Monday, February 27, 2012

Some Good Examples

I'm finding a new appreciation these days for the simple things in life.  Walking.  Simple, right?  Well, not for me right now.  I'm very fortunate though.  I know that in a few more weeks I'll be up, walking and on my way to a total recovery.  I'll be running and playing with my grandkids in just a couple more months.

A lot of people aren't so fortunate.   Some steadily worsen.  Some for whatever reason find themselves suddenly in a wheelchair and know that they'll never walk again.

Before she passed away in 2008, my mother experienced a steady decline in her physical mobility.  It was gradual and painful.  Arthritis slowly took over her body.  She went from walking normally, to walking slowly, to walking with a cane, then a walker and then a wheelchair.  She never complained, but gracefully accepted her fate.  She took one day at a time and simply did the best she could.

A friend of mine found herself in a wheelchair by the age of 50 after a bazaar set of circumstances.  She will never be able to walk again.  After a long depression, she has come out on the other side.  She lives alone, works, does house work, cooks, and is living a full live.

I have so much admiration for both of these women and the many others that I don't know personally.  It would be so easy for them to just give up or to spend their lives complaining.  But they chose not to do that.  They chose life, They chose to live each day fully to the best of their ability knowing that their physical condition would never improve.

Knowing people like this makes me appreciate my health more.  It really helps to put things in perspective.  What's going on in my life right now is inconvenient, but I know I'll be better shortly.  I don't know if I could be as brave as my mom was and my friend and so many others are.  I hope I never have to find out.  But for now I intend to embrace my life and live it as fully as I can.

Love,  Paula

Monday, February 13, 2012

Independence vs. Dependence

As I mentioned in a previous blog, I had bunion surgery on January 24th.  This has turned my whole world upside down.  Nothing is really "normal" in my life right now.

I am basically a pretty independent woman.  If I want to do something, I do it.  If I want to go somewhere, I go.  I don't have to wait for anyone or anything.  I do things in my timeframe, when it's convenient for me... until now.

Now I find that I'm a pretty dependent woman.  I can get around the house okay with my wheeled walker.  I just kneel on the seat with my injured leg, and push myself around with my healthy leg.  It works out pretty well.  But there are limitations.  I can't get myself a cup of tea for instance, or a bowl of soup.  I have no way to transport them without spilling.  I need my hands to steer my walker.  I have a bag attached to my walker so I can transport things like bottled water, fruit and a sandwich.  But hot stuff is impossible.  So if I want something hot to eat, I have to depend on my husband, family and friends.  A task as simple as taking a shower is a team sport these days.  (I won't go into the details.)

Getting out of the house takes care, planning, and a team effort.  We have only three steps, thank God.  What a chore!!!  Thank goodness my husband is strong and healthy.  I wouldn't be able to go anywhere without him and I am very appreciative.

Being an independent person, this whole thing is very difficult for me.  I'm used to being the giver, the helper, the fixer, the one that is there for everyone if they need me.  It's hard for me to receive.  I guess that's part of the lesson in all of this for me.  By giving, you allow people to receive.  By receiving, you allow people to give.  By doing both, you allow a continual flow of energy.  Energy flows in a circular motion.  By always giving and not receiving, you cause an imbalance, a blockage.  By always receiving and not giving, you again cause an imbalance or blockage.

As I mentioned in last week's blog, imbalance causes dis-ease.  So if we want to stay healthy, we need to find that perfect balance of giving and receiving.  Let's change that old saying, "It's better to give than to receive," to "It's better to give and receive equally".  

Love,  Paula

Monday, February 6, 2012


I had bunion surgery on my left foot on January 24th. Because of that, I have to be non-weight bearing for eight weeks. Obviously, I'm off work at this time so it gives me a lot of time to reflect. I had the same surgery on my right foot two years ago. But this time is particularly interesting because I am left side dominant. So I'm more aware of my imbalance when I'm doing things. I keep repeating to myself, "Balance. Stay balanced".

This morning while reminding myself to "stay balanced", it occurred to me that THAT should be my mantra ALL the time. Isn't that what life is all about? We need to balance between physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. We need to balance between work and relaxation. We need to physically balance to just maneuver through our day.

Our bodies give us signals when we're getting out of balance. If we have too much stress, we may experience a headache or we may notice that our muscles are tight or we're clenching our teeth. That's a signal that it's time to do something physical to relieve the stress: jog, swim, garden, walk, or whatever else works for you. If we're relaxing too much, we may feel bored, lethargic. That's our body telling us to DO SOMETHING. Anything. Just get up and move. But, when you've been moving too much, your muscles ache and need a rest. Your body tells you its time to sit and read a book, watch a movie, take a nap or watch TV. And when your body feels an emptiness inside -- a hole that needs filled, a hunger that needs fed, a thirst that needs quenched -- then it's time for spiritual input. That can mean different things to different people. Some will turn to religion. Some will read books or magazines. Some will meditate. Some will just "be" in nature. And some will do a combination of these things. Do what is meaningful to you.

The important thing is to listen to your body and stay balanced. Being out of balance causes dis-ease. So much discomfort and disease could be avoided if we would only take the time to listen to our bodies and act accordingly.

"Balance... stay balanced"

Love, Paula