Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Trip Down South ~ Just What This Old Girl Needed

This has not been the best week.  Medical issues and medical tests continue to consume my days.  I had some more bad news from the doctor.  After a pulse oximeter test, it was determined I have to wear oxygen at night.  My doctor had ordered the oximeter test because of my continued light headedness and chest pain.  It just so happened that I was scheduled to wear the holter monitor at the same time as the oximeter test was taking place.   The results of the pulse oximeter were not good at all.  I won't go into details because it needs to be compared to the holter monitor results by my cardiologist before we will really know for sure what is going on.  My internist says the oxygen will help me, help my heart, but it is not the fix I may ultimately need.  Needless to say, I was discouraged, but decided until I have a better picture of what is going on, I would not completely freak out stay calm and wait for further test results.

I won't go into more details on my health, let's just say, the continual bad news was beginning to really get me down.  I told my husband last night that I don't know when I have been more discouraged.  The winter has just been too long and too hard this year.

After a down and depressing Friday, I was so glad to know I had a plan for today.  A month ago, a dear high school friend and I met for the first time to write together.  We'd talked of setting a date once a month to write together for over a year.  Finally, last month we actually met at a coffee shop and worked on our writing together for over several satisfying and happy hours.  Our time together was inspiring and gave me a renewed desire to write. Before we parted last month, we set our next writing date for today, February 22.

Since my friend IC lives forty miles south of here in my old stomping grounds of Pueblo, I decided to book a manicure and pedicure before our meeting time for writing.  My dear friend Kerri, has done my nails for years.  Since I've moved, I really have not found anyone to give me a manicure or a pedicure.  I've visited a few different places.  All were nice, but none were Kerri.  I missed her!  No one could replace her.  In fact, I'd stopped getting manicures and pedicures since we moved. (I wrote about Kerri in a blog post two years ago.  Click here to read about her.)

Before I left town, I dressed in some brighter, more springlike colors.  I'm tired of wearing black and brown and blue and red and all those winter colors!  I am ready for some color in my wardrobe again.  After dressing,  I threw together a bag for the day.  It contained:  my journal, my iPad mini, my yellow pad for writing ideas, my favorite pen, and my flip flops.  The flip flops came out when I arrived at Kerri's.  I'd need them after my pedicure.  As soon as I walked in the door, an old friend whom I usually meet at Kerri's because she gets her hair done on Saturdays was there.  We hugged and caught up on life.  I then hugged Kerri.  I then settled my feet into the waiting warm water.  Ahhh.  I was home again surrounded by my friends.  Do you remember that old song we learned in Girl Scouts?  Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver, and the other's gold.  It felt good to be back with my old friend.

I used to joke that Kerri was my therapist.  Now, I know that she probably knows and understands me as much as anyone does.  She's heard my deepest griefs, joys, dramas, and frustrations for at least ten years.  We've laughed, cried, and moaned, and groaned on a monthly basis about so much over the years.

As she massaged my feet and exfoliated my dry, cracked heels, I felt as it wasn't just dead skin that was being sloughed off of my winter and illness weary body.  I felt pampered, cared for, listened to, and renewed.  A coat of pink polish applied to my nails  added another lift to my spirit.  Two and a half hours later, I left Kerri's shop with a lighter step to my walk and with a much brighter outlook on life.  Thanks Kerri.  How I've missed you.
My feet are ready for spring.

The weather was absolutely beautiful forty miles south of here.  It was sunny and warm.  Already feeling like I'd been on a mini-vacation, I drove to my friend's house for lunch and writing time.  I was met at the door with a warm hug and the words, "You are a welcome sight for sore eyes."  I responded with, "You are a healing sight for a weary heart and soul."  From there, we proceeded to eat the wonderfully healthy lunch IC had prepared.  Chatting as we ate, we caught up on our news.

Then, it was down to work.  We started the writing session by our free write.  IC read great selection from the New Yorker written by Dave Berry.  We responded to the reading by writing for ten minutes.  It was so fun and interesting to see what each of us had written.

From there we shifted to talking about writing goals.  I love IC's great business minded approach to writing.  She is such a successful grant writer, and she is so successful at helping others begin new business ventures through her work with SCORE, so it was no surprise when she brought out the white board so we could use Venn diagrams to work out our personal writing goals.

I walked away from our time together with new clarity for my writing goals.  I was energized, and I was buoyed up by the positive feedback I was able to receive from her, and that I was able to give to her in return.  I felt like the teacher again.  I also felt like the student.  Heaven only knows that nothing builds passion in me more than being in a learning environment where I feel free to express and develop ideas.

Before I knew it, the afternoon was gone.  I'd left home early in the morning.  My day had been full.  I'd driven an hour south to where I'd been pampered,  reconnected with a primary relationship,  had lunch with a friend, and had time to write, to think, to plan.

As I left for my hour's drive home, for the life of me, I could not imagine why I had felt so used up and down the day before.  All I needed was a trip down south and a little a lot  of help from my friends to get myself back on track.  What a difference a day can make when it is filled with time with friends.  I think today was just what the doctor ordered.

25 comments:

John Paul McKinney said...

Wonderful post, Glad you found the right medicine. Like you I think it's all about relationships, whether in education, psychotherapy, or the ministry. It's the relationship that does the healing. Thanks for sharing. John Paul

Margaret Adamson said...

Hi. I really enjoyed reading this post and am sorry to hear about your on going Heath issues. What was a wonderful trip of encouragement for you and your toe nails look great too, just ready for spring. Hope you are having a great weekend.

thisisme said...

Hi Sally. When we have health problems, it is very easy to feel down and discouraged, and you really are going through it at the moment my friend. I am so glad you had that little break, and I hope you will feel more refreshed. I know how much Kerrie meant to you, as I remember you talking about her before. I will pray for you and all the tests you are having at the moment. Hugs x

Dartford Warbler said...

