ON WINGS OF DEPRESSION

I’m in a place I hate right now. That’s not like me, not to enjoy life where I’m dumped, placed or fallen. This is difficult. For those of you who may be new to my writing, I usually write about living with chronic pain because I have lived with it for over 27 years. Currently I am going through a different experience for me; I am recovering from a mastectomy on the left side of my chest. After many medical consults, and a tumor board’s opinion at a major hospital in Portland, Oregon, about two hours from my home, I am going through radiation therapy.

It’s so different than the usual pain in my sitter and my other joints. It’s different than the Sjogren’s Syndrome which I have which leaves my mouth and eyes dangerously dry all the time. Unfortunately, they’re all still there and the new problems just piled on top. I’m living in a hotel to keep from making that long trip each day and I’m homesick. The inconveniences of being away from home are multiple and this week my husband is the family member who is traveling with me. Last week it was my son and next I’ll be accompanied by my daughter and my youngest two grandkids. The sheer volume of items I travel with is astounding, such as food, a humidifier, two shirts every day to cover my loss of breast, etc. My husband tells people it’s like traveling with the First Lady…Ha Ha. I’m married to a humorous man; most of the time. He’s just been cleared of lymph node involvement due to having melanoma so he’s had a few bad days lately, actually, we both have.

I don’t want this to be too depressing, so please, hang in there with me and we’ll end this on a hopeful note: I promise.

Is it any wonder to anyone I have been having depression. Let’s see: My chest is getting radiated and therefore fried five days a week, I have a burn that is beginning to blister, and therefore I am either gooey with Vitamin D, E crème or sticky with aloe vera. I am receiving physical therapy to keep the lymph system, muscles and movement mobile as well in my left arm and shoulder.  I love having my surgical wound and scar massaged…not.  Other than all of that life is just hunky doo.

I don’t like being depressed. It feels terrible. I cry, I question my decisions, I’m miserable to be with and to me, from the view in here, or should I say down there, the light has gone out. That’s the reason I can’t stand or stay in this state for long.

Being depressed, for those of you who haven’t been there, all 5 of you, is like falling into a deep, very dark hole. I don’t like it down there and like a highly motivated acrobat, I immediately begin to jump out, crawl out or put up a crying search for help. If I was a decent acrobat or even a real one I’d have a trampoline. Maybe I should look into that.

I think everyone has their own way of pulling out of depression and some folks actually enjoy that state. For some it feels good to wallow. I understand pigs get accustomed to it and it’s a happy habit. I save wallowing for pigs and don’t even want to go there. It’s not only a porker habit but it leads nowhere.  I know, there are those who believe it’s healthy but as healthy as wallowing may supposed to be, does it change anything? One way to get out of wallowing that comes to mind? Acceptance is all I can think of and for most of us it does take time to adjust to change. We humans somehow believe life is a big rose garden and we are the butterflies. Even rose gardens have to deal with fungus, manure and insects. You see, life isn’t perfect. Why do we always expect it? If you must wallow, pull out as quickly as you can manage, before it becomes a way of coping by obtaining short term sympathy from others. Sympathy is a hollow emotion and leads you to dangerous depths of behavior. Don’t make that your major form of obtaining love, okay?

How do I pull out of depression and how can you? There are many cures and only a few come in medicine bottles. I prefer the ones that don’t but that isn’t true for everyone who may need medical help. It’s okay. You must do what works for you. Just don’t mix your bottles, okay? Let’s just look at a few of the natural methods that also work.

Be grateful. An attitude of gratitude can lead you to look around at a world you haven’t really seen when you and I have been down in that hole. Try making a mental or written list of at least 5-10 beautiful or meaningful items in your view. Look out the window, sit on the porch and look for beauty. A neighbor’s roses or other glorious plants or trees can be wonderful. Look at the fruits in your kitchen. Have you ever wondered at the glory that created an artichoke, an apple or observed the delicious odors arising from a pot of beef stew filled with all of nature’s bounty? Read something beautiful like a Psalm, a poem or a funny sign on a wall. My home is filled with them. One of them says, “UNLESS YOU’RE GEORGE STRAIT OR GOD; TAKE OFF YOUR BOOTS.” There is beauty in humor because it makes you smile and find the sunny side of your personality. There is always beauty in our pets by their very design and personality. I love the way tiny George lopes across the floor chasing after his miniature Kong or a ball. Beauty is there and deserves our gratitude.

Gratitude should also extend to ourselves. Like yourself. You are not your disease. You are not your pain. You have been installed and instilled with multiple possibilities and you need to “feed” them. Remember loving all of those you love must begin with loving yourself.

Give your depression away. Give away a smile, a polite action, a passing kind remark or something more tangible. Make cookies for a neighbor for no reason. Praying for someone in need can bless you as well as the one who is prayed for. Go for a slow walk in the mall and talk to anyone who looks despondent or just give them a smile.

Watch the company you keep. Depression pulls us to a dark place. Don’t make it worse by concentrating on how the world is going to hell, some murderer gone mad or the country going to “the dogs.” Too much of this can shut out the light and make your world darker. Unless you’re God Himself, you can’t do that much about all of those issues anyway. Be careful about going to the worst outcome of life’s big challenges all over this globe and here at home; do what you can do. Write letters, vote and keep up your attitude. Enough of this doom’s day attitude because it is bringing you down and ruining this 24 hours of your life.

