Archive for October, 2011

Unexpected Lessons

October 28, 2011

It has been a very interesting two weeks, not anything I would like to repeat, thank you very much.  First it was me, I went to bed one night and suddenly was dizzy as I started to lie down.  Whoa, this is familiar and I am not happy about it.  I had a middle ear infection a couple of times in the past and the doc couldn’t do anything but give me something for the symptoms – dizziness, headache and nausea.  He said it would go away in 10 days.  The first few days were a little rough, had to watch how I bent in any direction as well as lying down or changing positions.  It did dissipate and I was fine.  This time I was moving slowly but doing well, went to my networking breakfast group, then had a lovely coffee morning with a friend  When I got up to make a pitstop, suddenly I had a terrible headache and upset stomach.  I found myself overwhelmingly tired as well – now that was a new one on me.  I managed to drive home safely ready to head for bed.  Didn’t quite make it because I had a couple of things waiting for me at home.   At one point I fell fast asleep in the chair and that helped a bit, but I was in bed by 8:30 that night.  I slept well and was better the next day, though still being aware of how I bent  in any direction.  All this on top of having a lot of neck and shoulder pain again – I had a project for a client and I was on the computer too long.

That was me.  About 4 am Monday morning I woke up and hear my Mom calling – she had fallen and was having trouble getting up.  I called 911 and asked for help – I specifically asked them to come quietly, no sirens or lights.   They were great and when Mom’s hip hurt when they lifted her, they called an ambulance to take her to the ER.  Then I got dressed and went down to see her.  I am happy to report no broken bones, just bad bruising and unfortunately compressed discs in her lower back from arthritis.  They were very good to her and it was a quiet time while we were there.  They gave her prescriptions for an anti-inflammatory and Vicodin for the pain.  I took her home and tucked her into bed, then went out for the scripts.  I gave her the pain pill and she slept most of the day and night.  She was a little better the next day but the 2nd day got to her, so it was not the easiest day.   I know from my own experience that the 2nd day is usually the worst, the day after it can feel as if I have “gotten away with it”.  It is now Friday and she is doing a lot better.  My big concern was that she wouldn’t be able to do thngs for herself, I am not physically able to help her and I wondered what I would do to take care of what was necessary.

I am rather pleased with myself, I didn’t get all panicky and scared when it happened, nor when I was in the ER and even since Mom has been home.  My goodness, I have finally grown up!  I suddenly realize I have been dealing with my own stuff and also with Mom and I don’t feel worried or scared.  I will admit to an odd moment or more of “what if?” but I took myself in hand and concentrated on being just in that moment.  At that moment I was safe, Mom was safe, Eddie was safe and we are doing well.   I had never really done that  before and while in that moment I called on God, my angels, spirits, guides and master teachers to be with me to help and guide me through this.  So far I have been calm and at peace, though a bit stir crazy once in awhile.   So I have been comfortable leaving Mom for a little bit to do what I needed to do and have a little alone time for myself.  However, Monday is MY day and I am spending it with my good friend Kathie at Olypmus Spa to soak in hot tubs, steamrooms, whatever feels good.  Mom will have her ladies, so she won’t be alone.

I’ve realized I am now the parent, doing what Mom used to do for us girls when we were growing up.  Before it was just a word I didn’t want to think about or acknowledge, but now it is here right in front of me.  I realized I wasn’t alone, Eddie has been great helping with things, I knew her doctor was there if I needed anything or had questions and I also know someone whose business is providing help for people in their homes.  It has been quite an experience, one I do not want to repeat, but it has given me more confidence in myself.

