Thursday, October 25, 2007

I had a dream

 For anyone interested, here's a quick update on everything that's currently going on here in my 'real' life:

My father in law had several set backs over the past few weeks. I think that the last time I wrote here he'd been moved out of intensive care and was starting to mend. Well, during a minor procedure to draw a little fluid out of his lungs a few weeks ago he was sedated and he stopped breathing. He had to be intubated and put on a ventilator and was moved back to ICU.  He was on the ventilator, which did the breathing for him, for about 2 1/2 days before they removed it and he was breathing on his own again. Unfortunately, he wasn't breathing well  and the gases in his blood got really high, causing him to have delusions and hallucinations. He also became very lethargic and suffered from ICU psychosis. It was a horrible time. Finally the doctors realized that he wasn't getting the right amount of oxygen and that his blood gases were high and a couple of days ago he was put back on the ventilator. This time instead of just putting the tube down his throat as they had before they put in a tracheotomy tube. Although he's been sleeping a great deal of the last two days since the procedure was done, it seems that it cleared up his blood gas problem and he's no longer hallucinating. He's awake and aware now which is a blessing.  In all other areas he seems to be recovering well from his heart surgery, it's just his breathing/asthma issues that have caused the set backs.  Once this is under control he will probably have to spend some time getting physical rehabilitation. He's been in Intensive care and completely bed ridden for over a month so his whole body is weak. The doctors are very hopeful he will regain his strength and return to his former lifestyle but it will be a long, hard road.
    For us, this has been a pretty hard road as well. For the past month there hasn't been a single day that we didn't spend at least 6 hrs at the hospital.  Often during the past 2 weeks we've spent 20 hrs straight at the hospital, usually managing only 3 hrs of sleep before returning again. IT's been physically and emotionally exhausting. We haven't eaten a meal at home in a month and usually spend the majority of our time just sitting in a chair at his bedside. Both my husband and I are also having pretty bad allergy issues due to the fires raging all around our area. We're lucky that we aren't in the path of any of the fires here in southern california but  there are several of them within 5 miles of our home so we have to deal with the constant smoke and ash fall out as well as toxic fumes.  The air quality is awful.  The hospital is actual full to capacity with people suffering from respiratory problems. I feel really sorry for all the people who have lost their homes, particually in the lake arrowhead and canyon areas. My husband and I have spent alot of time in both those areas. We were even considering buying property in one of the areas that was hit hard by the fires. This has certainly made us rethink that.
   So basically that's my life right now, sitting in the ICU and trying to avoid the horrible air while praying for the fires to end and life to get back to normal.

Now, on to a few of my recent thoughts :)

Last night I had a very emotionally uplifting dream. I was healthy, strong, in great shape and at a good weight for me. I looked wonderful, positively glowing, but more importantly I FELT wonderful. So light and free and confident. I was attending a photography/art class. It was suppose to be a class for all forms of arts and crafts, and people at all levels of talent and ability, but I got the impression that everyone else there had had lots of training and had worked with each other a long time; basically a very elite and gifted clique. The class was filled with the kind of creative, brilliant, stylish, accomplished people who would usually intimidate me and make me feel like I needed their approval but wasn't good enough to get it. In my current life I know I could never have walked into a class like that and participated but in my dream it didn't phase me a bit. I didn't think at all about how I would be judged or if I would be good enough. I just walked into the room and jumped into a project with complete confidence that whether or not I made the best art I was still worthy enough to be there. I liked myself and my abilities and didn't need anyone on the outside to validate me.  It was so wonderful to feel that accepting of myself, to feel that I was living up to my full potential and being the woman I've always felt I should be. I woke up happy. I also woke up with the realization that I've had moments in my life when I've felt that good and they were always when I was extremely physically fit and very actively involved in life and learning new things. I've felt my most vibrant and alive when I'm nurturing myself, caring for myself, and growing as a person.

For some people the keystone of living up to their potential and being the person they want to be is based on their jobs, or their social life, their family or their standing in the community, their involvement in church or the amount of money they have in their retirement fund . Each of us has our own internal compass that lets them know they are on the right track. It's not necessarily the most important thing in their lives, it's just the thing that gives them the feeling that they are centered and balanced and able to face life head on. For me that keystone is active participation in taking care of myself. It means getting myself very strong and healthy, constantly trying to grow and improve in all areas but particularly in physical fitness and health. By this I don't mean just getting thin, although that is a part of the process. I've been extremely thin in the past and felt miserable and out of control because even though I was teeny tiny I wasn't healthy at all. For me to feel in balance and centered I need to feel that I am doing everything I can to take good care of myself and live up to my potential. Right now,even though I am a good wife and decent human being I just don't feel that I'm truly being the woman I was born to be because one area of my life is completely out of whack and unfortunately it's the area that I most need to be in control of to feel good about myself: MY HEALTH. To feel good about myself and in control of my life I absolutely MUST get in control of my healthy.  It's time to get  back into self improvement mode.

As of November 1st I will be starting over again. You'll be seeing more updates in my journal, though they may just be a listing of what exercises I've done or what I've eaten, but I will be here more often. I think it's important to chart my progress somewhere and this is the ideal place to start. So on November 1st I'll be recording my weight, measurements, a few self tests for physical fitness (like how many sit ups I can do in a minute), how many steps I take during the day, and possibly my blood pressure if I can find a blood pressure cup.  I'll also post what sort of diet I plan to follow (something I need to research a bit and plan menus for over the next few days).  I'm also going to work on getting my husband to join me in this to some degree. Even though he's thin, I think he could use a healthier diet and more exercise too. Plus, I need a diet/workout buddy :)

I hope all of you are doing well. I'll stop by your journals today before I head into the hospital :)

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