My new normal


Well, times change, nothing stays the same.  Here’s hoping I can do this without tears.

My Mom’s health has taken a sudden down turn.  We don’t know what’s wrong and we’ve been trying for nearly a week to get in touch with her Doctor for some advice or direction, or something.  She wakes up screaming and shaking and pounding the bed sheets.  She either can’t, or won’t, get out of bed, so we bought some adult diapers for her and some waterproof mattress pads.  It makes it so much easier to change her.  She says her mind gets dark and she doesn’t know why and she can’t think.  Other times, she sees people and animals that aren’t there.  When we can get her to eat and drink, she gets calmer.  We make sure she gets all of her meds and her insulin shots on time, and that helps, too.  It’s been a very frantic and stressful and difficult 7 days.  We’ve even tried to get her to go to the hospital but she is so afraid they are going to think she’s crazy and put her away that it’s a no go.  We’re going to keep trying though.

Finally, late this afternoon, my sister heard from the Visiting Nurses and they will be at the house tomorrow to evaluate her, help give her a bath, change the sheets on the bed, etc.  Stuff that, unfortunately, right now, neither Cindy or I are capable of doing.  It is such a load off of both our minds right now.  (And, yes, we’ve been saying Thank You, God prayers all afternoon.)  Hopefully we can get some blood work done and start trying to figure this out.  I’m hoping it is a relatively simple fix.  Maybe change some of her meds, maybe change her diet, maybe add something…  She thinks she’s had a stroke, but neither Cindy or I really agree with that.

Bottom line is this, I want my Mother back, even if its only for a short while…


Sorry I’ve been away so long

Tall-Trees1183-1-of-1  I find myself at a new place in my life.  I find that I am content.  I am at peace.  I’ve accepted all the things that are wrong with my poor old body.  And, yes, someday one of those problems will probably kill me, but in the meantime, I’m dealing with it.  Doesn’t mean I don’t have days when my knees just kill me to try to walk on them. Doesn’t mean I enjoy days where the smoke or the dust or the heat or the cold make it hard for me to breathe, doesn’t mean I don’t have bad days anymore, it just means I’ve come to accept that it’s a part of my life and I’m just going to have to deal with those days when they come.

I’ve also found that I’m not constantly angry any more.  I don’t feel the need to get up on a soapbox every other day or so.  Yes, there are still lots of things that I am very passionate about, but I don’t get made at the whole human race, like I use to, when one small segment pisses me off, and they still do.  Actually, it saddens me to realize that there are so many wretched people in the world.  And animal and child abuse still makes me very angry, idiots who think that just because they’re unhappy or mad or stupid that gives them the right to shoot up a mall or a school or a military base, people who are so set in their ways and their view of the world that they feel it is necessary to destroy  a whole country’s history so theirs is the only point of view.  These still annoy the crap out of me and still make me very angry, however, as long as I do whatever I can do to make my little piece of the world better and happier, then God can take care of the rest of the stuff.  And I think, that’s really the bottom line.

I can’t say that I’ve “found” God.  He was never missing from my life, but I didn’t always pay attention to Him.  He’s always been there, through everything, helping to make the way smoother, when I would finally get out of the way.  I think I have finally learned how to get out of the way, to listen when God sends me a message, and to thank Him everyday whether I can see what He has done for me or not.  A lot of things I expected to go sideways in a bad way lately, haven’t.  And for that, I am so very thankful.  God is good.

So, while I try to figure out what I want to do with this blog, I may be silent for awhile, but I will do something with this, just don’t know what just yet.

Thanks for reading and I’ll be back soon.

My New Normal

Ring of Kerry_Atlantic

Lately, I’ve been dealing with what I’m calling my New Normal.  And, as with so many other things, there are several phases to go through to get to the acceptance level of my New Normal.  And I’m not really sure I’m there yet.

My New Normal life includes things like COPD, asthma, arthritis in both knees and moving up to my shoulders, a sciatic hip, and now, I have issues with my wrist from using the computer mouse wrong.  (Insert heavy sigh here.)  I’ve been dealing with the asthma for about 25 years, or so I thought.  Seems I was diagnosed with it when I was 12, but my Mom and my Doctor decided it wasn’t something I needed to know cause it was “low grade” asthma and it wasn’t really giving me much trouble.  I now understand why my Doctor would always tell me, “You know that stuff you had before?  Well, you’ve got it again.”  when I’d go in because I wasn’t feeling very well and was a little short of breath.  Was not pleased to learn this. It means I have had asthma for 48 years, give or take.  Oh, yea.

