Let’s Get Personal Again: Chronic Pain And Illness

(The last two weeks have been difficult, dangerous, painful and simply hideous. A GI bleed, a change of medications for atrial fibrillation and having to give up one of my arthritis medications have all cost me the little bit of comfort I usually have, the bits and the pieces of pleasure I seek and usually find. Those of you who follow me on FB know the story and many who read the blog are up to date. I am “hoofing it” right now as I wait for the latest poisonous medication to leave my body and my stomach to heal while putting up with more pain than usual. I am seeking to forgive some medical mistakes that were made and have harmed me. Now, promise me you will not laugh but, I sometimes read my older blogs and gain inspiration from them. This is an older blog I share this week, full of many of my favorite quotes and I hope, wisdom. I often read my own words and realize something I have learned but forgotten; am reminded much of my strength comes from my faith and realize how quickly I forget lessons learned. names and the quotes and words remain the same, only a few dates have been changed by me in order for the following to make sense. I hope you enjoy it; I know I did.)

I’ve been writing about my life with chronic pain for a very long time. It’s easy, after a few hundred articles or blogs, to slip into a state of assumption. This is when I assume you know what it’s like to awaken each day to this condition and lay awake each night with it. If you do know, then you possibly share it. For that I am truly sorry. I would like to apologize for all the quotes I’ve used this week; but I can’t. There is not one I could live without, so there.

I often talk about physicians, healthcare and medications but only in the broadest sense, since I’m a nurse/patient, not a doctor. I often talk about modalities to aid us like TENS units, canes, heating pads and many other helpful objects along the way. However, today, I would like to talk about all the personal complications that mold and bend our bodies and therefore our minds and eventually our entire lives. Every little corner is visited, corrupted and tainted by illness and pain. We become putty in the hands of fate until we achieve the realization we are still in charge. We can still vote on our own lives. We still can say “yea” or “nay.” We can choose our doctors most of the time; and yes, there is an enormous difference in them. Find the best. Ask, seek, inquire of others and you’ll find the best ones. Read evaluations online, etc. Don’t let anyone less than the best touch you. Even then there will be mistakes, problems and insulting situations. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Sometimes we are intimidated by our physicians, and really shouldn’t be. We can also speak out about something we are experiencing. We still have freewill all wrapped up inside all of this pain and it is often the only part that doesn’t hurt.

We are faced with the enormous challenge of striving to be “normal” in this life and none of us knows what that is. I think it means we want the pain or disease to go away and life to return to where it was. The chances are pretty good that isn’t going to happen. Some of us with hard heads take a few years to understand that after banging away at the block wall in front of us with our very flat foreheads. That’s only giving you and I a headache you know but I don’t blame you for doing it. I did. I still do. We eventually come to the realization that life is change. Change can be dealt with. It requires acceptance and compromise. Those are both a much better use for all that energy than bumping into that block wall, don’t you think?

Since life has already thrust change upon you and me, why not go with it and be not just different but be the best that we can be? I can hear you. “Is she nuts? Here I am living with pain every friggin’ day and she tells me to be better than I’ve ever been?”

Yep. That’s it. You’re obviously on the road less traveled by according to the poem of Robert Frost, so why not make it your individual road. You may have a body that cries out often and at inappropriate times so go with it. Take that road that is yours and find out who you are. What did you want to be when you were a kid? What did you like to do besides some of the obvious wonderful things like chase girls/boys, jump rope or play video games? So many answers lie within us if we seek them. They are already there, waiting to be found. You and I have to believe in the future. It can still be wonderful, not boundless, not without limitations but still good. Remember, none of us live on this earth forever so why not make the most of the time we have? Is it compromised? Yes. Is it miserable at times? Yes. Are we someone new each day? Yes, and that can be a good thing. Remember that famous quote of Henry David Thoreau…

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”

Be yourself. You are not required to look in the mirror and see a victim. Change can do that to us. We get the idea we are damaged when we’re really just used up. I lost a breast three and a half years ago year and it was a shock at first, but I still think of myself as a lovely older woman. I’m just used up. I used to have beautiful legs and get compliments on them but now they are knobby with changing and misshaped ankles, swollen painful knees but I can walk on my own and that tells me they work. I have completely lost my rear end due to loss of weight and disease but it still holds my body to my legs and still sits when needed however uncomfortable it is. You see? We must adapt to change or it will pull us under. I’ve crushed two vertebra in my back and now walk like a question mark but I’m still here to tell the tale of my tail.

I’m not saying it is easy. The first time the nurse changed my dressing after my mastectomy that April of 2014 and my husband was in the room, I cried. I cried out of shame, fear and loss. The important thing is my husband didn’t cry. Sure, he’s also a nurse but it was his wife he was looking at not just some anonymous patient. He did cry when we got the first diagnosis of breast cancer and that was as it should be and I love him for it.

Coco Chanel, the famous designer said, “A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.” Thanks Coco for also saying, “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”

I want to be irreplaceable, don’t you?

