Dialysis Days and Covid-19

Dialysis days are always fraught with the unknown. He can come out of a treatment feeling just fine, but other days he’s weak and prone to dizziness. Some days his heart rate is fine and his blood pressure steady, other days not so much. Today was a dialysis day. It was not one of the “good” days. He’s resting now while I write. That’s good. He needs it.

One of the added stressors to going out for treatment is the fact that the unit is on the fourth floor of the local hospital. Hubby is one of the so-called vulnerable. His health is fragile and under normal conditions that’s challenging enough. Then along came a pandemic to add even more layers to an already precarious existence. Although neither of us spoke of it we were both anxious about him leaving the house at all, but dialysis is not something one can afford to miss. However, the added stress was allayed somewhat when the powers that be set up a coronavirus testing clinic across town and far from the hospital. In addition, nobody can enter the hospital without being questioned at the door. A hand sanitizer is ever present and the public are commanded to use it. There is no choice given. That has also made us both feel a bit better.

So far, we have been incredibly fortunate. According to the municipality there are only four confirmed cases of the dreaded covid-19 here in our fair city. I do have to give a shout out to the mayor and councilors for doing a stellar job. The city moved fast to make sure the pandemic didn’t get a foot hold here. I am glad they took the precautions they did. Yet, as we all know, the virus is a sneaky thing and can lay in wait in people who display not a single symptom, yet can infect others. The coming weeks and months will tell the tale. But, so far, so good. Here’s hoping for continued good fortune, even while I am heartsick at the stories coming out of major cities around the world. My thoughts and prayers are with them all, especially the most vulnerable whom I identify with most closely. God help us all.

Walking off the stress and anxiety

We are most fortunate to live in an apartment building with a very nice green space behind it. Like most of us dealing with the fallout from Covid-19 I have been anxious and stressed at times. The unknowns can be challenging, to say the least. So, I decided enough was enough and I had to do something positive to deal with it. I’m afraid I am not a terribly active person. I figure my job at the library gives me lots of physical activity with lots of walking back and forth and completing various tasks. But, with the virus came the news that the library would be closed for the time being so I have been at home basically 24/7 with only trips to the grocery stop for necessities and the trips to the hospital for hubby’s dialysis treatments. It is still winter here in Alberta, although the calendar says differently. Luckily the sun has been shining even while cold northern breezes still blow. Here are a few photos of the walkway around the green space.

Although this isn’t the best photograph (it was still twilight when I entered the still snow covered green space. It was a nice invigorating evening walk.
The municipality has been doing a stellar job at keeping the pathway cleared for people who walk their dogs here or families stroll with their little ones. I am so grateful for this space.

Although the calendar says it’s spring winter hangs on longer in the North. I am grateful for sunny days, even if it is still a bit nippy outside.

Hope this finds you all healthy and finding ways to handle the inevitable stress. Stay well my friends and stay safe.

Waiting for the other shoe to drop

“This expression alludes to a person awakened by a neighbor who loudly dropped one shoe on the floor and is waiting for the second shoe to be dropped. (Early 1900s)” – Dictionary.com

We have been waiting for it to happen; for the other shoe to drop. It was inevitable. We knew it. He would end up back on dialysis. It was merely a matter of time. Diabetes had ravaged his kidneys to such an extent that they were failing. Diabetes sucks. It really, truly does. So, here we are. So what? Life goes on and we will deal. You know I lie, right? I am endlessly the optimist and at the very same time a pragmatic realist. Mixed in there as well is the wisher and dreamer. The one with her head stuck in the sand. I swear I do have ostrich DNA in the mixture of my gene pool. I want to wave a magic wand and make it all go away even as the realist in me puts up sound arguments for acceptance. Even as I mourn the news we got yesterday.