Look for and embrace symbols of joy. I have a tiny gold filigree egg that hangs on a chain around my neck that belonged to my much loved sister-in-law. Eggs are a symbol or ongoing life. Our home is full of symbols and gifts from family and friends which bring us pleasure.

How will I do this? I’ll follow my own rules to make it through another 14 treatments of radiation therapy. I know I will be relieved and my full, hearty spirit will return, but when any one of us face so many assaults to our lives, our bodies and our very physicality, it is a huge challenge. We are not our bodies. We are spiritual creatures and the spirit must lead the way. Don’t be afraid to fly.

67 thoughts on “ON WINGS OF DEPRESSION

  1. I know the pit of darkness all too well. I’m however blessed with deep faith and prayer helps when I’m at my most despondent. I admit some of my self pity is due to being a barren spinster. It doesn’t matter how many people call me a “second mom” I don’t have anyone to truly call my child or grandchild. I live for my dad and those who love me but reality is that I’m an option to most when they have taken care of everything else. Thank heaven I am still able to go out into the world instead of waiting for the world to have time for me. I’m also blessed that I’m content to spend time alone. I need silence at times and folks that don’t live alone rarely get that.

    • Bobsled, Thank you for your heartfelt sharing. I know you bear the burden of a special kind of loneliness and there must be times of darkness but you’re so right, our faith is always a light, even in the darkest spots of life. I’m exhausted so I know you’ll forgive this if it’s brief. Got home this afternoon and am having esophageal burn problems so on a liquid diet right now…sucks. Love ya, Sue

  2. Sue
    My heart goes out to you
    But I know how strong you are ,and you can see the end goal now
    It’s another w.end at home for you .you must so appreciate it .
    Normal must seem a long way off,but it’s getting nearer all the time.
    The weather has been good here so I hope it’s being good to you over there
    Anyway I’ll keep this short incase it doesn’t get on,thinking of you Sue love Chris.

    • Thanks Chris, yes the weather is lovely. We had rain all the way into Portland on Mon. but bright today and lovely cool breeze blowing off the river this evening. I am so sorry you’re having so much trouble with the site. Wish I had the answers. Hope your weekend is filled with fun and not just duty. Love, Sue

  3. Dearest Sue, I thought about you this morning in that hotel room and wondered if you were packing and getting ready to return to your home overlooking the river. The radiation therapy, with blisters and icky creme and salves, sounds absolutely horrid. I wish I lived close enough to drop by mid-week to bring you a hand picked bouquet of lilacs or just to take you for a short walk or sit down on a bench to share some chat or some silence. I especially like the paragraph in this week’s blog that starts, “Give your depression away.” I remarked to Jennie on last week’s blog, that this reaching out thing is somewhat contagious. I’ve always been very reserved, somewhat shy, when it comes to socializing and interacting with other people. However, after reading your “In the waiting room,” I found myself looking at others differently, wondering what struggles of their own they might be dealing with or what trials and tribulations they might be going through. You know what I’m discovering? The more open I am, the more likely others are to open up to me. It’s also amazing how many people will smile back when I smile at them. It’s also surprising that a few people don’t know how to respond to a smile or a kind gesture and turn and go the other direction. I’m positive, however, that on some level they have been touched and better for it. I’m glad you shared your feelings of depression and vulnerability with us because, wasn’t it Bill K. (or some name close to that) who started the AA meetings and said, “The first step in recovery is admitting we have a problem?” And so it is, I believe, with depression or any other life situation we have to deal with and work our way through. Love you, Dear Sue. Enjoy your home and all your familiar surroundings this weekend. Praying those next 14 treatments pass very quickly. Karen. XOXO

      • Karen:
        Being a very social creature myself, it really touched me to read of your inner struggles to be so. I am so glad that you are reaching out. Myself, I never meet a stranger and cannot stand silences in a room of captive audience. But you are so right that just a smile may be what a person needs to experience in a sea of faces. My sister tells a story of touch a lady on the shoulder as she went by her one day. As she came back by the woman was crying and telling her how much she needed that touch from someone at that very moment. We never know what the other person is suffering. Continue on dear heart and find another smile in that place.
        Tonie

    • Karen dear girl, it’s letters like this that make me realize this blog is effective and actually is read and absorbed. I’m so pleased to hear you are reaching out in that way and YES, when you’re more open others sense it. I’ve been approached frequently by others on the street, etc. and it shows. Yes it was Bill W. because I used to be the director of nursing at an alcohol rehab hospital and he was wise and so effective in his efforts to help others.
      It’s fun, too. Just realizing there is a story inside each of the people you see opens up something inside each of us and makes us less alone.
      Yes, it’s wonderful to be home. I wish I felt like doing more but I can see this is going to be a lay around weekend. May give George a trim and a bath, do my nails and all that kind of maintenance stuff. The little things mean so much. For instance the shower at the hotel is very weak willed and it does forever to rinse your hair. I love our shower here at home. Life’s little rewards. George was exhausted yesterday when we got home. He went into his kennel and slept until nine last night then came out, I fed him and he ate a whole container of Little Caesar. Then he popped back to sleep. Jakie was running all over the house with joy, whooping it up when we got home. Sweet old thing.
      Well, I certainly wish you were closer, also. A good chat or a walk along the river would both be welcome with a good friend, however, right now, I’m not doing much talking. This burnt esophagus and voice box is uncomfortable and I cough when I talk much. They assure me it will clear up after treatment…thank God. Getting food down is a challenge so it’s creamed this and creamed that. I’ll be okay once the next 11, yes, now 11 treatments are finished. Pray you are as well as possible. Love, Sue

