Deadly Beauty

I have been trying to get some walking done to improve my energy level, reduce my pain level and combat anxiety. I blame everything on hormones! We discovered one of mine is almost zero, so I started taking it by pill.

I was introduced to a new therapy. New to me. Dry needling. It is done by a physical therapist and my insurance covers it. Like acupuncture, in a way, I guess. I have only seen that procedure on television. Dry needling uses very fine needles to penetrate the muscles and disrupt them. It is supposed to promote new muscle cell growth to help with the realignment therapy.

Yes. It hurts. But, I am willing to deal with the pain of the procedure if it will relieve the daily pain in my hip and back and improve my mobility. I have tiny girls to play with. Granny needs to be able to do everything with them.

What does that have to do with the picture and the title of this post? I was bitten on my left foot by a copperhead on my 15th birthday. The snake only had one fang. It was dark and the ground was heavily littered with sycamore leaves. I was outside barefoot. I walked out into the yard and back on the same path. I must have stepped on him going out and he was after me when I came back. Daddy found him the next morning and killed him, thereby discovering the single fang. We had supposed it was a scorpion sting up to that point.

The bite itself felt like an electric shock running from the side of my foot up my entire leg. I swelled up from mid thigh down and laid up in the bed to recover with no after effects other than the swelling. The dry needling has moments of similar electric shocks when a nerve or severely tense muscle is hit. So, yes, I am having “snake bite therapy” to help get better!!

I can’t even imagine the pain the beauty in the photo would cause likely culminating in death. He was wary and still until I was past him and he felt clear to move out of the way. The next day he was crossing back over the road going the other way. Still wary and watchful. More cautious of me than I was of him.

Most people want to kill them on sight. But, I was on his porch. He wasn’t on mine. He is a special part of a healthy ecosystem. I respect them. I fear the consequences of a bad encounter. But, I don’t want to kill them needlessly.

Strangely, I felt privileged to be afforded a second look at him the next day. The road is wide and flat and clear and he is brightly marked and large. Easy to see. I stay in the middle anyway, just in case he or a cousin is near the edge. I walked wide around and he patiently waited for me to clear his path.

August Again

Here it is again.  The dog days of summer. August has started out not so treacherous.  Lower 90’s instead of near 100.

I so want to have enough energy to do more in the evenings after the 9-5.  It just doesn’t happen.  By the time I get to the house, I just want to sit and stare out the window or scroll through Instagram. I am scheduled to retire next summer.  Everyone asks me what will I do with myself retired.  I can’t seem to make them understand how important taking care of him and keeping house is to me.

I might write more. I might read more. I might be able to get my house the way I want it. I have some painting to do and some floors to recover and windows to redress.  I might even be able to get every closet, pantry and drawer cleaned out and organized.  I have some special projects still sitting in the wings.  I also have a major ambition to pursue.

With my pain level like it is, the fatigue overtakes me and then I cycle into a downward spiral.  My 9-5 job is very high stress and not rewarding emotionally or mentally.  Just an endless round of reports and meaningless data collection for the politicians. It drains me.  I hate feeling like this.  The upside is that it leads to an early retirement and lifelong health insurance for both of us.

I want to be able to do things with him and for him to make his life better and happier.  I try to research what to do, but then can’t focus long enough over the days to make the changes called for.

I am not alone in my frustrated state.  Many of my friends have the same or similar issues.  Not necessarily the pain, but the fatigue and the seeming inability to make things better despite having some vague ideas of what would help.

It is not that we have such desperately terrible lives.  I count myself among the blessed in this world.  I live in Texas. I have a solid house with hot and cold running water, two indoor toilets, a bathtub and shower. I have a well equipped kitchen and pantry and freezer full of food.  I have central air that I can afford to run.  I have good health in the sense that I don’t have to take any medications for anything right now.  And insurance if I did. My vehicle is new and I always have gas money.  My children are grown and independent and well.  Both happily married and raising healthy children.  I don’t have aging parents to take care of, though I wish I did.  They have all been gone for many years.

I guess my point is that everything should be fine.  But, somehow I have this nagging sense of unease.  And the physical pain and fatigue that no doctor seems to be able to figure out what is caused by nor how to fix it.  I have made yet another appointment with yet another doctor for later this month.  He has a reputation for non-traditional evaluations and treatments.  Maybe he won’t try to give me anti-depressants. I’m not depressed.  I just don’t feel well enough long enough to get more than the minimal tasks completed.  And that frustrates the daylights out of me.

Enough of this pity party.  I am blessed. I love and am loved.  I will do what I can and be glad for it as much as I can.  I will try to forgive myself for all I can’t seem to get done and for the anxiety that builds up and causes me distress.

The cicadas just started buzzing close to this porch window.  He will be home soon.  The evening shadows will blend into dusk.  The night will bring restless sleep, yet the coming dawn will break on a fresh, new day.  Please, Lord, help me rejoice and be glad in it.

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