Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Beginnings of Summer

     Before being cast in Hitchcock's movie, "Vertigo", it was a busy start to the summer. Daughter #1 and her family are moving to Colorado tomorrow. I spent a few days with them in Raleigh where we had a chance to do some fun activities and just be together. A few days later, Claire brought two of the children here for three days and we squeezed in another visit while she also got to spend a little time with two of her sisters.
    Here are a few photos from BV (before vertigo): grandchildren, gardening, hooking. Today is the one week mark from hitting the floor and I am feeling much brighter and more hopeful. I went to the gym yesterday and rode the stationary cycle. I pedaled for thirty minutes, went 5.6 miles through the forests of Saxony, Germany (via the computer screen),  broke a sweat, and burned a whopping 107 calories. Sheesh! That's not even the equivalent of one little ice cream cone. Afterwards, I popped into a class to say hello to Daughter #3 where I saw weights and heard the words,  body pump. Part of me longingly wanted to stay and own that class. Baby steps, I told myself. And stop fearing the word, pump.

Daughters 1, 4, and 3 with three grandchildren and three cousins, plus Henri

The border is planted with lavender and yarrow. The deer won't touch it. (evil laugh)  We still surround the entire garden with electric wire during the growing season. The neighbor's boxer loves to bound through our yard and other dogs roam the neighborhood. I cringe at the thought of dog pee on the herbs, hence the electric fence for all four-legged creatures. We also have a resident rabbit family of six but they haven't damaged the plants yet. I do love to watch them play in the evenings.

The herb bed. Mint is planted in a sunken pot so it won't spread.
This sweet little rug is destined for the guest bedroom. I chose the color scheme particularly for that room. I just have the outer border to complete, then steaming and binding.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Alfred Hitchcock's Got Nothing On This

     So... what does one do with "retirement"? One joins the gym, of course! In my quest to remain physically fit and agile in older age, I decided that stretching would be a good idea. I think "limber" is the word that comes to mind when I imagine how I want to feel as an older person. The day before school let out, I joined the Y. They handed me a calendar of activities which I excitedly perused. I saw several limbering type classes that were just right for me. With names like, "Gentle Yoga" and "Body Flow" I had hit the mark. I steered clear of class titles that contained words such as, "Power and Pump". I was not planning to power or pump anything.
     I bought a pair of yoga pants, dusted off my yoga mat and joined in! The classes were wonderful! After three classes I could already feel my body stretching and strengthening. I modified some of the moves in consideration of my sore hip but even that was feeling better and better. I felt like I was coming back into my younger self and retirement was feeling pretty good! Until one night when I woke up to one of my worst nightmares. Vertigo.
     There's a common form of vertigo called, Benign Positional Proxismal Vertigo" or BPPV. I've had it for twenty years and there are ways to manage episodes of it when it flares up. It's purely a mechanical, vestibular canal problem and it's easily fixed with a head maneuver done by a physical therapist or at home by yourself when you've learned the proper technique. Even mild vertigo is disconcerting and it's difficult to function normally during an episode of it. However, I woke up last Tuesday night with THE worst vertigo I never imagined could exist. All of my senses quit functioning and I was unable to even speak. The room spun so violently that all I could do was land on the floor and be ill in the bathroom until Steve and Tess carried me to the car and off to the E.R. It was a nightmare. At the hospital they quickly rolled me into a cubicle and started an IV with anti-nausea meds and Valium. I knew I was improving when I was able to form sentences again and answer questions. I remember laying my head back on the raised hospital bed and falling into a heavenly rest. The violent spinning lasted for over an hour. It should have lasted only thirty seconds. The memory of that night is difficult to forget.
     A week has gone by now and I have almost all of my balance back. Higher thinking is still difficult along with many little things like typing on the computer, bending over, reaching up, etc. I'm waiting for an appointment with a balance doctor in Charlottesville which is slow coming. I think what troubles me the most is that I have limitations. Limitations make me frustrated and very sad. Many of my friends have limitations of various sorts and I have been thinking of them and empathizing with what their day-to-day lives must be like. These same friends are also an encouragement to me because they are strong, happy, vibrant people in spite of their limitations.
     My vertigo should eventually go away. But, I will not be joining the yoga class anymore. Instead, I will hit the treadmill, the bicycles, and perhaps try the water aerobics. I also saw a class titled, "Zumba Gold". With a word like "gold" in it, it must be for me, right?!