Friday, April 29, 2016

Goodbye to The Month of April

April, you were given a bit of a bad reputation by T. S. Eliot in his poem The Waste Land.  He called you the "cruellest month."  

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing 
Memory and desire, stirring 
Dull roots with spring rain. 
Winter kept us warm, covering 
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding 
A little life with dried tubers. 

I wonder what he would have written had he spent this past April in Colorado.  His poem was not a happy one.  He was speaking as one with depression.  The reawakening of the earth is so often a difficult time of year to those with depression.  

Eliot  might have actually liked living here in Colorado because on this next to last day of April in 2016, the lines about winter and how the earth is covered in “forgetful snow” speak of the reality we are experiencing where I live.

 The snow, at times in thick curtains, falls silently to earth blanketing everything it touches.  The effect is one where everything appears to have been redecorated with thick white cushions.  As the day continues, the snow seems to be dissipating.  The warm earth that had soaked up sun a few days before is drinking in the snow quickly.  The trees branches weighted with snow, leaves, and blossoms droop and slough off the added weight of snow. 

 Some see this time as an extended time to do some cross-country skiing.  

Snow is April is common in the mountains and foothills of Colorado.  Snow in April is best seen as an unexpected gift where one is able to enjoy those things we most love about winter.

I’ve been trying to do that very thing myself.  I drink in the beauty of this unexpected snow.  I welcome the moisture which is feeding the life that wishes to spring up from the ground now covered in blankets of white.  I cast off the extra weight of being frustrated by things I cannot control.  I am reminded on days like this when snowy weather is not really what I might wish to have that I can choose to have a day of gold rather than a day of lead.   I welcome another day spent cozily ensconced in my home.  These days are as temporary as a spring snow.  They never last long.  They provide time for reflection, rest, and recharging.

Honestly, I’ve done so little for a month that I am beginning to feel as if I’m at risk of being completely slouched from the whirl wind of busy lives that buzz around me.  Will I ever again completely join the flurry of life that has been passing me by recently?  

Yesterday, my husband and I spent the morning doing a lot of nothing.  “I’ve wasted the morning away again,” I lamented as I headed to the shower when it was nearly noon.  “No you didn’t,” said my supportive husband.  “Did you enjoy yourself wasting time?  If you did, you didn’t waste it.”  Then he added this gem:

Beside, we have less time in the future to waste time than we did in the past, 
so we might as well enjoy wasting it.”


I can’t say that I have actually wasted time this entire month.  It just feels like it sometimes.  On March 31, I had cataract surgery on my right eye.  I spent the first few days just listening to a story on Audible.  I couldn’t bend from the waist or do heavy lifting, so I let housekeeping chores slid.  Once I was better, I caught up on my chores, did a little planting, had lunch with friends, visited the sick, and did a bit of exercise.

Ten days ago, on April 19, I had surgery on my left eye.  I again did not have any anesthesia during the surgery.  The surgery all went very well.  My doctor was fabulous.  He talked to me through the entire surgery to keep me calm.  I was quite proud of myself for being able to have both surgeries without taking any drugs.  

The day after the surgery, I could tell that the left eye was not responding like the right eye did.  I could not see anything but light and shadows.  At the one day follow-up appointment at my eye doctor’s, I could not see the big E on the eye chart.  All I could see was a lighted square on the wall.  That was a bit unnerving.  The eye doctor was quite concerned about the amount of inflammation I had in the eye and by the condition of my cornea.  He sent me home with instructions to do nothing for a few days but rest and put prednisone drops in my eye every two hours.  It is crazy how one eye had no problems, but the other eye had significant problems after surgery.

Following the doctor’s orders, I went home and listened to my story on Audible.  (Standby for a future post about the book I listened to.)  The Auschwitz Escape is a great book.  I really enjoyed it.

I was back at the doctor’s office in two days.  The eyesight was improving significantly.  Finally, at the one week mark, the eye was nearly back to normal.  I have 20/20 eyesight again.  I’m very pleased with the results after having the surgery.  It will be a month or so before I get new reading glasses.  


Now that the eyes are all fixed up, I’m working on getting some dental work done.  That is always a fun thing to do.  I’m also trying to resolve pain issues in the left sciatica and hip area.  This has been an on-going area of pain for at least fifteen or twenty years.  Monday’s MRI and the one from February don’t give us any definitive answers.  In the meantime, there are days when I have trouble walking and sleeping because of the pain.  Because of my allergic reactions to steroid shots in the past, we are ruling out shots for right now.  I see the specialist that operated on Jim’s back soon.  Hopefully, he will have a plan.

Quite honestly, I am now ready to see May arrive.  I have some travel plans for May and June.  I can't wait.


Jeanie said...

