I am a Victorian Soul, live in a small townhouse that was built in the mid 1970's, not a huge Mega Mansion, with my Hubby Joe, who is a Retired Letter Carrier. I worked night shift as an RN on a Hospital based Rehabilitation( Physical Medicine) Unit for 37 years before I had Knee Replacement Surgery and officially Retired in 2019 after 41 years working in Direct Patient Care ... I am LOVING Retirement!!!!

I DABBLE IN A BIT OF THIS AND THAT!!!!

" IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO BE WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE BEEN"
George Eliot
George Eliot was actually a pen name for a woman named Mary Anne Evans......

BLOGGING FOR FUN AND FRIENDSHIP!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

How 20 Years of Chronic Health Issues Helped Me Through the Pandemic

 

 Welcome to Debbie-Dabble Blog!!

 
I am so happy you decided to stop by!!
 
 I want to mention that since Blogger changed to a new format for posting, if you can click on each picture if you care to enlarge it......

  I know this has been an terrible year for so many people......

Many people have lost their jobs, loved ones, their homes, their physical and mental health and their way of life.....

Some feel they have lost their freedom....freedom to go where they want to go and their choice to do so.....

Some feel they have been cheated....

Some feel this is the worse year of their lives....

I am NOT one of those people.....

We are all in the same storm but we are all not in the same boat.... 


 For me, It's Sprinkling.....

For many of you, your way of life ended rather abruptly.....

For me, my way of life started to change over 20 years ago when health issues reared their ugly heads.....

Over 20 years ago, I started have major GI issues which lead to gall bladder removal surgery which should have helped but it only caused more issues......

Because I had a Necrotic or "dead" gall bladder, that made me susceptible to what is called Post Gall Bladder syndrome.....

Putting it rather bluntly and not so delicately, after eating a meal, I had to be within 30 minutes of a bathroom.....

Another name for Post Gall Bladder syndrome is "Dumping" syndrome.....

 

Yes, you got it.....massive diarrhea after eating.....

Normal laxatives do not control it and neither does diet.....

Because it is call Bile Salt diarrhea.... 

after your gall bladder is removed, bile is "Dumped" directly into the intestines and in some cases, acts like a laxative....

Ironically, certain cholesterol medication helps as it binds with the bile lessening it's laxative effect........

But does not get rid of the issue.....

That was when I realized that I was no longer able to eat out in restaurants or even travel anywhere, without knowing where a bathroom would be, comfortably.........

So at that point in time, we stopped going on vacations and eating in restaurants and started to order take home so we could eat in the privacy of our own home.....

My Gall Bladder surgery then lead to another medical issue....

I developed what they originally thought was one ventral hernia from the gall bladder surgery because of lifting patients as I worked as a Rehab Nurse........

After suffering bouts of abdominal pain and vomiting, fearing that I would have to have surgery on an emergency basis, I elected to have hernia repair surgery.....

Well, it turned out that I had 4 abdominal hernias and ended up with a mess system inserted to more or less hold me together and an 8 inch incision......

I thought this might ease my GI issues......

Wrong again.....

I was then diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, an auto immune disease...


So essentially, I have not been able to eat out in restaurants or gone on vacation in over 20 years.....

I had to change my life style to accommodate my health issues.....

I learned to not eat at all before going anywhere......

Even if we were not going out until the evening, I do not eat......

So you see, I do not miss being able to go out to dinner with family and friends or go on vacation because I elected to stop doing that a long time ago......


 Did it bother me???

Not in the slightest!!

Luckily, we live where we do because we are surrounded by all types of restaurants and eateries that offer Take Out and if they didn't before this Pandemic, they sure as heck do now......

I truly enjoy being able to eat food from a restaurant in my own home and not having to hear every Tom, Dick and Harry's conversation because of crowded seating, not having to wait for the meal to be served or the check to be brought to us and also not having to put up with unruly children whose parents let them run wild......

These were always my pet peeves about going to a restaurant.... 

And I have NO desire to Travel....

