All Five Senses Are Heightened In A Life Of Pain

 

 

We learn early in life to relate to our world by using our five senses. Many individuals believe a fetus in the womb learns the sound of his mothers voice long before birth. I love to read true stories and have recently been reading Steve Scalise’s very fine, open and graphic book he wrote as the result of the trauma he experienced on June 14, 2014 on a baseball field outside of Washington DC. One of the points he reminded me of was the importance those senses play in each moment of our individual lives. I related to his words because of my own life-threatening experiences in the past and others that are ongoing today. Not only did he suffer life threatening trauma and pain but also the added stress of being shot by a mad man.

 

Last night as the NW wind blew and rattled our ancient glass window above our bed, it occurred to me how important our sense of hearing is; although I did wish I could briefly turn off the dog’s ability to hear. It was more complex than that, however, because he sensed the weather change as well as feeling the motion and vibrations in the room, due to the roaring wind. I realized how our daily lives are experienced via the input we receive from these same five senses. I thought it would be enlightening to look at these today: sight, hearing, and sense of smell, the sense of taste, and lastly the tactile ability to touch and feel via our skin, which is incidentally the largest organ in our bodies. I believe, from my own experience, that these abilities are heightened by our adversity and the alterations of our bodies.

 

SIGHT: In a life of chronic or acute pain we see much we never saw before. We see more doctors than other folks do unless we work in the field of medicine. We see more medicine bottles; more heating pads and the inside of more medical equipment stores than most. We have to check our skin for rashes from disease or from medication or too much sun. We check our stools for blood from NSAID’s. We see our blood being drawn by a lab tech and placed in test tubes at least every other month, for years. We see far too many medical forms, insurance forms and health questionnaires. We see a plethora of information on the internet; most good, some ridiculous and others selling some product. We see the pores on a doctor’s face as he/she peers into our eyes, ears and nose. We also see far more fear and anxiety on our own faces and on those who love us

 

We sit at a window and watch the golden sun rise as we face another day after a fitful night. We watch our bodies as they morph and change from our disease or some medication we must have to make it through the day. Hopefully we also have a source of beauty within our own homes or through a reflective window with the gorgeous flowered bushes of the season or the signs of the changing seasons themselves.

 

HEARING: We often lie alone in the dark, awakened by our pain, listening to the sounds of our own breathing and the drumbeat of our heart. We hear our own voices complaining and wish we could shut up. We hear the rush of wind and rain hit the windows, because we have more time, just to listen. We hear the subtle sigh of others when the subject of our health is mentioned. We hear what they do not say. We hear the joyous sound of our children and grandchildren giggling, screeching with glee or singing a song as they go about their lives of work or play. We hear the dog that lies at the foot of the bed, gently snoring in sleep or tooting” in relaxation. We hear the sounds of our spouse joining the dog “in song” and envy them both the ability to be so deeply asleep. We hear and appreciate the various musical instruments floating from a CD as we drive, relax or slowly go about our daily chores. We hear some music whose depth touches us to the point of tears.

 

Many of us hear the whine of a wheelchair motor, the rubber thud of a cane hitting the floor and the squeaky wheels of a walker. Sometimes we hear the sounds of our own bones moving and popping as we shift our position, rise from a chair or force ourselves to stretch and move. Have you ever heard a body cry out while the mouth is silent?

 

SENSE OF SMELL: We smell bad breath, sometimes our own, sometimes not. We smell with greater appreciation a dinner we have struggled to cook because we love our families and don’t want to let them down. We enjoy the scent of fresh herbs as we rub them between our hands. On other nights, when the day has been a bad one, we appreciate the aroma of pizza, a brown bag of Chinese cartons of food or the piquant pungency arising from a box of Mexican take-out.

 

When we are battling nausea we politely turn from a friend or healthcare worker who is wearing a noxious perfume or has BO. We smell the rotting food in our refrigerator because we just don’t feel well enough to check it or can’t lift that vegetable drawer. We smell the scent of acrimony arising from those who judge us unfairly. We smell an odor arising from a beloved pet and know we need to check a rear end or make the painful effort to run a tub of water and solve the smelly issue with pet shampoo. We have a renewed, stronger sense of smell from our roses, scented geraniums and lavender.

