Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Respite Wednesday

Hello Sweet Friends,

I sit quietly before this computer with a kitty-cat grin on my face (you know the one your kitty gets when he settles next to you after he's just had a nibble of food and you absentmindedly stroke him as you read through the afternoon with nothing in particular pressing on your time. That, my friends, shall describe this day for me (at least I hope it will). After a week's worth of gatherings, meetings, marketing, traveling (to Costco for a pantry replenishing trip), and such, I have set aside this day for respite.

I found myself rising later than usual -- sweet delight -- feeling well rested. I stepped upon the scale and found to my delight I have returned to my normal readings. Recently, I embarked on a trial with an herbal from India designed to reduce blood pressure with NO side effects (or so they claimed). I ordered the reasonably-priced packet, downed the AWFUL smelling tablets with plenty of water, and then waited. The results came in swiftly, as my regular evening blood pressure readings dropped noticeably over the course of the trial treatment. Hitting 122/78 felt like a dream after readings of 141/90 (which prompted the whole medication route with the doctor some years ago).

I continued with the foul-odored pills and plenty of water for flushing of toxins and rejuvenating of my system, finding my BP readings comfortably worth the twice-a-day regime.

Periodically I inquired whether anyone found my ankles puffy or my eyes swollen. Nope, everyone thought I looked beautiful. (Silly ones, I fished not for a compliment, but truly felt swollen . . . and so sluggish.) I dragged through the day, allowing vacuuming to wait a day and dinner to become more of stuff-and-nonsense and less of feasting-and-rejoicing. Still no complaints from my family, so I surmised that I had just depleted my energies with so much entertaining over the early summer days and must pay the price now.

Stepping on the scale began to bother me . . . another pound? And so I cut my dinner portions and eliminated my simple snacks in the evening. I felt hungry, tired, but happy to have lowered my BP readings.

Then the scale registered another pound gained after a day of near fasting and lots of water! In addition my bodily functions seemed to have screeched to a halt. Still I pressed on believing I was just "adjusting" . . . until I saw the pictures from our spinning date with my friend Adele -- I screeched out when I saw the pictures of this dumpling woman at the wheel, all moon-faced and pudgy of ankles. "That can't be ME!!" I gasped. Still the scale cried out, "One more pound for the day!" My common sense kicked in and I stopped the ayervedic approach. Abruptly. I collapsed in prayer and asked the Lord WHY? To which I distinctly felt a twinge of guilt . . . if I trusted God to manage my bigger life issues, and even enlisted my friends as prayer partners. then why grab onto the stinky-pills and swallow for comfort I could touch? I didn't beat myself up emotionally, but I did cry on Gary's shoulder, though the loss of water-weight from that activity registered little improvement. My BP shot back up to 144/88 and I felt so low.

The next day I drank tea, paced my schedule, and prayed for relief. Despite running errands and replenishing the pantry, just in case the predicted epidemic hits, I managed to make it through the day, flopping into bed to find my BP slightly lowered. Hmmmmm . . .

Over the course of the next several days I dropped a pound a day and my body returned to all of its normal functioning. Today I beamed at the scale to see my normal weight register . . . and then I promptly wondered if I should try to ride this wave for a bit longer in hopes of stripping off another five or so pounds. Hmmmmmmm . . . ; D

Have I reached the happily ever after page yet? Hardly -- BUT . . . my BP read 122/77 last night. Now that's something to celebrate!!!

I hesitated to blog about this because it is so indicting to me and may possibly hurt another who struggles with their own road including medications, ayervedics, and all manner of other treatments. Please do not see this as a brag or a suggestion or even a warning . . . it is merely a confession of a woman who called her friends into prayer and then ran off down her own path. When she met with scary things she didn't come and share that with her friends, she hid in shame or worse . . . fear that they would judge her a fool. Sadly, I thought I had conquered this foible of self long ago, but clearly I still care what people think of me in an unhealthy way (and fear the worst). In reading some of your blogs of late I see pages and pages of personal outpourings filled with prayer needs, fears, medical trials, family frayings, and so much more. The honesty stings my eyes at times. Tears fall for people I have never met, nor may EVER meet. This bloggy thing still amazes me! I want to be a part of this ever-changing, honest, deep, light, silly, serious community of honest folks walking their own path without apology or shame.

And so I have set aside this Respite Wednesday for sipping tea, reading a new/old book on traveling the islands surrounding Britain (something I am most interested in doing some day), and stroking my kitty. Dinner will be a chicken stewed in my new Lodge dutch oven with potatoes, carrots, fragrant herbs, and a topper of sourdough dumplings ( a new creation based on the biscuit recipe from Mrs. Boast). I have had such fun playing with sourdough. I have few recipes but plenty of kitchen chemistry tucked under my belt and am thus inventing new twists on old themes and running with some of those pioneer women who once upon a time shaped a new California cuisine out of necessity and need.

I recently received a very old starter portion from my spinning/weaving friend Adele, and it is most delicious. It dates back many, many years passed from one to another of the locals in these parts. I recently read that a sourdough starter takes its flavor from the surrounding wild yeast. Thus a starter began in San Francisco, with a most pungent sourness, will lose that flavor when transported to say Vermont, where the wild yeasts have a much milder flavor. Fascinating! Unfortunately I neglected my whole wheat starter with the entrance of the new "girl" on the block who arrived in the midst of a medical flummox for me. Sadly I dumped it, but will try again another day. I love my culinary lab!

As for today . . . Respite Wednesday . . . I shall relax, rejuvenate, and revel in the joys found in the start of a string of days with not a single appointment inked in until next mid-week. Such luxury.

Now where's that book? I hear the kettle singing. It promises to be a very good day around here. I wish the same for you.


Elizabethd said...

