Jan 24, 2019

ALMOST THERE!

I didn't get needle and thread in hand until a bit later in the evening, but did manage to make a fair amount of progress on Red Velvet Cake:


Only a few small areas to go and the stitching will be finished. Then it's on to the beading!

Today I will visit with three docs in the space of three hours. First, Dr. Melfi will help me unpack all of the stuff in my head that threw me to the ground, and then she'll help me make sense of it and put it into perspective. Then, Dr. P will examine Buzzy 2.0 and remove the surgical tape. Finally, Dr. Barbara (my very favorite family doctor who is a dead ringer for Nicole Kidman) will conduct my annual physical with soft encouragement and a few pats on my arm when I break out into the ugly cry over how completely overwhelmed I am.

Which leads me to two big decisions I made while tossing and turning in the big girl sleigh bed last night.

I have decided to put the 24/7 worry, stress, and management of my health on a shelf. For what feels like forever, I have been obsessively fretting over every single component of everything having to do with the physical functioning of myself, and I'm exhausted. The dialogue in my brain is a loop of worry. Worry about weight and blood pressure and potassium and phosphorous and my heart and lungs and whether I'm in menopause and what is that pain and am I going to pass out and when will I get a new kidney and how much is the needle going to hurt and did I remember to floss and why are my eyes so dry and how bad will my arm be scarred and is there a blood clot and when will I regain use of my left hand and why is my hair thinning and am I sleeping too much or not enough and should I be doing more exercise and why am I not losing weight anymore and ....

Somewhere along the line I got bogged down. Hard. 

I am smart and careful and compliant with all the things I should be doing. For the most part, I eat well, watch my fluid intake, and take all of my meds on time. Could I stand to lose another hundred pounds? Yes.  But obsessing about it every day has put me in a bad place and I need to pull out of it.

This doesn't mean I'm quitting dialysis.  Quite the opposite. I will still do my thing every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday like a big girl, but instead of stressing myself into a stroke over what might happen, I am going to trust my team to do their thing and just...breathe.

I thought I knew how to manage this, but it turns out that living with chronic illness and ambulatory life support is actually a fluid situation...it is not a nice neat flow chart that remains in order. You have to be able to adjust yourself and adapt to what comes and understand that change doesn't always mean decline. Sometimes it just means change.

(About the only way I can describe it is that I feel like I'm driving a semi truck full of explosives up a hill. I have a map and a plan. But every now and then something blocks the road I'm on, and turning the wheel feels like I'm going to plunge off a cliff. What I haven't realized yet is that sometimes turning the wheel PREVENTS you from driving off the cliff.)

So this is me turning the wheel.

My second big decision relates to this thing of ours.

You know this facacta rotation I started in which I go back through the blog and pull all the stuff I haven't finished for that month and work on it?

Well, the only thing that did was throw me into a very sad place of remembering what my life used to be. Seeing all of the pictures of my house and Stewey and reading stories about my old life with my sister and Bosco and all of our shenanagins wasn't a happy trip down memory lane. All it did was bring the grief over losing all of that back with a vengeance. That pain is sharp still, and I really don't think I need to do that to myself...especially now.

I don't know for sure if it was the anasthesia that did it, or the accumulation of everything, or pain, or the moon, or what. But I do know that I was able to clearly see two things that certainly aren't helping me shake it off, and for that I am truly very grateful.

So today we're moving onward. I have about another hour left before I have to get it together to leave the apartment. Fortunately, I have my second cup of damn good ready and the newspaoer all ready and waiting. The blanket is keeping my toes cozy and it almost looks like the sun is trying to come out!

Thank you, Dearies, for listening to my blathering today. I hope things in your corner of the world are a lot less angst-ful than they are sometimes here in Hoosierville. If you're driving your own semi...steady on, friend! Steady on!

34 comments:

  1. A family member is suing me. It's been active for more than 2 years. No basis for it in fact but nowadays you can sue anybody for anything. The stress has gotten to me more than once. I am approaching 80 years old and didn't expect this and don't need it. My dear husband woke up in the middle of his sleep a few nights ago and started telling me that a) she was ruining my life (which is what she wants) and I need to stop letting it ruin my life; and b) she is a f***ing nut. I shall carry that last with me as I strive to develop a new attitude toward this mess. Thank you for letting me share this.

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    1. Good luck Annie. It sounds like you have a wise and wonderful husband on your side

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  2. Coni, I am so happy for you in these decisions. They are hard-fought and not easily won but I hope that you do win! I pray that God holds you in His arms and gives you an especially wonderful hug today.

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  3. I like the sound of this Coni.

