Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Is the World Still in One Piece?




Wild fires out West, flooding in West Virginia, Great Britain voting to pull out of the European Union, stock markets plummeting world-wide and suicide bombers in a busy international airport. Sometimes I feel guilty writing about my silly life when so many serious things are happening around the globe. But other than show sympathy or shock or sadness what can the average person do to help those suffering in different geographical areas? Not much. The stock market volatility, however, that’s a different kettle of crap---I mean fish. I haven’t even dared to look at how it might have affected me personally nor have I responded to my financial institution’s ominous e-mail telling me, “We are here to help.” Thank you, but I’d rather stick my fingers in my ears, close my eyes and sing, “Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur; happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr, purr, purr."  Hey, it works for Dr. Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory, why not me.

On a personal level---of which I am an expert and fully qualified to comment on and critique---I got some great news this week from my orthopedic doctor. The results of my bone density scans show that I’ve lowered my risk factor for a major osteoporotic fracture down from last year’s 20% to this year’s 15%. The Reclast infusion did its job---far better than the daily Forteo shots did after two years of use which only lowered the risk factor by 1.3%. Now I’m glad I followed the rule about having no caffeine for the two weeks after the infusion was given. Boy, did I miss my Starbucks fixes. Getting all your calcium and vitamin D3 in during those two weeks is crazy important as well. It’s in the first two weeks when the Reclast does 95% of its work and it needs that stuff to maximize the treatment. 

I wish I had asked the doctor a question about the possibility that three more infusions could lower my risk factor to zero. Wouldn’t that be nice!  Four broken bones without a car or hang gliding accident to explain them is enough for one life time, thank you very much. As Sheldon Cooper says, “A fear of heights is illogical. A fear of falling, on the other hand, is prudent and evolutionary.” I do fear falling so I don’t roller skate or snow ski. Nor do I ride bikes, horses or elephants although it would spice up my autobiography if I did that latter. In my younger years, however, I’ve done all of the rest. Nope, I’m a dull old woman who is an obsessed fan of The Big Bang Theory---both the TV show and the scientific theory on how the universe began. And if you bought into the idea that I’d still be doing all those things with wheels or four legs if only I didn’t have bad bones then I’ve got a mountain top monastery to sell you. I have no desire to do activities that routinely come with bloody bruises and Band-Aids but now that I think about, that mountain monastery sounds pretty good so I’m retracting that real estate listing in case my imagination needs to go on a retreat. Do you know what Sheldon Cooper’s most popular phrase is? “I am not crazy; my mother had me tested.” My Mom never had me tested but I’ll bet she wanted to a few times. 

Speaking of the importance that two weeks can make. (Yes, I was doing that two paragraphs ago in case you’re memory isn’t what it used to be.) The dog is back on solid foods again after his $527.14 dental surgery. He had to have the gums on two teeth cut back to below the roots so a treatment for puss pockets could be done and then the gums were sewn back in place. He had so many teeth pulled last year that we need to save these two, if possible. In the canine world they are the ones the Tooth Fairy pays top money to acquire. Levi hated the canned mush he had to eat until his two week follow up appointment cleared him for dry kibble again and he lost 1.4 pounds over that time frame. That’s a lot for a dog who only weighed thirty to begin with. I really should try to schedule his yearly dental work and my next, yearly Reclast infusion for the same day. That way, my two weeks without caffeine and his two weeks of getting force fed disgusting stuff would fall at the same time. No point in being miserable alone when we can do it together. 

I watch the nightly news, see people’s houses float down a swollen river and entire neighborhoods go up in flames, know others are watching the stock market volatility suck money out of their retirement accounts while dozen lie dead in an airport and sometimes it seems surreal that my life goes on as usual. “As usual” this week involves going on an out-of-state day trip to Amish country near Shipshewana, Indiana to something billed as a Quilt Gardens and Mural Tour. But I’ll save that story for the weekend, assuming the world will still be in one piece by then. ©


22 comments:

  1. Interesting post. First time I've seen a name to a new osteoporosis treatment I was vaguely aware was out there. I don't have osteoporosis, although my mother had it something awful. People I know who've done the daily shots haven't seen all that favorable an amount of improvement. The Reclast infusion sounds more hopeful.

    I'm not sure that's wise for you and the dog to both feel bad at the same time. You better give that one more thought.

