Tag Archives: Pickleball

Retirement Month One continued…

Our New Year’s evening of  2019 consisted of eating, licking our fingers, unpacking, doing a little walk around the neighborhood, watched some TV and then abandoned all the plans we’d been chatting about: like a midnight hot-tub as they are open 24 hours a day, then re-thinking that plan as we could do the hot tub in the morning.

Well midnight came…was I awake? I can’t remember. I do remember that morning came and the trek to the hot tub didn’t happen.

After being several days on the road, traveling from B.C. Canada, including making an overnight stop to visit friends in California who we’ve known since our early married years when Ross was in Seminary at Fresno, California – anyway, we were tired out and just sat in our little bungalow and relaxed.

January 1 and 2, 2020.  Morning coffee, which in my opinion is the best time of day, settling in and unpacking…full sun days, played some outdoor pickleball and reconnected with people not seen since last spring.

This retirement experience so far was going well.  Great in fact.

January 3. A most annoying feeling began to happen…. scratchy sore throat.  My throat.

January 4.  Scratchier throat.  The interpretation of a scratchy throat is raw, like swallowing sharp little sticks. I know this sign well enough so off to the store I go and Hubby too of course.

At the base of my neck a pain developed which radiated down into my left shoulder, the exact location there are some bone compression’s. As the flu/cold symptoms increased so did the pain in my body and so did the frustration level with anyone in my recent memory who’d had a cold in my presence even though I could have picked up a bug anywhere.

Hubby became more helpful, attentive and quiet as I became sicker.

I tried to be upbeat, I really did.

We bundled ourselves up warm because it gets quite chilly in the desert and took a little trip south, or north or west – I have no idea because most of the time I get lost in the resort park so I can’t be expected to know where I am once I leave here. More so if I’m busy feeling sorry for myself and ill.

We were off to see the hot air balloons…flu pain in my shoulder and neck…sore throat…pain medications flowing through me and trying to be enthusiastic about the upcoming event.

I know, I know…I do know better.  Should’ve really been home in bed.

However, I was trying to be a good retirement wife full of frolicking fun even though I had to fake it a lot.

Okay.  So, we did that – saw the balloons, saw a lovely lake backdrop, felt the excitement as the balloons heated up one by one, lit up and glowing beautifully with all the various rainbow colors, then felt the cold descend as the darkness of night arrived.

A band played.

People danced on the grass.

Food trucks dished out hamburgers and hot dogs.

Other people did as we did, stood around waiting for something to happen. One balloon went up, up, up to the end of its tether. Then it came down and that was the extent of the excitement for me.

It was dark, desert dark, and cold, desert cold.

After two hours of being upbeat and engaged with the surroundings, I was done.

Those balloons may have eventually done a finale of all going up to the end of their tethers, but Hubby and I did not stick around long enough to find out.

In the next days to come the throat soreness eased up as the nose plugged up…and then the nose blowing began.

This must be quite exciting reading…

It must have been torture for Hubby to listen to me because I sounded like a honking semi-truck on the freeway and continued like that for several more days before I became more human like.

And the bronchial cough – oh the cough…though I did discover a nice liquid drink which drugged and subdued my system at night so I could sleep.

We have some wonderful friends here in the park who are our go-to people when we need help and need to borrow items.  We seem to need help a lot.

We appreciate them – not so sure they appreciate us as we tend to be such scrounges.

For three years in a row I have borrowed their vaporizer because for three years in a row my body has arrived in Arizona and gotten sick.

I so love that vaporizer humming all night which also helped me breathe easier. Well, I love them too for owning it.

I received such good care. Hubby man really came through on the meal preparation, clearing away the Kleenex snot piles and listening to me moan about, well… everything.

I didn’t like being cold. I didn’t like the recliner chair I barely had the energy to get out of.

I missed Thomas the Cat.

I needed hugs but that wasn’t likely going to be happening much. I was hungry but didn’t want anything to eat.

Meanwhile, as the recovery happened, we still explored the grocery stores, got involved in our daily life here and reconnected with people as I was able.

Hubby came and went to various places mostly alone, because if it included the gym, the pool or the hot tub or took any effort at all I declined.

I’m quite sure it wasn’t all that much fun, however he tends to like his own company, so he wasn’t really complaining.

After two weeks of this part of retirement fun….as the sore throat left, and the flu/cold symptoms shifted, the pain in my neck and shoulder also eased off.

This was a relief because it meant I had not injured myself on the pickleball courts and the future was looking brighter.

And then, as flu and cold bugs do, they decided they’d had enough of me, and likely jumped over to anyone unfortunate enough to have been too close to me.

