Friday, March 30, 2018

My All--Garden Style!

Is it Spring yet?
Gardening is one of my top three hobbies. I also love quilting and scrapbooking. If I had to choose a fourth it would be thrift and garage sale shopping. Oh, and going to lunch with friends. But, maybe, lunching with the ladies shouldn't count....It is lot's of fun but not very productive! Frankly, I have not been super productive the last 8 months in any of my top four or five hobbies.

Starting in late July of 2017, I had a sequence of several unforeseen and unrelated health concerns. One after the other I had a group of crazy challenges.  First a serious staph infection in my right middle finger that almost cost me the finger completely. Surgery was required. I was then hospitalized for 5 days, I was on IV antibiotics for 30 days, and bed rest for a month with my hand suspended above me in a sling. I don't know why I was smiling in this photo. Probably because I had no idea what all was to come next. We did save the hand and the finger. Praise God!

But that bed rest and recliner time brought up a second serious concern in mid October thru November of 2017. It aggravated a 30 year old smashed disk issue in my L4 and L5 disks. Just as I was trying to get back on my feet (literally), the excruciating pain sent me back to bed and spinal surgery was scheduled.  The back surgery was fast and it worked. But again, a bit more bed rest and medication while it healed up. Was I done yet?

No. The third big thing was a massive Gall Bladder Attack in mid December. No simple laparoscopic surgery for me. No. I had to have a massive middle-of the-night surgery resulting in a 12 inch scar larger than the one I had for my son's Cesarean section birth 32 years before! Two of my gallstones were the size of golf balls. The pain of this surgery recovery was worse on me than the other surgeries combined. It did a number on me physically and mentally.

It did not help my body chemistry that I was also diagnosed as a new diabetic in July. I lost almost 4 pounds a week consistently from July 2017 to March 2018 as well. Maybe I should count those two items as health issues four and five but in the long run they are good things. They just didn't feel like it at the time! This brings me to health issue number six. My legs.

From July 2017 to March 2018 I have lost a total of 75 pounds. Some of that is a great thing and because of my healthier eating. Most people would love a weight loss like that. But some of my weight loss was sadly muscle atrophy due to all the bed rest I had to do in those first 5 months. My balance is off. I now use a cane for short distances of less than 45 feet. I use a walker for distances from 45 feet to a city block. And right now, I use a  wheelchair if I have to go over a city block or for "endurance" activities like shopping.

Why am I writing all this out?
What does all this have to do with my gardening?
All Fall and Winter long, I have been limited for the most part to the interior of my Minnesota home. Not today! Today, I went outside in my backyard and garden for the first time since late July last year. (Boy does it need a huge cleanup! LOL)  ...It felt so good so sit in my swing and just breathe the 40-something degree air. I have so much been looking forward to Spring and to my garden and gradual further healing. My surgeries themselves are all healed. Now to work on my heart, my mind, and my leg strength and mobility. With the help of my friends, family, and husband I hope this summer brings renewal.

Day by day I will get stronger. Let me at that garden! 

(Photos are from last summer)

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