Time to Make More Lemonade

Lemonade pitcherAs you know, I am blogging about my experiences during my recovery from brain surgery. Well, now something has happened that gives me the need to blog about another event. My husband has been diagnosed with bladder cancer. He spent the last 5 days in ICU and is home now and feeling well. Our next step is to see a bladder cancer specialist at the University of Utah. So far we don’t know how serious it is or what the plan of treatment will be. So we are just taking one day at a time. Life is certainly handing us lemons lately, and I am getting overdosed on lemonade!

I am feeling well. My pulsing vision has still not gone away, but I have until May when I see the eye surgeon again, so there is still time for it to clear up. I am fatigued, but I take plenty of naps and have learned to take care of myself and not overdo things. I am just glad I am able to be with my husband and support him through his experience. He has certainly supported me. Ain’t love great?

Angels Among Us

Some friends were visiting a few days ago and I told them the story of my out of body experience. When I cam to the part where I laid my head in the lap of a nurse in the OR, my friend suggested it may not have been an earthly nurse, but it may have been an angel. I thought that was a cool way to think about it. Then just yesterday another friend called and said almost the exact same thing. I thought that was a very big coincidence. When I got off the phone I was looking out the window and my eye caught on a wind catcher I have, which is a depiction of an angel. Then I was drawn to a piece of art I have on the wall which also depicts angels. Then at Sunday School our teacher quoted a scripture about angels! So my conclusion is that God is directing me toward angels, and I need to pay attention. I know angels watch over us and I am thankful for that.

Dreaming

car crash   bwI have studied the meaning of dreams over the last several years. My  husband and I used to moderate a dreamwork group at our house, and I teach dreamwork at the AHNA annual conference. I used to be a member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams. So I know a little about dreams. Last night I had a memorable one. Here it is: My husband is driving me to JC Penney’s to get a new outfit for work. About half way there I tell him we need to go back home because I will be late for work. It is to be my first day and I want to be on time. He says we have plenty of time and I say no, I still need to take a shower and get ready. Right after that a blue truck comes right at us head on. It hits our right headlight and spins out of control. My husband and I are not hurt at all, not even jarred. As the truck comes to a rest, I look over and see a woman passenger and a man driving. They are very calm and obviously not injured. There was something about them that was sort of friendly. Interestingly, I think that the accident would work as an excuse to be late for work that day, and I am relieved.

I worked the dream with my husband and have come to the conclusion so far that the dream is telling me that it will still be awhile before I can go back to work. It was interesting that the truck hit our headlight, symbolizing my eyesight. I’m a little disturbed that it hit my right eye, which is my “good” eye at this point. I also think the people in the truck symbolized my care providers and  how they are good people and mean the best for me, but my current condition is a bit of a car wreck. And it’s OK that I’m not working yet. The fenders (my vision) will be repaired. Patience is key. If you have any ideas about the meaning of the dream, please add a comment.

I also found a scripture about patience this week. Jesus said,”In your patience possess ye your souls.” (Luke 21:19). I’m not sure exactly what that means, but it stands out for me. I tell people that I am learning patience, but I’m sure not learning it fast enough! Dreaming about it helps.

Healthy Lifestyles

GIAMy husband and I went to a Healthy Lifestyles expo and had a great time. There were  a lot of integrative health practitioners, and “alternative” therapies, like essential oils, juices, alkaline water, etc. Due to my experience with integrative health, I was fairly familiar with most of the information provided by vendors. Interestingly, we ran into three people we know. Salt Lake City is huge, so we didn’t  really expect to see anyone we know. I think in some ways it shows how mainstream integrative healing is becoming. The picture I posted is of me and Sue Gronberg, from GIA Wellness.  We had fun catching up and talking about electromagnetism and hydration. Who wouldn’t love that?

Our Health Care System

CT ScanI accompanied my husband this morning while he got a CT scan for kidney stones. It was a reversal of roles, since he is the one that has accompanied me to lab tests for over 7 months now. While we were in the waiting room, a woman was told that her insurance would not cover her imaging test so she decided not to get it done. I hope it was not a life-threatening problem she was having. I felt bad for her and her husband. They were very disappointed but had no intention of getting the test if it wasn’t covered. Our health care system is pretty messed up. Insurance companies are overriding care provider decisions. The woman was advised to talk to her physician about the test cancellation, but what can be done if the insurance  company thinks they are smarter than her physician? I am on COBRA and it  costs almost $2000 per month to keep it. I just do not want to get a new policy that will most likely have a high deductible. However, when I get well I will probably switch and take my chances. Health and healing are mysterious, and so is our health care system.

