Having lots of opportunities to grow as a person

August 29, 2015

I just realized the date. The summer has just flown past. Not sure how I can seem to keep myself so busy doing really nothing.
Other than a couple of trips to the ER and various doctors appointments summer has been pretty uneventful. EXCEPT for the amazing time spent with family. Am I a proud Dad and grandpa, oh you bet I am. Picture me strutting around the room with my chest puffed out so much the buttons might pop. I really was in grandpa Heaven.
Medically, things have improved somewhat. The metoprolol has been increase twice. That has not removed the problem but certainly eased the symptoms I experience.
I do also though realize, I have learned to adjust and adapt to my new reality. Once you can do that, come to that level of acceptance. It becomes easier to deal with, it seems for me anyway. In the past month or so I have only fallen, hitting the floor once. A couple of others but I landed back on the bed or into the chair I had been sitting in. What can I say, memory guy. I forget, jump up to do something, do it to quickly and down I will go.
It is not that complicated to avoid this. If I am laying down, slowly push myself to a sitting position. Just sit for about a minute. I then stand but turn as I do so I am standing bent over using the bed to hold me up. I then stand upright again turning to hang on to the dresser. It is a nuisance but really not all that bad when you get used to it. I am getting better at remembering.
Medication has helped reduce resting heart rate to around 95. Heart still seems to have a mind of its own. There are times when it will just take off beating over 200 beats a minute and become very irregular. The heart monitor they surgically implanted a couple of monthes ago shows the heart often kicks into high gear early in the morning, waking me up. Possibly I am dreaming, unfortunately it is very rare for me to remember dreams. Hey, I am a guy so I am going on the theory it is very hot, sexy dreams. Lol. Just wish I could remember them.
I am on the October rooster for another ablation. That is all I know at this point.
Life has its little bumps in the road. I know I will get over each bump, it just seems to sometimes take me longer to adjust. Once I do life is back to being great.
Recently read something. Not sure where or due credit would be given. It was something like: ” I have never met a strong person that that has not had troubles in their past”.
It is through the bumps in the road that we grow as spiritual being, grow to be stronger better people.
At every bump we are given a choice: grow and become stronger or let it side track and destroy us.


A picture of a proud Grandpa’s hands

August 25, 2015

There have been a number of requests for a picture of grandpa’s stylish hands. Realized did’ have a clear picture showing detailed quality of the job done, by my granddaughters.
Went back through photos and found this one from the last visit. This gives an idea of the high quality work. This time was a little more colourful, 10 nails, 10 different colours. Red, blue, pink, silver……

image


Grandpa Heaven

August 18, 2015

For the last 4 days I have been in what I would describe as grandpa heaven.
I was both blessed and lucky enough to have both of my beautiful and wonderful daughters visit. With them came not one, not two but all three of the most beautiful little princesses imaginable. OK, I may be a little biased as they are my granddaughters. Only one son-in-law was able to join us but Jake your presence added a lot. I thank you all for giving me such a wonderful weekend. I really am a lucky man. My only regret is I was just to tired to really join in the activities, those water slides looked like a lot of fun.
When my daughters were small, they loved making me “pretty”. That included putting nail polish on my fingers, putting clips and bows in my hair (yes, I had hair back then) and on occasion the make up came out. I was made “pretty”.
In the past year or two that tradition has been revived and grandpa gets his nails done and done in a very special, professional manner. I was looking pretty darn fine, 10 nails, 10 different colours.
I have to commend Uncle Jake for being such a good sport he joined right in and had his nails done in the same professional manner. We were both looking pretty snappy. That polish stays on for the duration of their visit. I get a bit of a chuckle sometimes when I see someone giving me a bit of an odd look. An old goat like me wearing nail polish. I just smile and think, if you had the chance to get your nails polished by a beautiful princess, I bet you would get them done. If you don’t you are missing out.
Well all good things must come to an end as did the visit. Now I am a sad grandpa.


