Sunday, February 05, 2017

Day Zero


I watch the seabirds flying close to the stormy bay, eyes alert for fish. I throw out some seed for the littler birds. It's cold and windy and bitter out here.

I've lost water in my house. Yesterday I lost the woodstove too. Leo sorted out the chimney for me so I have heat again. But the water? No idea what's going on. I turned off the pump. I do have a container to make coffee or soup.

I'd like someone to come and take care of me. The downside of living alone is when things go wrong. As they will. Or two or three things go wrong. And there's no one to worry-share.

It begs the question: How many of us are brave and stoic on the outside and crying in fear on the inside? How come the chin-up and chest-out manifesto is our fall back scenario?

Is life just a performance for most of us? Be brave, we're told since childhood, don't cry, this won't hurt a bit - the first Big Lie apart from Santa Claus.

In an odd way I found out how really brave and uncrying I have been.

"You've had this disease for at least 10 years," says my vascular surgeon, "And you've completed how many distant road races?"

"Seven, eight, nine?" I say.

"You must have been in terrible pain at the end of them all?"

"Yes, I was," I admit,"I felt like fainting."

"The vascular system in your legs from the knees down has deteriorated by 60%. The thing is I could surgically intervene, and the odds are not good, or you could work on creating an alternative vascular system in your legs. It' going to hurt like hell and there will be many tears but it can be done."

I'm too old for this shyte, I think. I'm tired. I'm not brave anymore.

And then so many are worse off than I. And I feel small and selfish.

"I'll see you in six months" he says, "But if you sustain an injury or notice blackness or bruising in your legs, you are to call me right away."

"Remember," he adds, "Forty-five minutes a day of brisk walking through the pain and tears. It can be done!"

They're not your effing legs and pain, I think meanly, as I smile at him, his father born in Mayo, his pin-striped 3 piece suit right out of Central Casting: Mr. Surgeon.

Can I do more pain?

And continue writing this shyte on a blog, when so many like me are giving up blogging?

40 comments:

  1. I hear you on the downside of living alone, sometimes it is totally overwhelming and you (I) just want someone to take care of you (me). Absolutely. Instructions to work through the pain? How nice. But I sincerely wish you good luck with that. When you are alone losing your mobility is a terrible thing. And as for blogging, I admire you for sticking to it. I gave it up a few years ago but have recently picked it up again. Having totally lost my audience I feel less constrained now, I'm just talking to myself and will say or not say whatever.

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    1. Glad to see you back Annie and keep shining your light :)

      XO
      WWW

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  2. Does anything help with pain relief after you're supposed to have done these walks? Keeping you in my thoughts. Hugs!

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    1. I'm adverse to pain relief unless it doesn't lift and this lifts after I rest.

      XO
      WWW

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  3. I hear you about getting old and being alone and having new ailments (or old ones) appear and interfere with our lives as we would like them to be as we're winding down. You don't owe any of us out here anything, but would it help at all to know yours is one of the few blogs I've continued to read and find meaningful all these years?

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    1. Oh thank you for those kind words, you encourage me. I honestly felt that I had nothing refreshing to say apart from whining.

      XO
      WWW

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  4. Oh my
    understand it all,
    miss my family,
    they call and email
    and I would like a hug.
    My problem not going away, doing all I know
    love to write and my camera
    and we just keep moving...

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    1. We keep on keeping on Ernestine. The only thing to do :)

      XO
      WWW

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  5. Goodness, that sounds like a serious problem with your legs. I hope you can regenerate the vascular system as he suggests. I would have thought that in your tight-knit community there'd be lots of people you could worry-share with, but it seems that's not the case. All you can do I guess is soldier on and don't let it all get on top of you!

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    1. No very few people I bare my soul to Nick and I have community position and gossip would prevail. I am super careful and yes, I do have much work ahead of me.

      XO
      WWW

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  6. Oh now I understand. Yes, it can be done. I've not run races but I've created new vascular system (for lack of the correct word) in my legs, twice. Becasue each time the threat of that surgery scared the begeezuz out of me. Or into me. I don't know if he mentioned but epsom salt COLD water bath after each session helps.

    Good luck. Geez woman. You can do this. Look at all the rest you've done we here wish on?

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    1. Anon I wish you'd sign your name, pseudonym or initials so I know which anon. I delete a lot of anon comments, etc.

      Epsom salts is a good idea, thanks.

      XO
      WWW

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  7. I also found calf raises very good. They pump the blood back up. Just be sure to "pump" your way up from your toes, rather than rocking motion, and wear shoes.

    http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/exercises.asp?exercise=123

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  8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7zCDiiTBTk

    Chair exercises for circulation. Yes, I do them.

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  9. Difficult times here as well. My life has shrunk, I think, to work and worry; nothing else. But then I think I am stronger than this and onward I go. Slowly but still.

    I do hope you continue your blogging! I would so miss your words and my glimpse into your world.

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    1. I'm fighting the shrinking as I love to isolate and not be bothered. I know it's not good. But right now I have things on until Wednesday and I panic a little.
      XO
      WWW

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  10. First of all, and I feel it's important, do keep blogging, WWW. Leaving aside how much your readers appreciate you and would miss you, it is a perfect opportunity for you to worry-share. No good to keep it all in, only to find yourself exploding like a pressure cooker having boiled dry.

    The few times in my life I have found myself terribly ill (just fevers but fevers so strong you could light a fire with them) all I wanted to was to be left alone. You know, like animals who hide, crawl away. But, of course, being delirious is different to being constantly hampered whilst conscious. So, I guess, a fever can't be likened to chronic discomfort/pain.

