Today we are officially canceling Christmas dinner. We were supposed to be hosting dinner for the family at our house this Saturday night, but plans needed to be changed because of my health. It was hard for me to admit it at first, but finally I realized, even if, by some miracle, I could get it all done, I would not be well enough to enjoy it. The probability that I’d end up in bed during the whole thing was high. So, as I prepared to have a “talk” about cancelling Christmas with Stuart, he proceeded to tell me that he felt we needed to do so. So glad we are a team.
For years now we’ve worked at making Christmas our own. We stepped back from the hustle and bustle and spent time together doing our special things. This year, we are in much closer proximity to his family and I really wanted to do something special for his dad, so Christmas dinner was planned. Then I got sicker and sicker with a UTI and more, and suddenly this Christmas started to feel like an albatross around my neck. I desperately wanted it, but my health simply did not agree, and I’ve come to understand that it’s perfectly okay to cancel plans when you need to. If anyone is disappointed or upset because of this change of plans, then I’m not sure I’d want them at my house anyway. (We are going to try to do the dinner on the 29th, but if I can’t, I can’t. Playing that one by ear.)
I feel like this whole experience has made me get back to my mindfulness practice, and Buddhist studies (I consider myself Buddhist inspired). Letting go of the plans for Christmas, not focusing on what may be with my health, just living life moment to moment as best I can, that is where I like to be, I feel like I lost that somewhere along the way.
For the past year I’ve had this bracelet that helps you meditate, it is based on Mala beads, but on a much smaller scale. Mine has 21 beads, where a true Mala has 108. Mala beads are used to count mantras when meditating, I think if it kind of like a Rosary. I have used mine at times when I have a few moments to meditate, I simply hold a bead between my fingers and take a deep breath in and out and then move on to the next bead. Sometimes I’ll focus on counting, or a single word or phrase. It has helped me with anxiety and being centered. I realized just how much I had gotten away from my mindfulness practice when I stopped using my beads. Recently I had a mammogram and I had to take my jewelry off, I had almost everything off already, Stuart was holding it for me, but I had my beads on. I had to take them off, so I put them with my clothes. When I got home I realized I didn’t have my beads. They are very inexpensive and don’t look like much, so no one would have saved it. I was devastated. I had just started using it again and it was helping me through this tough time, and suddenly it was gone. I ordered a new one, but it was different. It didn’t feel right. This week Stuart surprised me with a new one just like my old one. I will be using it often now, I’m so very glad I found this way of simply letting the world go for a little bit. I often get anxious when meditating because I can’t tell how much time has passed, by counting my beads, I have a know that completing one round is a good amount of time, I used to be afraid I’d look at the clock and only a minute had passed, this is a perfect solution.
Another tool I’ve used for a long time that I’m using more often now is chanting. This is not for everyone, some find it much more religiously centered. I don’t really. I do try to practice the Buddha’s teachings, but I don’t feel I really know enough to call myself a Buddhist. I try not to talk about religion on my blog, I respect one and all. I feel we all have the same basic beliefs, we want to be happy and want the same for others. In other words, do good and good comes back to you. I think you should do good no matter what, but again, I’m getting off subject. (and at this time in I’m not sure how many people agree with any of that)
About the chanting. I learned a chant when I was taking yoga, many moons ago, and it stuck with me. Whenever I have a bad spell Stuart and I will chant this chant.
Oṃ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ
tát savitúr váreṇyaṃ
bhárgo devásya dhīmahi
dhíyo yó naḥ pracodáyāt
(O) Supreme one; (who is) the physical, astral (and) causal worlds (himself).
(you are) the source of all, deserving all worship
(O) radiant, divine one; (we) meditate (upon you)
Propel our Intellect (towards liberation or freedom)
I can’t really remember how to pronounce the last two stanzas, but we know the first two by heart and I find them very comforting when I’m in a lot a pain, or having vertigo so very bad. It doesn’t really matter to me what the meaning is, it’s the chant itself that helps. When in pain I chant this and sway back and forth, it honestly helps. Since I had the akathesia side effects last Spring I rock myself to sleep. I simply cannot be still. Since I’ve been so sick, I find myself repeating this mantra every night. That or the Lord’s prayer, which is kind of funny to me.
