things change….

Everything Changes - photography by w. holcombe
Everything Changes –
photography by w. holcombe

Trying to hold on to the good days, thinking life will stay that way forever is fruitless.  It will change.  And it has.

My hip flare up, that was just this little thing, that was supposed to calm down after the cortisone injection….has become a complicated mess.

I had my hip injection on September 11th.  We got Kiki that evening.  It was an exciting day.  I expected to be sore that night.  I expected to possibly be sore the next day, but would probably feel better….and continue to get better.  That didn’t happen.

I’m not sure if the shot did anything.  I don’t think so.  However. on the night of September the 12th, I got up and went to the bathroom.  I started to sit on the toilet and lost my footing and fell, hard, onto the seat.  My elbow hit the back of the toilet where I keep a box with things in it and I got a nice little scrape on it.  The big hurt was my hip.  OW!  The pain shot through me, from the top of my buttock, along my side down through my knee….I was in PAIN!   I have been in constant pain in this areas since that night.  The pain ebbs and flows, but never gets better than a 6, and if often hovering around an 8.   I had Stuart give me a  Toradol injection.  This really helped.  Toradol is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug.  (I can’t take NSAIDs by mouth because they tear up my stomach, but I can have these injections occasionally.)  Since this worked to take most of the pain away I was sure I hadn’t broken anything.  I was also hoping the cortisone shot would kick in and help.  So I waited….

The cortisone didn’t help.  I went back to the doctor on the 18th.  She was disheartened.  She suspects that my pain may be coming from my spine, and maybe also from my hip.  She set up a CT scan with contrast dye, and she wants me to see a spine specialist, and a more specialized hip doctor.  (she is actually a PA in the office, she wants me to see a specific doctor in the practice).  I will have the CT scan on Friday.  (I was originally supposed to have the CT scan today, but I didn’t sleep at all last night and I can’t control the Meniere’s vertigo today, and since I could get in closer to my doctor’s appointment I decided to change the appointment.)  I see the hip specialist on October 1st, and I’m not sure when I see the spine doctor yet, I haven’t heard from their office yet.

How am I handling all of this?  Some days very well.  Some days not well at all.

I have had a hard time not getting really stressed out about this.  I’ve been creating “what if” stories in my head.  My mother started having back problems in her 50’s and it really changed her life.  She died of lung cancer when she was 64, but I’ve never been convinced it really didn’t start in her back.  There are many reasons I believe this, I won’t get into them here.   What if I have to live with this pain forever?…….See the stories I have been spinning in my mind….this is not a good thing.  This is not a mindful thing to do.  It does NOT make things better.  It makes it worse.  The stress builds, and everything spirals out of control.   When I think like this I can feel the depression creeping up over me.  It is oppressive.

Then I try to be more mindful.  Being mindful is hard.  It isn’t something you can just click on with a switch and suddenly you think mindfully all the time…I wish I could, I think I would handle things better.  I’m trying.  First, I am trying hard to stay present.  I cannot change what we are going to find out, but I sure don’t have to make up all these horrible scenarios.  I could have something easily fixable.  If I have something that is more difficult to deal with, I’ll deal with it.  Either way, I don’t have any idea, so stop speculating.  Keep my mind in the present, right here, right now.  That is the least stressful thing I can do.

I also got so stressed because we got this precious little dog, Kiki, to take care of and suddenly I can’t take care of her.  I can’t even feed her.  I can’t take her out.  I can’t care for her at all.  Stuart would not have signed up for this had he known he would have been the sole caregiver for me, Max, and now Kiki.  We would not have adopted Kiki at this time.  Does he regret it?  No.  But would he have done it?  No.   So I have been having that emotion that simply doesn’t help…..guilt.  I have put more work on him, and I feel guilty because I can’t take Kiki on long walks and to the dog park and do things I feel she needs.  I can’t focus time on training her.  I feel guilt.  Ugh!  useless!

Not sure how that is handled in mindfulness, but I know for me, I need to channel that into something constructive I can do.  Haven’t figured all of that out exactly, but I will.  Yes, this is not how I planned for things to go, so I need to change my plans.   I have been playing with Kiki more indoors as much as possible.  She will bring me a toy and I will throw it.  She brings it back and drops it in my hand. (how cute it that?)  I have taught her to sit before I’ll throw it again.  (really, she was already doing that most of the time.)  I will hide it and have her find it. (I think this is a newer thing for her!)  So we are working on some training.  It’s just different from I planned.

Then I go back again to how I feel about my body, and what is happening.  My Meniere’s is acting up big time!  I always tell myself to stop trying to figure out why, it used to drive me crazy, and I would end up blaming myself for my attacks, but this is pretty obvious.  The pain will not allow me to sleep or rest enough.  I can’t relax.  Also, it is Rag Weed season.  I think I’m handling the rag weed pretty good, but I can’t keep up with the exhaustion.  My hearing is going up and down; yesterday if I was blind folded I would have sworn a jet engine was in my living room.  When the noise started I kept asking Stuart, “what is that noise?”  He looked at me funny.  I said, “You don’t hear it do you?”  I realized it was just me…dang.  Then it got louder and louder and louder….and it lasted for over 2 hours at the loudest point.  I’ve never had that happen before.  I’ve had very loud tinnitus, but I’ve never had that it that loud for that long.  It continued to be loud for the whole night but it did dial down a bit.

