Pain vs Sleep

Ok. For 5 weekends, in a row, I’ve been trying to work with Dr Shark and his “paliative care team” in Medicine Hat, where I live, to make satisfactory adjustments to my pain meds. Or, I should say, nothing gets done during the week so every weekend I’m trying to survive a pain crisis. And I’m here to tell you those sure aren’t pretty, involving lots of crying (even screaming) and begging. 

I’ve begun to hate weekends and actually my “paliative care team” as well. According to what I’ve been told they are the pain management experts and are the ones in charge of keeping you comfortable in your last days. That seems to solely involve sedating a person so heavily that all they do is sleep those final precious weeks maybe even months. 

Throw into that mix the restless brain of a person with ADD and it all turns into shear torture. My starved -for-input-brain just can’t handle being that sedated. 

I’ve come to the conclusion that I just need to give up the idea that my “paliative care team” is going to help me at all. There is always more than one solution to a problem, if I can just be awake enough to find it. 

If it’s to be, it’s up to me. And when Karma raises her head I’m going to feel awfully sorry for those those involved in the Cancer Industry. So far I haven’t seen anything about it that seems sensible or compassionate. Maybe with the exception of some nurses who I don’t think have really thought about what is going on and their part in it, who are just kind by nature. 

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Memories

I was blessed from Heaven with 3 of the cutest, loveliest little girls. Here are the 2 youngest on Santa’s knee. 

This is our Middle girl and her Great Grandmother. As a young teen our girl used to volunteer at the extended care facility where her Great Grandma lived. I think if I was to describe this child to someone the word compassionate would be used for sure. Much like her Great Grandma in this picture. 

My cowboy reading the story of “Sneaky Snake” to his three daughters. I don’t remember that story anymore but I’m so glad I took this picture so I could freeze that precious moment in time around the kitchen table. 

At some friends home. Always envied them having a big fireplace. This was taken back when I was ignorant about the difference between big landowners and the rest of us. But that’s a whole other story. 

One of the only things I am truly ashamed of took place on thier ranch. It involved a horse with a broken back left to suffer for weeks. I should have reported it, friends or not. 

Merle and his Dad, Gran’pa John and my cousin from the UK. Merle was a really good man, humble and kind, died pretty young after a series of heart attacks, 5 of them, about 1 every five years. You always got the feeling around him that somewhere, maybe during one of those heart attack episodes, that he had actually seen and talked to God, face to face. A true cowboy. I had/have so much respect for him still. 


My mom and Dad, the same cousin, our girls, and our little dog, Hercules. Our youngest really loved this cousin, the same one who put up with me all those months I was in the UK.  I sure appreciate all the sacrifices he made for me then. What a huge responsibility he took on, so willingly. 

Options

Pretty slim options,down to 2. Pain or sleep. Seems like I’m at the place where I can either be in pain or they can give me pain killers that just put me to sleep. With time on the short side I’d like to at least be awake to enjoy what’s left. This dying thing kind of sucks. 

Rest

It always interests me how important rest is to recuperation and how little rest we ever get in the hospital. Certainly is time timo go home and catch up on all the sleep I’ve been missing in here. 

Dr Shark

My oncologist has now become the stuff of nightmares. Quite the startle response when I saw him coming at me that fast, in my sleep. 

I really need to change doctors. 

My Memories of Mason

I haven’t got to spend a lot of time with my grandchildren for whatever reasons. Except for one grandson, Mason, with whom I have shared some small but very precious-to-me-moments. 

He has been on walks with old Blue and Pokje and I out on the prairie which mostly consisted of mason trying to keep up with Pojke,  me trying to keep up with Mason, and Blue just doing his own thing. He let me tell him about grass and he loved the fact that he could eat the seeds of grasses, depending on the time of year. He likes to eat, like most boys. 

I think possibly I may have been the first one to give him driving lessons, in fact a couple of times. I think he was only five but in the middle of the prairie there is nothing to run into. He steered, I ran the gas pedal. 

And there was a 6 hour stint of “Power Rangers” when I looked after him once when his mom was gone. 
Riding bikes around in the community hall parking lot. And playing on the equipment behind the hall with he and his brothers and a couple of friends. Fun times. I would watch for them to come down the road towards our basement suite when they came. and then watch till they turned the corner riding their bikes home. 

He was a costume kind of kid and I have tons of pictures of him dressed as the superhero I know is in there some where. 

I had the loveliest day with him just a few days ago. Picture a beautiful fall day. Around where I live we call those special kinds of days Indian Summer. Crisp but not cold. Sunshine everywhere: filling the sky in the trees overhead, laying crisp on the ground in the shape of  familiar leaves. A day of possibilities when anything wonderful could happen and often does. Even Christmas hangs invisible in the air, in the back of our contented minds. 