  4. Sue, I wish I could come give you a big hug and a homemade pie, or bounce into your living room wearing a silly costume while blowing soap bubbles, or sit and let you just vent , cry, throw water balloons or anything else ghat would let some steam off, make you laugh, or let you know how very lived you are. I know depression is just awful; though yours is for different reasons I cannot fully understand or relate to, I know that horrid “black hole with a spiral slide to the bottom” feeling all too well, and how very hard it is to pull yourself out of it by following the advice you’ve just shared. Sometimes you just gotta have a “lifeline”. Don’t give up, don’t give in, just rest awhile in the arms of our loving God, and ask for whatever you need from us, knowing we’ll do anything that is within our power to lift your spirits. Love you to the moon and back, Princess Crabby Pants

  5. Hey I just had this brilliant idea- anyone who has Sue’s address or will message her for it, lets start a random “storm” of cards her way that she can pick up on the weekend and take to Portland with her to be opened whenever she needs “medicine”. Kind of a verbal hug Rx to be used prn (as needed). I’m sure some if you may already be doing this.

    • Annie…fabulous idea! Perhaps Sue would be more comfortable giving out her temporary address at the hotel she’s staying at in Portland, rather than making her residential address public. Sue, How do you feel about us sending cards to the hotel?

    • Annie dear, calm your engines. I’ll be okay. I think cards are thoughtful and nice but this form of communication we do on here is fine for me. Every Friday when we get home I have a ton of junk mail, catalogs, bills, etc. to pile through and life is very full of things and such right now. I know you guys all care or you wouldn’t respond as you do from the heart. Just hearing from all of you is all the medicine I need, besides the huge box of bills I carry with me to travel. Poor Jim, he needs to stay home next week. These trips to Portland to foreign territory are hard on him. It’s a very crowded area with many college kids on bikes, narrow streets, gorgeous old homes and we’re near a fabulous park and the zoo. Hope to fill up to seeing that next week with the grands. They’ve been there so much they practically know all the animals by name…truly. We have a hotel in a good place and it is okay but not home. This latest challenge has me down because everyone keeps telling me to eat protein and swallowing is bad right now so I’m loading up on some of my favs like carrot ginger soup, shakes, good old Ensure. I drank a grapefruit juice mixed into a seltzer on Wed. and thought I was going to die. Apparently I’ll have to get my potassium from cantaloupe or some other source for now. My mind is busy and my body shot. It’s just a matter of trudgin’ on one foot in front of the other for now.Thanks for worrying about me sweet friend, Love, Sue

      • Dear Sue, Back in the early nineties, my father was being radiated for squamous cell carcinoma of the throat and, due to the burn and decreased saliva production, the only things he could get down were raw eggs and Ensure. A friendly old gentleman who was the local pharmacist here in Alameda, at the time, would order Glandosane, an artificial saliva, for me by the case and I would send it to my Dad in Pennsylvania. In PA, Dad could only purchase it by the individual container @ $35 each but my pharmacist sold it to me at retail for $6 per container. Perhaps there are newer and more improved products available now days but Dad really appreciated the Glandosane, and the relief it provided for the dry, scratchy throat. Continuing prayers for you. Love, Karen

  6. I’ve been in the black hole and could not pull out without meds–although I really tried. I felt disconnected from everyone and everything, but I didn’t have someone(s) close by who loved me like you do. In addition to the meds, I found a book called “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy” — and realized I had many of the thinking errors that were described in the book. I also found a quote by Haruki Murakami that remains a favoirite. “And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, when the storm is really over. But one thing’s certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in…”. I came out of it and am completely transformed–a different person I like much better than the person I used to be. I wonder, if I was in your shoes, if I’d ask for a new room with a new view… or with the bed in a different direction. I used to start telling myself that no matter how bad things seemed, it was temporary. I am wondering also, if perhaps you had been taking estrogen up until you were diagnosed with cancer and had to stop. I had stopped taking estrogen and it was about a year before I realized that doing this was partly to blame for my depression. But I know it feeds cancer so those who have it can’t take it … but at least you’d know about the chemistry of your situation. May you dream of the butterfly that will emerge from the cocoon you are in and the beauty you will see after you make it through the dark tunnel you are in. I am so glad I found your blog 4 ? years ago while I was in the darkness and alone. I remember when I googled something like “feeling powerless with chronic illness” and found two blogs: yours and Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s. Both of you became my mentors in my journey of recovery. Wishing you sweet dreams!

