7th April 2021


One of the sensations I enjoy as a result of nerve damage, is that when I walk, my right foot always feels that it is in deep mud. So when I stepped in the bird bath this morning, it served to enhance the sensation.

My left foot enjoys something different. While at rest, it feels always that I am sitting with a shoe full of sand, all caught under my toes.

One foot is happier walking and the other while I am seated.

I can eliminate the left foot’s problem by removing my shoe or slipper, but then it gets cold. Yes, even in mid summer.

It’s all a bit bizarre. But happily, for now anyway, I am still able to walk, albeit not far or fast.

We must be grateful for so much we take for granted.

It is said that positive thought brings positive results though I confess I have often taken issue with the concept.

Yesterday I said my pain management experience was going to be different to my previous treatment that was, to put it mildly, unsatisfactory.

The truth is, I had not been thinking about the “test” injection, one way or the other, but when I met the new doctors I had immediately felt different, more confident. No doubt it helps.

So it’s only temporary, but I now have a shoulder that doesn’t hurt. They told me to try stressing it in a way that would normally cause pain, and I did so. It still doesn’t hurt!

The doctors seek to find the exact source of the pain.

So far, so good. Next week they will test the other shoulder. Last night I so wanted to go back and beg “do it NOW!”

One must also have patience, however.

Assuming the second test is successful, as I understand it, I become eligible for a “rhizotomy”. Basically a cauterization of the nerves which should keep them quiet for 6 months or more.

Then we can move on to something else….

While this must be a boring topic for most, I know there are many people, like myself, who suffer chronic pain and I think it is worth sharing one’s experiences, particularly given the advances made constantly in the area of pain management.

It wasn’t what I really intended to write, for my 500th post.

When I realized I was nearing a sort of goalpost, I thought it ought to be something a bit special, or different.

Maybe I should post 500 cat pictures? They wouldn’t all be cats I knew personally, though with a bit of effort, no doubt I could find them. But it would be a bit over-kill.

So I considered what I care about.

As one gets older, I think, one stops caring about quite a lot that may have been important when one was young. You learn to let go of things. At least, that is my experience.

So what am I still passionate about?

This beautiful planet. I care deeply about planet Earth.

Most of it, I have only ever seen on a map, although I’ve been fortunate enough to visit a few wonderful places.

And I have seen some very dreadful places too.

Ironically, it’s the dreadful places that most occupy my mind, because people live in those places, or try to.

Having gone to SE Asia at the age of 8, I was aware as a child, that not everyone was as privileged as I. Even then, the inequality of fortunes troubled me.

As I grew up, in the back of my mind, I had the notion that my generation, the post WW2 generation, would create a new, better world. Surely, we would all look back at that awful conflict and find a better way forward. We would pull together and those of us who had more would work toward making life better for those who had nothing.

How incredibly naive.

My intention to find an occupation that would work toward my goal of helping the less fortunate got completely derailed by my own personal problems that I allowed to take over my life.

In consequence, I have always felt like a failure, a terrible coward, because emotionally I didn’t have the backbone to go in to difficult situations and help. I so admire people who do.

But guilt is pointless, one of the things I need to let go.

Which doesn’t mean I am no longer concerned about the state of our environment. I rage at the amount of plastic that is still being produced when 91% of it will never be re-cycled.

But how do you eliminate plastic from your life? How do the little people fight the oil companies? I don’t understand how politicians allowed us to arrive in this dreadful situation.

Actually, in truth, I think I do understand, but my thoughts are too cynical. I’m inclined to pessimism.

Perhaps there is hope in our new President’s intention to re-build the infrastructure that is in such sad disrepair?

Though I fear our political system will need to be re-structured first.

Surely there is no time for all that?

Recently, I saw an article in the Adirondack Explorer called “Reuse and Repair: Creating New Jobs and Enterprises through Zero Waste.”

It talked about deconstructing old buildings to salvage what is reusable, as opposed to demolishing and creating more waste.

It talked also about the NY State Food Waste Law.

These things were going to be discussed yesterday, in a webinar that co-coincided with my trip to pain management, so I couldn’t watch, but I am hoping it was a success, that people will be enthusiastic about creating jobs in re-cycling and salvaging.

There are so many usable items, metals and wood, just lying around the country. Surely it could be collected and re-purposed? One of the participants in the webinar is the director of an institute called Waste to Wealth Initiative.

Surely this would appeal to people?

For weeks I had been saving bird seed sacks because I could see another use for them. I wanted to create something from them, but my arthritic fingers make it impossible. Still, I couldn’t bring myself to throw those sacks out.

Then one day, Maria Wulf mentioned a friend who uses those sacks exactly as I had imagined, making beautiful and practical carrier bags. My sacks were going to be re-cycled after all. Thank you so much, Maria and Hannah!

Maybe we can’t all achieve big things, but lots of little things all add up, so perhaps that’s where I need to focus.

There has to be hope, hasn’t there?

4 thoughts on “Hope

  1. Of course there is hope, and even just a little bit is well worth having and trying to build on. It does seem that nowadays a great many people just want to talk everything down, so it becomes more difficult to retain enthusiasm and hope for the future. Persevere – every little helps!

  2. Good luck with the shoulder. Great photos too, Yeti. You’re right about when we’re younger we care about different things. I know I worry a lot less these days than when I was younger. 😊

  3. I love the idea of having the seed bags made into something useful. Maybe you will have one of them someday and you can show us the final product. I save my cat food bags in hopes of being able to find another use for them. My city doesn’t accept glass for recycle, but my neighboring city does, so I fill up a 16 lb. cat food bag with my glass and take it to their collection center. I hope the bags are also recycled.

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