Friday, September 28, 2007

Kidney Stone Surgery

Ron had kidney stone surgery two days ago.

The surgery was planned for a few weeks, and Ron will be deeply relieved to be rid of his kidney stone pain.

But the hospital process is a tiring, anxiety-provoking experience in itself. Mind you... the doctors are brilliant, the nurses kind and superbly capable, and the support staff pleasant and helpful.

But the longer-than-expected surgery, excruciating waits, interrupted sleep, hospital and drug protocols, and of course, the endless tests: blood tests, blood pressure readings, temperature taking, and because he's diabetic, blood sugar monitoring. He's connected to tubes and drips, needles and flashing, beeping monitors.

My heart breaks for him, as I wear a cheerful smile and positive spirit. He's tired and hurts. And I love him.

A one-night stay evolved into two nights due to inflammation between his kidneys and bladder which impeded the flow of liquids. A catheter was inserted last night between the two, and he feels horribly uncomfortable today.

This morning, the doctor promised he's come home today, but we await word when radiology can schedule removal of a shunt. And we quietly fear that, like yesterday, the procedure won't occur until the evening shift.

And we worry that two nights will become three.

And I wonder if this supposedly innocuous surgery has done damage to his kidneys.

And I love him and would do anything to make this better for him...

Friday, September 07, 2007

Lord, Keep Your Arm Around My Shoulder...

On an irresistible shopping whim, I bought two adorable decorative wall placards emblazoned with mottos.

Words of wisdom on Andrea's placard: Dare to be different!

Words of prayer on my placard: Lord, Keep Your Arm Around My Shoulder and Your Hand Over My Mouth.

Finding Daily Peace

Saw my doctor this week for a six-month blood pressure "check & chat," as I call my medical ritual for the past eight (or so) years.

The great news is that I lost almost ten pounds. Smart exercise, good eating habits, a change or two in my diet... finally, I seem to have found a healthy, middle-aged rhythm. And I feel good... am headed in the right direction.

BUT. My blood pressure was up again at way-too-high levels. Truth is, I'm not handling the busyness of life all that well. I'm stressed out with too much to do, too many self-expectations, and an overloaded family calendar.

And I must be honest... my family just doesn't get the blood pressure thing. They love me. Adore me. But Ron and Andrea are energized, even soothed, by rushing around. They both thrive on constant hustle and bustle. I don't. It stresses me out. It exhausts.

Ron and Andrea never, never remember to slow down to meet my needs for serenity. And they never will for very long. It's not in their natural temperaments.

I confess: I play the "You don't love me game." I accommodate their lives endlessly. Why can't I receive a bit of accommodation in return? My truth is that it DOES anger me. (Why, oh why, can't they be more like... well, me???)

As I write this, though, I realize I'm throwing one of those pity parties for myself over this. Clearly, I need to do a better job of meeting my own needs and reaching out to God to meet them. I can't control my family, and I certainly can change no one but myself.

So starting this week, I'm spending 20 to 30 minutes each weekday morning in meditation... deep-breathing, clearing my mind, feeling my tensed body relax, savoring silence. Just me and God.

And I'm starting to feel more Peace.