Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Reality Check

I spent a few hours in the ER earlier in the month. I thought I could deal with the pain I was experiencing, but after 5 hours of it I knew I needed some help. This was only the second time I've ever been an ER patient in my 66 years - and both were for a kidney stone. Let me just say I would not wish a kidney stone on my very worst enemy.

The hospital visit provided me with an IV to control the pain and nausea but it also provided me with quite an awakening. Well ... the awakening actually didn't truly come until after that stinkin' stone finally passed at home many hours later.

Lying in that ER bed brought back memories of the many times Vern & I were there. Together. And the difference now is that I was there ... alone.  My Vern wasn't there to hold my hand and tell me this was all going to be just fine. Oh boy, I sure do miss him.

I had a CTscan and ultrasound which showed the kidney stone but also gallstones, which I hadn't expected. They sent me home with Percocet and Zofran and I took the first dose and crawled into bed. I slept for a couple of hours but then the pain woke me and I was not happy to see I had to wait two hours before another dose. That day was spent just watching the clock for when I could take the next dose and sleep for an hour or two. Twenty-three hours after it started I woke up and that pain was gone. Hallelujah!

So very grateful for the relief but with my head finally clear from that debilitating pain the pitiful voice in my head took over. Yep. I had myself a little pity party right then and there.

He should be here.
It's not fair.
I'm tired of always being the strong one.
This is my life and what I have to look forward to if I get sick as I age.

I recognize now that it was easy to slide into a rather depressive state because I still wasn't feeling well. But the reality is This.Is.My.Life.  Suck it up, buttercup.

And then the house air conditioner died. Guess I'm 'lucky' that this is the first big, really expensive decision I've had to make alone ... but it wasn't fun. Especially during a record-breaking excessive heat warning week here in Vegas. 117 degrees with no A/C is another thing I would not wish on my worst enemy. But the good news is, this big expense helped me make another decision that has been weighing on me (will blog about that another time).

And now the gallbladder has decided to remind me that it's still lurking. Miserable pain and nausea again yesterday.  I don't "do" doctors; last visit was the physical I had after Vern died (because I promised him I would). And reading the reviews about local doctors is enough to make me decide to try once again to just change my diet. I now realize how very lucky I've been to be so healthy all these years. Not feeling well impacts you in so many other ways. Sigh.

So may I just state for the record that I am more than ready to put this month of June behind me?  Yes, I am. It has not been kind while I'm in the midst of a ton of to-do's and deadlines with retreat planning & marketing and website creating and widow group meets and all of my volunteer work responsibilities. And all I want to do today is sleep. I think that's what I'm going to do. Things will surely look better after a nice nap.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

She Did it Anyway ....

I became a Brave Girls Club Soul Restoration certified instructor in April 2016 because I wanted to share this powerful curriculum with others. What a difference it will make in this world of ours. My initial intent was to provide free workshops at local women's and teen shelters, but that's not yet an option available so I had to decide whether I was going to take the leap and offer retreats.

Since losing Vern I have listened to my 'gut' with every new thing or trip I've done and this was no exception. An art retreat I attended in 2013 at a beach house that spoke to my soul popped into my mind, so I started Googling to see if I could find it. And I did!  But then the questions surfaced ... how do I manage holding a retreat over 2200 miles away from home?  I'll need to fly there, rent a car, ship supplies. But since I'd need to fly to Tampa in March as a Camp Widow staffer, I had what I thought was a fabulous idea to hold my retreat while I was already on the East Coast.

I took the big leap and rented the beach house ... figuring that if no one signed up I'd have a week at a beautiful place ... and I took advantage of the generous Brave Girl University opportunity to post it on their web site. And people were interested!  Granted, most of those interested did not sign up ... but 6 did and that filled up my retreat space. Wow! And then I heard from two others who really wanted to attend and asked if I'd consider holding a second retreat there. The house was available the following week so I decided to advertise it and see what happened. I ended up filling that one, too!

Sounds great, doesn't it?  But .... life can throw some major curveballs at you sometimes.

I love being a member of the Camp Widow Leadership Team but it includes very long hours for 5 days straight and then I had a 3.5 hour drive to Deltona (that should have taken less than 2 hours) to pick up some retreat supplies I had shipped to a friend. Headed out the next day for Charleston (a 5+ hour drive) and started to not feel very well. My mouth and tongue were so sore I couldn't eat anything and I had this 'thing' trying to break out on my chin. Nerves? Stress? Who knew.  I had 3 days at a hotel until I got the keys to the beach house, so I set myself up in there, organized my supplies, studied the curriculum, stayed in my jammies and continued to feel poorly. When I checked out of the hotel on Saturday I decided to stop by CVS to see if a pharmacist could recommend something that would help. By this time my glands had swollen and were red and that redness was traveling around to different parts of my neck each day. He took one look and said I should see a doctor. So off to the local urgent care I went. It wasn't a bite ... it was cellulitis. A first for me and hopefully to never return. This is what I looked like the day after I got a Prednisone shot in the butt, started on 10 days of Bactrim AND Keflex and was using an antibiotic ointment on the sores 3 times/day.  Ugh. Not a pretty sight, eh?

And my very first Soul Restoration Retreat guests were due to arrive in a couple of days. Ack! I confirmed that I wasn't contagious so I could hold the retreat and give hugs - and I did my best to cover it up with makeup so I didn't look quite so horrid as that photo. And when that big ol' scab fell off I was relieved ... until I looked in the mirror and saw the HOLE it had left. OMG. The ointment went on more than 3 times a day to fill that thing.

On the very last day of the antibiotics - and the day the second group of women were due to arrive - I broke out in this on both legs and my trunk, front and back. It wasn't raised bumps - reminded me of what Vern used to get when his platelets were low; I believe it was a reaction to the antibiotics.  OK universe ... ENOUGH!

But ya know ... in spite of not feeling well, and the ugly sores and the raw tongue and the rash and the upset tummy from the antibiotics ... I did it anyway!  I held my very first Soul Restoration Retreats anyway!

And I do believe the 11 women who trusted me enough to sign up for my very first retreats took home some wonderful, life-changing tools and new friendships. That's what this is all about. Sharing this amazing curriculum, developing new connections, making a difference.

So when life throws you a curve, just stare right back at it and 'do it anyway' ... whatever IT may be for you. What have you got to lose?

And if you'd like more information about the Soul Restoration course, retreats or modules ... ask me! I have another retreat scheduled in Las Vegas in September: Las Vegas Retreat  - or take a look here to see if there are any scheduled in your area:  Certified Instructor SR Events