Thursday, September 30, 2021

Hard Domestic Duties

Tuesday was dark and wet. Still, it was lovely and mild and so our morning walking group was happy as we walked in our rain gear through the forest paths.

I came home to read. I’m reading The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao. It won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2008, and I’m really liking it. The author, Juno Diaz, uses grammatically unusual sentences and lots of Dominican and Hispanic idioms and leaves it to us to figure out what they mean. He also uses a lot of educational footnotes, and I find that unusual in a fictional novel.

Late in the afternoon, the spa repairman got my tub going again as Her Highness and I went for our afternoon walk. 

Today has been a frantic day of domestic duties. I emptied my fridge, took out all the shelves and drawers and washed them all before re-stocking the fridge. The cleaning was long overdue. I also sterilized the microwave, thoroughly cleaned and tidied my pantry and cleaned out the fireplace. Plus, I shopped and vacuumed every room. 

All that activity earned me the right to relax for the rest of the day.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

No More Seizures

I had a very reassuring meeting with Dr. Majic. I have a much better understanding of blood pressure and how to manage it. He gave me immense relief and, even better, he said that I will not be one of his patients that is moved to another doctor. As well, I now understand why I tire so easily. Yes, I’m getting older, but my heart also now has three scars, one from each heart attack I’ve had, and they compromise my hearts ability to pump blood.

Tuesday morning, Her Highness and I did not go for our regular morning walk. I stayed home so as not to miss the visit of the spa technician, called to address the worrying sounds that the water pump in my spa in my spa is making. He came at noon and quickly determined the problem. He removed the engine and took it away for an overhaul.  A seal had been eroded by leaking spa water.

Shortly after he left, I noticed that the faucet of the kitchen sink is leaking. And when Her Highness and I went walking, I had a hard time getting in. I think the battery in my car open the case. Two more f’ing things that must be fixed or replaced.

Otherwise, the afternoon was fine. We had lots of sunshine and mild temperatures. Still, I didn’t do much. The highlight of the day was the abundance of birds. Lots of Jays, Woodpeckers, Flickers, a Cooper’s Hawk, Towhees and zillions of little ones: Chickadees, Nut Hatchers, Finches, Sparrows, Juncos, and Warblers.

When we went for our afternoon walk, it was as though someone had taped a Forest scented air freshener pad across my nostrils. The uplifting fragrance was intense, and I loved it. And the sunshine! It was truly lovely to experience of being outside today. That too, is intense, because of consciousness of the coming seasons.

The situation with my lawns eats at my soul. How I feel reminds me of how I felt after breakups. It’s like my yard, my offspring, has hideous acne. But it seems ludicrous to re-seed and soil every year.

The name of this blog is The Philocolist.” A lover of beauty. But to make this yard, not into something showy, simply have a recurring lawn, would cost more than I want to spend. The solution for the lawn problem, is for me is to become comfortable with aesthetic compromise.

I reckon I’ll try to find a gardener come Springtime to help me decide what to do. I could get more trees to grow, close to the front of the house—deciduous trees, that would help shade the front lawn and, hopefully, help it endure the Summer. Or I could cover the front lawn with mulch. I’m considering options to discuss with the incoming gardener who will be young, fit, obscenely handsome and prone to working shirtless in shoulder-strap coveralls. Duh!

The amount of time since my last seizure keeps expanding. If they’re not over completely yet, they will be because the gaps between feel like eternity now. I don’t warn people about the possibility of my having one anymore. For me now, FND is only a speech problem. On the outside.

I stopped going to Dr. Shoja, but I haven’t stopped thinking. My thinking drove the narrative of our sessions over all those years. She helped me understand how our mind and our emotions can have significant impact on our bodies, and she helped me adjust to communicating so differently.

My thinking has changed my relationship with my past. There’s the cliché of “letting go,” but I don’t know what that means. My memories don’t hurt quite as much anymore. I mean, Jesus, I’m, about to become 74. It’s about time.

I see myself differently. If I was writing a biographical screenplay, I’d describe Chris as ‘damaged, but a survivor,’ but the focus of the story would be about the wisdom and courage of survivors.

Days 1and 2 of my dieting have passed well. Mr. Rebound Dieter is going down again. I’m in no hurry, this is going to be show but sure. And I know, that this has to be forever if I want to stay healthy.

And yay! My spa is back in working condition and really nice and quiet now. One thing off my ‘to do’ list.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

I ❤️ Support Groups

Meeting the two women (via Zoom) who were also diagnosed with FND has changed my relationship with my condition. Talking with them was incredible. They made me feel lucky to be able to be living my life mostly alone in extremely quiet rural surroundings. They asked if I felt my isolation was by choice or if I felt restricted by FND.

Although I love my life here very, very much, it was not I choice. I felt compelled to move out of the city, and Dr. Shoja said it would probably do more for me than she or any medicine could do. FND has drastically changed my life and these new Stamma  meetings via Zoom have given me a safe place to talk about my coping strategies and feelings.

I have been profoundly moved by the sense of relief and greater understanding of my condition that my two Zoom support groups have brought to my life. I get from them, the same sense of calming and understanding that Dr. Shoja gave me. They give me community; they are kindred spirits.

In less than a week I’m to go to Vancouver for a couple of short visits with friends, and to a friend’s wedding—a friend whom I haven’t seen since the early 1960s. After the wedding, I’m going to sleep in the van with Sheba. I’ll be back late Sunday afternoon.

I’m doing this because I think it’s important to socialize, but I’m kind of dreading the whole trip. I will know exactly two people at the wedding. One thing will be fabulous: lunch at Ancora restaurant before the wedding.

Swell … Here I go again. I’ve got to lose weight. I lost 49 pounds last year and I’ve put a lot of it back on. Dr. Majic told me to lose 5 pounds; I figure Ican lose more than that, and I figure I can keep it off this time. I must moderate my intake of sweets permanently, just as I have done with Marijuana and Diet Coke. 

Nureyev's grave: A gorgeous mosaic rug.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Sunny Saturday; Rainy Sunday

All the Mosses are back!

Ferns have revived not that the drought is over.

Saturday began with a lovely long walk through a forest full of emerging life after a few days of rain a while back and cooler temperatures. (See above.) The Ferns are slowly coming back but the Salal is fully revived, and the Fall forest fragrances are divine.

Once home and after lunch, I seeded the final part of the former wasteland and scattered some seeds over the worst patches of the front lawn. Then I planted all my Garlic cloves. I’m going to have a great harvest of Garlic come Summer.

All the rest of the day I spent on the couch. I am a titch worried about my blood pressure reaching 192 because when it went super high (246) when I was in hospital, I couldn’t make any of my muscles work. I’m deathly afraid of that happening again—and worse, when I am on my own here.

Sunday was dark and damp, but the rain held off for the morning dog walk with my large group. We were about twenty dogs and owners. The light rain was welcome when it started shortly after I got home, considering I seeded a lot of land yesterday.

I had a bit of a consult with a nurse via the government's medical hot line. She advised me to see Dr. Majic, but theorized that my high blood pressure could be due to my kidney disease. So this is how it goes, I thought, death by a thousand little cuts. I feel slightly defeated by my various health issues; there's always so much work to do here. But I have vowed to carry on. I have never, ever, lived in a place I've loved more.

In the late afternoon, we had real rain and I loved it, it being a lazy Sunday. I love the coziness of its sound on my metal roof as I sit by the fire.