Eyesight, Insight, And Hindsight

Many of us who have rheumatoid diseases, daily back pain or chronic pain from some other source, also have eye problems. There can be many causes for this. I am suddenly reminded of the children who, when seeing their parents kissing and hugging, groan and say “Ick,” as they hide their eyes and turn away. How the heck do they think they got into this world? As these same children grow into young adults they change the phrase at the same scene and say, “My eyes, my eyes.”

Our eyesight is something we take for granted like hearing, our ability to smell as well as touch, taste and emote. All of life is a presumption until some part of it is gone. One of the most common causes for concern today and for the purposes of this article, is dry eye. Have you seen the eyecare shelf at your local Walgreen’s or Walmart lately? Row upon row of artificial tears, allergy drops, gels, liquids, eye washes and the list goes on. Apparently, many folks are fighting these problems along with other eye diseases.

All of us tend to have fewer tears as we grow older but it is more common with mid-age and older women. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, dry eye does affect one’s eyesight and can have many causes. Several diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus and thyroid disease can all have this problem as a major symptom. Various medications can also cause this problem such as diuretics, blood pressure medications, anti-histamines, sleeping pills, anti-cholinergic meds for the intestines and anxiety meds. You see, we all have much to be aware of in today’s world with so many prescriptions for all of these meds being filled. One can also have dry eye after eye surgery or from problems with the eyelid swelling.

The modern world comes at us with so many irritants such as cigarette smoke, pollution and computer fatigue. Did you know you don’t blink as often when you are on the computer? For many of us with chronic dryness, we are well aware of the particles in the air such as dust, bits of sand, fluff from fabric, eyelashes, etc. The wind carries so many of these particles plus it has the ability to dry out the outer layer of the eye.

Without getting too deeply into the “dry” side of this subject…groan,groan, let me explain briefly the anatomy of the eye. Above the eye is the lacrimal gland, within the eye is the white part, the conjunctiva and the colored portion which is the cornea. Just beneath the lower lashes there are glands called the Meibomian glands. The film on the outside of the eye, the tear film is composed of three layers. The outer layer is the oily layer and protects the eyes from dryness and is resourced from the Meibomian glands. The middle layer is the watery layer and it makes up most of the tears we have and keeps cleaning the eye of foreign particles and is fed by the lacrimal glands above the eyelids. The mucus layer is the inner layer of the tear film and helps the tears from the watery layer stick to the surface of the entire eye. Its mucus is manufactured in the conjunctiva, which is the white part of the eye and also lubricates in the eyelid itself.

Okay, bet you’re dry now. All of this is the how and why we need to protect our eyes. Diseases, medications and the atmosphere are coming at us and we need to be aware of this. I have problems everyday with all of the above and have a basket sitting beside the sink in my bathroom filled with tiny, expensive bottles of eyedrops. Hourly, unless I forget to use them, I am instilling eyedrops just to stave off irritation and frankly, to be able to see my computer or read the paper. Due to a careless eye doctor I lost all of my peripheral vision due to one of the drugs I took for many years. I had my eyes checked on a regular basis but it was overlooked until the damage was already done. My sight has been affected by that as well as the daily and hourly dryness. I now have to read large print and do most of my reading on the computer with the font enlarged and now read books on my ever-faithful Kindle.

What can you and I do if we have dry eye? What can we do in order to live with it on a friendlier basis? Let me share a few of the helpful things I have discovered. I avoid ceiling and cooling fans. When I’m outside I have glasses, which darken with the sun and a special pair which is helpful when I must be in direct sunlight. I also have a pair of glasses just for use with the computer. I have found it helpful to use a humidifier at night. I hydrate all day long with water, juice or seltzer. During the winter the air is dry from heaters and in the spring and summer, the air, of course, is warmer and more naturally drying. I also avoid using the hair dryer when possible. Some nutritionists recommend taking Omega-3 or Omega-6 oil capsules for this problem. I took Evening Primrose oil for years but had to stop when I got breast cancer.

I hope this has been helpful and perhaps answered a few questions for those of you who have this common problem with your eyes. Please remember to get your eyes checked by a competent optician or ophthalmologist on a regular basis.
A few days ago, I was reading an article in Mysterious Ways, a small but excellent magazine published by Guideposts. There was an interesting article about the famous naturalist John Muir. It piqued my interest and made me want to read more about him. We all have moments or events in our lives which awaken “something” within us and change the direction of our lives. Muir had always been a blossoming botanist but set that aside because he had to earn a living. For Muir it came in March of 1867, at the age of 28, while working for a wagon wheel factory in Indianapolis. Noted for his inventiveness in improving the machines that were being used, he quickly became a supervisor in the factory. On that day in 1867, a metal file he was working with slipped and struck him in the right eye. He stated his sight was gone forever because his left eye went into “sympathetic shock.” He could not see out of either one.

As anyone would be in that situation with not only the pain but the deep depression of losing his sight, the once young botanist grieved over the loss of his ability to see and enjoy all of God’s nature. After a few weeks he saw a doctor. It’s hard to imagine what could have been done for him in today’s world but it was not. Why he waited a few weeks, well I guess because it was 1867. The doctor gave him hope and told him the loss of sight was temporary and it would return. Considering the era of his injury his recovery was miraculous. The hope and the jubilant feelings that came over him can only be imagined. That loss and subsequent recovery of his sight changed the course of Muir’s life forever. Known throughout the world for his travels, writings and insight into all of nature; they all came to him because he had once been blind.

Is it possible for many of us who are down mentally and physically or changed with disease or suffering injuries that we have been blind and now have to face a new vision or route through life? We may not have the physical capabilities of a John Muir to hike the falls of Yosemite or trek along mountains tall but we can change our views, our perspective and our ways. Many of his insights have been passed down through the generations such as, “Most people are on the world, not in it,” and my favorite, “This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.”
If you can, walk along a creek or river, to watch the tiny blue ripples on a clear day or the brown churning on a windy day; if you can sit inside or out and enjoy the wind in your face or if your pleasure is in watching the bloom of a flower or herb on your own porch, I urge you to do it. There is a life-giving force in nature as God has made it magnificent and free. One more quote from Muir, “I never saw a discontented tree.”

