I’m sitting here this morning (actually, a couple of days ago), doing my morning routine: shower, dress, morning rituals, medications, the all-important diet soda, the GiA blog, reading other blogs, news and emails…
Waiting for the stopping point. When my muscle pain and diabetic neuropathy kick in! Sometimes in an hour, sometimes more.
Pain in my extremities, feet, legs and even hindquarters. From SITTING for chrissake!
AND, I already took medications!
And I remember being young. Well, younger…
Lifting weights, walking long distances, jogging, karate – even with a fused hip! And the hot shower accompanied by perhaps a couple aspirin did the trick.
Well it did in my 30’s.
But alas, no more.
And I remember older people from my youth, whining and complaining about this pain or that ailment, and me having no understanding.
And even thinking it was funny.
Karma IS a heartless bitch!
And then I think of Bob, a recent 1/2 leg amputee currently braving throat cancer, and my attitude improves…
Gratitude, my friends, is the key!
I’m quietly resting on my laurels, thinking the ‘chores’ (a word from childhood I loathe!) are completed, when the lady of the house says to me,
“We have more plants to move in the back yard so the painters can access the walls.”
But, it must be done. After all, if we don’t move the stuff, the walls won’t get properly painted. And, I’m certain, the HOA would try to fine us for noncompliance with the bylaws. (Being a townhouse H.O.A. and all!)
So, it’s back out into the yard for us! Sigh.
Fortunately, we didn’t have THAT much to do. Mostly pry a large, overgrown yucca from it’s perch and move it about six feet away from the wall.
Using a shovel, hand truck and brute force.
(Note to self – Yucca are SHARP!)
BUT, we accomplished the task. Here is a picture of the side of the yard, showing about half the plants, tools, cacti and succulents we moved:
And, of course, once the painting, exterior maintenance and noise are completed, we will get to move everything BACK!
As my Dad used to say, no rest for the wicked!
I just arose from a short nap. J. got home about noon, and was tired after her early morning angiography. So, we adjourned to our bedrooms and sacked out.
Even though I normally arise between 6 and 7, 4:30 was a bit much this morning to see her off! I’ve not been outside since I took a quick trip to get sausage biscuits and hash browns this morning at 10 AM.
It was well over 90° then…
Here I am, catching up on email and such, when a news blip appears on my cellular telephone:
@3:08 PM, local meteorologists determined we met the record for this date, in The Valley Of The Sun.
Now, I’m not one to complain about the heat. My parents brought me here, but, as an adult I’ve chosen to stay here. And I’ve a car with a broken air conditioner.
Won’t hear me b*tch about the heat – no sirree!
I get to wear short-sleeves most Christmases.
But, I suspect oven mitts to handle the steering wheel and ingress/egress of the car are currently in order.
(not a complaint!)
J. came home without having a blockage or a stent placed. As long as we can celebrate without going anywhere, I’m happy!
I’ve never liked referring to myself as disabled. Or the politically-correct differently-abled. Even now that the State and my private insurance have labelled me as such. I’m just uncomfortable so doing.
I haven’t even bothered to get one of those disabled license plates or mirror hangers. Other people need them more than I. :-)
I’m just me.
But, there are some things difficult and nearly impossible for me to do without some kind of assistance.
One of my ‘problems’ having a fused right hip (and imperfect right knee) is putting on socks. I have been known to perform a kind of modified hurdlers stretch, bending my leg back and reaching behind me with a sock one-handed.
Believe me when I say doing this isn’t quick, easy or comfortable.
Enter The Sock Thingy 2.0. This is the name I’ve given it.
One curls the black part into a sock, which holds it open, then dangles it to insert the foot in the opening, and pull up on the straps – viola’!
My only complaint is Sock Thingy 1.0 was made of thin plastic and terrycloth, and eventually broke. It was quite comfortable, but replaced with the 2.0. The 2.0 model is hard plastic. Much more durable, but less comfortable, too.
At least it helps!
(It occurred to me while dressing this morning that some others of you might have a need for such an aid(?)
