Another Stage

The five stages of grief have become a part of my daily life. These stages are described as denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I have experienced disbelief, rage, bargaining in the form of fleshing out what is going on, determining if it is really happening, and it is, and yesterday I moved into depression. I am not really prone to depression, in general, but this is different, intense, and very powerful. I continue to do the things I have set out to do, but as of yesterday I found myself sitting down every so often and thinking “what is the use”, or “why bother”, usually in conjunction with a tidal wave of sadness. I recognize this as depression, another stage along the way to dealing with this sudden traumatic end to my relationship of 25 years.

The depression is not a cause for concern at this point in the grieving process, it is necessary. I do not like it one bit. I know that it will pass, and I will be very careful about any decision making I do, while feeling this way. Best to write down the ins and outs of issues that arise, and come back to them later. For the moment though, the things that must be done are so very daunting that I can hardly face them! I will have to break them down into tiny steps, and then follow the steps until I get to the end of each.

The contract or the new window installation arrived today. It is all legalese, which I hate wading through, but it has to be done. We won’t be getting the windows until well into the spring, so there is quite a time lag on the project. A contractor for insulation is coming today to give an estimate for the basement and the attic, we have a lot of questions about that, and it has yet to be determined if this will work for our house. Today is a day filled with administrative paperwork and interactions with contractors. Not my favourite thing, but needs must. This is where the depression is making it hard for me to slog through all of these documents and processes.

The timing of these funding programs has put a bit of a wrench in Attila’s timeline for his garage studio project. He seems to be rolling with this, but I have discovered that what Attila presents to me, and what is really going on, are not always the same thing. Time will tell.

This week will include Tai Chi, meditation, and perhaps a bit of live music. All of the other activities are hit and miss right now, some may stick, others may not. I have purchased a book outlining the Tai Chi moves, and where the feet need to be placed. Placing my feet correctly is imperative, so as to avoid injuring my knee. I will practise from the book, rather than a youtube video, as it won’t move along and beyond me while I try to master the techniques.

I am in correspondence with the CT scan people [now the MRI people], to ensure that my allergen is not in the injection that I will be given. I have to remain very focused when dealing with this issue, as my life depends on clear and accurate communication. So many things are so very hard when you have anaphylaxis.

I guess it is better to be busy when I am feeling blue!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-9°C
Date: 2:00 PM EST Monday 5 February 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.1 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -9.2°C
Dew point: -15.4°C
Humidity: 61%
Wind: SW 7 km/h
Wind Chill: -13
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.”
Anatole France
1844 – 1924

Homonyms

I have always regarded myself as slightly dyslexic. Tai Chi has me thinking that my dyslexia might be more severe than I thought it was!

I have a Tai Chi instruction video I am trying to follow. The demonstrator is facing the camera. I am facing the demonstrator. We are mirror images, and I find myself confused as to what hand or leg should be doing what, when. It looks easy, yes it does, but coordinating all this left or right from the visual is truly distressing. I will keep at it though, it might become easier with practise.

It will be a very, very long time before Tai Chi is something that I will find relaxing!

Things are pretty quiet here at Mist Cottage. There isn’t a lot of talking going on any more, not much left to say now, the state of things is becoming clearer as time passes, and there is no immediate need for drastic changes to take place. The holding pattern is doing its thing, holding. Knowing what is happening makes life a lot easier, even if I don’t like what is happening. Sleep is getting easier to come by most nights, five hours, sometimes a bit more, is now normal. I am eating a healthy diet, getting out a few times a week, which is still high stress but necessary. The stress related to the activities should slowly subside, as the times, places, and people seem more familiar. Life is carrying on, and my singular little boat is staying afloat. I carry my broken heart close, with great tenderness.

One of the interesting things that has occurred since last November, and Attila’s big announcement, is that I now have very large, dark, bags under my eyes. This is completely new, and even though I am able to sleep more, the bags persist, and are probably permanent. Most of the changes as I have aged have been gradual, this was not gradual at all, and I am finding it a bit shocking. The solution… don’t look in the mirror!