All of this wisdom dropping from John Muir reminds me of the famous quote of DH Lawrence. “I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A bird will drop frozen from a bough without ever feeling sorry for itself.”
Lovely words and meaning but one has to wonder how he knows what that little frozen bird was thinking as he fell. True, we hear birds chirping and singing. Could some of the songs not be sad? I like to think the little thing was a realist and just before landing thought to himself, “Oh, Shit.”

The birds in our area seem to be smart enough to stay where it is warm, perhaps huddling with the deer which only come out on the warmer and more clear days. Yes, insight often comes when we are facing adversity and many of us have had more than we ever dreamed possible. I’ve often thought it’s a good thing we did not have foresight.

Now, hindsight, is a different matter entirely. If that little frozen bit of poultry could have a second go at life, perhaps he would have stayed in a warmer place that cold, bitter day. He never had a chance to have hindsight or if he did it came too late; but we do have hindsight. Too often we misuse this privilege. In so many ways I think it would be better if we did not have the ability to torture our present condition as we often do with hindsight. We constantly torment ourselves, usually in the early phase of a trial or illness by asking too many questions; questions without answers.

We ask why we did or didn’t go somewhere, why we worked someplace, why we had to be born into a family with rotten DNA, why we married someone or not married someone else, etc. The theme is the same as we ask questions which have no answers. I believe it is an essential part of the human condition to look for answers but they are not in the past. The answers we seek are in the future. Turn around my friend, stop looking back and view the road ahead. Embrace what is and change what you can, using wisdom and insight by choosing good physicians, positive companions, a joy-filled outlook and push yourself as far as you can, expectantly. Do not embrace invalidism, negativity or old age. I know it is a temptation but if you want your independence you have to look forward not back. If you want health, be sure you are doing all you can for yourself. If you seek happiness, strive to be all you are designed to be, all your Maker intended for you to be.

Looking back should be used for sweet memories, reflection of lessons learned and grief, yes, for those loved ones lost. Each of us made bad choices, many times and each of us have regrets for that which we did not choose. We can honor the past without bitterness, learn from it without regret and embrace the sum total of it all as that which makes us who we are. We have all been given the gift of free choice in this world. That is how we learn, as painful as it is sometimes. We are all also the loser/victim at times in the battlefield of life. None of us is exempt from disease, accident or even folly. Welcome to the human condition and embrace the God who created you and will see you through it all.
Use your eyesight, insight and hindsight wisely my friends as they are each a challenge, a gift and a blessing.

71 thoughts on “Eyesight, Insight, And Hindsight

  1. Very observant and insightful (see what all I did there?) I don’t think I knew about John Muir, although maybe I did at one time I forgot. Very interesting. Right now I am reading and writing seeing through blurry, dry eyes of my own. It is amazing I am still able to wear my contacts, but I can’t for as long as I once could, and see those days dwindling now. Thanks, dry eyes. But, thankfully, I do have my sight. I’m sorry the damage from those meds wasn’t caught in time for you. Counting my blessings, and all my “sights”.

    • Janet, I just did a quick scan back to comments on the last blog post I missed. So sorry for the loss of your Lady. It is never easy. I know she must have meant to very much to you, and you must miss her daily.

    • Lyn, I’m always blessed to hear you find insights into anything I have to say. I’ve been doing this a long time now…12 years and it often seems as if there is nothing new to say but the ideas just keep coming, Thank God. Sometimes when it is time to write the blog I am at a complete loss yet something, some idea is always given to me when I need it. I am sorry you are having more eye trouble. Sure hope this helps you a bit with some new ideas. Contacts can be on that list of problems for dry eyes. We do need to always count our sights, whatever they may be, there is always something to see we have never really seen before. Love, Sue

  2. Sue
    I didn’t know all that about the eye glands also like Lyn hadn’t heard of John Muir…insightful words! …well I had read about him on theses pages previously
    The blog gives me another way of viewing stuff
    My eyes are one step dryer these days and at nite I just can’t keep on reading..blimmin sjogrens
    Hope all your family are feeling better from flu and with less to do after all the sorrow recently
    How are you

    • Chris, it seems with kids and all the exposure my daughter gets from kids at work, somebody is always sick. The grief from my SIL’s brother is still so fresh and painful. Greg and my SIL ran and owned their business together and his loss makes every day painful. .
      I hope I told you something new about the eyes. I know you share my problems with all the gusto I do. So aggravating. I am having trouble with my gut and hope it isn’t because of the NSAID. Time will tell me, I hope.
      My eyes are bad tonight from the whole day of writing this so will say goodnight…at least it’s night over here in the states. Love, Sue

  3. Sue, My greatest fear when I was diagnosed with diabetes was of going blind. I have had poor eyesight since I had measles when I was 7. I can’t imagine not being able to see at all. So much of my life now is the computer, reading and TV.
    Enough of that, gentle hugs, lots of love to all. Janet

    • Janet, I understand that fear so well. My dear, my life is also filled with many hours of sedentary entertainment, like you. I love this blog and like FB so much because I have met so many people through it. I am sorry you also have vision problems. I am aware of how much you hold back because you don’t want to whine and I appreciate that but please, always know I like you am aging with disease and know what a burden you carry so gracefully. Much love, Sue

  4. I don’t know which would be worse, to loose my sight or the ability to talk. Both mean so much to me. Right now, I am having problems with my eyes and didn’t realize , until recently, that I needed drops more often. So now when I wake up using the night, I put drops in. All during the day as well. It has cleared up, no pun intended, my sight. Something new all the time with these horrible things that we suffer with.
    I didn’t remember John Muir until you mentioned his sight. I have read about him and seen his pictures and drawings. He was a wonderful explorer and documentarian of our natural wonders.
    Today we have about a foot of snow, it has finally stopped at 2 pm. I found a small roast in the freezer and am making Judy and I some soup and banquettes. Also made some snow cream. I haven’t made that since the kids were small.
    Janet, I missed my boy Brutie so bad this morning. He loved the snow and would go behind me as I broke a path and then run around and roll in it. Ceasar is not so found of it, but he did go out a while this afternoon running around after me.
    Sue I hope your flu stuff has cleared up. Do take care all of you. Looking forward to the melting process of this stuff