Being an active boy I thought, well no, I pretty knew, that he would have fun on my little push scooter. I bought it a while back to use with my Cowboy when he walked the dog because I couldn’t quite keep up. With it, I could just push and glide along beside them. 

I made him wear my bike helmet and sent him on a short training mission with his Grandfather and Pshaw. After that I just laid out on the futon under the covered porch and watched him ride back and forth in the condo’s parking area. Every time he got close to me he’d stop and we’d have a short visit. I think its been a long time since I’ve been that deliciously happy.  

Thank you Mason. Grandma really appreciated all those fond memories I shared with you. 

An Opinion, an Apology

There was a thing going around on Facebook about a Clinton Anderson horse training video. He makes reference to tree hugger idiot not agree with his trading methods. In the video he was riding a paint horse named Titan who was at the time his NRHA futury prospect. I’ve been around Reining some and have seen this type of horse traing before.   I barely watched a minute of the video till I saw Clinton, abruptly snatch at the horse’s face, which was clearly a punishment for the horse hoping for freedom from what has always looked to me like a uncomfortable way to have to carry your head, some call collection. 

I maybe still have some opnions after all. Here was my comments (just in case you weren’t clear about where I stand on horse-man relationships. lol) 
“Well, never thought of myself as a tree hugger, idiot or not but I do have a lot of respect for horses. Not trying to puff myself but just to let you know that maybe I do have a leg to stand when I express my opinion I’d like to preface my comments with this. I’ve started a few young horses in my life and made my living on horseback for 15 years or so with a lot of 10 hour days in the saddle, rain or shine. I spent a few months working for a reining horse trainer, had the privilege of scribing for John Snoblen which was a great learning opportunity but I discovered quickly it wasn’t an industry that held much draw for me; I like to see a horse given some freedom to think for themselves and some of the movements they were requiring seems unnatural and forced. 
I personally, believe in partnership not punishment. It took me a long time to learn that one thing, one of my greatest regrets. For me, the master/slave relationship that the first snatch up on those reins portrayed, reminded me of how it used to be in the horse industry. A lot of atrocities were commited on horses in the name of training, which then was literally breaking a horse. That snatch was no where near the level I have witnessed but still you can see the mindset behind it. 
Ok, enough rambling on. I guess my point here is that I believe there’s a better way and my respect is saved for trainers whose main focus is: what’s best for the horse, so I’m kind on the side of folks who were a little offended. I like to think the best of folks and I hope it’s a perspective that, if Clinton can keep humble, he’ll eventually see himself.
A fellow replied. 

sometimes we have to do whatever it takes to get the message across, a good friend and successful horse had a saying that I thought summed it up “demand nothing more, accept nothing less”

From me again. 

“My point was kind of about learning it’s not a demand or accept type of thing. It’s really not all about only what we as horsemen want but about how we can teach ourselves and our horse to be on the the same page. I’ve learned there’s a way to take in the “voice” of the horse and consider his opinion about the whole thing. Just one little example: my husband was asked to put some time on an older Zan Par Bar bed stud that had been used just for breeding for many years. His owners were not comfortable riding him because of some of his history. My husband wouldn’t let me ride out with him when he used this horse having been forewarned. He came back one day really happy about a breakthrough he had with the horse. It was such a simple thing really. He’d asked the horse to cross some running water but the horse was not cooperative so he chose to ride him upstream to a spot that actually was a safer place to cross and asked again. He had to encourage (mind you nothing like demand but ask more than once) and when the horse realized the footing was safe he went through. The horse changed from that moment on and I witnessed a relation of trust between that man and that horse that isn’t very often seen and that I envied. That horse would have done anything that particular man asked of him. I have the privilege of being married to that man and feel the same way.”

I’d forgotten about the hero part of who I am married to and have, of late, just seen the flaws. I think because town puts everything in a darker light for me, cut off from all those things that have given me so much joy. It darkens my vision and life goes bleak. 

So, in tears this morning, I apologized to my cowboy even though he was sitting there in his cursed baseball hat playing on his iPhone. I’ve seen who he really is. The man that his horse, Buddy (and Buddy’s Dad, Big Doc), trusted and loved so much. 

So, there’s the last apology/forgiveness on my long (silly) list. Hopefully it’s enough to get me Home. 

Home

Some things are better read out loud. I love the way this glides off my tongue.  

My Turn

My last picture with Pic, last day, last few moments. I didn’t understand until today how big a kindness it was that day. 


I wish it was as simple for people. Just one quick bullet from a kind hand. 

Then you get to run free across the heavens over the prairie.

Pshaw

Such a sweet little dog, it would have been hard to imagine the comfort she would bring.