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Archive for September, 2008

Medical Update

Good news and bad news.  The good news is, it’s not cancer.  Blood tests came back showing everything was normal, for the most part.  No thyroid problems, no diabetes, no cancer, etc.  However, the doctor has sent my blood back to the lab for one more test.  She believes my symptoms are consistent with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and since I do have an odd-scarred tick bite on the artery on my neck, it’s a reasonable conclusion.  I won’t get results until Monday.

Rocky Mountain fever is caused by a tick bite – and while it does often present a rash, a rash does not always have to be present – and the lack of rash can make it difficult to diagnose.  Early symptoms include fever, sore throat, flu like symptoms (all of which I’ve had within the last three months since I got this bite), and as the condition spreads, can cause severe headaches, loss of appetite, weight loss, muscle pain, etc.

Here’s the hard part.  If untreated or not caught early enough, it can lead to kidney failure, lung failure, heart failure, and meningitis (water on the brain/spine) – and in some cases, though rare, can be fatal.  Because my kidney is currently in the condition it is, this would indicate that we did not catch the problem soon enough to treat it with simple oral antibiotics, if that is, in fact, what I have.

So, we can rule out cancer and sigh a sigh of relief – but, I’m not out of the woods just yet.  Something is causing me to drop weight drastically and my kidney to go haywire.  I won’t know until Monday whether or not we’ve found the diagnosis, or if we’ll be back at the drawing board trying to find out what’s causing this.

I spent the entire day in bed today, which sent a lot of people into a panic.  Apparently, where I’d set my cell phone, it wasn’t getting signal, so I never heard it ring and wasn’t being notified of text messages.  I awoke at 2:30 and called the doctor, and while I was on the phone, all the messages came through.  By the time I reached my son, he said he was about 20 seconds away from calling 911.  In fact, he’d already called Atlas, who tried to reach me from Vegas!  They’d also called my mother, so she was worried and trying to reach me from work.  I’m so sorry I sent everyone into a panic, yet was so grateful to realize how truly loved I am, and how carefully my loved ones are watching over me.

For now, I’m taking another dose of meds and falling back out.  Monday seems so far away.  I just want to know what it is I’m facing!

Nonetheless, life is good.

W

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Stopped short…

With the image gallery malfunctioning – combined with how I feel right now both emotionally and physically, I’ve deided to stop short with the Daily Dose.

 

I’m going back to bed.

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NOTE: I seem to be having issues with the image gallery this morning, so I cannot include the image. Will try again later…

This card is all about celebration, friendships, and communication.  It indicates social gatherings, parties, and honoring the blessings of social interaction.  Inverted, it could be signifying my recent retreat into self. I’ll have more to say at the bottom of this post.

Here’s what the sources say:

From Learn Tarot.com

feeling exuberant
bursting with energy
being in the flow
celebrating
overflowing with high spirits
feeling on top of the world
dancing and singing
putting yourself out there 
enjoying friendship
getting together with people you like
experiencing camaraderie
extending/receiving hospitality
sharing
finding companions
trusting others
relying on outside help 
valuing community
taking part in a support group
developing a team spirit
working together
uniting with others
forming a group bond
helping each other
discovering a common goal
being neighborly

There are three cards in the tarot that focus on the group – each from a different point of view. For the Hierophant, it’s the formal approach. For the Three of Pentacles it’s teamwork, and for the Three of Cups, it’s emotions. What does it feel like to join with others? What is friendship and community? These are the questions answered by the Three of Cups.

On this card, we see three women dancing together in a circle. Their arms reach out to each other to connect their feelings (Cups). In many settings, women create and nurture the social glue that bonds people together. These dancing women are a symbol of coming together in love. (Of course, these feelings do not only relate to woman.)

In readings, the Three of Cups can signify a friend or the feelings associated with friendship. This card can represent community – the network of support created when we interact with others. It can be any group in which the members feel a bond. When you see the Three of Cups, examine your attachments to the groups in your life from an emotional point of view. Consider reaching out to give or receive help. This card stands for all forms of support, including formal aid such as counseling and other social services.

