The Week In Seven Photos

Just when you think you can’t take one more day of tension and worry, it’s amazing that the strangest things can help you finally hurdle your fears.  I know for many, including me, during these times that the important things like a vaccine, proven medication and a belief in the systems being developed to reopen and free us from our homes would be the answer, but, as those items are going to take time, for me this week all I can say is that ordering pizza and mowing my mother’s lawn somehow helped calm my fears.  It will take a few more words than usual to explain how this was the case. 

Last year when I herniated a disc in my lower back I was also diagnosed with drop foot from the nerve damage (which is basically my nerve fails to tell my foot to lift up).  After a few months of physical therapy and a second opinion, I discovered I should have had surgery immediately after it happened and it could take a few years for the damage to heal.  The neurosurgeon, who I wish I had went to originally and had a wonderful sense of humor, told me to stay active to help the healing and make sure I never tried to outrun a bear or traffic while crossing a road because the bear and cars would win.  I’m glad I liked him because after looking at my MRIs he made sure to tell me he would definitely be seeing me again in the future.  At one point I thought I would have to give up kayaking because sitting was the worse thing for my back, but I refused to give up on chasing birds around the lake.

It was not the ideal time last year to add a puppy to the home, but I actually believe all the bending and chasing that is involved with a wild little pup helped in some way.  There were moments though that I wish I had thought to put her in a sugar coma for a few hours.

I had to adjust to how I did many things throughout the year due to the numbness and pain and a fear of the excruciating pain returning, including being fired from taking care of my mother’s yard, but thankfully the one thing I could do was walk as much as possible.  Walking with my camera helped me forget my foot wasn’t working properly and pushing Harper in the stroller helped to not worry about falling.  When this year began, the numbness was finally under control along with the fear that every new thing I attempted would trigger worsening symptoms and I have almost attained the wisdom to never lift anything wrong again.  I was not only ready to chase birds around the lake every chance I had,

but also wander near and far after not being able to the last few years.  Even named my photography business Curious Wandering because I was so excited about the prospect of wandering everywhere.  I had no idea I would be spending the beginning of this year under a stay-at-home order and only allowed to wander in my backyard or wander for short walk with new fears of my surroundings and definitely not wander too close to anyone.

Somehow while kayaking on a very cold morning last weekend I realized that after too many years of worry and fear I did not want to add a few more years of constantly being afraid of wandering through my days.

Even though my mother’s lawn actually did not really need to be mowed and she was thrilled when the lawnmower did not start, I was determined and dragged the old lawnmower, that lost its self-propelled capability years ago, out of the garage and was thrilled to mow the lawn like the old days.  My foot is still not fond of walking up hills, so I left those for the lawn service that should be restored soon in our state.  A celebration was in order after having no pain and numbness and we ordered our first pizza curbside pickup after finally getting over the fear of ordering takeout during this shutdown.  I’m still taking every precaution possible with the virus, but I’m no longer walking around with a constant feeling of fear.  I’m disappointed I won’t be wandering very far this year, but I am so thankful that I conquered fears that have been with me every step of the way in some form since last year (thank god for baby steps and curbside pizza).  This week I am finally going about my days with normal concern and awareness when I’m out walking, kayaking

or going to the grocery store while maintaining a social distance with my very unfashionable mask (which is beginning to give me a complex when I see all the wonderful ones surrounding me and on TV).  I’ve been watching the YouTube series Some Good News With John Krasinski that has helped this pessimist have a better attitude and made me realize the good news that while even though my walking feels normal, I’m not too sure about running, and the six foot gap actually works to my advantage now and gives me a head start if a bear somehow wanders its way into the grocery store or one of our local parks.

18 Comments Add yours

  1. Sherry Felix says:

    You are so lucky to have access to nature. My houseplants and pet bird have to do for now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Being outdoors has been a lifesaver over the last year and it’s horrible so many aren’t allowed to leave their homes now with the very real possibility it could be very limited for some time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sherry Felix says:

        The problem for me in NYC is public transportation. There are signs in the busses asking people to wear masks and keep 6 feet apart but there are many who don’t do this, making it unsafe for me to travel.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Our state has just added mandatory masks to our stay-at-home order and while I’ve already been wearing them, I’m afraid it’s going to be an issue.

        Like

  2. What a story! And what a journey. Wonderful to read how you worked through the pain and fear. Walk on, whenever you can, eat pizza, snuggle with Harper, and convey my regards to your mother. Tell her that someone in Maine is rooting for all of you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂Thank you!🙂 Long walks and having Harper to hug and distract me over the last year has helped tremendously and chocolate and pizza help any problem seem a little better. I wish I had not added the extra worry to my mom’s life leading up to all the new worries this year. I realized that morning while kayaking that I was reacting with the same fear to the coronavirus as I did to my back in the early months last year. After months of fear, I trusted the neurosurgeon’s evaluation when I left his office and I need to trust that the social distancing, masks, hand washing and other recommendations from the medical experts are going to make a difference and to not live in constant fear (just need to remember to absolutely avoid particular press conferences/recommendations).🙂

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      1. Oh, my gosh! Those news conferences get weirder and weirder. Hard believe but it’s true. As for worry…some of us can’t help it. We are worriers by nature. We can improve—as you have done—but we are what we are. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m an expert on worrying and those press conferences should be handed over to the experts!! It’s amazing all the adjectives that have been used today to describe his latest press conference.

