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Sunday, August 16, 2015

D day count down

I'm almost at "D" day as Walmart would say. The D stands for decision day. I have 4 more days that I could change my mind about my hip replacement. No I'm not going to do that, but I could if I wanted to. I was told at the two hour rehab class I attended last week that it is considered "elective surgery". Oh really? Whether to have it or not depends entirely on how much/long the patient is willing to tolerate pain.

Until July 1, 2015 I did not have the financial support to consider surgery or even go to an orthopedic surgeon to check out the situation. My only option was to suffer in silence, which I have done for the last 3 to 4 years. Now that I have Medicare B + Mutual of Omaha supplement G everything will be paid for. What a great feeling it is to walk out of a medical facility without reaching for a credit card. (Technically my Medicare premium is being picked up by the State and I only pay $119.87 per month for my M of O premium, which is no comparison to the thousands the final bill will be.)

This experience is certainly giving me a taste of what people living with physical problems that require assists like a walker, cane, wheelchair etc. have to deal with every day. They all require learning a new way of moving and they all come with their own set of rules. Retraining a brain as an adult is not an easy task. I have been practicing "as if" for the last couple of weeks and it has not been fun. The one good thing is I only have to follow the rules of movement for 6 weeks or so and then I can mostly go back to the way I was doing things before the surgery. For instance, I can take a bath instead of a shower, sleep on either side instead of my back, cross my legs if I want to and bend my body in any direction I choose. The good thing is if I do follow all the rules I can look forward to complete bone healing and my life will be better then before.

There are many people out there whose end results will not improve, including some of the patients who attended the rehab class. There were a couple of participants who I am sure will decide to make up their own movement rules. I intend to do my best to follow the rules.

I am very grateful for the way my life has turned out, including being given a taste of physical challenges others deal with every day. My life has always been a smorgasbord of unusual experiences. I have decided that is no doubt why I am a writer. It gives me an opportunity to share with others how I deal with the challenges I have been given.

Alright Universe: my final decision is BRING IT ON!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

A spirit volunteer

Several months ago I submitted an article titled, A Spirit Volunteer to Chicken Soup. They were going to be publishing a book on volunteers and I was hopeful, for many reasons, that my work would be included. Well, since their book is supposed to come out on August 18th and I have not heard from them I can pretty much assume that it won't be. This fact also frees me to share the story with my readers. If you are interested please read on.

A Spirit Volunteer

As I was struggling to write a new chapter in a book I was working on I became aware of the voice of my intuition. I stopped what I was doing and listened. Knowing it was divine guidance that had never led me astray before I set out to perform the task it was suggesting.

I cut three daffodils growing in my yard, placed them in a plastic cup and added water and a few glass pebbles. I started my car and drove to the cemetery near my home. After parking the car I picked up my gift and walked to the grave of a young girl who had died of cancer. I had experienced a close spiritual connection with her soul that I did not fully understand. Kneeling, I placed the flowers on her headstone and quietly asked, “Can you help?”

Instantly, two voices coming from the back of the cemetery repeated a variation of my question. One was female and the other male, both asking, “Can you help me?”

I could clearly see that I was the only human in the small cemetery. Startled, I quickly returned to the safety of my car. To say the voices shook me up would be the understatement of my life. They received my full attention. I tried to figure out who the voices were and what they were asking me to do for them.

For some time I had been taking photographs that clearly showcased images of souls no longer living a human life. I finally realized the cemetery voices represented all deceased souls. They were asking me to use the pictures to speak for them and to assure those left behind that we never die; we are simply transmuted to another form. The photographs were a tool that added credibility to what the spirits were asking me to do.

The question remained, would I comply with their request to consciously help them communicate with those still living a human life? I had come this far, why not? My answer was yes.

Since that day I have freely shared their photographs and their messages at every opportunity I have been given. I feel honored to have been chosen as a spirit volunteer.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Should I or shouldn't I?

I just spent the last couple of weeks taking care of the things that needed doing before my surgery. The last chore were getting my dog groomed, paying the plumber for my latest water pipe problem and touching up the paint on the bathroom ceiling from the recent leak damage. I have had way too much to deal with lately and I hope this trend is coming to an end.

I also had my hair cut shorter than usual and just for the fun of it decided it would be an ideal time to change the color. Since I was actually born a platinum blonde (that could explain a lot) my hair has naturally and unnaturally been a number of shades of blonde/brown through the years, with a lot of my father's red peeking out, as a teenager.

So to make a long story short, I purchased a box of reddish blonde. It sat on my bathroom counter for several days while I decided if I was brave enough to use it. Today I was!

I was almost afraid to look in the mirror to check out what I had done. I kept saying, please don't let it be too red. When I looked, I decided it wasn't exactly what I had expected, but it really wasn't that bad. The red took more in some areas than others, giving it an interesting color. I was going for different, to go with my new hip, so I guess I will just have to get used to both.

Anyway, nobody at the hospital where I will only be spending a couple of days has ever seen me before. The nurses will most likely be more concerned with my therapy than my hair color. I still have a couple of weeks before the event so I could recolor it, but I think I will just let it grow out naturally; proving that I should have and I am not sorry that I did. So there!

Not too red I guess!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Back to the present

For the last week or so I have been getting my house ready for post surgery living by pretending it is already happening. I have been living in the future and taking a what if attitude. With my surgery three weeks away it is now time to switch back to the present, as I have several pre-surgery appointments to deal with before the big day.

Thanks to generous friends I have the loan of a walker, an adjustable cane, a raised toilet seat and I just purchased a shower stool and a safety bar for the bath and a grabber. My living room furniture has been rearranged, creating an uncluttered path through the house from my bedroom to my office, giving me a clear area for daily walking; which I have been told is the only rehab necessary following a hip replacement. There are of course, a few exercises done while laying on the bed to strengthen various muscles. A friend who recently had knee surgery suggested I start those now instead of waiting until after the surgery. I took her advice and can already see some improvement in mobility and a little less pain.

My kitchen also took on an adjustment of sorts. I kept imagining how I would reach things without the temporary ability to bend at the waist, which is a rehab no no for several weeks. As a result, things I use every day, like pots and pans and certain dishes, were moved to an easier reach position. More than once I asked, "why didn't I do that before?".

My house is as ready as it's going to be. I wish I was! I feel much like a mother waiting for the birth date of her first child. I go between wanting to get this experience over with and not wanting it to happen at all.

It is time to get back to the present and live each of the remaining 20 days until my surgery as they occur.