Have you ever had one of those days where your mind is bursting with ideas and plans, but your body feels like it is weighs a ton and all you want to do is crawl into bed. For me today is one of those discombobulated days where my mind is longing to work. I had a post that I wanted to share about the day my family got Happy. But even though half the post is already composed in my head, my tired and achy body rebels at the thought of sitting down and trying to type out the lines.
So instead I thought I would share a poem that I had written a few years back that was inspired by the frustration of having to deal with the debilitating fatigue created by chronic health issues like iron deficiency anemia, fibromyalgia, and more.
Hurray, after more than a month since I got my lab results back showing that my iron saturation had dropped to a 4 (the low end of normal is 15), I finally have an appointment with the hematologist. I wish that I could say that I was looking forward to getting an iron infusion. But while I appreciate the temporary increase in physical and mental energy an iron infusion brings, I am not a fan of having to spend 6-8 hours getting an infusion, and the uncertainty of how I will react. To make matters more difficult, this will be the first time that I have to get an infusion without the companionship and protecting watch of my father.
But even though I do not like getting an iron infusion, my stomach cannot tolerate taking iron pills for more than a few days at a time. After a few days it makes my chronic nausea so strong that I dread meal time to the point that I at times I am delaying and even skipping meals. To alleviate the nausea I have to stop taking the nausea causing my iron levels to sea saw up and down, and slowly causing my iron stores and iron saturation to drop to a point that I can barely lift my head off the sofa and where some days even a few steps leaves me gasping for air.
Fortunately, while I have been waiting for my referral to reach the the hematologist, I found a couple of natural ways to help me get enough iron to help me do one or two task and breath a bit more comfortably. One natural remedy is to drink a bit of beet juice mixed with another juice like grape or apple juice. Mixing it with another juice is important as on its own, probably due in part to its strong flavor, it can be hard to keep down. But mixed and diluted by another juice like apple or grape it become more tolerable.
Sleepy head is a fun little poem that was originally inspired by my dog Happy on a rare day that he preferred sleeping in to getting up and having an adventure. But since my iron stores and saturation have dropped to near lows, it could easily have been written about me. It does not matter if I get a good night sleep, or I toss and turn most of the night away, the thought of getting up in the morning fills me with dread.
I have a million things that I want to do, so the dreaming and planning portion of my brain is excited by the day, but the rest of me is too tired and achy to respond. No matter how good a nights rest I get, I wake up feeling as if I spent the whole night marching in my sleep. The only way to survive the day is by taking a few dozen cat naps and one or two long naps.
Part of that is because the lower my iron saturation gets, the harder it is to catch my breath, turning everything from the mildest workout to the simplest stretching or bending task into a major workout. Without enough iron, my body is struggling to get the oxygen where it needs to be, increasing recuperation time and massively decreasing my already limited energy levels.
Hopefully it will not be too much longer before I can see the hematologist and get a much needed iron infusion. Until then I guess I will just have to be a sleepy head with a greater appreciation not only for its important role in helping you to enjoy a vibrant and energetic day.
It was a less then delightful way to spend a birthday, more than 3 hours in the doctor’s office. But it was a necessary misery as it turns out, and not unexpectedly at least to me, that my iron stores are low and my iron saturation at 4 percent is very low.
Even though my hemoglobin was normal on my last visit, I knew that my stores were getting seriously low. Thanks to the serious bouts of nausea and my allergies to food dyes, it is nearly impossible to keep my iron in check. The low dose of over the counter gentle iron helps to keep my energy up a bit. But all it takes is a few days off to try and settle my stomach for my iron levels to come crashing down. Lately it is only a matter of a few days without iron pills before I become as pale as a ghost, find it hard to lift my head off the sofa arm, I struggle to catch my breath, I start forgetting even the simplest of words, and my limbs become ice cold.
So like it or not, it looks like this anemia inspired acrostics is the perfect poem of the day. While I hate having to spend an entire day stuck in the infusion center, it looks like getting a referral to the hematologist and enduring 6 to 8 hours for an iron infusion is back to being a necessary evil.
