Sunday, June 27, 2010

Walking

So I did a 2km walk(hike) in nature today... some of it with elevation, much of it having to stop and drag my ass up the hill but I did it, and just under an hour! I know, the average for a regular person for 2km is 30 mins but I'm not regular!

Although I'm tired from the walk/hike I know it's not something I could have done last fall. One kilometre maybe, but 2, nope. In fact, I've been to that park years before and I still chose the one kilometre walk over the 2k one. I think just to keep my own circulation going I'm going to try to walk once a week in my neighbourhood. (My goal is to walk daily - if I can make the time, but starting with once a week is something I can commit to at this juncture of workload). Practicing the diaphragmatic breathing that I teach my clients during our anxiety group is something that has helped on my walk today. I'm not going to outsmart this illness but I want to live *with* it now.

Next I'm going to look into zip-lining... chances are I might not be able to do it, but if there's a kiddy-line and my Dr. Cardio-man ok's it, then off I go zipping through the forest. I feel alive, in my twilight years: this would be my retirement years according to my life expectancy and I want to live out whatever I can. So even though I still have to work, I am lucky that I love my work. Which is another area of my life going very well (keineinhoreh). Lots of exciting things including my art therapy group getting off the ground. This stuff makes me very very happy.

I'll be contacting my cardio-nurse again because I'm noticing that I'm cold. I've always had a hard time warming up and always felt cold but now-a-days I can't even wear shorts or a dress I'm so cold. I go to work wearing the same stuff I do in winter, minus the long-johns. (Yes I wear long-sleeved top, sweater, pants, socks etc.) I'm wondering if it's another side-effect from the meds. I've learned recently that anemia is a possible side-effect/complication and I am that now. Looking at changing how I eat: getting back to better... for a while there (when the wife left) I ate frozen stuff, the meals served at work (full of salt) if I ate at all. I've gained most of my weight back but struggle with the healthy cooking from scratch thing I used to do. It was so much easier to cook for 2 then. I'm looking forward to going to a Naturopath to help support my healing. Benefits still haven't come... papers still haven't been signed, but unless I hit a client or touch inappropriately, I know my job is mine. Just would be nice to have those papers signed. My new bed can't be purchased until I know for sure. That's my 6 months gift to myself. Finally after all these years a new mattress - new karma (it's my ex's from long ago and her marriage broke into pieces around the same time mine did!).

I like this taking care of me thing... it's so freeing that I'm finally enjoying being single.
I can't wait to tell my mother I'm going to the Middle East!! hehe!

Monday, June 14, 2010

death; entering a hard time of year

Today sucked. Not even at work 10 mins. when I find out one of my clients was beaten to death.
Tomorrow marks the 1 year anniversary of Thomas' first death - yes there is such thing as more than one death. You know, when you actually die, but technology decides to revive your heart beat... then your body dies later, when there is no more reviving. G-d takes us when we're done. Humans revive them because they're not ready to let them go... or other weird phenomena.

That's why I signed that lovely DNR paper a while back. None of this 2 deaths thing for me. Just one thank you. Not putting loved ones through all that.

Sad, tired and a little burnt out. Booked the day off tomorrow, and of course, July 13th. In Jewish tradition there's yarzheit when we remember on the day of death. But what do you do when there are 2. This may not be kosher, but I'm honouring both. Every day from June 15th to July 13th I'll be spending time in prayer for Thomas.

As for my client... he is no longer suffering. I am sad that he just could not get through some of his trauma(s).

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

triggers

On request of a friend, I've been visiting a guy at our hospice part of work the past few days... he's dying of course and he's starting to look like Thomas. He's thin, bone thin, his cath bag is full of blood etc. It makes the 'good deed' rather difficult. But I don't think anyone should die alone and this was the belief of said friend, the only person he knew. So her and I go visit - when she's off work and when I'm off work.
I would only hope that when it's my time to go that someone does such a thing. I can't speak for him, but I hate feeling lonely on this planet.

Sitting there the only thing that comes to mind when I think of Thomas is this: thank G-d he wasn't conscious. I couldn't imagine what this gentleman is going through watching all the sings of death, staring at the walls, losing vision, voice etc. I'm not sorry if it sounds mean but I think it's by the grace of G-d that T was in a comatose state.

