Tuesday, January 26, 2016

An Awkward Relationship with Life

I'm having an awkward relationship with life these days. It's not that it's bad. Nor is it particularly boring. It's just sort of "there."

I'm having terrible trouble getting any mojo going at all. Our winter isn't hard. My friends in the East and Mid-Atlantic states are under blankets of snow. I have nothing to complain about weather-wise. We have some but it seems to be melting and that's fine with me. Our last two winters nearly broke my spirit.

But I just can't seem to move forward. Dead weeds still hanging on the door.  Pretty enough sometimes. And sometimes they are just dead weeds.

Part of this might be because I've felt pretty lousy for most of the month. The terrible headaches actually started before New Year's and were almost as bad as when I had shingles on my head. After weeks of nothing helping, X-rays revealed seriously impacted sinuses, so my doc, who doesn't over-prescribe, put me on a month's worth of antibiotics (after being on a couple of courses earlier). These are more hard core and have a few side effects that aren't nearly so bad as some but enough.

Meanwhile, the knee issue revealed nothing from the X-ray, but the insurance company wouldn't cover an MRI till four weeks of physical therapy and they have to get the prior authorization first. So too much walking (and getting up or sitting down or doing steps or anything where you bend the knee) hurts and the result is that I feel more sluggy than anything else.

Right now I feel like a pile of bad bones that simply don't want to do a heck of a lot.

And then there's the fatigue. I never sleep in the day. Never. Ever. Until these past couple of weeks.

I feel as though I'm following in the steps of She Who Must Be Obeyed. Not a bad life, but I'm not getting anything done!

All of this takes an emotional toll. I don't want to commit to anything because I just don't know how I'll feel when the time comes. I've passed up things I'd normally love to do because I just don't have it in me to sit and listen to a concert or hit a movie. This makes me feel very old and I don't like to feel old.

OK -- and this one is just whining. My camera is broken. I think I know what I want to replace it with but I can't find anyplace here in town that has the model in stock so I can actually hold it and see how heavy it is. A broken camera is hardly worth a rant, especially since my dropping it more than a few times caused the break. But when you start to get down, it all seems big!

So, forgive my little rant. I'm just a little grumpy! But I really want a little break in the action (or non-action) -- and some mojo.

Last year's productivity. It's not happening this year!
Meanwhile, there are a few looming deadlines -- all self-imposed to keep me on track. Next week I'm hosting a Make-and-Take Valentine workshop. (If you're in the area, let me know!). People can drop in, make a card (or ten of them, if they like) and split. I figured it was productive and good motivation to get the house in order and do some art myself.

And, it's nearly Valentine's Day and time to make Rick's annual poetry book -- a combination of poems reflecting our past year and some kind of handmade book. I found a few poems from past years and realized I am SO not up to my game these days!

And time is running out.

So, I think maybe I should close this whiny post, beg your forgiveness for a bit of a rant and actually get something done.

Or maybe not....


bassgirl said...

First off....HUGE HUG. I'm sorry 2016 has started out so badly. I wish I could promise you it will get better, but knowing what a positive person you are, I have a very strong feeling that it will. When we don't have our health, it over-shadows everything else. Maybe this is the year that Rick makes a book for you! :)

Have you tried The Camera Shop on South Pennsylvania for your camera needs? They have a huge inventory. Just a thought...I've enjoyed working with them on my photography projects.

And regarding the strong antibiotic...reading between the lines, perhaps one of your "side effects" can be addressed with a wonderful med called Lactinex. It is available at Kroger, at the pharmacy in their fridge, and it is actually Lactobacillus that you take to restore your normal, healthy bacteria that gets knocked out with the evil ones while taking an antibiotic.

Love the photos you used to illustrate this blog today. You are a very creative, thoughtful person!

Shelia said...

Hi Jeanie! I'm so sorry you're feeling so badly and hope your sinuses get cleared up soon so your headaches will go away. Sorry about your knee. I relate to that. One day I'll be off this walker and hopefully can bend my knee again. Walking right now is pretty scary. Rest and feel better, my friend.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

I need orange said...

I hope you will be gentle with yourself. You clearly have some health issues. Blaming yourself for not feeling up to snuff won't help, I'm pretty sure.

Taking things a bit easier when you're not feeling up to snuff is not slacking! !!!

