Where is Jenny?

She had her first grooming since her move to Missouri.  I hired a woman who drives a mobile unit and does the transformation in the driveway.   This week, she had to park in front of the house as there were other vehicles in the drive.

Jenny was at the door in a hour, looking like a little skinned rat!  My sweet girl has been hiding under a huge fur ball and now she’s clipped almost bare.  The top knot too short and her ear hair cut in half!  Her beautiful, long, lovely ears!  I wish I knew how to transfer photos from my iphone to wordpress, but, sigh, I haven’t learned that yet.  I hope the top knot and ears will grow out again.

She’s still sweet and lovable and my best friend.  She follows me everywhere I go.  This minute, as I type these words, she’s snuggled up against me, sleeping.

It’s 7:00 P.M.  Ken’s been gone since 3:00.  I keep the TV on to drown out the silence.  I have such a hard time being alone.  I loved it when I worked three jobs and had family coming and going.  Then, time alone was rare and precious.  Now, I have entirely too much of it.  The warmth of my loyal companion is relaxing and soothing.  I’m so grateful she’s in my life.

 

And Days Like This…

Some days, I can’t do anything without feeling dizzy and light-headed.  If I try to cook or empty the dishwasher, even in my wheelchair, I feel as if I’ll pass out.  So I have to be content to do nothing.

Every time I have a day like this, I become discouraged, believe I’ll never feel ‘normal’ again, whatever normal is.  To me, it’s being able to walk through my house without the aid of a walker or a wheelchair (though I’d welcome a walker today); cook and bake the way I used to; drive; walk my dog, play with her outside, visit my friends; go shopping; go to church; do the laundry and other chores when they need to be done, not having to wait for a ‘good’ day.  Or even just to get up and walk across the room to look out the window or turn on a light.

I think of the things I used to do and realize how much personal freedom I’ve lost.  When I was 80, three months after Forrest died, I sold my house, had an auction and moved to Connecticut all in one month.  Now, five years later, I’m in a wheelchair.  Actually, a year after Forrest’s death, I started using a walker.  Just months later, the wheelchair.

I’ve seen doctors, had tests;     No one can make a diagnosis.  It’s obvious that I have high blood pressure but my heart beats steadily, though I do have a condition called paroxysmal atrial tachycardia which sends me to the ER when I have an episode (not often).

I knew one day I’d get old and have to slow down, but I never dreamed I’d not be able to walk.  It was a blow when I could no longer dance.  I loved dancing.  Such a freeing feeling. Now I’d be deliriously happy if I could just walk and feel normal.

Today I had to cancel a dental appointment.  My teeth really need to be cleaned and it takes so long to get an appointment.   Making appointments is tricky.  Fitting Ken’s time in with office time.

Then there are the better days when I can wheel lickety-split through the rooms of the house, stand, walk with the walker, fix a meal without feeling I’m going to faint, perform light chores…   I’m a completely different self.  And I don’t know why.  I keep looking for answers so I can make all days better.  I appreciate them so much when they occur.

At my age, you realize that you’re not as in control of your life as you once thought.  There’s not much in life you can depend on 100 %.

So……

I try to accept what is and go on with my life.  Find things I can be grateful for–the beauty of nature, my sweet companion dog, JennyPenny, what family and friends I have left, my books, computer, telephone, my mind, a house I like, funds which I hope will last me the rest of my life if the economy will allow it, the list goes on.  I’d like to add faith to that list but there are questions, doubts to overcome.  That’s for another day.

This is not an uplifting blog.  I started it to find answers, to become acquainted with myself.  And to present that self to the world.

Panic

Forrest and I met when we were both seniors in High School.  Four somewhat stormy years later, we were married.   We started having children two years after the wedding.

When Forrest was a graduate student at Purdue University, I stayed home with our baby.  It was great while Forrest’s best friend, Dale and Dale’s wife, Connie, were there.  Connie and I had been close.  We’d shared meals, shopped, done everything together during my pregnancy.   Forrest was a good student and seldom available.

When Chris, our baby, was just months old, Dale graduated and moved to another state.  I was alone.  Even when Forrest was home, I felt alone because he was busy with his research and other school work.

After the birth, I had postpartum depression.  I began to have panic attacks.  I was afraid to stay alone, afraid to go outside.  I wouldn’t go out of the house, not even into the back yard.

After months of fear and panic, I pulled myself out of the depths by sheer force.  I had to stay alone after Forrest accepted a job.  I distracted myself by watching TV–our first TV.  I looked out the window often, searching the area for people, feeling safer if I saw someone near.

One day, I decided I’d take a bus to the square, go into a department store, Heers, and buy a lipstick.  Then I’d get on another bus and return home.  That’s what I did.  I can’t tell you how hard that was.

I gradually licked my panic and fears and was able to enjoy life once more.

Forrest and I spent 59 years together before he died.  He’s been gone for five years.  During that time, I’ve lived alone and with my son.  I’ve never liked being alone, but now, I find myself nearing panic again at times when Ken, who is now living with me, is at school.

I never share how uneasy I feel, not even with my best friends.  But I’m sharing it with you, my blogging buddies.  I’m fighting it again and find it easier this time.  Some days are worse than others.

I hope to explore reasons why I’m afraid to be alone.  On some level, I believe I already know.  It probably begins with the illnesses I had in my childhood that kept me isolated much of the time.  Maybe even before that.

A month after I was born, my seventeen year old mother became pregnant with my brother and sent me to another state to live with my grandmother.  After he was born, I was sent to live with an aunt.

Who knows how such experiences affect the psyche of a developing human being?  I hope to find some answers by writing about my life.  I hope to find some answers, and solutions, to my problems, because the problems close doors to my being all that I can be.

It’s All Good

Jenny Penny has been with us for two weeks now and she’s feeling at home.  She’s stopped using the deck for a toilet; runs down the ramp and dances in the grass, as if to say, “Hello grass!  I’ve missed you!”  And she goes alone while I wait at the door.  When she’s finished her job, she runs to the door, tail up, and jumps up  onto me, expecting lavish praise, which, of course, she gets.  When she’s excited, she spins and jumps and can hardly contain her joy.  She’s my constant companion; follows me wherever I go. When I’m seated, she stays close by my side, or in my lap.  She’s generous with kisses.  What more could I want?  I love this little sweetheart.  She’s my angel, my savior.  Life is good again.

Apologies

I want to apologize to my readers.  I have a bad case of carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands–the palms and all fingers.  And the right hand is worse!  I’ll be out of commission for a while but I’ll be back as soon as I can type with my right hand without making the condition worse.  I hope it will be soon.  I look forward to reading your posts.  I feel like I’ve been cut off from the world!  Bless you all!