Whispy vs Low BG

78k fixer upper

If you look at the upper left on this picture, you can see the door to the side porch on the day I made my offer to purchase the tin can I’m grateful to call a home.

This place needed / still needs a lot of work.

Today’s agenda – the tacky screened door.  White-trash-on-parade gloriously tacky with all of it’s hillbilly cheapness of repairs.

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I absolutely understand do-it-yourself ideas.  Yesterday’s efforts for creating a raised planter garden (so that I’m not winded bending over to weed) is a perfect example of repurposing things to make a cheap fix or easy-to-maneuver solution:

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But, I will never, never, never understand the Seller’s daughter thinking I would allow her to “replace” my flooring prior to my moving in when this was her idea of a reasonable fix – cardboard! – on a screen door.

I do love the fact that she so “thoughtfully” painted the dark brown box white to help it blend in with the rest of the door frame.  That was a classic hillbilly / white-trash-on-parade touch.*

So, today’s agenda was to find a way to get that danged door off the frame in order to have the professionals replace the screen.  No such luck.

Whispy and shakey while I was fighting the door to get it out of the frame, I decided I must be having a low blood sugar moment so, I called it quits to go back into the house and get breakfast and my meds.

Ideally, low bg (blood glucose) should occur only under 70.

Ideally, one keeps their bg between 70 and 130 when not eating.  Or, by two hours after eating, to be back under the 130 mark.

In my case, when I get whispy, it can have two causes.  Crappy breathing / oxygenation, or crappy blood sugar.

Since my bg reading was 144 the problem was breathing related and not blood sugar related.

I still stopped what I was doing and had breakfast and my meds, but it’s so irritating to be having a good morning, only to have to stop everything because my system was warning me I was on the verge of a meltdown and needed to take a break.

Homey just doesn’t have time fot this !

 

* Hillbilly = Please don’t get upset by my choice of labels.  I know what I am, and label it accordingly.  I come from VERY stubborn pioneering folk on one side of my family.  They are the very practical part of my personality.

Record

via Daily Prompt: Record

7126-v5 Music

Information images-7or even  images-4

 

then there’s the obvious, images-6  Achievements images-2

 

So many different ways to deal with defining “record”.

In my case, records deal with paperwork (ugh) or music / videos / photos of a lovely day. The best is, of course, music.  Music brings back memories of moments in time in their full color and immediacy, so I’m glad that I was born in the digital age, where it’s all combined

and available as a public record Public Record

While public records deal with justice, or lack of impartiality, they can also be used to return segments from my youth:

Bruce:

 

Billy:

 

Melissa:

 

and Harry:

 

all entertainers that I’ve been lucky enough to share time with on a lovely Summer’s evening (the best concerts are always in the Summer, IMHO).  Musical Records are the best public records of all.

Murmuration

Murmuration over Boldermere

via Daily Prompt: Murmuration

I’ve spent a lot of my time over the years wandering the fields, marshes and backroads of wherever I’ve lived.

Raised in New England, I spent many Summers walking the shores of a lake in New Hampshire, or wandering through the wetlands of Cape Cod.  I’m not sure if it is a throwback to a forgotten time, described in wonderful books such as, “Little Women”, or the fact that there was no money at home after the divorce, so anything I did had to be free of charge and both fulfilling / exhausting to ensure to use up my excess energy.  As I work to motivate myself to step away from the keyboard, I also wonder if my love of nature at the quiet moments of dawn and dusk are due to the fact that technology hadn’t yet entered my life, there being only 3 channels available to me during my formative, pre-teen years.

Whatever it is that has me back to wandering the fields and hills surrounding my new home and incredibly tight Budget, I am grateful that I was born in a time when technology was young.  I am glad that I grew up listening to the murmuration of startled birds as I tromped along their grassy shore homes.  Murmuration is what brings comfort to my soul when everything else is in chaos.

 

Desperation II.

Hell is being stuck in the Waiting Room.

