The best day?

patients-quote

Today seemed like it was not going to be the best day. We arose at 5 AM to travel to Mayo Clinic for my husband’s appointment. I HATE getting up in the dark! There was no problem with the drive but at the appointment we got the news that the physician wants to do another procedure for my husband to make sure he has the best possible outcome. (God bless the Mayo Clinic for caring so much!) This is not bad news except it requires another trip and additional two nights at the clinic. Unfortunately this has to be done as soon as they can schedule and it looks like Dec. 19th for tests, 20th for procedure and 21st for therapy. Yikes! This is the week before Christmas but it will be worth it.

I am the grandmother. I am not the mother of young children with an all out Christmas to plan. I have to remind myself of that. Everyone around me will deal with it and if Christmas is not as planned…Oh well. It will still come….and go.

good-friends-like-stars-you-260nw-619768490My friend has offered us her RV (not huge and easy to drive) so that we can save the expense of hotel and dog sitters. We hope to do that and take the dogs with us. I will rotate between keeping dogs and being with my husband. (He would rather me be with the dogs since they are more important than me! LOL!) God bless good friends!

So instead of feeling stressed about all of this I am feeling grateful. Grateful for caring physicians and good friends. Grateful for loving family who will be happy that we are still around. All in all, not a bad day but a blessed one.

cookie-monster-wisdom

The ARANGELS

too much stress

The last few months have been filled with such stress that it has been hard to keep focused. It hasn’t been one thing but the combination of things. Friends sick, husbands sick, travel, whatever. It is time to get my focus back and to remember an event from last week.

Wednesday of last week i realized how sick I was and decided that I must go to my doctor. It was in the morning and while I was trying to make a logical decision the phone rang and it was my doctor’s office. They called to let me know that they had called in a refill for some routine medicine. This is not how their system works. They never call to let me know about that I just get a text from the pharmacy when it is ready. Their system has been skewed due to some doctors moving and the office being understaffed at the moment so this was not the usual person. While I had her on the phone I asked if I could see my physician that day and she managed an appointment for that afternoon. Absolutely amazing. That would never have happened at any other time!

angels-at-work-2014-becky-jaine

Madeleine L’Engle says “a miracle is a coincidence where God prefers to remain anonymous.” People say miracles don’t happen and this was just nothing but it didn’t feel that way to me. I have a friend who says “the ARANGELS were at work” and I agree. For me this was a miracle and due to that visit I am now better.

Yes! the ARANGELS were at work!

Wholeness: mind + body = wellness

feeling-sick

Today has been up and down. I realize I ran myself into the ground planning, traveling, cleaning etc to get ready for my husband’s surgery at Mayo. My immune system was bottomed out. So, after getting a cold while at Mayo, I ended up with a sinus infection and on antibiotics. I am someone who seldom gets sick and to say it unsettles me is an understatement.

I am worse than the parents of the children I saw when I worked for a group of pediatricians. The child would be put on antibiotics and the parent would call later that day saying he/she isn’t well yet. (completely true) I have been given an excellent treatment and I want to be well yesterday!

Feeling down and sick is not fun. I am not sure which is at the top but I guess it doesn’t matter.

There are so many people suffering with physical illness and coping beyond amazing. There are so many with mental illness who are also suffering and coping. My oldest daughter worked at a children’s hospital in a unit called “Adolescent Med-Psych.” That unit cared for teens who were having mental problems because of their physical problems or the reverse. They handled teens with diabetes who didn’t care for themselves, and anorexics with who had created physical problems from their diet. Some patients had severe mental illness that had led to physical problems. I don’t know how she worked there. The anguish of both teen and family must have been horrible. She loved her work.

Many of us don’t take care of ourselves. We let our emotional problems cause physical symptoms. Conversely, we can’t cope with the physical problems and let them move over into emotional problems.

Whole+Body+Health+logo

I think the coping skills for the two things are similar. We are whole. We are not a separate thing. Our minds and our bodies and forever connected. To flourish we need to care for both. The things that we do for our mental health help out physical health. We know that meditation, mindfulness, and managing stress have a powerful affect on our bodies. Keeping up with needed physical exams is also critical.

We need to continue to learn and use coping skills that work for us. Not everyone is the same. Keep testing and trying different things until you find what works for you. It will pay off in big benefits in the long run.

A Challenging time

climbing

It looks as if we are coming to the end of a long journey. My husband knew his knee needed help August a year ago. He saw an orthopedist who scheduled surgery for January…quite a wait. The road to this surgery was rocky. As a nurse I think the physician did not want to do this surgery since for the next four months he came up with one hurdle after another. Feeling this was not the right path we cancelled and made an appointment with the Mayo Clinic. We had to wait until June for an appointment but since then things have gone smoothly and his surgery will be next Tuesday.