It's coming close to the date when he first "took ill". I have that day "off". I can't afford to do what I want (donate a memorial bench) but he's been on my mind of late again.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

travel- bucket list

So I re-found my bucket list I wrote when I was barely 19 years old. I wrote it then because I was told I wouldn't live to see 30. Well, 7 years later, I'm still here and most of the items on my list are, happily, crossed off. Some of the items are so mundane and ordinary (for the alternative girl that I am) but "daring" to white sub-urban folk. Like, having blue hair, which I've done not once, but several times. Same with green hair, a mohawk... you get the picture.

There are of course several items I won't be able to do because of cost - not health. I used to think I couldn't climb pyramids - but I did. OK, I never reached the top as a direct result of my health, but I reached more than 2/3rd of the way up; enough to look across the sea of green tree tops. It was awesome (until I looked down from the very narrow/steep steps). I pushed myself that day and the photos show (swelling, etc. afterwards) but I did it! Heck, my sister didn't even climb and she's as fit as a mountain hiker (which she does in Cali/Venezuela). I think the one or 2 things I probably won't be able to do are jump out of planes and bungee jump. I've always joked that I'll bungee jump, when I know I'm on my last day, that way if the jumping kills me I would have been on my way out very soon anyway.

So as far as travel is concerned: I started actually looking at fights to Israel, even though my trip fund is only half way there. Damn seat sales they tease me. I started looking at Safed and all the sacred sights I could possibly go on. This is exciting.
Heart disease be damned, I'm going to the Middle East! Not sure when (as I'm not booking anything until those papers are signed and I have a much higher balance in my travel account). I'm hoping before next Pesach. I just have to make sure I break the air time up with short flight (3 stops is much better for my health than 2 long ones etc.) (embolisms).

I even have the itch to just make Newfoundland a reality, until I factored in the cost of the ferry. Oh well, it's something I can let go of, for now. I justify my bucket-list item of driving from coast to coast as "land coast" - which I've done.

I continue to pray that these meds continue to work a miracle in my life AND that I continue to have whatever coverage is necessary for me to acquire them.

Now to learn stick so I can drive a sexy cobalt blue Jeep YJ across a dessert (New Mexico??)...

Most of all though, my work is fulfilling my other life goal: have a fulfilling career related to my education that helps others and stretches my soul. I'm teaching this summer semester for the 8th year and it's actually not tiring me out. I get to talk about what I know and teach others how to use it. How freaking awesome is that?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

my OWN benefits!

Well, today marks the day I started full time employment 6 months ago. It's still another 2 or so weeks before the actual probabtion is up and benefits start (because I was part time the first 2 weeks I started because I was ending my other jobs). But, I'm still here...

I think back a year ago to where I was health wise and I feel like a miracle has taken place in my life. I am able to work full time (more than actually, due to my little workaholism issue). I feel like I'm 33 again. At 33 I was much healthier, didn't need oxygen every single day and could work full time. That's me today. I know though that it's not "getting any better" only because some days (but not many) I come home feeling like shit, legs all swollen and having a hard time breathing only to find my little designer pill in my compartment: yup they have that much impact - my dr. cardio man knows it.

I'm excited to have my own benefits, to start accupuncture to support my kidneys, my liver etc. I'm excited to have holidays. I'm excited to be looking forward to taking a holiday: a real live trip to Israel, to carry out some of my "bucket list" while I still can.

My workplace doesn't know about my serious health issues. They know I have something akin to asthma, but while still under probation I don't think it was wise to disclose such info. Besides, the more I learn about work environment in other counselling agencies, the more I love mine. Sure mine's more fast-paced, in the trenches kinda work (frontline) but the self-care that's almost indoctrinated is really appreciated. There was an agency whose work I really valued, an agency I held as a sorta sacred golden cow - somewhere I'd picture myself in 2 years (if these meds help me work then). Recently I found out through informational interviewing that agencies' work policies for counselors: there are no clinicals, no debriefing, no CISD (critical incidence stress debriefing), no team building, etc. and even though their rate of pay is of course higher than mine (by only a few dollars) I realized that I would be better off to stay where I am. Not only will my mental health love it (we are also encouraged to practice self-care and take days off to avoid burn out), but my physical health will too.

You know, I gotta tell ya, I really don't feel like I have limited time left. Perhaps practicing mindfulness/awareness has also brought me closer to the 'here and now' that I'm not overly concerned about tomorrow. Either way, it feels very freeing. And exciting (accupuncture here I come!!)