Dad is having surgery today again and I wished I could accompany him just like I did when I was there. He still struggles with blood flow and circulation to his one remaining leg and therefore any wound healing is a slow if at all process. I hope he can be given further help in this matter and his condition improves. He received an artery stent the last time but it didn’t clear all the blockage. It shouldn’t be a big deal and most likely he doesn’t need to stay in the hospital, but I hope for better success than the last time and that he can out this hurdle behind him for now.
I am happy that we chat once a week and that we are both committed to be in each other’s life. That we make the time and that it is important. I know that if he could, he would book the next flight and come inspect and help with the land. He does get nervous when I tell him of all the Bear sightings and all the visitors to the land. So far there has been the bear, a doe with two fawns and a red fox. I think it’s amazing and I love it. In the meantime my thoughts, my love and my prayers are with Dad for a speedy recovery and much success.
For weeks, even months now I’ve had what I believed it to be a pinched nerve in my left shoulder, stretching all the way into my hand. It has been very uncomfortable in a mild sense and very painful on most days. There has been tingling and numbness, a burning, stabbing pain and the loss of all feeling in my fingertips. At first I thought I was having a stroke or heart attack, but massaging my tensed muscles around my shoulders and neck always seemed to bring a little relief and made things better. At least temporarily.
During my follow up visit with my specialist back in June, she prescribed a muscle relaxer for me. Hard to believe that I have been dealing with this for over two months now. Needless to say, besides getting drowsy, the muscle relaxer did not help in any way. Just yesterday I thought to myself that I wouldn’t be all that bad with the RA, wouldn’t it be for that one trouble spot in my left hand. I had noticed that my pinky and Ringfinger had more feelings in them but the other three still tingled and burned. I thought it might also had something to with my hiking accident many years ago when I dislocated my left elbow.
I started to stretch my arm twisting it back and forth from left to right and I could feel the stretch on the muscle, even the veins and arteries. For days I had noticed that if I hold the three tingling fingers in my other hand and supplied gentle pressure, the discomfort eased up and became more tolerable. I tried my copper Arthritis gloves but felt the burning increase and had to take them off.
I have never heard of acupressure before and don’t ask me where I know how to apply the exact technique shown in the above picture. But I did, twice last night. I felt a significant difference and even slept better. It is not gone a 100% but has gotten considerably more tolerant and I plan a couple more treatments for myself. Curious, I started my own research this morning and found the benefits of acupressure. Although there hasn’t been enough research or conclusive evidence of how and if it works, it is used to treat blocked energy. Improving the flow of energy, acupressure is said to help with a range of conditions including muscle pain. Why am I not surprised!!! No ordinary moments…ever.
According to the principles of TCM, invisible pathways of energy called meridians flow within the body and I have heard of those before. At least 14 meridians are thought to connect the organs with other parts of the body. Acupressure points lie along those meridians. If qi (Life force) is blocked at any point on a meridian, it is thought to cause health problems along that pathway. It is also used for stress management and a number of other conditions such as nausea, headache, chemo related issues and insomnia. Once again I believe that blocked energy has been at the root of my problem and once again western medicine and myself are becoming my own healers. Tonight with the full moon I hope to release the remaining pain and some other things as I howl into the lit up night sky once more.
I have kept some things form this blog, and although I am an open book in many aspects, there are a few things I seldom talk about. If it was up to me, I’d keep it this way but I need an outlet and can no longer carry it all by myself. It needs to be processed and dealt with. One such a subject is my husband. We’ve known each other since 1994, married in 1999, started living estranged lives around 2004 when the problems we had existed for a few years already. I am not going into details and reality is that most wouldn’t even beging to understand how complex everything has been. I’ve even been challenged, judged and dropped because of different views and opinions, but that’s an entire different story. What is factual is that we both made mistakes and choices, some not reconcilable and without the commitment from both parties. These choices bothered me for a long time and they still sting a bit. What remains is that we are two people that fell in love a long time ago and who couldn’t make it work in the end.