    • Tonie, once again I thank you for posting these blogs for me. I’m sorry we had a flub up on the paragraphs. I’ll work it out for next time. I like the John Muir photo you chose very much. It’s so classic of his traveling.
      I do hate to hear about the snow piling up on you and sorry you missed Brutie even more. What a lot of work all of that snow is for you. I never made snow cream before…we never lived where there was enough snow for that. Sounds practical and tasty. Love any dessert that is mostly water.
      What is the latest word from B.? We are all anxious for you two to be reunited…can only imagine how badly you both want it. Soon, I hope, soon.
      Had GD after school today. DD still fighting a terrible sinus leftover from the flu. My gut still a problem. I’m drinking seltzer like mad. Warmer here today but rain moving in tonight. Once again…hate that you have more cold and snow…take care of you, Love you much, Sue

      • Tonie, do you think some of the new meds like the biologics could be drying your eyes? Extreme temps like you’ve had this year can’t help, just like Lyn has struggled this year with her weather. Sue

  5. Hello all
    Sue, yeah the snow makes it more difficult and I always hate this last gasp of winter we sometimes get this late. Yes, the biologic could be making my eyes drier, all these meds are drying. I drink lots and lots, but during the night not so much, so I get that effect. I usually run the humidifier, but didn’t lately because of all the rain. Maybe I will turn it on again tonight.
    Today we have more students, so I will put them to work in Judy’s basement. Cleaning and organizing and throwing away ! She will be upstairs and I will have free rein, lol. She is slowly getting better. Snow cancelled her trip to get her hearing aid today, so she goes next week.
    Bernard has his last appointment with his specialist on Friday, so we will see what happens from there. He is packin a big box to send all his things home. He was mourning the loss of his collection of books. But says he won’t need them here, we all know how hard it is to give them up. I am anxious to see his pictures and artwork. His collection of horse miniatures. They are hard to find . Very small non plastic horses that look like horses, lol.
    Well, one more coffee then off to get the kids. Not really feeling it today, but……commitments made.
    Hope you are feeling better Sue. And you are welcome with the blog. We will get the bugs out eventually.

  6. Well, another day of cold and snow……ugh !! Snow showers on and off this morning. Where is SPRING ? sigh… Patience isn’t one of my many virtues, lol .
    Well, got most of Judys basement done yesterday. The kids were wonderful. THey were from St Josephs University in Philadelphia Pa. Great bunch, good fun as we worked. They ate most of my bread and soup I had made. And scarfed up my homemade pickles. Judy sent them on their way with a pint eac of pickles and beets. I still have a load of trash to take off and today will unload a truck load of things for the thrift store. After I swim. I greatly need it. Judy is going to go and get in the pool as well. SHe cant get an appointment with the spine dr until the middle of April. Poor thing. But she is slowly improving.
    So, 4:30 is my new wake up time. And every two hours all night. I have a new RX waiting for me to try, I will share the name later. So we will see tonight. I really need some good sleep. I am walking wounded.
    Hopefully yaall are having better weather than me (except you Lyn) and hopefully have a wonderful sun filled day.

    • Tonie, My first thought is how much trouble everyone is having in the sleep department. I am sorry to hear this because it makes the days so much more fatiguing. I also am wondering what you have heard from B’s appt. yesterday and how he is doing . I pray he is better. Sounds like such a huge job of packing for a lifetime and giving up and deciding which things are which. Such an exciting time for both of you. How’s Sweetie doing? My goodness but you and Judy had so much wonderful help but now you are left with the remains to discard, lift and tote. I can only imagine how exhausted you are today.
      I have had a miserable couple of weeks. I think I had a sinus infection from the virus of two weeks ago because I felt dizzy and light headed with an awful headache. Then yesterday came down with fever, chills and terrible discomfort everywhere. All joints blazing from ankles to TMJ’s. Long, long night but better today. What is this virus on virus crap?I missed two appts. last week that I must make up next week.
      Lovely here with rain showers but blue and sunny in between. Not much news. Arborists came out today to trim our giant monkey puzzle tree. Jim is not a nature lover so he was upset about the cost but I want to preserve the beautiful very old tree. It’s so unusual. There are only two of them left in town. They are coming back in the spring to treat it with a deep fertilizer. They think it isn’t getting enough water in the roots. Apparently they drill holes around it of sorts and inject huge syringes of water and fertilizer. Almost time to remove the covering on the porch settee and lower the shade to keep the sun out of the living room and give me a place of shade on our little front porch. I love spring and hope your blossoms and buds have not been damaged with all the snow and cold. Love, Sue

    • Chris, More snow…poor Chris. Spring will come, I’m sure of that. How are you feeling? DH okay? Short but sweet..very tired tonight and not well, Love, Sue

  7. Hello, all. Thankfully, we have not had as much snow as Tonie lately. Mostly flurries, or snow that looked pretty coming down, but melted on the roadways. That’s fine with me. It’s been cold and windy this week – NOT good for those eyes! My body has been acting strangely, and I’ve not been sleeping well, either. Like Tonie, waking easily and often, and the last 2 or 3 nights awake before 4 until after 6 some time. Yesterday I did get back to sleep, but today I didn’t really. I tried. I heard SB up around 4 this morning. Turns out he couldn’t sleep either and came down for a snack. I’ve also been having drainage despite taking my allergy meds, but not seemingly sick. Not sure what is going on or what else I can do. I may try switching my anti-histamine and see if I am perhaps just building a tolerance to that med and may have more success with a different formulation. Naturally, I had a dress rehearsal Monday night and a concert Tuesday night. This time a solo gig, 1 aria. Our local HS has a Masterworks concert this time of year and this year they did the Bach Ascension Cantata. I was 1 of 3 guest soloists. It was fun to do something with the kiddos again. I thought of you, Sue. I had to endure a horrible chair both nights. Monday night I came home in extreme pain. Thankfully, I had a yoga pose I could do to help relieve it a bit before bed. There is NO WAY you could have lasted 5 minutes in that chair! Ah, well, it is past time I should be getting ready for my day. I have a few errands to run and need to walk the pup before the rains come later. Take care!