I also love a quote by dear, often tortured Judy Garland who said, “Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.”

I love the wisdom of other, fallible human beings who have traveled rocky roads of their own and come out the other end with bits of wisdom to share with all of us. Sometimes they made it with joy, sometimes they didn’t but it was still quite a ride.

Along with being true to yourself, you and I both know the effect of this ever-widening circle. Chronic pain and illness affects those nearest to us.
400 years ago an insightful writer by the name of John Donne said in his meditation XVII words that hold true today although the language and definitely the punctuation may have modernized to a great extent, the sentiment is still full of wisdom. Let me quote, “No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”
This whole issue of the ripple effect is often painful for us to not only live with but to observe as others in our lives are hurt by our pain, touched by our illness and its symptoms and it can place an enormous strain on many relationships. Don’t grab onto the guilt that flows by as you see the effect on others. It is not yours to feel. Don’t you have enough to do? Simply find yourself, love those who mean the most to you and let the others tend for themselves.

One of my favorite quotes on individuality is from the science-fiction writer Ray Bradbury who said, “I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room.”

Therefore, the next time you are asked to compromise, put up with an inconsiderate lout or a self-centered one, be they a friend, a doctor or a stranger; be true to yourself and pack up your dinosaurs and leave the room.

Be yourself.

42 thoughts on “Let’s Get Personal Again: Chronic Pain And Illness

  1. Sue I’ve had a few speed bumps the last few months and it’s refreshing to think about another perspective. I’ve unfortunately been mourning everything I so enjoyed but no longer can try to do them anymore. I’ve also been mourning my mom, aunts and mentor (Pokey) I’ve even been down about not having Nessie and Pow despite the beautiful creature that balances and alerts for me or the little clown Pomeranian Brody…..I’m blessed with insurance, income, transportation, comfortable home and everything I could want except…..human companionship. My church family is great but I’ve been faking being ok and declining help for so long it’s rarely offered now. My dad is still doing ok. He had cataract surgery last week and his other eye will be done next week. He’s frustrated with his aging (he’s 83 and still works part time). I still try to hide my worst days from him but it’s getting harder. Not sure how to fix that.

    • Bobsled, thanks for your very touching and heartfelt remarks. Life is so full of grief for all but for those of us who share pain each day, it can be especially so as we say goodbye to so many who no longer understand us or our circumstances. Life is so altered, we sometimes feel alien to ourselves most of all. I know your life must be lonely at times but remember many of us who do have companions are often alone due to circumstances and changes. As far as your sweet Dad, you are fortunate to still have him and I know you worry about him as you naturally should. I hope the eye surgery goes well for him. I suspect he can read your pain and moods quite well, being your Dad. I know you don’t want to burden him but those who love us often feel the need to share those burdens. That’s what love does. Hang in there my friend because there are no choices except the way we respond, choose and share with those who care. You know, I still grieve for my dearest St. Bernard and she has been gone for 17 years. Sweetness and pain are strange partners, I know. Love, Sue

  2. Sue, this blog moved me very much; It made me cry! Just this week I was contemplating how my illness has affected my family, and what life would have been like if I had remained healthy! I am so thankful that there are others on this rocky road less travelled because those that took that other well travelled highway usually don’t understand!
    I had my hip replaced in 2002, following over two weeks of bed rest with a fractured hip while my body healed from pancreatitis. The orthopaedic surgeon stood at the end of my bed the morning following surgery and stated that if I ever walked again, it was up to me! The next shock was ten days later when I was told I didn’t have the strength to be admitted to the hospital’s rehab unit, and then the staff’s main concern, at the rehabilitation hospital where I was sent, appeared to be what type of wheelchair I should purchase. That was when I realized I was still in charge! I told my rehab doctor I was going home the following weekend and that I wasn’t returning. I knew I needed to rest and heal and that I would walk once again when I was ready, on my own time, on my own terms and so I did. It was then that I realized it was my body, my life, my illness … and I was in charge! Like you said Sue, we must have faith in ourselves to succeed, even if others don’t think we can! Sue, if anyone has faith and the strength to go forward it is you. As always, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Love and gentle Hugs … Pommum Brenda

    • Pommum, you know, you always touch my heart and humble when I think back on your life and all you’ve endured and live with. We may not be able to overcome completely but we can sure delay, kick butt and tune into that part of ourselves where true strength lives. You are always an inspiration by your example and I think in many ways, to balance out the negative, you have a marvelous life, DH, grands and pups. I love your new pup…both of them and hope dear Teddy is doing well. You have been able to use and enjoy all of the joys in life while enduring the very worst.
      I think of you so often and offer a prayer along with love for you. I hope many others read your remarks and benefit from them. Sue

  3. Sue
    I love your blogs old and new. It seems the good Lord always gives you the right one for the right time. I love Ray Bradbury and read most or all of his stories as a young teenager and adult. I have seen that quote before and love it.
    It is through sheer determination that we continue on this rough road we travel. Some people think if you believe and serve our God that your way should be smooth and strewn with rose petals. Unfortunately not. We travel the same pitted and rocky road all travel, we just have someone who helps us get back up when we fall. Dusts us off and holds us up to continue.
    I know I have been blessed with the sense I have to keep moving, fighting and pushing as long as this body will allow. Otherwise I will rust. Being me has meant not a lot of female friends. Either through lack of same ideals or desire to do the same things. But, I have very few very good friends I can always turn to because we are Soul Sisters. And they u derstand me and love me just the same. I don’t have to conform to someone else’s ideals for my life. Life is too short to become someone else’s expectations of you. You are soooo right….be yourself.