I received news about the ultrasound, all is as expected, the cyst on my kidney is still there, unchanged, and there was no information about the gallstones, so I am assuming they are still there, and still the same size, with no change. I will be asking about the gallstones though, the next time I need to go in to the walk-in clinic, just to make sure my assumption is correct. I am interested in getting the new Shingles vaccination, something to inquire about at the walk-in clinic. My CT scan is coming up in February, which I hope will show nothing unusual, and if that is the case, it is just a matter of carrying on with my healthy lifestyle and hoping for the best as time takes its toll over the years to come.

Today it is snowing to beat the band. The snow plow came through early this morning, but there wasn’t all that much snow thrown across the end of the driveway, so shovelling shouldn’t take too long. The temperature is hovering around 0C, and the heat pump is busy heating the house, leaving the newly repaired oil furnace to rest for a day or so. The heat pump circulates room temperature air, as opposed to the heated air that the oil furnace circulates. The room temperature air feels cool, as it creates a slight wind chill, which means that I feel a little bit chilly sometimes, which means I need to wear heavier clothing than I do when the oil furnace is doing all the work.

I am concerned about myself, while writing my last three posts I’ve made no spelling errors. I calm myself, by noting that homonyms still plague me!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

0°C
Date: 1:00 PM EST Sunday 4 February 2018
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 0.1°C
Dew point: -0.9°C
Humidity: 93%
Wind: S 40 gust 53 km/h
Visibility: 2 km

Quote

“It takes too much energy to be against something unless it’s really important.”
Madeleine L’Engle
1918 – 2007

The Emptiness of Space

Writing, I hope coherently, is helping me maintain an internal balance.

“By virtue of that intactness, we have been able to make great bounds in what we can learn from them [artifacts, plates, teapots] about who made them and how they were used.”
Source: ARTfix Daily

Interesting how in our current culture professional (non-domestic) careers can be made looking into who used plates and teapots.

Another cold snap has arrived, and is predicted deepen so that Saturday night the temperature will drop to -28C here, and colder to the north. Sunday should bring warmer temperatures and more snow. While this is going on, the eastern seaboard of North America is being battered by severe winter weather conditions:
“The storm strengthened Thursday into a “bomb cyclone,” the dramatic name for what happens when a storm’s pressure plummets as it explosively intensifies. Though forecasters said this storm was among the most powerful ever observed on the East Coast, much of the cyclone actually remained in the Atlantic Ocean as it lashed the coastal states.”
Source: The Washington Post

Yesterday I gathered strength, downed a quick breakfast, and drove to the city to the walk-in clinic. I have needed to do this for months, since October really. There should have been a follow-up ultrasound to check on the significant gallstones, and the cyst in my kidney. I also want a CT scan of my head, to eliminate the possibility that I have an aneurism. The doctor was one I had not met, quite efficient, relatively friendly, and he will see that appointments are made to have the tests done.

When I came out of the walk-in clinic, which is downtown, I had some time left on the parking meter. It was an opportunity to walk around the area and explore. Just around the corner from the clinic was a shoe store selling well made shoes. The black slip-on walking shoes, purchased more than 15 years ago, have holes in the uppers, they are wearing out. Having a very high instep, most shoes will not fit, the foot will just not go into the shoe. There was but one pair of slip on shoes in the store that suited, both liked and ticking off all the buttons when it came to function. The size needed was not in stock, has been ordered, and I will be called when they arrive at the store, so that actual fit can be determined. They are expensive, well-made walking shoes, to be worn for many, many years, god willing. If they last as long as I want them to, they may outlive me.

Things here at Mist Cottage remain difficult, for both of us. Talking continues, revelations abound, life is an unexplored jungle, full of beauty and danger. Sometimes I forget to wear my pith helmet. Sometimes Attila hands it to me. Sometimes I hand him his.

Listening to music has been a welcome relief. It is then the energies from those I’ve loved, who are gone but not lost, come to me. Alone ceases to have meaning.

My crocheting continues to wait for me by my easy chair, ready to hold my hands. I have yet to manage enough focus to read my books, giving it a try every so often, to see if the cloud of confusion has lifted, if my eyes can see through the surrounding density.

