it’s the ideal.

And that’s why I want to punch them.

I’m supposed to try and fit monk ideals into:

Being the provider for a single income household, mom of 3 obstinate kids, wife to a kind but struggling husband, working 6 days a week, and trying to play catch-up for everything that failed when Nathan landed in the hospital again.

I pretty much told god, it may not actually be impossible, but it’s so damn close that the level of expectations is rediculous.

I want to punch Sadhguru, and every monk that ever made it sound easy. I want to punch them and scream at them to go and do it in my life. Go ahead, let’s switch roles for a couple of months, I’ll play monk in robes in quiet solitude and you can carry out all of my roles for a month. I dare you.

I’m supposed to be able to fix it all, manage it all. There’s supposed to be resources for all of it. But despite all of my well meaning efforts, all of my mantras and meditations, the resources simply aren’t there. Most of it is my direct responsibility, and my magic wand has run out of batteries long ago.

I had to stop the service that was taking some of the load off my shoulders. We’d hit a waiting for paperwork to process wall, and were told it could be 2 to 3 months before we got any answers. Bonus, everything else that they could have helped resolve would have taken dollars I didn’t have, at least right now. The chiropractors didn’t really have it in the budget to begin with, so I acknowledged the immense help it was, and willingly cut the cord.

I really need a real live personal assistant and about 20 grand in the bank to attempt to bring a monestary feel to my doorstep. Seeing as how that’s not happening today, or likely even this week, I keep reaching for the best I can in any given moment.

So, with all of that in mind, I am going to poke fun at Sadhguru’s quotes from this week. Who knows maybe he’ll read it and get a chuckle.

Seriously though, I have fit in some hammock time even with overcast weather. I have done meditations at night, and I’m savouring my beach time by looking at the pics and videos and letting my mind be back there. The To-Do-list is moving slowly to try and keep my shit together and keep myself from stressing so much. There is less stress, but it is not gone. I’m doing my level best with the situations and elements I have to work with and around. Perhaps one day I will find my path starting to get easier, but it’s been so long I’m really clinging hard to my hope of that.

May you find the humor when life fails. May you know that ideals are lofty goals and the rest of us are just responsible for reaching as high as we possibly can. May you see the good in your life and have enough time and resources to manage everything. May you know that you are supported and that the trickle can grow. May you know that the divine loves and supports you in all that you do, even when it is poking fun at monks and the negatives of your life.

Om Shanti

Making deals

Not sure anymore
Angel or devil
Something hears me
Something seems to respond

All I know
Heavy cloaks
Feels like lead
Boots and suits

Darkness threatens
To take my life

Fighting with
All my might
Desperately aimed at
Escaping the weight

Repeating
I am She-Ra
Like a powerful
Mantra

Forcing myself
To keep going
To keep moving
It's the only thing
That helps me

Feels like escaping
Darkest demon's grip

My deal:
My life must
Have meaning
My life if lost
Must save my
Entire family

If I'm going down
They must be rescused
Instead

The darkness
Must be slain
Even if my last breath
Is the device
Of accomplishment

Like a tear jerking
Scene from Titanic

I'm doing my
Absolute best
I'm aimed
At winning
At all costs
Even risking my own life

May God's light
Shine down
Upon me
Upon my family

Perchance
A miracle
Might save us all

~ Treasa Cailleach

Merde…. Now what.

So our ideal house from our original search fell through. The landlord was too traumatized by previous renters’ damage to commit to renting. He backed out saying he was going to sell all of his houses.

So now we start over because our second choice was more expensive and not nearly as close to our desired room configuration.

I have no idea.

This week’s been interesting.

 I blew the drive belt on the car on Wednesday trying to go home. So, Thursday and Friday Nathan & I carpooled so I could make it to work and he could get the belt replaced. It wasn’t an expensive repair, but Nathan attempted it himself on Thursday thinking it’d be easy based on having done others before. After giving up, he had the car towed and belt replaced by a mechanic on Friday. More of an annoying inconvenience than anything.