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  4. I absolutely love you. I'm a "out sourced" lol Hoosier, living in Idaho with a Nam veteran who has kidney disease, and love to cross stitch and quilt. I have learned that no human is perfect nor does he control life's twists and turns. The hardest lesson to learn is to choose joy. Don't revisit past hurts but live in the present. That's why it's called a "present". Memories are like berries, pick the good to keep, leave the rest for nature to deal with. I am so happy you got to spend time with your wonderful doggy and live in your beautiful house. I am so happy you have a great chair, nice television and good candles.

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  5. You go girl! After all the angst and trauma, you have taken a good hard look at what you can do to help resolve and/or lighten your load. That takes moxie and you should be proud of yourself.

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  6. Hang in there Coni! Sometimes it takes getting down to recognize what we can do to make our lives better. It usually isn't easy, but it sounds like you have had a couple of insightful realizations. We are all rooting for you!!!

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  7. Coni, great work that Dr. Melfi will congratulate you for. Truly, you have done a great job of "peeling the layers off of the onion". One question: how did you fix the Blogger error? Clearing your cache?

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    1. Nope...I write the text using the app and then go to blogger.com to edit and add the photo.

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  8. I am driving my own semi. Going back down memory lane and what I've lost. Sends me into an 'ugly cry', I don't ever think I'll get over my loss. All I keep remembering is how wonderful my life used to be. Sending love, hugs and prayers, Cathryn ♥♥♥

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    1. Love, hugs, and prayers to you too, dear Cathryn!

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  9. Coni, what more can I say besides we all love you and wish you the best each and every day.

    Hugs!

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  10. SENDING PRAYERS UP!! Decisions are never easy, but sounds like you are turning it around. The Good man upstairs will listen, and as we all know he has his own timing. Sending hugs!

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  11. Why didn't they tell us when we were children that adulting would be so hard? And, perhaps more importantly, that you don't ever get to stop having to adult. Once you feel as though you're fully grown up, life throws in a few more twists, and you have to learn a whole bunch of new lessons and develop new skills. Bugger.

    Your post today reads as though you've got good self-knowledge and good skills to adjust to what life has thrown at you. You go girl!

    Megan
    Sydney, Australia

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  12. Coni dear - what a dynamic head you have on your shoulders...
    What a straight forward, no-nonsense approach to your dilemma
    and how to work it through to your benefit. Sometimes you are
    a locus Dr. Melfi for us with your clever strategies and
    problem-solving of life's glitches, usually undertaken with
    warmth, humor and deep understanding of the human condition.
    I always said you underestimate yourself. By Him you are
    wondrously made and He knows what is best and will bring it
    to fruition in your life.....so far, my dear, you have done
    a bang-up job of adhering to the plan despite what you thought were set-backs... they may prove to be advances in
    your strength to evolve and be fulfilled. We salute you...

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  13. Hugs, I'm pulling for you everday!!!!!

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  14. Coni, I can't even imagine trying to juggle all of the things you have going on. Just do your best to maintain your sense of humor. If you can do that, you are a champion. I can't remember if I've written this before, but in Chinese medicine the kidneys are the repository of life energy. This includes governance of the hair and teeth. I know it's difficult, but all of the worrying is further depleting your already stressed kidneys. If you think of it that way, it's understandable if you are losing your hair. Also, you can see how it might be a cycle. You have always been a bit of a worrier, your kidneys are stressed. You worry about that. Your kidneys get worse. The more you worry, the more your life energy is depleted. Completely understandable to be concerned about your health. The whole Chinese medicine philosophy is something to consider in re how you function psychologically and how that has gotten you to this point. Understand, I am NOT advocating that you change your medical plan. Just thought a new idea might give a different perspective on all of this. I pray that you find a bit of peace, calm, and relaxation soon.

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  15. Coni,
    You are an amazing person,dealing with an enormous situation. When the black dog comes and sits beside me, I try to sit with him a while. I go back to some of the happy places in my life and try not to be sad that they are gone, but rather to rejoice that they happened. The black dog does eventually move away and my life improves again. I'm sending good thoughts your way and hope the dog meanders off soon. God bless

