The list gets shorter…

We’ve started crossing things off the “to be done before we leave for Panama” list.  Given my obsessiveness about such matters, I am glad it’s happening.  After all, we do leave next Wednesday! 

Otherwise, today is kind of ordinary.  Nothing is being disruptive or highly pleasurable (except beating Doug in our on-line Scrabble game and relishing in the Leafs’ victory over the Habs the other night).  These are the days of our lives; nothing remarkable, just passage of time and getting closer to whatever goal is next.  That’s a good thing, and I’m going to leave it at that.

Love, gail

I think I repressed the thoughts

Yesterday, when I had all the brilliant thoughts and words, they were about some things that happened while I was working in the kitchen.  I pride myself on being organized and efficient in the kitchen — comes from years in the restaurant business where you don’t have time not to be efficient.  But yesterday, I would go to the fridge to get some things for the next task, and forget one. Or I would walk across the kitchen and forget why I had done it.  Opening the wrong drawers in a kitchen that hasn’t changed in the nearly 13 years we’ve lived here, going to pick up an item in the back room and bringing one of the two pieces back with me, even though the two were side by side, I think you get the idea.  No wonder it is taking me twice as long to do things as it used to!!

Now, before you all start writing little notes to tell me that these things happen to all of us, let me tell you that I know that fact.  My concern is the sheer magnitude of my forgetting, and also the confusion I’m experiencing more and more.  I don’t think “all of us” find ourselves driving someplace and wondering were we are, or getting lost in a mall that we’ve walked in for years, or being confused about why we are in a particular place.  I haven’t reached the point of recognizing a fork but forgetting how to use it.  And it’s really more than just the events and circumstances; it’s the uncertainty about whether this concern (worry?) is a throw-back to the days when any little problem became a life-threatening or life-altering or “poor me” thing.  Are the things that are happening really just normal aging and losing a little acuity?  Do I raise the issue with my doc?  Now that I’ve thrown it out here, will anyone take it seriously?  To be really honest, sometimes it scares me.

So before I start to cry, I am going to go ride my bike.  I’ll finish this later.

It’s later now.  Never did get to the bike because I decided to upgrade my virus protection software.  After several bits of backtracking, I managed to get it done.  Just in time for lunch.  Then I got really tired, so I had a nap, then it was time for church.  And now it’s later.

Just to complete some of my thoughts from above, I have started to wonder whether I have lost my ability to differentiate between the symptoms of my fibro and some of the other things I have been feeling.  My doc once cautioned me not to decide that everything was “just the fibro” but to be sensitive to the differences among symptoms so I could respond appropriately to them.  I got pretty good at it, but lately, perhaps because I am trying not to respond to symptoms as much, I seem to have lost the knack.  So yesterday, when I was having all kinds of physical things going on (as well as the mental confusion), I wondered if I should let the doc know about any of them.  It really is important to me to understand my own life, and right now I feel that I absolutely no clue about what’s happening.  And that scares me.

However, the Leafs beat the Habs last night.  That’s a good thing.

Goodnight my friends.  Remember to hug someone you love.

Love, gail

I forget…

I seem to have lots of things I want to say, and during the day, I say them quite brilliantly in my head while I’m doing other things.  By the time evening arrives and I settle down to write this, I forget what  I wanted to say, and of course, all the brilliant words are gone too.  I hereby resolve that tomorrow I will write during the day, when the thoughts occur and when the words are fresh.  Meantime, tonight, I refuse to fight with my memory because even if I do manage to extricate something from the far recesses of the brain, I will never reconstruct the brilliant sentences.

Adam’s hockey game was terrific.  There is really something special about a group of 7-year olds learning to play a complex game.  With the incredible variation in size among kids that age, and the wide range of hockey skills, they can sometimes be quite amusing.  Today, you could see it coming together. They played their positions, tried to pass the puck, showed their understanding of hockey rules, skated well, handled the puck reasonably well, and mostly had fun.  They still fall a lot, but now they can get up as fast as they go down.  They are great fun to watch.  They won too, and I think Adam got a couple of assists.  He plays left defense, and does it very well, if I do say so myself.

So, if you have a grandson or s son or a nephew or even if you have to borrow one, go cheer on a youngster learning something new.  I should add that the same advice applies to granddaughters, daughters, nieces, etc.  They play hockey too!



Goodnight all.



Love, gail

Yet another twist….

