Sharing the lessons along the way…

Archive for the ‘Weekly Catch Up Posts’ Category

Sunday Sum Up #22

Catching you up on the past week is best summed up by smiles generated by Sir King Duke at the Homeless Emergency Project (HEP).

Most of the rest of my time was spent grading my students’ assignments and interacting with them online as we start our holiday break tomorrow-ish.  I am in a mad rush to finish grading today, so that I can actually break!

Duke and I spent some extra time at HEP this week.  Holidays are pretty hard to take when you are living at a homeless program.

Duke and I like to think we helped ease some of that in the past week and plan to do the same next week.

Catch Up 22 Collage


Sunday Sum Up #21

Catch Up #21

It has been a couple of weeks since I have written a catch up post.  I apologize!

As we headed into the final month of 2013, I have been mostly taking care of business.  My old dogs have been to the veterinarian several times.  Cars have been to the mechanic.  I have been to doctors of various kinds with more appointments to go.  I celebrated a birthday.  I watched a 14 month old learn how to make herself dizzy spinning in circles.

I am starting to review my year in my mind and begin setting my sights on my goals for 2014.  I have been counting my blessings and spending more time each day being present.  I am focusing on my self-care basics and sticking to what I know.  Seriously, I could have a forest full of gratitude trees.

The shift to gratitude has replaced the blues altogether.

My wrist continues to heal and I can even type a limited amount on the computer.  My legs still hold me upright and I get around using the leverage of other things and people (or the crazy walker) to keep forward momentum.  I walk the dogs each day in the power chair.

I use the walker when Duke and I work at the Homeless Emergency Project or I venture very far by myself.  My confidence in my legs when they are not tired is growing.

I have decided that yoga is next in the physical therapy plan and I may pursue dance lessons in the summer months.  I have backed off on the exercise bike because of the physical therapist’s recommendation to conserve energy, but also so that I can walk more throughout my days.

Coming up soon, I welcome a much-needed two-week break from my online teaching duties.  It is the only one we get each year, and I am ready for it.  I will spend it taking care of more business and perhaps even take a few days off from blogging.

Things are flowing along nicely really, as long as I let them.

Sunday Sum Up #20

Sum Up 20

The final week of November wasn’t that much different from all the other weeks in November for me, except that the toll of the month was evident in my blue mood.

It seems the cumulative effect of the last few months seemed to find its peak as the week started and I was grasping for something to keep me going.  I was overly tired, and it seemed that each one more thing was too much.

Fortunately, there were bursts of gratitude throughout the week and I never stopped being able to see the blessings and potential lessons from all of it.

While my wrist is continuing to heal, my doctor is concerned about the continued problems using it, and that the x-ray missed something.  I will get a CT scan in the coming weeks to make sure.

The simplest of the doggie health issues was easily resolved with Duke’s abscessed tooth surgery, only to realize that night that Amore is struggling with a respiratory issue.  I haven’t seen a respiratory issue since they came home from the pound with kennel cough as pups.

Both will stay on antibiotics for a little longer and I will get Amore in to see the vet to make sure it isn’t something related to his heart.  Our vet said because he is a cancer dog, he is going to be picking up all sorts of things.

I finished out my week yesterday doing as little as possible, so that I could rest up for a new, busier month ahead.  Between work and scheduling as many medical appointments as possible before the new year, I figured any advantage of energy is a good thing.



Sunday Sum Up #19

Catch Up #18

This was a week of intermittent inspiration mixed with bouts of blahs.  Later in the week, I sat in front of the computer screen with no words.

Getting overly tired and spending too much time in my head combined for the blahs, so to counter that, I worked hard at shifting my focus to being grateful instead.

I was pretty successful making the shift to gratitude for much of my days, but often found myself unable to focus on any one thing.  I was getting too far ahead of myself in my mind and totally missing taking care of what was in front of me.

There is no real cause for panic despite the many things I feel are out of my control.  Things could be (and have been) far worse.  To update you, my wrist continues to slowly improve.  My illness symptoms continue to be more manageable and I have ventured out a little more.

I have figured out a way to get around with someone, that doesn’t require a walker or cane or wheelchair.  I am researching the neuroscience behind dance (particularly the Argentine Tango) being therapeutic for movement disorders (and various other disorders), which is quite fun for me.

I have so many things and people in my life for which to be grateful, and I want to spend the week ahead focusing more on those.  My hope is to shift the percentage of brain space and energy from the rest of the whirling, nearly spiraling thoughts, to the many blessings.

Can you see your blessings among the rest of the day-to-day stuff?

Summing It Sunday #18

Sum Up #18

Saying no, pretty much defines the past week. Spasticity pretty much defines it too.

Part of me is fascinated by what the weather and what my activity level does to the overall tightness in my body. Another part of me is frustrated by the same.  After all, it has been a while since I have had untreated spasticity.

I mentioned in a post this past week about the weather being delightful this time of year in Florida. Unfortunately, that also means that getting into an outdoor pool, whether he heated or not, is not an option to help with the spasticity.

The only way I have ever been able to rehabilitate and treat spasticity in my upper body has been the pool (except for the baclofen pump of course). So I need to be figuring something out.  I spent some time brain storming with a friend yesterday, and will continue to try to come up with a plan (because that is what I do).

Only three weeks into healing for the main wrist injury, I have several more to go. Hopefully that comes with or without the setback. The weeks ahead will look much like last week in terms of needing to say  no.

The dogs and I are finally starting to establish a morning routine on our own, in spite of that, which feels good. Even if everything else is wonky, being able to take care of the dogs and having some semblance of normal to start a day helps with my sanity.

Being patient with my wrists, and problem solving ways to manage spasticity through the winter months, will be on the top of my list this coming week.

Sum Up Sunday #17

Sum Up 17

Writing a catch up post is always a challenge because the days of my week are always so mixed! My week got off to a rough start again, but I would have to say it turned out to be an overall ok week.

As the week progressed, so did the healing of my right hand, wrist and forearm.  I was able to do a bit more with it, which made doing basic things easier.  The occupational therapist is doing ultrasound treatments to help speed up the process.

The theme of the week probably revolved around trying to figure out when I have done too much.  I did a lot of overdoing it, but saw no way around those times.  I conserved energy where I could.

I had only one almost full day of the burning nerve pain in my torso, and I wasn’t unglued.  It was the day after is had overdone it, and then pushed it a bit further that morning.

The physical therapist came one last time as we agreed that I really didn’t need him.  Somehow I have to figure out how to find my physical limits, though.  He explained that using tired muscles will make the spasticity and clonus worse, and to avoid that when possible.

He said I already knew what to do to keep up my flexibility and range of motion, and to keep doing those things in addition to the new things he showed me how to do.

The goal is to be able to carry the cane, rather than use the cane as a leg.  It won’t be much longer before I will be trying that out, but in the meantime, I have to figure out a better gauge for my activity level.  I plan to work on that in the week ahead.

Kitt O'Malley

Bipolar Writer and Mental Health Advocate


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