Friday, October 30, 2009

Migraine distractions

One of the most valuable lessons I've learned about pain control is that distraction helps. There were times when the kids were little or at least younger that we would be in the Emergency Room at the hospital and the doctor would come in and be very confused because whichever child I had with me and I would be laughing. I knew some really good jokes and if they didn't work than silly stories about their siblings usually did the trick. Of course there was always sufficient evidence of injury or illness to convince the doctor fairly quickly that there was good reason for us to be there. Both my husband and I had EMT training and did not take the kids in unless there was a legitimate reason. We amazed the staff that we could get the kids to laugh in all but the most dramatic cases, but being able to do so helped keep the trauma of going to the ER to a minimum.
With all my medical problems I have that involve pain issues I have found that distraction is helpful and sometimes even better than pain meds. The main problem is keeping the distraction going. Here is a list of some of the distractions I use and how well they work for me; they may work entirely different for you but you can give it a try. MOVIES-DVDs: Movies at the theatre don't work, to much getting ready, to many other distractions to keep one from really concentrating on the movie. DVDs work pretty well at home if I'm by myself were I can really get into the movie without interruptions especially if the movie is new and reviting. BOOKS: I find that when I have a really good book, a real page turner, I can escape into it and forget the pain. MUSIC: Mostly I use music with other distractions or when the pain killers do finally start to work and I feel like I might be able to sleep music gives me enough of a distraction to be better able to do that. ART: I have found that doing art involves so much of my attention, in so many ways, that it often works the best. With art I am using my intellect, my imagination, and my physical body to produce my piece of art. I also find I learn lots in the form of technique every time I work at my art talents and interests.
Right now and all day I have had a tremendously horrible migraine complete with nausea and dizziness. I have been trying to distract myself from the pain by taking on a request from a friend on one of the photography sites I belong to. The first photo (at the top) was the original picture that I took. It was of an old tree and the hole that was developing in it. Up close like this it reminded me of an abstract painting. I posted it on the site and here, too. She saw it and commented that I could probably do some art editing on it and use it as a base for other art photos. I just played around with it a little but didn't do much with it till today and the migraine. I've worked on it off and on all day and it has helped; I also have music on to help. Like I said this is a tremendously horrible migraine. I've learned alot about the editing program I use and could have gone on and done more with the help of the computer. I used a very limited numbers of options so I could get used to each one and what it did. Once one starts to combine options one could come up with thousands if not millions of combinations especially if one had a more than one editing program with different options. I came up with so many that I decided to college the different edits; each picture is a different edit. Then I saw what a difference making the collage made, so I made different collages with the same edits. I posted only some of the edits and colleges. I kind of went crazy trying to ignore this migraine.
One thing not to try is the proverbial I'll hit your toe with a hammer than you won't feel your headache anymore. Well that may work with some headaches (the body pays the most attention to the part that hurts the most and kind of ignores the rest) but I've broken my foot,not my toe, my foot and didn't know it because my migraine was so bad. Walked around on it for who knows how long, then when I took my sock off that night I could tell from the bruising it was broken (x-rays next day confirmed it). I may not have felt the pain from from the broken foot, but I still felt the migraine. I know from experience that this distraction does indeed work but it's certainly not worth it to add an even bigger pain to get rid of a smaller pain.
PRAYER: Prayer and meditating is the best of all and it can be added to all of the above.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Doctor then fun