In 2021 we sold our house and separated, each going our own way. In fact we had done so for well over a century, only sharing responsibilities and obligations, being roommates under the same roof, upholding the burdens we both created. We are not legally separated and on paper we are still married. Both of our plates have been full and life has been a rollercoaster of events. Timing and other things needed to take priority, and strangely and in many ways we are better friends now then we were when we still fought for our marriage. No matter what the future holds, we know it is a life lived separately from each other, but I also know that we can count on each other if push comes to shove and perhaps this is more than most relationships have to show for. And push did come to shove…
Almost immediately after our separation my husband got very sick and a life long of being a diabetic along with other health related issues started to catch up with him. In some respect it even felt like bad karma as our split wasn’t that easy and years and years of unhappiness and problems preceded this moment. He got sick so badly that he needed help and couldn’t fend for himself anymore. Currently I spend a few days with him every week to do what I can. This ranges from running errands, to doing the shopping, the cleaning, being a mental and emotional support, to finding alternative healing methods and then making natural potions and lotions to help aid his condition. Cinnamon comes along and helps. She is a great support but sometimes I feel bad to subject her, as she feels too much as well. The issues we are dealing with is acute kidney failure which results in water retention and that in return causes open sores and blisters around his legs as the water has to escape somewhere. We have survived a Heart Attack that has left his heart permanently damaged, and we also have the macular degeneration in his eyes to deal with, causing near blindness in one eye. This makes driving a huge challenge and endangerment not only to himself but also to others. Those are the main issues but there is more, which increasingly is getting worse too.
For months we’ve been fighting to keep infections at bay as this would be the end and amputation would be imminent. It is unimaginable for him and he talks about taking measures into his own hands before it comes to that. He is a very young soul and of course scared to death. Who wouldn’t be but the reference of him being a young soul is pertaining to many other aspects and how he handles himself through this lifetime. Several times to the surprise of his doctor I managed to heal and close up his legs, but the blisters keep coming. Some of the medicines he has to take can cause these blisters and it’s like a vicious cycle. There is a high amount of pain that is involved when raw meat is exposed, and these sores can’t tolerate anything to touch them. He can’t leave the house and is feeling like a prisoner within his own four walls. He has to sleep in a chair, sitting, and fatigue and irritability is running it’s course when you have to get by on 3-4 hours of sleep on a good night. His appetite is dissipating and he never knows which foods he will tolerate if he does eat. He is reaching a point where hope is running thin and depression has settled in heavily.
Mental health, suicide and other issues associated with the end of life can be heartbreaking and sometimes there is just an overwhelming amount that surrounds me because of him. Being an end of life couch is a difficult job and I have the highest respect for someone who can be this kind of help and assistance. It can’t be easy but in comparison my “service” keeps repeating each weekend, it prolongs, and death lingers. It feels as if the suffering quota has not yet been met. There is no relieve, no release and the suffering continues as long as the heart is willing to beat. I have to be the strong one and if I break, everything breaks. I cry alone and when I am away, but it’s getting more and more difficult when it is so hard to watch. When you run out of options to help and feel the helplessness swallow you up whole. Regardless of our future and taking different directions, I care enough not to let him walk alone and without help. I can’t turn my back and say “We are not together anymore, you are not my responsibility, see how you get along.” My heart knows that I have to do what I can to help, it was this way with Mom, it is this way now. Sometimes it puts me into the path of being a whipping post for emotions, pain and frustration, when the hope fades and reality can’t be denied or masked any longer. I do the best to protect myself but I feel too much and can’t turn the emotions on and off. Pain and fear changes a person and it is all consuming. I have to remain the course and yes it is time for me to be happy as well. But how can I be with something like this at hand, with being the only one left, the only one who can and is willing to be there until the end.