    • Dear Tonie, I’ve seldom known anyone who was more of an example of being yourself than you. I know today is to be a big day for you as your dear man flies back in and the trip to pick him up. Hope the swimming is enjoyable for you and so pleased you’ve talked Judy into finding and liking the whole water therapy bit. Always makes me full of envy that the Sjogren’s prevents me from using our local indoor pool…all that darn chlorine. You have also been such a wonderful friend and a constant example of one who seeks out life in spite of the odds and misery of arthritis. Your whole life in the last few years has changed so completely in location, your little farm, two horses which was your dream and most wonderful of all, finding love. I hope I never take your technological help and time for granted as you help to post the blog for me. I don’t think I’ll ever understand all that these computers can do.
      Grands this afternoon after school, labs for tomorrow first so a trip to the hospital and then tomorrow, oncology for me.
      I know you’ll be glad to have FM back and hope he is feeling better after the trip. Love you much, Sue

  4. “I want to be irreplaceable, don’t you?” Sue, dear, you most certainly ARE irreplaceable. Your blog essays have helped and comforted countless victims of unseen pain and suffering. I do not doubt for a moment that many could not go on without your caring, your compassion, your friendship, and your excellent advice. And, by the way, you are a lovely woman who is far more than the sum of her “parts.” You are very much loved by your many virtual friends. Big hugs, Phyl

    • Phyl, oh my how you do go on with the complements. I am so grateful that you and many others have had some answers and perhaps understanding from the type of life we are stuck with. I’ve never been one for compromise and I seem to always be treading upstream these days but it works for me. In today’s medical atmosphere, we have to be individuals even if we are not always treated like it. Sometimes we have to demand it. Even with all my experience and background I am still intimated by a bossy doctor. Thank God for the three marvelous ones I have among the others who are not so much so. How are you doing? Is life going well for you? Head above the water, remember. Love, Sue

  5. Sue
    What a lovely read,I didn’t want it to end
    Very appropriate for me now..with Drs telling me to have the sigmoidoscopy Friday ..but me thinking I’m not sure about it..as there is an enema involved ,and with how I’ve been…maybe I should listen to my drumbeat
    Been feeling really washed out and a step back ….you will know that ,I know
    DH and his nosebleeds went to dr and a patch is inflamed after a cold he had ,he gave him some ointment …but on reading about it it Said not to use if you have hearing problems…and I remember something about neomycin and deafness as well….so he’s going to leave it and hope it just goes away..just that the warfarin makes it worse
    I hope things are improving sue….and for your DD as well
    How awful for FM to be like this and in pain and no dr on hand for him
    Would it be impossible to have any treatment there ,just here all you have to do is go to a dr.its such a shame to have to go to France ..maybe what sue previously said would work for him and he could stay with you ..
    Ok that’s it my eyes are giving out..why does sjogrens do that

    • Oh dear Chris, so much, so often. I don’t know about precautions with neomycin and deafness. I’ll be sure to look it up and give you what I find. Having been around plastic surgeons over the years, healing will often come faster with just a bit of Vaseline applied to keep the area from drying and cracking. You can get it in a tube which is usually cleaner because you can get it out a squeeze at a time. Follow that voice you have about the sigmoid, at least until you have a chance to feel better and mend. There is much to be said for just allowing our bodies to heal and knowing the difference between that and when action is needed.How’s the eating going? Bet you’re tired of spaghetti and potatoes.

      Thanks for asking and yes, my DD is better but not 100% yet. She told me a few mins. ago on phone that GS has a sore throat today so hope he’s not getting it now. Today is grands day for us so we will see if he prefers going home and going to bed after school. Had a lovely long talk with my son in TX yesterday and they are all wrapped up in preparations and excitement for my GS’s wedding in the spring. I’m trying to get Jim to go with DD and family if I don’t feel up to going all the way back to VA. He’s the GS who works in Congress and lives in Washing DC. How are your DD’s plans cooking for her wedding? Have to run but will be in touch. How’s the weather in England? Wet here, big surprise. Love, Sue

  6. Wow, I’m so sorry for what you have had and are continuing to go through. You mention one of my favorite quotes by Coco Chanel here – “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” I think that’s the key to leading a fulfilling life – being yourself and going after what you truly want. Thank you for sharing this. Wish you the best – speak766