My arthritis is the result of “if I’d known I was going to live this long I’d have taken better care of myself…”  Too many twisted, popped, tweaked knee injuries over the course of my life.  I always was an accident looking for a place to happen.  But I can deal with the arthritis, as long as the barometer isn’t falling, or already in the cellar, then I have issues.  The sciatica, though, is another story completely.  I have yet to figure out what sets that off.  I can go for weeks before it flares up.  Then I can hardly walk.  Sometimes even sitting is difficult.  The same goes for my wrist.  Fortunately, when it starts up, if I just take a few minutes and let my arm hang down for a bit, everything goes away and I can go back to work.  Oh well…

The one I’m having the hardest time with is the COPD.  I’m having a real hard time dealing with the prospect of being on oxygen 24/7 for The Rest Of My Life.  I get so angry and frustrated with the stupid tanks.  I keep trying to stay off it, but I always have to give in and put the stupid nose hose on and breath the oxygen.  Oh, and I get a lot of “How long did you smoke?” remarks.  I have NEVER smoked.  The only thing I can think of is that when I was born, my lungs and sinuses were filled with mucus and not functioning very well, the Doctors put me in an oxygen tent for a week.  PURE oxygen.  For a week.  So many things get explained by that.  None of this stuff is due to anything I did.  It isn’t my fault, but I get to deal with it.  I know that having hernia surgery with the anesthesia that they used, so I wouldn’t have any problems, added to the crap with my lungs.  It was probably the straw that broke the camel’s back.  I suppose, eventually, I would have ended up on oxygen, but before I hit 60 kind of sucked.

I still try to get away with not using the oxygen all the time, like I should, and then rush to put it on when I get winded.  So, like I said, not quite at the accepted level, still at the frustration level.  Still pretty unhappy and feeling that it’s just not fair.  But there’s a small, little voice that creeps in from time to time to remind me that the option is far less acceptable.

Well, when did this happen?


Yesterday, My Mom, Sister and a family friend and I went garage saling.  Before we got started, we went to McDonald’s for a quick breakfast.  When Cindy was ordering, I realized that she ordered a Senior Coffee for me.  When did I become “a Senior”?  And do I really want to be one?  It’s not that I mind taking advantage of all the benefits that come with being “a Senior”, I’m just not sure I’m ready to admit that I am one.  I certainly don’t feel like it.  Except on days like today, when the barometer is in the basement and ankles hurt and knees hurt and shoulders hurt and back hurts.  For a change, the only thing that hasn’t hurt today is my sciatic hip.

Okay, so I’m now on oxygen 24/7, darn asthma and COPD, (and no, I have never smoked, just bad lungs, badly cared for when I was growing up.), I have trouble walking long distances, thanks arthritis, my right shoulder is now starting to give me grief, I find the occasional silver strand of hair from time to time and sleep and I have not agreed on sleep times for quite awhile.  There, that is my list of complaints.  There are a few more things, but they’re little and only bother me on  rare occasions.

So, here’s the thing, I still FEEL like I’m in my forties or fifties.  I know, age is a matter of mind, if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.  And most of the time, I could care less how old I am.  Sometimes, though, I feel old.  Today is one of those days.  Low barometer, wind, and heat – 76 degrees today, March 6th.  76 degrees.  In March.  It’s a little scary.  I don’t do well in heat.  I’ve had 2 “episodes” of heat sickness and the last put me in the hospital.  So there’s another thing that doesn’t work so well any more – my internal thermostat is shot to pieces.

Still, I guess I’m really not too upset about the Senior thing.  I just don’t know exactly when it happened.  And why…

Here we go again


Disclaimer – all statements and thoughts are mine.  If you don’t agree, that’s fine, but I want no hate mail.  Freedom of Speech and all that.  And yes, I know you have your right to speak, just understand, on this one subject, for now, I don’t care about your opinion.  Even if it is the same as my own.  These are my thoughts and frustrations and annoyances, and I’m mostly just venting, but if it causes one person to sit up, pay attention and think for themselves,woo hoo!

