health

All That Blood

1 hour into vacation. 1 hour.

The teen calls and said we have an emergency. Me: what kind of emergency? Teen: so much blood, come now.

200 feet seemed like 200 miles in the moment. This trail of blood seemed like nothing compared to the flow of blood leading to the injured party. Was it a shark bite? So many things ran through my mind.

First aid began with attempting to stop the blood until we could get out of the sand and germy water. That in itself was a challenge lugging someone with a bloody foot. I didn’t really pay attention at the time but no bystander offered help which now that I think about it seems absurd.

The infamous bloody foot. Eight stitches later. A lot pain and suffering while the cleaning and stitching was done at the local emergency room. So much pride left on that beach for the young invisible teen. Along with the loss of pride was much regret. I could see it in his eyes. Disappointment for the vacation that was yet to be had.

This experience made me think I was happy to have my first aid kit on hand not thinking I would ever need it. After the wound was handled, I definitely went ahead and replenished and added a few more triage items to be sure I’m ready for any future injuries. I would never want to be unprepared for a shark attack at a beach.

Since this accident took place one hour into vacation that meant I had to work hard to keep the wound clean and on its path to healing while beachside. That is no easy task with an active teen. 

Was a lesson learned? Yes. Was I thankful for the outcome? Yes. Did I need to make a dreaded phone call to the parent of the teen I was responsible for? Yes. This is the call nobody would ever want to make. However, the calm voice on the other end of the phone was kind and genuine. No anger. No judgment. Just gratitude for being there to support the injured. What a relief.

What a relief for me. Another day will pass. Count every blessing and every experience you have, but never lose sight of danger that can be feet away. Always have your antennas up and ready to lunge into emergency action whether you need help or another nearby.

If you don’t know basic first aid, take a course. I have had to sling broken bones, now handle a gash and worst of all had to administer CPR. All on kids. Not fun, but humbling.

Be safe and enjoy my bloody story. The ocean can be safe but also dangerous. Always watch your feet for objects like broken glass, fishing hooks, and of course sea life.

challenges, health, Teddie Bear Adventures

Ruff Week

This week was ruff in many ways but I chose the spelling of ruff not rough to symbolize the main trauma of the week as it has to do with my dog and the roller coaster ride we have been on.

Let’s start with last Friday. She spent the day at the groomer getting all spiffy. Check out the picture below of the fitness of health dog edition. A fabulous Labradoodle weighing in at 49 pounds and 11 months old. My baby.

Then Monday rolled around for a routine spay surgery. Complications hit quick. Delays in the operating room. Challenges in recovery. More tests. X-rays. More observation. A few hours with my baby and then labored breathing hit. Luckily I’m minutes to the veterinarian. She stopped breathing en route. Had to be on oxygen and have an immediate blood transfusion. So much chaos in the blink of an eye.

Another operation was required. Internal bleeding was the cause of her rapid decline. Long days. Sleepless nights. This poor baby was at the vet for five days. 24/7 observation. Poked and poked again. On IV fluids and pain meds. We all felt her void. We all felt her suffering. Even her sister was depressed. She was missing her best friend as the rest of us were too. Can you see the sadness below?

Once this one was an only child and it took some adjusting when we added #2. But now she is lost without her partner in crime. Days were long but the reuniting part was amazing. The kisses and sniffs by both pups. The snuggles from the patient. Just the presence of everyone at home was peaceful. Or seemed so, but the positive moments could easily be short lived.

Now the hard part continues. The recovery after 2 surgeries and a blood transfusion, all before turning one year old.  We were lucky this time. We dodged a few close calls. Timing was everything. The moral of this story is trust your gut. I felt things were not right and reacted. Had I brushed off my thoughts and not trusted my gut things could have ended differently. 

Not sure how I feel about my over share of photos but the blood above is just one of the post surgery bleeds. Some from the incision point. Some from stool area. More bodily fluid in the form of vomit. Thank goodness my first floor isn’t carpeted as it might look like a murder scene. 