  7. Sue, hang in there. The truth is written by your hand, as that dark cloud will lift as soon as the treatments are over. I have also been in the pits of depression and it’s not like any physical pain but may even be worse. The suffering is intense; worse in the morning, less in the evening, for me. I haven’t had this happen for 30 years now and I think it’s because I have learned to fill my life with purpose. Maybe I’m just too busy to let myself get depressed. I’m sure a therapist would have something to say about this! I pray that you too will soon pull out of this. It makes me sad that you are sad. God Bless, Brenda

    • Brenda, thank you. I think staying busy is important as a deterrent for depression, also. Maybe it’s when the body just won’t allow busy except doctors, treatments, etc. that it gets hard for me. The spirit is willing and that sort of thing. It’s good to hear from you. How’re you doing? Sue

  8. Sue, I’ve felt your silence for a little while now and suspected you were in this place. Extra prayers have been said and will continue. I know you will not remain there. Our spirits are similar that way. We may visit that land, but we just simply can’t remain there. It’s funny, when doc first wanted to put me on Cymbalta for my OA he asked if I am ever depressed. I could honestly say no. At least not really any more. But even the adjustment period to the RA/OA and having to quit work were not that long lived, although I know having to quit work was a really rough one for you. I suppose longest for me was when my father died. That’s not surprising. Anyway, I know you’re having a rough time, but I’m just as sure you are fighting your way through. You see, you are a glass half full type of person also. And we are all here with you and for you.

    • Lyn dear, your note touched me as we are much alike. Everytime I have radiation and have to put both of my arms up above my head and then have to have help prying them down afterward, I think of you. Much going on right now on this end. Hope you, your car, the kids and DH are enjoying your summer. You posted something about an ice storm on FB. Was that near you? That’s no way to enjoy a convertible you know. I know your family enjoys get togethers in the summer and hope the food is festive and am sure it is. Love you gal, Sue

      • Oh, haha, Sue! The ice storm was my result from one of those Facebook quizzes – What Kind of Storm Are You? Apparently I’m an ice storm. I found that humorous. No, way too warm around here for ice. Unless you mean ice cream. 😉 I’m enjoying the car – top down as much as I can. SB and DH have been working on extending our patio area this summer. So far they have excavated the area and are still in the dirt removal stage. Next week we will take a look at pavers. We have some, but probably less than half we need. So… the new will have to coordinate with the old we have on hand and I’ll have to make some sort of pattern with them. The rain we had the last week or so and SB’s work schedule have kept them working at a slower pace, which is fine. We have the whole summer if we need it. DD will switch to working mostly as an MA in July and is working front office and MA in the meantime. She’s doing well. I’m still weaning off the Cymbalta. This step has been tricky. I get headaches easily and can only have a little if I want an adult beverage. My head swims a little at times, but none are the horror story I’ve heard some people have experienced, so I figure I’m doing pretty well. I’ll be glad when I’m back to “normal”. Our family Friday “deck nights” are off and running. Last night we laughed and laughed. What a great way to unwind from the week. Enjoy your time with Jake and in your comfy home while you rest up for next week’s radiation gauntlet. Blessings!

  9. Sue:
    Sweet dear one. I can feel your sitting there in the hole trying to climb back out. I know you will not be there long, but I commiserate with your state of being. I unfortunately have suffered with this off and on all my life. Sometimes it is worse than others, sometimes I need a few pills to kick start me out of there. BUT, faith and prayer are where I am right now with it. Life is depressing enough without all the stuff we have piled on top of us. We MUST find that joy in life. I find there are days such as today when I have taken my weekly dose of MTX, that I get a little bit down in the mouth. (she upped me to the max dose this last time) But I am remembering that tiny little new life I held in my arms last night and it brings tears of joy to my eyes. My great niece had her baby girl, Ava Grace, on Thursday night. All 8′ 7 oz of her. Head full of black hair and sweet little chubby cheeks. I love seeing babies of all kinds, human and other. THey make me smile involuntary. I mean HOW can you not ?? It is overcast and otherwise a good day to rest a while today. I will watch me a movie then do a few chores. We have summer helper kids on Monday so I must rest up. It will be a long day !! I pray you are home and resting up now. Being back at home will lift you up, and next week you have your little smile starters with you !
    God bless ya !
    Love
    TOnie

    • Tonie dear, I think I am just in an overwhelming position right now physically and it’s tantamount to drowning BUT I’m a fairly good swimmer. I have to remember to take it one problem at a time, one swallow at a time and one night’s sleep at a time. I’m thudding along. Can’t call friends this weekend…with this choking crap I cough when I talk. That stunts my style a bit. Have to load up on goodies to take back, give George a bath and lay low for most of the weekend.
      I hope the kids who come to help you and Judy get all of your projects done and hope you are just worn out from somebody being there and don’t do too much yourself . When was that MRI on the right shoulder to be? I’m thinking about you and pleased to hear your congressman is doing something to help you get your social security disability. It is yours after all…Love you, Sue

      • Sue:
        I get a prob with my throat sometimes and it cuts off my voice when I sing, or talk (and you know that kills me) I hate it and I really feel for you there. I had the MRI last night. So should know something next week. I did get a letter yesterday from SSI telling the Senator that they couldn’t approve my disability and I would have to go to a hearing which they are in the process of setting up. I must send him a note and let him know I have been waiting on the hearing for 10 months now !! I gave the boys a bath, cleaned the floors, and swipe dusted, changed the bed and that was it for me today. It is too hot to work outside. I pray it is a bit cooler on Mon. Please be good to you and hug little George and kiss Jakie for me !
        Love ya
        TOnie