Button, Buttons, Buttons

October 9, 2011

I was so pleased to see my sisters when they came for Mom’s birthday.  I don’t see them very often and it was fun to be together for a few days.  Mom was very glad to see them, though she did seem a bit overwhelmed at times.  One of the gifts they brought was an objective view of how things are working here – Eddie and I are too close to see it with objectivity.  It was gratifying to hear them say how well we deal with Mom, that we are very good with her.  They said how patient we are – I will admit I get impatient and sometimes it sneaks out in spite of my efforts.  Ellen made a very valuable observation – I realized when she said it that it has been going around in my brain but I didn’t have words for it.  She observed that  when Mom has too much coming at her, she gets agitated and feisty ( my paraphrase) so she suggested not expecting her to always understand exactly.  I realized I have been expecting logic and sense as well as wanting to be right about things;  I would get irritated and frustrated when it didn’t happen.  As Dr. Phil says “And how’s that working for you?”.  Sounds like we push each other’s buttons.

Speaking of buttons, another things Ellen talked about was buttons.  She had wanted to be in solitary contemplation and the head person said to her “Oh no dear, you don’t want to do that”.  She explained that it is important to live in a community with other people until you have your rough edges smoothed off, otherwise you will slice yourself to death on those rough edges.  You come across all kinds of people, including people who drive you crazy and push your buttons.  The objective is to come to the point where you no longer have buttons to push.  I started thinking about it visualized a row of buttons from my throat to my root chakra.  Then I realized I probably have a double row at times and possibly down both legs.  Depends on the situation.  Then I visualized a button fading until it wasn’t there any more – now, do I have to label the buttons so I know which ones are fading?  There I go again, overthinking it and wanting the hows, whys and wherefores in great detail.  That’s my need to “get it right”, or is it fear of being wrong.  Add one huge button for that in the middle of my forehead.

I have realized lately that most of my buttons are on autopilot – something happens and I am angry but not sure how it happened or why.  One thing I am learning in working with Debye in my  massage is where some of this is coming from.  A lightbulb went on in one session when I realized a lot of it is from childhood and my little girl who didn’t know how to deal with it.  I have gathered up in my arms and put her in my heart so she is safe.  Now I know that I am the adult and my job is to love her and protect her so she can be carefree and play in the sunshine.  Her perception was so different from the facts, but she didn’t know that.  So now when something comes up, the first things I do is to hug my little girl and tell her she is fine, she doesn’t have to worry or deal with it, I am here to protect her.  I haven’t gotten it down pat yet – I still react rather than think it through objectively, but I am getting better at comforting my little girl first.  I may not know the exact trigger at the time, so I have to think if this is really about me or not.  I tend to take responsibility for everything and everyone – it’s not my job.  What a relief to know that.

When my husband and mother argue a bit, I no longer feel I have to referee or make them feel better afterwards.  Old habits are to break, now I let them work it out because “I don’t have a dog in the fight”.  From Ike Pono I learned “I care, but not so much”.  Which translated is, I care but I am not going to tie myself up in knots about it.  It doesn’t help anyone to do that, my past experience definitely shows me that.  I am also learning that often, it isn’t about me and not to take it personally.  Oh my, that is a big button for me.  I am getting a college level course in that with my Mom.  Living in the house I grew up in with my husband and my mother is a guaranteed button pusher.  At times I feel caught in the middle – maybe that is how moms feel with growing kids and a husband.  My Mom is 93 and  seems to be more of a little girl than an adult – except she knows what being an adult is like.  So I have become the parent (reluctantly) and no experience being a parent.  As she has gotten more and more confused and bewildered, she comes out with the most surprising things.  Sometimes it is funny, sometimes if it hurtful.   So now I am learning more about it’s not about me and not to take it personally.  I am doing better than I was at the beginning, but I find at times it takes me by surprise  and all my buttons are firing.  The good news is, some of them are fading a little and I am slowly getting better at handling it.  There is still a long way to go but I have come a long way.

