July 12, 2013
I've must thank my parents for my wonderful genes. I have been incredibly healthy for all these years. One operation or procedure in my life -- a tonsillectomy when I was about eight and a broken collarbone about the same age which wasn't diagnosed until it was healed. Of course, birthing three children (and one 10 lbs) was no mean feat. But, I am forever grateful for never breaking a bone or having a mental collapse or something that was large and foreboding. It was bad enough having a daughter break her elbow while Don and I were at a church meeting. She was riding on a big, round plastic drum in my sister's backyard, and she fell off. I think that was our only visit to the ER with a child. Of course, when your children have any ailments, you wish you could just suffer the pain and trauma for them instead.
I also have a new doctor since my long time Bellingham guy retired. I've tried a few in his practice, but decided instead to try Dani's doctor across town. I really liked her, but have only seen her once. However, I have had some kind of pressure on my right side over my hip, and so I decided to check it out. Dr. Andert is very pleasant and looked me over, then decided I should have a CT Scan to take a look. And, I should have it that day or the next. I've never had a scan -- what is it like? Will they find lots of problems? Of course, the anxiety took over since this is a new territory for me.
I went from her office to get blood drawn (never a problem even when Don hated needles), and then to get some awful stuff to drink -- well, it went down, but not what I would choose to drink. Chalky! Then, I had to go to get the scan in the later afternoon. The scan was nothing much, except that the anxiety rose when I found that they were injecting dye to check my organs because my creatinan level was borderline.
My doctor called two hours later. All looked fine and they can't find any reason for the pressure. However, as in people over 70, there were a few items to note -- 1) I have a Hiatial Hernia (which I already knew about), 2) I have a tiny hernia behind my belly button, and 3) I have a bit of arthritis in my lower back. I found out the next day that my Vitamin D levels (a test I asked them to include) shows me below the lowest amount of Vitamin D even though I take 2,000 mg. a day and have for over a few years. So, now I have to up the dosage for 8 weeks until my levels are restored.
That's it -- I was relieved although I knew my symptoms were not painful nor were there accompanying symptoms of any kind. But, I realized that not having gone through much medical stuff other than regular checkups means that I really have no experience in handling my own serious concerns. I think I did fairly well with my parents and with Don's illnesses and medical procedures, but I have no perspective or even strategies for anxiety or handling myself which can go from mild concern to panic in a short hop. Nothing wrong with my imagination!
I must learn to do this better as I age. Of course, I have a great support team in my family, but more stuff will come, and I want to do it well. I told Dani, I feel good knowing that everything between my butt and my breasts seems to be functioning right -- but who knows what lurks in the far corners.
I continue to be thankful as I go on my life's journey. Thankful for a body that is definitely aging and creaking more and more, but is still carrying me along in life. Thankful for living in a time when medicine is discovering more answers daily and when a CT Scan taken in a few moments can show what your body is doing. Grateful for fresh vegetables and fruit and all the good stuff that is available to eat. Just damn grateful -- that's it!
July 4, 2013
Happy Fourth of July!!!
I got up this morning, took a shower, and searched for my 4th of July shirt that I have worn for at least 20 years. You might think that is a long time to wear one shirt -- but, hey, I only wear it on 4th of July. If I take a picture later today, I'll post it. It has red stripes on the body of the shirt, one sleeve with blue stars and one sleeve with blue stripes. I have always loved it.
I have been painting and scraping my bathroom. It is hell living in a 100 year old house -- impossible to get all the dents and scrapes out of a 100 year old door. But, I'm on a roll. However, I have declared this day a holiday. Well, I know it is a holiday -- but I'm taking it by am not doing one iota of work other than making some ice cream and cooking some shrimp and salmon for a dinner that Dani & co. and friend, Marilyn, are contributing. Some of Dani's friends are also coming for fireworks. I think a day of just cooking and eating (and maybe some reading) is a holiday indeed.
But, my mind plays tricks. If I have a whole day, why not weed the absolutely terrible part of my front yard that is embarrassing because I haven't touched it for two months. Why not begin sorting books? Pay some bills? Why is it so very hard for me to just take a holiday??? Do I have to go away from home to do so? It would help if I were in the middle of some consuming mystery. Alas, I'm trying to get through a book for book club that isn't holding my interest.
I always think of special holidays of time to set aside my day to day activities and to think about my blessings. Being born into this country is a big one. Being born into a loving family is another with a great sister & her family, as well as our aunts, uncles, and cousins. Having a smart, creative, and punny husband was a really big one. Three adult children that make me proud, their spouses whom I dearly love, and five stunning grandchildren that make me laugh and cry are the frosting on the already abundant cake. I'm grateful today -- grateful for all I have -- for my country, for my family and friends, for my faith, and for living in abundance.
Happy Fourth of July.