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    1. I think the Reclast has been around longer than the Forteo shots. The shots were very expensive and in hindsight seems like a waste of money compared to the improvement I got from the infusion.

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  2. I share your concern about all that's going on in the world and feeling rather impotent our actions or what we say might have a direct immediate effect to rectify any of the problems. But the flow of public opinion over time can have some bearing on matters I think. Others views stimulate my thinking and I hope mine do the same for them whether or not we agree. I'm usually wary of those who profess themselves to be experts on all those matters which is all the more reason there is a need we all contribute by discussing and expressing our views. I'm not even so sure we're experts on our own lives but we do delude ourselves into thinking we are sometimes. I guess we all have times when we want to stick our fingers in our ears and close our eyes to shut out the world and may have to in order to maintain our sanity -- but the world doesn't go away. Wasn't there a song with those lyrics -- "make the world go away..."? A dose of music I like and humor does it for me. ;-)

    The Amish and Mennonite communities I remember from a period living in Ohio have attempted to avoid many aspects of living in today's world. Hope you have an enjoyable trip in Indiana as expect they will have some interesting crafts.

    Glad you're getting your bone density in line. You're surely don't want any more broken ones.

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    1. I'm often struck by how little people in my travels through life talk about what goes on in the world. Maybe we all feel impotent but I like what you say about flow of public opinion and making each other think and us needing to contribute to discussions.

      The Amish and Mennonite communities are getting larger which is a curious thing. We even have a newish community of them north of where I live. I'm fascinated by them and have been since I was a little girl and we'd go down to Indiana to visit an aunt and uncle living near them.

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    2. I will consult my "on site" Rheumatologist regarding your question about reducing your risk factor with more infusions. ;)

      The world overwhelms me. I can only focus on that which I can do in my own little corner of it in my own humble, small way. I support candidates I think will do the right thing, I send money to causes I support, I practice "pay it forward" kindness to friends and family....and feel each hurt anew when things like the bombing happen. I never want to get used to it or accept it as inevitable. Living our own lives with love and compassion and making choices from that place is really all we can really do, isn't it?

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    3. I hope he answers you but I'll bet he doesn't "doctor over the internet." :)

      If everyone did like you do and we wouldn't have such a mess-up world. Taking care of our own little corner of the world should be both our duty and passion project.

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  3. One of the quotations I've always like and keep remember is from English political philosopher Michael Oakeshott: "I consider the need to know the news every day a form of nervous disorder." Not only that, it's often a Pavlovian response. The networks and news sites -- even the weather people, for heaven's sake -- have a financial stake in our clicks and tune-ins. Any way they can keep us engaged with what they're dishing out is a way to pad their bottom line.

    It's not that we should bury our heads in the sand, or be uninformed. But being informed, and forming our own opinions, is a far different matter than allowing ourselves to be dragged into hysteria by people with a vested interest in keeping us focused on the next doomsday coming down the road.

    So there! Ain't I opinionated, for 6:50 in the morning!

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    1. Yes, you did. LOL And you made some good points. I liked it so much better before the line between news and entertainment got blurred so much. You have to use more than one news source now to get the balance that we used to get back when we only had three networks.

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  4. We can't do anything about floods and wild fires and terrorist attacks and to discuss it at any lengths, just makes us sad, confused and sometimes angry. A few years ago, I would have been all of those, but at this stage of life, realizing that I can't control any of it and no real way to do anything about it and seeking for a peaceful, relaxed life, at least in my small area, I just remember to breathe and do what I can right here, to help.

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    1. I hear you, Judy. I'm going to your house for lesson on tuning out and breathing deep, which is much easier when you're redecorating your living room. Hey, I could do that!

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  5. I woke up this morning to the stock market making a comeback. Last night, I sat here and listened to my APT world news. I don't usually watch the regular news, as it is always slanted in one direction or the other. This news is all about people and their lives, their struggles and triumphs. Very refreshing.

    Good to hear your bones are benefiting from your diligence. I have only broken a pinky toe - so far. I fear falling all the time. My balance is unbalanced at best. I'm always bruised from hitting corners or the walls. (I thank my baby aspirin for that - the bruising)

    Levi sounds so much like my Rough. He was the 'found' Schnauzer I had before Jack (not Schnauzer, I take what God gives.). He had an abscess and the vet pulled out a bunch of teeth. We almost lost him that day, as he didn't want to come out of it, thankfully, he lived another 5 or so years until he was around 17.

