Sunday, April 13, 2008
Lessons From A Pea
So I dug down into the soil. There they were. Doing what they were supposed to be doing. In their own time. Just like they're supposed to do. Little roots and shoots that just aren't quite big enough to burst through the ground above their heads.
You would think that, with so many opportunities to learn it, all humans on this earth would be masters at patience!
On Tuesday, it will be three weeks since my shoulder surgery. Thinking that I am now a normal person, with a not so normal arm yet, I went to see the owls yesterday, then stood for 1/2 hour with Women in Black, and later rode the recumbent bike at the gym for 22 minutes. By 9:00 last night, I was falling asleep in the chair. I have never fallen asleep upright. I need to be horizontal in order to sleep. But I was POOPED!
It took less than an hour for them to cut my shoulder, but three weeks later, I'm still working to regain the motion and strength that I had going into the operating room.
We have been destroying Iraq for over five years and killing off species of wildlife for even longer. If and when we ever stop, how long will it take to heal all of that?
It seems that a peace seed, a pea seed, an arm repair, or any other thing planted won't just pop up as soon as we sow our intention. It takes a lot of nurturing (maybe some physical therapy and exercise) and TIME.
So this is what the wise pea said to me today when I pulled the dirt away from her, exposing her to sunlight before she was ready. Besides, Leave me the hell alone! I've got business to do!, she told me to support and nurture her and to be patient and notice the beauty in the process.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Drugs and Knives and Pain - Oh Boy!
After the brutal ripping of the adhesions in my shoulders almost a year ago, when my doctor thought that I would be proclaiming him a hero for releasing me from the hell of no arm movement, I still had pain and limitation. When a doctor won't listen to me telling him that things are still not right, when he thinks that he had all the answers so I should have nothing to complain about... well, I fire him. The new doctor I visited ordered MRI's, which was a druggy fun experience! We found all kinds of crazy things in my shoulders, the worst of which was a 60 per cent tear in the rotator cuff. I have resisted surgery ever since. I've been on all kinds of anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements and I've been doing an arm exercise program.
And I feel better than I have in over a year! Whoo hoooo!
So it's a bummer that I'm going to have the surgery to repair the tear when I'm feeling better and the surgery will only make me feel worse for awhile. But in a few months, I just might be able to scratch my back, dress myself a little easier, SLEEP BETTER, and hang up the phone when it's sitting over to my left. I might as well do this now, because it won't get any easier when I'm older.
This Year (+) of the Arms has been good for me. It slowed me way down. I don't do much activism because I've become my priority. Sounds selfish. I think it's about time.
I am excited to find out the next chapters.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
With a Fine-Toothed Comb
She's not the only person that I know that has died in surgery.
I'm not afraid that that will happen to me. I've also known people who have died in car accidents but I still ride in cars.
Still, I have this strong impulse to go through everything that I own before March. I want to get rid of anything that I don't need and I want to destroy any incriminating evidence. Just in case...
I remember going through my grandmother's house when she was moved into a nursing home.
I don't want anyone to find closets full of old catalogs like we did when we cleaned her house.
I don't have any closets full of old catalogs, but you know what I mean.
(In order to get have everything all cleaned up before March, I've hired this little guy to help me.)
By late afternoon, after many interruptions and after reading much disconcerting but normal news about the world, my body was all IRRITABLE. Dear hubby came home, mentioned my upcoming surgery, and my tears flowed.
So THAT'S what it was!
I was holding together something that didn't want to be held together.
Oh Kurt, there was nothing to clean up! It was only water.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
8. Another thing I like about Christmas: It's takes place in the winter- at least it does in the hemisphere where I live. And it comes soon after the longest night of the year.
For desert animals like me, this is quite the blessing. I swear, Christmas gives me something to look forward to, a reason to think of others, a need to leave my house in weather colder than my freezer, a light to carry me through the dark, dark days of winter. Left to my own devices, I would MAYBE come out for a hike or snowshoe jaunt during these days, but hibernating until the spring thaw is my first choice. I think that it has to do with my, hmmmm, age and the fact that my shoulders know "frozen" inside and out all too well.