The women on the Three of Cups also express joy and high spirits. Such feelings are not limited to groups, but can be especially strong there. Celebrations spontaneously arise when people feel connected, loved and secure. The Three of Cups can stand for a mood or experience that makes you feel like dancing and singing.

 

From Aeclectic Tarot:

So at first we had one, indivisible; then it splits into two, mirror images, opposites: two opposing passions, twin emotions, two ideas, two jobs or finances. The next move, of course, is for the two to create a third. Male and female create a child; two corners get a third to form a triangle.

Ruling over the threes is the Empress, of course, whose card is all about creation. The child in the womb, the seed in the ground. So, with the twos, a choice has been made about what use to put this passion, emotion, brainpower, craft. Now we get the first results of that decision, the initial offspring.

Three of Cups

Three maidens with three overflowing cups celebrate. The creation here, springing from the relationship in the two of cups, is happiness, togetherness. Two cups pour into a third and it overflows with love and joy, enough for all. This is a card of parties, weddings, anniversaries, baby showers, birthdays. Any time that families get together and reunite in celebration of something new.

From Solitary Witch: Book of Shadows for the Next Generation by Silver Raven Wolf:

Joining a group of like-minded individuals; emotional celebrations of all kinds; positive group mind; comfort; a happy outcome of an emotional situation; good luck; emotional fulfillment of something long awaited.

And, from Numerology and the Divine Triangle by Faith Javane and Dusty Bunker:

As a temporary  vibration: Abundance, rejoicing, healing. Congratulations are in order. This is a period of rejoicing because the results of your past endeavors are now evident. You have concluded matters successfully and realized your goals. The rewards are yours.

If your pursuits have been professional, you now realize financial increases, promotion, and business expansion. If health has been an issue, healing takes place. Family difficulties smooth out, and you are overwhelmed by success, peace, and extra benefits that you are now enjoying.

This is a restful vibration, so loosen up and enjoy it. Follow your routine or take a vacation, but maintain the status quo. Pushing new ventures and pursuing new avenues is not a part of this cycle. Sit back and relax.

Be careful that your celebration does not degenerate into overindulgence. Too much of the good life can bring on physical discomforts. If you select your partners indiscriminately, relationships can suffer. So eat, drink and be merry in moderation. You have earned it.

Tarot Symbolism: This key depicts the celbration of bounty and good fortune. Three maidens jubilantly toast the happy outcome of their work  – the abundant harvest pictured around them.

 

Notes: On instinct, I think of Sorscha and Indigo, as they’ve been my two strongest allys in progressing towards my goals.  They are the two who call and check on me if I’ve “gone dark”, gotten ill, or otherwise seem distressed.  On the same token, however, I must remember that while this card has a beautiful and celebratory definition, it also appeared today REVERSED – which means either the energy is just surfacing, has already climaxed and is on its way out, OR, that the opposite of this card’s definition is manifesting.

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The 48 hours have been exceded, and I’m still waiting for word from the doctor. Took the right medicine to work yesterday, but also made an executive decision not to wear a bra.  I figure with the tank top, the Oxford, and the apron on top, no one would notice, and I’d not suffer.  I was right – no one noticed. The medicine and lack of bra helped, but not 100%.  Fortunately, we had someone scheduled to come in and give us breaks at five o’clock, but no one wanted breaks, so he’d have driven to work for nothing.  I asked if he’d be interested in finishing my shift, and he was delighted — and the manager was very understanding and allowed it with no problem. Came home, took pills, passed out. Same as yesterday, woke at about ten, took another dose, passed back out and didn’t wake up ’til 8:30 this morning.  At least I’m sleeping these days, which is more than I can say for what August and the first half of September offered.