I'd say you definitely deserve a vacation. That had to be on the scary side -- not seeing the BIG E! I would have totally freaked. So glad to hear that it's all healing nicely and you are good to go!

As to wasting time -- Jim is right. We spent a lot of years of our lives working. Now we are working at finding peace and joy and pleasure that was often denied because of other commitments or obligations. I still feel guilty, nearly three years retired, reading a book in the daytime at home (not so much at the lake). But I make myself because -- well, because I LIKE reading the book. Or painting. Or whatever. Savor the moments, Sally. You deserve them.

The Furry Gnome said...

So glad tour eye surgery went well. And what a good way to spend April - recovering from surgery that will give you better vision! I wish I could have my surgery sooner rather than later!

Barb said...

Hi Sally. I'm writing this from CA. Bob had cataract surgery in April on his right eye so we BOTH deserved a vacation. Sounds like you do too! Back issues are the worst. I hope your landscape is soon back to spring. A friend just told me that it's dumping in Breck. I'm glad for this beach respite!

Olga Hebert said...

Well, you look marvelous in that picture so I am guessing a month of "wasting" time was just what you needed. I hope you have a blossoming of renewed spirit as you travel in May and June.

DJan said...

I remember one year in Boulder when we got three feet of snow on May 5th! I loved it and skied the Mesa Trail in town before it all melted off. I'm so glad your eye surgery went so well. That would have been very scary to me, but it all turned out well. :-)

Sandi said...

Hi Sally, Oh how scary it must have been to have the second eye responding so slowly! I got squirmy as I read about no anesthesia during the cataract surgery - I'd be proud of being brave too!

Being retired is such an interesting phenomena, in that I also find myself "wasting" time, simply because there is no pressure to get going most mornings. I've had my share of days when I manage to jump in the shower about noon. :)

We are heading out on Wednesday for several National Parks in Utah. Now I'm wondering if we will be seeing snow. I guess so, as I know several of the roads we're traveling are fairly high elevation. Somehow, I didn't think about snow! We've already had several days of very nice, warm temperatures around here, and the garden is off to a great start!

Relax and enjoy each of these blessed days ahead!


Arkansas Patti said...

That had to be scary but how wonderful that you are now 20/20. Big sigh of relief. Now to get your back straightened out. Doctors keep us busy don't they?
I keep seeing how your area keeps getting hit with snow and I am so envious. I love snow especially since I no longer have a job to get to.

troutbirder said...

Plucky attitude I'd characterize this post. And it's a good thing. I could use some of that having my neck immobilized after a fall down the basement steps. I'm ready for spring. No more snow please....:)

Maggie May said...

So glad your other eye is getting back to normal. That must have been a really worrying situation. Well done for getting through it! Pat on the back for you!

April has mostly been a wet, cold and dismal month over here, occasionally tricking us into believing that Spring had arrived. Glad to be shot of it and hope May is better.
Take care.

Maggie x

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

So happy to learn your eye events worked out well for you. I hope you have wonderful vacations.

Linda Reeder said...

I guess you had good reasons to "waste time". And because you took care of yourself correctly, you are now good to go!

Margaret Adamson said...

20/20 vision now. Thata great. yes a vacation is a lovely idea Go on ENJOY!

Lin Floyd said...

ah eye and aging concerns-I can relate after my cataract surgery, my left eye had some problems so I ended up at a retina specialist who gives me an injection every 5 weeks with numbing of the eye. It is helping as I had a macular edema or swelling of the retina after surgery. Always something to deal with as we age....

Jean said...

April brought snow to us Mainers, too. I'm hoping May will be kinder. First, it needs to bring us consistent warm weather! I'm looking forward to hearing about your travels this month.

Betsy Adams said...

AH---wish you two would vacation down our way!!!!!! We'd love it...

Glad your cataract surgery went well--even after the problem with the left eye. George is having his done in May --and I probably will sometime in summer/fall.. Both of us are having more and more trouble reading...

I am having dental work also (VERY expensive since we have no dental insurance)... I'm having two implants--and they are 'in process'. Fun Fun!!!!

BUT--overall, both GE and I got GREAT reports from our doctor after our yearly physicals recently... We are both in great shape to be OLD.... ha

Happy May Day... I'll publish a blog post tomorrow.

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

I hope the month of May brings you all kinds of good things!

Rose said...

I always think of these lines from Eliot in April,too. Some years it is a cruel month with nonstop rains, but this year it was a beautiful month in Illinois, anything but cruel! I like your husband's attitude toward "wasting time." I seem to do a lot of that these days, but I must admit I enjoy just putting my feet up and reading a book or scrolling through Facebook. I hope May brings you good health and many travel adventures, Sally.

Kay said...

Happy spring, Sally! You look 100% fabulous! Yay! I'm so glad spring is here for you and that your eye operation went well. I can imagine what a relief that is.