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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Last chance

It looks as if this is my last chance to do what it is that I do in 2015. Most of all I wish my friends and readers a healthful, bountiful, peaceful New Year. May you receive everything you need to grow to be the best you possible.

A wonderful post crossed my path this morning that pretty much sums up how I feel as the last hours of 2015 slip by. After sharing it with a couple of souls I decided to also share it here. The only thing I know for sure about where my life is headed is that I am supposed to catch all that I can and pass on the information for others to do the same thing.

So I am ending my last post for 2015 with these words, borrowed and shared.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I'm done

Finally all the medical tests I have undergone for the last month to please my doctor are over. No more sticking needles in my arm to extract blood, no more huge machines scanning my body from head to toe. I'm done! Basically the only abnormal findings are I need to breath correctly and take a calcium/vitamin D supplement to strengthen my bones. Not bad for a body as old as mine is.

I swear I look around at people I know who are much younger than I am and think, "what happened to you?". Although I have never been a health nut I have apparently taken reasonably good care of myself. Any negative habits I acquired along the way, due mostly to the influence of others, were dropped years ago.

2015 is ending with a pretty clean slate considering the physical challenges I have dealt with. Financially many would say that I am poor, but I have everything I need and have no bills. Not many people can say that at any age. Personally I believe the poor are those who owe so much they will never get out of debt. What a horrible way to live!

I am grateful for the challenges that I have had. They have created a very strong human who has learned to be proud of every day accomplishments. There is no need to be like anyone else. I am happy being me.

I'm done trying to be like everyone else- that's simply not me.

Friday, December 25, 2015

On Christmas morning

Gifts were opened last night, but there seems to be something missing. I looked through previous posts I had written for an answer and found this one that I would like to share. Here goes:

I missed being a Christmas gift for my parents by a mere three weeks, but at least I was responsible for my mother losing some weight before the big day. Hey thoughtful me I even came in the morning so I wouldn’t interfere with her lunch!

My first born began announcing his arrival very early on Christmas morning. I have always told him it wasn’t my fault. He was due on December 19th. The gift he got that year was the gift of life. The gift I got was assuming the role of a mother.

I have been around for a lot of Christmas events. In all that time I really don’t remember anything I really set my mind to that I wanted for a gift. Growing up our family didn’t have a whole lot of money, but we never seemed to lack anything important like food. My mother spent a lot of hours making gifts with her trusty sewing machine. Her creations for me and my dolls were one of a kind. My father’s gift was usually something he whipped up in the kitchen.

I remember a Christmas when I was in high school. I had a part time job and decided to save up my money to buy my family a special gift. At the time we lived in a rather ratty apartment above my grandfather’s second hand store. It wasn’t a place I felt comfortable bringing friends to. The gift I bought was a whole set of pastel plastic dishes. Dishes are dishes and I couldn’t afford china. That was also the year I decided it was better to give than to receive. I have no idea what my gifts were.

I think that Christmas set the tone for a path I would take in my adult life. I have always found it difficult to receive and only recently have begun to accept the fact that I am worth every single thing that the universe has in store for me. Oh don’t get me wrong, I still give because it makes me happy, but I now also accept not only at Christmas, but all year long.

I would like to share a poem I wrote several years ago for a Christmas telethon for St. Vincent de Paul. It expresses the simple fact that love is the best gift you can give or receive. Isn’t that the reason our Creator became man?

One Gift

If you could have one gift for Christmas

tell me what would it be someone asked.

Seriously pondering the question awhile,

the gift I choose wouldn’t be under the tree.

What I really want for Christmas

I told the person who had asked me

is the most precious treasured gift of all;

LOVE, pure and simple and completely free.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Surprises

Looking back at 77 years of living I am wondering what is left to do. I really wish I had access to that book of life written before I arrived here. Surprises are nice on a birthday maybe, but generally speaking not so good. At least that's been my experience so far.

