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Ok, now it's worse

Saturday, October 11, 2014

My father-in-law died today. It looks like a memorial service will happen later in the year. But OMG. Can this trip be any more heavy... Or doomed?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUTTERFLY-1976 10/16/2014 11:01AM

    Omg!!! I'm so sorry to hear of your & TC's loss. (((Hugs)))

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SEWINGMAMACDS 10/14/2014 10:49AM

    emoticon

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KABMPH 10/12/2014 6:17PM

    I'm so sorry for your and TC's loss.

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GABY1948 10/12/2014 4:11PM

    I'm so sorry.... emoticon

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NANCY- 10/12/2014 4:08PM

    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
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AJDOVER1 10/12/2014 3:39PM

    You're in my prayers!

Life is short -- live each day!

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KANOE10 10/12/2014 10:23AM

    I am so sorry for your loss. Hugs.

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MYTHMYTH 10/12/2014 8:59AM

    So sorry for your loss!

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ANNEMARGAR 10/12/2014 7:10AM

    I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your FIL. My father died this past May and it really changed my whole perspective on life and each day. This trip is a way to celebrate life - your life - your mother's wishes and a time for your husband to get the time he needs to process the loss of his father. Big HUGS to both of you emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 10/12/2014 2:54AM

    Nanette, I am so sorry to hear this, the timing could not be worse.
You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers, take care of yourself hun emoticon

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KENDRACARROLL 10/12/2014 12:48AM

    Sounds like your life is really stressful right now.
Keep taking good care of yourself. That's the best you can do for anyone.
Sending hugs.
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Comment edited on: 10/12/2014 12:48:41 AM

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BOOKAPHILE 10/12/2014 12:18AM

    That's a heavy load all at once. My sympathy to your husband and to you. You'll be a great comfort to your DH as he processes this blow...expected or not.

It reminds me of the saying "life is what happens when you're making other plans."

Courage, my friend.

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LESLIESENIOR 10/11/2014 11:35PM

    I'll keep you and your family in my prayers. I'm so sorry. Dedicate this trip to your loved ones and enjoy every moment you have. God Bless You!

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SUGAR0814 10/11/2014 10:24PM

    Sorry for your loss! Praying for your family. emoticon

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SANDICANE 10/11/2014 9:43PM

    Oh dear oh dear oh dear! My thoughts and prayers are with you and I do wish there was something I could do or say to make things better....

Sandi

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MEADSBAY 10/11/2014 9:38PM

    Oh, my...how very sad...I am so sorry.
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FORZACHANDMATT 10/11/2014 9:03PM

    I'm so sorry - my thoughts go out to you and your husband! I was so glad things seemed to be working out for you! Hang in there

Comment edited on: 10/11/2014 9:04:24 PM

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WATERMELLEN 10/11/2014 9:00PM

    Sincere condolences on your loss.

Trip is NOT doomed; but understandable you're feeling that way at the moment.

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ALIHIKES 10/11/2014 8:39PM

    I am so sorry for your loss. emoticon

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HMBROWN1 10/11/2014 7:56PM

    I am so sorry about your mother and the passing of your father in law. I hope that you manage to have a great trip. I would love to go to Nepal and India! Best wishes.

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DEBSZOO74 10/11/2014 7:45PM

    I'm very sorry for your loss. emoticon

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ROBBIEY 10/11/2014 7:30PM

  emoticon I am praying for you and your family.

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NOT as bad as I thought....

Friday, October 10, 2014

Thanks so much for everyone's kind words and support yesterday. All the kind words and comments really helped me to put the situation in perspective.

OF COURSE my mom wants me to go on this trip. She and my father also traveled extensively in their retirement. I sent Mom our detailed itinerary and she told me she's read it through several times and wants to get out "the big atlas" so she can see daily where we are.

The best news is that my brother will be staying with my mom. He actually just sold his house is moving into a condo. But he's going to have it completely gutted and remodeled; he's even taking out a few walls! This will take many weeks so instead of staying with friends he'll just move in with my mom. My sister will take over on the weekends. I'll plan to go up once we get home from the trip.