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  3. John says:

    I’m sorry about the pain you’ve had. I know it well having three herniated lower lumbar. Incredibly painful for which I have a permanent handicap tag. Be careful with that spine!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!🙂 I have other disc issues in my upper spine, but I’ve never experienced the pain that occurred with the lower lumbar issues and I’m doing everything I can to help prevent its return.🙂 Take care!🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Eliza Waters says:

    I didn’t realize that you were injured a while back, sorry that you had to deal with all that pain and worry. Glad to hear you are getting better and getting out a bit.
    I’ve been thinking about takeout lately, too, but still haven’t the courage to do that yet. I’ll have to work my way up to it. 😉 The good news is that our rural county has only a handful of Covid cases, so that is reassuring.
    Hope your weekend is a good one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!🙂 This happened in January of last year, but I wrote about it more now because my fear of this virus, that I have not been able to shake, reminded me of the constant fear I experienced last year wondering if the horrible pain would return or my foot would always be numb and not function properly. I’ve been afraid this new fear would never let up watching on the news the effects of the illness on everyone. With many health issues in many family, I have had many health and hospital fears over the years and have no idea how the medical professionals have been handling this pandemic. Even following all the recommendations, I’ve been shocked going out to the grocery store and seeing everyone in masks with a look of panic in their eyes and cleaning their groceries at their cars. It is difficult to image how much has changed in three months. We’re going into our first phase of a new stay-at-home order that lasts until May 15 with limited reasonable changes and the strong message that everyone should stay at home and take all the precautions seriously, while at the same time we had 1,300 new cases yesterday which was our highest in nine days. Every day is a new experience, but I was thrilled to conquer my takeout fear (and eliminate the what’s for dinner question occasionally), but it wasn’t without its worries. Immediately took the pizza out of the box, threw the boxes in the garage, looked at the pizza suspiciously for a few minutes after washing my hands, but it did taste fantastic.🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. plaidcamper says:

    It’s great to read you’ve overcome some of the things that have been holding you back in recent times. A pup and a positive attitude, along with wise medical professionals, all go a long, long way to feeling you’ve things where you want them. Well, maybe not with a pup!
    I’m having a difficult time with the latest medical advice coming from the leader of the free world. I do have some bleach in the house, but I’m not sure if I should now be storing it in the fridge alongside the cans of beer. Do I drink the bleach cold, room temperature, or what? Also, if I send a photo of a glass of bleach to my brother, will that be as annoying as the regular beer pics? Maybe I’ll await further updates from Dr. Trump, do it right. I can’t even tell you how I’m going to use the fluorescent tube lighting I’ve just ordered from a UV sun bed manufacturer…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😁Thank you!😁 There are so many days I wonder how I made it through last year with a wild pup and I still have no idea how I’ve survived the last three years. Just when you think you can’t possibly be left speechless again, we reach a new level with the press conference yesterday and my husband has been laughing all day over photos he’s already receiving. I’ll be on the lookout for any new UV trends while I’m reading and now that my recent fears have been calmed, I have one left that better be resolved in November!🙂 Enjoy the weekend and thank god all the disinfectant supplies are sold out!🙂

      Like

  6. jillslawit says:

    Keep up that positive thinking. My daughter suffers from chronic pain and the fear of never knowing how she will feel from one day to the next. These things, I’m sure, make us stronger. Strange uncertain times are bound to have their effect and wouldn’t have made your recovery any easier. Well done on the old mower, I bet that took some effort. Hopefully things will return to normal soon and you can go curiously wandering far and wide, hopefully with your camera as well as Harper so we can see more of your fabulous photos. Keep on recovering, and stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!🙂 I keep searching for positive thoughts and one is being thankful that the record-setting number of doctor/physical therapy appointments I had last year, more than the total over my lifetime, did not occur during these times when I would be frightened to have to enter a medical office. I’m really sorry to read your daughter suffers from chronic pain and the exhaustion created by that and the fear of never knowing what a new day will bring. There are still days where I’m excited about all I’ve done to only wake the next day to a numb foot and the reminder that I got a little carried away. Because of my mother’s health, I’m going to have to be very careful about my social distancing for quite some time and it feels like all these changes will not only affect my daily life, but also my photography as I’m having more fun during my Harper photo shoots than my brief wandering!🐾😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. jillslawit says:

        At least Harper seems like a willing model.

        Liked by 1 person

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