Talking on the phone the other day, I could feel a heavy amount of pressure and depression. There is guilt from the past, and he hasn’t made peace with previous mistakes and wrong doings. There is self pity and feeling sorry for himself. There is jealousy because I apparently have a reason to live for, I want to build a house and I have purpose. Yet he is not willing to create such a purpose for himself. There are unrealistic expectations as if the world and everyone he knew has turned against him. There is sadness that no one checks in on him, yet no one is told what is really going on. He expects of others what he can’t uphold himself. Sometimes it is hard to instill hope and come up with a purpose, something that might inspire and give him something to look forward to, something to hold on to. He has no aspirations, no ambition, no ways of making dreams a reality. He doesn’t know how to and has to be led by the hand. (Young soul reference.) He would like to visit a foreign place and if he could only spend one day, sitting in peace and seeing things, he could die a happy man he says. Yet we don’t even have a valid passport to remotely make this wish a reality. He is a pessimist and yes he has chosen to walk the victim route. It has mostly been this way and I don’t know what happened and when it changed. He wasn’t always like that but he didn’t process life lessons the way I did and rather saw them as getting the short end of the stick, eventually becoming bitter. Such an outlook and attitude makes the difference and how far we come in our own journey. Sometimes it’s hard to deal with the same old day in and day out and being no stranger to my own chronic pain, I do understand how he feels. Yet it is draining to an optimist. I myself have been at the breaking point a time or two and sometimes we just can’t see past the pain and the struggle when we are engulfed and surrounded by it. Sometimes I understand all too well and feel it disqualifies me from being that saving grace and hand. Sometimes I feel that he is beyond the help that I can offer and he is too far gone already. I am constantly fighting to stay afloat, to keep from drowning.
So here I was saying things like “giving up is not optional,” “don’t talk like that,” “hold on, brighter days are coming,” “your time is not done here yet, you are needed,” “that’s selfish,” and “giving up is the easy way out.” I was surprised at his response as he told me that once upon a time he shared that same belief and giving up was a cowards exit but that was a long time ago and he didn’t believe in it anymore. He used to say the same thing when his Mom was ill. Suffering. Helpless. Wanting to die. The conversation brought into perspective what it takes to keep going when one suffers. How miserable and hopeless the days can be, fighting through yet another battle only to face another around the corner, trying not to give up because it’s not optional or the cowards way out. To hold on because your family and loved ones have not come to terms and are not yet willing to let you go. Do they even realize what agony you are in and that it is only a matter of time until your body gives out. How much more do they need you to experience and endure! Wasn’t that in itself the selfish part!
The normal given response would be to insist on getting help, on giving them the suicide hotline number. But even without suicide and going to that extreme as physically harming thy self, losing your will to live in a way is just like suicide and giving up. And yet how can we make someone go on and ask them to live, going through the pain day in and day out, when they no longer want to and have given up already! I check in daily, several times as I try and prepare myself for the moment when there is no answer anymore. When I have to drive to town scared of what I will find. When I don’t know if I will find him alive again. I know that I can help in many ways, but I know that I can’t instill hope where there is none left. I can’t take the fear of dying, or changing events of his past. I can’t make peace for him and it is something he has to do on his own. I can’t lift Karma and I can only beg him to change his ways and what he puts out into the universe. I can’t convince him, I can’t make him believe and turn an optimist. I can’t make him believe in miracles and that everything is possible. I can’t make him go on.
What a difficult position as we pray and hope things turn for the better once more. Perhaps they will, perhaps they won’t. It is a matter of buying a little more time. What is inevitable is that everyone’s time is coming, soon or later and there is no easy way around it. And in the meantime I don’t even know how to feel knowing that I have prayed for his suffering to end. To fall asleep and be released from the pain and his terminal condition that might give him a break for a few days, perhaps weeks, but in reality won’t go away and can’t be cured. How do we hold on in times like these….
This was my birthday dinner that was served to me the other day. Yay, a day without cooking and being the one spoiled. Maybe not the healthiest choice but definitely a simple delicious one. After a day out swimming and relaxing it was a quick and easy one, not adding too much “cooking heat” to the already warm living spaces. Plus all too often these simple meals we couldn’t appreciate as a child, have now become a delicacy and just the right thing.
Nearly two months have passed since my return from Germany and it’s hard to believe. Up until last week I could barely talk and just now my voice has finally returned to fully normal. What an experience that was and something I never felt before. A hoarse voice…ok…but to lose it for 1 1/2 months is something entirely else. It was scary to say the least. And then with the slow progress and return of the voice came the pinched nerve in the left shoulder. Massaging the area helped some but very little. Not even the prescribed muscle relaxer seemed to help in any way other than making me drowsy. And just like in common old fashion for me, even this occurrence was extreme and like nothing else I had before. I have dealt with pinched nerves before but this one sent my left arm all the way to my fingertips into a tingle as if it was asleep. So uncomfortable. In bad cases it began to burn and cramp up in the palm of my hand. I couldn’t type and yes, I am behind answering comments again. Today is the first time I am actually writing again and it’s because of issues like that why I schedule posts ahead of time. Because I know I will have down times. In either case I hope I can still get past the numbness in the fingers and that this will subside as well.