Like Hubby.

And then…because his immune defenses were down, he does what he typically tends to do.

Ignore the symptoms. Deny the existence of illness yet medicate and keep going.

We are such different creatures.  He informed me it wasn’t a cold he had but just his ongoing sinus issues from the fall.  Okay. Fine.

One thing, and this is only one thing I’ve learned in forty-one years of marriage, is this: when we are both experiencing new things, are perhaps immune system weakened and trying to process life as it happens, there can be clash of personality, of goals for the day or month and suddenly one little thing, any particular little comment just may trigger some emotions.

We were heading into a clash…

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He’s Retired, so now what do I do with him…

Friday the 13th  2019 was the last day of work for Hubby.  Ross is his name but I do like the term Hubby so this is what I will likely stick with.

I’m not into the whole superstition thing but it is quite amazing how certain things learned from childhood hang around, like it being a bad luck day, don’t walk in front of a black cat, throw salt over your left shoulder or right, step over a crack or you’ll break your mothers back and that is all supposed to ward off bad things.

I grew up with all that vast knowledge, which didn’t mean much then, and even less now but someone has made mention of the date of Hubby’s retirement and that is what triggered all the memory quotes.

Well, no bad luck events took place and obviously Hubby didn’t take any notice of the date either. It was all about the dates lining up for the best possible scenario for holidays which began Friday and extending into January 23, 2020 which will be the official retirement date.

It was also all about dates and taxes.

Hubby had his farewell work event, cards and gifts given, hugs and best wishes and a boot out the door. Done.

Actually, he was well respected and will be missed by those who were supported by him and with those with whom he worked. Hubby assisted people in crisis, taught workshops on grief, loss and resiliency and emotional first aid…and much more. I wasn’t there and knew very few of ‘his people’ so will just leave it at that.

He’s taken his gift of new binoculars and packed them for our upcoming trip and is waiting for a new piece of luggage which may or may not arrive before we leave.

One of the gifts he received from his closest colleague is a wooden plaque of one of hubby’s favorite quotes, “Anyone who willingly enters into the pain of a stranger is truly a remarkable person” by Henri J.M. Nouwen. It sits prominently on our fireplace mantle.

We, as in me, our daughter TL, our son Ra and our daughter in law Ca, had our own event,  a family pizza making night and gave hubby some new bike shorts and a snazzy shirt… nice gift but really it is a motivational device to get him out of the house and staying active.

He likes bike riding so it won’t be a new experience – he will just look a lot better doing it.

If I know him… and I do, he will find some random patch and sew it or glue it onto his shirt.  It will be some gleaming adoration for the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team.

Since Friday….

Packing for our holiday.

Playing pickleball.

Packing for our holiday.

Shopping for Christmas gifts.

Packing for our holiday.

Hubby – Seeing the doctor for an ongoing (4 months) sinus infection, getting x-rays and blood-work done.

Pickleball workshop for people from Hubby’s work environment. That was fun. I and two of our pickleball friends assisted with reigning in the keener’s and encouraging the shyer ones.

Arranging plans for looking after our beloved Thomas the Cat…upcoming Vet appointment to get an anal gland expression done. Just imagine that for a minute.

The list for cleaning the house is growing…we have a person moving in and well, the house needs to be presentable.

There are still ten days until departure and events to attend, appetizer and drinks, friends to see, annual 24th extended family dinner and gift exchange, one more pair of baby booties to crochet, likely a last minute gift to buy, our immediate family breakfast, gift exchange and dinner, then our main tidy and pack day and we will be off…

But first, Hubby doesn’t know this yet. I have arranged a date for us. We are going for a manicure and a pedicure. This is all so self-serving of course.

Hubby will be switching shoes soon for flip flops and I may be sitting next to his feet on a lounge chair. I want to like what I see.

 

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Infectious Bacteria Stalkers-My Summer Saga

Two

Wednesday May 11th and it’s like an average day, filled with events.

I fit the walk in clinic visit into the early part of the afternoon after a morning meeting at the recreation centre where I volunteer as a Rep for the 55+ pickleball group for inside play.

After I filled my prescription I went home and administered the first round of nasal sprays.

Within a couple hours, I noticed my throat was a bit raw.  As the afternoon passed into dinner hour and evening, my throat rawness increased and felt rather dry.  In the night when sleep would have been preferable I developed a dry cough and woke often.

Thursday morning came and with the routine of eating, vitamins and get out the door to a fitness class I also remembered to take the nasal spray.

As hours passed my voice began to shift to a lower huskier sound and the irritation increased in my throat.