So things are looking better on the home front, and guess what? I'm tracking my food today!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUTTERFLY-1976 10/16/2014 10:59AM

    This is good news! I love that your Mom is gonna follow along with your trip.

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RITAROSE 10/11/2014 9:13AM

  Good news!

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NANCY- 10/11/2014 6:33AM

    How wonderful that things have worked out. Your trip may be giving your mom a daily boost of vicarious living. (it works for me too)
The pictures and highlights that you share are amazing. Plank on the Great Wall,
Vistas at Machu Picchu are just two that immediately come to mind. And it that food for the mind that enlivens us.

Enjoy your trip ... many of us will be with you.

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SWEDE_SU 10/11/2014 6:03AM

    what a great turn of events - i bet your mom will love reading/hearing about your adventures, too, and how wonderful that your brother will be able to move in. it's working out!

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NEW-CAZ 10/11/2014 3:10AM

    That IS good news, you can go feeling a little happier that your brother has a watchful eye on her and take care of her.
That must be a load off your mind Nanette.
Glad you're taking care of you emoticon

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LESLIESENIOR 10/10/2014 10:49PM

    God is good. She will enjoy your trip vicariously. What a fun way for her to spend her days. Your brother and sister have a great plan in place.
Congratulations on taking care of your mental, physical, and emotional health!!!

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SUGAR0814 10/10/2014 10:12PM

    emoticon Great news!

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FEEDTHEHUNGER 10/10/2014 9:09PM

    Great news! And congrats on getting right back on track.

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SANDICANE 10/10/2014 7:44PM

    So happy to hear life looks better and the fact that you're tracking is perfect evidence!

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WATERMELLEN 10/10/2014 7:21PM

    You've got it all worked out: and now you can "make tracks" with the food and with the trip!!!

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MYTHMYTH 10/10/2014 7:18PM

    So glad to hear this!

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AJDOVER1 10/10/2014 5:28PM

    sounds like a big weight has been removed from your mind. Now on to food tracking....

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BOOKAPHILE 10/10/2014 4:56PM

    It seems to be working out very well! I'm glad you're feeling better about it today.

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FORZACHANDMATT 10/10/2014 4:53PM

    I'm so glad it's working out!

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KELLIEBEAN 10/10/2014 4:12PM

    I'm SO happy everything is falling into place!

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HARD

Thursday, October 09, 2014

We are leaving for our month-long vacation in Nepal and India on Sunday.

Earlier this week my mother fainted and called my brother to come stay with her. He lives 2.5 hours away.

My brother drove Mom to her oncologist appointment and the doc agreed Mom's fainting was probably due to not eating or drinking enough, which is due to the effects of the radiation. She has incurable, inoperable lung cancer (although she's never smoked a cigarette in her life). Mom did 2.5 weeks of radiation and the doctor wanted her to do 2.5 more. The side effects are horrific; tremendous pain and burning in her esophagus, fatigue, chronic constipation and no appetite. She's refused any more treatment. She's DONE, both with the radiation and the chemo. emoticon

I'm very sad about this, but respect her decision. In 2013 she saw my dad spend a horrific three months doing radiation that destroyed the nerves in his face and left him unable to eat or speak normally and caused him to go blind. Did it buy him more time? Perhaps, but it added days to his life, not life to his days.

I can't tell you how guilty I feel leaving on one of the longest (and most expensive) overseas trips we've ever taken while my mother is going through this fresh hell and my two in-state siblings are the only ones there to cope.

I offered to cancel the trip and go up to be with my mother but Mom (predictably) said "ABSOLUTELY NOT!" In her mother-tone. That made me feel less guilty but I still know the burden will fall on my SISTER, the one with the 80-hour a week job working with health care providers trying to implement the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare).

I can't say my eating has been good. I know it's no excuse, but I just feel really stressed and scared right now, which means I eat more than I should. I know what I'm doing to myself, I know it's not rational, but still I can't seem to stop. Overseas trips are stressful for me by themselves, but with my mother's health thrown in I'm sort of a hot mess.