  10. Dear Sue, I am familiar with that deep dark hole. If anybody in this world can climb out it is you. You are in my thoughts and prayers many times a day. So many times you have helped me I can’t even count them. Know we all care and are pulling for you, maybe that can help you. Enjoy your Grandkids this week. And keep on climbing. Love, Janet

    • Janet dear, two and a half more weeks and it will end the radiation and I’m assured the esophagus will get better after that. The burn is not that bad, really. How are you doing with your plans to move? It seems like these things get harder with age but we still have to keep climbing..I agree. Love you, Sue

      • I have accepted the fact that I am going to move, but just can’t seem to get started. It’s not until sometime in September. Every other move I have made ( and there have been quite few) I just packed up all the stuff and moved. This time I have a large house and garage full of stuff that I have no idea what to do with. What do you do with 84 years accumulation of your stuff, your husbands stuff, your Mom and Dad’s stuff? Some of it will go to my kids. but most of it will just have to go and I am finding that very difficult. Enter the black hole. Some problems are aggravated by the pain, the neuropathy has gone from tingling to pain ,on top of the stuff that has been ongoing for several years. if I had been wise I probably would have done this a few years earlier. Enough of that, i am working on finding what positive stuff I can Didn’t mean to rant. you are just too easy to talk to. Love, Janet

  11. Janet, I truly understand. I have a friend who needs to move right now, around your age and is having the same battle. We went through this with Jim’s Mom’s estate. Since we lived in another state, it was rough. The thing that saved the day was an estate auctioneer. We found one in the CA desert and I’m certain they have them everywhere and you have a large populace to draw from. They take 25& and do all the work. All we had to do was give the Goodwill stuff away…16 large bags of old clothes, etc. We needed to choose what we were shipping to the kids or bringing home and they did the rest. They even cleaned out her kitchen. If this sounds like something you might like, I’ll give you any info I can. I know there’s a large emotional factor in clearing out and that’s what my friend is going through because she is also a widow. If you’re interested you might try Angie’s list. Life…changes so much each day whether we want it to or not. Love you, Sue

    • Janet:
      Oh sweetie. You have been on my mind much of late. As the time draws nearer for you to move, I really am praying that you will find peace in it. Keep everything you want of yours that is precious to you in your new rooms with you. Have some of your Christmas ornaments there to help you thru those times especially. THe lady I sit with, she is going thru much of this, and some of this is what I have learned from her. Her daughters packed up, gave away and sold off a lot of her things she didn’t wish to part with. Plus she wanted to know what happened to a lot of them that she was close to. She is 94, so she has a lot of the same qualms. One daughter wanted to keep nothing, just got rid of it, the other daughter wasn’t involved. Maybe you could start by listing the things you want each child, grandchild and even make boxes for great grandchildren ? Memory boxes for when they are older, pictures, notes, dishes, etc. I wish I were there to help you do some of this. We would have so much fun !! I LOVE doing things like that. Know you are in my prayers and if you ever want, I will give you my phone number and we can talk ! Email me @ toniedalton@gmail.com
      Love
      Tonie

      • Dear Tonie, Thank you so much for your kind words. You do so much that is familiar to me. love your stories, especially the chicks and the horses. I no longer have any animals outside, but still have a dog and a couple of very large cats. I miss the chicks especially my little bantam rooster. I remember so well when he was learning to crow, he tried so hard and just this funny little croaking noise came out. Your story about your rooster made me laugh. You take care and do what you can, but please don’t over do. Love Janet

  12. Tonie, I am totally befuddled as to why you wouldn’t qualify for disability. There must be some remark in there from some idiot doctor…at least that’s my hunch. I think keeping the politician up to date is a good idea.
    Sounds to me like you’ve done plenty considering the heat and humidity. I hate humidity. My own little chest sized sunburn is beginning to peal. This all sucks and I’ll be glad when it ends. I understand what you’re saying about the voice but the feeling of suffocating when I lie on my side is the worst. New med should help. Trying to eat every few hours now as per ordered. Mac and cheese tonight. Stay cool in all ways…love you, Sue

  13. Lyn, I can just see you with your new shorter than ever hair blowing in the wind from your convertible. I’m envious. Saw a couple of convertibles recently yet they are still rare here in OR. I hope you are near to the end of Cymbalta’s hold. Did you feel any benefits at all from it? It always amazes me how each of us react so differently to these various drugs; it seems the newer slew of new drugs for fibro and RA have been produced in profusion in recent years.
    Glad to hear the deck nights are so much fun for all of you. And I’m also pleased to hear DD is enjoying her newer opportunities as an MA. Sounds like she likes the clinical aspects of it more than office? Is that right? How’s SB doing this summer? Working?
    We’ve been having lovely weather lately and the fishermen and boaters have been out. We always have an accident and one poor soul was tossed overboard today in the rough waters where the Columbia meets the Pacific. Those bars are treacherous and so often folks underestimate their own skills with a boat.
    I’ve been up to my usual weekend routine of laundry and tossing out food. The refrig is almost empty and the poor house has a sort of abandoned feel to it. Jake is thrilled to have us and George has been all over the house and yard he’s so glad to be home. At the hotel he has to have a good run every night. I have more to do but can’t find any energy for it. Throat is irritating as heck but this too shall pass, or so I’ve been promised. Rest well dear girl. Love you, Sue