After my class I rushed home to shower and get over to a physio appointment for my ongoing back issues, then off to the local courts where people were playing pickleball.  As one of the committee members for the Surrey Pickleball Club for outdoor play, I wanted to watch some of the players before a late afternoon meeting.

At the meeting I assured everyone I was not sick but curious about the sudden voice loss, raw throat and dry cough –  beginning to think there might be a connection to the nasal spray but busyness and denial pushed away the little inside voice yakking at me.

Later that evening I dutifully used the sprays as I tried to believe it would eventually work to unplug my ear. Even though it rarely happened I continued to stick my finger in my ear, wiggle it around and try to pop it open. I so hoped to enjoy my upcoming trip to Whistler Mountain with hubby in a few days and soaking in the baths in the Scandinavian Spa – a gift from our kids.

Friday mornings rush arrived and the cough intensity increased, my voice became not more than a rough squeak and the inside of my throat felt like it’d been scrubbed with sandpaper.

Confused and concerned about whether I was interpreting  my symptoms correctly I decided to try one more time with the nasal sprays – then headed off for the morning to support and watch some newer players of pickleball.

As the morning progressed my conversations were cut short with constant coughing and pain rising to the level of screaming at me to pay attention.

The amber light of recognition finally hit and turned red.  Something was wrong.  I decided – no more sprays.

In the early afternoon I arrived at my scheduled Mammogram appointment, explained to the staff in a whisper I was not sick and now believed the nasal sprays were the cause of a negative reaction.

After my appointment I drove home, picked up the sprays and went to the pharmacy to chat about my concerns.  Next stop was the same walk in clinic where I was promptly seen by a different doctor than two days previous.

No infection.  No voice.  No visible or puzzling bulge which had originally been seen.

No pain free moment.

No answers other than to stop the sprays and go to see my regular doctor and ask to see a specialist.  I had come full circle in about forty-eight hours.  My left ear was still plugged. My doctor was still on vacation and why I’d been in a walk in clinic to begin with.

I returned home and planned to wait for the effects of the sprays to subside.

My throat burned like red embers of a campfire and with each cough it felt like a poker jabbing, jabbing and stabbing at the fire.

And then, one cough began. And another, on top of that one – another.

I felt my throat close and I could not breathe.

 

 

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Infectious Bacteria Stalkers-My Summer Saga

One

Most people remember the return to school after a long lazy summer playing with friends, hanging out, swims, hikes, camping with family or riding bikes and sleeping in.

Once back in school it was often a chore to regurgitate the “what I did this summer” essay believing it to be a boring chore.

Well, I’m no longer in school, long past it in fact, yet this summer a set of experiences I’ve had led me to believe it must be told.  However, I’m hopeful it’s a one of its kind, never to be repeated summer saga.

A lovely May of great weather promoted my early planting of flowers and vegetable garden, outdoor play of Pickleball, fitness class attendance and trying to return to my normal since a car accident one and a half years ago.  Though still in treatment for ongoing pain in my back I remained dedicated with my physical therapy and massage to improve muscle strength in order to support my spine.

Over the past months I had been irritated by an ongoing plugged ear – continually sticking my finger against it to try and shake it unplugged.  I tried a decongestant with limited results.  At a doctor visit last fall, I’d been informed I had water in behind the ear drum and to return if the problem continued.

As months passed by I continued to complain to anyone who listened.   I received many suggestions that it could simply be a wax buildup – really.  I’m in my 60’s, have a hubby, have raised children and I’ve seen wax buildup.  I would have just kept quiet and cleaned my ear.

Before an already booked visit to Whistler Mountain with hubby to lounge in pools and hot tubs I decided to get another ear check.   Discovering that my doctor was on holidays I chose to go to a walk in clinic.  I managed to get about a sentence into my reason for being there before I was rudely interrupted by the attending physician asking me questions which drew me into a defensive description validating my issue.  Apparently he was unable to check my ear unless I had reason to believe I may have an infection.

With a steady and steely voice I said,  “I will tell you if you let me finish my sentence.”

After a bit of sputtering from clinic doc, I was able to finish expressing my concerns and have my ears checked, then informed, “OH, such a bulge, I wonder why…such a bulge.”   I deduced I had a valid issue though I was unclear exactly what the bulge was.  Later, my internet research suggested it might have been the eardrum.

Suddenly clinic doc got busy on his laptop giving me a lesson on the construction of ears via pictures and I waited out the instruction.  I was handed a prescription for a nasal spray which would last a few weeks and told to also get an over the counter spray – that one to only use for five days.

Being a good patient and compliant personality that I am, I promptly went to the pharmacy on site and filled the prescription.

What a mistake.

 

 

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