Been there, done that when the boys were young and that is when I felt it was important to travel, creating wonderful memories for my sons....


And to travel now with just Joe......

OMG!!!!!

That would be a nightmare as we do not like any of the same things....

I would want to go to historical places and museums and he would be bored to death and we would then be fighting all the time....more so than we do already!!!

Right now being retired is like being on a permanent Stacation for me!!!!


As the years went by, I then started to have pain in my knee which was making it very painful to walk.....

I was diagnosed over 8 years ago with severe osteoarthritis in my right knee with almost no cartilage  left in the joint......

Bone on bone and needing a joint replacement.....

I decided I was going to put off my surgery as long as I possibly could and try to have it right before I retired at 62 years old.....

As time went on, the cortisone shots that I was taking every 4 months were not lasting as long as previously and walking became very painful......

Again, I had to change my life style and stop going anywhere which required walking for any type of distance....

I could not even go shopping where I would be on my feet for more than a half hour continuously.....

You can see that because of this, I was forced to stay home as much as possible.....

Because of all of these health issues, I poured myself into creating a home that I would not want to leave......

A home that I viewed as my haven, my sanctuary, a place where I would be so content and happy in that rI would not miss being able to leave it......

That was when I made my home into what I call my own Victorian Bed and Breakfast....


If I could not travel then I wanted to be able to live in a place that I would want to stay in if I could travel.....

Other than going to work, I was pretty much not leaving our home.....

Again, luckily I live where I do and have The Mohegan Sun Arena 5 minutes down the road from us...

Joe and I looked at that as a blessing and that we would be stupid not to take advantage of seeing any entertainment that came into the Arena......

We are also lucky to have the F. M.Kirby Center for the Performing Arts only 10 minutes away from us so we started to see shows and concerts there......

During this time, this is what I learned......

Then in February of 2019, my Life Changed in an Instant.......

I was having such pain upon walking that I was scheduled for a Dr.'s appointment to see if fluid could be aspirated from my knee.... 

The surgeon was unable to do so....

That meant that my knee had deteriorated to a condition where I needed the knee replacement surgery soon and that I was not going to get any relief from the pain and pressure until I had the surgery......

That also meant that I could barely walk without limping and experiencing pain.....

That also meant that since I could barely walk, how could I possibly continue to work?????

Simple.....

I was no longer physically able to work.........

Life changes in an Instant......

 
 In my case, it was an hour and a half.......

In that hour and a half.......

I had an unsuccessful aspiration of my right knee.....

I had a note stating that I was not able to work because knee pain until impending knee replacement surgery

Had a battery of  Xrays done

Scheduled a date for my surgery

 
 Scheduled appointments for Joint Class, Anesthesia consult, History, Physical and examination and blood work and other testing.....

That was the last day that I worked.....

For most of 2019, I had mobility issues first because of the need for surgery and then because of the surgery and recovery period.....

So for almost 9 months or so, I was home bound with only going to Dr.'s appointment and outpatient physical therapy.....

I know many of you feel that this year, 2020, has been the worst year of your life.....

And rightfully so but for me, 2019 was one of the worst years of my life.....

I will not go into the details of losing my job, my mobility, a family member and also possibly losing the chance to become a grandparent....

You can read about it HERE......


I started 2020 with renewed energy and hope and chose POSITIVITY as my theme for the year as 2019 was filled with so much Negativity for me!!


I decided not to choose a Word of the Year and went with choosing a Word for each month which I must say did help me maintain my positivity through out this year.....

I officially Retired at the end of January when I turned 62 years old even though I resigned from my job in August of 2019.....


I was finally free to do what I wanted, when I wanted and to catch up on my 2-3 Year To Do List.....

I posted this at the beginning of 2020 and I feel that it held true for the entire year for me....

I, personally, have not had much in my life change since the pandemic started......

I am a Home Body and for the first year since I stopped working and retired, I truly was only leaving my house about once or twice a week......