 

TASTE: We often have the taste and after-taste of a much too expensive medication. We taste something bitter all day long and realize it is our own attitude. We taste home-baked bread from the bread machine with a newfound appreciation. We taste new foods like rice milk, soy, and new vegetables in an attempt to lead a healthier life. We long to taste some foods we can no longer eat due to dietary restriction, sometimes actually dreaming of the taste and waking to the reality of its loss in the morning. We taste various delicious flavors of tea and juice because we’ve had to forego the taste of coffee and hot chocolate to avoid caffeine. We often taste our own resentment because we’ve already given up so much. We endeavor to relieve ourselves of the taste of self-recrimination as we watch the “flavors” of our life change as we modify everything. We long to taste freedom from the guilt of all the lives we have unwillingly altered, as well as our own. Awe guilt, the most wasted of all emotions. We must, very often, replace it with love and faith as we realize so much of what we are experiencing is not our fault and totally out of our hands.

 

SENSE OF TOUCHING AND FEELING: We have to feel our lives change entirely while we are grateful for life, itself. We feel disapproval from those who think we are “faking it.” We feel the judgment in their eyes as we try not to see judgment for them in ourselves. We long to feel tolerance, understanding and love. We feel our bodies morph and change due to our diseases, medications or accidents accompanying or resulting from our pain. We feel spring coming with all of our senses. We more deeply feel the emotions in movies, books and articles with renewed understanding of life. We feel our own tears fall.

 

We feel a different kind of pain as we see medical bills arrive on a regular basis and try not to feel the worry in a dear spouse’s eyes. We feel the loss of friends and families crippled by their disabilities and refuse to feel ourselves in their shoes. The thought is just too painful and threatening. We work to keep our eyes on the “prize” of a healthier selfand independent life and feel ourselves always struggling to be as healthy as we can be.

 

We feel the changes in weather more than we ever did before. We are deeply affected by the swings of heat or cold. We feel pity from some individuals. We feel indifference fromothers. Tactilely we love the feeling we attain from a heating pad, an ice pack or a soft blanket. Fleece, foam rubber and all things soft become our new friends. We feel altered because we are. The importance we learn to place is on feeling at all. All of our senses are heightened by this experience which has become our life.

 

All of our five senses are more vibrant, more alive and more present than they would in the way of life we left behind; the life we usually took for granted. I highly recommend Congressman Scalises book. It is honest, full of graphic medicine and its many miracles in his recovery when the odds were all against him and full of the many mysterious ways faith played a role in his recovery and survival.

 

Earlier I mentioned three times in my own life when I had been close to death and now let me just briefly explain. As a young mother I had a tubal pregnancy which ruptured the ovarian tube and fallopian tube on one side of my abdomen. I was alone that evening with my two small children as my husband at that time was working out of town. That was long before cell phones. All of the blood drained into my abdomen, pressing on my diaphragm, as I hovered between consciousness and semi-consciousness. We didnt have a phone because my husband had not paid the bill. By the time he got home in the wee hours of the morning, rushed me to the hospital my blood pressure was barely discernable. As I was being wheeled into surgery, I could feel my spirit leave my body and whispered a prayer for my life to improve over what it had been. I dont know if I spoke it or just felt it within my own mind. I lived after having surgery and all of my blood replaced. Lying in that hospital in Santa Barbara, CA, I knew then I was going to go back to college and become an RN and I did. My entire life changed.

 

The second time I came near death was several years later when I needed repair from allthe bleeding and trauma I had experienced and during the surgery my surgeon cut my ureter in half. That is that tiny tube we each have on each side of our bodies that feed your urine from the kidneys to the bladder for elimination. I had a splint placed into the tube and it was left there until I healed. The doctor told me she just had a feeling to check her work all over again before she closed me up. Thanks to the Lord, she did and found the error. Jim, my dear husband of now 40 years, told me when she came out to tell him after an extra long surgery she looked as if she had to tell him to eat a dead mouse or a rat on a shingle. Yep, thats my guy. I healed well.

