Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘health

Successful Surgery

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We are happy to report that Cyndie’s surgery was all good yesterday. There were no complications in the 4 objectives of cleaning out the arthritis, removing a spur, cleaning up the rotator cuff, and reattaching the ruptured tendons.

The outpatient procedure allowed her to be home by the end of the day, where she immediately began experimenting with our variety of chairs and couch in search of a favored perch. Pain management was easy last night, as the nerve block hadn’t yet worn off and the whole arm down to the hand was without feeling.

Today will likely be a bit more challenging for her, we presume.

They had her strapped into the brace before she even woke up from the procedure. She will wear it for the next 6-weeks, except for taking showers.

Quite a fashion statement, don’t you think?

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Written by johnwhays

June 14, 2017 at 6:00 am

Being Me

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It’s been a long time since I just let words flow from my fingertips without any preconceived notion of where I was heading or what would come out next. One reason for that is, it doesn’t tend to produce a result that holds much in the way of value for anyone reading other than me; and even I don’t get much from going back and reading the words that have piled up.

However, I’m feeling like lately my writing has settled into a somewhat humdrum pattern of dreary detail about waking up, driving to work, coming home, seeing our pets, clearing some snow, cleaning up after the horses, and lamenting over the news.

Where is my soul in this chronicle of the day-to-day?

When you write and publish a narrative of a personal everyday, there develops a pattern. The longer it goes, the more likely it can become something of a facade.

I suppose regular users of other social media are already well aware of this phenomenon.

mejwhcrosshatchedIt is likely that I am only writing what I want the world to know about me. Of course, there is probably a portion of who I really am that readers glean from my choice of subjects and words over time, which defines me more precisely than I think I am actually doing. But that is happening somewhere beyond words. It’s out there in our intuitive perceptions.

I guess I inherently accept that level of revelation.

I remember actually pondering over how to traverse the long walk in front of the packed bleachers of my high school gymnasium during basketball games without appearing to be the hypocritical fool I was attempting to be.

I was overly-selfconsciously trying to stroll as if I was not the least bit self-conscious about being an awkward adolescent walking in front of hundreds of classmates, parents, neighbors, friends, enemies, and strangers who shouldn’t care, or even notice me in the first place, yet were likely doing that very thing themselves; actually noticing and judging me whether or not they recognize the pettiness of doing so.

Hypocrisy.

I didn’t want to be a hypocrite. Somewhere along that adolescent time period, I experienced a profound epiphany that inspired me to strive toward being the same person in every moment. Regardless of whom I might find myself with at any given moment, I want to be my most genuine self. It’s not easy to achieve, but it is a noble goal.

I believe I have failed probably as often as I have succeeded over the years, but with that as my goal, the failures have been minor. I still judge others more than I mean to. I still say things behind a person’s back that I wouldn’t say to their face.

But I catch myself doing it most of the time, and that is the key to interrupting the pattern and making a correction toward the goal of integrity I ultimately seek.

One tool in aligning words with noble intentions is the art of saying nothing when you have nothing good to say. Another is to think before you speak (or write).

What I’d like to achieve is a place of enlightenment where I can write without thinking or filtering and have the flowing words reveal my pure soul and the narrative of the day to day, hypocrisy-free.

Wouldn’t than be a nice me to be.

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Written by johnwhays

February 4, 2017 at 9:47 am

Keeping Calm

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I’m trying to keep calm and carry on. In the past, my prescription for maintaining a positive outlook about the world included turning off the broadcast news. I would, instead, get news from sources which allowed a choice over the content. I could pick what I allowed to infiltrate my thoughts. That involved scanning headlines of online publications or perusing the local paper at the day-job.gnews

It’s not working so well for me anymore.

There are less and less headlines that don’t have something to do with a certain kleptocracy in process.

Now I am struggling with the option of isolating myself completely from the news of the day and focusing on whatever positive happenings I can cultivate from my immediate surroundings.

I can choose to associate with healthy people. I can commune with people who aren’t phobic about things they misunderstand, or are uninformed about.

But something is eating at me about a potential risk in that choice.

Should I turn my back on what is really happening in the world?

Looking back at some horrific outcomes that have played out in history has me wondering how I could live with myself if I chose to turn a blind eye in the way many others did at times when hate and fear became the rule of law.

Today, I’m sending love to those who are poor, suffering, oppressed, at risk, and afraid, even though I’m choosing to not read the latest headlines about their present predicaments.

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Written by johnwhays

January 29, 2017 at 10:45 am

Sadness

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sadness

Words on Images

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Improving Outlook

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It is said that one way to a person’s heart is through their stomach. I won’t deny being an easily satisfied eater. Ply me with delectable delights and I will instantly offer my allegiance. Cyndie and George hatched a plan to assuage my recent exhaustion and woe with a promise of homemade pizza and some massage.

