Friday, September 7, 2007

Not Dead Yet- Aphrodite Rising

Usually when I disappear from the Internet for weeks or months it is because I have fallen into the pit of depression and am sitting in the mud at the bottom, looking up at a circle of sky so far above it seems the size of a Ping-Pong ball. This is, thank Goddess, not true this time. Aphrodite-the Goddess of Love-has moved into my life. After a bit of confusion (believe me thee is no sign of a love interest showing on the horizon) I recognized she was suggesting I work on loving myself. Duh. Sometimes I'm a little dense, especially since it seems I've been working on this forever!
So these past few weeks, I have been working hard at trying to enlarge my life, millimeter by millimeter, without tiring myself out beyond all enduring. And I am actually doing better at it than I thought I would, though I have been up and down a lot.
It is not that my life is full of exciting new events. It is the same round of physical therapy, "chair" yoga (that is, yoga made easier, not that we sit the whole time), a weekly hour with my trainer Glenn, assorted doctor's appointments, my two hours a week respite with the Gentle Tough/Guided Imagery Program at the hospital, and weekly walks and visits with Meg and Myla.
The Gentle Touch/Guided Imagery Program is a Complementary Medical program my friend Robin started at the local hospital three years ago. I was wildly excited, but unable to take part then. This winter I was able to take the training, finally! What we in the program do is go to various floors, to rooms of patients who have requested us, or who the nurses think need our service, or even walk in cold. Each of us have our own perspective, but similar ways of explaining.
I try to keep it simple, saying it is a free program that helps with relaxation, and includes a foot, hand or head rub. Then I plug in a CD player with quiet music playing, take off the footboard of the bed, wash my hands, then start reading a scripted guided imagery asking them to relax, to put themselves in a safe special place, and eventually spend 10 minutes or so giving a gentle foot or hand rub. I doesn't sound like much, but people zone out, and when I finish they talk about how much their pain has lessened, how much less depressed they feel, how much more relaxed. Some go to sleep and stay there, even as I put their socks back on, unplug my music, put the footboard back. It is quite amazing.
This has led me back to the same floor I had my two week nightmare experience four years ago, when I first fractured my arm. During that time nobody touched me except to hurt me-to draw blood, to move me, to take my BP. Now, finally, there is a hospital sanctioned program that helps makes that less likely. I love doing it, although I am limited to only two hours a week because of my pain level. The neat thing is that the patient is getting a Complimentary Medicine experience right under the oh-so-scientific doctors' noses. Of course some docs and nurses have welcomed the program, while some still think its hogwash, but more and more, I find nurses and aides grabbing me to ask if I will do so-and-so, who is in a lot of pain-a triumph in my book!
The other joy of my life is Myla, my granddaughter. Meg has been calling to meet for a walk once or twice a week, and Myla's little face lights up when she sees me! Myla toddles around on the grass in my yard handing me toys and favorite rocks and eating the ground up ice from my cup, while Meg tells me about her two play groups. One is quite preppy, uptight stay-at-home mothers with husbands who have good jobs, who think Meg is crazy to cloth diaper Myla, and the other "crunchy granola," the long term nursers-some are like Kas, nursing their 6 year olds. They wear "hippier" type clothes and struggle to make ends meet so they can stay home and raise their kids. Meg falls somewhere closer to the Crunchies, but enjoys both groups. She keeps me laughing with stories of both groups, while Myla tries to push her stroller across the yard. It is wonderful!
And I am getting ready for my Road Trip-1900 miles on my own as I drive down the East Coast to Virginia, then out to KY to visit Kas, then home via Pittsburgh. It is a crazy trip for me to make, with my are and shoulder still hurting a lot, and my inability to walk very far, which will curtail sightseeing somewhat-But I leave in a bit more than two weeks and am crazy excited about it. I just wish I could stop and visit every one of you! More on the trip next post.
Many Blessings, Margo


ksquester said...

I AM SO GLAD to hear from you. I was wondering when your trip was.  You are going to do so well. I am happy to hear that you and grandchild are having FUN. Remember when "fun" wasn't in your vocabulary?  I am so proud of you Margo.  (high fives!)   Now, let us know about your trip and don't be a stranger!   Anne

ljat1 said...

That sounds like a wonderful program at the hospital.  I've gotten to where I believe if a doctor won't consider incorporating alternative and/or complementary treatments, he/she is not a doctor for me.  It's great that you're able to bring some comfort to those in pain.

That sounds like a wonderful trip.  I hope you're blessed with comfort and can really enjoy your trip.  I grew up in KY.  I miss the beauty of it.

God Bless and prayers that your pain will ease.  Linda

luvmort said...

"nobody touched me except to hurt me"

Only to help!


dklars said...

Have a wonderful trip.  We've made it to El Paso, only six hours to drive tomorrow!

makemarc said...

I loved the way you built the suspense and then the post we dreaded did not appear, instead it's full of light and joy! YAY for Margo!

lisa41076 said...

Margo, that program at the hospital sounds awesome, mail is on the way to you, Love and Hugs Lisa XO

toonguykc said...

I've really missed you, friend!  You have done so much work on your body, mind, soul, etc....almost makes me want to rest just imagining the energy and effort you've put in.


gazker said...

Welcome back, I agree with Russ, you have done well.

Gaz xxxxx

amy122389 said...

I probably need to work on myself, too.  I know I've come a long way, but it feels like I haven't (in my own eyes)....

I need to find a 'Crunchy' moms group.  I'm not exactly the most social person because I just don't fit in to the 'soccer mom' cliques.

a head rub - one of life's little pleasures, that.  ;-)


dbaumgartner said...

So good to see you back online! I appreciate all the kind and wise words you have left for me on my journal. But, now I see what you've been up to and it's fabulous!!!!!

I am so happy for you and wish I were there to take a walk with you and Myla.

Hugs, my friend!!!!!!


lrttklly said...

This guided imagery ministry hits the nail on the head.
I HATE hospitals because it DOES feel like the only touch is to push, poke or get hurt.
There was one nurse whom I will never forget while I was in an extended hospital stay and in excruciating pain.
She offered me a shoulder and back massage.
I cried with relief.
I had had tubes up my nose, lines in every part of the body, and trying to deal with visitors who didn't really know what to do while visiting.
I felt so much better, and here it is some 16 years later and I never forgot that kindness.
You are doing such great work.
I would love to read how you ground/protect your own energy so as not to take on the other's?
You also have inspired me with your journey towards loving yourself. Why is this such a challenge for us?

rdautumnsage said...

Missed you online. Sounds like you have been on a wonderful mini adventure of self spirituality! I have found in my life lately, there is no greater assurance of self worth than helping others in need. The Gentle Tough/Guided Imagery Program is an excellent idea. I can see this type of thing taking off in hospitals across the nation. (Hugs) Indigo