A Healing Time

On a warm winter morning in Alamos, Mexico I was practicing yoga with a friend. We were talking occasionally as we stretched and meditated and woke our bodies up. I told her that everything that I do helps me heal.

Since Jim, my husband and friend died, on October 17, 2012, I have experienced so many emotions and states of being. It wasn’t until this morning that I put my life, since his death, into words. I am healing. When I feel joy, I am healing. When I feel grief, I am healing. When I experience anger I am healing. Laughing-healing, Crying-healing, Sharing a comfortable time with friends or strangers-healing. This is my life. Healing means growth. I am growing with each moment that passes. I am working my way towards a wholeness that I lost with loss and grief. Little moments in time guide me toward this state of being.

This also is a physical state. I treat my body well-healing, I don’t treat my body well-I am healing, Dancing-healing, Walking-healing, Cycling-healing, and Spending a day resting-healing. Physically, Mentally, Spiritually, and Emotionally I am always healing. Even when I don’t know it I am healing toward wholeness and becoming more.

Healing is a lifelong project. Not only am I healing from grief. I am healing from all those other wounds that I have experienced as a part of growing in years and knowledge. Healing is my responsibility and I can’t expect to heal unless I try to unravel the wounds both consciously and subconsciously.

With this knowledge today I have felt vulnerable, and strong, and…everything. Today I have been resting or taking a Siesta. As this knowledge is being absorbed I needed time to rest so I can absorb it in every aspect.

I will continue to walk with strength, stumble, and pick myself up to continue to move toward a wholeness I have not experienced before. Healing, like grief, is ongoing. As I acknowledge this it frees me up to be more of everything.

Today I am thankful for this moment of awareness. Today I am thankful for healing, myself, others and the world. Today I am thankful.

Oh No, She’s Down…but not out.

There are moments in my life when I wish I had a “do-over”. Yesterday was one of those days.

I have a 150 cc Kymco Scooter. Jim and I have owned this scooter since 2006. Both of us were always cautious when riding it. Jim, of course, was always a little more cautious than me. When I am in San Diego I pull the scooter out of storage and enjoy a quick and easy way to get around town. Parking is a breeze. It gets 80 mpg. Most of the year it stays in storage.

Yesterday I had an appointment at one of the Kaiser facilities to have routine lab work drawn. I had this bright idea to ride the scooter. The roads were damp and drying. It had rained during the night. For just a moment I considered not taking it because of the roads but decided that I would be cautious and take it. The weather forecast was good.

I made it twelve miles to the parking structure for the medical offices without incident. As I turned into the structure I hit a wet patch of road and went down. The scooter slid and landed on top of my right leg. If one is going to have an accident having it in the driveway of a medical facility is a good choice. Within seconds two very kind men lifted the scooter off me and stood it out of harm’s way. After a few more seconds there were at least a dozen medical personnel surrounding me. I am sitting on the curb trying to control the need to throw up. When I looked up and saw the staff I asked Susan the nurse representative to get rid of all of them and she did. Within a short time, I had seen a Doctor, not in my plans for the day, and was whisked off for x-rays to make sure I had not broken anything (I did not).

When one lives alone logistics seem harder. I have to figure out many steps that would be so much easier if someone else is around.

I had my labs done, picked up a pain prescription at the pharmacy, and met up with my friend, Phyllis who helped commandeer my day. First stop was the Orthopedic clinic to be out fitted with a knee brace and crutches.

Obviously, I could not drive my scooter. What was I going to do to make sure she was safe and out of harm’s way? I did not feel comfortable leaving her in the parking structure. With the help of the Vespa Scooter Store, I was able to find someone to tow it safely to my storage unit. I felt accomplished when I had found a solution that did not cost me too much money and now I know it is safely tucked away until I can get to her.

My Scooter Getting a Lift

And then there are friends. I value all my friends. My friends have come to my rescue more than once. And then there is Phyllis. Phyllis and I met as nurses at San Diego Children’s Hospital (now known as Rady Children’s Hospital). Over the many years, we have remained strong and true friends. She and I have traveled to Africa and parts of the United States together. If I need someone to help me, Phyllis is my first call. When Jim was receiving chemo and ended up in the ER in the middle of the night due to a temp spike, Phyllis dressed and came to the hospital to support me. She has been in and out of the ER with me numerous times over the years. All I have to do is call and she puts herself into action. She is an amazing person and a tried and true friend. I consider myself extremely fortunate to call her my friend.

