A birthday will always remind you of your age. In my mind, I feel like I’m ageless.
But, on July 20th, I realized I wasn’t. I was having another birthday and this time I felt it.
When you’re flat on your back ( literally ) you’ve got lots of time to think about life and aging.
Did I forget to mention I had back surgery?
It was on June 25th. I was admitted 2 days prior because I’m
on blood thinners. They had to get those INR numbers in the right
range or I could bleed out during surgery.
INR stands for international normalized ratio. The INR provides some information about a person’s blood’s tendency to clot which is often described as how “thin” or “thick” their blood is. A normal INR is approximately 1.0. People taking the blood thinner warfarin typically have a target INR of 2.0 to 3.0. info from web md
I had the back surgery and a long hospital stay in a private room in ICU
because I’m a higher risk patient of developing blood clots. My body seems to like doing that.
My transit to the blissfully euphoric white light years ago was brought about by those little rascals.
Due to that, I’m on blood thinners and have been for years. After surgery, my blood had to be
brought back to the INR level I had been at before I went into the hospital too.
Extreme monitoring was needed.
In the beginning, I was too sick to care about where I was.
I was on lots of pain medications and tethered to tubes and monitors.
Once I started to heal and feel better, I wanted to go home.
After awhile, I begged the doctors ( my primary physician, my hematologist
and my surgeon) to let me go home. I wanted my pillow, my bed,
my cozy pajama’s, my privacy and my personal space.
In a hospital, pillows are huge marshmallows. Your head is propped up
even if you don’t want it to be. The bed crunches from the vinyl liner
they have under the sheet. The room is ice cold. People pop in constantly. And, those hospital gowns
will not get you on the best dressed list in any fashion magazine. They are made in a one size fits all style.
My gown reached the floor and around me twice. The ties were never the same size which led to a lopsided angled effect.
You never sleep in a hospital. They come in and take your blood pressure, your temperature, draw blood (lots of blood), check and replace your IV fluids, bring inedible food, give you your meds and start the cycle all over again. Basically, you get about 1 1/2 hrs of sleep at a time.
If it sounds like I’m complaining. I’m not. I had excellent care from my doctors, nurses, cna’s and, even, food servers and cleaning staff. They were compassionate, sensitive, kind, understanding and humane. But at home, I had my comforts, my good energy, my quiet spaces and my lovingly caring hubby.
Now, I’m home and healing. I’m continuing to mend slowly. I can see progress everyday. I had lost the ability to do things for myself. I’ve regained about 60% of that at the moment. I can’t sit, stand or walk for any major length of time. I can’t bend, twist or lean side to side. It takes me an hour to shower and dress. I remember whizzing through that. No chance of that now.
I’m supposed to be patient and forbearing for about 6 – 8 weeks. It seems easy but it really isn’t. I know I’ll persevere. I have a renewed respect for my past abilities that are currently limited. I’ve resigned to accept the idea of others doing things for me. I’ve had more time for creative things, reading, listening to music and watching some very good documentaries.
My focus is on keeping my thoughts positive while recovering from this. In a way, I feel like the tortoise in the story of the ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’. I may not get there quickly but I’ll get there eventually.
The Tortoise and the Hare (Disney 1934)
Some Positive Thoughts on Health and Aging
Throw out NON-ESSENTIAL NUMBERS. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them.
Keep only CHEERFUL FRIENDS. The grouches pull you down.
Keep LEARNING. Learn more about computers, crafts, gardening or anything that is new and stimulating. Never let the brain be idle. ‘An idle mind if the devil’s workshop.
Enjoy the SIMPLE THINGS.
LAUGH often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breathe.
Tears will happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who’s with us our entire life is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH WHAT YOU LOVE, whether it’s your family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, etc. Your home is your refuge.
CHERISH YOUR HEALTH …. if it is good preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve seek help.
Don’t take GUILT TRIPS. Take a trip to the mall or to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where a guilt trip is.
Tell people you LOVE that you LOVE them whenever you have the opportunity.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
But by the moments that take our breath away.
Choices – Inspiration and motivation.mp4