 

The third time I faced a near death experience was during my mastectomy for breast cancer. As my surgeon, another one, had removed the breast, the muscle covering my chest wall began to hemorrhage. She could not get it to stop. She is a tiny, excellent woman who threw every abdominal pad they could find in the surgical theater onto my chest and got on a stool and literally got on top of me and leaned with her whole body to exert pressure. Once again, I lived but I am wrapped very tightly on my left side and one can literally count my ribs on that side of my chest.

 

Apparently, Mr. Scalise and I both had work to do in and with our lives. That part I leave up to God and I know he does as well.

 

Five senses are wonderful and it is an amazing miracle how acutely brilliant they become at these times in our lives when we need them the most. Once again, thank you Lord.

 

 

 

31 thoughts on “All Five Senses Are Heightened In A Life Of Pain

  1. What a marvelous post. I however did chuckle at the “soft” snores and roots of the canine….Remi snores louder than most men and I swear she sounds like she has cheeks for toots. We won’t even discuss the smell of those. she can clear the sinuses of two rows of the choir. Smell is interesting. I have an increased sense of smell and it’s horrible when anyone has BO. Noxious odors around really make me more nauseated. I had to try to take care of dad last week as he had multiple falls and while at the emergency rooming was a real struggle not to become another patient. Between my nausea, the smells and after several hours in a folding chair I couldn’t feel my feet. (Stupid spine). Around 1:00 am he gave a UA which nearly was my undoing. UTI for the answer. CT scan of brain good and no fractures despite 7 falls in one day. I however fell in his driveway after taking him to the doctor . Remi was fastened in the back seat so couldn’t help. Dad’s neighbors don’t know who to help some days. Dad is better. I’m working on regaining some lost ground.

    • Laura old friend, how worrisome for both of you. So many falls for him I know you know there could be that one that is serious. Is it balance, mini-strokes, what’s your? How old is your dear Dad. It’s so hard for you when you feel like crap and are the only one he can turn to. I’m concerned for you and all you described. Back is that bad now? I so understand that today. Had an MRI on 1/4 inch pad from C spine all the way to the SI’s with and without contrast. I’m pretty sure some tiny elf followed me, went under the table and stabbed me with a very sharp knife the whole time. Had to get drink throughout due to the Sjogren’s and had to pop a Dilaudid half way through it. Such relief to get out of there. NEVER in my life will I have another MRI while I am conscious.
      I hope you are getting some relief for your back pain. Prayers tonight and gentle hugs for you and prayers of safety for both you and your Dad. Love ya, Sue

  2. Sue my dad is 84 years old. It was a classic example of a UTI in an elderly person. He was just starting the confusion and weakness causing multiple falls. They did a CT with contrast and his brain is fine. He has ankylosing spondylosis as unfortunately so do I (genetics stink) his spine is been fusing most of my life and I work at keeping my spine crimson f the same. He has an EMG on Wednesday for his legs. I have back pain burning, stabbing and spasms at all times. I’m having far more Neuro issues in the last few years. I can’t imagine doing a MRI. My pain control is marginal and only that because of CBD. My Percocet was taken away last year because of the “war on opiates” and only get 3 Tylenol 3 tablets a day maximum and that’s grudgingly. Nothing extra even when I fall and get hurt causing extra pain. My bruised knees are lovely right now. Fortunately I was wearing longer pants when I fell on the gravel driveway saving even worse injury. My water therapy works on balance and core strength so I have that going for me. Neither dad nor I fractured anything either so I’m pleased about that.