FTC – neither Amazon or Duro-Med have given me anything. Put on your own socks!
and don’t bother to come back another day! :-(
To be honest, pain is only part of the equation. Most of the problem is annoyance!
Yes, I have chronic diabetic neuropathy in my feet, legs and hands. Sometimes it’s barely noticeable; other times more so. And arthritis. I can usually tell how a given day will go, when I awaken pain free, and reflexively open and close my fists.
If doing so is relatively pain-free, then moving to exit the bed is predicted to be so, also!
This morning, I had pain upon awakening. While still horizontal. Before opening and closing my hands.
And my knees were throbbing.
My doc recently took me off an oral diabetes med, which is a good thing! (YEA!) But, she also restricted my intake of ibuprofen, not as good! I still take the bp and cholesterol meds.
Can’t have everything!
I just took three OTC IB pills – I used to take SIX, two or three times a day. This makes 9 pills in 6 weeks! Along with my prescription pain meds.
And, I get to go in to an outpatient clinic next month, get put unconscious and have them run a camera down my throat! To see if my esophagus has healed from earlier reflux damage.
Or if any cancer is present. (I’ve had both skin cancer and lymphoma – this could be the hat trick!)
And I’m on Medicare, so a 20% copay is required.
Which, on my disability, I do not have.
The future appears to hold pain, more doctor visits, and more bills.
I try to focus on others in my circle coping with much worse situations. Bob H., for example, who just lost the lower part of his left leg/foot, and will soon be fitted for a prosthesis.
Bob is doing well, particularly in his ATTITUDE!
THIS is why my crap is just an annoyance, and not a problem! :-)
I posted a few days ago regarding losses – specifically the loss of my daughter, and a good friend’s loss of most of his lower left leg and foot.
Hardly an upbeat read.
However, Life is not just loss. Life also gives us lessons!
Since I heard from my good friend Bob regarding his diabetic amputation surgery, I’ve tried to contact him. We exchanged texts initially a couple of times, and he advise me he would call.
I feared the worst.
So, I took it upon myself to call him. Not to incessantly badger him (thinking he was busy enough) but once a week, just to check-in on him and his condition. And attitude.
And I ended up leaving messages. And this concerned me.
Bob returned yesterday’s message last night. I needn’t have been concerned.
Bob – (my former PI and gun store boss) was in great spirits! YES, he did lose his left foot and about 12″ of lower leg. And yes, he has a long, painful recovery and rehab ahead.
But he was not only doing physically well – he was doing well emotionally and spiritually, too!
Now, Bob would be the first to tell you he is not a religious guy. And not the most spiritual. But he almost lost his life to sepsis, and took his survival to mean he is supposed to remain here a while longer.
And not wallow in his losses.
He is fortunate to have the great support of his wife and two daughters. And his brother. And he reminded of previous losses and near-death experiences he has suffered.
AND HE SEES THIS AS YET ANOTHER CHANCE TO REDEEM HIMSELF!
Or, in the words of his parents (both deceased), “Put on your big boy panties and get on with it!”
And his is and has.
And, he reminded me (indirectly) that I have similar lessons. I, too, have had losses, and near-death experiences. And I have wallowed. Or more specifically whined.
I might lose some benefits. So what? Big boy panties are available for the wearing.
Bob has set an example for me to try and emulate.
I’m in whine mode.
(I know I said at the outset that I wouldn’t use this weblog for therapy, but, hell, it’s my blog, so here goes…)
Why? Not only do I not have any funds to get neat presents for friends and family, but, I’ve no one with whom to share the non-materialistic parts of the holidays. One terrific couple I know gifted me with a cool assortment of cheeses and beers (including Lindeman’s raspberry ale!), and all I could give them in response was a small bag of garlic goldfish.
Hardly an even trade.
I love my sister and her kids, and her kid’s kids dearly, but going to a family celebration alone with certain people in absentia is always painful.
Now it’s the downhill slide from the New Year, to Molly’s birthday, to the anniversary of the accident, in March.
