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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

San Francisco's GLIDE (www.glide.org) needs help! Your donation will be doubled thru Dec 25th! To help: www.firstgiving.com/todthorpe. Thx!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Fal de ral de ral do...

Now that I'm getting stronger each day, it's become apparent that I've been spending a lot of energy on healing physically to overcome the headaches and dizziness, and there is still work to be done to get all of my life in balance again. I'm rusty in a few facets of my life. Recovery is an interesting process. Lately my spirits have been blue, since I'm still not 100%. My confidence has been lacking, as I'm not entirely myself yet. So I've been reaching out to my closest friends, as well as forcing myself to get out everyday. In addition to reaching out, I've been going to various coffee houses in the afternoons to get work done, which has also allowed me to meet some new people. Since most of my friends are married with children, their availability is limited time-wise, which I understand. However it makes things a bit lonely. And since I'm still plagued by visual disturbances, headaches, and dizziness, it's been imperative to branch-out in order to keep my spirits up.

I've had to remind myself that as recently as four weeks ago I was crippled by headaches & practically bed-ridden. It's no wonder my spirits have been flagging. I realized last week when I was out with Johnny Boy that I was rusty socially. So while it's against my norm to force myself to get out, it's definitely working. Not only have I been making new friends, but I've also met a wonderful new friend, Scott, who has two darling little dogs who are presently snoozing at my feet! He's a cyclist, and has been wonderful enough to let me watch his dogs, Lola and Shibi, while he's out riding. Lola is a sweet little blonde mix with a cute underbite, and Shibi is a Shiba Inu who only has three legs, having lost one in a car accident. Talk about two cuties!

Yesterday my bestfriend, Cher, and her 3-year-old son, Alexander, came to visit from Napa Valley. Driving can still be a challenge for me visually, so I'm limited to local trips. They were wonderful enough to make the voyage down-valley to Sausalito. We spent the day cooking, which soothes both of our souls. And Alexander was delighted to play with the little dogs, Lola and Shibi. It was a perfect day. Thanks Cher. I love you both.

Since traveling isn't a great thing for me right now, I'm spending Christmas Eve with Susan and Jiminy Christmas, and Christmas day with Bradd. I'm grateful to have wonderful friends in my life, old and new, near and far. While I'm self-conscious about the headaches when they stop me in my tracks, it's comforting to have friends around who understand and laugh with me while I struggle thru it. Like Cher pointed out yesterday, my true friends will understand when they see me struggle, and while they will be concerned for me, they will understand. Thanks to all of you. You mean more to me than words can express.

Nice Weather For Ducks
performed by Lemon Jelly

Nice Weather For Ducks by Lemon Jelly

Onward & upward!


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Well hang on...

This week has challenged me. In a different way than most.

I had a birthday that I had no desire what-so-ever to 'celebrate'. The physical struggle after my eye surgery has been so great that I'm feeling depleted. And a big, fat, shining reminder that I'm aging wasn't what I needed. [Thanks millions to all my friends who wished me happy birthday. May we celebrate next year?]

My new laptop that I purchased two weeks ago (after mine blue-screened) bluescreened! So I dutifully took it back to Bestbuy for a replacement. I replaced it with the same make & model, and when I got that one home the wifi didn't work. So I dutifully took the second (2nd) computer back to Bestbuy for a replacement. I changed make & model this time, and when I got that one home the power switch was faulty. So I dutifully took the third (3rd) computer back to Bestbuy for a replacement. I changed make & model again and now I'm on my fourth (4th) computer! [At least this fourth works. And I've finally completed the music section on my website (http://www.little-bear-productions.com/outdoors.html), now that I have a working computer!]

I'm still dealing with some headaches and dizziness. While I'm a lot more mobile now than I have been since my eye surgery, I also have several physical limitations I didn't have before my surgery. And now that I'm regaining some strength, I'm frustrated that I'm not 100%. A) I have to rest my eyes frequently. That can make the difference between an 1-hour headache, or a 5-hour headache. B) Sometimes I just can't see much at all. And that's pretty scary. C) Sometimes I feel as if a bullet went thru my head. D) Sometimes I get so dizzy that I stagger like I'm drunk. E) My confidence is waning. [But I am seeing slight improvement, which helps. And I finally have a neurologist appointment scheduled for December 22nd.]