    • Laura, it is good that neither of you were hurt. I am sorry to hear you have nothing substantial for pain relief. Can’t you appeal for a stronger drug. This whole opioid “crisis” is such a load of crap, making legitimate patients who suffer constantly do without because of a bunch of addicts. They also lump too many of those drugs together. What a mess it is right now and hurting the innocent while those who are true addicts because it “feels oh so good” will get their drug of choice some way.
      As you know I like CBD oil as well. How are you taking or applying yours? Gees, it will soon be the thing because Martha Stewart is even selling it now. Go figure.
      Hang in there because you and I must but we both try to do it with humor and dignity. Hurray for us. Love, Sue

      • I think I’m lucky to be getting what I get at this point. I take the CBD orally or inhaled. I have an inhaler just like the ones I have for asthma. It works quickly and is great when I’m too nauseous to take oil. It’s a brand called CBlux. I get mine from one individual who can advise what she thinks may be effective. The inhaler I can also get mail order directly from the company. Today I had to sign a controlled substance contract and drop a urine for drug screening. I managed but I have a bit of a neurogenic bladder now so trying to void in a tiny cup (seriously the smallest one I’ve ever seen) was an adventure especially with decreased ability to bend over because of the spine issue. Love being medically fascinating.

  3. Sue
    What adversity you have overcome
    These senses we employ ,well I wonder what happens if we live minus one or more of them
    How do we then cope with life. I know with my DH deafness the other senses become stronger .but what if we loses another as well
    Also what happens if as I can be I’m sometimes in a constant state of arousel….brought on by things that happen….fear, is that a sense of the unknown or what we can expect to happen .sometimes that hightens all the senses ….and night time has its part to play in that too
    Does feeling down with things make them less ,is that where depression begins….maybe that’s where nature comes in so we see the beauty around us that lifts our spirits
    I hope you are feeling better now from the issues that you have had these past few months
    Chris

    • Chris, good to hear from you again. I know, your DH’s life is such a challenge but he seems to have found other things in life that bring him joy, such as his photography. I know you have anxiety and am sorry for that. I always seem to feel there is enough real stuff going on without worrying what might or could be. Does quiet contemplation on your lovely deck bring you peace? No, I don’t think getting down and depressed helps our problems but indeed has the opposite effect.
      I haven’t really overcome anything. I am still here and that’s it. Making as good a life as possible is my main goal. I continue to have all the challenges every day that I have had and they just get more painful and cause more disability. My cancer is still in the bone, skin and other places but fortunately not in any major organs as yet. I recently had much more rib and back pain and had a very long MRI yesterday but no results as yet. I think, for me, life is about coping with whatever challenge I have to each day.
      Hope your DD and GS are doing well. Is your husband’s problem with his ears still erupting from time to time or did the infection finally get resolved? I am hoping to be able to keep the blog going on a more regular basis now.. We will see. Love, Sue

      • Good to see you sue
        The thing is I’m worried about dh and his plastic surgery for entropian ..have I spelt it correctly..
        There are risks one being blindness due to bleeding in the optic nerve and he is on warfarin they don’t really want to stop
        Many other problems… over doing it there so it won’t close…but if he doesn’t have it done he risks ulcers on the eye
        So I’m concerned
        On the deck….well it was too hot for sometime back there close to 100 f and for the last two weeks it has poured every day
        The conservatory roof leaked at one stage
        We had 11/2 ins over night after it just poured all day as well
        Dh ….his ears have to be dealt with every night and the aid too.and he has to keep it out a lot which he doesn’t like as he can then only hear his tinnitus and nothing else ,but the ear has to breathe
        Sue I didn’t realise that the cancer had spread to your skin as well and I understand the coping….I do think of you often
        When do you get the mri results do you have to wait long
        My diver well I’m coping with that one day on one thing another day something else to cope with what I had taken…so it goes on.eating is still an issue….very boring diet but you do it and get used to it
        Went out today to a different place to get some photos for Dh. It was just lovely magic weather today ,nice change..the colours seem so alive everywhere

  4. Laura, thanks for sharing what you do with the CBD. I take a few drops under the tongue three times daily and use a rub on creme or roll on oil. Everywhere I go people are talking about CBD and I’m so pleased. Here, with legalized pot there is much confusion and ignorance about the difference between THC and CBD. As far as urine..I just always ask for the bonnet for the toidy. The heck with peeing on my hand. Love ya, Sue