Take this year for instance. I had no idea last January that I would be dealing with surgery that would not only eliminate the hip/leg pain I had been having, but would cause me to slow down and concentrate on me for a change.

Take the plunge the universe said and I did. I had no way of knowing the results would be so positive. In the last four months something has definitely changed. It's not that I have become self-centered, but I have learned to take care of me first. In doing so the universe seems to come up with little rewards. Just yesterday one or two happened.

First I had kept my yearly vision checkup, with no significant changes. When I went to pay the bill I was told Medicare and my supplement would take care of it. I hadn't expected that. I also ordered a new pair of computer glasses (lenses), which I will have to pay for. I began writing a check and was told the doctor said not to pay the bill until they come in. This doctor never does that- ever.

Second I had been debating whether or not to order a new CD/Radio from Amazon. I was going to wait until after Christmas and finally decided to just do it. My old one needed to be replaced. After I placed the online order I picked up my mail. It included a refund check for an over payment from my physical therapist. The check was about $3 less than the Amazon order. What's funny is that I didn't pay the bill in the first place, my insurance did.

Little things like this keep happening and I am beginning to wonder what in the world is going on.

As 2015 quickly comes to an end I clearly see that things are in the process of changing. Where the next phase of my life is headed I have no idea. I have a strong feeling that as long as I keep putting my welfare first I am in for some interesting surprises.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

I killed my best friend

As a result of a recent lung scan I was informed that I have signs of pulmonary emphysema, most likely the result of age and a past history of smoking. I smoked for 40 years and quit 17 years ago this coming February. I was told by the technician who did the scan that it means no more damage was done after I quit. It doesn't mean the damage already done will fix itself.I am grateful that there are no other signs of lung damage and my condition simply causes a problem with low oxygen from time to time. I accept it as a reminder of not only how stupid I was to smoke, but how smart I was to follow my intuition back in 1999. If I hadn't quit smoking things could be a lot worse.

In 2006 I wrote an article on this subject for a youth group in the hopes that the young readers might get my message. This morning I am sharing it with you in the hopes that it might help others to begin the new year smoke free.

I KILLED MY BEST FRIEND

For a variety of reasons I grew up having very little self-esteem. When I graduated from high school I had no clue what I was supposed to do with the rest of my life. I had been an average student who finished school because it was expected. At 19 I was a very lonely person who desperately needed a best friend.

The friend I choose for the next forty years was three inches tall, smelled bad, controlled my life and led me in the direction of poor health. The relationship was what would be considered abusive today. At the beginning nobody warned me of danger and in all those years nobody offered to help me let go of my destructive companion.

There were of course, those who shook their heads and fingers at me making rude comments about how disgusting this relationship was. They probably thought they were helping, but they only made me angry and caused me to stubbornly refuse to let go.

Seven years ago I looked in the mirror and did not like what I saw. I decided I did not deserve to be controlled by an object that could not possibly move from my hand to my mouth without my help. I realized I was the only one who could end the relationship and I have never been sorry that I did.

Believe me when I say, the only way you will successfully stop smoking or any other negative addiction is to become self centered and care about yourself. Whoever you are, believe that you are a valuable person who deserves the very best life has to offer.

There are people around you who want to help you quit smoking. The hardest thing you have to do is learn to care about yourself and be willing to accept their help. I know from personal experience that once you do that the rest is a breeze.

Do you really want a best friend who is three inches tall, smells bad, controls your life and is leading you in the direction of poor health and perhaps death? If the answer is no, follow my example and give yourself permission to live the healthy life you deserve.

Originally written by inspirational author, Barbara Loure`Gunn, and published in the New Mexico YEAH TIMES (Youth Empowerment Advocacy Heroes newsletter) in 2006.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

When to say enough to your doctor

For the last three weeks I have been the recipient of several tests etc. that are part of Welcome to Medicare B. I feel like I am a test pilot. Everything has been normal, considering my age and the fact that I have a past history of smoking. Nothing really surprised me. The worst thing found is a low vitamin D count. It isn't seriously low, but I do need to take an over the counter supplement. I can do that.