    • Speak766, ALways love hearing from new folks. Thanks for your kind remarks. My life has been an open book on my blog for 11 years. For seven years I wrote about pain for everydayhealth.com but have been out on my own, so to speak for these last four years. I see you write a blog and I will take a peek. I have over a 1000 blogs and this has been such a God send for me; being able to express what I am going through with many others. I have a very active FB if you’d like to join me. Thanks again and hope to hear from you again…Sue

  7. To all the new folks….welcome and share more with us. We love having new people on board. A lot of us have been here a long time, but don’t feel left out or like it is a closed group. All are welcome.
    Whew ! Another long day yesterday. Got to Roanoke around 2 so we could shop a bit. Then got the call Bernard’s flight was delayed so not arriving until 6 ! So not home until 7:30. But, my baby is home. Very happy. Very tired !
    Now I must get busy. I am cooking this year for us and my sister. Today I make pies and do prep. And rest some. I hope you are all well and moving today. Happy Thanksgiving to all my US friends ! God bless us all.

  8. Welcome, newcomers! Sue, sorry, I did read this soon after it was out, but have not had an opportunity to comment. What’s old is new again, Irreplacable You? Your blogs are pretty timeless, always nice to read again, and perhaps gain some new insight along the way. I do hope you are well enough to enjoy the day today. Thanksgiving is perhaps my favorite holiday. This year we travel to my Mom’s. We are bringing the mashed potatoes and corn I froze this summer. With the move, my mom didn’t have a chance to freeze corn this year. I’m happy to share. SB and his GF and DD are joining us, along with my step sis and her husband. The rest are too far to travel or enjoying the holiday in the mountains.

    Tonie, so glad your FM is back home with you. Wishing you the rest needed on this day of thanks.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all who are celebrating!

    • Lyn, I pray you have a wonderful day with your family in your Mom’s new home. Your culinary talents must be such a blessing to your family, always making wonderful meals and those cookies you’re always describing on FB. Oh my, so many of them almost send calories over the internet! Thank you for your constant presence here over the years. It means a great deal to me. Safe travels today and many blessings. Love ya, Sue

  9. Happy Thanksgiving Sue !
    On this day of Thanks, I am thankful for finding you my friend. For all you do and all you are and all you stand for. My rock sometimes when I need it. My shoulder to cry on. The kick in the pants when I need that. The other sister I never knew. I love ya !
    And for all my other friends I have made on here. I love you all and wish you the best of days.

    • Tonie dear, Now, what can I say but how much you have touched me with your sweet words. Here I am on Thanksgiving morning lying here crying, still cuddled under the covers with Georgie, both too chilled to get up. You must know how much your friendship means to me, also. Words fail me and you know that never happens. Have a wonderful, delicious and happy day for Bernard’s first Thanksgiving feast made by his talented fiance. God bless each of you and give my love to him and to Judy. Save a large portion of that love for yourself. Sue

  10. Well hi all and hope you all have a great time today
    The food will be great as I have heard you all describe it last year
    Anyway thinking of you today and all the stuff we do share of ourselves on here
    Sigmoidoscopy tomorrow..yuk
    Will be back after

    • Chris, Oh dear, so it’s “uppa yours” day tomorrow. Hang in there sweet friend. It’s the prep that I hate. I’ll be thinking about you tonight USA time as you will probably be having it done about then. Yes, we all love this day of family, thanks and food. Afraid just heard from my DD that SIL and the kids have fresh colds but we are having our Thanksgiving anyway. She has the turkey in the oven, popped the cornbread in the oven this AM. I ordered a fall flower arrangement for her table with a candle and know she will set a beautiful table. I made a pecan pie with a few chocolate chips in the bottom last night, homemade cranberry sauce with fresh cranberries, juice and grating of the peels of two oranges with a bit of candied ginger, a bean, corn and bell pepper salad in vinegar and oil with a touch of sugar and onion, and laid out the fresh frozen strawberry jam from last summer, oh, and crescent rolls bought at the store. Hope that brought you a bit closer to sitting at our table with us.
      We have had rain off and on all week with wind and when it rained, it came down in buckets. I’m currently off of my NSAID’s, all heart stuff and coumadin and waiting for gut to heal. I’m limping around and a bit grouchy but okay. It’s the standing that is the worse action for me right now. Cancer labs this work were good and holding steady. I love the new oncologist and find her so smart and so kind. Many things to be thankful for this year. Love ya, Sue

      • Hi
        Well your meal sounds so good..and I’m hungry?
        Had it all done went ok..the thickening was the lax muscle wall around the diver
        They took a very small polyp out 1mm too
        So pleased with news
        Just feel weak with all the runs on top of the diver trouble
        So that’s it hopefully for another three years
        He said the diver could give me colic pains so that’s what I must be having now.. .spasmonal for that I suppose I can feel it bending etc
        good your bloods are good sue
        Just gotta sort the right meds for you now.i do hope that starts soon
        Hope your having a good time and everyone too