This has been a long journey for us both. The knee fix is complex and we are definitely at the right place. We have both had to endure stress, frustration and a worsening of my husband’s pain.

The year also posed some family crises and other stressful times. The good news is that, God willing, we are heading to some healing.

what will beThe other good news is that in spite of all the things this year put in front of me I got through it. There have been some times of anxiety and physical symptoms but each one was conquered and I was able to move on. Writing helped and I find that it is an outlet for the things that come up day to day.  It will continue to be my place for reflection and ideas. It is a joy to have others read and respond.

Now I will face the next week with the hope that all will go well. Then we can begin the process of picking up the pieces and moving forward.

 

We are all HOLY

Medicine is what we do to keep the patient amused whilst nature takes its course. Voltaire

not just a body I heard this today and thought how true it is. Medicine can do a great deal but it can’t fix everything. How someone responds to the help that medicine gives relies on so many things. If we have damage somewhere how do we feel about it? People have died just because of a belief that they would. People who were supposed to die have survived because they believed in something more.

We are not a bunch of single parts cobbled together. We are deeply integrated organisms composed of body, mind, soul and spirit. We cannot separate any part from the whole. One of the mistakes that medicine makes is to think that fixing the mechanics only can solve the problem. Our system has been based on this belief for too long. Some doctors and hospitals are beginning to come around to the idea of treating the whole person. When this happens the chance of complete healing increases exponentially.

We are such intricate beings. There is much more to us than is usually considered. Medicine that is beginning to function holistically is a positive change.

you-body-mind-soul-spirit-simple-mind-map-personal-growth-86576844It is so easy to forget that the words whole and holistic are all connected to the word holy. As a living being we are holy and should always be treated with love, respect and awe. When we reach the time when this is done we will be truly healing.

Are we ready for these decisions?

experimentToday we went to see the movie Jurassic World. If you have seen the other Jurassic movies you get the gist of the story. I have pondered since the first movie on the theme that runs through them…”what are we doing to our world?” As part of my nursing career I worked for a while in Neonatal Intensive Care. That was a long time ago and yet we were already struggling with many ethical issues. Were we saving babies whose quality of life would not make sense? When is enough…enough?

We are still struggling with consuming issues in medical ethics. In the films it is portrayed by creating animals long gone and what is the impact of this on our current world? This comes from our continuing research into the very basics of life…studies of DNA, cells and beyond. What do we see for the future? Will be creating people with specific characteristics? Will we be able to live forever? Is any of this a good idea?

The ramifications of where we are in biological studies is way beyond my ability to decipher. The scary part is that the decisions will work their way out of anyone’s ability to oversee them. We will try with laws but there are always those who don’t follow the law.

ethical-considerations-in-clinical-trials-11-728

The things we are learning can be wonderfully enlightening and heal many genetic illnesses. The cure for cancer may not be far away.

Unfortunately these things can be used for evil as well. We may yet create a master race.

I can add this to my list of things to worry about for my children, grandchildren and great grandchild. That’s just in case I have nothing to obsess about.

How do you foresee us handling the ethical issues facing us very soon?

The calm in the storm

I have just finished reading the blogs I missed in the last few days. WOW! everyone has written a lot. I think that is the most I have read since I began this journey., So many inspiring and thoughtful things to read!

Our journey to discover what comes next is complete and we finally have some answers. My husband’s surgery is scheduled for September and “the planner” (me) can stop obsessing. Reservations are in place and I can draw a deep breath and let go of my angst.

It is amazing how not knowing can turn me into a cartoon of panic.

anatomy of panic

Using the tricks I have learned to defuse my anxiety helped while waiting for the doctor to tells us the prognosis and plan….I closed my eyes and concentrated on my breathing. It actually helped! You would think I was waiting for the physician to declare my husband terminal instead of telling us what they would do about the 21 year old artificial knee that needed something done. What an idiot I am. And a nurse! (Maybe that makes it worse.)

The Mayo Clinic is amazing. Efficiency plus, people oriented with smiles and help everywhere. I have worked in hospitals …if only they were all like this. Information given about the knee…clear, concise and through. Not what happened at home. A real plan for the surgery not just “we’ll open it up and see what needs to be done” which is what we heard before. (one of the reasons we went to Mayo)

sometimes-god-calms-the-stormI wonder what I can find to obsess about now that this is on the radar. Life never leaves us untouched for long but I thank God for this hiatus. There can be times of calm in the midst of the storm. Keep that in mind.