Friday, December 7, 2012

Beating Gratitude

Hearts in Nature

There are theories that we only get so many breathes or so many beats of our hearts in a lifetime...I am hoping this is incorrect.  My resting heart rate is still around 94, which is considered "poor" by all standards, especially considering my blood pressure struggles to reach 100/60 and I am not overweight.  It's a sign that my body is still stressed, still fighting off infections.  But when I see these numbers it reminds me of those creepy clocks you can get that counts down your life expectancy.  Who in their right mind would want to stare at that all day...not me.  My heart may still be beating too fast, but it is filled with gratitude.  My amazing friend here has been well, my heart is grateful.  After the third blood treatment in a row yesterday as I got home and my heart was pounding out of my chest just to get upstairs to collapse into bed, she continued to care for me.  She dealt with the cable guy, she dealt with a bed delivery, and without me asking she made me dinner and when I didn't think I could eat she gently pushed me to so I was taken care of before she needed to leave.  These are the things that make your heart swell with gratitude, these gestures of kindness, sometimes you just have to accept that it is your turn to accept the graciousness of others.  Humble, it makes you humble.

This is my simple religion.  There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy.
Our own brains, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy in kindness..

My heart is well cared for these days, and although it continues to beat too fast, I am grateful that it feels loved.  All of this support and kindness directed my was has brought strength to that organ that had begun to collect pretty many scars.  When this illness started, now almost 8 plus years ago, every day I felt as if it not only chipped away at my body, every day it broke a piece of my heart.  

This Eddie Vedder video is beautiful and it speaks of how he feels his entire being changed when he had his daughter..."it changes your brain waves...your chemical reactions..."  I couldn't agree more and can not thank all of you enough for writing to me, commenting on my blog, reading and has begun I truly believe to change my DNA.  Thank you, for you are now apart of this journey and you have made my heart stronger.

Eddie Vedder - Skipping - 

I want to comment in case people reading this are CFS sufferers...I am doing a completely unconventional treatment protocol with an extremely talented doctor.  My high heart rate is consistent with Orthostatic Intolerance that nearly 95% of CFS/ ME individuals suffer.  I have chosen not to go on beta blockers, with the blessing from my cardiologist.  However, please take the time to read Sue Jackson's blog post regarding beta blockers and how they have helped her and others.  Whatever works...that is what i say...whatever you find that works for you...In Depth Information on Beta Blockers for CFS and Heart Conditions we deal with. 

Tilapia Tears...

It's been one of those days...that you are just waiting for the one kind word or gesture or the one little thing that goes wrong and you know you will be in a puddle of despair.  It's Thursday, and my day "off" from the doctor, but all that really feels like is a really long day by myself.  I came off of a weekend that I managed entirely by myself.  Then three days in a row of blood treatments, one in which my vein collapsed so we needed to change arms, and yesterday where we needed a side arm vein so my arm was bent and my hand began dripping in sweat.  When I got home after the treatment it took everything in me to get upstairs as I climbed the steps my heart began pounding out of my chest.  I have been doing so well, this is to be expected, but never pleasant.  My dear friend had dealt with the cable guy, dealt with a bed delivery, cleaned the kitchen, made me a lovely dinner with out asking if I needed it and fed Sophie.  As she came upstairs with my dinner I wasn't sure I could sit up to eat, but she gently persisted that I needed some food in me, and nothing tastes better than a meal prepared with love.

However today I woke up wondering how in the hell am I going to do it all by myself today.  Kristine, my helper, has a cold and therefore can't be around me.  Minute by minute I managed.  In these moments of fatigue you need to take every task and minimize it...get eggs out of refrigerator, get butter, crack eggs, find your stool to sit is fatigue so overwhelming that the thought of scrambling eggs seems like too much work, that adds a fork, a bowl and mixing to the situation.  I got through the mid-morning pretty well, then drove Sophie to the groomer. I decided I needed to see people so I went to the resort and just sat and people watched.  Then as I was picking up Sophie I could feel it come crumbling down.  I haven't had much of an appetite today, the thought of making and eating seemed like too much work.  So at about 8:30 I began to heat up the spaghetti and meat sauce and sauté some can do this.  Then I opened the refrigerator and realized that Sophie was out of her food.  I opened the freezer and thankfully there was frozen tilapia for her...but that was was frozen and that was the break in the damn and the floodgates opened.  Why, why is this all so difficult, I looked around at a kitchen full of dishes, stared at disdain at the pasta that had become dinner last night, lunch today and dinner again...I looked at my sweet dog that I didn't know how I was going to take outside...and then wondered how am the hell am I going to do this when my best friend here leaves in 5 days for Europe?  The walls just came crashing down on me and the acknowledgement that yes I am better but I am not healthy enough to manage without help smacked me in the face.  I picked up the phone and dialed my friend and she said she would be in the car and make it here in 20, no I am fine...I just needed the cry and the tilapia it just gave me the excuse.  Sometimes, you just need the excuse.

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