Who wouldn’t begin to feel more hopeful at offerings like that?

I decided to take some of my own advice, choosing to turn off the sad news flowing constantly out of my car radio and replacing it with my personal library of long-cherished music for the drive home from the day-job yesterday. It was bad enough that I had to commute to the day-job on my usual extra day on the ranch. I didn’t need the added downer of endless news-feed distress.dscn5679e

I stepped in the door from walking the dog and tending to the horses to find George’s smiling face in the kitchen. He was working dough and creating scrumptious food art that looked as good as it smelled. And trust me, it ultimately tasted even better than it’s aroma implied.

As if that wasn’t enough to loosen my strings, Cyndie had a fire glowing in the fireplace and offered up the opportunity to have my stress headache massaged away.

Yeah, those knotted muscles in my back and shoulders were real. Real crunchy.

Right up until they weren’t.

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And as quickly as that, the ache in my head wasn’t so noticeable, either. Now that’s my kind of medication for what ails you. Turn off the news, put on good music, get massaged, and eat a special meal prepared by hand with loving care. No pills or alcohol required.

I’m feeling some hope that these steps of intervention have me well placed to carry on a search for that hope I lost somewhere along the way in November.

Cyndie is gaining strength and ability every day in her journey of healing and rehabilitation, post knee replacement surgery. I am beginning to believe once again that she will someday be able to help care for the horses and walk Delilah, which would lighten my load considerably at a time when the demands of the day-job appear to be intensifying significantly.

If I am unable to find hope in anything else at this time, I am at the very least relieved to have found hope in this improving outlook.

Here’s to the prospect of a lighter load.

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Written by johnwhays

January 7, 2017 at 7:00 am

Lost Hope

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I have discovered how important hope can be on the journey to optimal health. It occurred to me the other day that I have lost hope.

I’m sure it is still there, I just can’t find it right now.

Having an unfortunate first-hand experience with depression allows me to recognize how it is possible to live without hope. It is not a healthy place to live. On my journey to good health, I have learned that it is not in my best interest to reside in that space. I am regretfully comfortable in that place, maybe from having too many years of practice in existing that way, but I cannot afford to accommodate that outcome.

I will do some digging to find my hope again. It is a requirement.

Of that, I am acutely aware.

We cannot live on love alone. That is another thing I have come to realize.

I’m going to love finding my hope again.

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Written by johnwhays

January 6, 2017 at 7:05 am

Passenger Pilot

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It occurred to me two days ago how split I feel between being the pilot who directs the activity of my body and a passenger riding along for whatever happens next. Whether it’s a virus that pays a visit or an emotion that elicits a response, there is a constant balance of submission and control.

johnhsgradyoungjacksonbrownersmagWhen I was younger, I wanted to have straight long hair that would fall around my face the way Jackson Browne’s did. My hair style involved inherent waves. I worked desperately to battle my natural flip that keenly mimicked the classic women’s hairstyle of the ’60s.

Achieving 6 foot height was not in the cards for me, either. These things were not in my control. I’m a passenger to the genes determining such features.

At the same time, in the role of pilot, I was making decisions (and learning from my mistakes) on who I wanted to be and how I wanted to behave. I get to choose how I react to the world around me and decide whether I want to make healthy decisions for this body, or not.

It gets tricky at times, because there are a lot of mind/body interactions that happen unconsciously, plenty of it at a cellular level, in the areas of transition between the two perspectives of pilot and passenger. We have the freedom to choose how self-aware we are going to be. Some people think it serves them just fine to be willfully inattentive, even though they often grumble about the eventual outcomes that result.

I struggle to comprehend why our minds so easily overlook information and evidence that indicate negative consequences for our choices or behaviors. Why isn’t there a stronger drive to improve ourselves at every opportunity? It should be an integral part of our survival instinct.

Why would either the pilot or the passenger choose to settle for less than the best?

In time, I figured out a way to stop fighting my hair and instead let it do what it wants to naturally do. It curls. I even took it to the extreme for a while and dreadlocked it. I have yet to perfect the part where I choose not to settle for something less than optimal health —mind, body, & soul. There remain some days when I give in and allow myself to pay no heed to the healthiest choice.

For me, the secret to getting away with that is an intentional effort to ensure those are only temporary lapses. I need for more days than not to involve me getting off my butt and navigating down the center line of my healthy highway.

I think I’d also like to keep relearning how to integrate the two extremes of pilot and passenger that reside within me every day.

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Written by johnwhays

November 30, 2016 at 7:00 am