I just wanted to update you on where I'm at. I'm hoping once we get in mid-November I'll do better with my eating and get back on track.

Here's hoping.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBSZOO74 10/11/2014 1:34AM

    Your mom sounds like a special lady! emoticon

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LESLIESENIOR 10/10/2014 10:45PM

    I'm so sorry I'm late in reading (catching up) on your blogs. My sparking this past week has been minimal.
I'm so sorry you are going through all of this. Sharing it is so valuable. My friends and I are constantly in conversation about our aging parents and the process of dignified passing on. Your mom has made her wishes known. I agree with everyone else that you are honoring her by living a wonderful and healthy life. Your trip can be a tribute to her courage and strength. Dedicate it to her.

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NANCY- 10/10/2014 2:16PM

    emoticon
Honoring your mom's wishes is the best thing you can do.
Enjoy your trip and life.
When you get back you can address what needs to be done then.



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MYTHMYTH 10/10/2014 2:05PM

    emoticon

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AJDOVER1 10/10/2014 1:23PM

    you're in my prayers.
I respect and understand you mom's decision to stop treatment and her insistence that you go on your trip. She sounds like an awesome woman -- you're a tribute to her.


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SEWINGMAMACDS 10/10/2014 12:09PM

    emoticon

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JENJESS48 10/10/2014 11:22AM

    emoticon I'm really sorry to hear about this. But it sounds like your mom is making the best decision for herself.

Go easy on yourself right now. You're doing the best you can.

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KANOE10 10/10/2014 8:43AM

    Hugs to you. That is a hard decision. Your mom wants you to go and it will make her happy knowing you are doing something you wanted to do. I respect her choice and might make the same decision myself some day. However, with all of that, it still is very, very hard to leave. emoticon emoticon

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FEEDTHEHUNGER 10/10/2014 7:14AM

    The way that life comes at us sometimes with the good and bad and the exciting and the dreadful all mixed up together is really tough to take, Nanette. The acceptance of what is happening and the realization that there is nothing one can do about it is a hard place to be in on the eve of your grand trip. I understand what your mother is saying to you and I hope it gives you some of the feeling that I had when I read about it: what a wonderful woman she is to let you know that your life and the plans you have for it are important to her. She wants to give you the gift of freedom without guilt. Will you accept it?

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NEW-CAZ 10/10/2014 2:58AM

    Nanette
What a terrible place to be, you were so looking forward to this trip but your mum has given you her blessing and she wants you to go.
Take care hun, sending love and prayers emoticon

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KELLIEBEAN 10/9/2014 11:23PM

    I'm so sorry about what your family is going through. If I was your mom I would also tell you to ABSOLUTLEY NOT cancel the trip. It would make my heart smile to know my daughter is having this amazing experience.

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SUGAR0814 10/9/2014 11:21PM

    Praying for your family & safe travels. Take care of yourself!

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MEADSBAY 10/9/2014 10:50PM

    Oh, my dear...that is a tough situation.
definitely buy the travel insurance.
And I agree, you missing your much anticipated trip will not help your mother in any way.
My sister-in-law is on a 3 month around the world trip with her hubby and daughter that they have saved for and planned together for years just as my hubby is going through a major health crisis and my 90 yr old father-in-law is getting more and more needed.
Life goes on.
You cannot put your life on hold waiting and waiting.
Think it through though and have a plan for all eventualities.
If your mom passes away, can a memorial service be put off until later?
Families do that for many different reasons.
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Comment edited on: 10/9/2014 10:51:32 PM

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BOOKAPHILE 10/9/2014 7:31PM

    That's a hard place to be, indeed. Having gone through something similar (without the radiation and chemo) with my Dad this summer, I feel for you! Be kind to yourself (and your siblings) as you work through this. No one solution fits everyone in times like these.



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GINNABOOTS 10/9/2014 7:03PM

    So very sorry that your mother is going through such a horrible time. It is such a terrible thing to see our parents age and get sick. Try to get some enjoyment on your trip, even though your heart and head will be with your mom.