Election time is starting to roll around and, once again, I am struck by how absolutely gullible the American public is.  The four alleged front runners for the Presidency are as follows, an ultra conservative who still isn’t sure he believes in global warning; a Socialist (really?); a liar and a cheat; and a social graces challenged ego maniac.  Seriously, do any of you take the time to read, or really listen, to what they have to say?

I’ve looked it up, out Ultra Conservative has little or no idea what “middle America”, or what’s left of it, has on their minds regarding the future of the country.

The Socialist has been trying to white wash Socialism so that people think that’s what the founding fathers REALLY intended for the country.  Seriously?  People, go back to your fifth grade readers and read about the revolutionary war and the real reasons our country was started.  Has NOTHING to do with Socialism and everything to do with Democracy.  Look  the two words up in the dictionary.  They have nothing in common.

As for the liar and the cheat, This particular person’s past speaks volumes for it’s self.  Sorry, people, a leopard really doesn’t change it’s spots.

As for our social graces challenged ego maniac, doesn’t that description fit?  Does not know how to keep his mouth shut, or how to speak, or behave, diplomatically.  And we are going to trust this person to keep us safe?  Yea, I don’t think so.

And, yes, I’ve already made up my mind.  Once again, it’s the devil you know verses the devil you don’t.  Unfortunately, in this scenario, nobody wins, not really.




Uf da! (or something similar)


To all of you reading this – Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  Hope your holiday season was joyous and bright and wonderful.

I think I’m suffering holiday let down.  Don’t get me wrong, I had a great Christmas and and lovely New Year’s.  It’s just that right now, I’m feeling a bit down.  Especially tonight.  I’m so restless that I’ve walked through my house twice, even though it hurts to go into the back bedroom and utility room (big step down.)  My legs are just driving me crazy, they will not stop twitching.  I’ve eaten my last banana and take a potassium supplement and an aspirin.  And still they twitch.  Of course, the barometer is falling, which just adds to the pile.  Awwww!  There are a lot of things I could whine about right now, but it won’t change anything.

I have been doing a lot of “deep thinking”.  I don’t make resolutions, but I do make changes.  And I’ve got to make some changes.  I have to stay focused on whatever I need to be doing.  I get distracted so easily lately.  My sister calls it the shiny toy syndrome.  I call it the squirrel reaction.  Either way, I will be working away on something and then, like the dog that sees a squirrel, I’m off on a tangent, wasting time and energy on something useless or silly.  Like getting ready for work and finding myself sucked into something on TV.  That’s why I try to watch “fluff” in the morning.  But that doesn’t always work either.  Seems I can get sucked into to fluff just as easily as the regular stuff.  Sometimes easier.

See, I’ve gone off on a tangent.  Anyway, I’ve decided I want to re-do the house.  You know, change things around, get rid of things, get new things, paint things, etc.  I just have to figure out where to start.  That’s another issue.  I am so overwhelmed by everything that needs to be worked on, that I can’t figure out where to start.  So, I don’t do anything.  So here’s the situation:  I need to go through the boxes in the living room and put them somewhere other than the living room.  Then I need to move the furniture around a bit so I can get the couch that’s still in the utility room, into the living room and placed so I can see the TV from it.  The bathroom needs to be cleaned as does the kitchen and my bedroom.  *Sigh*  See what I mean?  My sister and my Mom would just pick a room and go.  One day it’s the kitchen, one day it’s the bathroom, then it’s the living room or the bathroom.  Wish I had a super power, maybe super strength or speed.  Or maybe not…

Uf da!

And it was going so nicely, too…


I haven’t written for awhile because, well because I didn’t have much to say.  Things have been going along nicely, for a change.  A few little bumps now and again, but nothing to light my fuse.  Until now.

Here’s a little background, I work for the State of Colorado through a program called Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP).  Several months ago, I was asked to write a one page article on how SCSEP had been a benefit to me.  So I did, and sent it in.  On Friday, I got an email saying The Colorado Department of Labor would like permission to publish my article.  Well, of course.  So, I gave my boss my phone number and email and said tell them yes.  Next thing I know, I’m talking to the assistant to the director of marketing.  Well!  She wanted to give my phone number and email to her boss.  The Reader’s Digest version is that they want me to do a follow up on my story, they want to contact the papers around here AND they will help me get a few grants so I can finish training to become a Certified Genealogist.  Cool, right?