We’re told the best way to get out of this kind of funk is to create a gratitude list. So here goes…
I’ve a roof over my head, and a working car. Thanks to my friends! I’m on Medicare. I’ve disability benefits, which, while in no way am I rich, I can buy food, gas, and pay rent. I’ve a select group of friends, both locally and on the Internet, who help out whenever they can. Many of these friends have gone above and beyond – for years – when I am unable to give back in kind.
This must mean something.
I’m disabling comments for this post. Because, in lieu of giving me an Internet “there-there”, or a virtual hug (or a kick in the pants), please stop for a moment and create your own gratitude list.
Much of Arizona is a desert. That is, by definition, an arid wasteland, in a state of permanent drought. The ONLY reason The Valley of the Sun (Phoenix and her environs) have any population at all, is by copying what the primitive Indians did, before Coronado came.
This is the end of the time of year known as The Monsoon, wherein it’s hot, but more humid, permeated by occasional rain. Often nightly, after the Sun goes down, and the less heat allows the cumulus clouds surrounding the Valley to invade. Sadly, in our particular part of town (I suspect because of the heat island effect) the clouds and rain largely avoid us.
Or perhaps it’s just they’re being ornery…
But, there are exceptions:
Last night, on my cellular telephone, with no way to turn off the alarm except shutting it off entirely…
Imminent Severe Alert (2:56 AM)
Flash Flood Warning this area til 4:45 AM MST
Avoid flood areas. Check local media – NWS (National
Repeated at 4:27 AM and 6:27 AM, extending the warnings until 6:30 AM and 10:30 AM, respectively!
(this is why I’m a bit late posting this morning; kept going back to sleep, only to be again awakened by the weather alarms!)
And this is what in front of the townhouse looked like @ 7:13 AM!
This is usually all grass, with a basketball court in the center. I’m thinking the pool to the left of the photo is under water!
We finally got rain! ‘Course, we’re not going anywhere.
Yeah, it’s a song title, above.
Sometimes, I get down on myself, because I once had a wife, a daughter, a home, a ‘career’.
No wife, no daughter, no ‘career’ (I’m disabled). I DO
have share a home, though.
And that’s my point.
Living Freedom recently had a posting entitled
It mentioned traits of folks down-on-their-luck who, if they are not thriving, do more than just survive.
I could have been worse off than I am. I lost my home as my income decreased, and a good friend took me in.
But, that’s not my point.
MY POINT IS I’M GRATEFUL FOR HER HAVING DONE SO!
Certainly, I wish things could be different. It would be nice to have a wife, to have my daughter back. To have my house back. To have the income I once had.
But, not being a child, I know wishing doesn’t make it so.
So (most days) I choose GRATITUDE!
“Here’s a line of peasants leaving Rancho Malario, to make room for YOU!” (from the Firesign Theatre, having little to do with the following post… NO, where I live is NOT Rancho Malario!)
Well, my lovely roomie has decided to move her unfinished, unrestored, ’62 Chevrolet Corvair Wagon to it’s proper place in the resident’s storage lot immediately West of our townhouse! (I’m certain complaints about it being an eyesore to the HOA from anonymous, whining neighbors had nothing to do with her decision.) Her dream was to have it fully restored to cosmetic and drivable condition, but, unfortunately, financial considerations got in the way.
(This was a car she and her last husband acquired and drove together in the 90’s, before his untimely demise in an industrial accident. As such, it’s a proper memory of him, and represents why she hasn’t just sold it to some collector.)
This means I’m able to move my recently-made-drivable 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue to the second spot under the resident’s covered parking, and out of the direct sunlight! In most regions, this would be no big deal, but in the sunny Valley-Of-The-Sun (temperature today 105) this is a BIG DEAL!
Especially as while drivable, the Olds remains un-airconditioned, so every little bit helps!
In other news, my roomie is leaving today for her sister’s in California for a well-deserved vacation and to conduct some family business. This means once again, I am the Dog (and Cat) Wrangler! – now with Puppy!
Not a problem, as they love me and I them, and this gives us a break from each other.
AND I GET TO PARK IN THE SHADE – WOO-HOO!