Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Sometimes a "sign" is just a radio show

I am a big believer in "signs". Not of the burning bush variety, but wouldn't those be nice when faced with a difficult choice? No, I look for and think I see soft, subtle signs. Are they really signs or are they something I manufactured to justify a choice, purchase, behavior? I don't really know the answer to that although I'd like to think it's a hybrid. A little of everything sprinkled in with a real and true sign.

Lately I have been trying to not read or look for signs to see if they present themselves plainer to me. Think Vegas neon style in the middle of a desert. Hard to miss and pretty to look at!
Recently I decided I must be a little calcium deficient because I am not the best at drinking my milk, sorry mom. I found out that antacids have a large quantity of calcium in them and there's a new chewable kind on the market I really, really like. So I start chewing the recommended amount. Flash forward a week or so and I began to get...uncomfortable. Those of you who are medical types already know what that discomfort was. Let's just say I was no longer a part of the 'regular' army. Now all this is happening around the same time as my birthday. This wasn't a monumental birthday, but was a closer to 50 than further away birthday.

So I'm happily driving along listening to NPR and a certain segment comes on from Dr. T Glen Pate. Dr Pate is a great doctor in my fair city and I have found his pieces to be informative in the past. Well the rotation they were using this month was between colon cancer and ovarian cancer. Oddly enough, a lot of the symptoms are similar. It seemed that every time I turned on my radio there was Dr Pate lining out the symptoms of one or the other disease...and I was fitting into more than I wanted. Then the kicker came when he said, "If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, please see your doctor." Alarms went off! I was convinced that there was a glaring, huge sign right there on the radio tailored just for me!
<I won't even go into how narcissistic this was, that may be for another day!>

I call my gynochiatrist (gynecologist) and make an appointment. Also make an appointment with my GP all because of those signs. I also did the number one thing you should never, ever do - I googled my symptoms. Number one came up as the answer to my symptoms. Turns out if you take too many antacids when they're not needed you get the 'discomfort' I spoke of earlier. I quit taking the antacids and voila! all the symptoms miraculously disappeared. A true miracle for the ages?

So join me in not looking for signs anymore, or look for actual signs whose point is to help you find your way and not get lost in the minutia. Oh, and don't ever look up a symptom on Web MD because  as of this morning's search  I apparently need my prostate examined!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Resolute resolution, or All You Need is Love!

With the new year often also comes resolutions. I have never really subscribed to making absolute resolutions as I am a constant work in progress. So much more than a more than a list of resolutions could handle! So rather than a list of the usual resolution suspects, I try to choose one area of life to work on. This year that area is love. Telling and showing it as often as I can so that there is never a doubt where someone stands with me.

Years ago I volunteered for a group called RAIN (Regional AIDsInterfaith Network). The care partner our group was assigned was an amazingly hilarious man in the end stages of the disease. He showed me pictures and told wonderful tales of living in Key West. In the pictures I saw a gorgeous 6ft and then some tanned man who had the world at his feet. The man holding the pictures was still attractive but was gaunt, pale, and a shadow of his former self. He lived in an apartment in a not so great part of town and one night after the movie was over I realized it was after midnight and I had to walk about a 1/2 a block to get to my car. He looked at me and laughed saying, "You do realize that you have a better chance of dying tonight than I do!" As morbid as that sounds he was right. This man literally had death staring at him with the progression of his disease and here he was pointing out my own sentence was just as dire. Life is precious and is not guaranteed.

I'd like to tell you that moment with him was life-changing. It wasn't. Instead I laughed and told him how horrible he was and play hit him on my way out the door. More importantly than what he had said earlier he yelled, "love ya"! Now that I think about it I guess he was life-changing since I still think of him. I think of him often and think about what he said to me that night. Sometimes I laugh and other times, like now, I am left thinking about his words.

So this non-resolution of telling and showing people how I feel about them begins. Well, continues but with a new fervor. Join me this new year and all the years to come. Let's spread the love and constantly remind each other how precious we all are to each other. Happy New Year!