I hate to say it but, I’m just one big vertigo attack.  I try to control them but that is exhausting too.  Most of the time I’m spinning at least a little bit.  I have been able to control it enough that I haven’t had full-blown… spinning so out of control that I can’t see what is in front of me… vertigo, but this constant boat feeling and everything waving is driving me crazy!   I keep focusing on my breath…grateful I am still breathing.  Then I laugh…they say breathe, take a deep breath..ect.  It’s not like we are going to stop breathing.  It is something we do.  Do you ever really focus on your breath?  Really think about it?  If you have ever gotten choked and couldn’t breathe I’m sure you did then, but normally we just take it for granted, like we do our heartbeat, and how our brain works, or the fact that we blink…ect.   So,right now suddenly I’m thinking about my breath, not just the in and out, but the actual breath.  How it works.  I have pulmonary problems so I don’t take my breathing for granted all the time, and I know a lot about how my lungs work….so I think about it, and really I’m thinking about how the oxygen goes through my body, how it nourishes my whole body, how my breath goes through all of me, down through my toes even.  and suddenly I just realized….just now as I am writing this that I have calmed down and feel more in tuned to this body and it is just fine.  It is working pretty darn good.  It’s my body.  I like it.  I love me.  I’m at peace with it.  I accept it the way it is.

Now that is mindfulness.  That is what paying attention to your breath is supposed to be…  I feel better, right now.   I know this isn’t easy.  I’ll be working on being mindful forever.







13 thoughts on “things change….

  1. Well, poop! Good days and bad, I guess. I’m glad you seem to be in good spirits about it.

    I admire how you share your life with us, through the good and bad. I love you, Wendy!


    1. I love you too Vincent!
      Sure do miss you!!
      I only share my life with those who want to read about it. 🙂
      And yes, I’m in good spirits.
      “Buddhist mindfulness is about the present, but I also think it’s about being real.
      Being awake to everything. Feeling like nothing can hurt you if you can look it straight on.”
      Krista Tippett


  2. No matter what you are making a difference. You are playing with Kiki and she now knows pure love because of the two of you. You have moved me so much in your writing. I get what you are saying and to witness mindfulness first hand is amazing! xo


    1. my dear Phylor,
      you endure so much pain,
      I send precious thought of the pain lifting from you every day.
      Thank you for thinking of me.
      Playing Fetch? …is that what we have been doing?


      1. Yes, a Kiki-Wendy kinda fetch. So you and Stuart can say that Kiki knows how to fetch (without even being told! And knows to sit before you will through the toy again. So training her to obey commands.
        The hide and find is sharpening her problem solving skills and use of scent to find items.
        The things you do with her are keeping her mind sharp, teaching her new lessons, and keeping her from being bored.


        1. I laugh! I know we were playing fetch…I was being silly. You know my sense of humor by now don’t you? *BIG GRIN* I think she much less bored when Stuart is home, during the day she sleeps. I bore her. *Yawn* She gets this huge burst of energy in the evening. After dinner! When the house is full, she is ready to go. I do think if I was up and moving around she would be more energetic during the day.
          I do believe someone worked with her a bit before us. But her training needs to be fine tuned. And she needs work on her anxiety. There are certain things she is really afraid of….like having the leash put on.

          Oh you will like the new game she decided she wanted to play yesterday…we have a place for all of her toys (she came with quite a few) we started to play with one….playing fetch, and tug. She decided she needed a new toy. Then she went over to her shelf and stood there and sniffed each toy and slowly picked out each one out and put it on the floor, and take them over to the little rug in front of the couch where Stuart was sitting. It was so funny. No she couldn’t play with just one toy, she had to have them ALL! Once, Stuart threw 2 toys at once. You would think she would go get one then the other. Nope, she got one and took it a little way, then when back and got the other and took it a little ways, …ect …ect….until she had both back. It was so funny!! She is an enjoyable dog!

          Vet trip today, we find out how that leg is doing….and how her overall health is. Then official adoption!


          1. It’s one of my literal days when I miss nuance, humour of all kinds. Makes writing hard, and comments harder!
            Can your smart phones take video? It would be great to have a video of Kiki doing these funny things.
            Hope the vet trip goes well, and there is an easy way to fix the leg if it is giving her pain.
            I do know your sense of humour. Literal days have no sense of humour, lol.


  3. UGH! It is exhausting, isn’t it? That always being on, having to be aware, even when you’re not doing anything and you already feel like crap. It does drain whatever physical resources we have left and people don’t realize how draining it is. It’s like someone who drives a bus or truck all day saying it’s tiring and people think, but you’re sitting all day. How can you be tired?

    And then our brain and imagination have to get involved. If we could turn the exhaustion and the mind games into a business, we’d all be rich! 101 ways on how to live on the boat in your head and how to deal with all the unwanted guests that come along for the ride without wanting to throw everyone off. Unless you really want to. Then you just put the dinghy in the water and wave bye-bye to all of them because you are the captain of your ship!

    Now there’s some mindfulness thinking. And, you don’t need to wait for talk like a pirate day each year because you can do it each day. Arrgh! 🙂


    1. Talk like a Pirate Day!!! Arrgh! haha
      Love that day!
      When my boat rocks I think it is empty because if people where on it they would have to weigh it down a little so they would weight it down a bit!
      I have been having days when I just see the house rock all the time. at least it’s not spinning out of control. I’m amazed I’m not just tossing my cookies at this. Amazing what I have gotten used to.
      Wonder, if they never can fix this pain if I would get used to it? I hope I don’t have to find out. and that is not mindfulness thinking….let’s just stay in this day.

      Hope your boat is in dry dock! Arrgh!


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