Stripping away the rose colored glasses of denial concerning my reality. Getting in touch with truth. Reaching out to others in empathy concerning their reality and their walk to truth.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Bad news or good news?




















I experienced a third stroke the second week of May. Every time this happens I have to have a MRI of my head. It's really awful because of the noise this machine makes. Still, it has to be done to assess the damage the stroke has caused. This time the MRI showed a brain aneurysm.


My thinking is this: even thou the stroke was "bad news", finding the aneurysm was "good news". The doctor does not know how long I've had it but thank God, I can have surgery to repair it. So on Wednesday, May 31st, I'll have the surgery.

Meanwhile, the pink rose bush I gave my Mom is blooming like crazy. Usually those nasty, little green canker worms eat the leaves, delaying the blooming until early June.  My Mom passed away twenty years ago. I'm so thankful the rose bush is still living and over four feet tall!! This may sound strange but the blooming rose gives me a very good feeling... kind of like she's watching over me. You know? 

I  hope everyone is doing well.  My posting is erratic but that's the way it goes. 

~ Dixie





Monday, January 16, 2017

Write... right?

I'm sitting here wondering what to write. You've experienced that too, right? An update from me is overdue, so here I am. Physically, there hasn't been a big change. Therapy is over, so now I continue the exercises on my own. Typing is still mostly with one hand. I'm considering using a "voice recognition" system to enable me to continue writing... waiting to get a microphone for my laptop. An ingenious device... I speak and it records (types) what I say. That will be fun, I think.


My last post was just before Thanksgiving. All of my holidays were very nice. I hope your holidays were as cheerful and warm as mine. The worse thing was finding out my Cd of "The Grinch" finally bit the dust. I had to watch it online. If that was the worse thing, then I think I'm doing great!

Mentally and emotionally I'm hanging tough. Staying positive helps my recovery. I decided to do some crafting to coordinate my hands, and to distract me...For Christmas I made salt dough ornaments. It's a great way to get both hands working together. 

My next adventure is to make a 10" x 5" salt dough plaque... a birthday gift for my God-daughter. Once I paint it, I'll glue this seahorse clip art onto the plaque. Then I'll coat it translucent with a glitter paint. I think it will look pretty in her "beach themed" bathroom. 



















As soon as I learn to use the camera on my new phone, I'll upload a picture of the seahorse plaque. Until then, I wish you peace and love. 

Additionally, "Happy New Year"! Love, Dixie

Monday, November 21, 2016

Happiness at Thanksgiving




















Happiness is finding thankfulness, regardless of the situation I'm experiencing. We're all human so I know each of you can relate. Finding a blessing among the turmoil / trials of life. Things challenge my faith but going forward is the right decision. Then, there are times I simply stand still and wait.

Since my last blog post of August, I had a second stroke. Once again the left side of my body was affected. So there's a little more loss of mobility but I keep hanging on. Therapy sessions are suspended for this week's holiday. Not to be hindered, I set up my own obstacle course, around my yard, for daily walks. Luckily it's Fall with lots of leaves which I'm slowly raking mid-morning. It's so nice to feel the warmth of the sun. Who knew raking leaves would turn into a blessing by keeping me mobile?

My birthday is the day before Thanksgiving Day. I plan to make myself a batch of peanut butter cookies. I might save some for "the turkey gang,"aka my family gathering. This year I'm headed to my older brother's home... at "Lake Wiley," South Carolina.  I imagine it will be a bit cooler temperature lakeside than it is at my home. Not to worry... I have lots of comfy sweatshirts and sweaters.

I really miss online time but sitting does not help much. It's better to be up, moving about. Still this is a week when lots of people are celebrating, and I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving or a Happy Week!

Now it's your turn....

1- Do you celebrate Thanksgiving or a similar type holiday?
2- What's your favorite side dish for Thanksgiving?
3 - Are you a sweatshirt or a sweater person?
4 - Do you have a turkey joke to share?
5 - Do you have a prayer request?

Lastly... sending love and warm wishes!

~ Dixie

Friday, August 26, 2016

Balancing act ~ number one priority!














Image credit: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/6-tips-work-life-balance-for-people-with-big-dreams-2/

"Balance is something I can only glimpse, as I go from one extreme to another." (Quote: my brother, Ben.)

Quite the profound statement! In 1988, when my brother said this in a  recovery meeting for addicts, I almost dismissed it. Still it stuck in my head, circling for many months until a year later I joined  him in attending meetings. At the first of September, Ben celebrates 28 years free from drug addiction. On October 4th, I'll celebrate 27 years! He has been a great support in my recovery.

Ironically, he's been living with me for the month of August, while his new apartment is completed. It has been pleasant to have him here. I almost hate to see him go, but he's not a kid... he must have his own space... and me too. Living alone for five years has had its pros and cons, but I love the peace and quiet.

He gets "home" every day and then walks 4 miles. Ben knows I'm in physical therapy and again, his support has been appreciated. He has no judgment of the simplicity off my assigned exercises. As he said last week, "You've got to start somewhere and gradually increase as time passes. (It has taken me a year to work up to 4 miles.) Take your time. You'll get there, Dixie."

I know he is right. He and his wife have decided to divorce. I have hesitated to even mention what I'm experiencing, but I know he must "see" some of the physical struggle that daily life is for me... right now. And that brings me to the positive side... he knows I'll work hard to regain the "me" that I was... not so long ago. The divorce is upsetting to me... I cannot choose sides, as I love them both. So I try to avoid dwelling on it, moving on with my own battle. No, I can't help but get a little teary-eyed thinking about them.... but for now, I'm on a journey that needs my full focus.

