Anxiety — we can learn and live

anxiety (1)For weeks I have been gathering the information my husband needs for his doctor at the Mayo Clinic. I need to take this burden from him since I am so familiar with how the medical systems work (or don’t work). This has been so frustrating for me and I have realized how having to confront people over and over to get what I need brings on my anxiety. The funny thing is that I can do it for others but when it is my own family I fall apart. Now we need more records and tomorrow I have to ask to speak to an office manager that I have called on so many times (and she has been so nice) that I am embarrassed and anxious about having to do it again.

I know this is silly and part of my incipient anxiety but there it is. I will force myself to do this tomorrow and I know I will suffer through it and come home drained. I just pray that my IBD will not flare up and cause me to seek every bathroom I can find. Why is it that to do this as part of my former job was not a problem but it is for my husband.

cucumbers-anxiety-l

Worrying about what someone will think of me is still an issue at my age. It doesn’t get me all the time but these kind of  situations will cause it to rear its ugly head. I have just connected this specific incident and now understand why I keep wanting to put it off.

This is a trigger that I haven’t noticed before but now that I am aware of it I will ready myself, use my learned tools and get it done.

Over the years learning ways to cope with my anxiety and manage the situations that I need to get through has changed my life. So many things that were triggers no longer bother me. I think in some ways I have de-synthesized myself and this has been a blessing.

going to bed
Jane Seabrook

Have faith. You are able to grow and find new ways to move forward. My 77 years have proved it. A good life is possible. Everyone lives with limitations it is just that each person’s are different.

Keep growing, keep learning, keep trying. You can do it.

 

An interesting hospital visit

mayoToday I am tired. My husband and I traveled to the Mayo Clinic for him to schedule a knee replacement there. His knee was originally injured at West Point playing lacrosse and then his time in the Army jumping out of airplanes didn’t help. He had a replacement 21 years ago and now it is failing.

It was interesting to go to a major medical center. It is so different from a local hospital. We stayed overnight in a hotel to make our morning appointment. The hotel is in the Mayo complex so one can assume that most people are there because of a medical issue.

People were so anxious to talk. Everywhere we were, at dinner, at breakfast, on the shuttle to the hospital people just wanted to talk…mostly about why they were there. We saw all sorts of people. Some young, some old, some in between.

I don’t know if all the people who wanted to talk were extroverts or if some introverts were included. It seemed that talking about their problems allowed them to ventilate. I am sure that most people there have major medical issues on they wouldn’t be there. Everyone seemed anxious to support each other.

Some came from foreign countries and spoke little English. The center has an international office that greets and helps them both with translations and to manage their way through the system.

We got through his appointments and will have to return for the tests the physician wants in order to determine the best course of treatment.

This is healthcare at its best. Unfortunately not everyone has access. The Mayo Clinic web site is one of the best for medical information. I have used it for years to answer questions for others. It has more educational information available than any other medical center I have looked up.

Don_t+believe+everything+you+read!If you want information on a problem please use Mayo as a resource. The information is accurate and well written. Too often people find medical answers on the web that are not good resources. Some of the things people have told me that they got from the web are really scary. Just look up mayoclinic.org.

It was good to get home to very excited and loving dogs and sleep in my own bed.

 

Remembering with tears

This is Memorial Day in the US. Many people do not know that this day of remembrance was begun by former slaves honoring the dead Union soldiers in Charleston, South Carolina. This is a day for remembering those who made the final sacrifice.

Happy-Memorial-Day-2018

My husband is a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point. We married after graduation and spent 20 years moving from post to post. West Point instills in it’s graduates a phenomenal love of country and a desire to be the best person you can be. My husband has lived out that code his entire life.

duty

Two years of that time were spent in Viet Nam with a brief tour in the states in between. He led a Company of soldiers and spent the first year almost entirely in the jungle. His men faced danger every day. The jungle was so hot that they literally rotted through their uniforms and new ones had to be delivered by helicopter each week. They never knew each day if they would be just struggling through the heavy jungle growth or fighting for their lives. Each night’s rest could be interrupted by gunfire and fear. He fought during the Tet Offensive and cannot talk about that time.

His men loved him and after he returned home I received a letter in the mail with money collected from the company for us to enjoy meals out. He was the only commander who walked away from that company. The others died.

vietnam

Each day I thank God that he returned home, not only in one piece, but also able to endure the memories. He has been to the Viet Nam wall in Washington, DC once and will never go again. It is too painful

Just thinking about the men who fought with him and the classmates of his who died in that war brings tears to my eyes and his. Neither of us can listen to taps played at military funerals. May God grant peace to all those who served in that war and all others. Those who lived and those who died. They blessed our lives.

