How do you come to terms with facing the same loss over and over again? Most goodbyes are final. You grieve and then learn to live without. But what happens when you are gifted and denied your passion repeatedly? I am once again facing the same loss I have grieved four times before, and determining how to hope without setting myself up for disappointment, and how to proceed cautiously without dreaming too small. Continue reading to see how I’m facing this and what a stubborn beagle has to do with my newest challenge. Continue Reading…
I live in the badlands. The word bentonite is oft-spoke. The clay is generated by the alteration of volcanic ash. The coulees I love are filled with it. The steep walls become slippery and dangerous to climb after a rain. Many a time have I slid down a hill, covered in the slimy mud. Until I became really ill, bentonite was just some “dirt” and an annoying aspect of the hills to be avoided after snowmelt or rainstorm. Now I eat the stuff (not straight from the coulee mind you).
Conjuring fantastical worlds and grand adventures was how my brother and I spent many summer afternoons. To escape the droughts of the 1980s and a rather isolated existence on the prairies, our imaginations took us to a different place each day. The Caragana hedge became a dense jungle where we fought off a patrol of Viet Cong (Derek and I were obsessed with Vietnam War vet, Magnum PI). The yellow bean pods that hung from the branches became hand grenades, easily plucked and thrown at the enemy. Another day we crawled through a ditch, or ran over crunching dried, golden clumps of prairie grass, kicking up fine dirt as we escaped lions who stalked us on make-believe safaris. Some summer afternoons we fished with our great uncle and great grandmother at the pond, a lone body of water near our farmyard. Of course, the small pond became an ocean and we, deep sea fishers. Though far from a Norman Rockwell painting, a typical childhood in the 1980s country life was idyllic in some ways. Slowly this painting of imagination and family gatherings and youthful adventure became sullied, darkened by the unknown. Long-living, German, Protestant hardiness coursed through our veins. What was also coursing through our veins was something “new” and unseen and much more dangerous than the lions, human enemies, and sharks of our imaginations. This unseen guest was slowly attacking our bodies and minds, stripping us of our hardy genetics and ability to survive.
Most people with chronic illness suffer from adrenal fatigue. Long-term serious infections strain the body in all areas. Although not life-threatening, other stressful situations like losing a loved one or enduring a painful divorce, can deplete the adrenals. There are warning signs that the adrenals are fatigued and need support. A person will often feel sluggish in the morning until ten. Despite fatigue throughout the day, a person will not easily fall asleep at night. Usually a second wind hits when a person should consider going to bed. Other indications of adrenal fatigue are a sore mid-back, salt cravings, low blood sugar, low libido, anxiety, low blood pressure, teeth grinding, and dry skin.