Have Courage and Be Kind

Cinderella blue dressI saw the Cinderella movie and loved it. A recurring theme was “Have courage and be kind.” When I first heard it I didn’t think the two elements matched up well. But as the movie progressed, I realized that having courage can be difficult and challenging, but pairing it with being kind is a beautiful way to live a holistic, well-balanced life. It’s funny how those fairy tales work! I was also reminded how important it is to be yourself, and accept others as themselves. It was a great evening of learning and reflection. Thank you Disney.

There are Good Days and Bad Days

good enoughYesterday was a “bad” day and today is a “good” day. Yesterday I felt exhausted, nauseated, still had urinary tract infection symptoms, and mostly just watched TV. Today I cleaned 2 bathrooms,did a little gardening, and felt just a little tired. OK I  still watched a lot of TV. Anyway, I need to quit labeling my days!  Because, really, every day is a good day, right? There is always something to learn. I think the reason I like to label bad days is because they make my good days look even better. New strategy: Label the bad days as “good enough” and it will make my good days look fabulous. As usual, it’s all about attitude, eh?

Busy Day for a Change

RefrigeratorYesterday was exciting because I did 3 projects!  First, I took a Tai Chi exercise class at the Senior Center followed by 30 minutes of walking on the track at the gym. Then when I got home I watched some TV as usual to recover my energy. Second, I cleaned out the refrigerator. Who likes to do that? There were things in there that expired a long time ago. Yuk! And we’ve got 6 jars of pickles! Then I took a nap. And  third, I  did some yard work in the front yard. Spring is beginning to show and there are lots of leftovers from last  year that need to be cleared out. I did a bunch of raking and pulling grass out of the flower beds. I was very surprised at how tired I got very quickly. After about 15 minutes my husband said he was going to the bank and I immediately said, “Can I go?” I got in the car and totally collapsed. After the bank we went to the grocery store and the health food store. When we got home I finished the yard work and spent the rest of the evening on the couch, until some wonderful friends came over for a visit. Not bad! That’s the most I’ve done for the past 7 months. Yippee!!! I can’t say I’m back to normal, but I’m on the road. My vision seemed a bit better last night too. So all in all it was a great day. Now I just need to finish that yard  work… and the laundry … and clean the stove … and the list goes on…

 

Drink Lots of Water

water glass clip artA few days ago I knew I had something wrong but decided to flush it away with lots of water and other natural remedies. I could have gone to a physician on Tuesday afternoon but kept telling myself stories like it was all my imagination and would go away. The bottom line is I didn’t want to spend the money and time to be treated. Well, and you already guessed how this ended, I got super sick on Tuesday night, lots of pain, and my husband took me to an urgent care center where I was diagnosed with a severe urinary tract infection. I got an antibiotic and when the physician asked if I wanted pain meds I said YES YES YES. I spent the next day pretty much in bed or on the couch and I’m feeling well now. For all I know about alternative remedies, sometimes (okay, most times) I just have to give in and seek medical attention. That’s what integrative health care is about – the use of both models for prevention and treatment. I am glad I had a physician handy, and I’m also glad that I’ve got other remedies handy, and I use them both. And sometimes one works better and quicker than the other. I’m fine with that. Get it? I’m fine. And drinking lots of water.

Wait and See

Wait and see big lettersWait and See. Get it? If I wait long enough, I’ll be able to see! I saw an ocular surgeon today and he explained to me again that my left eye is pulsing with the brain through a gap left by the meningioma surgery. He can place some plastic in the gap that should reduce or eliminate the pulsing. However, he thought it would be wise to wait a couple of months to see if my dura (brain lining) toughens up and if scar tissue develops to buffer my eyeball from my brain.  I will go back to him in May to see if the pulsing has decreased. If not, the surgery will be scheduled for June or July. So I will now wait and see. I’ve decided to use affirmations, afformations (affirmations in the form of a question), and prayer to get my vision back and avoid surgery. I will visualize scar tissue forming in the gap and my vision returning to normal. Sound good? This will be fun. The good news here is that now I know what I’m waiting for, and I have a goal and something to visualize. Wish me luck!