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I seem to be stuck in “whiney” mode and I don’t like it.  So my thoughts for today are consciously choosing to look a little more positively on the world and to be grateful.

I’ve been really busy.  Getting the DVT diagnosis doubled my appointments last week.   But I have a great team.  All of the medical personal in my life (the one’s I keep around anyway) tend to be exceptional.  They listen, they talk straight to me about risks and advantages and choices, and they seem to “get” the circumstances of my crazy life.

Treating a blood clot seems to work a lot like faith.  Once they find it, they put you on meds and don’t bother to really look again.  The doctors trust that the blood thinners will eventually dissolve the clot and in the meantime reduce the risks of complications.  The only evidence it’s working is a reduction in swelling and pain.  I’m grateful that I’ve got a team I can trust.

One of the things that’s come up is that it’s time to start a serious exercise program.  (Something more than ‘be more active’.)   I actually bought a swimsuit.  I have no idea how long it will fit, but the chances of my actually going to the pool have just increased significantly.  Not today of course, but my goal is to get there sometime this week.  Once I go, it will be easier to go again.  I’m really lucky to have those resources available to me and it’s high time I took advantage of them!

I wasn't sure the delivery truck and metro mobility wouldn't drive at the same time!

I wasn’t sure the delivery truck and metro mobility wouldn’t drive at the same time!

I still have swelling in my leg so it’s a balancing act between moving and elevating the leg.  I acquired a brand new recliner to help with that.  I’m not sure why I thought Monday morning between 7-9am would be a good delivery time.  It will be easier on my back than trying to lounge on the couch with my leg up!  Again, I am grateful to be able to do this, and I’m grateful for the recliner that died to make room for the new one as well.

In the land of debatable for my physical well-being, but phenomenal for the attitude adjustment is Karina.  She’s also been “in a mood” and so she called me and took me out to the movies.  We saw Mockingjay.  When she was a snotty teenager, I read the books and literally MADE her go to see the first movie.  She was not happy, didn’t want to, wasn’t going to like it.  She came home from the movie and read all three books and has waited in anticipation for each movie since.  I’m grateful that she took me.  She’s grateful that I introduced her to the series.   It’s nice to know I did something right.

I think I’ll start the week with Monday morning coffee and breakfast at Gilda’s Club

Gilda's Club Twin Cities (on a slow day)  That kitchen back there is divine!

Gilda’s Club Twin Cities (on a slow day) That kitchen back there is divine!

That’s another thing I’m grateful for.  The people are fabulous, the services the club provides powerful and necessary.  Being able to be a volunteer there takes me out of myself and puts me in service.  It also means I have the opportunity to take advantage of the wonderful programing.  Just walking in the red door is enough to create an attitude adjustment!

New Year

When the year starts off in ways that are difficult or annoying I like to think of it as though I’m getting the “bad stuff” out-of-the-way up front so the rest of the year can go off without a hitch.   I don’t really have anything to complain about.  I’ve not lost a family member, or been diagnosed with a terminal illness.  There have been years like that, but this isn’t one of them.

This year has simply set off the desire to throw a huge pity party.  Old habits I suppose, but the new lifestyle doesn’t allow for eating to solve those emotional problems.  This of course frustrates me even more.  Maybe the stress of the holidays and making choices and being challenged by food (and cold!) has just caught up with me.  Or maybe I’ve just spent a little too much time being sociable with my ex.  (Family gatherings and all that.)

New years day – evening – put the final cramp in my style.  I’d been sitting most of the day.  Too tired to move and too stupid to take a nap.  When bedtime finally came around (or rather when my ex finally came by to bring Orion home, and left) I stood up.   Then I walked around the house going “shit, shit, shit, shit……”

Looking good, but a little run down.  Is that right calf a little swollen even before Christmas?

Looking good, but a little run down. Is that right calf a little swollen even before Christmas?

I’ve had a blood clot, a DVT, before.  20 some odd years ago, in that same leg, as a result of my colon cancer.   With the calf swollen to the point the skin was tight (and I’ve got plenty of excess skin these days) and pain to stand or walk it sure looked and felt familiar.    I also knew that at that time, on that day, with the ex just out the door and Orion looking forward to going back to his day program in the morning it was pointless to do much that night.

I walked around a little more.  I packed a bag, knowing that a day in the ER was a distinct possibility and that being admitted, though less likely, wasn’t out of the question.  I brought my phone into the bedroom (because if I wasn’t going to be able to walk in the morning I needed to be able to get to a phone.)  I elevated the leg and tried to sleep.

The risks that come with a clot are a little lower for me than for most.  Because I had one, and still needed the surgery to remove the cancer, they installed a device designed to keep clots from traveling through the main vein into my heart and lungs.  It’s not the sort of thing you can have removed – I’ve asked.  Elevating the leg did seem to help, it wasn’t quite as swollen in the morning.

None-the-less I am starting off the new year with a “medical complication” and a whole bunch of new meds.  I have just doubled the number of doctors appointments I need to have in the next few weeks.  I have reduced mobility (just when I was enjoying being able to get around more!) because it still hurts to walk and stand.  It’s also bad to just sit so there’s a lot of up and down.

Maybe this is just a little wake up call to remember to continue to pay attention.  It’s a reminder to stay active and not fall back into old habits.   It’s getting all the bad stuff out-of-the-way at the beginning of the year so that the rest of the year can go swimmingly.   When you start from here the rest of the year is likely to go up!

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