Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: Dear Readers

My one-of-a-kind body

Dear Friends,

This past week was a blur. Not a horrible blur, but the kind that softens my outlook and strains my capacity to take things in. I knew it was coming, yet living through it physically and emotionally was more exhausting than I anticipated.

It’s all about my dear, one-of-a-kind body. The one I’m learning to treat tenderly–with special care, huge respect and growing gratitude. It’s easy for me to fall into a sense of despair when things don’t improve as quickly as I’d like.

And yet…the outcome of this week’s saga is positive. I now have four more lab tests to get through—three involve separate blood draws. The other is a 24-hour collection I won’t describe because you really don’t want to know.

I met my kidney doctor on Wednesday, and relaxed immediately. She had a welcoming, patient-centered approach and treated me as the adult woman I am. I was surprised to hear she wasn’t sure what’s going on in my body. The numbers are clear on my lab results for the last ten years.

At the same time, having seen me, she doesn’t consider me an ‘average’ 73-year-old woman. For example, I’m still physically active and don’t look that old. Hence the standard measurements don’t necessarily apply. So she wants to find out whether I’m at an earlier stage of kidney disease, or whether something else might be going on. I left with orders for further testing.

My exhaustion continues, as do other issues that have plagued me for the past year. Which brings me to yesterday’s appointment with my integrative doctor. She’s also totally patient-oriented, and is treating me for adrenal disorder (sometimes related to kidney problems).

Last December she told me it might take 2 full years to recover my energy. Along with more supplements and directions about diet, she gave me a list of changes to make in my lifestyle. I had to start putting myself first, cutting way back on things I didn’t need to do, meditating regularly, enjoying the outdoors, and I think you get the picture.

In short, I had to begin loving my body more than I loved pleasing or even being with other people. I had to treat my weary body as tenderly as I might treat a newborn baby. It’s no exaggeration to say I was a rank beginner at this, even though I thought I’d been treating myself well.

After reviewing how things were going in all parts of my health care, she wrote orders for follow-up blood work, gave me a big thumbs up, and sent me home to carry on!

The way ahead still feels heavy. My attitude, however, has changed. Each evening I make a short journal entry about how I’m feeling. Now, instead of dwelling on the challenges or discouragements of each day, I recall things that brought me joy and delight.

I’ve also decided I might like to live to be 100 after all! Not because I think the world is getting better each day, but because I’m finding ways to celebrate little things instead of focusing on stress-points in my life or in this world God loves so much.

With hope and gratitude,

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 9 June 2017
Response to WordPress Daily Prompt: Tender 

The Shape of Healing

Describing the unspeakable
Welcoming the unbearable
Embracing the unimaginable

These phrases came to mind this morning when I saw the Daily Prompt. They capture what recovery looks like for me, an adult survivor of childhood trauma within my family.

No erasing the past, no magic pills, no overnight miracles, no shortcuts and no looking back. Sometimes I think I’m finally ready to be born. Or maybe it happened somewhere back there on the road to recovery, and I’m now an adolescent?

Today I’m working on the last piece of my series on The Shape of Forgiveness. I can scarcely believe I’ve lived to see this day. Much less write about it.

This week I’ve recalled seemingly random circumstances in the last 30 years of my life. I’m stunned by the way pieces came together. People, programs, books, articles, blog posts, conversations, life circumstances and more. They reinforced each other and kept me, inch by inch, moving in a direction, one trembling step of faith at a time.

Am I there yet? It doesn’t matter. Though the process is demanding, the payoff makes it all worthwhile. I’d rather write and rewrite my Grown Up Girl Rules than keep Daddy’s Good Girl Rules any day.

I think about you out there, on the other side of whatever I’ve posted. You’ve been my public audience at each step. The twists and turns of life will continue, as will my healing. Today I celebrate where I am right now. And you, my dear readers.

Have a lovely Sabbath!

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 8 April 2017
Response to WordPress Daily Prompt: Heal


Trader Joe's British Muffins

Dear Friends,

The wires are off my jaw, and the end is upon me! The end of Strictly Pureed Food, that is. Chewing (what is that, anyway?) is number one on the list of skills I need to relearn.

Granted, Read the rest of this entry »

Running a Marathon Backwards

Vitamix Wonder Food

Dear Friends,

The last three weeks went by in a blinding flash. Seemingly at warp speed, beginning with the moment I knew I was going to land smack on the pavement.

Yet it feels like ages ago. Read the rest of this entry »

How am I feeling? | Dear Readers


Dear Readers,
As you may know, one week ago I fell and fractured my left jaw. I was on my way to get a haircut. I’ve been at a loss for words. Last night I wrote this before going to bed. It’s my answer to the question everyone asks me–and that I ask myself. Read the rest of this entry »

My Misadventure | From Plank to Plank


Dear Friends,
This is NOT a goodbye post, despite the lovely blessing above. Do you know what a condyle fracture of the jaw is? Neither did I until last Thursday when I was on my way to get a haircut. It wasn’t my heart, dizziness or anything like that. Read the rest of this entry »

I Love Lucy!

Very short post today, dear  friends, with one purpose: to introduce you to Lucy, my new pacemaker! I’ve given this very deep thought in the last several days, and concluded that a pacemaker isn’t just another gadget. Read the rest of this entry »

Ties that Bind | Dear Readers

2015 and 2016 year written on sandy beach sea. Wave washes away 2015. The concept of 2015 is gone, come the new year 2016.

When I think about ties that bind me to the largest number of other people, PTSD wins hands down. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder affects every human being in this world, directly or indirectly, Read the rest of this entry »

Party Time!

Sesame Street 2nd BDay Cupcakes

Calling all Muffin, Cupcake and Kookie Monsters! Dance ’til you Drop!

I love blogging! Why? Because I’m having fun, doing what my heart tells me to do, at least most of the time.

Three things stand out when I think about this past year. Read the rest of this entry »

Farewell, Scotland! | Dear Readers


Edinburgh Castle, high above the City

I can’t believe we did it! D and I left Smudge with our son’s family, flew out of Philadelphia on September 1, and spent nearly 2 ½ weeks in Scotland celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. One of our great adventures together. Read the rest of this entry »

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