Miracles at both ends of our human journey

August 9, 2015

Over the years my thinking has not changed a whole lot. I have been thinking of this whole “miracle” of death idea. Now first let’s be totally clear, any of my thoughts here do not extend to such things as suicide. Only the natural death we all face when the Good Lord takes us by the hand and leads us home.

I think we dread the thought of dying for many reasons but I believe the 2 big ones are fear of the unknown of what lies on the other side, even is there anything awaiting after this life. The other is the dread at the mere thought of leaving our loved ones. I think the second is the biggest for those left behind. They face a life forever changed. A life with a big hole in it.

Personally, I do believe in an afterlife. Exactly what that is I don’t know, I like to believe it is straight to Heaven. That belief has helped me deal with so much over the past years.

My last post was on the “miracle” of death. I had never exactly thought of it in exactly that way but close. I went back and found a post from the very first week of this blog. My feelings even way back then were pretty much in line.

This is from that early post:

Came across an interesting thought the other day. I am not sure I must have read this somewhere or something. I don’t remember, maybe having so much time to just think I maybe dreamed this up all by myself.

This requires a little use of your imagination. Now try to imagine this. Imagine if we could talk to an unborn baby, a baby all safely tucked away in its mothers womb. We could tell that baby about all the wonderful things that are waiting for it after its delivery into this world. We could tell the baby about the loving parents that are awaiting its arrival, of how much it will be loved by sibling, by grandparents and lots of others. All, just waiting for the baby to arrive. We could describe the wonderful world the baby will be coming into. The marvels of growing up, maturing and starting a family of its own. Oh, there are just so many wonderful things we could tell the baby about.

Now lets use our imaginations again and try to imagine what might be going through that baby’s mind. Fine, it is being promised it will be greeted by many people that will love it, care for it and nurture it. Fine, it is promised a world filled with wonderful things, but try to imagine what might be going through that little baby’s mind. All it has ever known is the safety and wet warmth of its mothers tummy, where it is nurtured and cared for. Do you think the baby might be reluctant, inspite of all the promises, to leave the comfort and safety of the only home it has ever known. Do you think, maybe that baby would be just a little scared or nervous about entering this world. From the stories I have heard of the difficulties, some ladies have in labour. It almost seems like some babies don’t enter the world to willingly. Almost like they are fighting to the end, to stay as long as they can, in the safety of that womb. But, fortunately for the human race, after about 9 months God and mother nature step in and the baby is forced into this world.

I like this thought and take comfort in it. I think our time on this earth can be compared to the time the baby is in the womb. We are comfortable here and don’t want to leave. We are reluctant, inspite of all the stories we hear of the loved ones, that will be waiting for us and all the glories we will see that are beyond our imagination. Most of us are like that difficult child birth, fighting to stay where we are for as long as we can. We fight to stay, until God steps in, and ultimately forces the situation.


Miracle of Life – Miracle of Death

August 6, 2015

Two recent comments really have me thinking.i always encourage all to read the comments left and not just my endless rambling. I do know that the are at least some that do not.
Dear blogging friends Irene and Lydia have each left very thought provoking comments. They have indeed helped to re Aline my thinking.
For today’s post I am copying their comment with my reply to each.
Irene:
Dear Bill,
Something (someone…..perhaps God?) told me to check back in. Sure am glad I did! I’m not sure how I would react to life-threatening news but I hope and pray that I can make inner peace with it all. I’d like to think that it’s all in the Good Lord’s plan–that I need to leave to make room for someone else to try to make the world a better place. Most of us agree that birth is a miracle…so isn’t death just as much a miracle??
Thinking of you often and praying for you always, Wiseman.
Irene

Irene, my friend so nice to hear from you, it has been a while and you are missed.
You bring up such an interesting point. Birth is a miracle, so isn’t death just such a miracle. I need to give this some real though. Initial thought is I agree. It could be said anytime God steps in to actively take take part in my life, taking me by the hand and leading me onward, leading me to the next life would be a miracle. Only God knows when out time on this earth is done at which time He calls us home. I know God is involved in my life on a daily basis. It is just with these human eyes of mine I rarely can see it. When it comes time for us to pass from this world, God’ hand is at work in a such a obvious way that even these human eyes can see it.
Excellent point. I need time to go over this in my mind.
Thank you
Bill

