It has been two years since I held his hand as he slipped away from me. His christian name was Edward Dave Tune, but I called him Otto.
He wasn’t a Saint. His sense of humor was what took him through life and it is the one thing that I miss the most. So it is fitting that he died on “Talk like a Pirate Day.”
I used to have dreams that we buy an RV and go from State to State– sometimes in my dreams we would fly from planet to planet and find new places and new scenery.
He was the one that had no fear. He would stand on roofs and the edge of mountains. I am the cautious one. I would stand behind him on the cliffs so I wouldn’t fall. I miss that he would protect me. Up until I met him, I had never had anyone protect me. My exterior is tough because I have had to be that way. It was the same for him. He could scare people with just a look.
Inside I considered him my soft teddy bear. With him I was a better person, a kinder person. So I think of him with a tinge of sadness because I miss him so gawd damn much. I was much better with him. Yet, I am so grateful that we had twenty-two years together.
RIP my sweetie.
So I had an appointment on Tuesday, a lunch on Wednesday, and another appointment today. Then at the beginning of next week after the holiday, I need to get my labs done to check my kidneys. In between I have been looking critically at what I have overflowing in closets and other spaces, and I have decided to get things cleaned, sold, or given away while I have the energy.
There is a thought in the back of my mind that I won’t have the time or energy to complete all of this in three months. Don’t ask me what is going to happen in three months because I don’t know. When I think that far ahead, I feel a heaviness that tells me another big change is coming.
I used to like change. When I was younger, moving to a new place wasn’t scary. I thought that adventure was seeing new places and making new friends. Then off I would go to another adventure in a new place with new friends. It changed when I had my huge health change. It wasn’t just a scare– it was an entire change of life. I had orders that I couldn’t be around large groups of people. Since I live near Las Vegas, it meant that while I was on a chemo like Cytoxan, I couldn’t go to events, theaters, or malls. My late-hubby used to take me to malls during the time of day when most people were doing other things. I carried wet wipes and we would wipe down every bench before I sat. I would walk twenty feet and then have to sit down again. Those were survival days.
When I lost my hubby, it was another huge change. It changed my physical, social, and mental frame of reference. I am still dealing with the aftershocks. I suspect this change that I am dreading has to do with my kidneys.
I notice that I cramp more at night even when I take vitamins and drink enough water. Sometimes I have a low- grade fever. Both of these symptoms can cause sleep deprivation which can cause the short-term cognitive problems. Or it might be the kidneys again. So last night I slept like the dead. It was good. The little doggy jumped up and down on my side before I woke up. I could have slept another two hours.
So I am beginning to dread change– change means illness and more problems to solve. Change means that when I move, I can’t carry those heavy boxes, like I used to do. It means that when I move the furniture, I spend two to three days resting.
Change means that I meet new people and worry about getting new infections. On the other hand, I have met others who are dealing with some of the same problems. Plus I am learning tolerance for the ill and infirmed. Sadly, I had to become one of them before I could feel for them.
Still– I have cleared out things that I haven’t used or seen used in a decade or more. The apartment feels lighter.
Lately I have been reading about weird government programs such as “remote viewing,” a program that is immortalized in “Men Who Stare At Goats.” The movie has George Clooney as the main character. I saw the movie when it first aired on Netflix a few years ago. Then I dismissed it as fiction.
What got me interested in this subject was a you-tube video in the Dark Matter channel, where Art Bell interviews one of the remote viewers. My first reaction is “this can’t be right.” Why would they use military personnel for basically a psychic untested theory? So I went further and researched the heck out of it.
After reading four accounts of folks who worked in the program and a little online search, and found to my shock that it was true. There are only a few reasons that government agencies would use this type of program. One, the Russians were using psychic spying. Yes, they were. Two, the program had a high success rate. Considering the program ran approximately twenty years, it had a good success rate until it lost funding and was turned over to the CIA. Of course, the CIA gave it the coup de grace in 1995.
So where does this put me??? A naysayer? A person who truly believed that psychic phenomenon couldn’t be measured? If you read the accounts, the remote viewers describe it as a virtual video game instead of a psychic experience because they use the entire body. Some call it a “martial art of the mind.”
It’s been a wild journey through my brain as I read these accounts. We are more connected and less isolated than we believe. We live in a Quantum world instead of the Newtonian world, we had always known.
Some of this I could see as a fiction story– and might have been written in the 1950s by one of the classic sci-fi authors. It blows my mind that this program is in the past and not the future.
Some of these remote viewers started teaching their techniques to ordinary people and to natural psychics. Some of these remote viewers help find kidnapped children.
Let’s explore interconnectedness. It means that the good wishes and prayers have an effect on all of us. A few decades ago, I was blown away when we found that the brain had weak electrical fields. Now researchers have an “Electromagnetic Brain Theory.” Go and read that one and you’ll think you were living in the future.
I don’t know why this is so fascinating to me. I know that after all this reading, some of it will find its way into my stories.
I’ll start with an apology. I can’t believe that it has been this long since I have pontificated on health, writing, and/or my dog. It’s been a wild ride lately. Near the end of my day, I get a low-grade fever and then in the morning, I am fine again.