  5. Well, I wrote a very long post , logged it in, said it posted , but …….So see it happens to me as well.
    Wonderful and true, so true. I can’t remember what I said, too tired today. But I will post more when my brain is not tired and foggy.
    I will tell you that the photo I used is one of mine. Looking off my back porch one morning at sunrise. It was tweaked by Chris’ do, John. He has been giving me pointers from afar, lol. So it is a joint effort there. Wish I could go out and have tea with those two.
    Sue, hope you are recapping from the evil table.
    I will write more later
    Love
    Tonie

    • Tonie dear friend, how fortunate you are to have coffee with a gorgeous view like that. DId you notice that it embodies all five of the senses in one lovely picture? Of course, you did. I know you are having busy days with company and so much to do on your farm. Do take time for your body to rest and remember how much you are loved, Sue

    • Tonie this made me laugh
      But you are a quick leaner…once told never forgotten…
      Went to another tearoom today ,we had been once some months ago but it was a change to go there
      Unfortunately they made coffee cake without nuts so I could have some ..it was so good…sugar level so good as well!,
      And that was after a cheese toasty …however I did have an excuse as I had to wait there while dh did his photo stuff
      Chris

      • Chris
        I have loved photography all my life. Got my first camera at 9 . Little plastic thing I chased in points from my paper route. Never owned the camera I really want, too much money. But do the best with what I have . An always love the criticisms that help me do better. From someone who knows . Taking a picture is like painting is to others. I don’t have that talent. But to bring a photo to life and be seen as I saw it…..so cool.
        Love to dh. Glad you enjoyed your treats”
        Tonie

  6. Chris, So much facing both of you. I sometimes feel we older folk are just plain wearing out, parts and all. I don’t know a lot about the entropion surgery but it looks like he is in danger of losing his sight without it. Why do drops not help? I’m sorry if you’ve already told me that but I’m sure it has been tried over and over like those of us with Sjogren’s syndrome. Just ask the doctor/specialist if there would be any bleeding with the procedure. That’s all you can do as far as the blood thinner and its effects. I know it is a worry but so is the alternative.
    How awful for your DH to try to sleep with all the noise within the ear. Would it help if he aired out the ears during the day instead of night time? There would be more distractions but it would frustrate you very much, I know. It does sound like he must get so anxious about it all.
    I am so pleased you had a break in the weather. Wow but that’s a lot of rain and that heat…wow.Heat and diverticulitis are a particularly awful mix. Sorry yours is acting up right now. Oh yes, more potato soup, huh?
    No results from the test for me yet. Actually, the small skin growths were the first sign my breast cancer had spread. Truthfully, I’m just so sick of this whole health thing and I know you must agree with me. Let’s look for more of those bright colors, together, okay? Love ya, Sue

  7. Dear friends, Got results of the MRI from this past Monday. Basically, all the old vertebral fractures but the new pain from one new one in the middle of the back; a crushing fracture plus a possible other one. Pain explained. Sue

    • Rosetint, good to hear from you. Hope you’re doing well and also your dear son. I just live my life and try to adjust and accept what is sent my way or in my way. I just can’t always be as chipper as I sound but I do try. Life would be far too morbid otherwise. Still improving? Fondly, Sue

      • Im doing a lot better thank you Sue. As for Simon he is doing ok but will always be one step away from the next unusual difficulty. I was recently sat in the police station while he was being interviewed and cautioned. Hes not a big time criminal or anything close but when he gets frustrated within himself about his life and his needs he sometimes gets himeself in a pickles that a child might get into. Thankfully the police were very empathetic and understanding of the whole situation. It certainly isnt a life which I would have chosen but im thankful that I have the support of a partner now. I am walking lots where we live now and Im sure that is strengthening my body. Take care xx

    • This is the third fracture/ crushing of vertebra I have had. May be the mets or not. Difficult to tell from the MRI. No, nothing except treatment for the pain while it heals as much as it is going to. Love, Sue