If you need naps, then naps are probably what you need. Rest is good. Be kind to yourself, get well, and then you can get back to being your usual energetic self.


The Artful Diva said...

that's not the way you want to start out the New Year! I hope you're feeling more like yourself again soon.

Mae Travels said...

Get well soon! It's terrible to feel like staying inside all the time when you don't want to.

thinking of you... mae

Marilyn Miller said...

Oh Jeanie! I am so sorry you are feeling rotten. No fun at all! I will hope for sunshine and better feeling days soon for you. The Valentine's look like they could be cheerie! That little munchkin looks like she would love a nap partner sometimes. Take care! Soon Spring time will be here. I know what you mean though about hassles with insurance companies. Yikes. Sending hugs!

Lisa Crumley said...

Dearest Jeannie. Thank you for being so honest. I hope it's a little bit cathartic for you. It certainly helps the rest of us -- or at least me -- to be honest about whatever we are feeling or experiencing. I am someone who doesn't necessarily think that we should measure ourselves by what we get done. Sometimes that's very useful, but sometimes it is not useful at all. You know that old saying ... we are human beings, not human doings. Maybe it's ok to just "be" for right now. You will get back to the "do" when you are ready. What you described is a lot to go through. And antibiotics are very strong drugs that affect your whole system. Plus, whatever they are fighting is also very strong. So rest seems totally in order to me. Trust the wisdom of your body. My mother believed -- and taught me to believe -- that there isn't much in the world that can be improved by a little nap. And she's 97 and still kicking! Big hug to you.

Joanne Huffman said...

You have to stop and tread water before you make it across the channel. It's OK to take a nap (it's so OK, it's part of some cultures). It's OK to decide you're on an Orthodox calendar and give Rick his book/celebrate Valentine's Day a week (or more) late. You can tell the people you love that you love them; you don't have to send cards. This just may be the winter of your discontent; and, it may be time for you to curl up and hibernate.Don't judge yourself by what you can't do; think about how well you do the things you can do.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

A hug to you today, Jeanie! Maybe you need the rest you're getting for your body to heal. But I know it's frustrating when it feels like there's so much to be done and you don't feel like doing it. This, too, will pass, but while it's happening, I know it feels endless! There's a lot you're doing -- like blogging! Good for you! It's not whiney -- it's just real and we can all identify!

Annie said...

What everyone said and more, Jeanie. And more than anything, takes those naps. I never napped, either. Now I do. Not often but when the body says nap, do nap.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I'm sending you lots of hugs and nods of understanding. January hasn't been my best month either. I wanted it to be because I do love the fresh start of a new year and all the possibilities it holds, but I haven't felt great this month either between a cold, sinus infection and my RA flare. I haven't been able to do as much as I normally do, especially in terms of working out, which has me kind of down because I don't want to feel limited. It's hard when we are forced to slow down by our bodies and especially hard when that period of having to take it easier drags and drags. Because the less we are able to move, the worse we tend to feel. :( I hope that you start to feel better soon. I am glad that they figured out what was causing the headaches - hopefully the antibiotics are working! I know it's tough to be on strong drugs for an extended period of time, though!

I'm sending healing thoughts your way and am hoping February is a MUCH better month! I love that you are having that drop in Valentine's Day card party! If I was in the area I'd definitely stop by. :)

Becca said...

Lots of hugs and many sympathetic thoughts. I know right where you are, for ice been there many times myself. You NEVER whine, so when you do I know you really aren't feeling up to snuff.

I haven't written much lately because all I want to do is whine, and I think I've done enough of it. I hope you get an infusion of good energy from somewhere soon!

Mary Rose's said...

Jeanie, sweetie ...
That's a serious set of rants, and coming from you who never rants (not for yourself), it's concerning.

I second "bassgirl's" suggestion re: Lactinex. If that one is not available, some good quality kefir from your grocery. Amazing stuff.

May I also recommend Vitamin D, if you don't already. Good for mood, for bones, for the mid-winter, sun-deprived, northern latitudes.

Warm soaking bath. Snooze. A cup of guayusa tea? I'm this far away from getting in the car and delivering it to your doorstep.

