Vi update

October 29, 2013

We saw the surgeon yesterday about Vi’s legs. They have an action plan. Turns out she has a major calcified blockage in the arteries leading to each of her legs. She will require both surgery and an angioplasty on each side.  Understandably she is a little apprehensive.  Here in Canada the quality of medical care is excellent. It is just to get the care wait times are the norm.

it is expected to be into the New Year before she is called in.

Prayer request for Vi

October 28, 2013

Tomorrow is a big day. A day we have been waiting. I have written of Vi having major issues with her legs causing pain with ever decreasing amounts of movement  hopefully tests are over. Tomorrow is the appointment with the vascular surgeon where we hope to hear of a plan of action. Be what it may let’s just get this done.

Guide Line for talking to the dying

October 27, 2013

A big thank you to dear blogging friend Lydia for referring me to what be a very helpful and informative article. For me it helps to clarify so much.
I have always been encouraging of the idea of visiting the dying. Believe me, when you are diagnosed as being terminal, irregardless of the nature of the illness or condition, time takes on a whole new meaning to you. You appreciate the meaning and value of every day, hour, minute and even every second.
When such a patient agrees to share some of their valued, precious time with us, we should feel honoured that they would be willing to share what to them is precious time with us.
For I think most of us, myself included preparing for such a visit may bring about feelings from nervousness to fear to almost panic. WHAT DO I SAY???? It can be those very real thoughts and feelings that keep us away.
Not visiting produces a double negative whammy. We deprive ourselves of a beautiful opportunity, that we well may regret for the rest of our lives. On the other side of the table if you don’t visit, what do you imagine this May due to that patient? Maybe thoughts like “they know I am dying and don’t even care enough to visit”.
OK, that gets us back to what do you say? The site listed below actually has well written, well explained guideline on exactly that. What should or shouldn’t we say. Please check it out and let me know what you think.

Not living is worse than dying

October 23, 2013

I have come to realize over all this time. In my mind there is something worse than dying. What could be worse than that?

To me, not living, life while we have it is far worse. I know, I was right there on the treadmill that can become our lives. Constantly running just trying to keep up with the events of the day. The pace is ever increasing to the point where any day we get through with out having to face some sort of catastrophe becomes our definition of a good day. I was there and know what that is like.

Out transition into that thinking comes on so slowly we don’t even realize it is happening. That process becomes our norm, what we expect for our days. Now, I ask, if my expectation of tomorrow is another frenzied day after which I will just flop into bed utterly exhausted. Content that I have made it through one more day and happy if I made it through that day without having to face and deal with some sort of crisis. Is that living life or just putting in our time until our days are done?

Granted our days are busy, that is just life today. I so very much wish I could have seen and appreciated the value of time in my younger, healthier years. I wasted far to much of it allowing myself to get upset, stressed. Each second I spent like that was time gone forever.

One example. I hated waiting in line ups be that in traffic or even getting through the line at the check out in a store. It was wasting so much of my time. “This store should have more check out tills open, don’t they realize they are wasting my time making me stand here waiting like this”

I took me a long time to realize in a situation like that, it was not the store causing me to waste my precious time. I was, I was doing it to myself. I was there and nothing I could do about it. I could have used it as quiet time, done some people watching, used the time to quietly de -stress. I deprived myself of that time. Think about your day really how much precious time do you waste.

a second of negativity is a second of joy gone forever

Sweating the big stuff

October 22, 2013

I really believe in not sweating the small stuff. I think we all agree with that idea. Why is it so hard to put into practice? In the heat of the moment, issues came be blown way out of proportion. It is only later we can sit back and often even laugh about it, see it for what it was, small stuff. I often try to use my 3 month rule. What ever I am dealing with as big as it may seem at that moment. I try to use the though process, in 3 months is this something I am likely to care about, laugh about or even remember .

to try and put things in a little prospective as you are running through your days. Let me tell of a real life experience happening at this moment to a good friend and neighbour of ours. He is well advanced in years with congestive heart failure (sounds familiar). Doctors have indicated he a now in palliative care (again sounds familiar), doctors have said it is a matter of days, possibly weeks (hmm, I have heard those same words). nothing more can be done (yikes). It is at this point that quality of life vs quantity of life becomes a major consideration. Acceptable amount of quality is just no longer there. He was hospitalized at the time and largely at his request and reluctant agreement of family it was decided to cease all medication, placing it all in the hands of our Heavenly Father.  With a DNR in place there is nothing that could be done in the hospital that can’t be done at home. Home is is preference and at home he is.

