Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 100 of 365

Wow. One hundred days.

A hundred days of taking pictures. A hundred days of writing.

Of finding a way to get through the day. A hundred days of trying not to think about pain. (Some of those days I wasn't good at that one.) Of trying to mask the pain and frustration I feel from those around me. (Okay, not always good at that one, either.)

One hundred days worth of sewing, baking, gardening, bird watching, and Target shopping. Of paying it forward with quilts and and concert tickets and expired coupons.

Of downsizing, yet buying more fabric to finish up quilts. One hundred days of trying to focus on the needs of others and on life around me.

A hundred days of self-reflection. Of telling my story.

Of physical therapy, doctor's appointments, medical tests, injections. A hundred days of hoping for a better life.

Of learning to start an exercise habit (54 days in a row now, a little over 16 miles on the bike this week), of kicking the sugar addiction, and of starting to eat salads (even though I still have to mix it with something else).

One hundred days of (trying) to coming to terms with my physical limitations.

Of trying to answer the crucial questions. How do I move on? How can I be a useful, productive citizen when I can't even stand long enough to wash dishes, cook dinner, or brush my teeth? (Not to worry - I do brush my teeth properly, but I have to sit.)

Back on Day 1 I didn't know if I'd ever make it to Day 100.

But here we are. I am still here. I am alive and breathing.

Back on Day 1 I was thankful for my family, for my husband as breadwinner, and for my daughter who let me live with her for my last surgical recovery. I was thankful for the cat that climbed up on me when I wasn't feeling so great and for the roof over my head. I was thankful for the view of the river I have from my living room window. And thankful that on some days I was able to do things that benefited others like collecting coupons to send to military families, making blankets for babies, and making cookies for my physical therapists.

After 100 days I can now add more to that thankful list.

I'm so thankful for my gardens, my ability to write, my camera (for sure!), my commitment to exercising, my time spent sewing for others, the birds that appear out my window, and the beauty around me.

100 days ago I wasn't spending time searching and recognizing the beauty around me. I was lost and didn't know where I was going. I was wandering and floundering in my own pool of unknowns. Bitter and angry.

So many unknowns are still present, but I'm learning to be a better (as opposed to a bitter) person despite my physical restrictions.

And 100 days later I'm thankful to those of you who read my blog and to those who comment on what I write. I'm thankful for your support as I continue to move forward. And thankful that you hang in there with me even when the only things you're reading about are complaints from me.

I couldn't have predicted I'd be where I am now 100 days ago. I can't even imagine where the next 100 days are going to take me!

But on this day - Day 100 - I again discovered beauty in my rose garden. Another rose opened up today.

It just so happens to be the one called "Peace".

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day 99 of 365

I don't think my mind is playing tricks on me this time.

Back on Day 83 I had left the doctor's office in a funk. I had gained weight despite exercising for 37 days in a row. I had started to clean up my diet, was starting to eat salads, and was extremely disappointed that the scale showed I had gained weight when I was expecting it to show I'd lost weight.

Yesterday when I had my test at the hospital, I didn't get weighed so I didn't worry about weight gain or loss.

But today when I got home from spending the night at my daughter's and was getting ready to go to a meeting at school, I put on a new pair of pants. Actually, a pair of pants I bought several months ago. A pair I've never worn because I couldn't fit into them. But today I put on those pair of pants. And they fit just fine.

So despite what that darn scale said at the doctor's office two weeks ago, my body is changing shape. In a good way. And that makes it easier to keep doing what I'm doing - like exercising for the 53rd day in a row.

The other nice thing about today when I got home from spending the night at my daughter's? My husband was crafting a big bouquet of huge peonies from our garden.

Not bad for a guy's flower arrangement.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day 98 of 365

Today is a day I'd just rather forget. Mostly I'd like to forget the time between 12 and 1 o'clock.

Up so I could dress and exercise before 7.

So I could leave by 8.

So I could be at my daughter's by 9.

So I could be at the hospital by 10.

So I could have a procedure that was scheduled to start before 11.

So I could wait more until it finally started before 12.

So I could come out from under the sedation in the middle of the procedure and be awake while a tube and camera were down my throat looking into my stomach.

So I could gag and choke as the procedure continued on while more sedation didn't kick in.

So I could find out that I have a hiatal hernia, had my esophagus biopsied, and that I may need surgery, all before 1.

So I could be back at my daughter's by 2.

So I could sleep until 5.

So I could eat by 6.

So I could go home.

But not today. I was given strict instructions not to drive until tomorrow. I'm camped out at my daughter's, sleeping in her bed and taking it easy. And hoping to get back home tomorrow.

Thank goodness I had time to snap a picture of my wildflower-turned-perennial garden before I left the house. My pink oriental poppies are getting ready to show off.

Better them than my upper digestive system.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day 97 of 365

The weather aided me in opening the sewing room again. It rained all morning and made me feel not as guilty about getting into the sewing more than the gardening.

Looking back over these last 97 days I've done a lot of sewing!
I'm glad I game myself permission yesterday to get back into it. And boy, did I get into it. I usually always use another person's pattern (even though I sometimes alter it a bit) when I make something. I saw a quilt pattern I wanted to try but didn't want to shell out the money, so I tried to duplicate it myself. I'm still working away on it and hope to have the top finished by the end of the week. I think (I hope) it'll be one of my pictures soon.

But for today's picture - after the rain stopped and the sun started shining I went to take a look (not work) in the garden. And my roses have started blooming! The first official rose that has bloomed is one of my favorites - Rio Samba. A yellow rose with orange highlights and a nice spicy fragrance (and if I wasn't sick I'd be able to smell it).

Monday, June 6, 2011

Day 96 of 365

I don't know why I think I can do it all. I should be able to garden, sew, and bake all in the same week.

But the amount of time I'm taking to get myself going in the morning has to change. On any given day I might get up, go to the lift chair, have breakfast, go back to bed for a few minutes, back to the chair, then to a shower, then get dressed, then back to the chair or bed, then to the computer, then get my shoes on. It can take three or more hours for me to finally be showered, dressed, and fed. Then another hour or so before the body is warmed up enough where I can start moving to work in the garden.

I've tried to move the process up, but depending on the day - and the severity of the pain in the back and the joints - it's tough to do. Those days where I do speed it up, I wind up paying for it because I'm hurting even more. So realistically if I wake up at 7, it can be noon before I can start to do anything worthwhile.

It's not any different than a few months ago. But then I could work quietly in the house, organizing something, maybe do some less taxing work like sewing, and get by. With the garden season in full swing there isn't much less taxing work available.

So yet again I'm frustrated. Frustrated with my body, with my limitations. There is a lot I can do and a lot I am thankful for, but gardening is not becoming one of them.

I think the best remedy is to open my sewing room again. Back on Day 80 I had decided to close it for summer. But I now need it. I need to have somewhere to go and something to do on these rough mornings. Something that will get my mind off my pain and troubles. Get myself focusing on someone and something else.

I thought gardening, one of the things I love so dearly, was going to help me get moving in the right direction. I was wrong.

Back to what I know makes me feel better about myself and something I know my joints can tolerate. Sewing for others.

And perfect timing on that decision. Outside my sewing room window I spied a pair of quail in the garden.