Wishing you and your family all the best.





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WATERMELLEN 10/9/2014 6:58PM

    What a tough place to be in . . . for your mother (and my goodness, we can all respect her decision) and for you too.



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ALIHIKES 10/9/2014 6:55PM

    I am so sorry your mom is going through this! I understand being torn. I do think you (and all of us who have cared for a very ill family member) need and deserve a vacation. I took vacation too while my mom was in hospice (she was in for 4 different times). Once I left in the middle of a trip and flew back, but mom was really upset that my sister had called me to come home. And nothing that you can do could change your mom's situation. Did you buy travel insurance? (just in case). I understand and respect your's mom's decision on radiation; it was very hard on my dad.

Hugs and best wishes from
Alison

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SANDICANE 10/9/2014 6:48PM

    Oh dear...what a dilemma. And bless your mom's heart for telling you to go away on your best trip ever, in spite of her illness. Mom's are like that...givers until the end.

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FORZACHANDMATT 10/9/2014 6:19PM

    This is hard but it sounds like she definitely wants you to go!maybe just let your sister know you offered to cancel the trip and what your mom said - you probably did already. I'm so sorry your mom (and you) are going through this

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GABY1948 10/9/2014 6:11PM

    I'm so sorry. Try not to feel so guilty. Put yourself in her place....you would say the same thing....I know I would. My FIL just died in March of COPD...horrific...and he never smoked a day in his life either....frightening. He refused treatment too and I might too if in that position. I'm sure it will be all right.

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Going into High Gear

Monday, September 29, 2014

We are less than two weeks away from leaving on our trip to Nepal and India!

The suitcases are out. Packing is a multi-day/multi-week project. We will be gone a month and my PLAN is to take one small roller suitcase that can go in the plane and one LARGER suitcase that we will check. The only reason we will check a bag at all is because of our hiking poles. (Darn you, TSA!) I also have a large bag that fits under my seat and TC may take a tote bag to fit under his.

We always try to travel light -- when we went to China we had two plane-sized roller bags and that was it! There was one couple who had SIX oversized suitcases! But I digress!

My to-do list is a mile long -- everything from get a haircut/color my hair to stop the mail to pay bills in advance to start feeding our cat in the (cat-accessible) basement. We need to eat down all the food in the fridge and TC (of course) will be working on yard work until the bitter end so our property will only be partially atrocious when we get back.

Today I went shopping for a super-comfy airplane outfit, and I think I found it! It is a swingy black knit skirt that ends just under my knees with a stretchy waist and NO zipper. I am claustrophobic and a terrible flyer -- I need to be able to tuck my feet under me and move all around in comfort without ANY restraint or I will go MAD! I added it up and we will be taking 4 flights for a total of 19.5 hours in the air and 12 hours of layover time. That's just to GET to Kathmandu!

On a happier note, my hip/back/leg issues seem to be resolving. I did NO exercise on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday we climbed up Mt. Nebo, 2.5 miles up and 2.5 miles DOWN. This was the second time in a week and it was MUCH easier the second time! Some pictures:

Now this is a switchback!



Two-thirds of the way up, overlooking the Arkansas River Valley. Can you see why I feel blessed to have moved to this area???



Terrence at Sunset Point



This is a panoramic view, using the new camera I bought TC because I love him! This is from a bench sitting at Sunset Point:



AND, using the incredible zoom of the new camera! This road runner was hoping we'd feed him. He was about 60 feet away, but bad news for him -- we NEVER feed wildlife because people food is unhealthyand they tend to get dependent on it, so perish in the winter when the tourists are gone).



And me, at the sign which says 1,800 feet. Hey, not much of a mountain by most standards, but pretty respectable for Arkansas!









Thank you for letting me share our favorite "high effort" hike with you.

We will make this week "The Week of the List" and "The Week of Hiking". We plan to do this hike on Mt. Nebo 3 days in a row: 2.5 miles up, then the 4-mile bench trail, then 2.5 miles down. If we can do this 9-mile circuit three days in a row, I know we'll be ready for hiking the Annapurna Circuit!