It was so exciting, our dream of moving to the country seemed like it was going to come true. My parents had brought three beautiful acres in the country, and it would not be long before we left the city life for the peace and quiet of the country. My father was so excited that he every time we visited the he would pull down a few of the thin trees that would easily give way.
He even went to the store and purchased a chain saw so he could cut down and clear the land.
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For the past few weeks, I have repeatedly sat down and tried to make a post. But even though my head is full of ideas, as soon as I sit down in front of my computer, the words seem to evaporate, and I quickly find myself mindlessly scrolling through articles I have no intention of reading, doing my best to avoid the painful memories of my first year without my head cheerleader, sounding board, and father.
He was the first one that I went to after hearing about self-publishing and when I decided that I would like to start my own You Tube Channel. When I was ready to start running Amazon Ads, he was the one who helped me with the funds. Whenever it came to major purchases or decisions on what step I should take next, it was his patient ear that I turned to. Without him I felt like a ship without a rudder struggling to weather the storm.
Over and over I felt the pang of loss as I faced a tough decision and turned to look for advice only to be greeted by his empty chair. When a bit of good news such as having 5 books sell in one day or like today when my Poetry Channel finally reached the 200-subscriber mark brought a smile to my face, how fast it faded as I realized that he was not going to be there to share in my simple joy.
Life had already brought enough lonely tears as I watched the mile markers of life pass me by. Locked away by endless days of pain and seemingly forgotten by the world at least I could count on the support of my family. And now that one support, that one precious gift that I had been blessed with, was being taken from me. Love, career, success, friendship, the satisfaction of earning my daily bread, the joy of having my own home, children, independence, and all the pleasures of adulthood had been denied me. Like a time capsule buried in the sand I had watched the years go by, yet my life had remained unchanged. I ate, I dressed, did what I could to maintain my sliver of health, put on a cheerful face, and waited for my chance to become a part of life as I had since childhood. Only now there was one less voice to celebrate the few successes and encourage me when life rained down its many disappointments.
My father was the baker of the family. Every few months he would make a half dozen loaves of bread and a batch of pizza dough. After I learned that some of my symptoms was the result of food allergies, this special treat became a lifeline as buying bread from the store was nearly impossible. After his unexpected death almost a year ago, I cherished that last loaf, not only because it was a symbol of his love, but with my chronic health issues, making bread by hand was not an option. Therefore there was a definite possibility that this precious loaf might be the last time I was able to have bread.
Years ago we had a bread maker. And once in a while I would use it to make a loaf of bread. But shortly after moving to our new house my mother, wanting to do a big favor, made a loaf of bread. The problem was that she did not realize that this particular model had a tendency to shake rattle and move. And move it did, right off the counter onto the floor which was of course the end of our bread maker.
For years we looked for a new one, but without any success. Then one day a few weeks ago, my mother and sister went shoe shopping during tax free week and was surprised to find a break maker on sale. Fortunately, instead of walking away they called to ask me what I thought, and of course I told them get it.
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It is nearing midnight, and I am desperate for sleep. But my little dog Happy who was diagnosed with diabetes a few months ago, was struggling to fall asleep. So like a restless wave he was marching back and forth. We tried taking him outside, adjusting his bed, giving him water, but nothing worked. The only hope was for me to crawl out of bed, turn my computer on, and play some soothing hymns to help him relax and fall asleep.
Unfortunately that not only means that I have to give up my sleep, but I have to spend an hour or two stuck in an uncomfortable garden chair. I used to have an office chair, but after ten plus years of service it had reached the point that its cover was peeling all over the floor (which was not good because if Happy is feeling hungry he will lick the floor in hopes of finding a tasty treat), and it had worn in such a way that it would kick me out of the chair. Finally, since it had reached the point that the outdoor chair was actually more comfortable than it, that it had seen better days.
So now, instead of being able to lean back and relax while the music plays, I have to struggle to find a semi comfortable spot and struggle to do something while I wait for Happy to relax enough so I can crawl into bed.
