The Weston A. Price Way

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What I'm Doing Now that I'm Doing (Living Through Illness- Part 3)

Well, it looks like it's just about past. I am in Day 2 with no fevers, and I am not feeling the exhaustion after a rather full day.

Not full like my full days before I became ill, but the most full I've had since being forced to bed confinement. I hope this gives others hope. I know this thyroid problem is not an everyday thing, so my posts may mean very little to most, but maybe, just maybe, something I post will help you if you have found yourself suddenly bedridden due to illness.

These 3 posts have been about what to do when you're 1)NOT doing, 2) STARTing to do, and 3) Now that you're BACK to doing.

So, now that I'm feeling better, I am doing a few things again...with limits.

We got an emergency phone call from a daughter last evening. Her sitter had a death in the family and the back-up sitter was unavailable. Knowing my husband would be carrying at least part of the childcare responsibility, I asked his thoughts and of course, he turned it back to me. I thought about how I'd felt yesterday and how each day for the last 4 or 5 had me feeling better than the day before. I also considered that they were big enough to get things from the fridge themselves and watch videos/play video games if I ended up needing a break. So, 'we' said, 'yes'...for the first time in weeks. Then came the next question...Could they come spend the night so they wouldn't have to be brought in the morning?...and the immediate answer was, "No, that's just going to be too much at this point." The guilt threatened, but didn't win. I have been SICK and even if my kids don't understand, (because we haven't given them every little detail), just how sick my sick has been, I know, and my husband knows that it seemed like a near-death experience...and we both know there are boundaries to be guarded diligently. That was one of them. For now. Saying no to our kids is difficult, because we love them and always want to make things better for them and their children...but sometimes, the best thing we can do to ensure we'll be around to help them in the future, is say, "No" now.

I do wish it were easier, but it just isn't.

So, as I begin 'doing' again, I was graced with the opportunity to see how I fare with grandkids again...not all, just two...and it went rather well.

They arrived at 8 a.m. Mom had blessedly packed their lunches(!) and fed them breakfast so they came, 'ready-to-go'. I had a cup of coffee...well, since I've been ill, I only have about a half cup and pour the rest on the rosemary bush...and yacked with them a bit on the back deck. Then we started planning our day.

I knew a craft project was in store as it would give me an hour or more of non-laborious work. I keep a box of crafty stuff under the deck table that I have found to come in more than a little handy. At some point, we started talking about our pond and the frogs, tadpoles and fish there. We talked about how 'in the old days', when kids wanted to be alone to kiss, they went to places called 'Lover's Lane' and somehow from there, decided we need to name the pond, "Fish-Kiss Pond" because the fish come up and kiss your toes. We also decided to make a sign for the walkway..."Tadpole Way"...or something like that. We moved from that subject to the subject of how, at dusk, the toads begin to come from their hiding places all over the yard to meet their 'dates' at the pond. Then we thought how cool it would be if there were a little 'toad village' near the pond...maybe around the edges in the pond's flower garden...and from there an idea was born.

Within their reach were four terra-cotta flower pots on the potting table, so I sent them to fetch the pots and clean them out at the hose. Meanwhile, I gathered paints, water, brushes and sponges, paper towels, etc...We were going to create two toad houses...and save the other two pots for the other two grandchildren who will be here next week. The deck was already heating was the hottest day of the year so far I turned the fan on 'high'. The 10-year old didn't need much help...He decided his toad's name would be 'Retro Rodney' and got busy painting a night-scene on his toad house. The nearly seven-year old chose the name 'Sunset Suzy', which I thought was super cool since they don't come out until the sun is setting. Her house was painted with green grass and flowers and a lacy top. Both homes had an upside-down U drawn on a bottom edge for Papa to cut out later. Above this door way, I painted a sign with the home-owner's name. Rod's has red and yellow bolts of lighting shooting out around his name. Suzy had a ruffled border in sunset orange. Because painting was done in layers, the project took nearly 2 hours.