  14. A shorty again incase I don’t get on
    I marvel at how close we all are….different countries ,different ways. A whole log of different things..but..we know each other so well and closely it scrubs away the different bits and we seem as if we’ve always known one another…
    Tonie. Have you heard anything from the disability yet? I like your idea of memory boxes for Janet
    Lyn
    Your deck parties sound fun
    Sue
    Another week to get behind you and nearer to finishing .
    I don’t know what to say ,but you know it all ,how to get thru it ,no one knows or is better at working it all out than you. .with your grandkids will be just the ticket this week.this blimmin sjogrens gets in the way in more ways than you would think.
    Hope this gets on
    Chris

  15. Well I hope I can get on again

    Jennie can’t get on now ..and she asked me to say she is thinking of you all .
    She has got that awful facial pain back that she has ,so is not too good
    But she has tried to get on and can’t ,it happened before ,it seems to follow after I get back on
    Ok folks shorty
    Love to all
    Chris

  16. Chris, I’m sorry you and Jennie are having various problems getting on here. Must be a European thing, huh? The Americans, Canadians, etc seem to be doing fine. I know you were looking forward to the weekend and I hope it lived up to your expectations.
    Thanks so much for letting us know Jennie is in a bad place. You’re such a dear friend to her and to all. I’ll contact Jen. Love you sweet lady, more packing and unpacking to do. This will all be so good when I can stay home in 2.5 weeks, eleven more treatments to go. Sue

  17. Jennie dear, so those miserable pains in the head are back. I’m so sorry. I know it’s a head vice grip feeling and want you to know how very sorry I am. You have my prayers, my love and my empathy. So much going on here and I’m not up to any of it. Love you across the pond dear girl. Sue

  18. Hello, everyone! Sue, I’m still getting headache and funny head off and on from the Cymbalta. I’m on the lowest dose now (2 weeks at 20 mg) and didn’t really have the headache until this level. I’ve read that from others as well. Strange, isn’t it? I’m a bit nervous for after I finish this 2 week period. Will I have symptoms for a while yet adjusting to no meds? I hope not. This is really getting old. No, I noticed no benefit while on it.
    Well, folks, I think it’s finally going to happen! I saw a dog on the Humane website and we went to check her out today. The dog I saw (a shih tsu) wouldn’t be a good fit. She had jealousy issues with another dog at her last house and ended up urinating everywhere in retaliation. We could see the same happening if she was jealous of one of the cats. Not good. But while we were there, they brought out a sweet little girl that will be up for adoption Tuesday. We have no idea what breed(s) she is, but she is quiet, shy and very sweet. She has beautiful ginger colored eyes and looks like she’ll be a mid-sized dog when she’s done growing. She’s 9 months old. We were able to walk her a bit – she’ll need lessons walking on lead – and spent some time with her and one of the volunteers who just loves her. We went back in and promptly asked if we could put a hold on her. DD, DH and I had gone and all fallen in love. SB saw a pic and approves as well. We’ll keep you posted. Oh, and they had her out with one of their cats and she got along very well with it. 🙂
    Chris, happy to see you got on, if only briefly. Jennie, egads! I wish you could be rid of that blasted facial pain!!
    Soon time to check on dinner. Same as you, Sue – macaroni and cheese! The family has been begging. I hope I picked the right recipe! I have several and can’t remember which we really liked!

    • Lyn, I’m getting excited for you about your new pet. Ginger sounds sweet, loveable and young. Those are all great and getting along with cats is a must. She is young enough to be trained by those three. ‘m still a bit damp from bathing George. Since he sits in my lap on the way to Portland he needs to be clean; I attach his leash to my seat belt, just in case. He does so well at traveling and will love being with the children this week. It’s exciting getting a new family member, I know.
      As for my mac and cheese, I made enough for Jim to eat for a few days while I’m gone. I made it a bit too cheesy because it’s hard to see the white sharp cheddar and looked like I didn’t have enough. I follow a recipe I got off of TV years ago as a young bride. It was Pearl Bailey’s recipe she baked on the Mike Douglas show. That should date me. She said in her family it was considered dessert.
      Hope your week is better and the headache’s flee. Prayers and hugs, Sue

      • Sue, I’d be interested in that recipe. Ours was good, but not really creamy. It’s a Paula Deen recipe that she made healthier. That’s probably why it’s not as creamy. Prayers and hugs back at ya!

  19. Lyn and Sue, mmmmm…Mac and cheese sounds great. Have either of you given the recipe to Tonie for the cookbook? (Hint hint)
    Janet, I know you live fairly close to Dallas/Irving , Granbury isn’t it? I have some long weekends coming up later in the summer , I could at least come keep you company and help you sort things or you could tell me the items’ stories if that would help you make some decisions about what to keep, who to give some of them to, etc. I think Tonie’s idea about making a box for each child or grandchild of their favorite things is awesome. I have friends in Granbury I could stay with if having company is too much for you. Think about it and message me on FB if you like. Also , are your kitties going with you I hope?
    Tonie, wow SSI is ticking me off ! What a pain in the rear for you… Glad you’re getting some helpers again- what a blessing!
    Jennie Chris and Suzanne (I think you’re over the pond too?) sending hugs and prayers your way. Hope that horrible facial pain resolves quickly Jen.
    Hi Laura Bob! Fun chatting with you on FB/phone this week.
    My church group finished sewing the lityle girls” dresses this week for the Honduras mission trip. Last count was 259 completed and packed with the team’s supplies. Plus the 6 or 7 we did Saturday that Tracey will take in her personal luggage. Hope to post some pictures of beaming little girl smiles on FB after thee team returns. They are also constructing 11 homes, 2 of which are duplexes, so 13 families will have a roof over their head in a couple weeks.