Thank you for visiting me in France. I am so delighted to read your blog, and am glad to have found you.

Tricia said...

I am glad you got a bit of rest. Don't beat yourself up too much over the bp thing. We all do that. Just know, whatever methods you try along the way, God is taking care of you and I am praying for you dear friend.

Karen Deborah said...

I love true confessions, and it reminds us that we all are traveling down the same road with slightly different looking obstacles, but they are all obstacles none the less.
I sent you my fearful fretting note today and really ought to have come and read this first. Yes, God can work and He does, we just get so impatient at times. I am glad you are getting better and paid attention to the water weight gain.
As healthy a life as you live I wouldn't pay to much attention to a BP of 144/88 even if you go up to 90, just consider that everything else is in as good as condition as it can be.
You have given up the white four again and with the sour doughs and the healthy living your body can only improve. Maybe a bit of the butter/cod liver oil.

My diagnosis is that you are just fine, not officially of course.
You are a wonderful friend. I know how you feel about bloggers. We have a great community. I'm glad your getting braver. We are all human and have our moments. Why should anyone think the less of you for sharing yours? We won't.

When these friends have needs it's really hard not to up and go to them. It would be nice just to go help with harvesting and canning or baby sit for a mom's night out.
It would be nice to show up when the tea kettle whistles too.

It's just such an awesome experience this community of people. Never would I have imagined such a thing could be.

Anonymous said...

I hope your day of respite carried on as you intended. this is an honest and heartfelt post and i feel I know you better because of your honesty. This is something i fine hard to do in blogging- i usually try to keep a check on anything that might be deemed emotional- but i find myself attracted to reading the more personal stories.

Just wondering...if you are getting readings of 122/77, are you not taking the readings too often? Perhaps you only need to check it every few months and not worry. Just a thought!

kylie said...

listen to cinnamon!
seriously deb, you seem to be beating yourself up. Gods plans for our healing can and do involve all kinds of medicines and there is nothing wrong with trying them (with some care, of course)

i do think it is important with alternative medicines, as with allopathics, to get qualified advice. a naturopath/herbalist can prescribe in a more informed way than any self prescription.

anyhow, all up your choice of a rest was a good one.

see you soon!

Ruth MacC said...

Ah Debbie,
Wish I had taken a rest sooner today! After doing (and thinking) too much today I just had a bit of a cry. I couldn't even pray properly and ended up on the bed knitting and listning to some preaching on the ipod. I was just wiped out. I did something I am not sure I have done since before my salvation, I lit candles, put them in the bathroom and had a bath with some music on.

I think I should have a respite wednesday every now and again and I am sure I wouldn't get as stretched as I was/am today.

I never go on dates with my husband and always put that kind of stuff so far back on the boiler, it never sees the time of day! Today I have arranged for Nial and I to go away for the day Saturday week, WITHOUT Sean! The granny will have him on Friday night. Our friend, who has a beautiful car (BMW) that Niall really likes is going to fill the tannk and give it to us for the day on that Saturday. So we will go away for the day on a long drive, something that Niall will love and have, I hope, a date!!!

Anyway, I have said too much. Loved your post. Went straight to your blog tonight knowing it would uplift me, it always dose:0)

Thank you and may God continue to bless you as he does me.


Anonymous said...

So you are still managing without meds then? That is a fantastic reading!! I am struggling and that is WITH meds. I do find on days I am walking and on my feet a lot that the bp drops...sometimes in better ranges. I take my bp 2 times a day in order to decide whether to take the diuretic or not. If it is low enough and I see no swelling, I skip it for that 12 hours. (It acts very quickly as anyone knows who is on it!!) We just got a treadmill so I am hopeful of learning how to best walk on that (without tripping...just got a better fitting pair of shoes so hopefully that helps) and see if that will help me get mine lowered!! IT is a journey!! Thanks for sharing yours!!

Joyce said...

Hi, Debbie,
Your Respite Wednesday sounds delightful.

I hope your blood pressure continues to be healthy, also. I don't quite understand what you described doing for it, but that's OK; there's lots I don't understand.

My husband is calling me to family worship. I'll see you later!

farmlady said...

/Everyone needs a day of respite. Giving yourself some peaceful time is so good for you. Keep it up.

Our bodies are this wonderful, magical,well run machine that can get so out of whack sometimes, but when yours does, please don't use medications or "natural" remedies unless you check with a doctor first. You don't want to do any permanent damage to yourself.

..,and if the swelling happens again lay on your back and put your feet up against a wall. Scoot your rear end up as close as you can to the wall and relax; feet straight up and a pillow or two under your head. Keep those feet up for 10 or 15 minutes,(the longer the better) especially before you go to bed. You won't believe what this does for circulation and swelling. Please try it.
Just remember to get up slowly.

jojo said...

I hope you enjoyed your Respite Wednesday. Isn't it wonderful to look at the calendar and see no appointments for the day? I love those times, sadly they are too few and far between.
I feel the same about this bloggy world we have found and am so glad to have made my way to your place. I believe there are no accidents so it is meant to be. I enjoy visiting you more than you can imagine. I draw strength and comfort from your words and am so grateful for your friendship. I'm glad you have found the weight gain culprit and are feeling better. Please take care and be careful with those 'treatments.' love and prayers...jj

Elizabeth said...

Ooh, I am so thankful you stopped those pills before they actually caused damage to your body! I am also thankful that the BP is coming down normally, and the weight gain too- that is sort of scary!

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I gain a couple pounds every time my insulin requirement goes up.

After awhile, I just have to sigh and realize it is the price of staying alive... rather pudgy but alive. :)

Joyce said...

Dear Debbie, I nominated you for an award:

sukipoet said...

an eloquent post. most interesting. did a Dr recommend you take your blood pressure so often? I do hope you take many days of respite. just what the dr orders.