I have read theories that Jesus was born in the spring, fall, or maybe summer, but someone or a group of someones decided that we would celebrate this special occasion in December, near the winter solstice. I'd like to thank those wonderful people for making such a good decision.
One gift of Christmas is the knowledge that during the darkest and coldest time of year, we can realize that warmth and light don't have to come only from the sun.
(he has always been so profound...)
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Tomorrow, I am going to have TWO MRI's IN A ROW! They can't do both shoulders at once, so they will inject one shoulder with dye, do a CT scan on it, then MRI it, THEN, if I have not run away and hidden, they will do the same for the other shoulder. We will get to see the mystery that is taking place inside my body.
If you don't know about my shoulder adventures with bilateral frozen shoulder (aka painful straight-jacket), you can catch up by going here, here, and here. I am so much better than I was last January through April, when I was sinking into depression from pain, limitation and lack of sleep.
I have done a lot of research on frozen shoulder. First I thought that I could survive the year that most frozen shoulders take to "thaw". I received massage and acupuncture to help out. I am a massage therapist. Doctors are usually not my first route - I have to try everything else first. But after 3 months, I knew that I would kill myself before the year was up, so I went to an MD. who did THE PROCEDURE that set me free. Six months later, after months of painful P.T., here I am... better, but not good enough to tolerate getting handcuffed (and you quit thinking those thoughts - I mean, in case I get cuffed for things like die-ins or something!)
While awaiting the big entombment day, I got a phone call from my great P.T. who said that she just took a workshop and learned that in some cases, women with shoulder problems can be helped in just two weeks with hormone therapy. No doctor has ever mentioned that to me, and I have not read it anywhere, but it makes some sense. I plan to follow up on this after I get out of that noisy little claustrophobic tunnel tomorrow.
And in case you didn't put it together... Those rocks... they were changed by wind and by the freezing and thawing of water. My shoulders have now frozen and thawed. I didn't become more curvy and sensuous like the rocks did, but I know I changed on the inside. And that is good enough for me!
I do not at all understand the mystery of grace - only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us. - Anne Lamott
Thursday, June 28, 2007
The Little Things
Just when I thought I wasn't getting better, a little light on the subject brings much psychological relief!
So, today, on my last day of physical therapy (thank you, insurance for paying your less than generous part - considering how much we pay you - and thank you, also, for cutting people off at some arbitrary number and leaving them owing wads and not so inclined to pay more exorbitant fees out of pocket.), I come out better, but not the person I was before. And that is a good thing. The body is more limited in movement, but I have learned much through this process. Maybe, just maybe, I will eventually be as good as new AND have the lessons learned, too!
But it doesn't matter. This is what is right now.
And I wonder... when we look at all of the things we'd like to change in the world, do we notice what HAS changed? Do we see the beautiful actions that are being done by many people? Are we aware of the little things, like baths not needed or an elder's smile? And do we appreciate the gifts embedded in the harder things?
It's all a part of the whole.
Friday, April 20, 2007
New Shoulders. New Blogger. Who Could Ask For Anything More???
AND I am now FINALLY on New Blogger (whatever that means). I know I now have this label thing to do at the bottom. Any other stuff will have to be figured out when I want to spend some time with it. Anyway, this was a long time coming, and now I no longer feel left out.
Before (16 days ago)
Thursday, April 05, 2007
A Quick Note from Michael
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
The doctor will put me under general anesthesia, then manipulate my shoulders and break up the adhesions that have caused me to lose sleep and limit my activities.
I am doing what I can to support my shoulders so that they are willing to let go under the doctor's skilled hands.
I am very lucky. I live where I can take hot baths to ease the pain, and I can pay skilled people to give me acupuncture and bodywork. Every day I appreciate the fact that if I lived in another part of the world, I would not have this kind of support.
My sponsored sister (through Women for Women International) lives in Nigeria. She is 47 years old and can neither read nor write more than her name. The house that she lives in has no electricity and no water. She uses kerosene or gas for fuel and gets her water from a neighbor. Oh, and there are 28 people living in the same house with her.
My sponsored sister probably would not be able to take a hot bath every morning to relieve her pain.
Thinking of that, I have even more gratitude for the hot baths I am able to have.
To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one's own in the midst of abundance. - Buddha