THIS BODY, MY SHELL

The Shell

Like many of you, my friends, my shell is constantly getting me into trouble. I have always fallen into conflict due to my big mouth, my thoughts and my actions, but somehow, they are easier to deal with than having this body, my shell fall into disrepair. It’s an odd feeling, is it not, to feel so vital, so strong in spirit and thought and to realize this apparatus called body is falling down on the job. It’s an extremely personal betrayal.

 

I have always “taken good care of myself.” Isn’t that what we say to others and are often told? I realize it’s an important lesson for us and it is basically admonishing us not to smoke, drink or screw up our lives but there is more to this than that. There is the health component that is often driven by our ancestors and our DNA or genetic linkage. Apart from the DNA there is also the fickle finger of fate which can strike with accident, mishap or even some diseases like cancer, unusual neurologic diseases, and rare contagious ones, etc. So much can happen to us, it is indeed a risky world out there for shells and they are so vulnerable we can only do so much and then, the fickle finger arrives riding an ornery pink donkey. I don’t know what that means but I like the sound of it.

 

A shell can be a beautiful object to behold, in fact so lovely we often forget it is or was a home to some creature who has vacated it; but when it’s broken, cracked or smashed, its beauty may be lost but its original purpose is not. I love the intrinsic beauty of a shell which is a glorious example of God’s handiwork. Even the most humble among them, the snail shell, the clam shell and the crab shell have their own beauty in striations, colors and form. They are intended and designed to protect that living creature which dwells within. Keeping that in mind, my shell has really been disappointing me lately. The real me lies within and unlike other sea creatures, we have to keep our structure and shell all of our lives. If only we could slough, change or buy a new one. Certainly we can buy accessories but the basic structure; not so much. I guess we have to admit we are among the most vulnerable of creatures and have a protective shell in name only. After all, if you put your ear up to my chest you can’t hear the sounds of the sea; or at least if you do, be sure to let me know because I’m in deep trouble and will have to go to the hospital.

 

We each are often guilty of taking our bodies for granted and have no idea how abusive we are toward them when we are young. We each know what that is like and look back retrospectively and in some shame for some idiotic thing we did. If we didn’t behave like that we would never learn, move forward or have compassion. It’s the price we pay.

 

This last two years or perhaps, even longer, this outward body of mine has changed enormously. I have lost thirty pounds, am more stooped thanks to a crushed vertebra; have rounded shoulders from the mastectomy and arthritis in the shoulder joints and every other joint I own or owns me. I guess many days I feel like a mess. At least I admit it and wallow in it, which isn’t a bad thing to do unless I get stuck in that gear; then it’s time to learn, change or move on. That might mean going in to physical therapy, changing doctors to get another opinion or just getting up and getting out of the house to look at one of God’s wonders of nature. They are never far away. We have the most beautiful trees in the world here in Oregon, a large azure blue Columbia river, birds of all kinds flying through the air and all of life is constantly moving forward. It’s difficult to see from a bed or a couch. You and I have to mix it up a bit sometimes whether we feel like it or not.

 

One way we get on friendlier terms with our shells is to learn to love ourselves. We don’t always have to like what’s happening to us, the pain or the disease but we can always love our true selves. We can love the better sides of our personalities and occasionally the not so good quirks that are us. We can love the kind acts we perform and forgive ourselves for those that were not so kind. We can reveal and own our talents. Yes, we each have talents and are only limited from seeing them by our false modesty or sense of inferiority. Those have to go. This is crunch time. Why not? This is the only shell we’re issued and no, botox, new boobs or artificial limbs don’t count.

 

Part of loving ourselves is to hang onto our personal pride. Far too many of us stick too close to home, Garfield slippers on our feet, ratty once colored now faded bathrobe hanging from our sore bodies or that old sweat suit that is more sweat than suit. You don’t have to have money to look presentable. So often it’s the little things like painting your toe nails…girls only, usually but I don’t judge; getting a haircut or in my case cutting it myself, scrubbing off all the grime, shaving, well, whatever you want to shave. Clean clothes, fresh white or colors can make us feel better. Maybe your thing is worn, comfy jeans. Those jeans don’t have to serve as a map of your activities for the last month or reflect bits of all of the food you’ve eaten. They are very washable and get more comfortable with each wash. Life does not have to be grim, grime or soil. A touch of lipstick or aftershave can perk up the inner you as well as being a favor to the outer shell.

