Three things needed for a good life

The other day, I had a yearly physical at my doctor’s office. I really like her. I don’t always agree with her, even politically. I must say that MK hit the nail on the head as she said that our doctor may not make the best first assessment but she always comes around.

I don’t always agree with her medical opinions either. I understand where she is coming from but I also see that although she reads the medical annuals the way I read novels, she bases her final opinions on the results she sees for her patients. I cannot argue with that, but sometimes we have to make the final decision ourselves. Case in point is my recent decision to have a procedure that she says is not as fruitful as we would like (and I certainly see her point) but one that I want to try because it is not invasive and maybe it won’t work, but then again maybe it will. Wow! Me an optimist? I am a far cry from my training with my mom!

She is on the cusp. She told MK recently that perhaps it is time for the knee to be replaced. Before this time, she was overly cautious. Her change? She has seen some of her patients come out of surgery and with better results recently. She mentioned a patient who was driving after ten days…

You cannot help but like this doctor who believes in wholistic approaches as well as the regular medical practice.

Yesterday, she spoke to me of her sister who had her shoulder redone. Unlike her own patients who can barely raise their arms up to a t-body position, her sister was very quickly able to get her arms all the way over her head. The reason? She had her surgery done in India and not that I am saying that India is on the cusp in every surgical area, perhaps they have found a better way to do it. She says she has told the local experts to look at newer approaches. I like that. We cannot close our eyes to what is better, even if we haven’t developed it ourselves.

She told me yesterday what she sees from her practice (and she is a couple years my senior) in terms of good life and longevity, are three critical things. They are, in order of importance, personal happiness, proper sleep, and proper diet. I thought about it as she asked me if I was depressed, since that is an important question to ask everyone, and realize that she is more than probably right once again.

Carpe diem.

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Notre Dame was burning.

Post Cards from Paris. My first visit to actually see Notre Dame was on December 17, 1971. That was the first of many visits.

Yesterday, a horrific sight occurred in Paris. I was on a conference call and someone on the call said, by the way, have any of you seen what is happening in Paris? Notre Dame is on fire. Frankly, we couldn’t believe it.

We all went online and were shocked to see what was happening. It was hard to believe that a monument that is a cultural and world icon, was in danger of being ruined. At first, I thought, oh, a small fire, they will put it out. When I realized the magnitude of the fire, I knew that there was probably no chance of that.

As the day went on, things went from bad to worse. Even the spire on the roof burned and collapsed. The fire continued to burn.

Now they are assessing the damage. Hopefully, the main structure will be strong enough for a rebuild.

I cannot help but believe that this is a sign of some sort. France is troubled, we are troubled. There are world issues and no one seems to agree with anyone else. People, regions, and countries are troubled and many people are not treating fellow citizens correctly. We are in a troubled time of change.

Life is short and we can take nothing for granted. Iconic monuments can disappear in the blink of an eye. Notre Dame is seriously damaged, we still don’t know how much. She could have been destroyed.

Perhaps we need to put aside our differences and learn to get along.

Is it likely that the fascists and bad world leaders are going to heed the message of Notre Dame? Probably not, but the people who truly have more power than they realize can change things at the voting booth.

We need to do so. In the end, Notre Dame will come back, although we don’t know how long it will take. She has survived the French Revolution and two worlds wars. She will come back.

Shall we?

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Snow on the ground and soon to be in the 50s

I had to clean up the car before taking my charge to preschool..

They are cold, really cold, the morning walk registered a cool twenty-nine degrees and the daffodils, having finally crowned themselves in gold, are not happy. I am not either as I would have liked to really enjoy the fruits of my having planted new daffodils each fall for the past few years.

We set up the patio and thank goodness I have covers on everything.

The forsythia had been starting to turn yellow and stopped cold in its tracks. I am guessing that it will be okay.

The pond is doing well and I believe that the rain barrels are full. The pond is overflowing.

I still cannot believe that the temps will get that high and the snow will immediately make a getaway.

The sun is shining and although cold it is happening.

I took our five year old charge to preschool and now we have our three year old charge playing with puzzles and his ‘monster truck.’ He and his daddy had gone to a monster truck show and it was really exciting for him.

It is sad that it is too messy to go outside and play as just a week ago, that is what we did and today, it just isn’t really a possibility. It is so wet and messy.

It won’t be long. We just need to be patient. We have been very patient. More is still necessary, however.

I just hope that the daffodils hold out and that the forsythia is beautiful. It is almost Easter, for God’s sake!

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Surprise! It’s snowing!

I woke up and looked out the window. It was snowing. Okay, so it’s Chicago, and it snows in Chicago, but it is mid-April! I should know better, because if memory serves me correctly, our first son was born on April 20th in 1979 and it was snowing.

Nonetheless, despite warnings of two to three possible inches, due to the fact that it is supposed to be in the 50s tomorrow, we didn’t take this seriously.

I went to the gym and coming back I noticed that the weather was so bad and street conditions as well, that a car had jumped a concrete median strip on Lake Cook Road between Deerfield and Northbrook and was in need of help to be lifted off of it.

The temps were at about 33 degrees or so and the ground relatively warm. The snow is wet and slushy and is causing very slippery conditions. For a while, it was blizzard-like and felt so weird when you consider that tomorrow will be again in the 50s.

The daffodils are annoyed and weighted down by the snow. The robins were clearly confused as they went to forage for worms. Although, stuff like this shouldn’t surprise Chicagoans, it does at this time of the year. I am worried about a bush in the back yard that is weighted down by the slushy snow that landed on it.

People driving in this snow were clearly unprepared. I was driving quite slowly as weather conditions were miserable.

Do you think that this was all caused because I moved my shovel from next to the front stoop to the garage?

Posted in Life in general, Seasonal Transition, Snow and Ice, Snow and snow removal, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment

Oh, my aching back!

Aging has its way of beating a person up, doing things to the person that seemed, perhaps, unlikely or even impossible. I used to be over 5’ 10” and now I am down to 5’ 8,” not something I overly like. I always wanted to be tall, and let’s face it, that is not happening.

All I can see as I face chronology is my mom who was hunched over in old age and looking really sad as she walked, and very uncomfortable when on her curved back. I remember how her walk turned into a shuffle and her calf muscles literally disappear. I don’t want that for myself, or for anyone, for that matter.

About a year ago, I had a chronic lower back pain. Actually, I had had it for a longer time, but it seemed to have gotten worse then. I always do about five minutes of flexibility exercises about six days a week, sometimes seven. I do the cobra move to stretch the back. Then I also decided to straighten my posture and really stand up straight when I walk Stewart, using him as an excuse to stand straight. My lower back pain has pretty much totally disappeared since ‘reposturing,’ lol. Sometimes, a very simple maneuver is all that is needed. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

Another thing is that I was finding my balance compromised. I noticed when I was camping in the cold weather, that my toes felt weird when I clenched them as if to pick up marbles from the floor (which I have been told to do since I was a kid and had ‘scientific’ shoe fitting). There was a stiffness there. I knew that my big toe had arthritis, as it has for probably twenty years and it has gotten worse. The only thing I have noticed is that it has apparently affected my balance. Since doing clenching and unclenching exercises at night with my toes, my balance has improved.

Damn, I sound so old!

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