Saturday musings …

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Another week of healing has gone by. After last weekend’s stress – all related to medicine prompting nosebleeds, the last few days have been quiet – but – I realize that I haven’t written a blog in some time. Perhaps it was the chaos; perhaps I was too weak; perhaps I had nothing to say (not likely).

Today I am watching it snow – which is good because we don’t have much snow cover. For those of you that live in the city, when we – in the country – flush our toilet, it does not go into a pipe and is carried far away. Instead, it goes into a tank in the ground – tanks that can freeze up. We’ve already had that happen once this year. The snow is also not good – it brings the work of shoveling and plowing. But overall, the snow is good.

One of my techniques for healing is reading. I am currently reading “The Able Life of Cody Jane.” This book tells the story of Cody and her life with spina bifida. It was very ably written by her mother, Marly Cornell. I am striken with similarities to my recent medical experiences – the absolute fear when you are on your own, the vulnerability, and the hospital protocol that does not allow for adjustments to suite the needs of the patient. I am about half done with this book – so I may have more to say when I am done.

I also knit to heal. This was quite a productive week with dish cloths, spa cloths, scrubbies and significant progress on a ski mask. Knitting makes me stop and focus. It calms my mind – which is always racing from one idea to another. And it makes me feel productive. For someone who is used to being very active – and, at least for now – suddenly cannot be, this is important.

I also started a valentine craft project. There is something about creating and working with your hands that also promotes healing, Perhaps it is just that I have to pay attention to what I am doing. I can’t work as long as I  would like – shaky fingers are not good when cutting — but I can take it one step at a time.

And that is what I continue to do. One step at a time.

Thanks for reading. I hope you return. 

Still healing … and sleeping

Tomorrow it will be three weeks since my heart stent surgery. It seems like it has been much longer … healing is slow, very slow – complicated by my lung disease. I’m sure I am getting stronger each day – although some days are spent mostly sleeping – whether I want to or not. However, that’s better than in the beginning  . . .

After the first few days, I simply could not sleep. So, I decided to take matters in hand and took two benadryl tablets to help me sleep. Well, that may not have been the best idea. Soon I was in a state of delusion. For whatever reason, I thought that I must sleep sitting straight up. If I moved and did not keep the position, the clock would turn backward and morning would never come. And it appeared to work!  When I slide down in the chair, the clock appeared to move backward. When I sat up straight, the clock moved forward. So, there I sat – straight up – waiting for morning to come. It seemed like many hours had passed but the clock never seemed to move past 5:00 (am). Finally, morning came and it was 7:00 am. For several days following, I tried to stay awake as long as I could, hating the thought of watching that clock all night.

As for sleep medication, I will not be taking a double dose of benadryl again. Interestingly, however, I told this story to one of the nurses during my remicade infusion treatment this week. She said that sleep-deprived people can become delusional – without any help from medication. So, perhaps the delusion was just me. In any case, no more benadryl.

I am surprised about how weak I am. Never would I have imagined a time where I was too weak to knit !!!!! – or – too weak to read !!! I have finally started to knit a little – and read a little — so progress is being made.

Thanks for reading. I hope you return.

A nice surprise … the Wall that Heals

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Vietnam Veterans Memorial Replica at Barker’s Island in Superior, MN. (Lake Superior is in the background.)

Recently we traveled to Two Harbors to deliver our son’s vehicle to him. After lunch with he and his family, we headed to Duluth to spend a few hours before we returned home. We visit Duluth – and Lake Superior — as often as we can. I’m pretty sure we could conduct one heck of a visitor’s tour of the area.

One of our mandatory stops is Canal Park, often to visit the Canal Park Museum – this time to get the 2018 copy of Know Your Ships. (We are long-time dedicated Great Lakes shipping fans.) And, then, of course – the visit to the popcorn wagon, that sits in the parking lot area of the museum, is a must.

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Popcorn wagon in Canal Park, Duluth

We often also take  a quick ride across the Blatnik Bridge to the City of Superior to see the ships in port. This time we decided to see if anything had changed on Barker’s Island, home of the S S Meteor Whaleback Ship museum. (For more information on the museum, Click HERE.)

To our surprise, however, we found that The Wall that Heals Vietnam Veterans Memorial Replica and Mobile Education Center was on display on the lawn and parking lot area of the museum.

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The following text, as stated on their web page, describes the purpose of the display.

“On Veterans Day 1996, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) unveiled a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., designed to travel to communities throughout the United States. Since its dedication, The Wall That Heals has visited more than 400 cities and towns throughout the nation, spreading the Memorial’s healing legacy to millions.

Bringing The Wall home to communities throughout our country allows the souls enshrined on the Memorial to exist once more among family and friends in the peace and comfort of familiar surroundings. The traveling exhibit provides thousands of veterans who have been unable to cope with the prospect of facing The Wall to find the strength and courage to do so within their own communities, thus allowing the healing process to begin.”

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We arrived at the exhibit shortly before the day’s end; however, I was still able to peruse the displays in the mobile education center and walk most of the wall. My brother, and many of my friends and high school classmates, served in Vietnam so this was a very sobering experience for me, but it is well worth the visit should the exhibit come to an area near you.

For more information on the wall, Click HERE. 

Thanks for reading. I hope you will return.