The Party Continued

October 2, 2011

For a birthday celebration we didn’t really plan too much, it turned out to be quite busy.  Sunday was a quiet day for all of us except Eddie – he went up early to the Future of Flight for the delivery of the 1st 787 and I didn’t see him until Tuesday afternoon.  Our neighbor Luzma next came by in the afternoon to ask if we liked ribs – we said yes and thought no more about it.  Candy and Ellen went for a walk and a while later Luzma appeared with ribs, potato salad, baked beans, BBQ sauce and corn muffins. When Ellen and Candy came back, the five of sat down for a delicious and messy meal.  We all had a good time and really didn’t want much to eat later.

Monday it was pouring all day – no big surprise in Seattle.  We all go on the theory “If you wait for a sunny day to do things, you won’t be doing very much”.  Unless it is blowing a gale or torrential rain, we go out and do whatever the weather.  Ellen invited us all out for lunch at Anthony’s Home Port in Des Moines. We had a table by the window looking out over the marina – wonder why there wasn’t much activity.  We were warm and dry, enjoying a lovely lunch and each others company while the rain came down.  A very delightful and unexpected treat.  We came home and decided to watch a video in the afternoon – Ellen had given Mom one about living with bears.  It was a 3 part – we saw the first two parts Spring and Summer.  It was delightful and quite amazing that in the back woods of Minnesota, researchers working to conserve  and protect black bears were able to be among them without a problem.  Gordon Buchanan was able to film the bears up close once they  recognized him.  He followed one particular young mother and her cub during filming, as the young came out of the den for the first time until it was time to hibernate for the winter.

We had a light dinner and watched the 2nd part – it was Wednesday afternoon by the time Mom and I watched the  3rd part.  Then Ellen and Candy had to pack and get ready to leave in the morning.  I had a breakfast and Showcase that morning, I was able to do it between 2 sisters.  Ellen needed to be at the airport by 7, the breakfast was at 8:30 at the race track and at 9:30 the Showcase was open.  So I had 2 hours to visit as many promotional suppliers I could – 2 hours of walking and standing on concrete really started to get to my knees and feet.  I didn’t have time to meet several suppliers I wanted to talk with, but I did pretty well for 2 hours.  I left around 11:30, was home by 12 – Candy and Mom had some alone time, so it worked out well.  We took her to the airport and dropped her at Departures and then we came home – we were both quite tired after a delightful weekend of birthday.  I was about to have a lie down around 1 or so and suddenly Eddie appeared, tired as well but had a great time.  The delivery went well even though Monday it poured, but a good time was had by all.

It has taken a few days for me to rest a bit, I was too tired to sleep at times and that doesn’t help.  The next three days I was up early, 2 networking meetings and Friday I saw the study doctor.  Looks like I may be coming to the end of the line – I am to go off the medical food and supplement for 6 weeks and then see him to let him know if there is any difference.  I was having trouble with the new capsule, my intestines didn’t seem to want to accept it gracefully.  I started it a year ago and I will say I am doing better than when I started.  I will also admit it is hard to remember back that far and how I felt – maybe it is true that pain has no memory.  I will continue doing a shake in the morning, I just have to decide what to put in it.  I have liquid calcium and liquid Vit D, I also can put in some yogurt, banana, maybe some whey protein powder, ground flax seed or chia seeds.  I bought some almond butter to put in a teaspoon or so, maybe a tablespoon.  We’ll see how it goes.  Instead of milk, I might do coconut milk.  I will file a report  in 6 weeks with the results.

As I was driving home from Gig Harbor – an hour away – I was listening to the alternative talk station KKNW.  They were talking about IDA, something new to me.  Who is IDA?  IDA is a what, a non-profit for Invisible Disabilities Association.  For those with chronic illness and similar conditions, most often we don’t look as if anything is wrong.  We look perfectly healthy and people don’t really understand the difficulties we have.  I feel I have been beating  my head against the wall for 40 years and now I have found a group who has been able to put it all together.  Hurray!!!!!!!!!  I have put up a profile in the autoimmune Disease group – I was amazed at all the different groups they have.  Check it out


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