  11. Chris, so glad to hear you made it through ok. And farewell to that polyp!

    Sue, your meal sounds yummy. I hope you are resting well today. My Mom made the traditional turkey, bread filling, oyster filling, that sweet potato casserole I’ve shared in previous years, green bean casserole (as requested by SB – though with cream of celery soup rather than cream of mushroom since mushrooms make DD sick), homemade applesauce, and her cranberry salad – my personal favorite. Add DH’s mashed potatoes and my corn frozen this summer, and the pumpkin cake my sister made, it was quite tasty. I’ve chosen to do just a little Black Friday shopping – online, and a Trail walk with the pup. We both needed it. Now, a bit of rest time before dinner. DH picked up a rotisserie chicken and we have sides left over from yesterday that we can reheat. Tomorrow I am slated to help out my friend a bit at her shop for Small Business Saturday. She has refreshments set up, live music, and a photographer to take pictures utilizing their sleigh. It should be fun for all! Time to rest up!

    • Lyn dear, as usual, your food sounds wonderful. I love oyster stuffing and my Dad did but Jim isn’t really into anything fishy. He will eat fried fish and chips. Actually, good oyster stuffing in my opinion isn’t fishy, just moist and rich. I always add water chestnuts to all my stuffings, for crunchiness and for us it has to be cornbread based.
      Hope you enjoyed working at your friend’s shop yesterday. Bet she decorated already. We were in an antique shop we love on Friday and it was so festive I had a hard time leaving…but they were getting ready to close. They also had fresh cedar wreaths for a good price so will have to go back. I love the fresh garland, too. In Calif. we could never use it. One of my friends said it was still 90 degrees down there the day before Thanksgiving..I’ll take our rain anyday over that heat. Sorry to see your newest family member likes your trees so much…hope you can get it solved. Love, Sue

  12. Morning all
    Sue , your dinner sounds wonderful. Lyn, yours as well. We had turkey, potatoes, sweet potatoes, salad, cranberry relish (fresh cranberries, orange and pear with a bit of brown sugar), and I forgot the rolls !! Fresh pumpkin pie and I made the crust as well along with a chocolate pie for my sister. I was tired after, but a good meal. Found a recipe on Shaklee for the sweet potatoes. You cut them in chuncks, stir them in honey, olive oil, salt and cinnamon. Then bake at 375′. They are so good ! I make the dressing on the side, like my mother made. Stale biscuits for the bread, celery and onion, and all the drippings from the turkey. Then bake it in small patties in the oven. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
    I always love how the different parts of the country do their stuffing/dressing so differently.
    We all went to work out yesterday (Judy too) . Then she went to go eat with Marys husband. We went looking in all the stores, then grocery shopping and home at dark thirty. Leftovers for Bernard and for me a turkey sandwich and potato chips. My fav of Thanksgiving.
    Chris, glad all is over for you. I really think that FM has some sort of something like that to go with his genetic problems. Poor guy goes all day. I tried to get him to take some immodium to help. but he is too careful about pills.
    Well, must be moving this morning. Gonna start some decorations. Not much, need to rest some today. Practice songs for tomorrow.
    Love to all

    • Tonie, I feel badly for Bernard and do wish he would let us help him a bit with his bowel trouble. Certainly imodium as directed would give hi some rest. I’m also thinking of Metamucil which is a bulk laxative and would slow him down as it doesn’t have any stimulant…just bulk. Can’t you guy just take him to a local doc and see what they have to say? Surely, paying for an office visit would be cheaper than the trip back to France. Okay, I’ll stop sounding bossy.
      I know you well enough to know your dinner was fabulous. Interesting dressing/stuffing in your family. Never heard of that before. I agree with you, I love how this country is so regional in its tastes for so many items. I made a note of your sweet potato recipe because I like them only if baked and a bit flavorful.They are just about the most perfect food there is. All that beta carotene. I’ll give them a try very soon.
      Almost finished with my Christmas shopping. Must start early to get it done, wrapping, also. GD here in Astoria has an early Dec. birthday so shopping extra for her. Food gifts for son and family in TX. There’s a smokehouse in the south they love to get food gifts from. Usually send them some See’s candy as well. I’m making myself hungry with all this food talk. Pleased you all are enjoying the pool so much. Sounds great.
      I see on FB you’ve been making vine wreaths. Don’t you love to make your own gifts. It’s so satisfying. I don’t do that much anymore but used to. I guess your trip to DD’s is coming up soon? Prayers for all of you and the health issues. Love, Sue