The morning is moving on without me, I must eat, something I frequently forget to do just of late. Thank goodness a hearty soup sits in mason jars in the refrigerator, and a batch of fortifying Chocolate Cherry muffins sits on the kitchen counter.

The morning, arid, desiccatingly cold, has offered up sunshine. Funny old world.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-21°C (our thermometer say -25C, and it is close enough to the house to be a little warm)
Date: 5:00 AM EST Friday 5 January 2018
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -20.8°C
Dew point: -26.5°C
Humidity: 60%
Wind: W 11 km/h
Wind Chill: -29

Quote

“True originality consists not in a new manner but in a new vision.”
Edith Wharton
1862 – 1937

“the emptiness of space outside the vagina”
An out of context quote from the song “The Waters” by Shakey Graves. I like it because as a stand alone statement, thinking about birth and life, it sheds light on the introspection of women, and that men seek reunion.

Conventional Wisdom

Sometimes not being within the range of “normal” is a distinct disadvantage. Occasionally though, it a wonderful thing. Today it was a wonderful thing.

My follow up appointment with the cardiologist was today, my blood pressure was normal. This appointment coincided with receiving the results of a recent blood test that measured my cholesterol levels. I had discontinued taking cholesterol medication last summer, as it was elevating my levels rather than lowering them. The recent blood test was meant to provide a base line for future comparison. The results were that my cholesterol is very high, which is not unexpected, as it has been very high for a very long time, perhaps all of my life, although I wasn’t tested a baby, or as a child. The thing is, as the cardiologist had both the results of my carotid scan, and the blood test, he determined that high cholesterol, in my case, does not result in artery wall plaque deposits. I have no plaque deposits at all. So, in my case, I don’t really need to take cholesterol lowering drugs, and he recommended not taking them because I don’t need them. Great news! He felt that I need not return, and gave me a clean bill of health!

One thing he did discuss with me was the need to have a CT scan done of my head, checking for aneurisms. My Aunt died at the age of 63 from a burst aneurism in her brain. Apparently the tendency to have aneurisms runs in families. So on my next visit to the walk-in clinic I will be pushing for a CT scan to check for aneurisms, and an appointment to have my nostril cauterized to prevent nose bleeds.

This may be the last summery day of 2017! It is warm and sunny, a bit humid too. A lovely day.

On Saturday we travelled to have a Thanksgiving Dinner, cooked by Sister-The-Youngest-Girl, and attended by various family members. I got to see my Mom, and my Sister-The-Middle-Girl, which is always a treat. We had a great time, visiting, relaxing, good food, good company. Sister-The-Youngest-Girl, Mom, and I had fun working on a jigsaw puzzle, something my Mom has done with her children since we were small. Mom is pretty good at it, the rest of us struggle to keep up with her. The drive was miserable, both on the way there, and on the way home. The highways were clogged with traffic, expanding a three hour drive into a four and half hour journey, each way. We arrived at the get together, and home afterward, safe and sound, which in the end is all that really matters.

At the Thanksgiving get together, my Mom gave me a photograph portrait of my brother Carl and I, when he was just a baby, and I wasn’t much more. In the photograph he is just sitting up with support, and I am 18 months older, so I would have been around two years old, give or take a few months. My brother was a beautiful baby, I thought he was my baby, and I adored him. I was the eldest of six, and I thought of all my younger siblings as “my babies”, as older siblings do sometimes. Carl passed away last summer, while Attila and I were on vacation, it was a terrible shock.

Maggie Carl 1953 DSCF1347 Taken of my brother Carl and I when I was two years old. Four more children would be born in quick succession after this photo was taken, all my little brothers and sisters.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

21°C
Date: 1:00 PM EDT Tuesday 10 October 2017
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 21.1°C
Dew point: 15.9°C
Humidity: 72%
Wind: SW 17 km/h
Humidex: 26
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“The people I distrust most are those who want to improve our lives but have only one course of action.”
Frank Herbert
1920 – 1986