Throwing Popcorn

I joined a bunch of websites in order to learn more about my disease, and how best to treat it from people who are on a similar journey.

Many of the websites about stem cell pioneering and COPD strategies have been helpful, however, I’ve let those friendships bleed into my facebook experience and it’s bringing me down.

One of the women I originally met on one of the sites talked about the fact that she’s really had a hard time losing friends to our shared disease, COPD, and yet she was one of the first people to befriend me when I joined.

So, we now play Words with Friends, Dice with Friends and other time-killing games in addition to dealing with our own mortality as well as that of the the folks around us, all at various stages in the fight against the disease we share.

Without sharing information about who is critically ill, one of our veterans is receiving crappy support from the Veteran’s Administration (VA) hospital as he nears end of life, and he’s been struggling with multiple emergency room visits and neglect from the VA as he fights to live.

Not sure what’s going on in the real world surrounding this drama, but the amount of people that he’s connected to from our shared site can be quite burdensome on his still-young and very active wife who cares for him.

The doctors have sent him home, telling him that there’s nothing more that they can do for him, and every breath he takes is a struggle.

The leaders from the wellness site are relentless in checking in every day to see how everyone’s doing, and apparently there has been some drama behind the scenes to try and tell the wife how to care for her ailing husband from those who share the disease.  Not sure what’s going on, exactly, but the postings on facebook have been quite drama filled with the wife telling people to back off and not bother her as she’s busy caring for her husband (all reasonable).  In the latest drama, the posting was quite a diatribe about the Lord being on her side, and that everyone else needs to leave her alone.

Sad, that it has to come across in such a blunt statement, but all very reasonable as the busybodies in Hell’s Waiting Room are (in many cases) simply sitting around waiting to die, looking for a distraction involving someone else’s state of health, instead of getting on with enjoying their own life while there is still enough ability to function in themselves find joy.

I’ve had to step away from that other site, though, as it was bringing me down.

It started out as the ipad being incompatible with wordpress and with the other site, and since I spend most of my computer time accessing sites via the ipad, it was easy to stay away.

I know Hell’s Waiting Room serves a purpose for family and friends fighting the good fight, but it’s just not where I want to spend the bulk of my time.

How about you?  Did you get into a site with all the right intentions, and make some good friends, only to find out that it just wasn’t fitting your needs in the long term, or even just at this moment?

Inquiring minds would love to know…

 

 

“Simon, you’re broke”

Ah, the things that we enjoy watching.  One of my favorites is, “As Good As It Gets”.  A little nothing of a movie that has everything I need in it to improve my outlook.

I don’t know whether it’s the let-it-all-hang-out honesty / sarcasm, without any attempt to be polite.  Or, the fact that it’s about self-improvement, and simply trying to get through another day without killing yourself or anyone else.

Jack Nicholson

This film has one of the most significant pieces of dialog that many of us might like to say from time to time, but which we don’t.  Because it’s not polite to have a pity party.  Or, not polite to have one in front of another person:

Simon (Greg Kinnear’s character):

“Go Away. 

Please just LEAVE.

GET OUTTA HERE! There isn’t anything worse than having to feel this way in front of you. Rott in hell, Melvin. Is this fun for you? Hm? You lucky devil. It just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it? I’m losing my apartment Melvin, and Frank? He wants me to beg my parents – who haven’t called me – for help… and I won’t. And I don’t want the pain anymore. 

So the life that I was trying for is over. The life that I had is gone and I’m feeling so damn sorry for myself that it’s difficult to breathe.” 

In the case of yesterday, the sun was shining.  The air was warm.  I was trying to motivate myself to get started painting, and I needed company in the house to be productive.  Rather than turn on the tube, though, I opted for an audio book so that I wouldn’t be distracted and sit down vs. getting some painting done.