      • Sue
        Stubborn males. You know this very well. He gets wonderful deals on tickets, so not so expensive. It is already set for next year. So he will make the trip alone, have it done and then return after recovery.
        I have two presents left to buy. For my sons two boys. I always get Levi matchbook cars. He loves them.But every year ? So must look for something different. And the oldest, Sammy, I haven’t a clue. He will be 13 this year, so a little change is in order. We are either going to a local town this weekend or to Cherokee NC . He is so interested in the Native American culture and wants to see where they live, what goes on. BUT…it is about 200 miles away and he hates to drive that far. SO funny. He says he could be in Strausburg or Sweden in that time !! He cannot get over how big America is.
        Today I am in bed, low grade fever, feeling really rotten. My fault, too much done in too little time. Push push push. So I have been given instructions to stay inside today and rest. Two cups of coffee in bed (he is so sweet).
        I have to start making some goodies to take to Nikki’s next weekend. PB pinwheels , of course, and some cookies and fudge. They already asked for the Friendship Cake, so it is in the works. Monday, I traded freezers with Marys husband. He had a big chest size and me a small cube. Worked out for us. Now I have lots of room and can see what I have. Nice.
        Well, maybe ONE more cup of coffee. Not really hungry this am.
        I will be making more wreaths next week when FM pulls up more of those vines. They are wonderful to work with. SO strong too. I may keep some to work with later. I would love to weave a basket out of some. Like my great grandmother did
        Love ya

  13. Yes Lyn your meals sound good along with the veg sides
    Enjoy your time at the shop
    The sweet pots sound good like that will try when I can eat proper food ,still on slop!
    I wish FM could get sorted without going to France
    Hope you ok after all food
    After some bleeding last night it’s stopped so far today .just sore from all the runs and then the blimmin enema!


    • Chris, I hate to think of what a time of it you have been through with this divert episode. I hope, as you must, this is going to be the beginning of healing for you. I can certainly understand the little bits of blood after the poly excision as long as it doesn’t get to be too much blood. Your poor little tushie. I get a wonderful prescription cream for that area and it cuts down on the swelling and soreness. I would imagine the over the counter prednisone creams would do the same. Hopefully you have some very soothing wipes. If all else fails, doesn’t a hot washcloth down there feel good? As far as the slop as you call it…most of it is fattening like potatoes, pasta, ice cream. I’ve had baked potatoes, etc. for a couple of days. I did enjoy the Turkey day food very much but I reach a point when I have to stop eating leftovers. Still have pie for Jim to finish off.
      Cool and rainy here with some sun breaks. Did a bit of shopping on Sat. for a couple of things we didn’t want to order online. One was a gift for our grandson who is graduating and going into nursing in a couple of weeks. I know I have to watch the online shopping…it’s just too easy.
      I hope you feel like getting a bit of holiday spirit. It’s such a lovely time of the year. Naturally we have rolled things back a bit and once again are not putting up out 9 foot lit tree, just too much to decorate. I hate some of these roll backs so much but we are so blessed in so many ways. Off NSAID’s, heart pill and coumadin, still. Giving it some thought right now. Hope you are able to rest and DH is doing well. Much love, Sue

      • I have some prescription cream that I use a lot .the tum is settling now.i just have to take spasmonal for colic there on the lower left side.i had that after the diver attack the surgeon said it could be from the diverticulosis there.i never had it other than with that attack tho
        Yep I’m putting on weight that I lost with this sloppy food
        My dd was coming up on Sunday but she started a cold so thought she would stay away…when she comes up next weekend we will go round and look at Christmassy things ..I fancy some large lanterns on top of three coffee tables in sitting room with those bendy battery little lights in them…we can then move them into the conservatory if we want to sit there
        She says she bought me a sign for outside our small garden outside the kitchen door that says ….the naughty corner…that’ll be fun!
        I need a new tree our old one broke but thought with the lights it mite smell for me so thought the lanterns would look good
        Dh bp goes up when out.went out for a scone today .first time out for a while .we also went to an Xmas bazaar .but it felt like a wall of sound to him and he panicked with all the people”e there .he is worried he will make a fool of himself with not hearing what they say ..and then up,it goes
        When will you be able to go ahead with a decision on the meds and things?

        Yea good job the polyp is out..I seem to always have a lot of them
        Hope your not too tired after helping at the shop and enjoyed it

  14. Pommum, I also hope your holiday season is wonderful and blessed with family. Hope you have a lot of help to make wonderful food and treats for all. I love your tiny new pup. She is adorable.Will she be as large as your other two poms when grown? They are all gorgeous, but you know that. Everyone..if you haven’t see her new pup, take a look on FB. I’ve always wanted to ask you about their beautiful coats and ask how often your DH brushes them. Please have a wonderful season and come visit us often. Much love, Sue

  15. Chris, I hope today brought you more healing and no more bleeding. Oh my, what a process you have gone through. No decisions yet for me. I will not take any more coumadin, miss the NSAID’s but not feeling as badly as I thought I would. I put a call into the cardiologists office saying I didn’t want to take any amiodarone, not even half the dose and asked for a new drug. I’m not at all comfortable with a cardiologist who prescribes something that complicated and then says come back in three months. Busy, I understand but I don’t have to like it. Hope they return my call today. It is a nice, efficient cardio clinic but only two doctors in town who specialize in the heart.Hate to go all the way to Portland.
    Hope your DD is feeling better. My local grands have been down with coughs and colds. It took my DD three weeks to start feeling better after her bout with a virus recently. GD has a birthday this weekend and we will celebrate…she’s becoming 12 yrs. old. She wants pearl earrings. I told her we would buy her a simple pair like she wants but I said I have a pair Papa gave me and never wear and would she like those. She got very excited and said she’d rather have mine than a new pair. She’s a sentimental little girl.
    My eyes have been bad lately so writing on here a bit less. I pray you are better. Love, Sue