Before Retirement, I hated my job so much that I used to try to dream up what crime I could commit so I would get a sentence of House Arrest!!

Now I was finally living my Dream!!!

I would have spent 2020 pretty much doing exactly what I did do and that was staying home and enjoying the Haven that I created for myself.....

I had already given up traveling, eating in restaurants and as part of our Early Retirement plan, I had greatly curtailed any shopping I was doing..... 

I had no problem whatsoever staying home and away from people.....

I worked for over 41 years in a profession where I dealt with people at their worst.....

When they were ill....

So I had no problem not being around people.....

In fact, I truly needed a break from dealing with people.....

I still feel that way because of seeing all the negativity and ranting that goes on on social media about anything and everything and I feel sorry for these people who are apparently so miserable that they constantly have to complain.....

 

I have not been bored......

In fact, I have been so busy that I don't know how I did everything that I did and worked too.....

I have embraced this year as a time to recharge, reflect and make decisions about how I want to live out the remainder of my life.....

There have been many BLESSINGS this year too and I choose to focus on them....

 

 I feel like the last 20 years of my life has prepared me for 2020.....

I guess you can say that I had already adjusted my life style to deal with this year.....

Who knew?????

I know so many of you were not ready for that change of life style.....

BUT life is all about how you chose to live it.....

Do you choose to be negative, angry and resentful?????

 

 Or do you chose to see things as an opportunity to seriously look at your life and decide what is really important????

And remember....

Just because the calendar year is about to change, that does not mean that everything will miraculously return to "Normal" 

 

Whatever " Normal" was.....

Personally, I think the "normal" that most Americans were living was not working....

We were an incredibly "Busy" society but what were we "busy" doing.....

Living at a super fast pace, running here and there and doing this and that.....

I think we needed to Stop


 And hit that Pause bottom......


 And truly take a look at how we were living.....

Maybe we all need to create a new "Normal" for ourselves and instead of complaining about 2020, make 2021 an adventure in creating a better life for ourselves and those we love and care about no matter what is happening in this world.....

 

 I think this was a GOOD year for children.....

A year of learning a lesson about Life....

For the last few generations now, we have been raising a population of people who were used to getting what they wanted, when they wanted it and when they became adults, they were not equipped to handle Life...

Because you do not always get what you want in Life!!!!


 Life, in general, is HARD!!

I hope that the children of this Pandemic, and some adults too, will learn to NOT take things for granted....

Like spending TIME with their Families.....

Their Friends....

And not put so much importance on material things.....

We had become a ME ME ME society and I truly hope that this turns around and people are less selfish....

You can dwell on the Bad of this year and remain "stuck" where you are or you can embrace the Good of this year and move forward.....

I decided that I will not be doing a Word of the Month this year but I will be selecting a Theme and going back to choosing One Little Word for 2021....

And I hope you will stop by to visit again soon!!

Stay safe, healthy and most of all, HAPPY!!

Thanks to those who took the time out of their busy day to spend a little bit of time with me!!

If you do not have a blog, PLEASE  give me some way to reply to your comment, maybe by including your email in your comment.  If I can not find a way to reach you, I will reply on the post where you commented so please check back......


I am linking up to these parties:
 
 

21 comments:

  1. On my dearest Debbie....I feel EXACTLY as you do about ALL you have written...my health issues have forced me to have a more "house bound" life...so COVID has not really affected me from that point of view...and I have LOVED it...

    And speaking of those unruly kids...once I tried to bribe a waiter to trip one so that his parents would keep him next to them...lol! But, alas, the waiter refused...!

    Like you, I enjoy spending time at home...making it the kind of place that hug us when we return to it (our house is done in colonial/early American style with touches of the Greek islands here and there)...

    Like you, I enjoy decorating for the seasons and holidays...

    Like you, I have my collections in different curio cabinets...

    Like you, I work on small projects around the house...

    Like you, I have some furniture from my childhood that hold special meaning for me...

    Like you, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE spending time with my family...I treasure that time!