    Went to my friends lake house for our community group “dry dock party”! Lol. Lake Tawakoni was so low the end of their dock was about 50 feet from the water, and no one even got in the water, much less jet skiing or sailing. I tried to get up a water balloon fight but seems everyone was just too lethargic. We dressed the part anyway and got a little sun(very little for me is all I can take, and that with sunscreen), ate, sipped coolers, laughed and played cards out on the deck. With spray bottles and fans. It was overcast yesterday so not too terribly hot, and it rained today so we got a much needed cool off 77 degrees at 5:30 this Evening. Aahhh!

    I had a wicked flare-up/ pain attack this afternoon driving home from church. So bad it nearly took my breath away.
    Think it was combination of a fibromyalgia flare, physical therapy, sewing, lake party, and standing through two services with choir this morning. Just that run over by Mack truck feeling, all large muscle groups from shoulders and spine down to hips and knees on fire, screaming SI joints plus pelvic floor spasms, all of which hit me as I was driving home. Got ahold of my PT and she gave me some things to try fir muscle spasm. Therapy is still new (only 3 visits and we’re still figuring out a treatment plan that I can tolerate) Ice pack, inversion, essential oils, TENS unit and 2 pain pills later, I’m a new woman. Krysti took me to church tonight since I was “under the influence” -it was our last study group meeting/ dinner til August and I just didn’t want to miss it. I’m chilling at home now, watching a movie and iced down. No work tomorrow, have EGD to evaluate the reflux/rule out hiatal hernia. Its not til 12:30 so I get to sleep in tomorrow. Yay! Hope you’re getting some R&R my friends.
    ❤ Love to all, Princess Crabby Pants

    • Dear Annie, Thank you for your kind offer, but it looks like my son’s are taking over. The whole family ( all 7 of us + several other guests) will be here at my place on the 4th of July when the fate of all my stuff will be decided. I’m glad they are doing it, as I sure don’t want to.
      Your experience of the flare up while driving is my greatest fear, that’s the main reason I am giving up on it as soon as I possibly can.
      Prayers for your friend and for you. Love, Janet

      • So glad your family can help Janet. Most certainly it will go faster and they’ll be right there to ask what things theywould like, etc.
        Take care, and know you are in the thoughts and prayers of many who love you.

  20. Oh PS – will you all pray for my friend Mary ( one of my “Jr Golden Girls”) they called the priest to her son’s bedside for last rites early this morning (dying of hepatitis /alcoholic cirrhosis) and his twin is not too far behind him, maybe 6 months more to live? They’re early 30’s I think, both diabetic, and a host of other health and social issues. Mary is heartbroken of course, it had seemedfor awhile they were geting better. Laurie is with her at the hospital now. He was comatose at last update.

  21. “Quick note. EGD WENT FINE. More on that later . Some asthma and low blood sugar complications, but no hospitalization.
    Love to all, Princess Crabby Pants”

    (typed by Annie’s friend since she got steroids- LoL)

  22. Annie:
    My prayers for Mary and her family ! God bless them all !

    Just returned and got a shower after a LONGGGG day. Had my Mondays mixed up and today was the day to drive my brother’s car back from Tennessee. SO…up at 6 am and on the road, got there at 1 had lunch, back in his car and on the road. Several massive rainstorms, traffic jams, and near misses with tractor trailers, and here I am. I am tired but I really enjoyed getting out on the road. Wanted to get back on 40 WEST instead of EAST and go see my babies ! 🙂 Take care all !
    Love
    TOnie

  23. Hi all
    Annie thankgoodness you’ve not got to go into hosp
    Thoughts for your Mary
    It was so kind of you to offer to help Janet
    And you will start to feel you’ve accomplished things Janet when all the sorting gets done
    Tonie hope you recovering from travelling
    Sue always thinking of you
    Only short post as it mite not get on
    AND I have been sooooo busy we went and bought a holiday home on the coast so have been doing lots
    Tell more when I can be sure I’m not gonna get stumped here
    Jennie still can’t get on but sends her love .she is still not feeling the best
    Chris

  24. Ok were Looking good…so
    We just were looking with it half on our minds .we saw something we liked and looked at each other and went away for lunch and we put a deposit down after
    Been busy getting stuff for it and going there ,been really exited and looking forward to it all
    DD and partner and GS coming up Friday nite for a whatever can be fixed
    So I mite be not able to get on blog till I’m sorted up there especially with the WordPress error
    Ok folks be back when I can
    Thinking of you all Chris

    • Chris, what wonderful news. A home at the coast. I’m so happy for you. I understand your responsibilities with Dad but know getting away will be wonderful for you. Thanks for sharing such good news. We’ve all missed you sweet friend. Love ya, Sue

