When Worlds Collid


Last week, I had too many things goin on, so I had to rearrange some priorities. I had an outpatient procedure on Friday so health came first.

Well…

Health should always come first and I try to do that, but sometimes I’m better at it than other times.

But because of that there were some things that got lost in the shuffle. I didn’t get my blog posts done or my newsletter sent. I also didn’t gte my column done.

Oops!

When worlds collide — whether health, hobby, work, etc. — don’t feel like you’ve failed when something has to be put on a back burner. We’re only human and we can only do so much.

I still crocheted, but I didn’t ralk much about it. I figured I could catch up on that this week. Not onl that, I r4alized that I need to get a little ahead in my posts, newsletters, and columns so that I can (hopefully) avoid such problems in the future.

Does that mean it will happen that way?

No. Of course not. I’m only human and plans do sometimes fall by the wayside. But it does mean I will make more of an effort to stay ahead of my commitments.

That’s all anyone can ask of themselfes. Make mistakes. Learn from them. Try to do better.

That’s true of all of us.

Be kind to yourself.

Getting Personal for a Minute

There are some things I don’t talk about on my blog or social media. It’s not that I’m embarrassed or ashamed, but they don’t fit in with my brand. Some of that will be changing, but there’s some that still won’t be talked about much.

One of the things I don’t talk about is my health. On one hand, it doesn’t fit with what I want to be known for and what I do. On the other hand, it definitely does because our health directly impacts everything.

I am diabetic. I have been for 14 1/2 years. I am a mosquito magnet. I always have been. About four years ago, I got a mosquito bite in the middle of my left shin. Instead of welting up like most mosquito bites do, this one turned into a blister.

I had what is known as skeeter syndrome.

As blisters do, it popped. Then it turned into a sore. I put Neosporin on it and took care of it myself. But it kept getting worse. I kept hiding it. I wouldn’t even think about wearing shorts, capris, or skirts. Keep in mind this is probably in the middle of summer and I’m only wearing jeans or long pants.

This went on for about six months. Maybe longer. My mom caught a peek of the bottom edge (which was, at that point, near my ankle) and made me go the emergency room. I was angry. I shouldn’t have been, but I was.

From there, they referred me to Wound Care. I went to Wound Care twice a week for almost three years. It would get smaller, ultimately to the point where it closed, but it would open back up. I was on strong antibiotics on multiple occasions. They talked about out-patient IV antibiotic treatment and even admitting me to the hospital for IV antibiotics.

Finally, with all of the medications, compression wraps, staying off my foot, getting my blood sugar under (much) better control, and keeping my foot elevated as much as possible, it closed. At this point, it has been closed since the first of February.

To summarize what all happened and what I learned while I was going through Wound Care:

  • The doctor who first saw me called me after lab results came in and asked if I was still on the hospital grounds. (I wasn’t. I was at another doctor’s appointment.) If I had been, he would have had me admitted because my blood sugar was so high.
  • You can develop an allergy to Neosporin. It causes skin breakdown, which can make sores and wounds grow and get worse instead of heal. This is what was happening to me during the time I thought I was taking care of it myself.
  • You can also develop an allergy to Bacitracin. Yes, I can no longer use Neosporin or Bacitracin. I have no idea what I will use if/when I need it.
  • I had MRSA three times in my left leg. That’s why I had so many strong antibiotics.

Some takeaways:

  • Some absolutely wonderful people work in Wound Care. I have made some very good friends.
  • I am so very glad my mom made me go to the ER. (For the record, I’m also legally blind so I don’t drive. She literally took me herself.)
  • I feel fortunate to be alive.
  • I feel fortunate to still have both legs.
  • Never assume ANYthing as a diabetic.

While I was going through this, I had some very low times. I had times where the only creative thing I did was crochet because I could do that with my foot propped up. That’s also why I learned to knit. (There’s a knitting/crochet/weaving/all-around fiber-y group that I go to once a month that was definitely a sanity saver.) I didn’t do much writing. I did some, but it was difficult to sit at the computer with my foot up.

Why am I telling all of this now?

I’ve been going to Wound Care for the past three months as a kind of maintenance strategy. Everything has been good in those three months.

Yesterday, I had my last appointment. This has been an emotional journey. I am grateful for the people who helped me on it.

(Phileen, Misti, Stephanie, Sparky, Vicki, Barb, Dr. Boren, Falisha — yes, I mean you.)

I hope nothing like this ever happens again, but I know if it does, I will not let it get bad before I get help.

Don’t take your health for granted. It literally impacts everything. Even your creativity.

Making My Way Back

fruitI have been trying to figure out how to restart this blog and to explain my absence from it. Then I realized I don’t really have to explain, but I want to. Some of you came here to regular (or semi-regular) posts, then I was gone all of a sudden. Some of you may have stumbled upon a dormant blog.

My last post was in January. It was an attempt to restart then, too.

For a long time, I tried to blog because it was expected. it’s what a writer needs to do to build a platform, to gain an audience. It felt forced to me, so it fell flat. Unfortunately, it probably sounded forced to you, too.

I apologize for all of that.

Now I am returning to the blog. While I hope you are here to read it, comment on it, and ask questions of me about whatever I post, I am doing it for me.

You see, for the past year, I have been dealing with some health issues that had me keeping my foot propped up for 8 of the last 10 months. In that time, I haven’t done much writing. I’ve done a lot of reading. I’ve done a lot of crocheting. I even learned to knit, which is something I have wanted to do for years.

I started a separate blog for the health stuff. It stalled too, although for different reasons. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to be that personal. I wasn’t sure that I wanted people to know that I am diabetic and I struggle with that sometimes.

I realize, though, that is part of me. And the tagline for this blog is “Wandering on the creative journey.” That is part of the wandering. That is part of finding my way. That is part of finding me and making my way back to who I am, who I was, and — more importantly — to who I want to be.

I am trying to take a more healthful approach to life. I’m walking more. I’ve joined Weight Watchers. My blood sugar is consistently under better control. It’s still not perfect, but I’m working on it with my doctor. I got a FitBit for my birthday to help me stay motivated.

I will write about creativity and things I am doing. I will write about how things are going in my personal life and wtih my health. Since I am doing this for me, it will not be with any real regularity. There will be some weeks with daily posts. There will be some weeks with no posts. Most weeks will be somewhere in-between. And that’s OK.

I give myself permission to take things slowly and do what needs to be done.

The picture with this post? That was my breakfast this morning. A fruit salad of a green apple, some strawberries, and a couple Clementines. I also had a piece of toast. I should have included something with protein, maybe some peanut butter on the toast. I’ll do that next time. I enjoyed it, though. And isn’t that important too?

I think so.

Until next time.