So what has changed and what has contributed to getting better, I analyze during my Self check in? The heat has been unbearable and causing for joint swelling. Swelling reduces mobility, especially in my hands, which renders me unable to make a fist. But water consumption has increased, flushing out toxins. Not really an Aha-moment, but once again reconfirming to what I know already. Now if I can just keep it up…maybe…well you know the answer and my struggles with drinking enough water. But water alone is not what did it, at least I don’t think so and it’s always deeper than that.
All of a sudden I remembered my own home remedies, muscle creams, inflammation inhibitors and even CBD potions I’ve used before but couldn’t bring with me to Germany. Low and behold two days in and applying it twice, I can almost make a fist and I am back to typing. Mmmh…plus another awareness struck me at the same time.
I remembered a book a dear blogger friend suggested to me called “You can heal your life” by Louise Hay. I looked up what the potential cause for hand pain could be, and there it slapped me right in the face.
“Hold and handle. Clutch and grip. Grasping and letting go. Caressing. Pinching. All ways of dealing with experiences.”
Is it any wonder? There has been so much of that over the last couple of months. Selling a house in Germany while building a new future here. Grasping and letting go. Coming to terms and clearing my childhood home while clutching and gripping a few special material memories. I was holding on while I was trying to handle everything. I was dealing with all experiences, at times caressing the moment and on then feeling it’s hurtful pinch again. I am a believer that our mental health and our beliefs, as well as the way we carry ourselves and handle stress and our problems, our way of thinking, how well we take care of ourselves, including nutrition and exercise is a direct reflection on our physical health. I do believe that we can heal our life and I hope that some day I will belong to that circle, however big or small who can attest to this theory and speak from experience. I feel that in many ways I can already, but I do have a chronic condition to defeat yet. At the least and for today, I am determined and I am hopeful.
Today is my follow visit with the rheumatologist and if haven’t seen her since before Germany. I already know that the bloodwork was ok, or so I was told at least and we’ll see what she has to say. The RA has become manageable with the pills, but I know that my immune system is being repressed which makes healing my voice for instance a nuisance. Perhaps she can help me with that. I skip doses at times to give my body a chance, but I do notice when I don’t take the meds. I feel more achy and pain robs your positivity. I do hope that the adrenaline of a new project, buying land and building a house can carry me through. In prior instances it was always such a focus that gave me wings and helped me overcome. I hope it does. In the meantime the darn mosquitos make my life tough and I hope we get rid of them soon. I am amongst those 8% with a rare blood type they are especially attracted to and when they bite me I have the worst reaction that ends up In welts on my skin. Hey perhaps the RA doctor has a solution here too. Fingers crossed.
During my stay in Germany I got really really sick. I still believe that I never experienced anything like it before. I had the worst respiratory infection and for about 3 weeks I was in truly poor shape. then, finally I got better but I don’t think I ever fully recovered. Two days before I left Germany I seemed to relapse with what started with a sore throat. I was afraid at that time that I might not pass the mandatory Covid test for the flight to the US, but I did. I left Germany and the soreness would come and go. What did stay absent was my voice and for the first time in my life I had lost my voice.
Talking was strenuous and everything turned somewhat to whisper mode for me which presented plenty of other problems. Even the flight attendants struggled to understand my drink order. Well, it never truly went away and I still struggle three weeks later after my return. Some days are better than others, but it’s truly a pain. Doing some research I suppose it could be normal after a bad respiratory infection and antibiotics might be required to get fully rid of it. There are also other possibilities that I might have injured my vocal chords and I was dealing with acid reflux for a bit.
The reason I haven’t seen a doctor yet is because the better days always bring hope that this might subside by itself. I chalk it up to the RA meds that compromise and suppress my immune system as to why it is taking me so long to get over it. And of course I stay hopeful that there is no permanent damage. I can’t see this as my permanent future, it even if it was, we’d learn to adapt somehow aren’t we!!!
I don’t know why staying hydrated remains to be such a struggle for me. I just don’t drink enough throughout the day, no matter how often I remind myself about the importance of it and the benefits. Maybe this homemade electrolyte drink can entice me to do a better job.
Mix coconut water, oranges, lemon, lime, Himalayan sea salt, and honey in the combination of your liking. More or less of your favorites to your hearts content and see what happens.
