Wednesday, May 8, 2024

I try to take one day at a time

but sometimes several days attack me at once.

I'm feeling attacked right now. Six years ago I had my right hip replaced. Earlier this year I was feeling the same kind of "ow" in my left hip. In April, it got bad. I went to Urgent Care and yep, I'm due for a new left hip. It's bone-on-bone there.

Here's the kicker: I went to the Ortho group attached to my primary care and I can get in for surgery in July. That means three months (from time of diagnosis) of disabling pain. 

I immediately tried to get appointments with the other two surgical options I have here, and will see those providers in mid-month. I'm hoping I can get in earlier than July. That's one of the downsides of being in a smaller metro area--not many options.

I am, essentially, disabled now. I used to walk 10K steps a day and went to the gym 4x a week. Now I cheer if I get 5K steps and the gym is on hold. I still lift weights (at home) and am doing leg exercises (gingerly) to prep for surgery. This ain't my first rodeo so I know what to expect.

I've had back pain all my life, but I can cope with that. But now I am hobbling and while the drugs I was prescribed somewhat mitigate the pain, it's always there. 

Paradoxically, this has made me realize how lucky I am. Let me count the ways:

(1) the first major (hopefully temporary) disaster in 71 years

(2) drugs

(3) I am not in a war zone nor am I a displaced person suffering like this

(4) I have a caregiver who can assist me

(5) drugs (it bears repeating)

(6) I have distractions: books, my writing, streaming TV.

But most of all, there's this: there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I know what is wrong and I know it can be fixed; perhaps not back to 100%, but better than now.

I imagine all those people who have chronic pain with no 'fix'. What must it be like to know that this is the best it gets? I have hopes I'll be better. How does someone who hasn't even been diagnosed feel? How desperate, how depressing, how mind-numbing that must be.

So yeah. My summer is sort of shot. But I have ice, drugs, heat, a home, a diagnosis, and a chance to get it fixed. I am so much better off than so many people and I know it.

But I still may whine now and then. 🤔

Friday, March 8, 2024

Brain cells come and brain cells go...

 ... but fat cells live forever.

I've always been an exerciser; every day, pretty much 360 days a year, I exercise. I either walk or go to the gym and lift weights, or I hop on my little ski machine -- something. It hasn't put a dent in that pesky 10 pounds I'd like to lose, but I am in pretty good shape for my age.

A friend of mine just started exercise. She goes to the gym 3x a week and finds that she enjoys it! Like me she just wants what I call 'occupational fitness' -- to be able to walk a bit without puffing, to get out of a chair unaided, to get up from the floor with a minimum amount of fuss. She is not a morning person, so she goes in late morning and goes out for lunch afterward.

I firmly believe that it's a matter of habit to do this; I get up in the morning, put on my 'gym clothes' and either go to the gym or head to the basement to hit the treadmill or ski machine. For her, it's planning her day to have the mid-day break. She could never have done that when she worked full-time, but now she's retired and she can.

Habits are pesky things, good and bad. It's useful sometimes to examine them and decide whether to keep or not. If possible. How much of what we do is thought-out and how much is routine?


Friday, December 8, 2023

Once over the hill pick up speed.

Man, there are some days when I feel every one of my 71 years and ask myself, "When did that happen? Where did that ache come from?"

I've found I can't stay on my feet for any real length of time. Oh, I can take walks and I can move around, but ask me to stand in one place and move slightly (think "retail") and my back seizes up just thinking about it. I see people who look at least my age and I wonder how they do -- and I hope that they don't *have* to do it because of financial difficulties. 

I am so thankful that (1) I had a good job all my life and (2) I was able to save enough for a comfortable retirement and (3) I was intelligent enough to realize that I needed to do so. Given the precarious nature of the world today, it's a worry if I'll have enough.

Maybe someone will need to put me on an ice floe and let me drift off to sea (if there are any ice sheets left). Or like my husband said, "strap a keg of beer to my back and parachute me into the depths of Yellowstone. I'll take my chances with the bears."

Not a bad idea ...

Friday, September 8, 2023

We have enough youth.

How about a fountain of Smart?

As we enter an election cycle (and it's WAY too long) this seems particularly appropriate. The older I get, the more I realize how much I miss the Good Old Days. It feels like we've lost all civility, common sense, and old-fashioned goodness.

Take book banning -- common sense tells anyone that if a child wants to find *that* book, he/she will find it. Why ban it? Why not have the child read the book then sit down and discuss the 'disturbing' elements with the child. That helps a kid be better prepared to face the world, because sure as sh*t the kid will meet *those* people in the world.

Book banning strikes close to home for me because one woman's porno is another woman's romance.

Who decides? It shouldn't be those in power. It should be up to the individual.

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Pain and suffering are inevitable ...

 ...but misery is optional.

This has always sort of been my motto (that and "Often wrong but never in doubt"). 

Let's face it, at some point we'll hit a bump, we'll be derailed, we'll hit a pothole. Life Will Be Tough. I'm not saying that we need to laugh at our ills, but I try to take it in stride. None of us are getting out of here alive so we should try to enjoy every minute we're here as far as we can.

And yeah, I wake up some days and lay in bed and think "okay, this isn't good, my back hurts so much I don't know if I can move." And then I move, and I moan, and I groan, and I move some more and pretty soon the OTC painkiller kicks in and before I know it I'm at the gym working on that Underarm FlipFlop machine and I guess I'll live another day.

Misery is optional. Unless you're outside in mosquito weather and you forgot your bug spray. 

Then Misery really is Us.

Thursday, May 11, 2023

We would worry far less about what people think of us

 ..., if we realized how seldom they really do.

I am reminded of this every swimsuit season. How many people worry about how they look in that swimsuit or those shorts or that top? It took me a long time to say "the hell with it" and to wear what I want to wear.

I try to look good in what I wear, but really, I'm older and it is what it is. There are saggy bits and there are bouncy bits. I try very hard not to over-expose what I have but I'm not going to cover it all up, either, not when it's 80 degrees in the shade and humid.

I mean, really -- nobody cares what I look like, right?

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Where am I going?

 And what am I doing in this handbasket?

That's how it feels sometimes -- I swear, where does the time go and where does life take me? I have some friends who are having medical issues, and I've been trying to help, but it's tough. Sometimes life does just take unexpected turns.

I suppose that's why I love to write novels. When I'm in the middle of writing, I'm somewhere else. It's not always a Happy somewhere else, but it takes me away from where I am. I can always switch my brain into "what would my characters be doing now" mode.

Ah yes. Writing. A lifeline for people like me.