The medical staff, all of them at the Vandever clinic were top-notch. I was so impressed with their compassion and kindness and concern. From the moment I hit the ground, literally, professionals were there to help and assist with kindness and compassion, and concern. It reminds me of why I chose to be a registered nurse for twenty-five years.

I am safely tucked into my small rig with a lovely view of Mission Bay. I am doing what I have been told and resting. Leg up, ice packs every hour, and resting. I am thankful for this tiny rig where everything is within reaching distance. I don’t have to go far to cook, get a drink or use the bathroom. And now I wait, giving my leg and knee time to heal. Sigh.

Today I am thankful for not having a fracture. Today I am thankful for Phyllis a good friend. Today I am thankful for Kaiser, the medical staff, and all the loving concern I received. Today I am thankful for the opportunity to have future adventures. Today I am thankful for my little home on wheels that is giving me a safe and comfortable place to heal.

Today I am Thankful. Yes I would still love a do-over.

Updates & Plans

I am now three weeks out from my Radioactive Iodine treatment. It was much harder than I had anticipated, yet I am doing well and recovering on my own timeline. I now have to remind myself it is time to figure out how to get back to normal, whatever that is. Each day I am a little less tired and I begin to think about the future at least a little.

I have been getting questions from friends near and far, regarding how I am doing. Now that February and the first two weeks in March are over, I am realizing that I can begin to consider my future. I still deal with tinnitus but after a visit to my acupuncturist, Gayle the humming is a bit quieter. I appreciate that the birds don’t have to compete for my attention so much.

I am officially not glowing however, the Radioactive Iodine will continue to make it’s way out of my body for eighty days. I can still set off Geiger Counters and alarms at the borders. I have a card I need to carry with me until mid-May that I present if I am stopped anywhere. I will probably set off alarms if I drive into Arizona. I continue to do what I need to do to stay healthy. Drinking a lot of water is still first on the list. Getting enough rest is another.

I still have to wait until early April to have my labs drawn. These labs will tell if I am on the correct dose of Synthroid or whether I need to change it up, again. I will also get a Thyrogen level, which should be close to 0. I have had my full body scan which is normal. Yes!!! If all goes well then I am free to go for hopefully another year.

What is next? Well isn’t that just a loaded question. I have been offered a great opportunity to house-sit for friends on Whidbey Island, off the coast of Seattle for six months. Oooh, what is a girl to do? I am still in the considering phase but each day that I ponder this, I am more and more inclined to accept this offer.

Two years ago, Elsie (the still missing kitty) and I spent a summer in the northwest. I really liked it. I liked the small towns. I liked the people. I liked the access to the water and the mountains as well. I have been considering changing up my travel methods and have begun to plan to stay in places for longer so I can determine where I might want to settle. My first thought was to find a rental in Monterey. I love it there. Then this opportunity arose and well a woman can change her mind.

I started to write this post about a week ago. So much has changed in that time. I am holed up like so many in this country in the safety of my rig. I have wonderful friends in San Diego. Yvonne has kindly offered me her driveway for the past week or so. I sit on the top of a small hill, secure from the world, and have been practicing social isolation in the best of forms. Some mornings, I meet Yvonne in her hot tub. We have been catching up on movies and reality TV. Another day I drove to my friend, Nancy’s house and happily weeded in her front yard for three hours. I have been enjoying quiet and healing time.

Today, I am getting ready to move. My friends, Cynthia and Ward, who have helped me through all things Thyroid Cancer related are welcoming me back to their home. Several years ago I fell while hiking in the desert and broke my right ankle. I had to be off of that leg for seven weeks. I remember how hard it was to adjust to being down one leg, especially for the first few weeks. It would have been so much easier to have someone help me while I got used to my new temporary life. Tomorrow, Cynthia is going to have elective surgery on her foot. She will be non-weight bearing for five weeks. I have offered to help her and her husband out for a few weeks until they have their temporary lifestyle figured out.

This is what friends do for each other. This is all we can do for each other. We can lovingly and supportively help each other out. We can make life easier for ourselves and for others. This is what we do. Practicing kindness and caring is all I can do for myself and others. Even better is allowing myself to accept help and support and put my innate stubbornness on the back burner. So I am off to enjoy my friend’s company and help out the best way I know how. Maybe I will be able to learn a few new crochet stitches (Cynthia is my crochet mentor)  while I enjoy the company of my friends. And…I will continue to give my self the time I need to heal and gain strength.

For those of you who have asked or wondered, I am doing OK. I am grateful for your concern and questions. I am grateful for my friends. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.