I have a mass on one side of my thyroid that was noticed in a CT scan. No big deal it's been there since at least 1998 and a previous needle biopsy showed it was benign. My new doctor got excited and expected me to have another biopsy. I said absolutely not! I suggested he look back in my records to check the measurement then and compare it to now. If it has grown then and only then will I consider another biopsy. My intuition strongly says there will be no need for that. Doctors aren't always right.

This is probably the first time in my life I have said no to a doctor. Even though Medicare, plus my supplement, would pay the bill that's not a good enough reason to have another biopsy. Even though I appreciate his concern I am done!

So it looks as if I will be starting 2016 in pretty good shape. My doctor made the comment that there are people half my age who aren't as healthy.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Whatever makes you happy

I found this great quote this morning and it was, FIND A NEED AND FILL IT.

It really doesn't matter how big or small that is. If it makes you happy it will make the recipient happy.

During my recent surgery recovery I had some physical restrictions that limited my activity. I didn't want to just sit around and waste time so I scanned my brain to see how I could contribute my talents to my community. I had a friend who used to make little hats for the babies born at our local hospital, but she has moved away. I thought to myself, I could do that. I checked out simple patterns and purchased a skein of baby yarn and began to crochet. In the last few months I have made dozens and donated them to Cibola General Hospital. The nurses are thrilled with my efforts, the caps don't take much time to create and it makes me really happy.

In the past I have done many little things of this nature to contribute to my community. It is how my writing group for senior citizens and my writing camp for elementary students got started.

I look around and notice people saying, "I am so bored". Perhaps if they looked inside and made a list of talents that make them happy those people could connect with the world outside and everyone would be happy.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Just get it done

By the end of December I will have been gone over from head to tow with a fine tooth comb. Apparently the universe wants me to start out 2016 with a healthy body- not so sure about the mind though.

My current journey began about a month ago with attempting my yearly dermatology checkup. That was a bit tricky because I had to replace my regular doctor due to his retirement. I also had to find one who accepts Medicare. On my last appointment I was self pay because I had no insurance. Now I not only have Medicare B, but a supplement that pays what it doesn't cover. After several unsuccessful phone calls I decided to call my old dermatology office and ask if they by any chance now take Medicare. The answer was yes and I made an appointment with one of my former doctor's replacements. Yay! I got to go where all my records are located plus I really like my new doctor.

Next I was discharged by my physical therapist and my surgeon, both assuring me, "you did good".

This morning I took care of the blood tests and EKG that are part of the Welcome to Medicare package. I was also given the orders needed to do several scans, also part of the package.

Tomorrow morning bright and early I will have the aorta scan, lung scan and bone density test done. There is a first time for everything I hear!

To complete the nicely wrapped and free package I have my yearly mammogram scheduled for December 28th with my favorite Cibola General Hospital tech.

The only thing I will have to pay for is my yearly eye exam on December 22, which unfortunately is not covered by anyone but me.

My point to this exposure is that for 12 years I refused to get Medicare B because I didn't want Social Security to take anything out of my monthly benefit check. Now I realize how really stupid that was. My recent hip replacement surgery alone ran up a $41,000 hospital bill. Because I had Medicare B and Mutual of Omaha supplement "G" I paid zero toward that bill. The monthly premiums are nothing compared to what can happen when you aren't looking.

My advice to anyone sitting on the fence is just get it done.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Happy birthday

Yay I did it! Did what you might ask? Completed eleven 7 year DNA cycles. Happy birthday to me!

Wow that's 77 years of people telling me how I should live my life. I not only survived I am thriving. I no longer need others to tell me what to do, I am quite capable of doing things myself. That's not to say that true friends are not a spoonful of sugar making not so pleasant experiences go down. I have some wonderful friends all over the world and I am grateful for every single one of them.

So on this December 2, 2015 I celebrate all that has been and look forward to all that will be as I enter yet another 7 year DNA cycle. Bring it on I am prepared.