That sounds like a wonderful day and just what you needed!

Those times when we can be creative are so important to keeping sane and positive.]

Hoping that your doctors can help you to feel much better physically too. Good luck with the next set of test results.

DJan said...

How wonderful to have such good friends to help you get a new perspective. I'm hoping you'll have some good news about the heart business, but it sounds like your pretty pink toes are ready to welcome spring, in both your outer world and in your heart. Sending you love and hugs, Sally.

Olga said...

Sounds very much like a renewing day, a promise that spring is coming. I send positive and healing thoughts each morning as I scan my blog list. Take care.

troutbirder said...

She heads south, freshens up and feels ready for spring. Good move, Sally. Two years ago I took my holter monitor west flyfishing in the mountains of western Montana, cell phoned the bad results back to the Mayo Clinic, came back, had an ablation and have been good to go ever since...:) In my case it was Go West Young Man.

Perpetua said...

What a marvellous, rejuvenating day you had, Sally. Just what you needed after the really rough time you and Jim have been going through. Let's hope it's a sign that spring is finally on the way.

Jean said...

Your day does sound rejuvenating, definitely. I could definitely use a day like that right about now. I hope your medical test results prove to be more positive than you've been expecting!
By the way, your feet are beautiful!

dkzody said...

Your post is a good reminder to all of us as to why we need to connect with friends on a REGULAR basis. It seems to have been a good dose of medicine for you. I believe that happy people are healthier people.

As a reminder to some of my teacher friends, I'm going to share your post via Facebook. Thanks for the beautiful writing that is much clearer than any doctor's prescription.

Deb Shucka said...

Oh, Sally, I'm so sorry to hear you continue to struggle with health issues. And so proud of you for taking care of yourself in such a grand way. You've reminded me that it's often the very simplest of joys that can scrub away the gray of winter, both literal and figurative. Sending you much love and many prayers.

Linda Myers said...

Come to Tucson for a few days!

Jeanie said...

Sally, there is so much here in this brave, wise post to tell me all one could want to know about you -- that you are profoundly human going through all the health challenges that at one time or another most all of us will experience -- scary ones, too -- but with the grace and strength of a warrior. The wisdom in seeking out not only friendship but being a friend to yourself and allowing the pampering and care of your both and soul. To be able to share with a wonderful friend, to write, to let your creativity lift your worried soul.

I'm so sorry to hear about the oxygen and the concern about your tests. I know what it's like to be on the fence for awhile, waiting for results that could have a major impact on your life. It's scary and all you try to do is keep your head tall and go from day to day. If you can keep doing what you have just told us, you'll get there with style -- and no matter what the results, you will handle it all with a grace we should all emulate.

A Quiet Corner said...

Sally, you are a fighter and will make it through this rough time...waiting, testing, wondering...after all, with friends and places within reach, there are smiles waiting...:)JP

Betsy Adams said...

Yes--you obviously really needed that 'pampering' day--with better weather, meeting up with old friends, etc. AND--you are working on your writing, which is incredible.. All of that should give you some new meanings toward this life and its challenges... God Bless You and your health problems. You are in my prayers.

Hugs,
Betsy

Tom Sightings said...

Like you said, sometimes a friend is just what the doctor ordered.

Arkansas Patti said...

Not a pill in the world can give us what a marvelous day with friends can. What a perfect day at a perfect time when you really needed a lift.
Hoping you soon find relief and an answer from your tests so you can begin the healing.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

You're always welcome to come a bit further south to central Arizona! Our guest house awaits! But I know that the trip to Pueblo was extra special because of the connections and memories you have there. How great to get some pampering, the renewal of friendships and some inspiration to write. That can really help bring hope and energy back into life. I know how discouraging medical problems can be and am so glad you found the strength and resolve to head south for a lovely day of friendship and renewal!

Barb said...

At first from your title, I thought you went to FL instead of just south to Pueblo! One of my friends lives in the Banana Belt of CO, but unfortunately, she keeps sending me photos of her new snow! Guess I can't get replenished there! I have a gal (aesthetician) here in Breck who has such a healing spirit - I used to go every month for a facial just to receive her healing touch. For a year, since my allergy problems, I haven't gone. I'm considering calling her and booking if she can check the ingredients of some of her products for me. It's true that some people can rejuvenate us just from being around them. Keep writing! Feel better soon!

Linda Reeder said...

Concerns and uncertainties about health can be so draining. Good for you for providing yourself with a day of renewal.

Maggie May said...

Really sorry to hear about your bad health report and hope something can be done to remedy this.
Your toes look lovely and bright and ready for an adventure!
Friend's can make a world of difference to the way you are feeling.
Hoping things brighten up for you.
Maggie x

Nuts in May

BLissed-Out Grandma said...

I am sorry about the continuing health issues but delighted by your account of the rejuvenating day you had. I think you have inspired each of us with this. Be well.

Kay said...

I'm so sorry for the difficult health situation you were struggling through. However, it was wonderful to read about this wonderful day you've had. Kerri sounds like such a terrific person and what a fun thing to spend time writing with a friend. I love your nails, Sally. I'm afraid I can't show you mine right now. They are not pretty like yours.

Marty said...

What a fortuitous time for a trip - to literally put some distance between you and winter and health worries. And what an absolutely perfect day. May the healing continue.

Rose said...

Sounds like a wonderful day for anyone, but especially after all that you have been through, Sally. Dealing with health problems can really be discouraging. Getting out and doing something to lift your spirits is the best medicine, but that's easier said than done when you're feeling down. So glad you didn't change your plans and had such a great day!