This week has been a steady stream of doctor visits and tests. I’m afraid it will be that way until we can get answers for the leg pain that makes my husband’s life unbearable. We are making small steps forward. Xrays are on the way to the Mayo Clinic. I am afraid that it is unlikely that we will hear there is a physical problem with the implanted knee replacement. If we find that is the problem it will be related to an allergic reaction and that will take longer to prove.
If it is not that we will continue on the search for answers to make his life bearable.
When I left my job as a Parish Nurse I thought about becoming a “patient advocate” as a free service for those who need help. Now I am using those skills for my own husband. We will prevail!
Another week gone by. Funny, they all seem the same. Wait…they have been the same. Each day blends into the next. Around and around and around. The days are only different by thoughts and ideas. It is hard to know what day it is.
Why am I so lazy? So inclined to just sit and knit or crochet. It is getting something done but not with the energy I usually enjoy. Today I did some simple gardening. It was hot out and it didn’t take me long to be tired and overheated. A routine of exercises must be added to my days or I will become a painted picture attached to a chair with knitting in her hands. This is not me. Somehow the desire for more has to be re-established. Days where my sights are higher than that chair.
People around us are getting out more but they are not as at risk as we are. It is so strange to be in the “old and fragile” group, I have never thought of my self that way. My self image has been altered and I need to move back to the real me.
My husband remains in hospital without any word on a diagnosis. I have done some research on my on and have some ideas to pass on. As a nurse I do know when the information is reputable. I will just have to take one step at a time.
I have had so many calls from friends that it has given me such a boost knowing how many care. This is just a bad time to have this happen but there is nothing different to do. I will continue to attempt to talk with the physicians working with him even though so far I have not heard from a single one. This is a common problem with hospitals and doctors and I will be stronger about insisting to discover what they are thinking. The hospitals here are not yet full of covid patients and are actually functioning well so there is no excuse for no information.
Tomorrow is a new day. According to the nurse they have some labs pending so maybe some answers will come.
Placating my anxiety, depression and stress with prayer, TV and walking outdoors. I am unable to do some things as my brain is not up to par.
When nothing can be done it is necessary to accept that and do only what is possible. The prayer from AA sums it up perfectly.
God, give me grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, Courage to change the things which should be changed, and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.
There is no greater disaster in the spiritual life than to be immersed in unreality, for life is maintained and nourished in us by our vital relation with realities outside and above us.”C.S. Lewis.
Lewis is so right but not just about our spiritual life. Living in unreality is a disaster in every way. It touches us on every level. I impact our physical self. No matter our level of activity it is not the same as it was. Even how and what we eat has been impacted.
Our emotional/psychological life has been impacted. We can’t do the things we used to do. Our social interactions have been curtailed. Whether we are introverts or extroverts this is still a change. I am sure that everyone is feeling this distancing in some way. I used to be an extreme extrovert but in my latter years I am more in the middle. This change has affected me in many ways. I miss the touch of others, the face to face exchange of ideas, the fun of simple conversation. I am lonely.
Our spiritual life has most assuredly been impacted. In some ways mine has expanded in that I spend more quiet time and intense connection with God that I have in quite a while. There are not so many distractions. I miss the camaraderie of our church community in addition to the services themselves.
This time has created a different way of being. One that can either strengthen or break us. We have to maintain perspective. Though maybe months distant there will be a change. The view will be changed making us find a new path into the world as it emerges. We have the ability to blend into the new world around us and adapt and make it better.
Part of my nightly prayer from the New Zealand Prayer Book: Night Prayer says:
The night heralds the dawn.Let us look expectantly to a new day,new joys,new possibilities.
Things have been difficult here in the last few days. I hope we are on the up side. It is pretty scary to think that in the middle of covid 19 I would have to take my husband to the hospital. That is the last thing I want to do. But if that is what it takes to get him well then there is not choice. However, for now each day seems a little better but it is slow.
