Thursday, January 07, 2010

Winter Again

It's a new year and another winter. Once again I am wondering where the time went and why I don't post more often. It's all in my head, and I have lots to say, but I seldom make myself put it in type. I'm going to be making myself do a lot more this year, including posting.

I am starting to exercise again, which is an important part of my COPD treatment. I can take all of the inhalers and avoid crowds to prevent infections, but if I don't exercise, I will only decline.

Exercise builds muscles, which then work more efficiently, helping to keep oxygen going to the right places and decreases shortness of breath. I know this firsthand. But since exercise was never really a strong component of my life before COPD, it's hard to keep the momentum going now. I don't like to exercise and can come up with a million excuses not to so I have to be careful to keep myself motivated over and over again.

Megan is no longer touring with Matt Nathanson, and is nesting with her husband. It's pure pleasure to see this happen. She's happier and more content than I've seen her in several years. Selfishly, I'm hoping to be a grandmother one of these days very soon.

I've had some serious challenges over the past couple of years, but I think I've come out on the other side only slightly worse for wear. I want this year to be a good one, in which I will be productive and happy and content. It's up to me and I'm up for the work to make it happen.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

Tonight I indulged in one of my favorite guilty pleasures that very few people who know me know about - professional bull riding. I started watching during a time when I was home-bound and bored, having a hard time dealing with my broken bones on top of my COPD. My favorite at this time is Guilherme Marchi, a Brazilian rider who won last year's top spot in the world championship. I would like to see him be the first to win 2 in a row.

It all started innocently enough. I was so bored with television. I spent all of my time at home after I broke my right shoulder and left hip. It was impossible for me to get out except for infrequent vistits to the doctors so I was at the mercy of people who would visit me and the television for entertainment. Ha! I consider myself a fairly intelligent person, and finding something that held my interest for an hour was really a challenge. I watched the PBR and it made my heart beat faster. At first, I was thrilled with the prospect of a wreck. Those were awful and I was so impressed with how they came back so soon after devastating injuries. I continued watching it and I began rooting for particular cowboys that sparked my interest. Eventually, I learned what it was all about and began to admire the cowboys for their ability. They really are athletes!

This has all led me to watching Dancing With the Stars because Ty Murray, a bull riding hero, is competing. I voted for him 13 times by cell phone in the first 2 weeks! You have to understand, I don't EVER do this for ANYONE on ANY TV show.

So what started as a diversion, has turned into an obsession and a very happy guilty pleasure! I watch every week and follow the riders from week to week to see how they are doing. Don't tell anyone, but if someone calls me during a show, I ignore it!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

It's been a while since I posted to this blog. I seemed to have lost my voice for a while but I'll be working on that.

I was having a good couple of weeks with my breathing, but all of a sudden today it feels like I'm breathing through water. This merry go round is making me dizzy, the good days and the bad ones. But at least I had those two weeks!

My brothers gave me the greatest gift for Christmas: their time and tickets to see Kris Kristofferson. Kris is a long time hero of mine and I've been listening to his music since the 70's. So last Sunday we three went to a concert. And it was awesome! It was killer getting from the car to the theater, and we had to drive me eventually because I just wasn't good at walking through the snow and I ran out of breath long before we got there. The show was worth the effort and it was better than old times, being with my brothers.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


My brother-in-law died. He spent a portion of his life being one of the biggest asses in the country. He was an alcoholic with a bad attitude and the ability to anger and alienate anyone in his path.

However, he spent the past 28 years living sober, and giving back in incredible ways. He built a business and became successful, providing jobs and opportunities to many people. He always helped family with taxes for free. He helped his entire family, and I add extended family to that, both with support and financing through their various struggles and hardships. He formed amazing bonds with his family that will be remembered forever.

I will never know how many people he's guided through recovery in AA. For many years, his home was open to struggling members who needed a hand up. He was a dedicated sponsor and leader for all of the past 28 years.

He did all this and more with unbelievable humility and modesty. It was HARD to get him to accept a thank-you; he never did it for recognition. Some would say he was arrogant, and I can agree to an extent, but it hid a heart that was bigger than anyone knew.

If anyone has earned the respect and love of multitudes of friends, business associates and family, he has. I have no doubt that he's breathing easy somewhere in the light. I hope he knows how much I came to care about him and how much I admired and respected his incredible road to redemption.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Better Day

I guess it's safe to say that things are better in my head. Thank-you, Dee, for the encouragement, I really appreciate it. Sometimes my mind just can't help taking a trip toward the darker side and it's a bitch getting stuck there.

I've started making a conscious effort to get out of here every day, even if it's just for a little PT Cruising. It's helped me a lot to get out of my own head and see other people and other places besides myself and my apartment. My world has been so small for the past few years, and most especially, the past year.

I am now independent with everything with few exceptions. I still can't go into stores because I'm not walking very far, but for everything else, it's all good. I've come such a long way over the past year, and I am truly grateful that I'm healing and breathing better. I tend to lose sight of that when I get down on myself and my situation. When I think about it, I know that I'm so much better off than many people.

So healthwise, for me things are definitely on the upswing, and each day is another new beginning, with new challenges and possibilities. I am working hard at being the best me I can be, and I hope that family and friends will forgive past no-shows due to illness and injury. It's been a lonely couple of years and I'm eager to participate more in life again.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

An Awful Year

I see that it's been a while since I posted anything. I might not post this one, but I have to write it.

It was a year, on August 25th, since I had fallen and broken my hip and my shoulder. It was on May 12 that I had the surgery on my hip. I was doing well and progressing steadily when I was told by the surgeon that I had to back off a little because the hip hasn't shown adequate healing yet. I knew that it could take up to 6 months to heal, but I didn't imagine the emotions that would come with the prolonged healing.

It's been just over 2 weeks since I was told to stop using the cane if I feel any pain. My spirits have gone steadily downhill since then because I feel pain every time I use the cane.

I am so tired of being home, not able to work, dependent on neighbors for shopping and being so short of breath. I feel like I live the life of someone just waiting to die. I want to swear, hit something, throw things, break everything breakable in sight. Instead, I sit here holding it all tight inside. I am the cheerleader for COPD and the picture of patience. Ha! I'm a seething cauldron of disappointment and fear for my future.

So I constantly beat myself up for not doing things. I could do more exercises, I could clean more, I could do something, anything, that would boost my spirits. Read a book, cook something, call someone. But I can't make myself do anything. And I hate myself for that.

There. I'll let you know if that helped.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Questions after the fact

I had my surgery and came out on the other side intact. A couple of days of not remembering too much, a week of rehab, and then home to begin serious rehab.

I am so grateful that my respiratory status was okay during all of this, and now after a couple of months, I've been told by my surgeon that I can weight bear and begin to walk!

Now what? I was so happy after surgery, feeling less pain, and ready to move forward. Now I wonder what will happen after I can walk, and I am still left with crappy lungs. Once I can walk, will I still be paralyzed with the inability to breathe? Will I still gasp for air with every step I take? Those things can be such torture in and of themselves. Will I work and work and get my legs back only to be too tired from breathing to move?

Well, these questions remain unanswered, and only time will tell. I hope that with hard work, I will be rewarded with better breathing as a side effect.