  8. My friends, please excuse the typo I made in describing the attack on Congressman Scalise. The year he was shot was 2017, not 2014. These things do happen. Sue

  9. Rosetint, we all have our paths to walk, some ruddy and rough, others full of joy and beauty. Hopefully we can each hope for a life sprinkled with both. The first for depth of understanding and the second for pure joy and pleasure to appreciate life. You have courage beyond measure sweet friend. SO glad you like your new dwellings and can get out and gain strength. Love, Sue

  10. Rosetint, Mums need a lot of courage and so do Nanas… Nanas grieve for our child as well as their grandchild! My special needs grandson just spent five days with us at the cottage, and we are so proud of all he has accomplished, but today he decided he had to go home because he saw a spider! I explained he had spiders at home too, which made him more! I finally got him distracted by building a new house on Minecraft, and then a long soak in the hot tub fixed him up!

    Sue, knowingly I was twice close to death, has made me thankful to still be here with my family! The first time, which I remember, I had been admitted to hospital suffering from pancreatitis when I went into third space shift and was told by a doctor that there was reason to be concerned, as I had no discernable blood pressure! Being a nurse I knew that the “crash cart” was open at the foot of my bed … not a good sign! This experience made me feel I was still meant to be here! The second time I was close to death (but don’t remember) was when I was post-op from my surgery this past spring when I was found unresponsive, but thanks to an observant and speedy nurse I am still here! While in ICU and sedated for three days, I told my nurses that Teddi Bear, (my greatly loved and devoted late Pom) had come to sleep with me, and although I can’t remember, I believe his spirit was there, guarding me as he did in the past!

    The weather at the lake has been beautiful and has healed my body and soul! My doctor at the Thrombosis Clinic told me, during a recent visit, that this past surgery should be my last … and I totally agree! I hope it can be possible!!!
    Love and gentle hugs to all … Pommum Brenda

    • Pommum Brenda, always look forward to hearing how you are doing. Your summer’s at the lake are usually such a nice diversion for me just hearing about all the beauty and your critters as well as the one’s Mother Nature provides up there. I know your grandson has been a challenge for his Mom especially and pray all is going as well as possible with him because you are right; we do love our grands as much as our own. My Mom used to get offended if I said something like, Oh Mom, you don’t have to change that dirty diaper, I can do it ’cause it isn’t like he’s or she’s yours. She would say, Yes, he or she is!. Now I get it.
      Indeed, what a nightmare you went through with your last surgery. I don’t mind sharing with you that is one of the reasons I have not had my knee replacement surgery I need bilaterally. Also, my doctors have all been talking about putting me on the F. patch and now I am afraid to after your experience and also the bad experience I had with Butrans patches. So many decisions and roads to choose.
      You are such a noble example of courage to all of us my dearest Canadian friend. Indeed we are only human and it such a natural reaction to be grateful after a “bad flight” and want to “kiss the ground”. I think cancer has made me even more aware of the limited time I have on this earth. Much love and thanks for keeping in touch. I know that is a challenge for you with your hands. Much love, Sue

    • PomMum
      So happy you are still with us. And your recovery is going well. I still “see” my Brutie sometimes. Or think I hear him. I miss him so much. As I know you do Teddy. Take care and enjoy the lake
      Tonie

  11. Rosetint, indeed, is there any other relationship in life that can tear out your guts but also reward you with as much love as being a Mum. Love you gal, Sue