Lydia:
Hi Bill. Finally taking some time to reply. First on quality of life — your post had me thinking back to my Great-Aunt “Tante Greta” who passed away in the mid-90’s. She lived into her 90’s and was more than ready to pass away due to her quality of life but when a medical emergency came and the ambulance arrived, there was no DNR or living will, and they revived her and she went on to live a few more years. She and others regretted than in years to come (not that people didn’t love her, I think it was just difficult for people to see her continued suffering).

I know that our society has an almost scientific view of medicine, that if an intervention can be done, it should be done, but I would say that it’s not always the case. I’ve heard they used to call pneumonia an “old person’s friend”. I’d imagine that decisions need to be made with much wisdom. In the senior’s home where we sing, there was one resident who fell ill and we felt sure the end was in sight, but she went on to make a recovery (she’s past 90) and is still a lively, fun and engaging participant in our sing-a-longs. So obviously doctors felt intervention would still be more beneficial than detrimental.

I like what Irene wrote about birth being as much a miracle as death. I believe that. A friend of mine lost her husband to cancer a year ago. He was only 54, a doctor still in the prime of his career and a wonderful guy. All were so saddened to lose him. And my friend, though she was torn up with grief, she recounted his process of dying and said it had been a miraculous death. There had been such a sense of God’s presence and even joy. No doubt it will be one of the most profound experiences of her life. What a paradox! My own sister’s death when I was 7 has been a bit like that for me. In a very strange way, I’ve been the closest to her in my family, as all my life I’ve considered her one of my angels guarding me. So who is to say death is not a miracle! A baby being born from the mystery beyond us, and a person passing on to the mystery beyond us, both of these are surely miracles, no doubt with God leading all by the hand, whether coming or going.

Your continued talk about accepting the limitations of life that you can’t change continue to be a witness to me. I still have much to learn in that department. My headaches have been better lately, but I know when I go through another round which “knocks me off my butt”, I really grapple with that acceptance part. I agree it takes a while!

Wow, who’s the rambler today! Thanks for all the thoughts to think about, hope you are enjoying “Terry Fox” day today!

Hi Lydia always nice to hear from you. I thank you for your “ramble”, lol. Please feel free to ramble as much as you like and as often as you like.
I am sorry to hear of your sister’s passing, it must have been difficult being so young. That she may be one of your guardian Angels would not surprise me at all.
I love your statement:
“So who is to say death is not a miracle! A baby being born from the mystery beyond us, and a person passing on to the mystery beyond us, both of these are surely miracles, no doubt with God leading all by the hand, whether coming or going.” I believe that says it all. Our time on this earth is but one cycle of our existence.
You are right our medical system is geared towards keeping our bodies alive. We are in fact not our bodies. We are Spiritual beings merely inhabiting that body during our time on this earth.
Somehow we have to come up with a better understanding of the difference between extending life and extending death.
Thanks again
Bill


Quality of life determined within our own minds

August 1, 2015

For about the 10th time, I just read all the comments left about quality of life, for which I again thank all. Each message unique in its own way showing how we determine quality of life truely is a personal and individual choice.

In one sense we live our lives in our heads. Our brain/mind controls everything from our bodily functions to our minds containing all of our thoughts and feelings which affect and control how we view life, our own lives and the world in general. So very much is dependant on attitude.
Our thoughts, our feelings and our attitude towards things can evolve and change over the years. The way my own thinking and attitude has evolved over the years is a perfect example of that. I look at my life today. While I am not happy about the many limitations on what I can or can’t do, I have been able to grudgibly come to terms with it. Reach a level of acceptance, coming to appreciate what I have as opposed to fretting about what I do not have in terms of physical limitations. With that acceptance, the way I view the quality of my life improved greatly. How my thinking has changed is. If say 40 years ago when I was young, tough, strong and stupid, if someone described my current quality of life and asked me if that would be acceptable. I know I would have laughed and said, if I ever get like that just take me out and shoot me. Meaning in my mind back then I thought it would be totally unacceptable, today I can accept and be relatively comfortable with. Got one one of my rambles there, hope it made sense.