 

I always find it interesting to people watch. I always wonder what individuals are dealing with, what kind of home lives they have, what type of challenges they face. It’s also interesting to sit at the doctor’s office and notice how sick individuals adorn themselves or don’t. Sometimes I think people feel they have to look truly ratty for the doctor to think and/or realize they’re truly sick.

 

Another thing we can do to fool these shells which follow us around is by watching the attitude. We have the basic 24 allotted hours to live each day and they are much more pleasant when we are. It’s not always easy, I do know that. It’s such a funnel or slide sometimes into self-pity we must watch for it and beware. We each have different ways of pulling ourselves back up that slide and I say, “Whatever works.” Maybe it’s a humorous movie, turning off the news or reading an interesting article. Life can get us down, those of us who have these enormous challenges. That is not a ticket down the slide of life nor is it a free ride into Bitchville. Others should not have to pay the price for our illness or pain. We may have cracked shells but that’s no excuse to stop living until we are forced to. Even though shells may live forever, eventually ground into sand by the ocean and breezes of life, the creature that lives within is here for a limited time, making each day more precious to each of us, each day.

 

Shine up your shells my friends and let’s take them out for a walk, a push or a ride. Push them to keep them strong, preen them for your own comfort and pride and always keep their value in mind. They are our protection, our outward impression as well as that part of us others have to see so let’s try to make ourselves environmentally friendly, shall we?

 

This is truly the way of the world, the cycle of life as each of us deal with what we must while we attempt to remain friends with our bodies, our shells. Remember who is the real you and enrich that inner person each day as we attempt to defeat these mortal covers or shells.

 

 

 

148 thoughts on “THIS BODY, MY SHELL

  1. Sue
    So good to hear you and now your resting.thats good to know.another month till next trip..good
    I think the amytrip is beginning to work.about 50pc easier as well as the noises. Or is it I’m getting used to them?!..but either way it feels easier. Also the bad heads come then only last for a couple of hours.and I never inc the meds ….
    DH not too good this week odd pains over his pacemaker and some tight chest..had to have his spray
    My dad ..settled for the moment
    So I hope the back eases for you sue and things go ok for the weekend
    I bought two sweaters ..got to return them tomorrow ..too big…yippee !
    Love Chris

    • Chris, I’m sure that feels good to have something too big after all of your efforts to diet. Good for you. I am sorry to hear your husband is having discomfort. Sounds like something you both know how to handle but still scary because of the location involving his pacemaker. Fingers crossed about your Dad. Is that an expression you use in England?
      As for me, I don’t have a lot of choice today except to rest. What a very long, dark trip last night and all the longer for the pain but you’d think I’d get used to it but don’t. We didn’t even stop to eat because I couldn’t sit on a chair or booth in a restaurant and there are so many things I can’t eat right now. Awe, what a life we humans lead, huh?
      Hope you’re enjoying your two new pair of boots and get to buy a new sweater. We have to adorn these shells as we face our challenges, huh? Much love, Sue

    • Way to go Chris ! I am finding more and more of my clothes when I put them on are too big. It is good, but some are my favorites 😦 Keep it up girl !!
      Love ya
      Tonie

  2. Sue
    Yep fingers crossed is a good old saying over here.we say it for good luck . And we do it too if we want good luck with the first and second finger on both hands
    Wierd when you think of it..don’t know how it started….prob with the witches!
    We also say touch wood and try and find some to touch!!
    Odd ….
    Chris