Silence Fallen

So, I turned to the new release of one of my favorite authors, Patricia Briggs, and her valiant heroine, Mercy Thompson, skinwalker of Native American / mystical heritage, who goes from one disaster to another, while finding acceptance in a family she chose for her self vs. one she was born into.  Exactly what I needed to boost my butt into working and forgetting about any pain or exhaustion while I did mindless tasks.

However, despite getting the kitty door opened (the prior owner of this tin can bolted it shut for whatever reason), and having a zooming kitty busting into the house from the deck, running under my feet to “supervise”, and then going full charge at the flap to burst onto the side porch, I got some work done.  And it helped my attitude a great deal.

Sometimes, the voices in your subconscious take over your attitude, and it’s all you can do to get out of your own way and keep busy in an effort to silence them.

I’ve been fighting that voice all Winter, as I struggled to keep my house warm enough to survive without keeping it warm enough to actually be able to DO anything.  The Budget (yes, I mean that to be in capital letters) has taken over my life.  The Budget isn’t too bad most of the time, if I’m busy.  It’s certainly not as tight in the Summer, as I don’t use A/C.

However, I cannot tolerate “no” from The Budget for very long, and certainly not when I feel well enough to debate reality for what I can and cannot do, despite any pain or exhaustion my body may be enduring.  So, I’ve been doing little cheats to keep my spirits up (like buying books that I have no business purchasing, and eating cheap food like Mac and Cheese that works within The Budget but not with my Type 2 Diabetes.  Self-destructive habits are different for everyone, LOL).

Anyway, I had a pretty good day yesterday, despite it all.

My business partner, however, was falling apart at the seams.  Background:  She simply made a pivot turn at work about 2 weeks ago, and did some severe damage to her already weak knee.  Like me, she is not a good patient.  Like me, she’s been isolating so that no one needs to see her at her most vulnerable.

I get it.  It’s been an uphill battle to help her, but like any pest, I’m relentless until I get my way when I think it’s healthier for you than your way.  It’s been quite an education to see how much alike we really are when it comes to being stubborn.

So, we had some conversations on Friday in passing about my impatience with her kids and her (which is clearly NOT MY BUSINESS), as she sets the boundaries and keeps the adult children away.  It was something along the lines of a fisted finger salute while I rudely commented on their neglect.

Fuck you

It’s not that I’m begrudging any time I’m spending helping my friend.  I’m in charge of my own schedule, and I actually like having a reason to get out of bed.

Rather, it was my silent comment on what I would have told my Mom if she’d tried to keep me away while she was ill.

Don’t get me wrong, Mom was sick for 18 years prior to it becoming critical.  But, while others lived in denial, I showed up any time it was possible (I lived 3,000 miles away), and was only a plane ride away if needed.

My siblings are wonderful, and they did their best, but neither one of them was able to give her that silent salute regarding her expressed wishes and show up anyway.  Both only lived about 15 minutes away in either direction from my Mom’s home, and it got ridiculous for me to be calling them and saying, “Eyes.  When did you last lay eyes on her?  She’s lying, so phone calls aren’t helpful.”  My brother and sister put up with my nagging, and we got through Betty’s health issues together.

So, I get it when my friend tells me that she’s told her adult children to stay away. AND THEY LISTENED.  They obeyed.  (Those apron strings really need to be cut, but – again – so NOT MY BUSINESS).

However, I tell you all that to tell you this.  I stopped by yesterday to bring in the mail and empty the kitty box, etc., and see how she was doing and she was in tears.  It had been a rough day, and she was crying her eyes out in fear that she was never going to get better and that her life in that moment was the best that it was ever going to get.  Ever, ever.

Understandable grieving.  Ridiculous.  Very human.

So, we had a challenging conversation where my eyes were watering (as opposed to crying*) as it was a necessary conversation but very tough to verbalize for me.  I was stepping all over boundaries (surprise, surprise), but we got through the trauma and I think I helped more than harmed.  We’ll see how it goes over time.