    On a purely selfish note: Thanks for alerting me to possible future vascular problems and how to deal with them. I walk every day - miles. Wish I lived close to you. Then we could walk together, arm in arm, the short sighted supporting the long suffering, and put the world to rights. See? You are needed. And that is what we all need: Being needed.

    Gentle hug; "gentle" lest I break one of your ribs on top of it all,
    U

    PS Don't worry about the tears; I'll bring plenty of tissues

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    1. Thank you Ursula, I do wish you lived nearer and you would encourage me. Odd that all my walking and road racing brought me to this. I quit smoking 30 years ago and apparently that was a contributing factor. I was a chain smoker for about 25 years.

      I'm a tough old bird in other areas, LOL. A hug would be most welcome!

      XO
      WWW

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  11. Yes, I do get it, WWW. I often ask myself, "How will I know when I need to do something different when it comes to my present lifestyle?" I don't have the answer yet....Your blog is very loved, as are you and your feisty spirit. Sending caring thoughts from afar.

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    1. Thank you Lori, your kind words about my blog mean the world to me!

      XO
      WWW

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  12. Hey
    I'm sure the guy explained this to you, but I can't stop myself from repeating it.....the exercise will build up collateral circulation, more pathways (veins and arteries) to get blood to the muscle....
    I agree, getting old really sucks. I'm seeing a EP cardio guy tomorrow, and going to try really hard to keep my mouth shut and listen.
    Cheers, my friend.
    Mike

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    1. Thank you Mike, I always value your input and you are most helpful. I should add I thought my vascular guy was great, I know he took a shine to me too. I must lose about 30 lbs also, the last two sedentary years because of the pain have packed it on me. My new treadmill (arrival tomorrow!) should help.

      Let me know how it goes with you, please.

      XO
      WWW

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  13. It ain't for sissies is it WWW? I have lower leg probs myself, more of a nuisance as the years creep past - the circulation not the legs that is. I'm still grateful for the legs, problems an' all!

    Do continue blogging WWW. There are so few of we longtime bloggers left; your blog is far more lively than many others. As RJ Adams remarked the other day, blogging provides us with a venting place. Many people, decades younger than we are, do their venting on Facebook. We're entitled to do our thing on blogs, for as long as we can last, anyway ;-)

    Had you considered a new pet - a doggie to walk would help in so many ways...but yes, I know it's almost unthinkable - and yet......
    (((hugs)))

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    1. I'd adore a new dog, T, but am waiting to move out of here to an apartment building - pet free. I'm now #4 on the list, I've been on it for a few years, I knew the time is coming to move out of this place, too big and STAIRS! LOL.
      This aging thing, but we must be girl scouts and be prepared.

      XO
      WWW

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  14. Your blog would absolutely be missed, should you stop writing it, but it's not for us, it's for you ... so if it doesn't serve you any longer, then out with it! And no guilt or regret either.

    I'm sorry to hear the rough road continues, and I hope it soon becomes easier to travel.

    -Kate

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    1. I was so afraid my blog would degenerate into a Poor Me thing. I was feeling quite down and despondent but things are looking up.

      XO
      WWW

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  15. Keep blogging. It's important. These are dark times and not just for those of us battling disease and old age.

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    1. You are right. I put out a plea when on volunteer library shift today for more copies of 1984. I am going to re-read The Handmaid's Tale.

      XO
      WWW

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  16. I hope being able to blog to sympathetic ears helps a tiny bit. Would a walking companion from your neighborhood provide some distraction? I hope it helps and gradually decreases the pain but I'm so sorry you have to go through it.

    Two other asides-
    I love the lyrical first paragraph
    and
    I'm guessing there are plenty of times people have had similar angry thoughts about me when I'm urging them do do something they don't want to hear.

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    1. Thank you SAW. I am embarrassed at having to stop too much when outside, plus I'm limited in the ice and snow. Hence Treadmill, note capitalized. Maybe Mr. Treadmill.

      Inner kvetching. I do it all the time!

      XO
      WWW

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    2. I prefer to walk but fight against exactly what you do: needing to stop and the falls. It's a good thing I'm so well padded. I have not broken fingers or arms so far but down I go, if I slip I cannot "correct" myself. Wham. So. Many. Times. I find cleats really help and have tried walking poles, for which I've not decided yet. Sometimes they help, other times they're just a nuisance.

      So. I found a gym, old one for use by the community, which building also houses the uni athletes and their brand new Olympic sized state of the art gym--only for them. The old track, dark, kind of smelly is almost free for the oldies and anyone else that wants to use it. But oh I'd miss the Chickadees.

      I fell off the treadmill. End of.

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  17. shyte, your blog shyte.....never madam! I know I don't always comment, nor keep up my own blog regularly, but I'm keeping an eye on you during your ups and downs, and willing you on. And you always come out the other side, you feisty gal you. Hugs xxxx

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    1. Thanks Pamela, and also for your cards. Encouragement, yes I needed it.

      XO
      WWW

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  18. I can relate. I am going through a similar program to loosen up my body below the hips. You can do it. You had done other painful things before. All the best.

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    1. Good luck to you too Ramana, there's life in us old birds yet!

      XO
      WWW

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  19. "I'm too old for this shyte, I think. 😃Oh no, you are not! 😊
    I'm tired. I'm not brave anymore." ❤️ Oh yes you are!🍀
    I think you will do it Wise!

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  20. "The downside of living alone is when things go wrong. As they will. Or two or three things go wrong. And there's no one to worry-share."
    That's what I become acutely aware of every time I become ill to a degree navigating is a problem. Eventually, I think, or hope...this, too shall pass...or it won't. Oh, well! Hang in there!

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