    So you see, I understand your point of view in your writing...I am 3 years why of retirement and CANNOT WAIT for it!!!!

    Thank you for sharing your point of view...for reaching out to others, and for giving us a positive point of view!

    xoxo,
    Nina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nina,
      Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment on this post...I hoped it would spark a conversation...For so many people, I know it has been their worst year and I do know what it is to lose a loved one and lose a job but none of that happened to be during the Pandemic. I wanted to show that bad things happen at any time and not just on 2020, It is life and it is going to happen... What aggravates me are the people who are still working suffering no financial loss, have not had a loved one contract this disease or even know anyone who has died because of it but yet, they are the ones who are complaining and carrying on about the loss of their "lifestyle". They can't go here, they can't go on vacation and they can't do this and that. Life does not give you everything you want and you learn to make adjustments. I just wish they would stop complaining and look around and see that good things did happen this year!!! Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you!!!
      Hugs,
      Deb

      Delete
    2. Ooops....accidentally pushed publish button...yes there are people who have truly suffered during this pandemic...and then there are those who think they have...

      Delete
  2. Yes, life IS hard. Which doesn't mean it can't be good. I loved this because I could so relate. Having my medical issues has made me very aware of limitations. In all honesty, Covid gave me an excuse to pay better attention to things. And being a very self-contained person who doesn't require a crowd to be happy, I could adjust to the isolation well. While I haven't been housebound for a long while (until this) I'm very comfy here. And I appreciate every friend, every family member, every joyful occasion all the more. Well written, my friend. Very nice indeed!

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    Replies
    1. Jeanie,
      Thanks so much!!I know you too have been enjoying your time at home... I am very good at being alone...I have been alone in my life more often than not because of work schedules and other things.. I have totally enjoyed having my oldest son here more than he has been in the last 10 years and now with our new Grand Puppy, I get to speak with Jim and Danielle more so too because we are leaving that sweet pup out almost every morning. I think we as a society took too much for granted and I seriously hope that changes because of all of this,,,Happy New Year, my friend!!
      Hugs,
      Deb

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  3. Deb, I sure enjoyed reading this today. You have overcome much and I think 99% of it is your wonderful attitude. Oh that we all would have the right attitude. You have surely proven that you can take bad situations and make them into good ones. 2020 has surely been a rough year for a lot of folks and I am afraid though the year may be almost over that a lot of the current situations in our society will not be over with. But, I have witnessed first hand my friend how even the bad things in life that God can surely use for our own sake as well as for others. Thank you for pouring out of heart today and I wish you a most wonderful New Year. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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    Replies
    1. Cindy,
      My life has not been an easy one and I am not only talking about health issues....I learned at a very early age that you do not always gets what you want in life and I think this year has been a year full of lessons for those that took their lives for granted. I "kiss everything up to God, placing it in his hands". Another lesson I learned a long time ago. Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family, my friend!!!
      Hugs,
      Deb

      Delete
  4. Great post!I am alive,my family is alive,my parents are alive,so I am very grateful to God!Happy 2021!

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  5. I am the person who ended up grateful for the lockdown. Severely fracturing my arm the first week of March, six and a half hour surgery the second week of the month and then my state locked down. No one could see that i wore the same pjs for a week because i couldn't dress myself. No one could see my stringy hair that I couldn't wash or comb. I could just sit and cry and nap during the day. No visitors allowed. I can't imagine if I would have had to pretend to be human those first two months.

    Your medical issues were so much more severe than mine; I totally understand your gratitude to stay home. When I worked all those years, I always said I felt like I lived at my job and only visited my house. I love to just stay here! I pray for my children and all the other teachers, nurses, safety forces and everyone who has to go to work everyday to support their families in this uncertain time.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Deb. You have overcome so much and with a great attitude. I think a good attitude does so much to heal and brings us to a better place. This past year has been such a challenge to do many of us. I am thankful that I have no one in my family that has had Covid. We are a family of first responders and nurses and to stay safe with that ugly virus has been such a blessing. Hoping as the new year enters we will eventually win the war on this virus and we can all resume some kind of normal in our lives. Happy New Year. xoxo Kris

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  7. Miss Deb, you have been through the wringer! You have the best attitude for dealing with whatever life has to throw at a gal.