My ruff week will spill into next week but that is okay. My perspective on routine surgery vs the reality has me ready to take on anything that is thrown at me. Mental toughness. I got it down pat. Years 2020-2022 have given me lots of practice for sure. A pandemic. Loss of loved ones. Isolation. Trauma of many kinds. 

The good news I am here. Blogging away. My creative projects may have delayed deadlines but my life is moving on and I’m living through the ups and down and everything in between. I choose happy despite the shit show around me. 

friendship, health

Pampered A-Z

The long awaited getaway weekend had arrived. Schedule conflicts hit hard as the time of departure hit. It took some finagling to get all to work out but that was not without added stress.

The take off was planned for early morning with a distance to drive. All attendees were to meet at the destination vs the previous plan of arriving the night before. This special time with friends was a long weekend planned for my birthday. Lots of unknown surprises and adventures were on the agenda. The list was long but there was a PJs party and sleepover, of course. Plenty of sweets to eat for all. Many giggles with the girls took away any of the pre-travel stresses.

One planned event I knew about was a spa day. However, I knew nothing of the venue nor did I really remember what treats were in store for me at the spa. The check in was detailed. A locker was assigned as well as a fancy robe. The cell phone was tucked away for me to adhere to the cell-phone-free zone. Off we went to a waiting room which was more like a grand foyer with a fresh wood-burning fireplace.

The waiting room ended up being a common area or meeting place for us to exchange stories and socialize in between services. At this point I had no idea how much time I would spend here but it was already amazing at this point. This common area had a snack bar with nuts and water and little refreshers which was a nice treat but the log cabin feel of a living room with the fresh fire added to the ambiance. The lounger chairs were placed on the outer edge of the room for reading: the inner area was a plush leather couch and recliners assembled with care for a little closer seating to chit chat. There were so many ladies in and out.

Moms and adult daughters. Girl groups like ours. It was hard to guess the average age or if there were any patterns of ages. While I might have silently people watched or observed my surroundings on my first visit to the common space,  I didn’t care after my first moment of zen. I had entered a whole new state of ooey gooey relaxation.

I had a massage first. 85 minutes of aroma therapy, oils, hot stones and a medium level touch. It was just delightful. Head to toe relaxation. After a huddle up in the common area one pal headed to sauna. Another to steam room and shower. Two of us opted for the salt cave encounter. This was a first but a one and done. A novelty experience but one I don’t feel I would ever do again. 

Back to the meeting place. This time we shuffled around the corner to a semi-private area for a mini lunch and mimosas. Oh, the treats hit the spot. Grapes for refreshment. Berries to add to the mimosas. Meats and cheeses for protein. A few crackers for crunch and orange slices for some sweet hydration. Some chocolate covered nuts and strawberries, however those were not on my tasting list this time. Each table set up was slightly different in theme making such a cute accent for those gathered for these snack sessions.

Next was the facial. Cute little coverup was worn to allow your arms and shoulders to be free. For yet another massage of sorts. The head. The neck. The face. The shoulders. The arms. The hands. Hydrating massages built into the facial process was beyond amazing, the glow after the service was remarkable. Such a rejuvenating experience.

For this spa had rooms upon rooms. Long hallways. An upstairs and a downstairs. Lots of nooks and crannies. I had never been to such an interesting spa. Many had brought their favorite books for reading in between sessions while others were in small groups chatting away.

I will be back for sure. Another interesting tidbit was there were more males than I expected receiving service however they had their own section for gathering. Oh how I wished to be a fly on the wall in the women-free zone to see their snacks and relaxation stations, now I’m so curious. Maybe I will have to make a phone call to inquire about the difference.

Today was a great time with friends but the most pampering I have ever had. Not sure if it was the time, the kinship, the services or the combination but I will cherish the experience. I chose to write about this day for many reasons.

One day I may want to reflect on this day with valued friends.

One day I may not be fortunate enough to receive these kind of services this I would want the detailed memories to relive the moment in my mind.