  12. Hello all
    Don’t pay the ransom, I am still here. Rosetint, my 21 yr old gs is autistic with mild retardation. He just got a job at McDonald’s. So proud of him. He is coming to stay with me for a week or so soon. I have to be careful with what I say and do with him, because he is so easily hurt. Especially if you criticize him. It is stressful to me, but I love him so much. I can’t imagine having to do this full time.
    Sue, whew ! Busy doesn’t really say it. Tuesday I paid my friend Ronald (who is 68) to cut down some brush that I can’t do. It looks wonderful. While he did that I caught up on other things. He needs the money and we enjoy working together. So it works.
    I have some tomatoes to can today. So far I have made strawberry jam and sweet and dill pickles this week.
    My Dr visit Tuesday was ok. He thinks my bowel flare up is my RA and Fibro causing inflammation. It went away for a bit, but today it’s back. He took blood to titer my Lyme’s and see how it has done.if it is still high I will go to an ID Dr.
    So sorry for your back my friend. I think of you so much seeing my sister with hers. Oh, she is taking swimming lessons ! 78 yrs old. It is helping her balance and confidence. She is floating on her back and doing other things. Her instructor is amazing. 42, just joined the Coast Guard.
    I hope and pray you will find some relief for the pain. I have all sorts of people praying for you. He will help you.
    So, now I am going to go soak in my inflatable hot tub. A great little investment. See if it will ease my aching body this morning. I have hay to put away in the barn. Trying to rest more and not look at so much bad stuff on the net news. Watching what I put in my body more (except my ice cream ). I found a great recipe for strawberry jam. No preservatives, just unflavored gelatin to thicken, little bit of honey, and some lemon juice. So good. You keep it in the freezer. I have a lady I am friends with here that I am going to buy some beef from. I have my own chicken, now to find someone to buy some pork from.
    Well, I must get moving, it’s 9:30 already. And to quote John Wayne, “We’re burning daylight” – The Cowboys
    Love to all
    Tonie

    • Tonie, Sorry to be late in reply. Couple of very bad days. Glad your gut has cleared up and indeed, most of us with rheumatoid disease have gut trouble. With some it is looseness and others, constipation. What a drag it all is. Reminds you of when the pups drag their butts along behind them. Too bad we can’t be so graphic, huh?
      Good for Judy. Swimming is the best exercise for any arthritis, as you well know…you at yourself. Glad her new kitty is giving her so much pleasure. They can sure be a hand full, that’s for certain.
      Your strawberry jam sounds good due to so little sugar. Do you cook it at all? I guess you would have to dissolve the gelatin in something.
      Sounds like you have been busier than usual with all the canning. Must be nice to hard a full cupboard all winter though. How’s things with B in France? You haven’t mentioned him on here much of late. Well, better get to work on tomorow’s blog. Do enjoy your hot tub for all of us. Love, Sue

  13. Tonie
    In amongst all you do and have, like sue ,you find the humour and the humorous
    All seem to have their problems and all coping as best they can and one day at a time
    Life ain’t easy
    And it’s the unexpected that is the worst
    Warm here and humid
    Gives gales over the weekend and many events cancelled and warnings given
    Along with thunder too
    Hope all gets better for all of us
    Chris

  14. Tonie, So glad your GS got a job!!! We are very proud of the progress our autistic GS has made. He has been working on social issues which autistic kids find difficult. He knows he must wear clothes in public, but he seems to think, that since his bathing suit is wet, he should take it off outside on the deck so he wouldn’t get the cottage floor wet. This would come naturally to others his age. He loves to draw, and since his Mom was offered a university art scholarship, I think he has some artistic DNA. He also loves to write and illustrate stories, and recently he told me that he wants his own Youtube Channel to make videos. His sister, who is a year and a half younger than GS, tries to keep him up to date on what is “cool”, as does his Dad who is an elementary school teacher. GS also loves Minecraft, which is a video game where the player acts as an architect, designing and constructing buildings, (some scary monsters appear too, of course!) Minecraft involves a lot of reading and following directions, so he is learning as he plays. Many of the boys his age also play Minecraft, so it is something he can discuss with the kids at school. He loves books and already has his favourite authors. He has collected the entire “Mr. Underpants” series, which are comical boys books, (he has a wonderful sense of humour) written by a man who has a learning disability. Of course, there are times when he gets upset. Last week he decided he was going home because he found a spider in the cottage. He then gets upset with himself if he is unable to remain calm, but he is working on this and aren’t we all a work in progress? We caught a spider in his magnifying insect jar and he decided he wasn’t very scary looking after all!

    I have been at the cottage and the beautiful weather is helping me heal from my surgery, and I am finally feeling stronger.

    Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. Gentle Hugs … Brenda

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