holiday

Easter Whimsy

When was the last time that you received an Easter Basket or went hunting for eggs? For me it was probably in fourth or fifth grade, at least when the whimsy was still there. So, it’s been quite a few years for me and most likely you too.

Yesterday we had friends that came to spend the night. As supper was finishing up, my husband and I were told that there was an Easter basket hidden for each of us in our yard, along with 48 eggs. The challenge: find your basket and then go after the eggs. If you found the other person’s basket and said something, then you were done.

I must admit that after everything that has gone on the past few months, this was a really nice surprise. Off we went, and that whimsical feeling returned. Suddenly I remembered how exciting it was to try to get the most eggs and see what was in my basket. Admittedly, the baskets were filled with much different items than when we were kids. My husbands–a flashlight, beer, a bottle holder and a lot of candy. Mine contained a spatula, candy, large chocolate rabbit and the best thing of all, was a small, wooden sign. It read, “Swearing because sometimes gosh darn and meanie head just don’t cover it.” That is appropriate here.

We did find all 48 eggs and probably could have a sugar high for at least a week. It wasn’t the material items that made the magic. It was getting to feel like a kid again. Imagining racing for the eggs before anyone else could get them. The memories and getting to reminisce on the age of innocence; that was precious. We needed a dose of childhood again.

Being an adult has its perks but so does being a child. For thirty minutes yesterday, we got to be children again and it was delightful. We also happen to have quite a few rabbits running around here. Last week I was mentioning that ‘Peter Cottontail’ and four of his friends were running laps around a bush in our yard.

For a child, it is moments like these that we remember; also, for adults. We all need to take time to enjoy the view from the youngest generation. There is plenty of time to be an adult…

easter-3275320_1280

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Healthcare

Quilting Medicine

Each day as I gaze across the room, I smile at a picture of a quilt. That may be seemingly simple, but to me it is beauty in every meaning of the word. The following quote is next to the picture.

“Families are like quilts,

lives pieced together,

stitched with smiles and tears,

colored with memories,

and bound with love”

That quote may seem simple to some but is so meaningful on a lot of levels for me. A family isn’t just born. Everyone has a different relationship, interacts with others slightly different and naturally finds that perfect mix of people. Events in our lives change the shape of families but love always takes precedence.

As someone who quilts, truer words have never been written. There is something about how precise each cut of fabric must be. The precision of sewing each seam and having a work of art come together right in front of your eyes.

The other day as I was working on a quilt, I was pondering the quote. It struck me how easily this could also be applied to healthcare and medicine. The precise cuts for each square or border can be compared to a surgeon making opening incisions for an operation.

Healthcare truly is a work of art. It may not seem like it many days, but a very large majority of the caregiver population, truly love the profession that they have chosen. I know that choosing nursing was something that I always wanted to do. There was never a doubt in my mind.

The process that takes place when a provider is assessing us, providing a treatment plan and follow-up recommendations can be compared to sewing a quilt together. All the pieces must be in place before it can be completed.

Many times, there are issues with our healthcare or health status and we are forced to take a step backwards or several. The same is done with a missed stitch or crooked seam on a quilt. Until the other day, I never had thought of healthcare this way. It is true though. Look at a quilt or blanket on your bed. The intricacies and character.

This takes us right back to “lives pieced together.” Every member of our family will eventually have an encounter with the healthcare community. Losing a portion of that quilt can be earth shattering. Then we are forced to pick up the pieces and move on, figuring out life once again.

quilt flowers

Healthcare

Turning the page but not losing sight of the old

It’s January 1, 2018. You may be rolling your eyes and thinking, “well, duh.” Our resolutions to lose weight or become a marathon runner quickly escape our grasp as we reach for the last cookie from Christmas. Well maybe not that quick…I’ll give you a couple more hours.

Yesterday someone had a very valid point. Resolutions can be challenging in themselves, but add on multiple chronic illnesses and it turns into a tightrope course. Personally my balance sucks (I’m not even going to attempt to figure out how many times I fell in 2017). What if instead of resolutions, we set a goal each day? To me that seems manageable. We do it all the time already. Why not stick with what we know? There is nothing written in stone that says, “you MUST declare a resolution on Jan 1…or else!”

Let’s make 2018 the year for us. If we aren’t caring for ourselves, then how can we be expected to carry out multiple roles that we occupy on a daily basis. That seems like an obtainable goal. Let’s get better at self care and let go of everything that is holding us back. We only live once, so we need to make this life something that we cherish each and every day.

Putting yourself first is not selfish. It is actually a gift. Others take care of us too, but we need to start the process. Hold yourself accountable for your actions.

Before we completely start a new chapter, we need to finish the one we were just on. What was 2017 like in your book? I know for many of us, it was a rollercoaster ride.

My year was a whirlwind of good and bad. I have more insight into my medical condition and have a booming blog (thanks to all of you)! Most important in the good column is that I’m sitting here breathing. That is something that we should all be thankful for.

2017 was also a year of losses. Several very close friends of mine passed away. The world somehow seems a little smaller without them in it. Even though they will live on in our hearts forever, the physical emptiness is profound. One of the hardest things about doing Christmas cards is taking names off of the list.

This was a year of exploration and discovery. It seemed like opportunities have been appearing around every corner. My disease finally gave me something to really be grateful for. I didn’t think that would ever happen. Good things can come out of bad situations. They may not be in the way we thought. But, ultimately the man upstairs has a lot in store for you and I.

As we turn the page. Don’t forget to sign on the dotted line. 2017 deserves your autograph. 2018 is just getting started. So here’s to goals, self care and putting yourself first. You’re armed with an assignment….now get going! The minutes are ticking away.

When you call on me
When I hear you breath
I get wings to fly
I feel that I’m alive
When you look at me
I can touch the sky
I know that I’m alive
When you bless the day
I just drift away
All my worries die
I’m glad that I’m alive

~Celine Dion

happy new year 2018

Healthcare

The things you thought you knew

I woke up this morning to a text message saying that a good friend of mine who coached basketball for many years in our community had passed away. He wasn't even 60. I've been sitting in disbelief today and have been reflecting upon the things we take for granted.

One of my high school classmates and best friends is sitting in an intensive care unit waiting for a new heart. He almost died Friday night. He's 32

Those things we take for granted, like knowing that a friend is always going to be on the other end of the phone, knowing that when you go home you will see a person, just knowing… But what about when all that changes? What about when those moments become memories?

The power of a moment, a second, a chance encounter. Tonight when you kiss your spouse goodnight and tuck your children in, take an extra moment to take it all in. What if we didn't have these things? Take advantage of every inkling of time. These moments all go into the history books. What moments would be memories in your book?

I've had a lot of losses in my life, especially in the last couple years. Each one strikes you differently, each one feels like a piece of you has been lost. But the reality is that all of the memories, love, voices, smells, laughter, and everything else actually lives on in our hearts. Our hearts feel the loss for a long time and during that time the memories are stored and become a part of who we are. We change with each loss.

I've changed today. My heart is remolding again. The history book has more memories added to it and each one I think of goes into that book. Today the book has become more vibrant; filled with laughter, crazy hair, and Hawaiian shirts. That's the way our books should be…colorful, fun, and filled with good memories.