And as much as I'm tired of sounding like a broken record, I suspect my friends are tiring of hearing it. I'm very aware that everyone else has their own lives, and are struggling with their own issues. I only wish I had more strength to better lend them a hand, too. [So I thank you all for the friendship you offer, as it truly means a lot to me. Especially in the quiet moments.]

Up until now my spirits have been pretty good. This week has really challenged me.

So I think what I need to do is try my best to count my blessings, and look for more inspiration.

  • This week I'm grateful that I got to trim the Christmas tree with Greg & Neil, and their adorable 3-year-old daughter, Elle. Thanks for the holiday cheer!
  • I'm grateful to Hot Toddy for his love and humor across the miles.
  • I'm grateful that I'm going to see Cher tomorrow for lunch.
  • I'm grateful that I got to see Susie-Q, if only for a few minutes to giggle in the rain. Hopefully Christmas Jim will feel better soon.
  • I'm grateful to Shoshana for her support & musings thru the miles.
  • I'm grateful to Martin for his friendship & smiles, always. You see me so well.
  • I'm grateful that I'm going to spend time with Bradd for Xmas.
  • I'm grateful to Larry for his trust, and his ferocious appetite for brownies.
  • I'm grateful to Johnny Boy for his friendship & watching the fireworks in the rain. It was nice to get out.

Thank you.

Everybody Hurts
performed by R.E.M.
Everybody Hurts by R.E.M.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The ships are coming in...

This morning I stumbled across a young beautiful elephant seal snoozing on the beach! When I first saw her she was sleeping, and as you can imagine, we were both surprised when she woke up! She was about 5-6' long, grayish-brown in color with black whiskers, and pleasantly plump.

After calling the Marine Mammal Center in Marin County, they determined that she was healthy, and most likely just hanging out. Apparently several of them have been recently beaching to either rest or molt.

The Marine Mammal Center (http://www.tmmc.org) is a fantastic non-profit organization that rescues, rehabilitates and releases injured, sick and orphaned marine mammals (seals, sea lions, dolphins, porpoises, whales and sea otters) along a 600 mile stretch of California coastline, from Mendocino County through San Luis Obispo County. Before The Center was established in 1975, stranded marine mammals were either left to die or were destroyed as threats to public health. We're fortunate to have them located here in Sausalito in the Marin Headlands.

It's nice to have so much beauty in this world to capture our imaginations.

The Walls Are Coming Down
performed by Fanfarlo
The Walls Are Coming Down by Fanfarlo

Onward & upward!

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Thread That Guides Through Black Times

Now that I'm finally 'seeing' improvement in my recovery, I'm focusing all of my energies on healthy ventures, positive thinking, and anything that inspires me to continue healing. And at the same time, I'm reminding myself of how much pain I'm still in, and to give myself credit for how far I've come.

I'm not sure if it's all the pain I've been enduring, or if my Bull$*!& quotient is just over-flowing, but I seem to have no patience whatsoever for anything negative. A part of me feels that I've been given a sort of second chance in regaining the vision in my left eye. And I'm determined to not let anything weigh me down, or hold me back. No matter what.

performed by The Kings of Convenience
Renegade by The Kings of Convenience

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I will weather the storm!

Things are going well. My challenge is to figure out a good balance between being Type-A and listening to my body. The headaches still occur, however they fortunately aren't as frequent. I'm contending more with intense dizziness now, which isn't as bad as the pain.

All in all, while it's an adjustment & I'm not yet 100%, I'm happy with how much progress I'm finally 'seeing'.

As for my medical, I'm going back to UCSF on Thursday for visual field testing to figure out why the vision in my new eye is like looking through a peep hole.

For those who are new to my blog, I'm recovering from eye surgery to repair damage to my left eye. The cork of a faulty, over-pressurized champagne bottle struck my eye many years ago -- causing a lot of damage -- and my recovery has been challenging, to say the least.

Now I'm striving to make proverbial lemonade out of lemons, one step at a time! Simple distractions along the way help, such as something beautiful that takes my breath away, whether visual or audio. :-)

I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm
written by Irving Berlin
performed by Kay Starr (Stuhr remix)
I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm by Kay Starr (Stuhr remix)

Onward & upward!