It’s really happening….life is changing fast.

“Everything changes, nothing remains without change.” ~ Buddha

Okay so I started this a number of times and just can’t get my words to come out right, so I’m going to try the mindful writing for this post and see how it goes.  What you are about to read will be written with my eyes closed and I’ll be taking a deep breath after each sentence….let’s see how it goes.

Okay, so deep. deep breath.  In.  Out.  Breathe.  I must take time to do that more often.  The simple act of stopping and breathing with intention has helped to calm my mind and open my awareness.  How wonderful that such a small action can do so much.  It is amazing to me.  Again.  Breathe.  In…. Out…..  calm.

Now let’s see if I can write what’s on my mind.

We will be leaving for Tucson in a couple of weeks.  Stuart starts his new job there on June 11th.  Everything has been falling into place.  Well, kinda, sorta.  Enough has fallen into place that it all feels right.  This feels like we are making the best decision for all.

A couple of weeks ago Stuart went for a job interview in Tucson, while there he also looked at houses for us to rent.  Not only was he offered the job, but he found a little house for us to rent while our house sells and we start looking for a house to buy out there.  As I said, it all seems to be falling into place.

Suddenly I was hit with the fact that we’d be leaving in about a month and I may not ever see many of the people on this coast again.  I’m being realistic here, not pessimistic.  We don’t travel much, I don’t travel well, and a lot of my family is getting older.  I scrambled to try to make planes to see everyone.  We tried to make plans, but first Stuart got sick with a cold, then I caught it, and my cold turned into a cough and an ear infection.  I’ve been running a fever for a week.  I just started on antibiotics, and I’m hopeful I’ll be all better before we leave, but it caused a lot of trouble.  Between both of us getting sick and people on vacation, I’m only going to be able to see a select few.  I was devastated.  It really got to me.  My anxiety got very high and I was just so sad.  Then I started telling myself I needed to just let it go.  No regrets.  I can only do what I can do, if I can’t see everyone I just need to let it go.  I’ll keep in touch the best I can.  All anyone can do is their best.  So, I let it go.  It is the way it is.  I accept it and I’m okay with it.

Then there’s the worry about the move itself.  I did start to get all worked up about it all, then again, I started using my new mantra.  “Let it go”  Deep breath…. in and…. out.  It’s all good.  I will take each day as it comes and deal with it at that time, I will not worry about what may be, that only causes more anxiety and I need to let that go.

I was feeling really good about things.  Letting go of what I couldn’t change, accepting each day as it comes, and taking care of things that I needed to take care of.  (like getting all my records from doctors, getting all my prescriptions filled, looking for new doctors, taking Kiki to the vet and getting her ready for the trip….so much to do, and I’ve been getting it done)  My therapist even mentioned how well I was dealing with all the change and how mindfulness has become so ingrained in me.  I admit, I was feeling pretty good about it all.

Then the bottom fell out.  I expected to get to Tucson before Stuart’s step mom’s Alzheimer’s advanced too much.  She didn’t know who Stuart was when he was there, but that didn’t surprise me too much, she’s really only met him in person once…well a few times over a 5 month period when we stayed in Tucson one winter, but not other than that.  She knows Stuart’s dad, and see seems happy.  But this week, due to side effects, they had to take her off the medication that helps slow the progression of her disease.  They expect her to decline rapidly now.  Dad doesn’t know how much longer she will know him.  It breaks my heart.  and it scares me.  I’ve never been around anyone who has Alzheimer’s.  I don’t know what to expect, especially if it is so advanced.  I’m afraid I won’t handle it well.  I just want to make things easier for Dad.  If that just means washing his clothes and stuff, that’s what I’ll do.  I’ll help the best I can.  That’s all I can do.  M is in the best place she could be for this, and I’m sure they will help me know how to deal with the situation.  I’m also reading as much as I can to learn more about it.  Frankly, that disease scares me.  The thought of not remembering my husband, that rips my heart out.  What would be worse, watching Stuart go through it.  It just makes me sad.  I’m working on being okay with the way things are.  Accepting that I can’t change it, and simply being okay with it.  Yes I think I said that before.  I also got news that I can’t really talk about on here, but it has stressed me out!!  Getting to the place of acceptance on this is going to be harder.   No, I can accept that it’s happening, I’m just not sure what that will mean and how it will affect me, more so, how it will affect Stuart and Dad.  Stuart’s not worried about it, he’s annoyed by it, but not worried.  So why am I?  I have to accept this, and be okay with it.  This will take a lot of deep breaths.  Sometimes my husband puts his head in the sand about things.  I hope that isn’t the case with this.  I know it will all be as it will be, and I’ll deal with things as they come up.  I will try my best not to worry about what may be.  One moment at a time.