    • Lyn
      Sorry you are having trouble sleeping. Have you tried Melatonin at all ? It helps me, and it is not a drug. A natural thing our body makes to help us sleep that we loose as we age. However, with my problems it doesn’t keep me asleep.
      My new RX helped me sleep through the night, for the most part , last night. So feel a bit better today.
      Glad you didn’t get so much snow. It is warming up here with high winds so I hope to see it go and the wind to dry up the mud. But we know how the wind affects us….always something, huh ?
      I know you enjoyed the music. Take care and feel better.

    • Lyn dear, so much going on for you. It’s all so difficult if you are not resting enough. You might try substituting generic Benadryl at bedtime for your allergy pills. They will dry you and also make you drowsy. I agree with Tonie about the melatonin and often take it with my Zanax when I can’t sleep. I find Zanax has helped me, low dose, at bedtime for a long time now and occasionally a second one but I can’t take any after 2 or 3 AM or I am “down” in the morning since they are a downer. There is always warm milk and the L-tryptophan in it really does work. We used to give the capsules of it to alcoholics in drug rehab to calm them. Not sure if they sell it as such any longer. They had trouble getting it for awhile into this country.
      Thank you for thinking of me with the miserable chair but I am sorry you had to go through that. I know when you sing you forget yourself in your music but there it is…the pain as soon as you sit again. Do try the R. Ron Tigny, P.T. stretches for low back or tush pain. They are great. They can be found at thelowback.com. The concert sounds not only beautiful, rewarding but also fun. Time for me to hit the bed myself. Rough couple of weeks here. Love you, Sue

      • Sue
        In Az I was given Zane’s and it was wonderful. But here 8n the land of paranoid DRs, and DEA monitoring RX pads, they gasp 8n shock when you ask for it. But this one is helping so far. Slept thru the night last night

  8. Really interesting and fun to read. I was at the optician yesterday discussing dry eyes so enjoyed reading up a bit more about it. My eyes were bothering me for quite a while after my fall down stairs and in hindsight i really shouldnt have been walking down my wooden stairs in socks!! Im on the mend now though but its been a long journey.

    • Rosetint, I’m pleased you found some helpful info in this. How do they believe your eye trouble is related to your fall? Any fall sounds so scary. I’ve taken a couple of beauties and can feel what you must have felt. The first thing we did when we moved in here was to carpet the stairs. Maybe not as pretty but far safer. We do have wooden floors with oriental carpets, cheap versions, and I found a great type of socks I like for wooden or slippery floors of any kind on Amazon.com. They are called StopSocks. They have a substance on the bottle that prevents slipping. I’m so sorry you have been through what sounds like quite a lot of discomfort and complication to life. So good to hear from you. Fondly, Sue

      • Ive had a lot of soft tissue bruising in my back but also whiplash and i just think it was a combination of things as i was feeling so unwell. Gradually on the mend now and after 16 months can now bend over to clean my teeth. Its the little things you appreciate when youve been unable to do them! Its been a long road but getting there now. The socks sound like a good idea although moving to a single floor barn conversion sounds safer but for now maybe ill try the socks. Alison x

  9. Sue
    B will call me tomorrow and talk with me about his appointment. He says nothing alarming , so… Had a good appointment with the back 8njection, except he insisted he inject he Valium in my hand as I was already 9n the table, and of course he went through the vein and I have a nice sore bruise on my hand. I had the good sense to massage it afterwards. His nurse usually does it, but it was early before she arrived. Judy is still in lots of pain and very weak. These last few weeks of driving her to appointments, and m8 e and working with kids, and and has worn me out. Starts again next week with Monday with her to Roanoke, Tuesday to hearing aids, Thursday back to Roanoke. Doing her shopping. I love that I am here, please don’t th8nk I care for that. It is just tiring, well exhausting. She was so weak 9n Thursday she could barely walk up here and it is a very short distance. I got her walker out and adjusted it before I left her.
    Today I a, going to a horse sale. Get out and do someth8ng fun. Interact with horse people. But I will be missing B because it is what we do together. Hopefully he will be home soon. Sweetie is doing good, wants to eat all the t8me, but pregnancy is the same, human or an8mal, we get more h7ngry.
    Sorry you have been so sick, and I pray for your c9mplete recovery. We are warmer here, but a bit rainy today. Looks like Chris snow will be here on Thursday this week. Europe’s weather makes its way to our coast usually in the winter, or arctic blasts come down from the north. But, so far it is looking better. Soon, no more heaters, doors and windows open and ceiling fans (I need to clean) back on.
    Love ya

    • Tonie, I am so sorry you got stabbed by a well meaning doc. Hope the injection in the back helps a lot. What a week you’ve had and another coming. Worried about Judy…is it still her neck? That can be so miserable. You are a wonderful sister but you MUST take care of yourself or you won’t help either one of you to get wrecked.
      Hope B has a flying date and know how excited he must be, packing his belong for…forever. Still puny here with sinus headache and lying around…bored so trying to get at least one project or chore done each day. Had to reschedule oncology last week do have to get labs drawn all over again for this week..ugh. Bladder better, no fever now but headache pounds away. Love you much and know what the week looks like for you and pray it goes well for you. Sue

  10. Tonie
    We got some more snow,not much but the wind was 40mph today and so cold .it didn’t get above freezing. …yesterday was so sunny and warm we were sitting outside !
    Today a big pot got thrown in the wind and one broken…..may try and buy one tomorrow but leave it just in it and pot it when it’s warm enough to stay and do it
    Poor Judy and yourself..you must look after yourself tonie as to do all you do …wel it’s so much in this cold as well….some fun time sounds good . Hope there is some coming home news from FM
    Good that you are recovering…look out in this weather
    How are you
    Yesterday we went over to DDs…didn’t stay for long as she was working from home..but went round some shops in her village with her,always fun
    It was the first time Dh had gone a longish journey for ages and it was a nice sunny day …on the way back we diverted and had a cheese scone,.bit naughty as we are on our fourth day dieting. ,but we enjoyed the moment! regret today!
    His bp is going the right way I think
    I feel so tired lately..see rheumy next week.she usually does bloods