Re: camera. If you know the model you want, can you approximate its weight with items already on hand? See if it's too heavy? I know it's important to see how a camera balances in your hand, but ..for starters? (Ha! the Best Buy website says the Nikon D3300 digital SLR with 24.2 megapixels weighs ...48 lbs?! Nice try, guys.)

LYMI, Maryanne

Sally Wessely said...

Oh Jeanie. I am so sorry that you are experiencing this lack of energy and inspiration. I get it. There are so many days when I could have written this same post. Honestly, I think you should just take that nap and give yourself some freedom to be where you are. Dead weeds may be hanging on the door, but that is really ok. You are tired. Your body has been fighting a serious infection. It is telling you what to do. Listen. Soon, you will do a little more right each day. Remember you are retired. You don't have to impose deadlines. (I am preaching to myself!) Self care is a powerful tool for recovering your mojo. Practice self care.

I hope this doesn't sound too preachy or like the mom telling you what to do. I hope you know that I honestly get what you are going through. Give yourself permission to be where you are. Be patient with yourself. I thought of a quote that I often have to remember for myself: Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson Hugs.

Barb said...

Jeanie, I know you wouldn't rant unless you felt really bad. Having a knee problem as well as a headache/sinus problem is taking a toll physically and emotionally. I may write a blog post and do some ranting, too. I hurt myself skiing yesterday. After only 1 day, I feel grouchy! If you are on strong antibiotics, you need to take probiotics to restore healthy bacteria. Also, the body knows when it needs to rest, and "we" should listen. I know how you love Valentine, but maybe this year you'll have to finish the poetry book a little later in March or April. As someone told me once: "honor this time - help your body heal." It was/is good advise. I'm going to listen to it myself!

Joyful said...

Aw, am so sorry to hear you are feeling poorly. I certainly know how that is. Best thing is not to be too hard on yourself and accept limitations. But do try to get enough rest and nourishment. Sleep when you need to. Alleviate some of the pressure on your legs if you can by using a walker or walking poles. It is okay to have support when you need it. Hugs. xx

Kitty said...

Hi Sweetie, I sent my reply to your birthday wishes before reading this blog. I pray that the antibiotics will get your sinuses cleared up and that you will be your normal energetic self soon. But in the meantime, be gentle and patient with yourself and remember that sleep is natures time to heal. Find something soft to snuggle into (Lizzie will work)and relax. And don't worry about the house. Your friends come to see you and create with you, not to worry about their surroundings. You are a very special lady. Treat yourself as such! Hugs and kisses and more hugs. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...


Sending big hugs and a piece of chocolate cake your way.
I just know how you feel.
I had three years in a row like you are describing, after having a surgery that ended me back in the hospital.
I was there for a week with a raging infection they could hardly get under control. Then it took me forever to get my mojo back.
I thought I never would...but I did and the good news is- you will too!
Just pace yourself, watch those movies, read those books, write and wonder about the things in life you normally wouldn't do.
Spring will be here soon and you will feel better and that gorgeous smile of yours will blossom again!

Beth Leintz said...

Jeanie, It sounds like you have a case of "the Januarys". For me, any problem or health issue is magnified by January-I think its because the beginning of the year makes it seem like anything that happens will go on and on without end. But it doesn't, things change- and sometimes we just have to hold on until we muddle through them and accept that we can't always get as much done as we think we should. Someone else commented "Be gentle with yourself" and I agree. I understand your frustration with health issues, and wish you well with them. Take care friend!

The French Hutch said...

Hi Jeanie, Bless your heart, no reason to apologize with all you have going on. Sinus trouble, antibiotics that always make one feel just awful and a bad knee! If you feel like naps, take them, if you feel like doing nothing that is fine. You've been on a roll since last fall with so much going on, having a blast! Sounds like you need a good rest and take good care of yourself for a little while. Hope you bounce back with a quick recovery and enjoy the workshop you are hosting. Sending you a hug sweet friend………………..

Lynne said...

Vanished mojo puts me in the pits . . .
I think your not feeling well has affected your JEANIE'S MOJO more than anything . . .
I haven't known you for long but in this brief time I have thought . . . never have I seen anyone with so much energy!
My goodness girl . . . your entertaining and decorating and trees and parties and activities and houses and more
would cause most people to crumple.
Not helping much, am I . . .
Hopefully the sinus clear up will help.
Migraines . . . if you haven't had them, you have no clue. I think they have been pestering you for weeks now!
I know what migraines are like . . .
A MOJO spoiler for sure!
I wish I had some answers . . .
I care about you . . . I hope ZIP returns soon . . .
(Sounds so simple, but going for a walk, helps me. . . .)