    • I so understand with the eyes..I don’t know why sjogrens does it but it is a gross feeling
      I’m better each day having loads of yogurt and the pain is settling too
      Re. The coudamin why can’t you take it if you are not on the NSAIDs its those two together they say cause the problem and the amioderone sends the inr crazy
      I so agree about the amioderone if you feel ok off them don’t take them..or take them anyway with how they are
      They do try to force it on you before the next thing…do beta blockers help it for you
      Three months is quite a long time to see how you go on that med as the side effects are sh.t
      It’s good to share that experience with your GD
      She must be a delight and good company .and to hand on something she relishes is magic
      DH has bladder/prostate problems cold weather I think.i had three yearly mammogram today ugh
      So gives it very cold overnight a little snow tomorrow
      Gotta go out early to take in specimen for Dh..maybe go for an early cheese scone…so good to feel like eating…huh I’ve put on weight …don’t care! I loose it soon again
      Going to do a beef casserole tomorrow.i love it that it’s going to be 3 hrs in the oven..the smell will be great and with this cold weather be nice
      Ok gonna sort stuff out in the kitchen

  16. Tonie
    Will FM have to wait long with the recovery to come back over again.
    I hope you are feeling better..do rest you seem to be doing so much
    So many colds going about
    Having a bigger freezer will be great with all you freeze ..I can see you doing more cooking to feed It!

  17. Tonie, how about a carrying case for those hot wheels. I got one for my youngest GS years ago and he still wants to keep it. Find out what is turning Sammy on these days. My GS’s always go through phases of interest, dinosaurs, cars, legos, planes, etc. I know how clever you are and know you will come up with something. I know my GS out here is 14 and I don’t have any toys for him to play with at Christmas and it hit me how much life changes and so rapidly. I’m so sorry Bernard can’t go with you but understand with the animals at home.
    How interesting that he has taken an interest with “both feet” so to speak in our culture, our massive spaces and the native American culture.Sorry to hear you are ill…too much pushing and driving your self? Take care and rest as much as possible. Hope B. had a good trip to see his daughter and new GGS.
    Continuous rain here with an occasional sunbreak. Seems that would be the permanent sign here for us. Eyes fading will return later. Love, Sue

    • Sue
      You can send us some of that rain, we greatly need it. Oh yes, B has loved the native culture for a long time. He says we need to wait until we can stay three or four days to go because there is so much to do there and so far ( haha ) to drive.
      Working with Mrs Blair today. Feeling better, but not great. Sat around most of the day yesterday and need to move today.
      I am thinking of getting both boys some bedroom shoes. Always needed, and welcome on the cold floors of hardwood through their house.
      Hope you are feeling better today.
      Chris. I am not sure what his recovery time will be. He is strong and in good shape, but you know how it goes. If he has no complications……
      Poor guy, five or six times yesterday and several times bleeding. Hope you are better . You beef dish sounds wonderful. How do you make it ? I was finding recipes for French Christmas cookies yesterday. And Gluhewine. The German spiced wine.
      Well, I must get ready to go. Have a great day all.

      • It sounds awful for FM and be good to get it sorted for him..
        Just a shame he will be so far from you
        Well I just browned the braising steak and the onions then added some flour . Turned it into a casserole dish with carrots and mushrooms. Added some stock to cover with some thyme . 160c oven for 11/2 hrs covered then 30mins with lid off
        We like a thick sauce, so when I uncover it I take some liquid off if to much there so it gives it a chance to thicken
        I like gluhewine
        Very cold here today and snowed a bit

      • Tonie, sure would send you some of our rain if I could. Poor Mrs.Blair. Life is so difficult for so many but with her the question is how much of it could have been prevented years ago…the problems with her son and the mess they live in. I love that you get so involved but it can only go so far. Slippers for the grands sounds like a cozy idea. I”m sure they will like whatever you pick for them. Hope life is good for all of your grands this holiday and know how much you look forward to seeing them. Have a safe trip down there and hope the weather stays pleasant but according to the weather looks like it’s chilling up some.We are in the 40’s today with more rain on the way.
        Going over to Beth’s for dinner to celebrate GD’s birthday today. Still have to wrap a couple of things for her and trying to wrap my head around the fact my youngest grand is now 12 years old. Life is just whirling by, it seems.
        Have a call into my old cardiologist in Portland and hoping to get an appt. sooner than later. Hate the trip but need the advice. Don’t like this local guy at all.
        I do enjoy watching B get used to America but am sorry to hear about his gut trouble, that poor guy. No fun in that. Hope mare is doing well and staying frisky. Love you much, Sue