    • Chris, You sound so much better as does DH. I know you enjoyed your visit with your DD. I don’t do much shopping with my DD. She is always doing things with her kids as a good mother should but I miss the outings we used to have. They are planning a trip to Disneyland to get the kids cheered up a bit after the lose of their uncle. Still so hard on my SIL. We all miss Greg and SIL the most being in business together and just being close brothers. Still so sad…
      You and your scones. Love it and you, Sue

  11. It’s all good, Tonie. I’m sure we all figured it out. 🙂 Tonie, Sue, thanks for the med suggestions. I have tried melatonin, but not had much luck with it. A large part of the problem with any med or supplement is that I get to sleep fine, and just wake and can’t get back to sleep for 2 or 3 hours. Like you, Sue, I cannot take most things in the middle of the night or I’m groggy in the morning. I don’t want to take something every night and never know when it will happen. I can’t take Benedryl at bedtime because during allergy season I take a 24 hour antihistamine. If it happens early enough, I can take a Soma and not be groggy til morning, but usually it hits later.

    • Lyn, I know, it can be such a problem. I always turn on an old movie I’ve seen a hundred times and that finally does it. I usually take melatonin with something else. I like Soma but can only take a half dose.
      Still feeling lousy. Sinuses so dry and plugged. Have to see the endocrinologist this week about the funny nodule on my thyroid. Early appt. which I don’t like but she’s only in town a day per week so tight schedule. I hate going to new doctors. My history is so long and sort of unbelievable…tired of talking about it with new people.
      Rain here, in the forties but clear tomorrow. Hope you’re not frozen. Love, Sue

  12. Alison aka rosetint, What a time you had. Indeed any injury that would swell or bruise the spinal cord affecting the nerves could do so much damage. I am glad you feel better now. You must have landed on your back when you fell. That can be so scary and it seems to always happen to quickly. I’ve been looking for a good pair of slippers for years to feel secure on our stairs and always return to bare feet or those socks I mentioned. Lots of slippers have non-slip treads but are too small and hurt the arthritis in my feet or if too large, you can also lose one on the stairs. We have stairs everywhere and wouldn’t even consider moving from our lovely old Victorian. Join me on FB and you can see it. It’s tall, simple and actually small but we love it.
    Pleased you’re getting better. You write lovely poetry and I also like the pictures on your blog. Fondly, Sue

  13. Sue
    What’s this about a bladder problem?
    And the thyroid nodule ?
    Iikeyou my sinuses are so dry and yet they run as well bleeding in with it too
    At the moment I have a rash under my breasts that won’t go.dr has seen it twice over the month.caneston caneston hc ,dakacort,an antibiotic cream,antihistamine cream….still there it’s raw itchy and sore
    Just been up to put some more cream on
    Do hope all goes good this week sue

    • Chris, SO sorry. Was certain I had posted they found a strange nodule on my thyroid with the PET scan in Dec., had ultrasound of thyroid later and have waited two months to see endocrinologist to see if I have to have it biopsied or if we can just watch it. I’m voting for the ultrasound every few months over the needle any day. The virus I’ve had has caused some bladder discomfort. Better now. I took tons of cranberry capsules and it got better.
      We have a creme here called Nystatin that is great for many rashes that grow “in the shade”, probably fungal. Not sure what it is called over there. Can you see a dermatologist?
      My nose and throat are always wickedly dry unless I cry or sometimes just bend over and then a drip or two. Such a strange disease Sjogren’s is. Always something, huh? I know I always have a Kleenex up my sleeve just in case. Do hope you’re warming up as we are getting snow in the mountains tomorrow. Love, Sue

      • Chris, as a PS to my own post let me add I do have a runny nose when I cry. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately. I’m so devastated I can’t go to my GS’s wedding in Virginia next month. First grand to get married and a whole weekend of activity planned plus a tour for a few days of Washington DC. I can’t apologize because I am only human and am sick of missing out on so much in life for so many years. Jim is going and is all excited about it and I don’t blame him but also don’t want to hear him talk about it. I truly am happy for him because my health has locked him up pretty much, also. love, Sue

      • I went to see the nurse at the surgery today and she gave me nyastatin,it has a cortisone and antiseptic in it too.i went as it is the size of a saucer on one.. im not bragging!! I’m not sure about the cream as it’s stinging and the rash is redder
        Sue aren’t we complicated I do wish all would just get easier for you..so much
        As for tears I can’t cry anymore, tears aren’t there..I just make a noise if I do…wierd and yet my nose constantly drips
        Anyway I’m itching all over and burning
        I understand about the wedding I’m wondering about going to my dd one..what if dh has a funny turn and it spoils everything ,like gs 21st and it’s out of our hospital area for me to travel..all problems

  14. Morning all
    Hope this finds you all well and happy and warm ! Lol. We are set to get the Europe weather front on Wednesday, but hopefully not much snow. Thanks Chris , haha !! B. said they got about a foot and a half this weekend.
    Judy is doing a bit better. No appointment today, had that wrong, thankfully. So I can go swim, get my stuff done. She took a backset on that flu stuff also Sue. Been miserable this weekend. She has been eating more, trying to get well. I have done her shopping so adding some protein drinks to the list. She has been drinking them in the morning. She will not eat all day until late.
    I am taking care. Resting when I can. I had a good time at the horse sale. Stood up all day though and my knees and back were not happy. But worth it. Lots of new people and beautiful horses. Found Sweetie a new boyfriend for this summer so she can have a gaited foal next year. He is a Standardbred. Like the Amish use for their carriages. The guy guarantees a live birth, so even if it dies at birth he will breed for free until one lives. SO good deal.
    B. has two more appointments. Good news on Friday, much improvement. So still a waiting game. Meanwhile he is helping out at the school. Me, my fibro has been pretty bad, from all the stress I am sure. But got my labwork and again my white cell count is even higher than last time. Trying to read what will cause it, of course RA is right there. But certain cells which usually aren’t high, are. Dr not concerned but I , as an ex lab rat, know it is something to watch. Red cell count low as well. So maybe the Enbrel. But it would account for some of my fatique.
    Sue, hope your appointment goes well. Get better. You and Judy, can’t catch a break can you ? SHe has been using the walker around the house, which is good. SHe also brought in Marys two scooters and cleaned them up, charging the batteries. One she can ride outside easily, and the other is small so she can maneuver it around the house if needed. B. says she will be doing wheelies in the yard soon, lol.
    Well, must be off and running. ( or driving). L
    Love to all