The next 2 paragraphs are all about my current health condition, feel free to skip it, but if you are interested, here goes:
As many of you will know from my previous post, I’ve been fighting a UTI since late November. I’ve been through 3 rounds of antibiotics and I had another infection from a cyst removal on my scalp that still hasn’t healed. (that procedure was done the third week of November, over a month now). You may also recall that I’ve been going through a Bipolar mixed stated mania phase, and had to change my medication a couple of times. Yesterday I saw the doctor again. I was running a fever, but not incredibly high. My pulse and BP were a little high, nothing worrisome. I have been having severe stomach pain with retching (very little vomiting, just heaving horribly) and the nausea has been so severe, I just can’t express that feeling. My bladder and back still hurt. She also checked my wound and it is still draining, but it’s yellow now. ewww. She’s a little concerned about the possibility of sepsis, since I have infections in 2 places that haven’t healed, but I don’t have that high of a temperature and I should be either vomiting or having diarrhea, and I’m having neither. I’m had my blood drawn just in case. I also had a urninalisis, so far it shows that my UTI is clearing, but I have blood in my urine, so I go to have a kidney/bladder ultrasound tomorrow morning. (At 11:30 in the morning, after no food or drink for 8 hours then drinking at least 32 oz of water before the test without peeing. Talk about torture.)
She thinks this has all probably been caused by adding too many medications at one time and they didn’t play nice together. Stopping the antibiotics will hopefully set it straight. Of course, that wouldn’t explain the blood in my urine, but why worry, it is what it is.
*the first image was created using imgflip.com the second image comes from https://chopra.com/articles/the-benefits-and-uses-of-mala-beads I believe each are open source photos.
7 thoughts on “Canceling Christmas and that’s okay.”
As sorry as I am that you will miss the celebration, it sounds to me like you made a great call. And nice idea to try later, feelings dependent. I am sending pozzies that you will be better real soon. I like the idea of the beads. Maybe I should try that. I’ve got some amethyst beads and that would work, plus it’s good for the brain, and I need that help. I, too, am so happy you have Stuart as your partner in life. He’s the sweetest man just like Wendy is the sweetest woman. You two pair up nicely. Love you xoxoxo
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Hopefully you’ll be able to get together on the 29th. But, if not–you could make it in January or you could pass altogether. That’s life, right? The people who understand will be fine with it. The ones who aren’t–well, they’re probably never going to understand anyways.
I hope they can find some solutions for you soon. Has to be sooo frustrating at times. You know the doctors are doing their best, too, but…sometimes it takes longer than we expect, that’s for sure. Love and hugs. Have a really nice quiet Christmas with your honey. 🙂
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We live in a world that we have to do what we can when we can. I just put up a post the other day on my FB page that said: When I am resting during a flare I am not doing nothing. I am doing exactly what I need to take care of myself.
I, too, push myself. It’s okay to make your selfcare a priority if you need time.
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My dear friend, so many healing thoughts and hugs for you.
I’m sorry you had to cancel the dinner but really happy you are doing self-care and knowing your limits. Perhaps in the new year, after things also quiet down, a family dinner could be had.
Love what you said about the mala beads. I would see them in a neighbourhood store but they were always too expensive. Will have to look for the smaller ones.
As for tomorrow, may everything come back normal and may you quickly be told you can go pee. (the best part of the exam when they would do full and empty bladder images. 😊)
Ah sunshine, you know how I can push myself past safe limits sometimes. But this has me down.
I found out I have an obstruction in my kidneys. Waiting game now, but I sure feel nasty.
Supposed to go see Dad’s wife in the home today, hope I can make it. It will be a challenge.
Love to you and G. Hope you have a lovely Christmas.
Oh, yes the bracelet was much more affordable. Very much so. Some can be expensive. Mine sure wasn’t.
The full set can really get up there, but there ate good prices on Amazon, as much as I’d rather buy local, it’s hard sometimes. I can tell you the name of the place who did mine. It’s handmade, so they can be a bit different. I actually like how much tighter my new one is.
With love metta. 🙏
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Oh, goodness. And during the holidays too though, there is never a good time. You take care of yourself.
Lots of love to you and Stuart. Here’s to a peaceful Christmas.
Here’s something that may make you laugh. I went to eBay to look at mala beads. Looked at a lot and saw one for auction. Didn’t read it properly because, why do that. It came up with the mala beads, assumed they were mala beads and thought “like the colour, will try it, it’s cheap”. Didn’t notice till later it’s only a string of beads.
Guess who won 15 inches of rare, natural, emerald gemstones?!?
They are that rare.
Guess who’s going to be making herself something?
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