Onward and upward!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEADSBAY 10/4/2014 6:47PM

    So very glad that all your preparations for your amazing trip are progressing so nicely.
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ID_VANDAL 10/1/2014 5:34PM

    Great pictures - almost as nice at Boise!! Wow - I am so excited for you and TC to take this trip - I can only imagine how you must be feeling.

Glad you're healthy again. Please make sure you stay that way!

Congrats to you on TC on living life!!! You guys are great.

Vandal

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KONRAD695 9/30/2014 8:05PM

    Happy everything is going so well for you. Really happy that the physical stuff is healing up. emoticon

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JENJESS48 9/30/2014 2:52PM

    Long plane rides are brutal. I just did a 20-hour flight to Australia and was soooo glad I wore a skirt much like the one you're describing. Mine was ankle length for warmth, which ended up coming in very handy.

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BUTTERFLY-1976 9/30/2014 1:53PM

    Amazing pictures! I'm so happy you and TC will be able to go ahead with your trip :)

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SCRAPPYGAMBLER 9/30/2014 11:37AM

    Wow! Love the pics! But am amazed at your packing skill! I would love to be able to pack that light. When we went to Venice I over packed and regretted every time I had to cross another bridge with my suitcase! I go away to Michigan for the weekend and I have a full suitcase! Very impressive!

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AJDOVER1 9/30/2014 11:32AM

    I love your pictures! I'm so glad your pain has resolved and you're moving well.
It's such fun accompanying you on your adventures. I'm sure I'll fit right into your checked bag.
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SEWINGMAMACDS 9/30/2014 11:11AM

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures of your hike. I'm glad you are feeling better!

Sounds like a fun trip

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BOOKAPHILE 9/30/2014 9:38AM

    May your preparations go smoothly and your trip be fabulous!

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NANCY- 9/30/2014 8:37AM

    Yikes, that is a long time to be on a plane and doing the alphabet with your foot isn't even possible due to space issues.
So glad that you are feeling better and prepping for your trip.
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GABY1948 9/30/2014 8:15AM

    emoticon pics and that your trip is so close!

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SANDICANE 9/30/2014 7:43AM

    That's your HOME! Oh my goodness...no need for you to enter an airplane ever again with views like that! Yes, you are blessed!!! And, I hope you have a FABULOUS FABULOUS vacation!

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KANOE10 9/30/2014 7:30AM

    Those are great pictures. I am glad your pain is better. How exciting to get ready for your trip!

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NEW-CAZ 9/30/2014 5:53AM

    Sounds like you're well organised and getting it done.
Such an exciting trip but I don't envy you the flight time!
Glad you're feeling brighter, should be fine for your trip emoticon

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CANDOK1260 9/29/2014 10:40PM

    enjoy your trip and i love the pics

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SUGAR0814 9/29/2014 10:07PM

    Great pictures! I've been in AR almost 6 years & haven't seen much of anything. I haven't even been to Petite Jean park. So thank you very much for sharing your adventures. emoticon

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KRISKECK 9/29/2014 8:57PM

    So beautiful - I love Arkansas! I am an Ozark Mountain girl and migrated south to the Boston mountains for awhile before moving to the East in the early 80s...still love it there...

Your trip sounds FANTASTIC! I cannot wait to hear about it!

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FEEDTHEHUNGER 9/29/2014 8:16PM

    You've got it all going on and just in time -- happy and excited for you!

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GETSTRONGRRR 9/29/2014 7:46PM

    Sounds very cool.....enjoy the trip...pack snacks!

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WATERMELLEN 9/29/2014 7:10PM

    Your planning sounds exhilarating . . . and of course you're super experienced so you know just what you are doing!!

Love the effects of that new camera -- and your plane outfit sounds perfect (I have a "swingy knit skirt" like that one and love it -- it's pretty and feminine and comfortable!!)



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RUMBLESEAT 9/29/2014 6:23PM

    emoticon

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FORZACHANDMATT 9/29/2014 6:20PM

    These are really gorgeous pictures and looks like a fantastic hike - I totally get why you moved to that area!