    • Tonie, I think the Enbrel seems very likely to be the cause for the white and red counts being off. Don’t know why the doc isn’t more concerned…undoubtedly the blood counts are the cause for the fatigue. Honestly, it is frustrating this whole medicine vs. illness bit. I often think it’s good to step back a bit to the herbs and natural stuff if we know what we’re doing.
      Sorry Judy is still feeling poorly. Glad you’re there to see she gets her groceries. This virus is very stubborn and seems to like to reappear. Just be sure she isn’t slouching forward too much with a walker or too dependent on it.
      What’s still going on with B? Why the further delay? Glad you get today for yourself.
      The horse show sounded like a lot of funny. Poor Sweetie, she’s not even delivered yet and you have her planned for another pregnancy already. Tell her Aunt Sue said to cross her legs.
      Snow expected here down to 1000 feet. Lovely today and that’s the end of sun for a few days here on the coast. Appt for me tomorrow, endocrinologist and Friday, oncology. Maybe someone will give me an antibiotic for this sinus stuff. Don’t usually advocate them but two weeks already. I haven’t had any since April of 2016 when Jim and I both had pneumonia. Be good if you can, take care of yourself and get that guy back over here where he belongs. Love, Sue

    • Yea Tonie .it’s been so cold with it too, hope not so much with you
      My family history in France is going good lots of photos of family there and there is a little resemblance too.thats from1880 .
      Did I tell on the blog I found out a great great uncle went to France and I’ve managed to track the present family.its exciting .i always wondered why he went etc
      Well we got ourselves a present of an outside table and it’s coming early tomorrow ,so trying to get to sleep
      I know in this weather..we are wierd!
      Good news of B improving

      • Chris, I also have French in my background from the 1800’s. That’s on my Dad’s side. 23 and me DNA analysis is good because it divided it into each parent and each century. I really liked that. My Dad was mostly all French and German whereas my Mom was mostly Irish and English with a bit of the rest of the world thrown in.
        I hope you’re doing better today. First of all, regarding the rash, they have to know what it is first before they can treat it. Usually, under a breast it is kinda like “jock=itch” for guys. It is a fungus that grows in damp, sweaty places. Nystatin is for that, also known as yeast infection. I find in between using it is helpful to use baby powder or your favorite perfume powder. You just need to keep it dry. Cold compresses, like a washcloth kept in the refrigerator or a stint in the freezer would be soothing.
        Hope you enjoy your outdoor table on your lovely terrace. I know you had one table out there. Is that the one you sent back and this is the replacement? Take care and hope your weather is better as ours gets worse. Love, Sue

  15. Morning all
    Rainy very rainy last night and still drizzling some today. Tonight we are to get snow, up to 7″ they say……ugh. So I need to prepare for it this evening. Taking Judy for her hearing aid appointment in a few. Then a few places she wants to go. She is still coughing, but getting better. Got her back on a few steroids, see if it knocks it out of her chest. Vaporizers set up all over the house, that’s helping.
    Sue, she is not using the walker that much, just when she feels weak. As for B. He has to get to the last two appointments for his dr;s. THe last one is the 29th. And still waiting for the green card to catch up. It has been approved, but not sent. THen after that he can get his ticket to return. He has his box packed and ready to go. We are both anxious, so prayers the card gets there soon !!
    Hope you are feeling better. I know you are sad over the trip. Wish you could come, we would meet up somewhere. Is your daughter going ? I hope someone will be there for you. I know you are not helpless, but still…..
    Love to all

    • Sue, I echo Tonie.
      Tonie, we are getting the same as you, in 2 bouts. Not sure how much snow we will end up with, the forecasts are all over the map. I am leaning toward the lesser predictions. Getting ready for a snow day tomorrow! Unfortunately, that means my DH will be an antsy mess! He can’t be still for long or boxed in.
      Chris, I do hope the Nystatin is helping!

      • Lyn
        We have about 3 inches right now. Heavy wet stuff. I am nice and warm 8nside when I wake and don’t want to go out. But once I am, feed8ng, petting and talking to the animals, putting out food and water for all the birds, then I am good. Now back indoors and taking it easy. Was feeling really bad this morn8ng, but now some better. So I may do some cleaning this afternoon in my spare room. Stay warm and don’t kill dh !

    • Tonie, good to hear B is ready to go and know he is as anxious as you are. I hope they he gets that green card tomorrow. Pray Judy gets better very soon. If the humidifiers don’t keep helping, try just a nice hot pot of water, off the burner and have her put a towel over her head and inhale that steam for at least 10 mins or until she can’t or gets dizzy….old world style.
      Right now plans for GS’s wedding up in air for Jim but still planning on him going. Looks like it might depend on how my health is by then but I think we’ll still be a go. Each day has its own challenge, you know? Love you and hope all is well with you soon in spite of the snow. what a bother for you. Sue

  16. Hi All, went to the endocrinologist today and from ultrasound found both sides of my thyroid have nodules, several. I will need a biopsy ASAP. Of course, everyone is thinking of cancer because I already have it but many people have nodules. If they are full of fluid, that’s okay but I have one that is solid and one that is semi-solid. Have to wait for call from radiology where it will be done under guided imagery. Local anesthetic on both sides of the neck. YUK. Most crap to wade through. Prayers please my dear friends, Sue

    • My poor sweet friend, you are always in my prayers. But will have a good hard pray about this. I am always here for you if you need me. May the Lord lift your spirits and I know your faith and 8 know it is strong. And always it will and He will get us through the worst of things.
      Love ya

      • Janet, both prayers and hugs have kept me going thus far. Once you’ve had mets everyone gets nervous. Hope you are doing well and surviving that wild TX weather. Love you, Sue