I’ve a friend at work I’ve mentioned more than once – the girl who is helping me get business off the ground.  I do believe I’ll call her Sorscha from this point forward.  She and I were talking in the break room yesterday, and she’s the one person I feel really close to that I can go “shields down” in front of.  We were talking about how I’m managing and I was really making a joke out of my situation – that I haven’t managed to go to the store and we’re out of everything.  I made the joke that the kids were using shampoo as body wash.  When I left work that afternoon, there was a card stuck in the steering wheel of the jeep that read, “Who loves ya?!”, and in the passenger seat was a grocery bag with shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and hair spray.  I cried – but it was a combination cry – the kind that makes you feel like shit for not being able to provide what needs to be provided when it’s needed, coupled with the kind that just squeezes your heart because you know you have genuinely good friends who care.  It’s not so much that I couldn’t afford to provide as much as it is that I just haven’t felt like I could go anywhere.

I cancelled all of today’s tarot readings.  Even if I could have driven from place to place, or had a central location to do readings from (which Indigo offered when she read of my situation), doing readings takes a lot of personal energy; it is a “psychic connection” even though I’m using the cards as a tool, and I just don’t feel I’ve got that extra personal energy to share today.  Everyone was very understanding and told me to let them know when I’m feeling better and they’d reschedule.

Baby girl showed me a science project when I got home last night.  Her assignment was to make a model of an atom.  She used aluminum foil, glitter-painted buttons, weed-wacker wire, and a hot glue gun.  Her results were stunning! She didn’t ask for help from anyone and worked diligently on it for days.  I’m so proud of her.  She sure does take her education seriously and she’s adjusting marvelously to high school.

Rhythm came into my room after I’d settled in bed, sat on the edge and asked, “How ya feelin?”

“Like ass,” was my reply, but I grinned and thumped his leg when I said it.  He then proceded to tell me how much money he’s earning for college by maintaining a 3.7 grade average or higher.  Our schools have a system now that each quarter that has a 3.7 or higher gpa, the student receives scholarship funds – and the higher the gpa, the more funds they receive.  Furthermore, that scholarship duplicates each year of college, so if he earns $2,000 in scholarship funds, he’ll receive $2,000 for each year of college. Being a Junior this year, he’s quite focused on his formal education — and on his dreams of studying abroad in Japan. He’ll do it, too — I know he will.

I’m in a strange place today.  My mind doesn’t feel like studying. I’ve got all these books here and until now have had such a desire to drink them down, but my head just doesn’t feel like doing it today.  It’s not because of pain, I just feel a block, like the universe is saying, “Not now, kid. Not now.”  I also don’t feel like playing SIMS2, which is totally out of character for me.  I’m a SIMS2 addict.  I’ve got three numerology reports to do, and five tarot readings to transcribe, but I’m just not in it today.  I suppose it’s meant to be a day of rest.

Will do the daily dose and see how I feel when it’s done.  I’ve not taken any meds yet, so I’m thinking perhaps when the cards are on the table, I’ll medicate and go back to bed. *shrugs*

I feel like I’m in some strange limbo.  Nonetheless, Life is good!

W

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I over-slept again, which is and isn’t surprising.

I wasn’t able to pull my full shift yesterday. Not only does my entire abdomen swell and “pull” while I’m working, aggravated intensley by wearing a bra, but I also took the wrong medicine to work and had nothing on hand to tame the headache.  I swear, when I was in the break room in the back of the building, I could hear a fork scrape a plate at table 214, which is in the second dining room, far right corner of the front of the building. Sounds from the dish room were piercing, and each time I walked into the front dining room, I felt like I was being bombarded by a million screaming voices.  I was in tears most of the day, with permanent crease down the center of my forehead from squinting – not from poor vision, but pain. I was scheduled to work ’til 7, they let me go at four.

I took off the bra in the jeep, which seems to have become habit, now.  It’s like tying a rubber band around a water balloon – it just puts too much pressure.  As soon as I got home, the kids tucked me into bed, brought me medicine – and that was it, I was down for the count.  Woke at ten just in time to say goodnight to the kids, take another dose of meds, finish my traffic school course (YAY! It’s done!), and then passed back out by 12:30.  It was after 8 when I woke this morning.