Well I think I’m done for today.  I’ve spilled a lot out, but I’ve been vague enough that you are probably wondering… “what on earth?”

 

 

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Mindfulness Monday – change

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“Some changes look negative on the surface

but you will soon realize that space is being created

in your life for something new to emerge.”

~ Eckhart Tolle

 

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes.

Don’t resist them;

that only creates sorrow.

Let reality be reality.

Let things flow naturally forward

in whatever way they like.”

~ Lao Tzu

 

 

**photo by W. Holcombe.  Tulip Magnolia in my backyard, the beginning of Spring 2018

All rights reserved.  Please do not copy without permission.

 

Life, it changes in an instant

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My husband’s stepmother (M) was on her way to a basketball game when she tripped and fell face first on cement.  In that instant, our lives changed forever, we just didn’t know it yet.

After the accident the only real damage evident was the loss of all her front teeth.  She was recovering and was going to be fitted with a bridge, but during her follow-up with her physician to discuss other symptoms she was having, they found that she had dangerously low sodium.   Low sodium can cause swelling, for the most part that’s not dangerous, but “when the cells of the brain swell, it’s much more detrimental.  Because the brain cells are so tightly confined by the skull bones, even a small amount of swelling can be dangerous.  This is particularly dangerous when sodium levels drop rapidly, causing brain cells to swell rapidly, Without immediate medical treatment, this rapid swelling could lead to coma and death.” (1)   M was quickly admitted to the hospital, however, she was nearly comatose before they could lower her sodium levels.

The severe drop in sodium caused havoc with her body, we knew she would require physical rehabilitation.  However, when her sodium levels returned to normal, it was obvious there was something still wrong.

M was having severe issues with her memory.  She could read, but she couldn’t comprehend what she was reading.  There was further testing, and it was found that she had a tiny subdural hematoma.  (later is was determined that the hematoma was worse than initially thought)  There was also talk of Alzheimer’s, as this runs in her family.  (from what I understand she was having minor memory issues before the accident)

Soon it became apparent that M would need long term care.  She is not expected to make a full recovery.  She will be entering a long term care facility in less then 6 weeks, and her children plan to sell her house in 6 months.  I’m not sure if they are selling it because the may need funds, because she is not expected to ever come home, or because it would not be a safe place if she ever did come home because as it is a split level and she has to be very careful not to fall, or a combination of the 3.  She also has osteoporosis and they’ve warned if she breaks a hip or something, they can’t do anything for it and most people often die from it.  (no, her children are not kicking dad out, this was decided by all involved)

M is one of the most logical people I know.  She was a computer programmer for years.  That’s pretty amazing since she is in her late 70’s and computers have come a long way in the last few decades.  She took out a long-term care policy years ago, knowing that Alzheimer’s runs in her family; she wanted to make sure things were taken care of if she also got it later, I wish Stuart had been able to get a policy like that, the insurance will cover all of the cost of the facility, and it’s expensive.  I never dreamed that a good assisted living facility would cost $6000 a month.  From what I understand, this place is just wonderful.  They even have dog and horse therapy.

Stuart’s father (Dad) and M got married about 7 years ago, about 7 years after Stuart’s mother passed away.  (I’m really not sure about the exact time in there)  He moved in with her and they have been living in her house.  This is a major life change not only for M, but also for “dad”.  “Dad” does own 3 houses of his own, but someone is living in 1 with the option to buy, 1 is too far out of town for him to travel to the facility M will be in, and the last one needs some repair.  He plans to sell the last one within the next year.  So “dad” has to find a new place to live.

