Time to take care of me

The last few years have been so weird. Several illnesses, including cancer; lots of time in the hospital - one stretch was 33 days; several operations. My mother going downhill for many months and dying, in the midst of it all. My husband becoming crippled with a bad hip and needing new hip surgery, in the midst of it all. Giving my dog, Willa, to another owner - a really good owner, but still not the same as having her here with me - because we were just overwhelmed with all the other issues and feeling like we couldn't give her what she needed, which for a five-year-old Golden Retriever includes lots of exercise and we certainly were in no shape for that. But I miss her every day and I still cry if I let myself start thinking about her. Why didn't we just hire someone to exercise her? I think we were kind of crazed and just not thinking clearly. It is a mistake I will regret forever.

So, my sewing and fiber work pretty much went down the tubes, for a long, long time. And I got very depressed. And I started spending almost all of my time in bed. And I didn't leave the house for months. Until I finally started seeing a shrink, so I had to leave the house for that. And he got me on some medication, and after switching and tweaking, that finally started to help. And then I started this blog, which helped. Finally, several months ago, I thought I was maybe ready to re-enter the world, so to speak. I even signed up to do one show - as you know if you've been following this blog.

Re-entering the world turned out to be more difficult than I anticipated. Mostly because I continued to be so tired. And it just got worse and worse, instead of better. I didn't feel depressed so much as I just felt groggy and out of it. Like I'd be sitting in front of the computer and I'd start to nod off, in the middle of the day. I pretty much stopped driving, certainly for long distances, because I was afraid of falling asleep at the wheel. Turns out this was a symptom of hyperparathyroidism, which I've had for a few years. I was supposed to have the offending parathyroid gland removed three years ago, but I procrastinated. I didn't realize how serious it really was. The gland regulates calcium in the blood stream, and it has been leaching calcium from my bones, pretty much constantly, that whole time. All my checkpoint bones have full blown osteoporosis now.

I finally made plans for surgery - with a doctor at Yale who is internationally-known for this particular operation. Cool! The plan was to also remove my thyroid. I figured I'd have a quick recovery and then go into heavy duty overdrive to get ready for the show. Ha, ha, ha. At the pre-surgery meeting, they told me to expect three weeks recovery! Oh, no!

So, I made a decision I probably should have made a few weeks (or more) ago. I canceled my participation in the show. I feel bad about doing it. The show producers are very nice and I don't like to cause them difficulty. However, I canceled six weeks before the show, and there is still room for a few exhibitors, so it's not like I was taking up a space that caused someone else to be denied. Maybe I am just rationalizing, but I'm trying to keep myself from feeling guilty about backing out of the show.

As fate would have it, we decided, pretty much at zero hour, to remove only the parathyroid and leave the thyroid alone, except to monitor it. I feel much better with that decision. The recovery is also a lot easier, although I am in no way ready to do anything in overdrive.

What I am finding is that it is time to take care of me. To focus on healing. To not stress about whether I am doing a show, whether I have enough stuff to sell. Time to say yes to things like lunch with a friend, instead of no because I'm too busy with getting ready for a show. Time to get back into yoga class, to try eating a healthier diet - caffeine and sugar all day to stay awake isn't healthy! Time to read a book. Time to have a date with my husband. Time to take a walk - which I did yesterday, camera in hand. These pictures are the result. I hope you like them. And I hope this post isn't more information than you really want to know.