However, like most things in life there was an up side. A spot had opened up here in town so there will be no lengthy stay in the big city. I am trying hard not to dwell on the downside of it all. Somebody died in order for hubby to have that spot. Why did the doctor have to tell us that? Why? I really could have done without that added bit of information. Aw, but there it is. I am truly grateful he will have a spot. Yet, I am saddened knowing a family somewhere here in town is grieving their loved one. That bit of information also put horrendous expectations in place again. Kidney disease – dialysis can only do so much. It cannot clean all toxins from the blood and so there will come a day when the other shoe will drop again. But until that time, I pray we will use the time given wisely and thankfully. Life truly is a gift. Please, Divine One, help me not dwell on morbid expectations and maudlin thoughts. Help me give thanks for this reprieve once again.

I ask, and I ask again

For nearly two months my husband has been hospitalized. Near the beginning of this month he was sent by air ambulance to a bigger hospital in the city. I have accompanied him on his journey. He is still recovering. I am staying at a place that was once the residence building of the university, of which this hospital is part. I have met so many lovely people here. All of them are here to support loved ones who are suffering serious health issues, some are terminal. Often, in the middle of the night I pray for them, even as I ask God to heal my husband.

Here in this place filled with people who are suffering this I ask: please, heal the sick, but we know healing takes place in many different ways, in many different forms.

So, I ask, bring to us all that we need, whether that is healing of our hearts, minds, bodies, or our souls; whether it is financial help that’s needed or a friendly hand to hold; whether it’s strength to face another day or to advocate on behalf of our loved ones; whether we need rest and relaxation or to laugh and sing; whether it’s moments of solemn prayers or to express sheer joy in the gift of life; whether it is a home-cooked meal or shelter; whether it’s comfortable clothing or a bed to sleep in whether we need physical outlets or relief from worry.

O Divine One, I ask and I ask again. Please come to us now. Help us in our time of need. Please create in us grateful hearts capable of accepting your will for our lives. And, I ask for the wisdom to discern your will.

I ask, and I ask again .

A Walking Miracle

As many of you know, my husband has been hospitalized since early February. During my time here in the city I have met many people struggling with various health concerns. One story stands as a testament to hope, faith, and the indomitable human spirit and will to live.

I would never have guessed when I met her. Betty is a bubbly, upbeat, and joyous human being. She loves to laugh and enjoys making others laugh with her. Her sense of humour his quirky and contagious.

There were three of us standing around chit-chatting and telling one another our stories of how we came to be at the hospital. Betty was here supporting her husband of forty-four years. It wasn’t until we had each exchanged our tales that the subject of close calls came up and Betty told us her story.

She was driving when she suffered a brain aneurysm. Slumped over the wheel she went off the road, through fences and mowing down trees and brush until the car finally came to a standstill on a little hummock . The car would remain on that spot for two hours before Betty was found, her right foot still pressing on the accelerator . She was rushed to hosputal where she would remain in a coma for nearly two weeks.

“Some people say I was lucky. I don’t think I was lucky. I think I was blessed,” Betty says. “I believe God was watching over me. Even the airbag did not inflate or I would have suffocated. I was really blessed. I am really blessed.”

I see her around often and always stop to chat with her. Some people make the world a better place just by being in it and Betty is one of them. Her smile is infectious and her warm heart and mischievous grin lightens up the somberness that prevails around hospital waiting areas. I am grateful to have met her and to hear her story. I found it uplifting. I hope you will too.

Betty is a walking miracle not just because of what she’s survived but because of all the people she helps survive crushing bad news or crippling worry and anxiety.

Pearls of Wisdom: the uselessness of worry

A flagman directs traffic on highway under construction

I have been blessed to know many different people in my life, and they each imparted a pearl of wisdom that has contributed to my health and happiness. One such pearl is the knowledge that worry and anxiety create stress, which releases toxins into the body. Over time these toxins can break down the immune system and cause serious illness. This is why it is so important to avoid worry. In today’s world much has been written about the importance of positive thinking and the interrelation between mind, body, and spirit. What affects one will affect them all. So guard your thoughts. Don’t let worry consume you. As the adage says: “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere”.

A mantra that I particularly like is “this, too, shall pass”. And no matter what it is, nothing lasts forever, be it good times or bad times. I wish you well. I wish you many blessings and the ability to recognize them when they arrive.