  17. I’m lost for words here sue
    Prayers and love
    I suddenly thought yesterday about something cold there and when I was out I bought those fluid packs to put in freezer. It is so hot and red there .it does feel much better when it’s on it
    It seems a little better.but I’ve had other fungus cream on it .it seems to ease it then gets worse.so fingers crossed
    It was our wedding anniversary yesterday so we went out after our table came.we were both feeling ok on the same day!
    Went to coast and it was sunny and a good day.had a sandwich for lunch out
    Yes you’ve got a good memory sue.it was to replace the one we had when we moved in here. The table legs went and got a funny coating and they gave us our money back and we could keep the table.well we could live with it..but over this winter all the mosaic started to chip off and it looked bad with the legs already crappy..so that arrived early and off we went..when out we got some bendy solar lights to wind around the trunks of our robin tree .do you have those it has red leaves that turn green and it keeps its leaves all year.
    Dd from eBay got me a tea trolley with big wheels so I can take stuff from kitchen to garden ..it’s a fiddly trek back and fore with stuff to carry… and it was supposed to come here but nope it went to her address yesterday so we will go over and collect it hopefully Friday
    Tomorrow we are out for a cheese scone and dh to do some photo stuff for the village history society
    The first day of snow and being inside can be fun fbut after that wanting to get out gets to you ..me I love sitting watching it snow and eating ice cream ! But then don’t you just want to move outside..I hope it’s not too deep for you and Tonie there
    I’m thinking of you and praying all will be well
    Love chris

    • Chris, pleased you’re not letting this current problem keep you in. Tomorrow sounds like fun for both of you and the table and tea trolley…oh my. Hope you’ll be happier with the new table. Oh yes, I remember you were so disappointed in the old one. Garden will be such fun for you all. Love you, Sue

  18. Yes I will try some powder sue
    Also that must be so good to have your family history like that..I’d love to have mine done must get to doing it,I think it’s expensive but worth it just to know

    • Chris, My DD bought mine for Xmas but I think it was about $100. She had hers done a couple of years ago Ancestry.com and it wasn’t nearly as good as this one. I, was so surprised to see my Mom’s side had relatives from the 1600’s and 1700’s from the Sahara, Africa and even Siberia, then mostly Irish and English…what a colorful line she came from. Do it. Sue

  19. ,morning all:
    Cold day here, snow turned into ice as did the mud, so a safer trek to the barn this morning. Still feeling pretty yukky. Got a sinus infection I think. Night drainage making my throat terrible. Looks like it is time for mucsinex..
    Sue, my son did his DNA thing. I think it wasn’t a good one either. No Native showed up at all, and it should have with my great grandmother being full blooded Cherokee. However there was a lot of European, Irish (on his Dads side)Norwegian (my Dads) Scots, Welsh, and even some African. Judy wants hers done, so I think for Christmas she will get one from 23 and Me.
    Well, time for more coffee and see what time we have to be in Roanoke today. Take care all

    • Tonie, I didn’t mean to give the impression I thought my DNA results from 23 Me wasn’t good. I thought it was excellent. I encourage everyone to have it done.
      Hope your trip wasn’t too much for you and Judy got seen. Hope your sinus are clearing up a bit. Help…we all need some sunshine, chirping birds and soft breeze. We had sun, rain, hail and wind today. I have to go to oncology and make up for the visit I missed last week and pick up four new lenses for both of my distance glasses. My left eye had changed drastically. I could hardly see the chart…seriously. Surprised me. They also encouraged me to have a new right lens, same RX but apparently the Transition lenses I use have aged and they would be a different color for each eye. Sounds like something I didn’t need right now so I’m out many bucks. Thankfully I have good frames that have aged well. They’re boring but I’m old so who cares.
      Sure hope you are doing better tonight. Love you, Sue

  20. Hello, all. Sue, you know you are always in my prayers, and always a little “push” when needed.
    Well, I didn’t do bodily harm to DH. He did go outside a few times to shovel, which was nice. Pup and I took a couple of short walks in the falling snow. Our last for the season. I didn’t measure, and disagree with what the local news reported for our area, but I think we had about 10 inches of the white stuff. Some other areas got up to 16 inches, I think. Temps in the 40s today, it felt downright balmy.
    Chris, more new goodies! I enjoy watching it snow, too. Our cat Rufus was enjoying it for a while as well. He really liked the birds that visited.

    • Lyn, Pleased DH survived last storm. I’m sure under the ground back there spring is waiting to pop out of the ground. Sure wish your weather would give it a bit of encouragement. Good to hear Rufus got a glimpse of those birds since he’s in for awhile. Out here today’s paper had several local stories about elk eating the gardens in a neighboring beach town, gray whale spotted in our harbor and an occasional cougar slipping into town on a more regular basis. One was spotted a few block from our home last month. That’s why I always stay out when George is on his fifty foot leash out front, don’t want him eaten. He barks and leaps out at people at the end of his line, they are startled then they laugh when they see him.
      Thank you for the prayers and the push. I’ll take all the divine help I can get. Love ya,Sue

  21. Hey all
    Well the snow is falling again. Saying 3-4”. So we will see. We didn’t make the trip to the Dr. Judy is still sick and they won’t inject if you have a cold. So reschedule for two weeks. I am feeling really bad today. Sinusitis. Can’t breathe good. But here we are. Boiled eggs because I am not really hungry but need the protein and I have an abu dance of them. My hens are laying 8 eggs or more a day. I have a gal who buys them 4 doz at a time, so all is good.
    Sue, I am all for balmy breezes and sunshine. Tired of the rollercoaster effect this weather is having on my fibrom and want to bask in sunshine. Take care and have a good weekend.

    • Tonie, I understand this virus. I still feel yukky with a sinus headache, pounding above the eyes and often the cheeks. My oncologist asked me yesterday if my joints also hurt more than usual. I said, yes, how did you know. She said it is the nature of this virus that is everywhere and for those of us with arthritis, etc. it is more painful and can last for a few weeks. I know it isn’t reassuring but that’s the facts. I am sorry for you and for Judy. To have snow to deal with is a bit of insult to injury. Hope it stops soon. We are having rain with occasional snowflakes thrown in so the temps have been down today. Stay as warm as you can with the farm chores to do. Sorry to see your dear old friend Millie fell. Hope she is okay. Love ya, Sue

  22. Chris, I neglected to say Happy Anniversary when I was last on! So glad you had a day out and both felt well after. Enjoy that new table and other goodies.