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  16. You got it now, Coni!!! What you have experienced emotionally is a PERFECTLY NORMAL reaction to life-altering health changes, BUT, once the fog clears, we can decide that it is just a PART of our lives, NOT every aspect of our lives. I have a friend who is slowly (very slowly) moving on from the "viral heart" issue that seems to be a mystery. I have 4 friends who have been struck with this and doctors still know very little about it. It begins with fluid collecting in the sac that surrounds the heart. ANYHOW, she was "working so hard," to rest, to eat well, to follow doctor's advice, to RECOVER. After 3-4 weeks of increasing depression and frustration, she quit responding to those who EXPECTED to see progress more quickly (some family and friends are well intentioned, but truly don't understand that this will alter the rest of her life). She is in horrible financial situation, being a single, older woman who can no longer work, but doesn't yet own her own little house. FINALLY, she gave up thinking that being manic about all the rules of "living healthy" simply won't guarantee a full and complete recovery and THEY WERE DRIVING HER CRAZY!!! She now follows health rules as best she can and quits thinking it will result in "feeling much better tomorrow". We talk about doing what she can do, relaxing, pursuing a satisfying hobby (as you do), and checking back in 6 months to see if she, indeed, feels better than she did 6 months earlier. When people ask her "How are you doing today? Feeling any better today?," she will respond . . . give me 6 months or so and I'll let you know.

    First we have to adjust to what our body says we can do after a big health issue and secondly, we have to do our best, but quit thinking we can do some "magic" thing to re-establish CONTROL over our bodies and our lives. Thirdly, I think we have to look around and see what's left to give us daily happiness.

    My dear friend called a few days ago and spent several minutes describing and marveling over the luminescent sparkle of the petals of her Amarylis. I REJOICED with her!!!!!

    It's a tough journey . . . it's a HUGE thing to ACCEPT. But, there still is a quality of life that will bring joy, fulfillment and peace, once we lay down CONTROL and look for PEACE.

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  17. Dear,
    I too had to give up my sweet house. Do NOT look at photos. Try to remember that Jesus has been working for over 2000 years to create our mansions in heaven.
    Talk ever so gently to your sweet body. “ I am doing the very best I can taking care of you. Poor baby (pat your tummy). My precious body is surviving this CRAP.
    Stitch, stitch, and watch “Poldark” on Amazon Prime to escape. If you can’t afford it I will pay it for you. I mean it.

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  18. Coni, sounds like you've already had your talk with Dr Melfi and all you've written here will be reinforced.
    I'm blessed to not be driving that semi right now, but wouldn't be surprised if it's waiting around the corner.
    You have friends here ready to cheer you on, cry with you or even talk back if necessary. But we're all with you on this journey.
    Bless you and remain in my prayers.

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  19. Good for you! I love your plan! Hang in there and roll with the punches. ♡

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  20. It is definitely a matter of how to surf with feelings. Learning to stand up on that board or fall into the wave. Sounds like you are climbing back on that board. Hang in there hunbun.
    Here I have a new dentist - he's rather young! And very cute. We have a date for 13th Feb . . . for a filling. My last dentist didn't spot that one! Trivial matters compared with yours!

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  21. You are so wise and an inspiration. Big hugs xxx

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  22. Marching on with Melfi. Your new mantra. Good insight on your part to see that opening up all those unfinished projects brought memories back. But look at you finishing up that red velvet cake!! Way to slay those monsters! You should wear a superpower stitching cape.

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  23. (and yes, I am another Annie)

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  24. I hear you. I found your blog because of a shared love of stitching- I have been needlepointing most of my life and know the drive to create, to stitch, to feel such satisfaction and joy. But I also am on dialysis and recognize the stress and worry that comes with each beep and each stick and wave of nausea. I so appreciate your willingness to share. Your post today not only comforts me that I’m not the only hyper aware patient but also inspires me. Thank you. I hope your apppintments are short and uneventful.

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  25. GREAT THOUGHTS AND PLAN! YOU GO AND WE'LL ALL BE PULLING FOR YOU!YOU CAN DO THIS!

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  26. Coni though we have never met, I keep you in my prayers.
    You are wise, smart, funny and an inspiration!

    Also, Holy Smokes! Red Velvet Cake is gorgeous!

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  27. Hi Coni! (see me waving at you from northern Illinois?). Your post was so good. Good for you to write out your feelings of late. Good for me to know you are AWESOME. We all drive a semi in life. But yours seems to be a double one WITH a trailer attached. And you are driving it just fine ma'am. My mom used to say God gives us only so much to handle. You might find this to be nuts; sometimes I think so too. But you have all of us here in blogland to talk to. We love you Coni. We pray for you and wish you nothing but the best in life. You have given me many happy laughs with your blog. You are a joy to read. If I ever get to meet you in person it would be a highlight in my life. Enjoy your day. Breathe, relax and let God do the driving of that semi of yours! Cindy in northern Illinois.

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  28. I was so happy to hear of your decision to let go of the 24/7 worry and stress about your health. I know that's easier said than done, but changing your perspective about that will make a difference. It certainly makes sense to still be overcome with painful memories - those were huge losses you're dealing with - but you don't need to focus on them either. I really admire your resilience and positive attitude! I'm praying for you.
    And I also love Red Velvet Cake!

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