….on the exercise thing.  Today, I walked around Costco shopping for food and other household stuff, then off to Sears Warehouse for bargain clothes things for the trip (more walking), lunch at Swiss Chalet, more shopping at Loblaw’s and finally home.  The thing that represents exercise to me today is trying on clothes! Sure the distances in Costco might constitute actual exercise but for most people (especially women), trying on clothes is quite something else. Exactly what it is varies, I’m sure, depending on occasion, type of clothing, company during the expedition, budget, stores, etc.  For me, however, trying on clothes usually leads to pain somewhere in the aging body. As a result, I try to limit my shopping, and even though it sometimes may seem quite the opposite, I really don’t enjoy it all that much. Especially when I’m already hurting and somewhat dizzy….   By the time we were done, I had found all the stuff on my ‘need-to-have-for-the-trip’ list, had spent about $75, had re-aggravated both my shoulder and my neck, and was quite dizzy.  In my mind, all of that adds up to exercise, so no bike today either.

Tomorrow, coffee with brother in the morning, then hockey with great-nephew.  Afternoon of trying on more clothes at home, beginning the alteration process where necessary and generally get on with things.  Probably bike too.

No weight lost this week, by the way. I may just give up trying until after the trip, working to maintain where I am until then.  When we get home in February, I will get really serious, perhaps even joining the Y and swimming. Swimming is supposed to be the best exercise for both arthritis and fibro.

Be well, 

Love,  gail






New twist on exercise…

Today I got my hair cut, walked around Masonville for a while, had tea with a friend, came home, had lunch and tea with Doug, had a nap, got up, had supper and tea with Doug, tried on many clothes for our trip, had a shower, and am now ready to collapse in my chair to watch The Assets on TV  (a true cold war espionage tale,  sort of foreshadowing Snowden, and pretty well done).  I’m so tired, I must have exercised, right?

Love, gail

I’ve stopped being maudlin…

…at least for the time being.  Peter is right (see his comments); I have no idea what my earthly future holds, although immediately, it holds a cruise and stay in Los Angeles.  Which means I need to think about the things that need to get accomplished before two weeks from today, when we will be arriving in Toronto for our first night away from home. Mundane sorts of things like laundry and trying on clothes and figuring out what to take, etc. Of course, there will things to buy before we go, so I get to go shopping.  Batteries to check and charge, electronics to sort out, you know the kind of thing I mean.  I have a unique problem when I travel. Because of my hearing aids, ear bud type headphones don’t work.  I either have to take out one aid and listen to things in mono or carry some of the muff type.  I listen to music so rarely that I usually don’t bother, but the movie on the flight home will clearly be better with sound (I hope). So that’s something else to do; find small ones that pack easily.

Of course, there is coffee with friends (one tomorrow morning, although we have tea) and my brother, hockey this Saturday (go Adam, go), church, and all the other routine things of life. Good timing for such things, I believe, because they take my mind off the darker stuff. And so I must depart and prepare things for dinner, do some planning for lunch tomorrow since we’re out most of the morning, and finish recovering from my 10 minutes on the bike. Yesterday, my neck really objected to the whole process, so Doug suggested using my cervical collar. It helped some during the ride, but we still have to see how it is in a couple of hours.  The shoulder pain that radiates from the neck is pretty bad right now.

And typing doesn’t help it, so goodbye for now.  Remember to tell someone you love them.

Love, gail

Still fighting it..

When I got up this morning, I knew I was in for a rough beginning to the day.  Waking up out of a dream is never easy, although sometimes there is a pleasant sort of hangover.  Today wasn’t like that.  I felt discombobulated (one of my favourite words when I get like this), not really sure about time or place.  And yet I have no memory of the dream. I know that’s not unusual, but for me, it’s annoying and somewhat frustrating. It also comes on a day when I need sunshine and clarity, not confusion. All I know is that I was disturbed by whatever it was.

I’ve thought more about last night and why I got so bummed about the anniversary of my friend’s death. It brought home, I believe one of my biggest fears about this aging thing, the fear of being alone. When Doug and I married, we used to tell people that I purposely married a man 7 years younger than me.  It was all about demography and life expectancy, you see.  The age difference ensured that we would drop dead within hours of one another. Now, all of a sudden, I am terrified that it won’t work out that way, that one of us will end up alone. If it were to be me, I would be so lost.  I know I can’t cope on my own.  There are things that I rely on Doug for, things beyond the love and emotional support. And beyond reaching the top shelf for stuff, and lately, putting things away on the bottom shelves.  We are so intertwined that I can not imagine being alone.  I’ve often said that without Doug, I would likely be in an apartment in some assisted living facility.  And I mean it.