~*~Patty S said...

Sorry to hear you're feeling down and off kilter dear Jeanie.
Life has a way sometimes of piling up on us and everything takes on different weight than it might usually.
Not to say that what you have going on is not warranted.
I would say it is more than OK to express your discomfort and dismay...you feel what you feel.
There really are no must do's so maybe you can give yourself a break from things you have always done.
None of what I've written really says what I would like to say...
in fact if we were together we wouldn't have to say anything really.
Please know you are being thought of and wished the very best always!
Change is the one constant in life so hopefully things will shift and change for you soon giving you some answers and relief.
Your Mojo will be back too of course...all in good time.
(((Hugs))) to you...
be gentle with yourself oxo

Lynda Shoup said...

I am sorry to hear you are not feeling well. It is ok to have times of not doing. Sometimes our bodies need that rest. Sometimes medications can knock you out.

Last year I slipped on the ice and got a concussion. I had lots of that kind of do nothing time. It was time off, but not time I could use. What I learned through that time was to enjoy it, to revel in it, because it won't last long and when it is done I might wish I had some quiet time. I couldn't read, but if I could I would have spent time catching up on my reading.

I hope there is something that you can enjoy, even laugh about, during this time.

And Jeanie, I am outraged for you that your camera would have chosen such a time to quit. Talk about adding insult to injury!

Hoping that you experience immediate and miraculous healing.

Janet said...

Oh Jeanie, I'm sorry to hear you're having so many problems, and just not feeling good. Don't be so hard on yourself though. Maybe your body is trying to tell you to slow down and take it easy for a little bit. Having a little cat nap now and then is good. I know how it is to lose your mojo. I happens to me at least once a year. But I know that eventually I'll get it back and be in a creating frenzy. So rest up and get ready! Sending lots of hugs your way.

Victoria Zigler said...

I'm sorry your health isn't doing so well, and that it's leaving you feeling drained and in pain. I know what it's like to feel like that, and how much it sucks. Unfortunately, all you can really do is to do what you can to make yourself feel as good as is possible, tackle what is actually achievable with your new limitations, and try not to stress about not getting to the things you just don't have the energy to deal with. *Hugs*

A Magical Whimsy said...

Thank you for your sweet visit to my blog. I hardly get headaches, but I sympathize with your maladies. I am a night owl and always have been, so I stay up late, and sleep in late. I have tried to change that habit, and I have to force myself to get up early, and then I find myself still going to bed late, as usual. And there is a sleep disorder/syndrome which is documented for those of us who are not like the rest of civilization who thrive on getting up with the birds. I get up with the owls. So much for progress. They say some headaches can actually originate from other parts of the body. One woman had headaches because she actually was having female organ problems. Her entire body was out of whack because of her problem. The is a unique body healing process that begins with Rei and it was an oriental technique where the hands were laid on various parts of the body (including the head)and the magnetic fields transferred from the healer, would cause the person with the health problem to receive magnetic impulses which would relieve pain. I have been so busy, that I can't think of the entire word off the top of my head. It has been scientifically proven that the body has and energy field around it and when it is disrupted, even just from stress, that is when a person gets sick. There was a Japanese woman who taught classes on the technique for years, but I believe she passed away in 1998, but there are doctors who still have offices which treat people with their 'magnetic' touch. It is quite fascinating. I have not tried it for myself. But an online search with the key words 'hands on healing through magnetism' might bring up a site worth reading about it.
There is always a reason for everything which comes to our attention, whether it leads to something useful, or does not, at least we added something to our knowledge.

Prayers are flowing from me for your headaches. Not fun.
love and hugs,
Teresa in California

Beate said...

Oh no, Jeanie, I'm so so sorry to hear that you were having such a tough time this past month! I sure hope that the antibiotics already improved the headaches and the infection.
I know exactly what you feel like, this state of just not getting motivated and only wanting to sleep hits me every now and then, too.
The best I can usually do is going with it and giving my body the rest it demands.
I'll keep my fingers crossed that you'll feel much much better soon!
I'm sending a very long and big hug to you and lots of love,

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