Repost October 3, 2016: Knitting and Storytelling

dogsweater111815I tried the sweater on Foxy before I did the finishing touches (i.e. tuck the ends into the sweater. I should have sewn the sweater to the neck, but I was more worried that it would fit too snugly.

I was wrong. It fits just right except she can wiggle out of it and turn it into an off-shoulder sweater.

But for some reason she wants a sweater. I have an old one that I bought at PetSmart. Unfortunately it hasn’t lasted that long. I have knitted sweaters for myself and others that have lasted years. The one I bought is falling apart after one winter of use.

Since the world is falling apart right now, I find that knitting is relaxing. I have a dog that sits on my lap as I knit and watch “Closer” or some other TV episode on Amazon or Netflix. I am still unhappy that most of my favorite shows “Constantine” and others have been canceled. NETFLIX for the love of the fans– Please get those shows and make new episodes. I would watch.

If Netflix won’t listen to me, then AMAZON I don’t want to see a middle-aged (almost late aged) transgender. I want to see more Marvel with superheroes and great story lines. Heck, I’d even watch some of Neil Gaiman’s old graphic story lines on TV.

One of the reasons (I have a lot of reasons for writing including that if I don’t write, I’ll act out in my dreams), is that I am tired of the story lines on national TV. The mystery detective shows that I have enjoyed for a long time have been co-opted with message fiction. It seems that global warming, gamergate, or bad corporations mixed with evil returning soldiers has taken over the entertainment. Seriously I am tired of messages… since I was in the Navy from 1988-1994, I am tired of messages that denigrate our returnees, whether combat soldiers or support personnel.

It became fashionable to spit on our returnees after Vietnam. A completely alienated generation is bad for us all.

But back to what I want to see in entertainment. I want to see stories. Something that will help me escape. Something that will make me laugh and cry. Something that will make my life a little more hopeful and a little more worthwhile.

Don’t tell me I am a bad person. I know that I am the hero in my own story. And you are the hero in yours.

One of the reasons I have a problem with dystopia is because many of these stories are– it was bad, it was your fault, and now you’ll die. Huh?

So this is why I like Marvel– as bad as it gets, the hero wins. Not always big… and not always apparent. I can relate. I have small wins every day. I take a pill and my disease is pushed back another day. I walk and my muscles move another day. These small wins have added up from 2003 to the present day. I am still living.

I want to write this way, too.

 

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A day, a day, and another day

So I had an appointment on Tuesday, a lunch on Wednesday, and another appointment today. Then at the beginning of next week after the holiday, I need to get my labs done to check my kidneys. In between I have been looking critically at what I have overflowing in closets and other spaces, and I have decided to get things cleaned, sold, or given away while I have the energy.

There is a thought in the back of my mind that I won’t have the time or energy to complete all of this in three months. Don’t ask me what is going to happen in three months because I don’t know. When I think that far ahead, I feel a heaviness that tells me another big change is coming.

I used to like change. When I was younger, moving to a new place wasn’t scary. I thought that adventure was seeing new places and making new friends. Then off I would go to another adventure in a new place with new friends. It changed when I had my huge health change. It wasn’t just a scare– it was an entire change of life. I had orders that I couldn’t be around large groups of people. Since I live near Las Vegas, it meant that while I was on a chemo like Cytoxan, I couldn’t go to events, theaters, or malls. My late-hubby used to take me to malls during the time of day when most people were doing other things. I carried wet wipes and we would wipe down every bench before I sat. I would walk twenty feet and then have to sit down again. Those were survival days.

When I lost my hubby, it was another huge change. It changed my physical, social, and mental frame of reference. I am still dealing with the aftershocks. I suspect this change that I am dreading has to do with my kidneys.

I notice that I cramp more at night even when I take vitamins and drink enough water. Sometimes I have a low- grade fever. Both of these symptoms can cause sleep deprivation which can cause the short-term cognitive problems. Or it might be the kidneys again. So last night I slept like the dead. It was good. The little doggy jumped up and down on my side before I woke up. I could have slept another two hours.

So I am beginning to dread change– change means illness and more problems to solve. Change means that when I move, I can’t carry those heavy boxes, like I used to do. It means that when I move the furniture, I spend two to three days resting.

Change means that I meet new people and worry about getting new infections. On the other hand, I have met others who are dealing with some of the same problems. Plus I am learning tolerance for the ill and infirmed. Sadly, I had to become one of them before I could feel for them.

Still– I have cleared out things that I haven’t used or seen used in a decade or more. The apartment feels lighter.

It’s been a month

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Pixabay Amber Avalona (Public Domain) https://pixabay.com/en/users/AmberAvalona-1512238/

I’ll start with an apology. I can’t believe that it has been this long since I have pontificated on health, writing, and/or my dog. It’s been a wild ride lately. Near the end of my day, I get a low-grade fever and then in the morning, I am fine again.

I have been doing QiGong, a moving meditation, for centering. In many ways it is reminiscent of the first time my kidneys failed, except the pain is not as great and I am more hydrated. In other ways, I am not quite sure if I am imagining symptoms.