To recap:  Fear is a part of life.  Being unwell or less capable is very scary.  Accepting one’s mortality and enjoying life anyway is how I deal.

Apparently, I also come across as incredibly intrepid and fearless (yeah, right!).

But, we talked about life, passages (as well as the Gail Sheehey book, “Passages”), and the fact that she’s gone from not planning to retire until she was 74, to retiring 18 months from now (June 2018), to planning to retire in 60 days.  If her body holds out.

Her grand plans to collect both social security and work so that she could upgrade her house was trembling on a precipice, and she was feeling foolish, like the accident wouldn’t have happened if she’d retired at 70, when she was “supposed” to as she’d maxed out her possible benefits.  She was getting communication directly from her God about being prideful, and I turned the conversation a bit into a new direction as beating yourself up solves nothing.

Through the tears, we had some laughs about thinking that anything we did or did not do changed the outcome of disasters.  We talked about moving the trip to the UK out by a year (no decision has yet been made), and we talked about our shared business schedule and upcoming show dates.  We talked about my fears and that my experiences with fragility and vulnerability are different, as well as the fact that I came out of the womb fighting restrictions while she’s just getting into the game for accepting her aging body is going to betray her.

Mostly, though, we talked about grieving as a necessary part of life when your plans are changed against your will.  We talked about the anger and frustration of dealing with your body’s betrayal as we age.  And we talked about fear.  In depth and honestly.

I didn’t have any answers for her, and looking back, it may have been kind of trite to suggest she read a self-help book, but I stuck to what I know.  And I also talked about her letting her kids have the respect of worrying about her without pretending to be invincible.

IMHO, my business partner has to accept the fact that she had a duty to respect the boundaries and allow those who love you to worry about you, and to know what’s going on, so that they don’t worry more because she’s keeping them in the dark.  She has to learn to be honest about her vulnerability as they deserve her respect enough for honesty, while also managing those boundaries so that they don’t then feel that they can take over her life.  Scary territory to navigate, but maybe it’s time to start to prepare for the next 20 or more years.

She is not incapable.  Honesty about challenges does not make one unable to come up with a plan to continue to live independently.  Boundary management may allow her to have an adult-to-adult relationship with her children that is richer and more intimate then her parent-to-child relationship currently appears to be.  It was a different perspective, and gives her something to consider.  Hopefully they will all have a good day today, if she follows through on her plan to let them visit.

as_good_as_it_gets

Finishing up the day with the base of the breakfast bar painted, the plants watered, part of the ceiling and wall painted, and then a viewing of “Lost Boys” and “As Good As It Gets” is sometimes the best thing I need at the end of a day.

No answers here.  But progress.  Some progress is always good.

* I am often rendered mute about things that I should talk about but which I find difficult to express.  Not to be manipulative or anything else, but when I fight my body’s wish for me to shut my mouth, or I’m incredibly moved by something, or for any little reason, my eyes water.  Copiously.  Some would call it tears, but this is not that simple.  This is very different than tears, as it’s more like an internal fight while my conscious mind says “yes, we will speak”, and my internal voice says “For F*ck’s sake, shut the f*ck UP !”

Desperation and Health

quack-doctor

Quacks are everywhere.

Good doctors are everywhere.

Telling the difference between the two is a challenge to many people who are desperate to improve the quality of life they are experiencing when trying to heal diabetes, COPD, etc.

A few weeks ago, in early February, I went to a seminar hosted by Chiropractor and former Civil Engineer, Dr. Michael Pierce, who claims to have a solution to Diabetes if you’ll participate in his program.  (I wrote about it in Authortarian Shaman)

Bambis Dr Michael Pierce Wellness

During the seminar, we were given a fast hustle / upsell where he didn’t want any questions, and promised to answer all questions at the end of the event.  Never happened. The only questions that he wanted to answer were whether or not you were ready to pay $49 to attend a private “assessment” consultation, and schedule your appointment.