  3. Hi yall, a quick hello. I have been reading the blog but haven’t felt like writing. Still fighting this hip and back pain. I hate having to take so much pain medicine as it really upsets the system. We have only had a couple of nice days in 2 weeks. It has rained so much. I am so tired of the rain. The time change gets me too. I hate the long drug out nights this time of year. I want to start feeling better so I can go to the beach at my oldest daughters, Kim, for THANKSGIVING. My youngest daughter Racheal, with the breast problem, is going with me. She is doing better. I hope when we get back the infection is gone and they can get the biopsys over with.
    My oldest daughter Kim has been battling an abscess tooth and her poor face was so swollen. After 2 days on the antibiotics her swelling is going down.
    Tonie, so glad your daughters problem wasn’t something else. I also pray that your time away from your friend will go very fast. Hope you aren’t in too much pain. Everything is going to work out.
    Chris, so glad the Amitriptyline is helping you with your sleep and head noises. Glad your dad has been doing good. Hope you get to go to the beach soon and relax. Congratulations on your weight loss. I hope your DH feels better.
    Jennie, hi there beautiful lady. Pray you are doing ok. I am so sorry your daughter is having bladder problems. I know how that is. I deal with it everyday. Will be praying for her. I pray for everyone everyday and ask God to bless each one of you and your children and whatever needs to be taken care of as He knows all our situations. I hope you can get your window fixed soon. Looks like if the chimney sweep broke it, he would be responsible to fix it. Enjoy your visitor for supper.
    Sue, my sweet friend, I am glad your shots are over for a month. I hope you want be too sick this time or feel so bad. I pray you get to rest alot. I hope the jail has hired another nurse and your DH isn’t having to work so hard and can be at home more.
    Well I didn’t mean to write so much but God gave me the strength to touch base with each of you. If I missed anyone I am sorry and will try better next time. I am going to the doctor Monday so I hope he will inject my hip. I will be praying for all of you. Love you all my friends and God Bless, Donna

    • HI DONNA……THANKS FOR YOUR KIND THOUGHTS, I AM HAPPY TO SAY THAT NIKKI IS ON THE MEND, BIG RELIEF ABOUT THAT.
      GOOD LUCK AT THE DOCTORS WITH YOUR SHOT, HOPE YOU GET A LOT OF RELIEF FOR YOU TOO. I HOPE THAT MEANS YOU GET TO THE BEACH WITH YOUR DAUGHTER….TAKE CARE….JENNIE X

      TONIE….I HOPE FOR YOU TOO THAT THE INJECTION HELPS YOU, MINE HAS WORN OFF NOW, BUT THINGS COULD BE WORSE, YES MISS ALICE HAS TO GO WITH THE SHOWER, NO HEAVY LIFTING FOR YOU MRS…..LOVE YOU….JENNIE X

      SUE…GOT YOU ON MY MIND AND HOPE THAT YOU ARE RESTING UP THIS WEEKEND……JUST GOT RID OF THE BEDS I ADVERTISED, GEEZ, COULDN’T BELIEVE THE MUCK THAT WAS BEHIND THEM, WANTED TO ROLL OVER AND DIE WHEN THE FOLKS CAME TO DISMANTLE THEM……WELL BUGGER IT, SURE THEY MUST HAVE SEEN WORSE ??????????????????????????/

      BEEN ANOTHER MILD DAY HERE IN FRANCE, WATCHED THE REMEMBRANCE SERVICE THIS MORNING, IT GETS MORE MOVING EACH YEAR, OR IS IT JUST THAT I WILL BE JOINING THE SEVENTIES CLUB TOMORROW…………………..LOVE TO ALL………….JENNIE XXX

    • Donna, so sorry you’re still being plagued by so much pain. Looks like it had better start feeling better quickly if you’re going to make it to the coast for Thanksgiving. Hope you feel up to the trip dear lady. You need to be with family for that particular holiday, especially, don’t you think?
      I felt terrible after my shots and the trip home but today, three days later, much better. Same old, same old. So many things to complain about but it doesn’t change any of them.
      Hope you get that injection and it hits just the right sweet spot. Love, Sue

  4. Good morning Peeps:
    Been a busy couple of days for me, so I haven’t spent much time online. The pain Dr was interesting. He had told me before that I have Facet joint problems. He said they are either flared up with inflammation or that the RA is moving into the spine. Either way, I am scheduled for two sets of injections. They should help it and if they do, then they will burn that nerve that is zinged, and it will go away. BUT, that nerve grows back he said. The only nerve in your back that will grow back. Ahh well, long as they can make the pain stop,. Lifting Ms Alice and giving her a bath is not helping it, but aggravating it. I may have to stop helping with her shower.
    I got a call from my Frenchman telling me he is coming back for a week before he goes, Next week he thinks. Says he has to see me again. Sigh….Sue I am getting caught up in the romance of it as well 🙂 He is an exceptional man. It would have been very romantic to wisk off to France (of all places) huh ? He does say we will go back together one day. So you never know Jennie, I may be looking you up anyway. SO glad to hear Nikki is doing better. My daughter;s name is actually Nichole, but I have always called her Nikki.
    Sue, yes I was referring to your IBS. I cannot imagine having that ailment on top of all else that is going on. I know you and the other nurses here will understand what is going on with my back. He says the insurance requires them to do the injections as a diagnostic tool, just to make sure before they do the procedure to burn the nerve.
    Oh well, everyone please have a wonderful day. I must get ready for church. I am teaching today.
    Love to you all
    Tonie