How exciting that you are leaving in two weeks - I can imagine there's a lot going into planning and packing! And I'm so glad you are feeling better and hopefully it will improve even more before your trip

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Physical Therapy!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

At long last, I was approved for PT.

I went Monday and the PT thinks I've pulled and inflamed some of the small muscles that connect my lower vertebrae.

So the treatment is 15 minutes of heat, 15 minutes of ultrasound treatment, and 15 minutes of massage. Plus exercises to do at home.

And the advice about activity is to push as much as I can without "stabbing pain."

Yay! I'm back to classes at the fitness center (but modifying like crazy) and this morning TC and I did our first hike since we left Utah in July. We walked the bench trail on Mt. Nebo and walked up 450 stone steps and down about 200. Total: 4.5 miles. We both agreed it was a bit hard but a great start!

This Friday we'll try to walk 8-10 miles on our flat, paved city trail to work on endurance and on the weekend hit Mt. Nebo again for a longer hike doing more up-and-down that will train us for the mountain hikes in Nepal.

Progress! I'm really encouraged that I will be 100% by the time we leave! Yay!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FT4EVR 9/27/2014 1:41PM

    Hope it's going well!
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KELLIEBEAN 9/22/2014 9:19PM

    Wonderful news! I'm so glad you are getting back out there.

I'm pulling for you!

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BUTTERFLY-1976 9/22/2014 1:31PM

    Woohoo!!! This is great news

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PATTYJ48 9/22/2014 12:47PM

    Glad you were approved for PT. Take it slowly and don't do too much while doing your PT.

I look forward to the next 12 weeks myself.

Best wishes to you.

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ID_VANDAL 9/20/2014 7:13PM

    Glad to see you got that PT thing approved. That should help a lot!! and thanks for the Control Z tip on recovering lost blogs or paragraphs!

I know you'll get yourself right in time for your trip so keep working but NOT to the point of hurting yourself!

Balance in everything.

Vandal

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MOMMY2TWO07 9/19/2014 8:54PM

    emoticon

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KANOE10 9/19/2014 9:29AM

    emoticon I am happy for you.

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BOOKAPHILE 9/18/2014 6:30PM

    Yay! And who wouldn't enjoy heat and a massage as part of the deal? Glad to hear you've got an approved plan!

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BROOKLYN_BORN 9/18/2014 3:58PM

    That kind of injury responds well to PT. You're off to a great start.

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AJDOVER1 9/18/2014 1:57PM

    You're an amazing inspiration!

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SEWINGMAMACDS 9/18/2014 12:49PM

    emoticon

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KONRAD695 9/18/2014 11:58AM

    Great job on pushing through and training. Glad you have some good info.

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GABY1948 9/18/2014 8:16AM

    emoticon emoticon

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NANCY- 9/18/2014 7:28AM

    emoticon
Excellent news! Good work on building strength and endurance. Better to modify than to do nothing or over do it.
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NEW-CAZ 9/18/2014 2:51AM

    emoticon I'm doing a happy dance for you emoticon

Keep progressing, Nepal is calling and you'll have a ball!!

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SUGAR0814 9/17/2014 11:44PM

    Finally!!! So happy for you! emoticon

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FEEDTHEHUNGER 9/17/2014 10:33PM

    That's awesome news for your trip and your body! The PT sounds like you're getting the pampering your body craves while the exercise is pushing the boundaries a bit.

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WATERMELLEN 9/17/2014 6:00PM

    Progress, hurray!!! So nice to have some treatment, some direction, some reassurance -- and some optimism!! Here's to 100% on departure!!

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HIPPICHICK1 9/17/2014 5:36PM

    That is emoticon !!!

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FLUTTERFLI 9/17/2014 2:08PM

    emoticon emoticon
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WIFE48 9/17/2014 2:05PM

    Wonderful news that you can have. PT

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SANDICANE 9/17/2014 1:56PM

    Oh what great news!

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MYTHMYTH 9/17/2014 1:47PM

    emoticon

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