Saturday, May 31, 2014


I've been well and happy these last few days. Not perfect but as close as it gets. The side effects of the gabapentin which I'm taking for the neuropathy are wearing off, so I feel more like myself. I'm taking a rather large dose, but not the maximum and my pain is mostly under control. It comes and goes and is at least now at a level I can tolerate.
After attending my quilt guilds last UFO day today ( that always makes me happy), I got my bike out and went for a spin through some of the back trails.

It is so wonderful to see the trees leafing out and the blossoms opening. Although I don't have any smell, I can still breathe deeply with satisfaction imagining the sweet smell of new growth.
I saw and heard lots of wild life-- warblers, woodpeckers, squirrels, and a partridge that took his time ambling across the trail into the woods.
On a bank beside the trail I spied these odd puff ball shaped growths on an old stump. I walk theses trails many times, constantly astounded by something new each time. I've never seen these before.

They are some type of growths, and they don't seem fungus or mushroom like. They are hollow and papery to the touch. I shall have to do a search on the net to see if I can find them.

It pleases me no end to make these little discoveries, something I can do only when I decide to go for a little easy ride, looking around me as I go.
Besides my artistic expression which I write about on my other blog, this is how I cope with life and stress and chronic illness. I slow down and get outside for some movement and exploration. This is happiness.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Walking the Beach

I came home after my standing Friday lunch date with my friends and I was feeling the tingling all over,  another manifestation of the neuropathy. It's not super painful at the level I have it with medication; however, it is very uncomfortable. When I get it, I have to get moving, so I went to the beach for a walk. It was sprinkling rain when I got there, but I sat there and watched the water until it stopped.
I can never leave the beach or the woods without something in my pockets and today was no different. The little piece of driftwood caught my eye because it reminded me of a submarine. The white shell is not one I've seen much around here. it looks like angel wings.
I've often collected seaweed and done watercolor studies. This one attached to the rock interested me.
Afterwards, I met my husband at the golf course for supper and we sat idly and chatted. It was pleasant--a nice distraction.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Intense itching , another Bowen treatment

I was so hopeful that the neuropathy was under control but it returned with a vengeance a couple of days ago. It always gets worse in the evenings. I've had to resort to Tylenol and Benadryl again in addition to all my other meds. Yoga was not helping. So I called and went for another Bowen treatment yesterday. I was told that sometimes symptoms are worse before they get better and they sure were last night.
The technique involves such a light touch that one wonders if it can work. When I was touched in certain areas though along the spine and the neck, it actually sent shivers up into my head.
Today is another day so we shall see. This morning I went to yoga and then came home for my walk. I'm often admonished for walking the trail alone but if I didn't I would be relegated to the streets of the sub division and would miss out on such beauty.

There is something spiritual about inhaling the sunlit , softly scented air in the woods. I need it so.
Walking the woods also holds my attention as there is always something new and fascinating to see. Yesterday while reading some blogs, I came across this quote :

"Do not try to do extraordinary things, but do ordinary things with intensity".

In other words be fully in the moment. Slowing my mind and 'paying attention' is difficult for me. Strolling the trail, camera in hand is one way for me to do it. There is something new to see every time I go out.
I wonder how many different species are growing in this little microcosm beside the rotting tree.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Letting go and trying the Bowen Method

I read once that life is a continual process of letting go and it struck me as being quite true. There is sadness and some grieving as we age as we let go of the people and things in our life. We must let go of certain physical abilities that we had when younger. It is even more poignant when it involves dealing daily with a chronic illness. I think as part of the grieving process, one must also allow for the hope of new things to come. One never knows what might be around the corner.
I have also read that to experience joy, one must dwell not in the past, strive not for the future but remain in the present. This is not easy but it is advice that I try to follow as best I can.
I am always reading, researching, looking for ways to better my health. One thing that I just came across is the Bowen massage method for pain management. I found a local practitioner and tried it last week. It definitely doesn't resemble a true massage as the touch is very light, actually barely there. I am suffering from a debilitating small fiber neuropathy and was willing to give it a try.
The day after, I felt immediate relief. Was it due to the treatment or due to a new medication that I had started a few days earlier? I'm not sure but I am going for one more treatment.
Today, I'm trying to stay healthy by eating well, doing some yoga, and spending time in my sewing studio.
For supper, I'm making a macaroni and cheese to which I will add mashed butternut squash and cooked kale.

I chopped and added the kale to cook with the pasta.

Later this afternoon, I will stir the mashed squash into the the cheese sauce when I make it. I make a basic white sauce using low fat milk to which I add grated lower fat cheddar.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Walking as meditatation

This is the first post on my new blog. I will add more information to it as I go. I've just begun. I would like to connect with others who are living with chronic illness and chronic pain. I don't want it to be a venue for complaints rather I'd like it to be a place to hear from others and to hear about what works. A place to share our journeys.
I will add more information to my profile about my illnesses later.

One of my favourite quotes is by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Live in the sunshine
Swim in the sea
Drink the wild air

The little poem has always appealed to me but is even more important now that I live with chronic illnesses and chronic pain. There are nights when I can't sleep, I'm so restless, with itching and burning. When that happens, like it did last night, I get up, make a Tazo Calm tea and read for a bit. I feel pretty bad in the morning but I know the best cure for it is to get my body outside and moving.
Today, I walked to the mall and back via my favourite trail.
I always pass this abandoned bird's next and check to see if it's still there.

The birds have never returned but I continue to watch and admire it each time I pass by.
I need to breathe the wild air, to be in this place, to feel at peace. The moment is all that's important. It is the best way for me to deal with pain, particularly the nagging neuropathic pain that I've been living with of late.
Doesn't this beautiful nest awe you? I am amazed a the symmetry, artistry and beauty of it! It brings me joy! That has to be one of the best remedies for neuropathic discomfort or pain of any sort.