Panda's First Smile

Panda's First Smile
PandaPig's First Smile!

Monday, September 16, 2013

SUSTAINABILITY: A Different Definition...

{Drawing during Migraine.}

SUSTAINABILITY always meant a species could not survive if its ecosystem was destroyed, so we needed to create sustainability to enable that threatened species to not only survive, but thrive.

And it was always someone, something else, a prairie, wetland, arctic tundra, and all wildlife who depended upon that ecosystem for survival. That was my life's work. Giving "Voice" to those who could not speak on behalf of themselves.

And the work is more important now than ever, particularly with the exploitation of the Arctic now that climate change is melting the polar ice caps and countries are clamoring for earth's riches: OIL. Who will save the baby belugas?

Today, my new physical therapist arrived for her first assessment.
And "sustainability" applied to me.

I have been asked by all care workers now coming for
"In-Home Assessments" what my goals are:
Simple: to live independently, to walk...
 Is that asking too much?

It may be. The temporary, partial paralysis I have been adapting to in my lower body is spreading to my upper body. My speech is becoming slurred. We now use the floor for a bed whereas we never had to before. We now do not get up whereas before we always did. POI & me, we always got back up.

I always responded to physical therapy whereas now...
I may not. After this morning's assessment. It was different.

This may not be only a G.I. issue, it may also be what so many doctors insisted before pissing me off to the point where I looked directly into their eyes, announcing with authority:
 "This is absolutely not a neurological disease, why on EARTH would you jump ship now before we have ruled out things I DO have symptoms of, like pancreatic cancer? Use common sense, this isn't ROCKET SCIENCE: I fall because I've gotten weak.
I am weak because my body hasn't absorbed nutrition from food for nearly a year. Who wouldn't fall? Not rocket science."
(Inside: "I hate you and want another doctor who will think and say and do exactly what I want to hear: Give me that doctor.")
The one who says I can safely pick up my guinea pigs without fear of falling or dropping one. Because now I am afraid to.
I want that doctor. For the guinea pigs. They need more love.

We will soon have that full G.I. workup. Nearly a year later
than I hoped, but have it we will! Thank you, "Transitions" Team!
I want to GIVE my AmeriCorps volunteer hiker-girl the snowshoes she tried on last week. They aren't allowed to accept gifts...but who else can I bequeath a lifetime of really awesome gear to?

Why isn't she my real daughter? I want a real daughter like her.

This week? Mandatory neuro consult; another 
stupid hoop to jump through.

Until this past weekend...

Falling isn't new. Not getting back up is.

Slurred speech?

Slumping forward from sitting position to "Blackhawk Down!"

Lungs too weak to breathe properly; shallow, labored breath?

Muscles behind the eyes not strong enough to hold them in place to focus, read, draw, see clearly?
Not brand new, exactly;
but new.

The physical therapist after an initial eval which I thought went swimmingly announced that "This is not sustainable, you falling so much. This is not safe. Carry a phone with you at all times."

Which I interpreted as "Oh GOODY! I get to shop online for a pair of hiking trousers with a cell phone pocket, FUN!"
followed long will I be able to continue living here as "whatever is happening" happens faster and faster?

Before we can trick out the apartment with grab bars resembling an indoor climbing gym; shoving XC skis, poles, snowshoes, speedskates, backpacks, tents, hiking boots, and gear into storage?

Except all the grab bars in the world won't work without enough strength to grasp, hold, & pull up.

I called the Housing Authority early last week, just in case, ya know, just in case, and asked: "Hey, now this is totally a hypothetical question, seriously, HYPOTHETICAL, long could I be out of my apartment oh...I dunno, let's just say - what if I had to live for a little while in a convalescent facility or something, H.Y.P.O.T.H.E.T.I.C.A.L.L.Y...HOW long could I do that before I would lose my apartment, how long could I be away before losing my home?
Hypothetically, of course. He told me. I didn't like the answer.
So I made up a different story. Didn't like that answer either.

Need one cup of Zen tea accompanied by deep, calming breaths.

Don't press "PUBLISH" and risk having a panic attack.

Or press "PUBLISH" not knowing how much longer
I will have the luxury of writing. Then later regret
not having had the guts to press "PUBLISH."

Deeeeeeep breath...three, two, one, PRESS!
No panic. Pet guinea pigs. Meditate. Inhale. Exhale.
Good tea.
Posted by Picasa


  1. What a roller coaster of events. Your life is one big adventure zooming ridiculouly trough a maze. One good'll never be bored. How are all the piggies? *Smooches as you whiz by*

  2. (((Hugs and *SMOOCHES* right back!!!))) Piggies doing great! Never a dull moment, never a day without treats, life is great :)

  3. Chana - Whatever condition your body is in, your intellect and spirit are shining as brightly as ever. Thank you for sharing them with us.

    I am so relieved to read about the hospice connection and your Americorps volunteer. Thank you for sharing that, too!