Monday, October 29, 2012

October 29, 2012

the view from my kitchen window at noon....

We missed the local excitement Saturday night as we were still on our way home from Seattle.  The 7. something earthquake off the west coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwai) was felt here in some places but no damage resulted.  We did run into the snowfall, though, and drove the last two hours home in the blowing snow, in the dark.  Which sort of cemented my inclination to stop going to do the Seattle Guild sale the end of October.  I've driven home just way too many times in similar conditions.  So for the time being, I'm thinking that this year has been my last at that show.

No substantive weaving info in this post - just a lot of rambling thoughts about life and living.  Nothing like a long drive to let thoughts chase themselves around in the back of the mind, examining various and sundry aspects of what is happening, what one would like, what one is actually dealing with on a day to day basis.

I have made no secret that I am dealing with a number of chronic health issues.  Many readers have thanked me for sharing my journey in this regard.  What I have really learned in the past four and a half years is that everyone - and I do mean everyone - is dealing with sh*t (pardon, but there is just no other word for it!)

No matter what I have going on, someone someplace is dealing with much worse.  This blog is just one way I can vent about my sh*t rather than burdening my husband with my frustrations because he's got his own sh*t and feels helpless about mine.  But let's face it, a gal has to vent occasionally!)

One of the things that happens when you have a lifestyle disease is that people assume that your lifestyle has contributed to the development of said condition.  It has been enormously frustrating to me to be confronted with this attitude when, upon sober reflection, each 'disease' has arisen in spite of my lifestyle.

Time after time I have gone through the questionnaires, done the reading, searching for why I have these things when I have been doing it 'right' - or as right as I can.  Face it, no one is that smart or strong!

So exactly what is my list of problems?

First and foremost, allergies.  Born with them, developed more as time went by.  My food allergies are in fact allergies - they are not 'just' sensitivities.  How do I know?  Had the tests.  When I consume an allergen the Ige response is initiated and the result is an immune system on high alert, a flood of histamines and an increase in inflammation.  (There are other responses that go beyond this but that is likely Too Much Information!) This inflammation can occur anywhere, often in muscles that are injured but also in my arteries, including my heart arteries.  This has exacerbated the genetic coronary artery disease prevalent in my family and from which my brother died at the tender age of 51 with a low level of cholesterol in his blood and no obvious signs of heart disease otherwise.

As a result of adverse drug reactions I now have hyper-tension (high blood pressure) made worse by my allergies.

As a result of the hyper alert immune system I have non-Hodgekin's lymphoma - a rather rare type (Small B Cell) which develops in people who have had continuous assaults on their immune system.

As a result of my allergies I have had chronic nutritional deficiencies which have led to other issues from time to time.

As a result of my allergies and nutritional deficiencies I now have osteopenia - a warning sign of encroaching osteoporosis.

All of these conditions are pretty much affected by lifestyle and as I looked over the list of recommendations each time a diagnosis came down the chute, I checked off most of them - healthy diet, check, active life, check, weight bearing exercise, check, non-smoking, check, non-drinking, check, etc., etc., etc.

So why the heck do I have to deal with all of this????  (Unfair!  Unfair!)

I got quite depressed in September when the osteoporosis was rearing it's head.  If I was doing everything right, then WHY?

Fact is, if I hadn't been doing everything right, I simply would not be here, now.  I would likely have died a few years ago and that is just about as simple and straight forward as it gets.  Because I have lived a 'healthy' lifestyle, these conditions were held at bay.  My healthy lifestyle has quite simply prolonged my life so that I am still here, still active, still able to do most of what I would like to do, and will probably be able to continue to do these things for a few more years.

How many more?  Well none of us has the answer to that!  Once again I bump up against the reality that life is short and precious.  We do not have time to waste feeling sorry for ourselves.  We can only do the very best that we can, each and every day.

"When you are going through hell...keep going"  Winston Churchill

Currently reading Heaven is High by Kate Wilhelm.  I picked up the last of the series currently available (a new Barbara Holloway novel is due out in December of this year) and will soon be up to date.  I've enjoyed Wilhelm's books so much that I will likely start reading her other mystery series.  I read the first one when it came out many moons ago so will likely begin with that one as a refresher, then track down the rest.


Sandra Rude said...

Stay warm, stay as healthy as you can, and stay happy that you have Doug to help you through it all. In fact, go give him a big hug right now!

Andrew Kieran said...

You're an example to us all :-) I'm lucky to be young enough that whatever hereditary conditions I might be prone to have yet to rear their head. All I suffer from is a dodgy shoulder from an accident which serves as an early warning system when my threading through or weaving posture isn't quite right. It's quite handy actually

Peg Cherre said...

Thanks for sharing all this, Laura. I don't know if it helps you, but it helps me to understand --- and to stop whining about my measly complaints! And, for at least a few minutes, think (for the millionth time) about losing weight - that's my biggest challenge.


Louisa said...

I hope that the Seattle sale was worth it at least financially? Snow! So pretty, but poor you. Sorry you're going through a bad patch, hon'. Vent all you need to. It's OK.

Laura Fry said...

I am incredibly lucky to have Doug - for loom 'doctoring' if nothing else! Andrew, with an injury you need to rest and not push through to pain. Do heed the warning! Peg - there is an old Russian saying that if everyone tossed their troubles into a big circle and were told to fetch one out we'd all fetch what we tossed in there out again. Better the devil you know? :D And I hear you about the weight gain - it's another issue I have to deal with, too. :( Louisa, the sales were down significantly this year - sort of the deciding factor in making the trip on top of the bad weather. And it seems like the drive just gets longer every time I do it. :) Hope to see you next week at Circle Craft.

Andrew Kieran said...

This is so true Laura. Whenever I start feeling a twinge I try to figure out what's wrong. I use about 4 different types of looms, at different heights, with different chairs and different treadling systems so it's certainly a challenge. My favourite is the Texel loom which is a delight to use as the sinking shed balances the rising shed so it's very easy on the knees.

My least favourite is the narrow dobby, which is a real pain to thread up and rather wobbly besides

Laura Fry said...

Yes, moving from loom to loom means a 'reset' at each. :^) Just make sure that you are sitting high enough - hips higher than knees, elbows higher than the breast beam so that you don't have to hunch your shoulders.