    Sue, my niece and family are now Oregonians. They moved recently to be closer to work. She posted pictures of the hail you had. Lots of it! Looks like we each keep an eye out for different predators when our furries are out. For us it is hawks we have to watch out for. They could snap up the cats. They’d have a much harder time with Sadie. She weighs in around 30 pounds and would be an awkward grab.

    Tonie, was just thinking of you. Out of nowhere, huge fluffy snowflakes kicked up and into a full-on squall. I feel like I’m in a snowglobe. Hope you soon are feeling better. Prayers for Millie.

    Still too many physical ups and downs here, too. The most frustrating and stressful being the muscular goings on. Has anyone had any experience with myofascial release? Thinking about checking it out. Yoga and Feldenkrais are probably the most helpful things I am doing, but it is mentally exhausting constantly being aware so you can check in with alignment, stretch, move, etc… I wish I knew the cause for sure, though it probably wouldn’t make much difference. My rheumy would recommend PT if it continues and my efforts aren’t enough. Given my body’s last reaction – muscularly – I am trying to avoid this and strengthen through the yoga. Ugh. Thanks for the vent.

    • Pray for Tonie. She just called and has been out of power since 8:30 last night. She’s down at Judy’s staying warm by a fireplace. Apparently 8 inches of heavy, wet snow took out some generators up the road. Thanks everyone, Sue

      • Well that’s good Judy and Tonie are together and she was able to get there and stay warm..what a terrible thing to happen what is all of our weather doing this year
        I know Tonie will be worried about the horse and all the chickens etc.so prayers for all and everything and they stay safe and all will stay as it was
        And to be careful when they eventuality go out

    • Lyn, so your niece and family moved across the Columbia to be in OR? Each area has it’s particular beauty and hazards. I do talk about hawks in today’s blog which is to be delayed due to Tonie not have power. Poor thing.
      I understand your frustration with your body. Perhaps it is time to get another PT evaluation so you can work on the most painful areas. You vent anytime, you know that. We each have much to vent about.
      Cold rain here. Oh yes, we had hail a couple of nights ago and it chilled the air something fierce and stayed on the roofs all night. Are they right in Portland now or a suburb?
      You take care, stay safe in that white stuff. Love, Sue

    • Lyn
      I love yoga and the feeling you get after. I do it at home, no class, but can only do certain poses. Not much on the ground due to my knees. But, it is wonderful. My best thing is the swim though. I wish you could do that. So much good for the RA.

  23. Thankyou Lyn we had a good day w ell a few good days over the anniversary.and I hope you are ok and not having the snow that Tonie is having
    Thinking of you and all you are going through
    My rash has got easier it’s gone a brown colour but still stings on times .still putting the nystatin on and talc
    At one stage I thought it was never going to go..I’m still thinking it’ll back track on me as it has before
    Our Sunday was busy ,dh doing photos of some old graves in the abbey for people to do research on. Then we met and had coffee… well ok a scone too and and a long natter with some of the people involved .they are a colourful arty few and it was good
    I have the rheumy at hosp today…gonna compile a list of unusual stuff going on,,,,
    Stay safe all over there who have any of that frightening weather

    • Chris, your Sunday sounds lovely. No, thank goodness we did not get the snow Tonie got. We had snow showers with big fluffy flakes that was beautiful to watch, but all that fell and accumulated melted later when the sun came out.

  24. Hi all
    Busy day yesterday
    Dh had bleeding nose again over weekend so off for an inr test it was a bit high and also has an inner ear infection so on antibiotics so it will have to be checked next week again .hes been feeling rough also it’s his only hearing ear
    Also my rheumatoid appt at hosp so had all bloods done she will write to me with them
    Also if I get red ears or red nose again I have to ring her up and she will see me the same day to do a blood test
    Also wants me to see my gp to refer me to hosp about my nose to ent clinic
    Well glad your snow was just pretty Lyn
    How’s yours Tonie now?
    Hope your feeling a bit better with this virus sue

    • Chris, Tonie is still without power. She’s still feeling lousy, cold and tired not sleeping in her own bed. Isn’t expected to be back on until Thursday. Yesterday she was moving Judy’s frozen food to where they had power. I believe it was her church’s freezer. Snow’s all melted. Her own freezer is out on porch so okay thus far. They are keeping warm with wood stove and fireplace.
      Sorry about all your health woes and poor DH. Chris, did you ever as your rheumy about relapsing polychondritis? Sounds so much like it with nose and ear trouble. Still have virus here…so sick of it. Later, Love, Sue

  25. Yea she did say about this relapsing thing that’s why she wants to do tests while it’s showing up ,as then it’s the only time it can prove it apparently
    What a lot of worry and work for Tonie on top of everything .
    Thursday is a long while away ,,,,
    What a long winter this has been
    Do wish that virus of yours sue would take a hike

  26. Thanks everyone for the prayers. Finally got power on at 12:30 yesterday afternoon. It was so good to sleep in my bed and not have to be up stoking a fire !! Poor Ceasar, he slept all evening in his bed, and all night last night. If I moved he followed me at Judys. He was wanted to go home. They are like kids, want their own home and bed. So many people without power in Va and Wva this week. So much loss of foods, it is unreal . We were blessed to take our food to the church and put it in the freezer and fridge there. Both of us sick so not eating much. I did get Judy started of Ensure while I was there, she is doing good drinking one in the am. Also helped her shop for suppliments she needs to take and got that done. Yesterday, had to fix a leak in her sink. And a mouse/rat got into her attic and burrowed through the ceiling tiles. I could hear it and he ate through the tile. So I enlarged the hole and pushed poison in, covered it and called him for dinner lol ! I will replace the tile for her later. Both of us have to clean our houses, such a mess you make when no power on. And snow, tracking in and out.
    Though Sweetie was in labor last night. But I think the baby just turned. I could see it moving. And her respiration was increased all evening and into the morning. Yes, I was up checking on her all night. But, no labor this morning and no baby. I was reading that the record for overdue birth is 14 months. They are due at 11, she is at 12.
    Well, glad to be back online. Chris, hang in there with all those tests and things. Hopefully they will find the answers. You need some good answers to these problems, not more run around.
    Love to all

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