    • Tonie, well, as usual, just have to take it one crisis at a time. If they can do something to help you why not go for it as long as you’re informed and have respect for the doctors skills. Yes, you should stop lifting Ms. Alice. Can they get a hoist or lifting piece of equipment from a hospital supply place? You can’t have her pulling on you and I know she must because that’s how it works if she feels weak, poor lady. Let us know how you intend to follow through with the injections. Oh good, your Frenchman is returning. I’m so pleased to hear you like him so much. He must be a fine guy and I hope all goes well for him with his retirement funds. Sounds like your weather is definitely turning into winter. We have rain again today but after all…it’s Oregon. Later dear friend, Sue

    • Tonie, what you are embarking on with injections, then RF ablation is what SB has done. It has been a wonderful experience for him. His first round of ablation (he has lumbar right and left) lasted him almost a year. It can vary. But to be rid of the pain for that period of time? Worth it. His next round lasted longer. Each person is different, and for some, it doesn’t grow back. Time will tell. Go for it! Yes, lifting Miss Alice is not a good idea for you. Even leaning over that bath to help her is a problem. I hope the injections work (they don’t last) so you can have the procedure.

      • Lyn:
        Thanks for the info. I am actually looking forward to the injections so I can get the pain gone. It is worse than the sciatica . Yeah it would be nice if I were one that doesn’t have it grow back.
        Tonie

  5. Tonie
    Great to be able to see your Frenchman again. Bitter sweet meeting tho…but maybe it wont be as long as you think till you see him again
    Lifting is certainly doing your back no good.i know the carer for my dad ..her back plays up and she is fit
    Sue
    That’s good something was able to get better…a good sign
    Jen
    Happy birthday .have a peaceful day……I know your cleaning after the removal …so go easy
    Back later
    Chris

    • HI CHRIS……………….SOD IT, LEFT THE CARPET, IT CAN WAIT FOR A COUPLE MORE DAYS….BAD HEADACHE, AND A FRIEND CAME ROUND FOR COFFEE WHO TALKS NONE STOP BLESS HER, BUT ITS MADE IT WORSE. THEN I HAVE A MASSIVE PILE OF WEEKEND IRONING TO DO, SO NOT MUCH OF A BIRTHDAY, BUT WILL MAKE UP FOR IT TOMORROW.

      TONIE….WE DIFFER WITH OUR DAUGHTER’S BIRTH DATES, MY NIKKI WAS BORN IN 64′. PLEASE BE CAREFUL ABOUT MISS ALICE.

      MUCH LOVE TO ALL……………………JENNIE XX

  6. Good morning my Peeps !
    “Rainy Days and Mondays” Good ole Carpenters song. SO apt today, Raining non stop all morning and most of the night. Like Donna, I am tired of the rain ! Limits what I can do. And you know I like to be outside. Yesterday I came home from church, made some chicken salad, ate, lay down on the couch with my heating pad and slept off and on til evening. Missed church as a matter of fact . So I guess I needed the rest huh ?
    I must be up and moving. Go workout, then come back and finish working thru more stuff to organize and put or throw away. Fun fun. But it is good to finally be rid of things I am not using. I must do that with all the stuff I have packed away. I haven’t looked at or missed since I moved. Some things you have to keep, but others I can give away or donate somewhere. I am finally at that place where I can let go.
    Chris, we also say “touch wood” as well as knock on wood. As I have said before, we have so many things in common with you due to our settlers here. Passed it on down.
    Jennie, very Happy Birthday to you love. Ironing UGH !! I refuse to do it ! Reminds me, I do have to iron the curtains and put them up in the spare room. UGH ! Thanks Jennie !!
    Well I suppose I should get moving. Finish this last cup of coffee and get with it.
    Love to you all
    Tonie

    • LOVE THAT SONG TONIE……..NOT BEEN THE BEST OF BIRTHDAYS, HAD A BAD HEADACHE ALL DAY, HOPE IT GOES TOMORROW, COS I INTEND TO PARTY !!!! I AGREE IT DOES DO YOU GOOD TO HAVE A CLEAR OUT, SINCE I LOST A FAIR BIT OF WEIGHT, BEEN TAKING A LOT OF STUFF TO THE THRIFT SHOP……COME ON, GET THOSE CURTAINS SEEN TO…………………LOVE YA…..JENNIE XX