Now begins that terrible waiting game. I think of him just laying there, literally knowing he is just waiting to die. I think of the emotion, the pain the family is feeling as they sit awaiting that same end.

I ask you to just think about that. How does your day look now?

Never give up

October 22, 2013

I was really struck by a comment left by my own daughter Billie. Her comment contained a quote from from a great man, Dr. Martin Luther King.
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but what ever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
Keep moving forward is the very key to living life and not just enduring our time here on this earth. I think our time on this earth is like a journey down the highway of life.
This journey begins and ends the same way for all of us. We are born we put in our time here on this earth and we die. Now, I am talking only about this time in our physical bodies and not what lies beyond. Simple put, we are born, we live and we die.
Really, the only difference in this whole thing for any of us is how we live that life. I have heard the saying about so many things, the more you put into it the more you get out of it. That most definitely applies to life.
The only difference there is for any of us is how we live the time we have. Life is simply what we do with our time on this earth. Choosing what it is with that time makes us who we are as individuals. It is the challenges or rather how we deal with them, that define who we really are. When life is moving smoothly we just coast down that highway. Throw a few bumps on that highway and our individuality shows through our inner strength, depth of character…….
We all have our struggles in life that we can allow to seemingly become overwhelming. How do we teach ourselves to step back, look and see our lives in prospective. See what is important, really worth getting worked up about. If we really open our eyes we see in regular life there is not that much really worth fretting about.
I see that so clearly as I am constantly inspired by those I see at the Wellness Centre. Some greatly hampered with physical issues. Yet there they are not giving up, doing what they can with what they have never giving up, always moving forward.
Life lesson for many could be learned there. Appreciate what we have. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Never give up keep moving forward

Cycle of life

October 20, 2013

This is Canada after all and my front step sitting time is mostly over, just to cold. I spent a few minutes out there this morning just to look at the front lawn. It is beautiful completely covered in gold. The gold being all of the leaves falling from mostly the massive Elm tree in the front yard. Seasons come and go there is such beauty in each one.

Talking to a few neighbours, I seem to be the only one that seems to see or appreciate this beauty. Look, see and appreciate what is there while it is there And it is those leaves that are there now. Yes, there is the work now of raking, cleaning them up. But that doesn’t change the beauty of this moment.

If we really look nature so clearly shows us the cycles of life. Now I am thinking of that mighty Oak tree out in front. If based only on current physical appearance, it would seem to be dying. Leaves have lost all of their beautiful green colour are sagging and with any bit of wind are falling. Over these next winter months if based on physical appearance will be dead.

We all know the tree in spite of appearance is not dead. I am not sure what term to use here, the soul of the tree, the essence or spirit of that tree is still very much there. The essence of life remains hidden deep within.

Using physical appearance as our guide that “dead” tree will almost appear to be reborn every spring. That is the cycle of life.

we see that everywhere around us. Know what I am trying to say but struggling with wording. The cycle of life repeats itself we can see that everywhere.

 Really, does it make any sense that we as humans would be exempt from that. I have my own thoughts and beliefs as to what lies beyond. In my mind it can make no sense to think it will all end here. There is something more. Thoughts vary wildly on what that is. What are your thoughts?

PS. Mother Nature added an additional bonus. I got to see the lawn beautifully carpeted with leaves. Within an hour or so the wind picked up virtually clearing the lawn.

Working out pays off

October 18, 2013

It is about 2 months now that I have been exercising at the Wellness Centre and I am seeing real results. I still huff and puff and need my rest stops but I am feeling stronger. Slowly I am being introduced to some of the machines. My goal is to put in an hour. Yes, in that time I do include my huff and puff rest breaks. So actual exercise time is some what less but even that is improving.
I have come to realize there is something wrong with Vi’s eye sight. With all of this heavy training I am doing, I now look in the mirror and see the body of a Mr. Universe. She just doesn’t seem to see the same, what is up with that?
I have a challenge for any that may read this. An exercise that is very simple. Sit in a chair, stand up as you would normally do, then just sit down again. Straight forward and easy enough. Try doing 2 sets of 10 reps. Oh, one other thing as you are standing and then again sitting, do both in slow motion.
Just stand up and then sit down, remember the slow motion part.
I’d be interested in hearing how you make out