When I pushed back on this upsell and asked if I could wait until I got my tax refund (because the value of the assessment was quoted at $250), I was told that I “didn’t value my health enough as a priority in my life”, and told that I would have to pay $250 once I found that I was ready to “get serious”.

Then I went home and found that this consultation was free if you skipped the seminar and went directly to the appointment setting via their website:

Dr Pierce Wellness Seminars

So, I was frustrated at a “sounds too good to be true” push for cash from me, especially since they weren’t able to tell me how much the initial assessment and subsequent services were likely to cost in order to determine if this program could help me.  Seemed like a whole bunch of snake oil was being pedaled.

meds4

My very good friend, B, however, went ahead with the appointment and I just found out that she had to sign up for a line of medical credit in order to pay for the services.  To the tune of $7,000.  Talk about high-pressure sales !

While I am happy that B is feeling better, that the treatments and supplements appear to be working, I am still dismayed that someone feels it’s necessary to utilize high pressure tactics to get someone to sign away such a large amount of money.  Clearly, they knew it would have a $7,000 price tag, or they wouldn’t have signed her up for the medical credit account in order to fund the necessary testing.

I get it that everyone is in medicine for monetary enrichment.  I have no problem with people making a profit.  I do, however, have a problem with high-pressure tactics and with excessive charges being run up while we “see” if the treatment will work.  All while hiding the likely initial cost of the treatment.

I have nothing further to say on this topic right now, but I did want to post on a topic that I first wrote about a month ago to let you know that the treatment appears to be working very well.

Whether or not it’s snake oil is too soon to determine.

Whether or not it’s going to work long term and is worth the price is also too soon to determine.

For now, she’s happy and I’m pleased for her.

As for the Chiropractor doing the hustle for his treatments, I’m still not a fan.

Brain Fog

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I’m doing what I can to keep track of my abilities, and brain fog is the toughest to track.  Not just because it’s hard to self-assess, but also because I start out the day with few visible holes, but as the day progresses and my tiredness increases, I lose my ability to articulate.  I know something’s wrong, but I’m grasping at straws trying to figure it all out.

We’ve noticed over the last few art and wine festival seasons that my ability to do math becomes filled with Swiss cheese as the day goes on.  It’s not a problem long-term, as we’ve now agreed that I will do the math in an excel spreadsheet, and audit it the next day before we split up the earnings in the till.

When I was working, the top illustration shows how I perceive the gaps, but shows that I was still able to get to the correct figure even as the details started to get fuzzy as the day wore on.

Since I’ve been on disability, though, I’ve given myself permission to rest and permission to say, “it’s not computing”, even when it’s hard or embarassing to make such an admission.  Yesterday was one of those days when I was losing it, and struggling to control my temper, as I was getting more wiped out of energy, but unwilling to call an end to an otherwise enjoyable day.

Getting my ego out of the equation is the hardest challenge I face.

Luckily, I don’t like it when I get angry or irritable, so a rising temper during an otherwise enjoyable day is a key indicator that I’m more tired than I realize, and so far it’s something I can still notice before things get out of hand.  It’s also a clear trigger for me to cut the day short before I become like a whiney baby in need of a nap.

I’m out in public, passing for normal, and my energy reserves are erroding without any clear evidence that something is changing.  Until I lose my patience and start to bitch and moan.  Or, when I was still working, I end up tired behind the wheel, or napping at the side of the road, or in a car accident.

Fast forward to now, and I’m noticing alarming social changes in my personality.  Since I pride myself on being competitive but not petty, suddenly being convinced that my friend is cheating when I can’t track what’s happening is a huge red flag that I’m out of line and not thinking clearly.

I’m really enjoying playing the board games, but… I’m going to have to set a time limit before I start.  And, I’m going to have to bring paper and a pencil for the calculations as I just can’t keep numbers in my head while I try and add things up.

Sad, but the first step is to admit a weakness, and take steps to ensure that a fun day remains fun and doesn’t become an effort in endurance.

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