  18. Hello, all. Good to see everyone is hanging in here. Saturday was a great day at the shop. They did their best revenue ever, I believe. It was very busy up to the last hour. By the end of the day, we were all exhausted. Sunday I laid low for a while, then DH helped me get 2 trees and the ornament boxes up so I could get the trees up at least. Been working at it bit by bit and now almost finished with the decorating. Did online shopping last Friday and Monday. Still a bit to do yet. DD will join me at the shop Saturday to help me do a bit more shopping. I just found out today that I need to get an additional solo performance ready for the concert in 2 weeks. The gal who was doing that one and a duet with me in Ceremony of Carols missed a conflict with one of her school concerts – I have no idea how. Our poor artistic director was fit to be tied. We were emailing back and forth madly this morning. Never a dull moment. Time to get back to my sweet potatoes. I am cooking and mashing them for my sweets at Christmas time. I will prepare them and freeze them now so I don’t have to run the risk of not finding them at Christmas time. I usually can, but sometimes it is a challenge. Thought I’d get ahead of it this year and try the freezing.
    Take care, all!

    • Lyn, wishing you well with the short notice of the solo. We all know you will do splendidly because you’re you. I just have to worry about you doing too much, never, not enough. It’s great you’re enjoying your friend’s shop so much…sounds like you and DD shop there as well as helping out. I can just imagine it is a cheery, fun shop which is just my kind of place to go. Lately we’ve been hitting the antique shops and finding a few things. We even found a very old picture of our block with our house clearly visible the other day and love it. My favorite one is decorated in such a beautiful way. I love the Christmas season. If we get any dry days…looks like we might next week, we’re all set to put up lights outside. It is always so dark so early here in OR, I like to have the walkway and outdoor stairs lit up. I’m afraid the little solar garden lights I have don’t help much in this weather…not enough sun.
      Now, I am trying with all my might not to hate you for your efficiency in actually cooking ahead for Christmas!! I have however, also finished up my shopping and it is a good feeling. Plan to start wrapping this weekend so I can spread out the chores to survive the holidays. Off to GD’s birthday dinner. Love ya gal, Sue

  19. Chris, hope you’re hanging in there and healing well. Did the snow stay on the ground? Nothing but rain here but next week we get three dry days so Jim is going to do the outdoor lights then. Sweet guy is doing it for me…he hates doing it but knows I love it. Frustrating week for me. No, not going back to that cardiologist. He called me and is a jerk. Will see internist on Monday and start back on coumadin most likely.
    Are you eating anything normal and delicious yet? Sure hope so. Love, Sue

  20. Glad you get to see someone Monday ..that bloke sounds the wrong type to be a dr
    Me ..well the pain went and I went to town did some shopping felt good then next day the pain was back.id been eating ok then had some braised beef and then chicken .
    It’s like toothache there ,back on spasmonal hadn’t taken it for a while .it feels like trapped gas ..but it did before. Disappointing as it had been better for two whole days
    The snow wasn’t much it gives it getting a bit Warmer then back to the cold
    Dh has some waters/ prostate trouble. Been ok for years on meds . Then it started again last week .dont know if it’s the new betablokers doing it.but dr ordered a specimen test did a dipstick and blood in it..so he sent it off .it was ok it was a false /positive. So that was a concern while we waited
    So anyway he swapped his meds around to the morning and it was easier..so have to see how it goes now
    I expect your eyes are still the same
    I put some decks up the nite I felt good..got a big lantern with some,pretty battery light in it ..only got them new ,seeing how long the battery lasts ,been on solid for nearly two days and still going
    The spasmonal dries me up eyes so dry
    Ok gonna try and sleep 3.45 am here

    • Chris, oh dear. I think part of the problem might be the beef. It is so hard to digest. Chicken is better but still meat. Probably still so much edema in your bowel still and trouble digesting certain foods. Good try though. Got you away from all that white bland food and bet it tasted great. I take anaspaz, same type of thing and due to the SJogren’s like you, eyes bad and can’t swallow after taking it. Most people don’t truly understand the panic of not being able to swallow, especially if you wake up at night with it.Yes, my eyes are directly affected by meds.Today bad but no meds, just very dry air and perhaps not drinking as much as I should. Sorry about DH, because blood anywhere is never good. No more of that…scary stuff. Hope it is fixed now.
      Kids out of town for GD’s birthday today and Jim checking on their dog. Raining heavily here all day as he deals with their lonesome pooch. Dinner last night with them, had salad, they had pizza, then a very dark chocolate cake.GD had a unicorn birthday…every gift unicorn themed. She loved it. She is now 12 years old. My gut is much better now off of the NSAID but pain all over worse. Will call rheumy on Monday. May have to increase my methotrexate. Yep, that cardiologist is one I never plan to see again. Too much for me to deal with. Like my DH said, don’t worry about it…there are other cardiologists. Talking to him made my atrial fib much worse. I don’t know what’s wrong with some of these newer docs. They only know their field of specialty and never were taught humanity. Do take care my dear friend. Love, Sue

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