When I was first ill in 2003, my symptoms were so over the top that Otto and I knew that something was very very wrong. It’s not so clear-cut today. As a good friend said to me this weekend, “You knew it would happen.”

Yes, I am not sad that I can see the slide. I am ready for it. I just wanted to do so much more before I was too sick and too tired to continue.

But I procrastinate.

Dragon Boy is 80 percent edited and will be ready for readers soon. (Second in the Hilda’s Inn series). I have the second in the EJ Hunter series done except for the first edit. I have a lot of other books on the burner, waiting for me to put my butt in the chair and write.

Plus I have been reading about remote viewing, aliens, and hominids. I can just see one of my future stories with a Bigfoot remote viewing aliens and trying to get the message out to normal folks. Would a Bigfoot have to shave to fit in with our society? Damn, there is enough tall people nowadays that they could probably even get a job. Obviously my muse is chewing on this one right now.

What has been helping me as I watch my health slide is QiGong. I feel the energy in my hands, torso, and feet as it travels through my body. I try to breath as one. I work on loving kindness meditation and now I have people tell me that it is lovely to see me smile again.

So–

May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May you be safe.
May you be at ease.

 

A candle for health

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Last week my nephrologist started to prepare me for dialysis. She said that I needed to be ready when my kidneys failed. The kidneys had lasted a very long time. They had started to slide.

Part of the preparation for dialysis would be to have a stent made. Apparently it takes one month to get the appointment for the stent, and then it takes three months for the stent to mature so it can be used.

In the beginning days of my disease, (you can find the book here), the doctor put a heart catheter into my neck. My late-hubby held my hand, while the nurse put a shot in my neck, and then the doctor slit my throat and pushed in the plastic tubing.

I don’t want to go through that again. First it was scary. Second it hurt. Third my neck rubbed raw from the tubing after over four weeks of use. My late-hubby told me he didn’t want to go through it again either. He watched the entire procedure and almost fainted. It wasn’t because of the blood, (there was very little). It was because they were cutting into his wife– me– and he was watching.

Last week I did negotiate with the nephrologist. If my kidneys didn’t stabilize, then she would order the stent in September. I know most of you know this from a post on Facebook. When I came home that day, after the news, I cried. The well-wishes and prayers were a blessing to my aching soul.

It felt like I was starting down this road again. Two years ago it was with my late hubby, and now it is the same road I started in 2003.

So I am eating more cabbage and less protein. I got rid of corn syrup, processed products, and sodas almost a decade ago. I added turmeric and more omega 3s. I am more diligent at drinking large quantities of water. Still it feels like there isn’t much I can do to stop the slide this time. There are no drastic changes to make to my eating and drinking habits. I will NOT give up coffee.

The only real change I can make is to meditate. It helps to put my mind in the present moment and not into the future of pain, kidney failure, and dialysis. Yes, I am noticing more pain. Yes, my muscles are less forgiving than they have ever been. And yes, I am cramping more.

But all of these symptoms can be caused by taking chemo. I can even blame my age.

Today I asked for health and lit a candle. For a moment my brain quit thinking and I felt peace.

So another holiday (remember to smile)

Out_house_useage_ The fourth of July weekend is here and if Otto was with us, he would be 69 next week. Two years ago this week, we were frantically going from doctor to doctor to find out why he didn’t feel good.The cancer word was being whispered.

Last night, I watched the clouds form. I sat in my chair, listened to the crack of thunder, watched the lightning, and counted the seconds between lightning and thunder.

I talked to him. If he were here physically we would have an upstairs apartment and he would be watching the storm. When I slipped onto the balcony with him, I would snuggle under his arm and we would watch the storm. I was safe there.

I was the gloomy one– the Eeyore. He was the one who knew how to smile at life’s idiosyncrasies. At the very least he always had a quip on his lips. I had heard most of his jokes — he cleaned them up in polite society, but when he was with his buddies, he had some of the funniest and dirtiest jokes around. I didn’t see his pranks, but I heard about some of them. Let’s say that there was a little bit of Loki in him.

He had to be more circumspect when he worked for the State– which is why I didn’t show this photo of him joking around an outhouse while he lived. Still this shows his spirit and what I loved most about him.

Funny– he had a hard start in life. He was a preemie and almost didn’t make it. He spent most of his young life in foster care. He had to learn how to take care of himself at a very young age. He was my light in a very dark world of chronic illness.

So I miss the door opening around five-ten p.m. in the evening. We also greeted each other with a kiss and a hug. I miss the smile, the jokes, and even those days when he couldn’t even muster a smile because his day had gone badly.

I miss his quizzes. He was a master at electronics and used to teach it in both the Army and the Navy. But mostly he was the one person in my life that saw me as worthwhile.

A strong man. A kind man. And sometimes a scary man.

He was a Vietnam Vet– and he did know how to protect us.

As I think of him today, I don’t want to cry and wail. I did that for months after his death. No, I want to smile. I want to remember his jokes and his joy. I want to remember that he loved me so much. I want to remember his bravery and his willingness to poke at the bear when she was grumpy–