As I sit here, I find myself wishing for the perfect comfy chair. But what makes the perfect comfy chair. Getting another office chair is the cheaper solution, only it is not very comfortable for a day that I have to spend a couple of hours sitting at my desktop to accomplish a must do task that can only be done at my desktop next to the printer and important files.
Faith, it is a very small word containing only five humble letters, yet it certainly is a mighty word. When everything is going right, and the road of life is quiet and well paved, it is really easy to say I have faith and think that you understand what that word really means. But how can you? What faith is required when life is at its best and want and fear have no place in your life.
What faith is required to walk on plush carpets and eat ice cream by the pool? What faith do you have to rely on when your life is like a romantic postcard or an add for a tropical resort? What exercise of heart and mind is called for when your life could be flashed up for the poster image of successful because your every want and need is met for years to come. When your beliefs line up with the crowd and are excepted at every turn as the only way to live, saying I have a measure of faith takes neither courage nor self-denial.
It is not until trial and adversity hunt your steps, when discouragement and disappointment hunt you down like a pack of hungry hound dogs that you really get a glimpse of the depths and power of faith. Because it is then that you have to chose to hold on to faith. It is then that you have to chose to grab hold and cling to faith, that it become more than words.
From our comfortable arm chairs it is easy to look back at the mighty men of faith and say, I would do the same. Or to look down at those who fell short of the mark and say, I would never do that. Nothing would make me lose my faith. I would never chose the comforts of this life over faith in Jesus. If I were in that garden, or if I had been King Saul, or if I had been so and so I would have done this and not done that.
Is it just me, or should the saying it never rains, but is pours should be changed to it never rains but it hurricanes. Because that is the way that it feels like right now. First it was a string of severe health set backs, and before I could catch my breath, it was six painful losses, one right after another.
Now, when it seemed like I might have time to catch my breath and finally begin to grieve, the bad news hits that it looks like my little puppy is following my Father’s footsteps. His sugar is high and his liver and kidneys are not doing so good. They are beginning to fail him. He has lost 8 or 9 pounds and that is a lot for a 28 pound little dog.
We have gotten the medicine and started treatment. Right now there may be hope, at least we hope that there is some hope. But it is too early to tell. For the next few weeks it will be a waiting game to see how Happy responds to the treatment.
During times like these it is so easy to get discouraged. To feel like all hope is lost and that joy is forever dead. Knocked down and tested to the point of breaking it seems like tears and sorrow are your undesired lot. In moments like these, where the pains and sorrows of life press down upon the heart seeking take away one’s breath, it is easy to forget that the pains of this life are for a moment. To forget that there is hope, because one day soon, sin will become a distant memory.
In the hour of darkness it may seem like sin is wining. That it is quickly going about swallowing up hope and happiness. But the good news is that the hour is quickly approaching when the tables will turn. Sin and its cruel companions, want, hunger, pain, sickness, and death, will be swallowed up. Truth, justice, hope, mercy, grace, and life everlasting will win the day.
Right now the enemy of soul’s is angry. He sees that his time is short, and like a roaring lion he is going about trying to turn the eyes of all from their only hope. He is trying to crush the hearts of men and keep them from looking up and through the eye of faith beholding the approaching promise of the great day of salvation.
He sees that final battle is getting ready to begin. He knows that it will not be long before the last decisions will be made, before the last heart will take their stand for or against God. And then the final crisis will begin, and just when it seems like he has gotten the victory, Jesus will appear and fill the heaven’s with His great glory.
Oh right now it is so easy to lose sight of that wonderful day. The pain and fears of this life seem like they are going to swallow us up, and there is no reason to smile anymore. But it is at this very moment that we need to look up. We need to look up with the eye of faith and behold the promised day of salvation. Because when we do our burdens will be lifted and our pain eased. Yes, the tears will flow and the heart will ache, but even in this fearful hour peace can and will fill our hearts as we set our sights not upon the darkness of the tomb, not upon the fearful uncertain of sickness and want, but upon the glorious day when this world will pass away and Heaven with its wondrous, unspoiled, and unfading glorious will be our home.