Today I had a doctor appointment in Fayetteville, which is 45 min. away on a good day or an hour away if there is traffic or I get stuck behind a school bus. Luckily the trip can be made worthwhile because they have a greater variety of stores there. It's a bigger town. Hopefully when I see a doctor there I'm feeling good enough afterward to run some errands and than go to stores that I just plain enjoy browsing through. Today just happened to be one of those days. The doctor had good news and bad news. Yes my hemoglobin was going down, but I was not anemic yet. So not so bad. Then I went looking for an exercise machine to keep my blood flowing in my legs while I sit at the computer; not such good luck there, but eventually I'll find something. Then I went to the bookstore, I love bookstores. I worked in one for several years in spite of the low pay just because I love books. I love being around them, talking to people about them, reading them, escaping into them either in the stories or the photographs. I could always tell a true book-lover when they walked into the store because they would take a big breath in; true book-lovers even enjoy the smell of books. I especially like this bookstore because the employees really seem to care. The store is always neat and clean, with busy employees, not the ones who goof around. They are willing to help and ask before you get a chance to ask them. If you ask for help they immediately put down what they are doing and go help with whatever you need, not just point you in the right direction; they take you there. How nice, it makes for pleasant shopping. These are real people who love what they do, they certainly don't do it for the money because it's not there.
This was a first for me in that it was the first time I've taken pictures in a very public place, a store, and it's the first time I've taken candid shots of people. I did ask for permission, but then had them go about what they were doing. I was real glad to find someone of my own heart, I used to sit on the floor of whatever section and look through the books to help me make my choice. I can't do that anymore. I think the pictures came out rather well. I also took pictures of some of my favorite spots to browse through. Actually this gave me an idea for Christmas. I can take pics of what I think my grandchildren might like, choose an isle for them to look down and have them pick out a few things they want. Since they live so far away from me I don't get to go shopping with them and maybe this will be the next best thing to doing that. Might be fun as long as nobody expects everything. My kids always wonder what to get me so a wish list might be fun. I could take pictures of what I want and make a collage and let them pick. They could do the same.
While I was at the bookstore I found a cute little quote book called "Wisdom of Frogs". My quote for the day today came out of there. I splurged because it had some really nice quotes and pictures to match in it so from now on you can wonder if the quote came from a frog.
After I left the store I noticed these beautiful orange and yellow trees in the

parking lot. One thing about living in Georgia is there are plants everywhere, trees, flowers and bushes and people seem to take pride in landscaping everything including parking lots.

It was a long day because I fit even more in but I enjoyed it and when the song "That Old Time Rock and Roll" came on the radio on the way home I turned it way up and sang along even though my feet hurt like crazy. The singing along helps take the pain away. All in all a day to enjoy. Hope you enjoyed yours, too.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fall colors 2

These photos were taken two days after the ones in the last post. It appears that the fall colors are showing up little by little. So it looks like I will be able to enjoy the colors even longer. Hope you enjoy watching the leaves turn yellow, orange, red and purple along with me. There will be more tomorrow.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fall colors

It seems to me that this autumn the colors on the tree and leaves are turning colors in a different way. It could also be that I just didn't notice the color change until the whole tree had changed. This year I've noticed that on some of the leaves only part of the leaf have changed color making the leaf half red and half green. On some of the trees I've noticed that only a few scattered leaves have changed while on still others only sections of the trees have turned. I alway thought that trees of the same kind changed at the same time, but not this year. It also seemed that the trees tended to all change about the same time, but it looks like this year some trees are going to be completely bare before the trees next to them turn colors. I remember in years past that I would be driving down the road and the sun would hit the yellow and orange trees and it would take my breath away, of course that may come about in the near future but the leaves this year seem to have more of a brown tint to them. I know from years past that every year is different. I'm probably noticing more and am just impatient in waiting for a Georgia fall. I've been looking at all the pretty pictures from up north so I'm probably just impatient and the colors will come. Right now I'm just noticing earlier which I've never done before. Maybe since I'm noticing earlier I'll enjoy it longer. I must admit that I have become much more aware of the world around me since I started taking photos and much more appreciative. The Lord really did create a beautiful world for us to live on.

Friday, October 23, 2009

New diagnosis 2

When I first started this blog I said that I was not going to make this into a POM site where all I do is complain. That is still going to be true however no one with a chronic illness can be a constant ‘Pollyanna’ and remain honest. There are times when the frustration and sometimes even anger and other unpleasant emotions of living with constant sickness are going to get to you. No matter how good ones coping skills are, the nasty emotions that 0ne tries to hide are going to sneak up on them.
When I tell you what my new diagnosis is, your first reaction will probably be along the lines of well that’s no big deal after all it’s not life threatening like cancer or something. Well any chronic health problem is a lifetime problem; which one must cope with everyday. A couple of days ago I missed a blog because I had to stay in bed with my feet up because of swelling in my legs and feet. Well it turns out that the veins in my legs and feet are deteriorating and I will have to spend more time in bed with the old feet in the air. Just when I start to get really good at photography I have to cut back on the very things I need to do to continue it. I can’t walk around and take pics as much but that was already a problem and just needs more refining. The biggest hurdle is sitting down to edit. Does anybody out there know how to keep your feet from swelling while sitting down? If you have any tips let me know.
I’ve probably put up this picture before but to me it represents how I feel. This picture of the retaining wall was taken just after a rain. You can see the streaks going down the side. I feel like a bug that is so small it can’t be seen on the photo. That bug has just been washed out of its nice comfortable home in the woods and is scrambling to get back up to its nice safe comfortable surroundings. It’s hard and frustrating and tiring and seems never to end. Then it finds the vine and it’s so much easier to climb; it’s a relief even if its life is still harder than it was in the woods. Then it rains again and the process starts all over again. Even with the rains the bug has now found the vine and can now find relief from the constant battle of the wall. And if the bug never returns all the way back to the woods; it can make a different but still pleasant life amongst the vines.
I still have my vine, my coping skills, so I know I can still create a pleasant life for myself. Now I have put a laptop computer higher on my list of priorities. The new ones with Windows 7 have come down in price for basically the same computer I was looking at. That's a good thing. Meanwhile I am also looking at wireless keyboards and arranging my room so I can use my computer from my bed. I’m still here and I’m still coping. I love photography enough to figure out a way to keep it in my life. Maybe this will help add drawing and painting back into my life . Who know it might end up being a blessing in disguise.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New diagnosis