Toward a new day

GrievingFeatureYesterday I didn’t write. I didn’t write because grief slipped up on me. I have been spending time with my friend whose husband is sick and last night she called that her husband wasn’t doing well. He is now ok but it brought back memories of the year and a half that I spent with my friend with lymphoma and her daughter. I haven’t written much about that since it happened before I started my blog.

My friend lost her husband the year before and then was diagnosed with lymphoma. She had spent her life caring for a daughter born with multiple heart defects. Her daughter lived a good life for someone with this serious a problem but her life was a series of ups and downs. My friend put everything into allowing her daughter a “normal” life. She put herself, her money and her other children. Life was difficult. She did the best she could with what life had given her. The last year of her life was filled with pain, hospital visits, anxiety and struggle. She worried what would happen to her daughter. She died in January of 2016. I became the support of her daughter. The daughter’s brother helped and gave up his life to do so. Her heart gave out in the summer of that year.

moving forwardThe point of all of this is last night I felt as if I was reliving that time. Grief comes in waves and we never know when it will show up again. The only thing that we can do is roll with the flow and just ride it out.  I have a busy week ahead and life will move on but the sadness lingers. We have to look ahead and know that there are new days coming. Some good and some bad but new and different. Today will move on and a new day is coming.

Am I hiding?

Today for some reason my mind is blank….or struggling for clarity. I thought about this poem written a while ago and offer it here.

IN-SHADOWS-facebook

Hiding

Deep in the closets of my mind                                                                                                            dark secrets are hiding                                                                                                                          I have not seem them for many years

I stand and look at the doors                                                                                                                and fear to look inside                                                                                                                          to let the light shine in

The fear is not of pain                                                                                                                            but something far more frightening                                                                                                  the fear of myself

the real me hiding all these years                                                                                                      the me no one can love                                                                                                                        the me I cannot accept

God, help me to fling open the doors                                                                                                  and with broom in hand                                                                                                                      throw out the secrets

and dust off the person                                                                                                                         who has been hiding                                                                                                                             in the dark

We can’t fix everything

cannotbefixedToday I am sad. It seems that there has been another emotional upheaval in my family. When you have children you know that things might not go as planned but it hurts when they don’t. We have our first great grandchild. He was born on Friday and was found to have an infection that will require days of antibiotics. This is a small part of the whole picture and there is more to the situation that brings stress to all of us.

If you are a good parent you do the very best you can and when children follow a path that scares you it is hard. It may be that all will work out but that doesn’t help the anxiety and fear.

No matter how hard we try life always throws a curve and we end up in pain. As a mother, grandmother and now great grandmother it is so difficult to be unable to fix it all.  Hurt abounds and there is nothing to do but pray and hope. I can offer help and support but that is about all.  I can’t cure the problems or take away the pain. Oh, I wish I could!

ride the waveI think one of the hardest things in life is to come against situations where you have no control and no solution. All there is to do is to ride the Tsunami wave and pray that things work out in the long run.

Please pray for my great grandson and family.

New day, new person

new dayToday I am waiting for news of the birth of my first Great Grandchild. I can’t possibly be that old. My granddaughter is in labor and her mom and her aunt are with her. They are both nurses. Her aunt is an OB nurse so I’m sure she is getting great care.

It is amazing to think that this is a new generation. One that I am unlikely to see become adult. That is such a sad thought for me but that is how life goes. I do not expect to live forever nor would I want to.

There is a pattern to life. Some Hindus believe that at each stage of our life we have certain tasks to complete. The last stage is to gain wisdom and enlightenment. I really hope that I can do that but I will have to do better than I am doing now. I do not spend enough time in silence. I don’t listen for God enough. I am terrible about turning things over to God and letting them go. I am trying and I will keep on but enlightenment seems a long way off.

At some times in my life I have had the incredible experience of sensing God’s presence. It is a mountaintop experience. Each time I spent time immersed in meditation and let myself approach God fully. I know god is there just waiting. It is up to me to seek that communion.

new day2Each day is a new day. Soon I will see a new life for my family. I think God is present in each newborn in a way that we can’t do as adults. Their connection to God is unique. They just came from His presence and can still experience the connection.

I look forward to meeting this new person and acknowledging God in his life.