    • Chris:
      So happy for your news ! That is indeed a joy for you, somewhere you can relax a bit and DH can as always take wonderful pictures ! You will have to be back for Dad, but during the time away, you can also have some time in which to renew. THere is something about the ocean that is so soothing and relaxing. I used to call it a massive valium ! As soon as I could hear it it seemed it washed away my cares ! Be good to you
      Love
      Tonie

  25. Hi, all, just a quick note to let everyone know, we have a new family member! She’s a sweet pup we’ve named Sadie. She’s somewhere around 6-9 mos old maybe??? We really don’t know. I will likely get her in to the vet soon and see what they think. We also don’t know what mix of breeds she is, but she’s on the small side of medium with soft buff colored fur and beautiful light brown eyes. She’s a real lover and we have all fallen for her. I’m sure we will be busy making sure she is housebroken and starting some basic training. I think she’d enjoy it and benefit from it. If I’m not on for a while, you’ll know why! Blessings to all!

    • Lyn, I can certainly see why she is already so dear to you. She’s so cute and sweet looking. I still think she has a rough coat Jack Russell face and the color of her ears looks like them, also. Enjoy. Love, Sue

    • SHe is what we call around here a mutt ! But they are such good pets ! And usually very smart. No really she looks like she has some shepherd and lab in her. Take care and love her. Good on you !

  26. Hi all
    Well just got back..just went for the day to coast to put stuff in etc really move in on Friday
    Lovely day not too hot
    Yep Tonie it is a massive Valium ,it’s full on there for sure

    Lyn your gonna be busy but delightfully so
    Have I missed something ,how is Brenda?

    Sue nearly another week over
    Well …tired been up since 6.45 am and it’s now nearly 10pm….
    Got a computer wizard ! Coming at 10am tomorrow to do something toDH desktop so gonna try and get some shut eye
    Hope this gets on Chris

    • Chris dear, Brenda’s beloved little Pom, Teddy is very ill and needs surgery that comes with no warranty. Those of us on FB know about it.
      My dear girl, I’m getting so excited for you. It’s going to be such a wonderful experience for you and DH. I know how much you love the coast. Sue

  27. I saw on FB that she has a difficult decision to make concerning her beloved dog Teddi. I didn’t want to step on any toes getting into details.

  28. Lyn, Yes, I saw that Teddi is in trouble. Poor little beloved guy. I don’t think Brenda would expect any less from all of us. I’ve written her as have you and prayers are always appreciated. So difficult when one of our little ones is so ill. Sue

  29. Chris, your home on the coast sounds lovely!
    Lyn, your little Sadie is adorable!
    Tonie, what a kit of driving? Was it scenic road trip at least?
    Sue, how’s your week of rad tx’s going? Hope your horrid “sunburn” isn’t hurting too much 😦
    Jennie, hugs if you can read this.
    Suzanne, how are the new meds working? Getting some relief I hope?

    Thanks for all your prayers for Mary. So sad, and a hard road ahead for her.

    My EGD (gastric scope) showed esophageal erosion from acid reflux (no surprise there); about a dozen or so benign-looking polyps in the stomach , (4 removed for biopsy) and then they did a small bowel biopsy to rule out celiac disease as the gluten intolerance seems to be increasing. Doc said he’s not expecting any drastic pathology reports. I had no idea you could feel exactly where they took biopsies from but I surely can- ouch! And no aspirin or NSAIDS for 2-3 weeks! Man, can my joints and muscles feel that switch. Living on gluten-free rice mac’n’cheese, yogurt, and soft mushy fruits & veggies. Anything hard or crunchy really hurts!

    Well, gotta rest now. Love to all, Princess Crabby Pants

  30. Morning all !
    Beautiful day here. Got to get going and get ready for work, but wanted to post on here. I got a refill on my prednisone, told them I was in a flare, so will take it for a week and see what happens.:) Long day today as well to make up for the missing day Tues. My brother came down to buy eggs this am ! Good customer living next door 🙂 Annie, it was a very scenic drive and I was listening to a book cd as well. I really enjoy that while driving.
    Fighting the battle of the fleas again 🙂 It is horrible and nothing seems to help. I broke down and bought some expensive back oil for them yesterday and I am going to try the dish soap and peppermint oil also to see what that does tonight. I feel so bad for them, thank goodness so carpet for them to nest in. Sue gonna call you today. All is well here in the Blue Ridge. I need to work in the garden tomorrow, no mowing cause with the heat and no rain the grass is at a standstill 🙂 Good thing ! BUT.. have lots to do other than that. Prayers for you all, and poor Brenda and Teddi. Been praying for healing there. God knows what is important to us and babies we love. Have a blessed day all
    Love
    Tonie

  31. Hi all
    I’m off early tomorrow .hope you all have a decent w.end
    I’ll come back late sunday
    Lots of sorting to do and playing house
    Annie
    You keep to the mush untill it heals.must be sore

    Lyn hope the weathers good for your car…but maybe that’s taken a back seat with the new pup now

    Tonie go easy on the garden there

    Brenda
    My best wishes and thoughts to you for this w.end

    Ok that’s it for now
    Sue you will be on your way back I expect ,another week gone
    Chris

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