      • Jennie, sorry about the headache and bad timing on your birthday. Hope it passes so you can sleep well. Quiet day here. Love, Sue

    • Tonie, Glad to hear you had a true day of rest. You and ironing? Well, curtains, I know. Sounds like you are doing well at the getting weeded out and the getting settled areas of life. Poor Carpenter girl.
      So glad you’re still losing weight because I know it’s important to you. Love ya, Sue

  7. OMG, I HAVE A NEW DOCTOR. I FEEL BLESSED CAUSE WHEN I CALLED THEY SAID THEY WERE NOT TAKING ON ANY NEW PATIENTS. I E-MAILED HIS SECRETARY AND LO AND BEHOLD SHE E-MAILED ME BACK TO SAY DR. COOPER WOULD ACCEPT ME AS A NEW PATIENT. JUST HAD TO SHARE THE GOOD NEWS WITH ALL OF YOU. LET’S PRAY THAT HE IS A GOOD ONE. THANK YOU GOD. HE MEETS OUR NEEDS DOESN’T HE.
    LOVE TO ALL ON THE BLOG.
    GOD BLESS
    XXX

  8. OH FORGOT TO SAY HE SPEAKS ENGLISH. SO IMPORTANT FOR ALL THE MEDICAL TERMS.
    HOPE EVERYONE IS HAVING A LOW PAIN DAY.
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY JENNIE POO. HOPE YOUR DAY IS FILLED WITH LOVE, LAUGHTER AND KINDNESS. I KNOW IT’S STILL STRESSFUL FOR YOU SWEETIE BUT IT IS YOUR BIRTHDAY AND YOU HAVE TO HAVE FUN.
    LOVE YOU BIG!
    XXX

    • HI SUZANNE….I AM THRILLED YOU HAVE A DOCTOR YOU LIKE, ME TOO, AND I AM BLESSED HE SPEAKS GOOD ENGLISH TOO……..AS DOES MY OSTEOPATHIE. gOT MY LAST SESSION THIS WEEK AND I WILL MISS HIM LIKE CRAZY, HE MAKES ME LAUGH WHEN I FEEL LIKE CRYING WITH THE TREATMENT. NOT CELEBRATING TILL TOMORROW, THERE IS NOTHING OPEN MONDAY’S HERE, SO WILL BE WINING AND DINING TOMORROW, DON’T CARE HOW I FEEL, JUST GOING TO DO IT. FOR THE RECORD THOUGH, ALL MY DAYS ARE FILLED WITH LOVE, I AM SO LUCKY THAT WAY……GOD BLESS…..JENNIE POO XX

  9. Hi all
    Still at home
    Suzanne
    Good news about the Dr..
    Tonie
    It’s supposed to do you good having a clear out . It feels good when I can go to a cupb,d and see what I want easy
    Jen
    Have a good time tomorrow and hope the headache goes
    Sue
    How’s that washer going?
    Windy and rainy here gives it like this for the week
    Jo
    How’s your mum?
    Lyn hope you feel better now
    My head is the same, may be a bit better but it breaks thru the meds in the day
    My dad ..his career has a break for a week and another one tomorrow .so hope all goes ok
    DH still the same..tablets make him tired depressed and anxious…..and there the better ones for him!
    Hope everyone ok
    Chris

    • Chris, I am sorry to hear your DH is still under attack by his meds. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. You do sound a bit better and I pray it is so. Perhaps it is going to take awhile but will improve with time.
      Yes, my washing machine is working well. My robotic vacuum is not working and I have taken it apart twice and just said, to heck with it and ordered a new one of another brand. Can’t do without those. I just can’t push a vacuum across carpet anymore with my bad back. I also have to admit those robotic vacuums spoil a girl.
      Raining here again after a sunny morning. Just told my daughter on the phone from DIsneyland that it was sunny and bright and it was, as the rain hit the windows…so strange. They are having such a good time down there but are at that point they are ready to come home.
      I have recovered quite a bit from how I felt the couple of days after the shots. Maybe I’m getting used to them. Sure hope so.
      Hope your Dad gets a caregiver that is kind and pleases him. Love, Sue

    • Chris, I wish your DH could find meds that are better for him. I wish I could say I’m doing better. Not feeling great, stressed and fatigued. Hoping it passes soon. Thanks for asking. 🙂

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