We’ve been discussing quite a bit recently, before the accident, about where we’d like to make our forever home, where we’d like to eventually retire.  (well, when Stuart retires, I haven’t been able to work in years)  After hearing this news about M, we’ve decided to actively pursue moving to Tucson, AZ.  We have family and friends there, it’s warm there year round, and housing is less expensive.  We’ve discussed this briefly with dad and it sounds as if he would really like us closer.  We plan look for a house that has some kind of room for a guest to live-in; a guest house or little apartment would be ideal; that way dad can live with use without feeling like he is intruding on our marriage.  I’ve looked up doctors and I’m please with the possibilites.  I even found a group that supports adults with hearing loss.  Now, Stuart just has to find a job.

This is a major life change for everyone in our family.

It’s a lot to process.

 

In a moment, everything can change….drastically.

 

 

 

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/results-critically-low-sodium-6200.html

A New Year….what will it bring?

“Change is inevitable, growth is intentional.”    -Viktor Frankl

In the beginning of 2013 I was so sick I didn’t even write a New Year’s post.  I was so depressed, and so very, very ill.  (yes, I know this one is a few days late, but it’s still the beginning of the year, right)

So what will the 2014 bring?  I’m not sure, but I know it will be a change.

Nothing is ever permanent.  I may feel I’m always sick and feel horrible, but if I look at every day, every moment, that isn’t true.  It’s not a constant.  Life is not constant.  I want to remember this, and work at being mindful about each moment.

I don’t want to make resolutions, because, let’s face it, very few resolutions are actually carried through.  But there are a few things I want to strive for….if I don’t get there, it’s OK.  Things change.

  • As I’ve already said, I want to be more mindful about each moment.  If I’m doing something I want to really pay attention to what I’m doing.  I do not want to multi-task.  I want to be present in the moment, each moment.
  • I’m trying to eat much less meat.  I know this is going to be a challenge because of my food limitations, but I feel the need to do this.  One day recently I realized if I had to kill the animals we were eating I wouldn’t eat them.  I’ve felt this way for a long time, but I didn’t really take it to heart.  But now, I simply feel I need to do this…so I’m going to try.  I’m taking it slow, and I’m not going to go crazy if I happen to have a bit of meat…just one moment at a time.  (I am still eating eggs…trying to only get pasture raised, and I’m eating some dairy…trying to only eat dairy from a local farm where I know how the cows are treated.)
  • I want to meditate more…I’d like to do this much more regularly than I have been.  I have found that this really helps me when I’m having a vertigo or asthma attack.  I can calm myself and that makes things much easier to get through.  However, I’ve found it is hard for me to meditate for long times, at least for now…so I will start off slowly (if I strive for a couple of minutes, then I’m sure I can succeed)  and work my way up..
  • I want to become happier with my appearance as I am now.  I’ve been so obsessed about losing weight, it has caused me to have very negative feeling about myself.  Yes, I haven’t been able to lose weight because of mitigating circumstances (like not being able to exercise, and taking meds that cause weight gain), but I blamed myself.  I feel if I feel better about myself the size I am I will have accomplished a lot!  I also feel that until I feel more self-confidence about my appearance, it will make it harder for me to lose weight.  That may sound counter intuitive, but when I’m unhappy with my body I get discouraged, and think why bother.  Discouragement, breads self-deprecation for me.
  • I’d like to blog more.  This past year was very hard, I can think of a few reasons it was harder than normal, and hopefully these things will be changing soon. (for example…Stuart getting a job, me getting the asthma under control….)  I don’t like to always sound like someone who is just full of heartache when I blog, so I didn’t blog as much.  I have found that I need to share more with others, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Someone out there may be feeling the same way.
  • And I’d like to challenge myself more.  I know I will have to do this when Stuart goes to work out of the home, but I think it will be good for me.  Sometimes, I feel I rely on him too much.  It’s much easier to ask him for help with something than to risk doing it myself.  My mantra on this must be….”slow, take it slow.”

There are many more things I could add to this, but as I said, this isn’t a list of resolutions, just some plans that may change as the moment changes.

note: for some reason WordPress would not let me insert a picture in this post…sorry for just words, words and more words.