    We have Mennonites in our area and used to shop at their markets regularly. We tried to live like they do - be self sufficient and all that. It didn't work out so well for us. We got a divorce. (Of course, that was not the only reason.)

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    1. My vet says the Schnauzers are prone to dental problems because of their beards holding bacteria. Yuck! Good thing Levi isn't into kissing.

      I would have liked trying to live like the Mennonites, but only for a two week vacation. LOL I just got back from my dad trip and their shops sure have changed since I was there last time.

      Our senior hall has 'balance classes' and they makes a difference. Tai chi is good for balance too. My brother does that and love it.

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  6. Our generation has so much to be concerned about ... and I choose to NOT watch the news as so much of it is horrific. I feel like I do read and learn about local issues and use my voting power. It will be especially hard to vote in November, but I will.

    We used to host Sunday Soup Suppers .... each week before voting. There were four couples and we each chose one topic to research and present. It make us ALL wiser voters! And fun also. Host made the soup and provided adult beverages, we each brought an appetizer, or salad or dessert.

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    1. That sounds like a lot of fun, your voting parties. My niece has gone to election night parties to watch the returns come in. I've always been jealous of that. LOL

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  7. LOL, your quote from Sheldon reminds me of the time my brother told me that fear of being up on the roof was illogical. I told him that I wasn't afraid of being up on the roof; I was afraid of coming down off the roof -- fast!
    Congratulations on your bone density results. -Jean

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  8. I had the same teeth/gums operation as Levi, albeit more expensive. From my dentist's expression when I visited her last, it seems to be that my gums are getting weaker. I used to worry about my teeth failing me, now think that because of weak gums they will fall out. Old age is hard.

    I remember reading a critique about Jane Austen's novels (love re-reading them) that, despite the Napoleonic wars happening around that time, her novels made no mention of them at all. I think it was deliberately done, because people expect to be entertained when they read a novel, not face everyday reality. Plus, if you recall my v-e-r-y long ballistic comment on politics a few posts ago, when controversial issues brought into the conversation, good sense flies out of the window! ~ Libby

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    1. With gum disease it's not just about teeth falling out. Those particular germs can get into your heart and do damage. That's what happened to my mother.

      Interesting comment about Jane Austen novels! I wonder if part of that was because women in that time frame supposedly didn't talk about such things and never in mixed company. I can also see it being deliberately done so as not to date the books.

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  9. Happy to hear about the results of the Reclast infusion. NOW will you please get on that elephant?

    Goodness. So much sad news. If we could write our way out of a panic from the lack of protection in this world, we'd fill a library. At the moment, Levi's dental repair and your bone density result is as existentially important as the Brexit vote is to a British citizen or the Isis attack is to turkey's travelers. How's that for lack of perspective? Oh, dear. It's all about feeling not nearly as impotent writing this message as I would repairing these shattered lives. Plus, my nervous system can only take so much.

    Regarding Levi...he and I just got the same dental treatment. My diet restrictions only last five days, maybe because the weapon used was laser rather than knife and thread. Well, glad to hear life is good again for man's best friend.

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    1. I have fallen in love with camels this week (read all about it on Saturday) so that's my goal to spice up my autobiography. LOL

      I could handle five days better than two weeks. I hated that. Did you get photos of your surgery down inside? I got them sent to my phone while in the middle of surgery, mainly to get permission to treat.

      I spend all of yesterday unplugged from all news sources and boy did it feel good. I need to do that more often.

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  10. I, too, really like Big Bang Theory but because we don't have television I only get to watch it if we are in a hotel or I am flying transatlantic because Air Canada has it as one of their channels!
    We, too, have growing Amish populations around us. It doesn't take long for a second house to be built next to the first and I guess if you have 10-12 children, you are always needing to expand.
    Regards,
    Leze

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    1. The Amish, as I understand it, are good shepherds of the earth and can take farmland that's been over used and bring it back to productive again without all the chemicals the factory farms use. There is much to be admired about them but having lots of children is not one I, as a woman, would like. The are growing in numbers through out the States. Funny how most of us all accept they way they dress differently but many don't accept how the Muslims dress.

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