So where am I now? After 5 therapy sessions I know how bad my situation is. Balance is the one thing we all need. It helps us walk and do tasks, ranging from the simplest to the hardest. It is also something that I'm having to regain... a slow battle. I have two therapists. One is helping me regain strength in my left leg and arm. The other is working on my balance issue... but actually the two must go hand in hand.

I've chosen to do my exercises 4 times daily, though it's not required by my therapists. Still it speeds the process and that makes me happy... I have a sense of accomplishment. and isn't that important? I get tired, and rest between the toughest exercises. There are six  exercise treatments this week, two more than last week! Hopefully before the end of August, I'll be able to walk in the yard alone. I have to be able to keep my balance on level ground first. I'm grateful to have a large patio! My yard is not level, so it's a "no man's land" for now. :(

So to close this, I refer back to brother Ben's quote... "Balance is something I can only glimpse, as I go from one extreme to another."

I hope your frustrations are few or at the very least, manageable. I hope you have balance, be it in your mental, physical,  emotional, or spiritual realms! Know that I miss you, and pray for my blog friends every day (smile).

Love, Dixie


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Slowly but surely... healing

Hello! I'm still here, and trying not to get depressed over the slow progress. 

The last test the neurologist ordered showed my right, carotid artery blocked. It's inoperable, yet a most amazing thing happened. Smaller arteries expanded and took over the task. I'm getting enough blood because of that. He also said some new arteries have grown... I didn't know the body could do that. Did you?

Setting therapy appointments has been difficult, as I'm not driving but relying on my god-daughter to help me. On Monday, August 8th, we went for my evaluation for physical therapy. There was a battery of 14 tests. the best score is 56 points - I scored 46! The therapist was very excited and told me I should be able to fully regain my balance, coordination, and lost skills. Though I went in with a lack of confidence... now I feel somewhat relieved. 

The physical therapist has also arranged for me to meet with an occupational therapist too. This hopefully will help me regain my typing and painting skills. Life has been a bit boring, and I might add, a bit scary. Three blogs are sitting idle, and I have a couple paintings that are waiting to be finished!  So finally - I'm scheduled for therapy! Beginning this Friday, August 12th, I'll be learning things to help regain my "normal" life.  The great part is - I get to stay home and do specific exercises for my situation. No rehab center is necessary.

I never realized how the left and right sides of the body work together, while also working independently. It's quite amazing!

Because I have a serious balance issue, I've had to let go of the yard work. Not to be discouraged, I decided to put new plants in clay pots. Both plants need trellises to grow on, so the next task is building something simple to let them climb. 

The Loofah plant fruit can be eaten if picked while still young and tender. I understand it has a taste  like cucumber or zucchini.  If you wait to  harvest later the fruit becomes "loofah sponge," which is my goal. My plant is about 16 inches now, but this photo is how it looked earlier on.

The Passion Flower plant has fruit that is also edible. Have you ever had passion fruit?


I'll close now. Typing is still such a chore. I miss all of you, and thank you for the prayers, and keeping me in your thoughts. While I'm online this week, I'll try to visit everyone!

Thank you, (smile).

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Update and Vacation for July




















My last post stated I would be seeing a neurologist on June 24th. Well, that happened, and there's bad news and good news. 

Here's the bad news. The stroke I mentioned during a previous post actually happened last fall - some eight months ago now. My regular MD thought all of my issues were caused by a vitamin D deficiency. However, once my D level returned to normal, the issues had still not completely cleared. I went for an MRI, which showed evidence of a stroke.

The neurologist questioned why it took so long for me to have an appointment with him - eight months! I didn't have an answer; I think he might want to contact my regular MD, and I told him that. At this point in time the only thing to do, regarding this event, is to go for physical evaluation and therapy. I hoping to regain strength and usage of my left hand, arm, and more stability in walking. So July will be filled with lots of appointments for therapy.

Meanwhile, as a preventive measure, I have to have other tests, as ordered by the neurologist. An echo cardiogram, and CT scan are scheduled this month as well.
This may sound crazy, but I was so relieved to hear this news. It could have been so much worse. Thoughts of other illnesses or situations were stressful, even though I tried to remain calm and positive. I'm sure you understand. To me this is good news.

I've been absent from this blog so much but I've tried to keep up with my joke blog and my Battle of the Bands blog. I'm taking a vacation from all three blogs for the month of July. My health is the focus. Thank you for your patience, kind words, and positive thoughts. I will try to visit everyone even though I won't post this month. 

Thank you!

Dixie


Saturday, June 4, 2016

Quick update

My rose bush is beautiful right now.

I take short walks around the yard ~
It's good to keep moving.
Even when it's physically hard~
Each day I'm improving.

Typing now with seven fingers ~
Instead of five.
Crazy mobility lingers ~
Still it's good to be alive.








Update: I have a June 24th appointment to see a neurologist. My left hand, arm, and leg still have issues. It gets frustrating but I try to remain hopeful and cheerful. I'm so blessed in other ways.

We're definitely into warm weather. It rains every other day, and then turns muggy and humid. I put the air conditioning on, around 75 degrees... for this week at least. Where I live might be in the 90's one week, but then back to the 70s the next week. It's always been like this for as long as I can remember.

My hope is that everyone is healthy and enjoying life. If you are battling something, let me know so I can keep you in my thoughts, (smile). Please bear with me. I'm not writing much lately. I hope that will change soon. Be well.

Love, 
Dixie