Today I was wondering what it must have been like the day that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. One day there was war “over there” and suddenly it had come home. What fear and panic must have been felt by everyone. We are facing something not at all fun but it will pass long before WW2 did. They lived with it every day for years.
They were strong. They had endurance, faith and hope. We have the same things available to us. Whatever we have to do to keep on is what we will do.
I often think of Robert Frost’s poem about building a wall. He is thinking about what happens when we do this. We can wall things out and sometimes we have to do that to survive. Many victims of abuse can only manage by walling the abuse out. Some have even developed different personalities to not be present themselves. This is the extreme example.
However, we do need to be careful about walling those around us out. Usually what we need for healing begins outside of ourselves. We need others whether in the form of therapist or loving friends/family. We have to be careful not to wall out the help we need. If we are fragile it is so easy to stay inside our protective shield but this is only a temporary solution.
Try and find those who can help to pull you out from behind the wall and eventually tear it down altogether. In that place is healing.
I have several friends who have had cancer and are in remission. When this happens people begin to see them as back to normal. Most people are unaware of how much courage is involved in continuing to move forward. There are periodic scans and you have to wait for results. It can be a time of nail biting and stress.
Chemotherapy also can have devastating consequences. The medicines that make you well can also cause major problems with the well systems in your body. There are many things that can go wrong from failure of other organs to hair, skin, teeth problems. It is not an easy path.
Hopefully the future will bring us closer to our own immune system removing the cancer from our body without hurting anything else.
Remember those who struggle with the aftermath of cancer treatment. They need our continuing compassion and support.
Life is an amazing journey. I my lifetime I have married, raised children, sent them out of the nest, welcomed grandchildren and now great-grandchildren. I have worked several jobs, had a great career and ended doing the one thing that married my vocation with my greatest passion.
I have lived but I (God willing) have years in me left to pursue other goals. Those of you who have been reading my blog know that one of my goals is to share experiences, offer solace and kindness, information, and ideas that I have gained over the years.
I have also made strides in controlling my tendency to worry myself into anxiety. I continue to grow each day and owe much thanks to the others who deal with this issue and have offered support and suggestions for conquering it.
In the scheme of things it is probably that something fought with over a lifetime will not disappear entirely but learned skills do help in catching escalation to the “tipping point.”
The trick is to keep trying things and find what works for you. Each of us will have different things that help. Just keep trying. There is something out there that will be the thing that helps you turn the corner. Our mental health issues can, many time, be lessened or averted with the right tools.
Never give up. Just keep on trying. Also don’t think you are alone. There are many of us and we truly understand.
From my own experience in the hospital recently and now with my granddaughter’s stay it is interesting how things have changed. Following my surgery the doctor was reluctant to give me any pain medication that could be addictive. The same thing was true with my granddaughter. The government has cracked down so hard that it is causing problems for patients who genuinely need some help following surgery. That is the problem with doing things that give little discretion to the people involved.
I know we have serious drug issues here but I’m not sure that what is being done will solve the issue. I don’t know that legislation can solve the drug problems in the US. The problem is to complex for that. People who want to abuse drugs will get them elsewhere. Admittedly physicians overused RX’s in the past and people became addicted but I hope that trend is past.
It has been difficult to find time to write in the last few days. We have some family here from out of town and finding time alone is not easy. I miss it but I am also enjoying my family. This has been a good holiday but I will be glad to get back to normal.
One of the things that can be hard is to not be in a normal routine. It throws us off and makes it harder to relax. I will work through it in order to enjoy the time that we have together.
The holiday season can be stressful for most of us. It is easy to obsess over shopping and wrapping and cooking until we are worn to a frazzle. In the new year it is time to check how you are feeling and take some extra time to de-stress. The time after holidays can also be a let down. When we were living at West Point the cadets called it “gloom period.” If you live where the trees have all lost their leaves everything looks gray. It can make your life feel gray.
Find something to brighten your life. Go out to lunch or dinner. Treat yourself to a bubble bath or eat your favorite food. It will help you slide into the new year ready to embrace it.