“Be careful what you think, you may just manifest it into your life.” Our thoughts are food for our brain, what we belief – we project, what thoughts we entertain becomes a part of us, our DNA and what makes us “US.”
Did you know that your brain will constantly retire itself to suit the information that you feed into it? If you constantly complain, gossip, find excuses, etc; it will make it much easier to find things to be upset about, regardless of what is happening around you.
Likewise, if you constantly search for opportunities, abundance, love, and things to be grateful for, it will make it much easier to find a reflection of those things around you. It takes practice, but over time, this is a very powerful way to reshape your reality.
Our feet are a means to carry us into the world. To let us dance and chase our dreams in the physical form. Here is a simple recipe to detox our feet and also help the rest of our body to feel amazing.
2 cus of baking soda
1 cup epsom salt
1 lemon (squeezed)
10 drops of lavender essential oil
Add ingredients to warm/hot water and soak feet for 30 minutes.
I’m happy to report that I have beaten the nasty bug (well….mostly) that rendered me badly ill for several days. It appears I am returning to the living for a little longer and here I go again with new stories to tell and new insights to be appreciated. At the beginning of getting sick, I stressed out about the most horrendous timing and how much stuff there was still left to do. I nearly caused myself a panic attack and as I look back I say “aren’t most of these panic attacks self induced?” We always tend to paint a much uglier picture than reality truly is, but then again, it wouldn’t be us if we didn’t. Heaven knows that we try hard to be in control and prepared whatever life throws our way.
Once the panic subsided a bit, I quickly really that there wasn’t anything I could do about it. Now matter how much I stressed, things would be the same whether I approached nerve wrecked or from a calmer point of view. It was then that I entered a more restful phase. I allowed my body to heal and slept nearly three days and three nights. Not continuously, but mostly. I got up long enough to go to the bathroom and drink some chicken broth and elderberry syrup, ate some fruit that my cousin dropped in front of my door via care packet twice…what an angel…but that was pretty much it. I surrendered and I gave up worrying. Probably one of the best things I could do. I took the time to get better and slowly I did, although it still lingers and I still have to be careful over a week later.
As I was left there with my thoughts about all my outstanding chores, I was trying to understand why this was happening. What was my message in this, was it truly the fault of the new RA meds that compromised my immune system, was I working too hard, running myself into the ground with unrealistic expectations? After all I came here with the understanding that “I” had to look at EVERYTHING. Every corner, every angle, and why? I soon realized that it was to find closure in this chapter. Had Mom hidden something for me? Was there a written note, something she could never verbalize to my face? Others believed that there is, or was a treasure in the house. Further pushing me to find something I never even knew existed. I put myself in a position as if I was dependent on finding these things to attain closure. Inadvertently I put more pressure and stress onto myself and it was finally now, being and all, that I could acknowledge and validate it for what it was. The panic turned into a calm heart and all of a sudden I felt content. There was so much I had accomplished already. So much I had felt already. So much I knew with certainty in my heart now. And then came the most beautiful message of all….
It became apparent that long ago I had already received the treasure. It can come in the form of a decision, an understanding, a coming to terms and being able to live with it, an inner peace, a calming sensation, a knowing, a feeling what was once unclear, stuff like that. I didn’t need to see things written out on paper anymore that my heart now knew. I felt that the illness was warranted to give me time to re-evaluate. To not get so hung up on the process and reprioritize what truly matters, and how I want to spent my remaining time here. It’s been work nearly 99% of the time while so many other important things need my attention to repair some of my own heartstrings and bring meaning to others. Perhaps it was also to stop the madness and only take as little as possible because let me tell you, it is not cheap by any means to ship to the US. You better have a strong attachment to the things you want to bring. So I am reevaluating and while I’m doing so, it appears that all of a sudden I might actually be ahead of the game vs losing time to sickness and panicking from being behind. Living a tiny life has also prepared me for my now and i won’t add clutter to my life anymore. I like it simply, with less responsibilities and that in itself is a treasure to behold. Life sure has a funny way yo teach us things, although my funnies have seldom be funnies. They are always extreme, I can’t be stopped any other way and it always has to be something serious to halt me. Well, I am halted, I am listening, I am acknowledging, and I am making the chances necessary.