Went to the Doctor today found out I have a virus that is what is making me so miserable. Unfortunately it lasts about 2-3 weeks but fortunately it is not H1N1. Anyway I also got a new diagnosis and even though I am already starting to deal with it I don't want to tell the world just yet. Through this blog I have opened up about some of my feeling that have not been opened before, sometimes not even fully to me and right now with a new, not so nice a diagnosis; I need some thinking, pondering, meditating and most of all praying time. I also need to talk to those close to me, especially my husband and family. Sooo.... I'm just going to put up some pretty cheerful flower pictures. I hope they brighten your day

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Being don't have to be lonely

Missed a blog yesterday. I was not in the hospital, but I was kind of bed ridden. I can’t get to the computer from my bed any more than from the hospital. It’s just more frustrating because I can see the computer complete with the Internet from the bed. It couldn’t be helped though. My legs and feet were so swollen, even with taking meds, that my toes were blue. Not a good thing. So it was stay in bed with my feet up and ice packs on them to reduce the swelling. They are much better today, thank goodness. However the feet have only been part of the problem; I’ve had a fever, my insides have not been behaving themselves and I’ve been dizzy and just plain feeling cruddy. Tonight I’ve been by myself and to be honest it’s a little scary. I’m not scared of someone breaking in or something like that. I live in a neighborhood that’s pretty safe, have good locks, one good size dog that stays at my side, and one very large dog that lays by the front door so I’m pretty safe. Besides my being home alone is infrequent and erratic so nobody knows for sure when I'll be home alone which also contributes to my safety. What I get scared of is getting sick (I can get sick pretty fast) or falling and not being able to get help or even getting sick enough that I can’t take care of myself. I try to keep my cell phone on me but if I call 911 and can’t get the dogs put in a room, will the dogs let the EMTs help me and what will they do if that happens. I don’t like being a worrywart, but sometimes when I’m not feeling well and I’m alone it creeps up on me. This is when having the equipment to check blood pressure, blood sugar, temperature and to some extent my breathing comes in handy. I checked them all and they were all ok. Start to feel better. Next comes reminding myself how close help is and how willing help is to come and rescue me. Feeling even better. Next I call a friend who understands and talk and talk and talk. Now I can make it through the night feeling better. It helps to have more than one friend so if one is not available someone else might be. Everybody has their own lives. I did continue to take care of myself by going on facebook and catching up with my friends there. While I’m doing that I’m listening to Verdi’s Requiem. I saw it performed by the Atlanta Symphony and it was WONDERFUL. Listening to it brings back many treasured memories. Now the evening is becoming quite pleasant. Last thing I’m going to do tonight is finishing today’s blog and putting up some of my favorite pictures. Good night all, have a pleasant evening.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Life goes on

It's was still in a rain mode around here when these pictures where taken, but with a lot of encouraging from my husband I went out between rain storms and took these pictures. My husband was kind enough to have found this old tree in the woods close to the house so I wouldn't have to go far for some photo ops. I've got to admit the tree has lots of character, even the holes and moldy places were intriguing (see the small pics); they where like little natural abstracts. The tree itself reminds me of the title of this blog. With the leaves, although just a few, on the tree; in spite of the big hollows and the new growth young, green and healthy at the bottom. These pictures are worth a thousand words with many metaphors and life lessons that can be drawn from them. I came up with quite a few, but I'd like for you to look at them and come up with your own. Please feel free to leave your interpretation in the comments section, I look forward to them.