Evidently not.  I have got nothing but crap about doing this, from my family, since I mentioned it.  New rule #1 – Don’t tell Mom what I’m doing cause she gets all upset that I’m being “…scammed, or phished or any of those other horrible things that happen to people all the time, especially now. Don’t give them any of your financial information.  Or Social Security Number.  They’ll steal your identity.”  It’s the Department of Labor.  They probably already have that information.  And it’s just a picture and an article.  Besides, if any body wants to steal my stuff, go ahead.  It won’t help you in any way.  Being me is not a financial windfall, more like a money pit.  I’m not worried.

So here’s my question – Why is it so hard for my own family to say good job or congratulations, or well done, or anything other than, “You’re not going to do that, are you?”  Now, please understand this, I love my Mom.  I really do, but I have had to deal with this sort of thing my WHOLE life. ‘ I shouldn’t get too attached to that job, it probably won’t last or be what you think its going to be.  You’re going out with him, again?  Are you sure that’s a good idea?  Of course I think you’re pretty, but your my daughter, of course I think you’re pretty.  Why are you spending money right now?  You won’t have enough to pay your rent if you buy that (whatever it is I was thinking about buying).’

I don’t think there are answers to this conundrum.  It’s my personal cross to bear.  I know she thinks she’s helping.  She isn’t though.  Rant over.

Deep Thoughts

Life and Death Intermingled

I know, it sounds trivial, been used so many times, but it’s true for me just now.  I have to say, first, that I’m one of those people that get upset at the young people, who act like the world owes them something.  The world owes nobody anything.  Now, having said that, here’s the kicker…  Lately, I’ve been acting a little bit like that myself.  Ranting and pleading and begging at/to God.

I have so much to be thankful for.  I have been blessed in so very many ways.  I’m as healthy as I can be, I have a house to live in, a vehicle to get me to and from a job that I really do love.  My Mother and sister are as healthy as they can be.  My brother is doing amazingly well after his gastric sleeve surgery (already lost 100 pounds or more), and the rest of my family, near and far, are, at this point in time, healthy and happy and safe.  My kitty is healthy and, I think, happy, too.   I have food to eat and clothes to wear.  I have 2 TVs and 2 sort of computers (one works really well, one is just this side of crap) and a tablet.  I have books to read and games to play and friends that, I think, care what happens to me and, last but certain not the least at all, I have God and Jesus on my side.

So why do I act like I have nothing and need/want more?  I have been thinking about that a lot.  Deeply and thoroughly.  And I have come to the conclusion that it’s a part of the instant gratification mind set.  Like Violet in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.  “I want it all and I want it now”.  For example, I want a NEW car, I want a fence across the front of the yard, I want a yard of creeping thyme instead of brown grass and weeds.  I want a willow tree, a lemon tree, an avocado tree growing in my back room.  I want new, nice furniture,  I want ceiling fans in every room.  I want a real furnace and a real air conditioner.  I want a dishwasher and a washer and/or dryer.  I want a big screen TV for the living room.  I want a “catio” for Meow-Yen so she can sit safely outside and watch the birds with out me worrying about her.

And none of all this stuff will change my life much, if at all.  Yes, the dishwasher would be great as I hate washing dishes by hand.  A washer would be great, too, so I could do the laundry when I need to, rather than waiting till Sunday and doing my laundry at Mom and Cindy’s.  I would rather go over, sit around and talk, eat lunch, play dominoes and then go home.  But, again, what difference will it really make?  There will always be something else that “I can’t live without”.  And really, I don’t think I need as much as I think I do.  It all comes down to trusting God’s plan for me.  And every time, every time I try to do things by myself, it never works right, or at all.  And that, in turn, frustrates me.  Which is when I start my ranting and pleading and begging to God.  I think He’s trying to teach me patience.  I am not a good student.  Forgive me, Father God, when I’m stupid like this.



I find myself at the begins of S.A.D.  (Seasonal Affective Disorder)  I was hoping, because everything has been going so well, that I could delay it’s onset, but not so.  In truth, it’s a little early this year, not yet fall.  But that’s as may be.  So, let’s play catch-up.