In the meantime, we talked and drank ice-water. At some point, while the youngest was waiting for paint to dry and the eldest was still deeply involved in painting, I asked the youngest if she wanted to help me make 'Natural Soda' (tibicos), which of course, she did...insisting that she was the 'Master Taste-Tester'. (I'm pretty sure she'd want me to pass along that she definitely prefers the apple.) She helped me transfer the ready products into sealed bottles and then assisted me in making the next batch which will take two days to get ready. I am trying to stay 'ahead of the game' as the kids and Jim all really like tibicos, especially over ice in the summer...So refreshing. But of course, with being ill, I had made none in weeks and Jim had commented about missing it a few times, so on my first day of beginning to feel a little normal, (2 days ago), I started 2 half gallons. Today, they are bottled and chilling in the fridge-one is blueberry and the other is apple...and both are good!

When these were done, I thought to take them to a beach, a quiet one, a few minutes away. So, they helped with clean-up and we packed a couple of towels and sunblock spray, the lunches they brought plus a couple sandwiches just in case, and some organic applesauce. It was easy, and they understood, after my coaching, that when we got there, Nana was not going to be able to carry much and once we got there, I wasn't going to be swimming or moving around much because it was very important that I rest. And when we arrived, they were great about helping. We ate lunch on a blanket right by the water, they got a little wet, I sat in my chair and got my feet wet, then walked into the water up to my thighs...It was starting to get hot, so we left. We probably weren't there a full hour, but they were satisfied and I wasn't leaving exhausted.

After that, the place where we were had several playgrounds so I rode them around in the air-conditioned van and let them pick the one they wanted to play in. When they chose, I pulled under the shade of an oak tree, sat on a cool-feeling picnic table beneath it, and let them play to their heart's content...which was about half an hour. I watched them and the birds and delighted in the breeze and coolness of the shade. Then one had a blister from so much monkey-bar play and I, usually so diligent about my first aid kit, had left it in my other purse, so it was a fine excuse to cut out before tiredness set in.

At home, I doctored the wound, unpacked what little needed to be unpacked, changed back into my home clothes, as did they, and my husband occupied them while I rested...He cut the 'doors' for their toad houses. The only thing left for the houses is to have a protective clear spray...tomorrow, most likely. Then they will go into the pond garden...or the 'Kinder Garden' I created with kid help just before I became ill.

After that, it was nothing but a light-weight video and me in the lounger. I knew I was getting tired because I was getting cranky. The video was a good one and lasted long enough for me to feel a bit refreshed. That's when the youngest and I went out and let the fish kiss our toes as we dangled them in the cool pond. Then I decided I needed to paint my toenails, so I sat on the lounge to do that...just as their mom got here, (early) to pick them up.

I didn't have to even think about dinner as while I was busy with the children this morning, my husband had met my mother-in-law so she could give him a casserole of chicken-n-dumplings. This is one of those things I spoke of in my last post...Remember when I said if someone asks if they can help, accept their help...or tell them what you need? Well, she asked and I told her I would love some of her chicken-n-dumplings. And tonight, that was dinner. And I am eternally grateful.

Because I had no energy expended into dinner, after the kids left, I was able to 'play' with some lights I had strung around the pond and luminaries...just about 10 minutes worth of 'fiddling' and making them 'look right'. Then, about 3 minutes of rose pruning, while sitting on a bench. At this point, my physical day was basically done...but praise God, not because I was so exhausted lifting my legs was an effort, but because I am conscious of pacing myself. I decided this was the end of my physical day.

So, it seems I've done much today...and compared to recent days, indeed, I have! But much of the day has been done in a sitting position, and that has helped much in my efforts to 'keep paced'. I hope, soon, to incorporate more stand-time into the days, but for now, the small chores of dishwashing, sweeping, and walking from close point A to close point B are enough. I know this because I do not ache and I am not overly tired...just tired enough.

In ending, I have some Word to share:

"He gives power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increases strength." Isaiah 40:29

"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."  Isaiah 40:31

"Then your light will break forth like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily spring forth; And your righteousness will go before you; the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard."  Isaiah 58:8

To God be the Glory.

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