I heard this somewhere: “one of mankind’s greatest strengths is our ability to so quickly adapt, one of mankind’s greatest weaknesses is our ability to so quickly adapt.” That I suppose is what I have been doing adapting to my ever changing reality of life. I can’t change whatever is my current reality, I have no control over it. All I can control is how I deal with it. I can accept it, allowing myself to reach a level of inner peace and contentment. Or, I can get and remain and angry and upset. Either way the situation doesn’t change. The only difference between the two is my thinking which controls the quality of my life.

Each time I take a “medical hit” it usually knocks me on my butt, with my mind running wild. All the negative “what if’s” jump to the fore front. I have down on my butt for the past while. The larger looming possibility of a stroke, flat out scare the crap out of me. It has taken a bit but I have reached a level of acceptance. I have no control over this, accept I have no control, let it go. If it happens, it happens, reach that level of inner peace.

I love my life, yes, even as it is. I want to live it not endure it. To do that I need that inner peace.


Living Will – acceptable quality of life – feed back please

July 29, 2015

Again, I thank all that posted their thoughts on quality of life. I have read all and will be replying to each individually.
Have started my own post. My gauge for assessing quality of life has changed over the years. I am now looking at things like breathing issues, mobility, fatigue…… How these things impact on me daily affecting the quality of my day. I have said it so very many times, life is to be lived and not endured. The question is at what point does our situation change that we go from living to enduring.
This past couple of years I have been battling an entirely new and different heart condition. This combined with the heart failure and all increases risk of heart attack and stroke. I have come to realize I fear the stroke much more than the heart attack. Yes, I fully realize that next heart attack will put me down and out. I have had years to come to acceptance of that. I don’t like it, I dread it but I no longer fear it.
What I realize I do fear is the stroke, a major stroke. I am talking the stroke that leave a fully functioning mind trapped in a paralyzed useless body. Being unable to even communicate. Just stuck for who knows how long, your mind trapped. That is my greatest fear, something I can’t live with.
I realize strokes can affect you in countless different ways and to different degrees. I know people that have made virtually a complete recovery. So yes, I am looking at the worst case scenario but that is my greatest fear. I can help alleviate that fear/worry with a Living Will. It is designed to make my wishes clearly know should I go through such an event that I am left unable to communicate.
This gives me peace of mind both for myself and I am sure will ease the burden for my family. They will not be left forced to make agonizing decisions based on what they think I would want done.
It is so easy when we are healthy to have an almost cavalier attitude and think and say things like: “If I ever get like that just pull the plug”. We have to think of the onus, the burden that places on our family. Someone has to step up and make the decision as to exactly under what circumstances do yo “pull the plug” and how long do you wait to do that. Then consider how much difficulty may they have going forward living with the fact they made the decision as to where and when your life was ended.a huge burden to place on anyone, especially when it can be avoided.
My instructions I believe are pretty clear.
If such an event should happen and I am able to communicate. Respect my wishes, not open to debate. Should I be declared brain dead in a still living body, pull the plug immediately. Should I be showing brain activity in an otherwise dead body and unable to communicate. Wait for a period of 30 days to see if I “wake up” then pull the plug.
For me there should be no actual plug based on my DNR. For me it would be stop all medications. Currently I take 37 pills a day to keep this body going, many being heart related. Stop all those and I am in God’s hands.
More and more I have come to realize quality of life has nothing to do with the outer world. It is determined within our own heads.
I am looking for more feed back please. Do you have a living will? Do you think it is good and considerate idea to have one? Should an accident or some tragedy occur what would be the minimum quality of life you would find acceptable?


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 540 other followers