So Friday night I sofa surfed to save what drive time I could.

Saturday I worked half a day and scurried off to performance. My dad made it down from Iowa to see the performance. It was nice to see him again. He left just a little while after the performance so he could make it home at a reasonable hour. At that point we had dinner and I went home and crashed; cuddling with kitties.

With such a crazy few days I ate poorly, and so my sleep Friday and Saturday was less spectacular than desired.

Today was a regular work Sunday, and the resident matinee movie was ELF. At this point I’m doing my best to stay awake and ignore the massive headache I have (since its probably food related I’ll just have to ride it out). Elf is sort of helping, humor always helps.

I have yet to figure out what is next, especially with the moving plan, so I’m literally just continuing “as normal”. Just doing what I’ve done for the last few months. At least in respect to physical daily activities.

At this point all of my mental effort is on mantras and other buoyancy efforts. Anything to distract myself from the likelihood  that our holidays will be yet again in a less than desirable environment. There will be no new beds, no decorations put up, no gifts, no running water, and I’ll still have to alternate between sofa surfing and long hours of driving. Not to mention still having nagging thoughts of the boy I miss so much, and I’m a wee bit concerned about finding solutions by the time I’m due to give birth. My heart is so set on having another wonderful experience like I did with Ian.

Maybe after the new year. I really would like to see improvement soon. Nathan has pointed out that despite all of the myriad challenges I’m having right now, I’m staying more buoyant than previous years, so perhaps things will begin to improve. I certainly hope so. I’ve been told several times of late that genuine hope can do wondrous things. I really do  that our lives in general and our future holidays improve.

For now I wish everyone else that you have the happy joyful holidays that you desire, this year and always.

One day

I’m riding,  Nathan is driving us  to our route.  The song  “One  Day” by Matisyahu is playing  on the radio.  How appropriate for my life,  especially these days.  The line “sometimes in my tears I drown”, but then looking to the future,  “one day, I’ll be waiting for it”. Wow, this  is where I know I’m not alone.  We’re all struggling something fierce.

Each struggle is  different,  but each valid.

   I told a friend,  in my world view-  I feel I was lied  to… things were supposed to be great and wonderful. When life is hard:  you wonder what the hell went wrong,  what did I do?  When in reality,  it’s just life.  If someone had told me that you’re going to have a long hard  road,  with a few  wonderful moments- somehow that would have  been better for my brain.  I wouldn’t have spent (still spend some) days beating myself up for failing repeatedly. Because,  I swear: if one more person tells me to “fake it til you make it” I think I’ll *go postal*. 

I’ve spent 20 years putting on the #brave face, smiling & pretending everything was ok.  I’ve worked many customer service jobs,  where you can’t do anything else.  If you are grumpy,  angry,  snippy or  any other kind of short with a customer,  you loose your job. Just because I’m now self-employed, that doesn’t  go away: contract bosses & clients don’t care if you’re having trouble, they just want their services- in a timely fashion, & done well.

So,  I’d say I’ve mastered faking it, otherwise I’d  either been fired multiple times over,  or constantly been told I should seek counseling.  Which,  BTW, I have: when I could find  the resources to make it affordable.

In this “Great US of A” our society finds it easy to pass judgement & tell us what to do,  but no one tells you how you’re supposed to be able to afford such things, or really how to solve the problem- truly. The one time I was able to see a psych on  a sliding scale fee,  they wanted to just write me a script & send me on my way.  They saw me a dozen times over about a year,  I went through 3 scripts, none helped.  Of course,  now I know how much my thyroid is at play in my depression. Why did the psych never test my thyroid? Oh, wait- at that point a dozen MD’s already had- and STILL didn’t do anything. I was low side of normal.

