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What I've lost due to health issues

May 14, 2008 - 2 comments



I used to climb mountains; eight in one summer, then as often as I could after that.  Shasta, South Sister twice, Mt St. Helens twice, Mt. Thielsen, Bailey, Bachelor, climbed on Hood, Lassen, I can't remember them all until I get out my pictures and then I can smell the crisp clean air and taste the glacial meltwater.

I have overcome many challenges in my life.  I fought my way from obesity not once, but twice.  The most recent battle began in 1999 and was a very healthy experience, despite obstacles.  I learned to cook healthy meals and love to eat them in moderation.  I lost more than 100 pounds and kept it off for several years, until a few pounds crept on here and there.  It wasn't until early this year that I added another 25 pounds afer herniating a disc, having weeks of bad reaction to an epidural, and then the tremors and fatigue.

I took great pride in the changes I wrought in myself.  I continued eating well and exercising, switching modes of exercise when one became too painful.  I took pain management classes, relaxation classes; I am not a quitter.

I have a best friend that likes to travel, and she takes me with her on marvelous adventures.  I've been to Maui twice, Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos, Rosarita Beach, Palm Springs, numerous trips to Las Vegas,  a week in Park City Utah, to Seatttle and Sacramento for WNBA games, to her daughter's in Danville to help babysit her three grandsons.  Everywhere we went, I walked, hiked, swam, joined in water exercise classes, looked for beads for my jewelry making.

I'm on disability, but I was starting to make some money selling the jewelry I make.  It was so wonderful to have an outlet for my creativity and to dream of selling my creations at craft fairs and holiday bazaars; maybe someday being able to once again earn a living.

Neck, back and nerve pain interfered, but life was still good, and I loved having the strength to overcome whatever challenges came my way and plan future outings.

Then the dizziness and fatigue got bad, and I had to cancel a trip to Newport, then one to Las Vegas, then a babysitting trip.  I kept dragging myself to the pool, then herniated the disc while taking my cat to the vet.  I sought help, and when things calmed down, went back to the pool, made jewelry, cooked wonderful vegetarian meals.

Then came the morning when I woke up with my head and hands shaking, then my trunk, then my legs wouldn't work quite right, and the nasty occipital headache, floaters in my right eye.  I fell.  I kept thinking it would get better, but I was so tired I could hardly do anything.  By the time I got to a neurologist, the worst symptoms had calmed  down.

I still had trouble giving myself my allergy shots, filling my cat's medicine capsules, and forget about making jewelry.  My hands don't behave properly; I drop things, I spill things, I toss things.  

My friend sent me to Palm Springs for a week to get over my fatigue.  I was good for a few hours in the morning, then I stayed in my air conditioned condo.  I went to one aqua class.  I found the Living Desert and Palm Canyon and did some hiking, resting a lot, carrying water with me.  I made simple delicious healthy meals.  I was still fatigued.

I went along with her for a conference in Las Vegas, and had little energy, but pushed myself to do things and recorded a lot of steps on my pedometer.  I got so tired it was hard to walk.  Luckily my friend understands, having her own back and knee issues.  We did manage one good day in the Valley of Fire State Park, with a case of water and a picnic lunch and two cameras.

My radiculopathy is flaring up, my feet hurt when I walk, and I never feel rested.  My tremors came back with a vengence on May 11.

I have a trip to Phoenix with a group of friends planned for this weekend, to see the WNBA season opener for last year's champions.  I'm concerned about my stamina, but I will enjoy my life.

I have several trips planned for this summer to Seattle and Sacramento for WNBA games.  January 1, 2009 I'm flying to Maui for two weeks.  I would like to be as healthy as possible to enjoy all the fun things I've so enjoyed in the past.

I need to have a hip labral tear repaired, and I am used to doing all the neccessary rehab exercises after surgery.  I want to reduce my pain level without use of too many medications that fog my mind, or injections that eventually will harm my body.  I should look into Euflexxa injections in my knees; with the large chondral defect, grade 3 and 4 chondromalacia, and torn meniscus in each knee, I could use some cushion again.  I'm putting off any more surgery in them until they need replacements.

I would love to see my friends in my water aerobics class.  I have missed many weeks due to dizziness and fatigue making me realize I shouldn't drive.  The silver lining there is I don't have to fill my gas tank very often!  

I am determined to make the most of my life.  I will face any challenge and do my best to overcome it or accept it and accept change.  Life is good and is constantly evolving.  I don't want to go back to who I was; I want to go forward to who I can be.

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608526 tn?1300956781
by Cre8_it, Sep 12, 2008
You have been through quite a bit.  It must have been amazing to climb a mountain and see the wonder.  I did'nt climb mountains but I used to be very active as well.  I also started a cleaning company and actually did the cleaning, sometimes 16 hrs in a day.  I haven't cleaned since last year, and you won't believe this, but started jewellery making as well.  Like you,  I have a hard time doing that now, for the same reasons.  I have made such a mess of things while making them and can't seem to get my fingers to do what I want.  I just thank god every day that I was born an artist with pencil in hand.  I had always put this on the backburner while my mother said that it was such a waste of talent.  I can't do too much with a pencil anymore so I started painting.  I hope to start selling my paintings soon.  It's like you said, we have to go foward to be the person that we are now and can be.  You have a very good outlook on things and I think that this is what helps us get through.  Sure we have our bad days, but all in all we keep hope for tomorrow.



405614 tn?1329144114
by Fluffysmom, Sep 12, 2008
I used to clean for fun, believe it or not; I would help out friends, because I liked to see what was dirty come clean.  I used toothbrushes, know how to get vertical blinds clean, etc.

I used to paint watercolors.  A couple years ago they had free classes where I lived, and I discovered I could still do it.  I don't have a lot of faith in my talent, so I don't try as much as I should.  Heavens, Monet painted beautifully while nearly blind!

I'm glad you have true talent, a born artist.  It must be wonderful.  I feel like and artist when I still get call from people wanting my jewelry, even though they know I haven't been doing well.  I'm going to sit down with my beads and start working; once I get going, the creativity flows.  I just need to take a break after I design the jewelry and before I put it together, and not get frustrated when I drop things.  I gave up caffeine, but it doesn't stop the jittery or unsteady hands.  I can think of it as a meditation.  It will also help me lose weight, because when I'm working, I forget other things like eating.  I just have to remember to get up so I don't get too sore.

Someday I'll post one of my mountain climbing pictures from when I was younger; maybe you can see what it felt like.



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