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  8. I have always appreciated your blogs with so many details of the wonders of ornaments in your house, but today, after reading (with great pleasure) the description that she made of her life, I felt that Debbie is one of my friends - far away, but that technological possibilities bring us closer.
    Since 5 years and 9 months ago, God wanted my Husband - my Rui - to go to Him. I live alone, but I have 5 children and 9 grandchildren who accompany me a lot. Unfortunately, with this disease - Covid19 - which is going around the world and close to all of us, now we almost never get together as we did at the Wednesday dinner. This Christmas, with the difficulty imposed by the current restrictions due to Covid19, I could not, as we always did, gather all the children and grandchildren for dinner on the 24th (in Portugal we call "Consoada") I ended up choosing to go with those who are further away away, and I spent a week at my oldest daughter's family home in Sweden. So, of our 9 grandchildren, I was only with 3, but it was good because I hadn't seen them in a year.
    I wish you Debbie and all your family, a Happy New Year 2021

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  9. Wpw, Deb, I knew about your knee, but didn't realize you had all of the intestinal problems. Having had several nasty bouts with diverticulitis, I can only begin to understand what you have been through. Your positive attitude has made the biggest difference. And faith, too! As I was already retired, my life did not change as drastically as many peoples' have; I am thankful for that. I love my crafts, simple sewing, cooking, yardwork, etc. which is all done at home. Do miss my thrifting and antiquing but go when "stir crazy" sets in!Happy New Year to you and all of your family.

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    Replies
    1. Kathy,
      Thanks so much for stopping by!!! I am like you with so many hobbies to keep me very busy!! Right now I have no idea how I did these things when I was still working. Happy New Year to you and your family!!
      Stay safe, healthy and happy!!
      Hugs,
      Debbie

      Delete
  10. Deb, I'm sorry for all of your health issues, but GREAT post. I feel much the way you do. I'm a homebody, I have health issues of my own. I get it. And your attitude is everything!! I wish you nothing but good health and blessings in 2021, my friend. Keep these posts coming, decor and thoughts, I love them all. Hugs to you!!

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  11. Wow; I knew about the knee issues but had no idea you have had so many other medical issues to deal with too. You sure have the right attitude about them though and I agree 100% that our attitudes and perspectives make a big difference. Our family has definitely felt like this pandemic has been more of a sprinkle as our only real change has been not taking a vacation and getting to travel... sure other small adjustments have been made too (like masks, etc) but our homeschooling/ alternative lifestyle set us up to handle long stretches of time together as a family with ease and we have never been those busy on the go types. I count us as being quite lucky to have adjusted with such ease and to have kept our positive, happy outlooks on life. Thanks for sharing with us at Encouraging hearts and home. Pinned.

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  12. Thanks for sharing your thoughts at Vintage Charm. I think the pandemic has forced many of us to re-evaluate priorities. Happy New Year!

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  13. Debbie, I am so sorry to hear of all of your health issues. I know that is no fun. You are a trooper. Congratulations, you are being featured at Thursday Favorite Things. https://www.eclecticredbarn.com/2021/01/thursday-favorite-things.html I hope you stop by.
    Hugs,
    Bev

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  14. This is such a heartfelt post, Debbie. I can relate to so many of the things you brought up. Finding positivity in the world we live in is not as difficult as some might think. Simplifying our lives and focusing on the things that truly matter to us creates a life well lived. May your health issues take a back seat to the beautiful life that you have created for yourself. All my best, Suzanne.

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  15. This is just what I needed this morning. I have similar marriage issues and worry how things will be here at home once the kids are gone. My sister has IBS, so I know what your dealing with in that arena as well. Hang in there, and keep making us laugh.You're being featured on the Little Cottage Link Party today.

    ReplyDelete

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