Yep, normal,  that’s what I call involuntarily morbidly obese,  depressed 90% of the time, suicidal more  days that I’d like to admit,  and so tired that many days I slept 12 hours or more & still felt exhausted. So much for doctors being able to diagnose more  accurately than anyone else.  Did I mention I figured out the thyroid stuff on my own? I took that as far as I could with OTC resources before anyone took it serious. It’s been almost 3 years since I figured it out,  & I’ve had a script for it less than a year.

However,  just because I now have a script and a doctor willing to work with me,  doesn’t mean it’s automatically solved. Thyroid issues are a huge puzzle involving hormones,  nutrient absorption & utilization,  and related endocrine processes such as adrenal function. A puzzle that isn’t cheap to figure out.

So for instance,  I got my new script about a month ago,  & worked up to 6 gains a day & was good for 2 weeks.  Then out of no where I had a mild bout of pancreatitis.  We think maybe a mild viral infection.  In taking it easy on my pancreas I didn’t eat much,  didn’t take any supplements,  & cut my thyroid meds way back to 2 grains a day – it all balanced out for a sold week.

Then suddenly Friday all went horribly wrong.  I fell hard,  so exhausted I couldn’t stop crying.  My husband made a bath for me to try & relax,  & even after taking 3 grains, the bath seemed to contribute.  He had to physically help me out of the bath & help me into pajamas & bed- at 8pm. I woke somewhere around 11 because my heart  was pounding frantically with a long pause occasionally- like my heart was sighing. I was so out of it I wasn’t sure what to do, so I only took 1 grain & went back to sleep.  When I got up in the morning Nathan validated that my symptoms fit with a thyroid drop, so I took a double dose. 

Since then I’ve been taking the 6 to even 6.5 grains a day,  & I’m just starting  to get back to normal. Of course, it’s only been two days since that horrible drop. My theory is that my thyroid is attempting to function better,  & when my adrenals get riled  (fighting an infection) it kicks my thyroid back up. Hence why I didn’t need so much medicine. But when the adrenal function fell back down, post infection, it was like the lights getting shut off. I was screwed because I couldn’t tell what was happening because logic went out the window first- brain fog is horrible because you think you’re ok,  just a bit slow or off, when in reality you’re missing everything important.

The reason I’m guessing is because I simply don’t have to resources to do the testing  to know for certain. Obama care,  aka affordable care act,  is anything but.  My policy is free to me being  low  income,  but doesn’t cover anything until I’ve spent $13,000.  An oxymoron: low income,  but fork out 13 grand before we cover anything.  Of course the next policy up I could get for $60 a month,  but that’s what I had last year,  & I still spent a thousand dollars on doctors and scripts for me and Nathan. So I opted to skip the monthly bill & just know that anything I do, I have to pay cash for.

So, the blood testing is simply not in that plan. The full thyroid panel alone costs $250 each time it’s run,  & if your thyroid seems to be fluctuating,  you have to do the blood draw every time it seems to shift to know exactly how it’s shifting. Then the nutrient panel cost is about $400, & there is an additional iron panel that tells you if your body is using the iron that’s being absorbed. Then there is the gender hormone panel (tells  you how much estrogen,  progesterone,  & testosterone- which do affect thyroid function), then there is the adrenal function/hormone test.  All in all I could drop  $1500 just for the initial work up, & several hundred dollars for the tests that might be contributing to fluctuations.

Things would be solved much faster with that,  but it’s not impossible without it, so I’m opting for the affordable trial & error. Especially since I have such a desire to have a real home, that I’m doing the trailer rebuild. Can’t put all of your measly resources into two giant costs at once.  Have to pick one.  My theory is if I can get the home done, then if I fail at solving my health I’ll at least have someplace I enjoy to spend the rest of my days on earth. Hopefully it won’t come to that,  but it’s the worst case scenario that led the decision.  Of course what didn’t help:  hearing  this week of 2 famous people that have spent millions going to hundreds of doctors chasing cures over years worth of time. I don’t  have the money,  time, or resources to do that,  so if I can’t solve it on  my own then I’m just screwed anyway.

Here’s to planning for the worst & hoping  for the best! Cheers!