Princesses in the realm of my heart

October 17, 2013

Any that have followed the blog for any time may have noticed I spoken of the 3 little princesses that have such a big claim on my heart, my grand daughters. Several times in the past I got myself into “trouble” for writing about things that were not for the blog. Memory guy here apparently in spite of being superficially requested not to would 3 or 4 days later write about it, oops, sorry.

it seemed best all around or safest for grandpa to just not write about any specifics. Well I have that ban at least partially lifted. So here goes the proud grandpa. I do love each equally you will be hearing how wonderful each is in their own way.
Today I am high lighting little Miss Emery as yesterday was her birthday. Happy birthday Emery, I love you very much. Now 4 year old Miss Emery has been excitedly awaiting her birthday. I am sure much of the excitement was more about the birthday party. Now let’s jump back a month or so ago, to when they were thinking about and planning this up coming party. She wanted a bowling party. Apparently there is a bowling alley that can set up age appropriate settings. Great.
Now Billie, Rob and the kids have been very active in supporting charities in a part of Kenya. That is another amazing story I will get into another day. Anyway through that they learned of a program to give a kid a goat, how it helps the kid and entire family. That thought made a real impression on little Miss Emery.
Back to the party planning. At the time the invitations are being prepared. Emery approached her mom asking if there was a way she could ask for money instead of presents. Billie being a little surprised why money instead of presents. Little princess Emery stated, she wanted the money so SHE could buy a goat for a child in Africa. Billie was taken back, I am in awe. A 4 year old wanting to for go birthday presents for herself to instead buy a goat for a child in Africa. That just blows my mind, I am in awe and so very, very proud.
Billie put a little note to the parents explaining what Emery wanted to do.
Princess Emery was just beside herself with joy when it was over and she learned she had enough money to buy 5 goats. When she began to calm down a little a sobering thought hit her. She wanted to be sure the goats were shared with not all going to one child.
Emery I think it was such a wonderful thing you have done. Grandpa is so very, very proud of you. I love you more than you will ever know.
How often have I declared myself to be a proud grandpa but an example of why. All 3 princesses are equally wonderful in their own way.

Inspired by those around me

October 12, 2013

Every time I go to the Wellness Centre I come away awed and inspired. There is my ever increasing athletic progress, hmm, well maybe not so much there. Though I am seeing a noticeable difference.
But more by the other people I see there, every shape and size, ever level of fitness. I go in the morning when yes there are some with the hard well toned bodies but more are the more mature folk like me. Many are dealing with cardiac or some other medical issues. The determination I see from these folks seems to give me the lift I at times need to go that little bit further.
Example, today I was blasting around the track at my usual pace. Ahead of me I could see I was catching up with a very slight, white haired, more mature lady. She was walking on the inside track which has a hand rail for support. Her pace was slow as she sort of dragged one leg a little. Now the track is set up with marked lanes, just like in traffic you shoulder check before changing lanes to avoid possibly colliding with another walker or runner coming up behind you. As it happened as I came up behind the lady, there was a larger group of walkers in the other lane. I slowed to the ladies pace to allow the others past. She must have realized I was back there as she turned slightly and apologized for being so slow. I assured her that was no problem but didn’t think she had heard me. When the others had all passed, I moved up beside her adjusting my pace to her’s. Again I assured her pace was no problem and said I admired her for being out there. We chatted briefly, I learned she had suffered a stroke. Her doctor suggested walking so there she was giving it her all such as that was. I know of people much much younger that didn’t have that drive. She felt self conscious as she felt she was a hindrance in the way of others. I did my best to assure that was not the case.
One other example of the many I could give. I was galloping down the straight of way when suddenly I was passed by a gentleman in a motorized wheel chair. Now that was a surprise, left me temporarily wondering, now what in the world could be the point in this. That is until I got to the far end of the oval and saw him working on one of the machines for upper body strength. Wow, I am not even sure what to say. I am not sure I would have the inner strength to do that.
This just so re-enforces in my mind. We may not always like the hand we are dealt in life. How we deal with it that allows us to live life or just endure our time here