I have been doing QiGong, a moving meditation, for centering. In many ways it is reminiscent of the first time my kidneys failed, except the pain is not as great and I am more hydrated. In other ways, I am not quite sure if I am imagining symptoms.
When I was first ill in 2003, my symptoms were so over the top that Otto and I knew that something was very very wrong. It’s not so clear-cut today. As a good friend said to me this weekend, “You knew it would happen.”
Yes, I am not sad that I can see the slide. I am ready for it. I just wanted to do so much more before I was too sick and too tired to continue.
But I procrastinate.
Dragon Boy is 80 percent edited and will be ready for readers soon. (Second in the Hilda’s Inn series). I have the second in the EJ Hunter series done except for the first edit. I have a lot of other books on the burner, waiting for me to put my butt in the chair and write.
Plus I have been reading about remote viewing, aliens, and hominids. I can just see one of my future stories with a Bigfoot remote viewing aliens and trying to get the message out to normal folks. Would a Bigfoot have to shave to fit in with our society? Damn, there is enough tall people nowadays that they could probably even get a job. Obviously my muse is chewing on this one right now.
What has been helping me as I watch my health slide is QiGong. I feel the energy in my hands, torso, and feet as it travels through my body. I try to breath as one. I work on loving kindness meditation and now I have people tell me that it is lovely to see me smile again.
May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May you be safe.
May you be at ease.
A new citizen’s words— So glad Kate Paulk is now an American citizen
Last week my nephrologist started to prepare me for dialysis. She said that I needed to be ready when my kidneys failed. The kidneys had lasted a very long time. They had started to slide.
Part of the preparation for dialysis would be to have a stent made. Apparently it takes one month to get the appointment for the stent, and then it takes three months for the stent to mature so it can be used.
In the beginning days of my disease, (you can find the book here), the doctor put a heart catheter into my neck. My late-hubby held my hand, while the nurse put a shot in my neck, and then the doctor slit my throat and pushed in the plastic tubing.
I don’t want to go through that again. First it was scary. Second it hurt. Third my neck rubbed raw from the tubing after over four weeks of use. My late-hubby told me he didn’t want to go through it again either. He watched the entire procedure and almost fainted. It wasn’t because of the blood, (there was very little). It was because they were cutting into his wife– me– and he was watching.
Last week I did negotiate with the nephrologist. If my kidneys didn’t stabilize, then she would order the stent in September. I know most of you know this from a post on Facebook. When I came home that day, after the news, I cried. The well-wishes and prayers were a blessing to my aching soul.
It felt like I was starting down this road again. Two years ago it was with my late hubby, and now it is the same road I started in 2003.
So I am eating more cabbage and less protein. I got rid of corn syrup, processed products, and sodas almost a decade ago. I added turmeric and more omega 3s. I am more diligent at drinking large quantities of water. Still it feels like there isn’t much I can do to stop the slide this time. There are no drastic changes to make to my eating and drinking habits. I will NOT give up coffee.
The only real change I can make is to meditate. It helps to put my mind in the present moment and not into the future of pain, kidney failure, and dialysis. Yes, I am noticing more pain. Yes, my muscles are less forgiving than they have ever been. And yes, I am cramping more.
But all of these symptoms can be caused by taking chemo. I can even blame my age.
Today I asked for health and lit a candle. For a moment my brain quit thinking and I felt peace.
The fourth of July weekend is here and if Otto was with us, he would be 69 next week. Two years ago this week, we were frantically going from doctor to doctor to find out why he didn’t feel good.The cancer word was being whispered.
Last night, I watched the clouds form. I sat in my chair, listened to the crack of thunder, watched the lightning, and counted the seconds between lightning and thunder.
I talked to him. If he were here physically we would have an upstairs apartment and he would be watching the storm. When I slipped onto the balcony with him, I would snuggle under his arm and we would watch the storm. I was safe there.
I was the gloomy one– the Eeyore. He was the one who knew how to smile at life’s idiosyncrasies. At the very least he always had a quip on his lips. I had heard most of his jokes — he cleaned them up in polite society, but when he was with his buddies, he had some of the funniest and dirtiest jokes around. I didn’t see his pranks, but I heard about some of them. Let’s say that there was a little bit of Loki in him.
He had to be more circumspect when he worked for the State– which is why I didn’t show this photo of him joking around an outhouse while he lived. Still this shows his spirit and what I loved most about him.
Funny– he had a hard start in life. He was a preemie and almost didn’t make it. He spent most of his young life in foster care. He had to learn how to take care of himself at a very young age. He was my light in a very dark world of chronic illness.
So I miss the door opening around five-ten p.m. in the evening. We also greeted each other with a kiss and a hug. I miss the smile, the jokes, and even those days when he couldn’t even muster a smile because his day had gone badly.
I miss his quizzes. He was a master at electronics and used to teach it in both the Army and the Navy. But mostly he was the one person in my life that saw me as worthwhile.
A strong man. A kind man. And sometimes a scary man.
He was a Vietnam Vet– and he did know how to protect us.
As I think of him today, I don’t want to cry and wail. I did that for months after his death. No, I want to smile. I want to remember his jokes and his joy. I want to remember that he loved me so much. I want to remember his bravery and his willingness to poke at the bear when she was grumpy–