Thought some endorphins might help the mood so I braved the recumbent bike (remember that I am the quintessential couch potato).  Ten minutes, level 3 resistance, plateau program so you get to cool down for the last three minutes.  Managed the ten with only a couple of ten second breaks, but no sense of the endorphins coursing through my body to lighten the mood.  I think I’ll go play games on my tablet for a while. I’ll finish this later.

So it’s later, and I will finish this now. It has sort of slowly dawned on me that as we age, so do our friends.  That means we are likely to encounter more death and more loneliness among them over time. There’s a helplessness about it, a not-knowing-what-to-do feeling, kind of like the one you get as funerals when it’s your turn to speak to the grieving individuals. Sure, I know that being there is what matters, but still. I want to do, to help, to ease the pain.  Mostly, I can now see myself in that central position and I don’t like it.  So I’m going to stop thinking about this now and go finish making supper.

Love one another well.  Hugs matter.

Love, gail

Feeling down tonight….

I didn’t do my bike today but since I walked a lot on campus and actually did some stairs, I don’t feel too guilty. I also hardly stopped moving all day.  But I’m not having a good day.  Really feel down and tired and kind of overwhelmed by life in general.  No real reason — just down. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the drafts of our Wills appeared by email today.  There’s nothing like that document for deflating any joyful balloon one might have.  Confronting the inevitable reality of death is never pleasant, no matter how strong one’s faith.  To cap it all off, we rejoined our small Bible study group for part of the evening because it was the second anniversry of the death of our host’s husband. Her loneliness is what depresses me.  

So I’ll write more tomorrow.  I’m sure you’ll forgive me for not dragging you into my mood. Maybe things will look better then.

Love, gail 

Sunday is church day

For me, anyway.  We went to the early service at our church this morning, once again blessed by being able to assist with the serving of Communion to our community there.  We go back tonight for our favourite service, a contemporary one with guitar, sometimes viola, sometimes trombone, sometimes piano; depends who’s available to play.  Great voices too.  And to top it off, some of the best preaching we’ve heard ever. Our leader, Brad, is so genuine, so down-to-earth, so committed to his faith.  We love him and learn from him every week.

Between services, I have to write this, read some other blogs, play Scrabble with Doug, figure out how we spent so much with American Express this month, all the while relishing in the Air Miles we collected.  When I look back at the various things we spend our money on, I rarely find items I regret, and that’s a good thing.  After I wasted all the time I can doing other things, I had to face the reality of those two exams that I graded yesterday. I re-marked them today to try to squeeze as much out of them as I could. Not much more to squeeze, I’m afraid. Bumped each of them up a bit.  One has already said thank you in a super-nice way. That episode will be over after I deliver the paperwork to the office tomorrow.  Then it’s all done; Michael gets to deal with the last (and actually the hardest) as we board our ship in Fort Lauderdale.

Now we turn our attention more completely to trip prep.  Except for doctor’s appointments, dentist’s appointments, and a host of other things that are already on the calendar.  Tomorrow, after I do the official thing at school, we go to see our travel agent and pick up our travel documents – real tickets for Robert Q and planes and ship and hotel confirmations and all the stuff that makes the trip real.  After the cleaning elves on Tuesday, the suitcases will come up, Doug will try on his new tux, I will try on a bunch of new stuff, and the packing, unpacking, repacking, etc. will begin.

My dizzies have largely subsided for the time being, to be replaced by a nearly constant pain in my neck and left shoulder.  The old pinched nerve thing acting up. I try to watch my posture, to do my strengthening exercises (I can do those any time; they don’t require that I get all sweaty like the bike which I promise to start on Monday), and to follow all the advice from my physical therapist about managing the pain.  Not too much luck lately.  One of the docs I still have to see is my pain guy.  Hopefully he will schedule another series of cortisone injections in my neck.  They seem to control the pain, mostly, for quite some time.  I haven’t had one in over a year so I should be able to convince him.

And now it’s off to do other stuff.  Take care of one another.  Give someone a hug; you never know when that could make that person’s day!

Love,  gail

Exams done, sort of….

I sat there in the seminar room today for three and a half hours, watching two very bright young women work diligently away at the special  exam.  Two young women with concussions severe enough to warrant time away from all activity, including school, who now appear to write this exam on a date they chose.  Unfortunately, neither of them was ready and I will be hard pressed to determine a fair final grade based on their performance today, performance that really doesn’t reflect their year’s work.  I don’t think.  I’ll figure it out.

Anyway, three and a half hours.  I had my tablet there so I could write but instead sat there reading a murder mystery and playing games designed, I contend, to exercise my brain. I kind of doubt that anyone else agrees with that contention. I just didn’t feel like writing.  And I still don’t.  So I’m not going to.

So there!!

Love, gail