While I napped last night, I had several incoming calls from friends and people who are concerned.  I slept so solid I never heard the phone ring, but the voicemails were extremely touching and provided a bit of comfort when I needed it most.

I should get blood results today or tomorow. I’m hoping for today.  I just want to know what it is that I’m dealing with here. It’s hard to brace yourself for a blow when you don’t know where the blow is coming from, or aiming toward.

Will try to pull my own weight at work today and push through the whole shift. I’m scheduled for 9 hours, and Thursdays are usually my best money days.  Then, I have two days in a row that I don’t have to be Wendi the Wonder Waitress.  I do have Friday booked for readings, and I think I’d be okay there since it’s mostly sitting. My only concern is the driving, as driving seems to aggravate this thing. I may end up cancelling those appointments, which burns my ass because I’ve been working so hard to build a client base, and some of these clients are new.  On the same token, if I push myself too hard, who knows how long I’ll be out of commission.  I guess I’ll play it by ear throughout the day and make my decision by day’s end.

No time for the Daily Dose today – plus, I’m resisting it a bit, I think – but will get back to it as of tomorrow morning, provided I feel okay and don’t overlseep.

Life is good.

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So, I finally made it to the doctor.  It was about ten after five when we walked through the door at Urgent Care.  By five-thirty I had all the paperwork filled out, and then it was a waiting game.  I suppose it was somewhere around six when they called my name.  The kids gave me the inquiring eyes: “Should we come with you?”  I made bug eyes at them, which meant, “Don’t be ridiculous! Of course you’re coming!”

We get nestled into our room and the nurse begins her investigation, taking note of everything I said.  I figured it’d be a while before the doctor came in, but it was actually very quick.  I liked the doctor.  It was a young woman with a short haircut and big eyes.  She had a warm smile, and her concern for me was obvious.

Sometimes you go to the doctor and they make you feel like you’re an inconvenience, or like there’s really no reason for you to be there.  They don’t listen, they cut you off in mid-sentence, or they just treat you like you’re ignorant.  This woman was none of those things.  She listened intently to everything, asking a few questions along the way.  Then, she made me giggle with her choice of words.

“Okay, I’m just gonna look at your little belly.”

“Now I’m gonna look in your little ears.”

“I’m gonna take a peek at your little face.”

Everything was “little”.  I thought that was cute.

When it was made clear that I had a run in with cancer ten years ago, the concern was obvious.  She decided it’d be best to start out with a full blood screen, and a few x-rays.

The x-rays came first.  A much bigger, much less friendly woman came into the room and instructed me to follow her down the hall.  The room she took me to felt like a freezer, it was so cold!

“Take off your jeans, put on this gown, lay down on the table.”

I slipped out of my jeans, unfolded the paper napkin she called a gown, and then wondered… “Hmmm, does it open in the back, or in the front?” I debated for a moment, standing there shivering in my panties, then opted for opens in the front because it was my front they were x-raying, so it seemed logical.

The woman calls out to me from behind her glass window: “Are you ready?”

“Maybe.” I reply.

“Maybe?” She responds.

“Yeah. Which way is this thing supposed to open, in the back or in the front?”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“Well, how do most people do it?”

“Most people have it open in the back.”

I giggled.

She came out from behind her glass window and proceded to wrap and tuck my “gown” around my hips and tummy on the ice-slab she called a table.

“It doesn’t matter, Hon. You’re so tiny we could wrap this thing around you eight times and still have left overs.”

I was shivering.

She went back behind her glass wall and said, “Okay.  Take a deep breath in.  Hold it.” She makes a loud click sound, then says, “Okay, you can breathe.”

She comes back to the ice-slab, takes something out of it, and says, “Okay, we’re probably done. Just let me check this real quick. Stay put. I’ll be right back.”

While she was away, my whole body started tremmoring.  Teeth chattering.  I thought I was gonna freeze to death.

She comes back with a bit of a different expression on her face and says, “We’re gonna do one more… a little lower this time.”