My Cardiac CT, that my personal Doctor insisted on, went really well.  In fact, the cardiologist used words like wonderful and superb and terrific.  He said all sorts of wonderful things about my heart and the surrounding blood veins, arteries and vessels.  He said there was no sign at all of a heart attack, no signs of any blockages and very minimal plaque.  He said he hadn’t seen a heart in as good a shape as mine, for someone my age, in a long time.  Woo Hoo!  So I celebrated by getting my hair done, a perm and a cut.  (Looks pretty good.)

Now, while all this was going on, we were dealing with smoke from the fires all the way over in California and Oregon.  Also, in the part of Southeastern Colorado that I live in, we were having dust storms.  We had one so bad that it closed the hiways between our town and the border both to the south and to the east.  When you have asthma and COPD, both of those events are not good.  So, after a few days of extra oxygen and allergy eyes, I went to my ophthalmologist for my annual eye exam.  She was new, my older eye doctor having retired at the first of the year.  But I really liked her.  Even if I wasn’t thrilled with her diagnoses.    My eyes, never very good anyway, have gotten to the point that my glasses can only partially correct my vision.  Can’t get it to 20/20 anymore.  I told her so long as it can be corrected so that I can continue to work, I will deal with it.  She smiled and said that not being able to see well enough to do things was a long way off still.  Okay, so I can deal with.  Heck, for most of, if not all of, my life, I’ve been told that I would probably be blind by 60, so no big thing.  (By the way in 4 months I will be 60.)

So, while things are going well, physically, my mental issues are returning.  I’m glad its only seasonal.  Though I’d prefer not to have to deal with them at all.  Even though I still have small bouts through out the year, too many grey rainy days, etc., my worst days are when winter hits.  Last year wasn’t too bad, but with predictions of a cold, wet, El Nino winter, I’m not looking forward to winter…  oh well.  Sigh

Here I go again…


Well, I have had an interesting couple of weeks.  I have another week to go, maybe a week and a half, before I know what’s going on.  Here’s the story so far…

Thursday, July 23, I woke up feeling not so good.  I was having a very hard time catching my breath and my chest felt like someone threw a rock at me and my left shoulder hurt something fierce.  I decided it was time to take myself to the walk in clinic.  Fortunately, my own Doctor was on call at the clinic.  He asked me what was up, so I told him.  He listened to my heart and lungs for about that long then said he was sending me to the ER.  He said that they could do the same tests there in the office, but it would be a few days before he got the results.  The ER was faster.  So, I took my self to the ER (fortunately the hospital is next to the clinic) and the nurses there were waiting for me.  My doctor thought I was having a heart attack.  I called my Mom and Sister and Cindy came right over.  By the time she got there, they had me hooked up to two different machines and were in the process of drawing blood.  (I swear they took half my blood.)  She had a few errands to run and both the nurses and myself told her to go ahead, it would be a while before they knew anything.  After the blood draw, I got to go to X-Ray and get pictures of my chest and shoulders and all that fun stuff.  Then they put me back in my room in the ER.  Fortunately, they had the Disney Channel on, so I watched cartoons for about half an hour.

Eventually, the ER Doctor came in.  He said all my tests were clear.  No enzymes to show anything happened with my heart, blood pressure was normal, no infections or diseases were found in my blood, nothing out of the ordinary.  Okay, so what happened?   The ER Doctor asked where the most pain was and started to push on the area.  It hurt, so I said oww!  He smiled and said it wasn’t a heart attack, it was just separation of the cartilage between the breastbone and the ribs.  It would take 6 to 8 weeks to heal.  No heavy lifting and try not to cough cause it could start everything all over again.  Cindy got back just as he was releasing me, with the instructions to see my Dr. within a week.

So, okay.  Cartilage separation.  I can live with that.  The next Thursday I went back to my Doctor.  He asked when I was released.  I told him Thursday.   He said no, not when I was admitted, when was I released.  I said Thursday.  I told him everything the ER Doctor told me and I have to say, I have never seen my Doctor get so mad so fast, ever.  So he sent me to a cardiologist who looked everything over and said that while he didn’t see any signs of a heart attack, and that my heart looked good and sounded fine and that my lungs, all things considered, were good, he wanted to take a better look.  So, Next Thursday, Aug. 13, I, and my driver Cindy, leave here at 5 in the morning and go to Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs for a cardiac CT.  Once again, I get my blood filled with all sorts of chemicals so the Techs and the Doctor can watch my circulatory system work.  Oh joy.