One day I will want my daughter to read my recap for her to understand how she should value self-care.

And for today, anyone reading along who may not ever experience this bliss, I want to share my experience virtually. Not for a bragging type experience rather for an experience to daydream about what can be someday.

Dreaming big is an important part of my life. I live for new experiences and opportunities. If I never had things to look forward to I would remain stagnant. My hope for readers is to reach for those days ahead that seem impossible for I know one can always reach beyond to get what they are willing to work hard or push for.

author moments, health

The Massage. Some Womanly Advice. Don’t Miss This…

It’s been a long awaited time to visit my favorite massage therapist due primarily to Corona restrictions and a limited schedule offered when the spa actually re-opened.

Today was the day. It’s been almost two years since I was going to get a massage from my favorite masseuse. He is tall, strong and has that sexy European accent. That’s not what I get most excited about though. It’s the movement techniques he applies. It’s like a dance of sorts. As relaxing music plays in the background the pressure points in your body are hit. Gentle and harsh motions. Deep as well surface penetration is applied in a methodical way.

Back to the dance. He leads and my body reacts. It’s that simple. I need to release the tension of the world and allow my body to enter the relaxation state that many don’t experience. And then while in that moment, my body dances or receives the massage motions/movements. The tension goes away. The aches subside. Nothing else matters. No background noise is heard aside from the gentle sound of background music.

When the body moves well there is an occasional pop or natural release. From hot stones to warm towels to aroma therapy, the experience is like no other. Of course I have had other massages but this therapist is by far my favorite due to his techniques.

Face down is how it begins. The shoulders. The back. The arms. The hips. The thighs. The legs. Nothing is skipped. You feel the pressure and release in your quads. Your calves. Your IT bands. Even your fingers and toes.

Then there is a pause. The slight pause is time for the flip. Flat on your back the process starts again. More oil. More warm towels. More pampering from head to toe. The forearms. The chest muscles feel the finger rub to get the smaller area. The triceps and biceps get a little more pressure. The toes crack. The feet are flexed in new ways.

I won’t give you every last detail however I will say I am completely refreshed. My mind. My body. My soul. I am capping off my session with very berry smoothie. Pictured above is the cherry on top. The chilly, protein packed refreshment. Now I am off to enjoy the rest of my weekend.

Some may say this is me spoiling myself and unneeded.  I will respond with this is self care and you should try it! From me to you. Get the massage. Spoil yourself. You are worth it! For my male readers: spoil your partner. Let them know you are okay with them relaxing and unwinding. 

health

Morning Mind Reader

It’s a yelp. And not a small one. A piercing, booming, where-is-this-coming-from-and-how-can-I-make-it-stop yelp.

Even worse. it’s 5:00 am. My quiet, sanctuary time. I’m happy to see our oldest girl when she rolls down the stairs but when she breaks out into that bark it’s a mad scramble to figure out how to make it stop.

It’s a throwback to parenting a screeching toddler. Do they need a snack? A toy? The blue blanket? The red blanket? The swing? Music? A pacifier? A TV show? A diaper change? Long succession of whatever she might fancy. Anything to get the screech to stop.

Her bark is the same way.

Which means at 5:00 I’m scrambling to figure out what she is asking for. I go from serenity with my candle and reading to here, there, everywhere, filling the water and food bowls, taking walks, scratching her back, swaddling her in a blanket…anything to get the ruckus to stop. This never used to happen.

Life being lifey (including an unexpected new dog) and her old age makes her more likely to be all topsy turvy and persnickety. Old girl wants what she wants. Why can’t pups use telepathy or just speak my language? Where’s a crystal ball when you need one?

Sometimes I get it right, but sometimes I run out of choices and I haven’t solved it. I just keep trying. A couple of times she just wanted her person to wake up. I can’t help that. Sometimes she gives up on trying to make me understand. She must find me so frustrating.

Just another glimpse into the lives of the chicks and our pups.