I knew right away she’d found something.

She sends me back to my room and I instantly ask my son for his hoodie.

“Mom, you look ridiculous!” he says, then does an impersonation of me shivering.

“Well,” I said, half giggling, “I had to take off my pants….”

Before I could finish my statement, the boy interrupted, “That’s not part of the x-ray procedure, you know.”

The three of us cracked up.

“They found something, you know.” I said, point blank.

“How do you know?” My daughter asked.

“I can just tell. Trust me.  I don’t know what they found, but they found something.”

Everyone exchanges glances, then my son says, “Don’t worry.”  Then, he and is sister entertain me by doing goofy dances and playing music through their ipod headphones. A few minutes later, the nurse came in to draw blood.  Rhythm left the room for that part, but Stinkerbelle held my hand and let me bury my face in her shoulder.

Five minutes after that, the doctor was back.

“Well,” She starts, “If it’s okay with you, I’d like to schedule an MRI and a CAT scan – we really need to take a closer look at you, and we’re not equipped to do that here in this office.”

“Okay…” I say it, but we all understand it to be more of a question.

“Your x-ray came back showing something that I believe is your kidney.  I’m saying kidney because…” And she goes on to describe the differences between the smooth edges of the kidney vs. the jagged edges of other internal organs as they appear in x-ray, then she continues, “… but I question whether or not this could actually be your kidney.  It has to be, I think, but if it is, it’s extremely enlarged.  I mean really enlarged.”

“Okay, what causes that?” I ask.

“It could be a mass inside the kidney; but it could be that you’ve got compounding problems here, which is why I’d like to do more tests.  I’d like to make sure you don’t have any tumors or abnormal growths in your head causing your headaches, and really make certain this is your kidney I’m seeing.”

In the mean time, she’s given me two medications: a muscle relaxer and something for the headaches.  She said we should have results of the blood tests in 24-48 hours and when they call with those results, they’ll have a time and place for me to go have the MRI AND CAT scan done.  She said if I feel I can handle it, I should be able to work, but that I should listen to my body and if I feel it’s too much, then honor that and don’t go to work.  Of course I’m going.

So, I’m a bit on edge, yes.  They seem to be leaning toward thoughts of cancer.  I took both medications just as I pulled into the driveway, and it’s the first relief I’ve had from this headache in days.  The kids are concerned, but supportive and encouraging – and my mom was Johnny on the spot meeting me at the pharmacy offering to pay for my prescriptions ’cause she knew I couldn’t afford them.

So the diagnosis is incomplete, but a large mass in the kidney is what’s suspected, and they’re looking for tumors in the head.  Groovy.  In the mean time, I’ll continue to serve the beans ‘n’ greens with a smile and hold to my personal motto:

Life is good.

*big breath*

W

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Mighty Tao is all-pervading.
It is simultaneously on this side
and on that.
All living things come from it,
and all are in its care.
It works, it finishes,
and knows not the name of merit.
In love it nurtures all things,
and claims no excellence therein.
It knows neither ambition nor desire.
It can be classed with the jumblest of all things,
for all things finally revert to it,
and are not thereby increased.
Tao can be mentioned with
the greatest of things.
And the Sage
understands humility in this.

Tao is a mighty teacher, and those who learn through observing Tao grow humble in their hearts. Watch, and you will see that Tao is continually providing for everything. Tao infuses what is great and what is small with the same nurturing energy. Tao does not discriminate, nor does it forget. Tao tends carefully to everything.

Sometimes the most difficult thing to appreciate is how much creativity is brought to making your life beautiful, how much love is given to your existence. If you tend to find fault with things, relax. Let yourself be taken care of. It is sometimes too easy to want to fight or to think that things are against you. Fighting makes you feel separate and powerful. It distracts you from feeling loved.

Approach Tao with humiity, and you will see that life is complete and undivided. Move toward Tao and you move towards perfect balance. Contemplate Tao and you become one with all of existence.

Source: The Tao Box, Adapted and Interpreted by Priya Hemenway

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