Goodbyes, Hellos and Physical Limitations

The last couple months has been a mix of MCAS, EDS and arthritis flares, loss of my faithful companion Dexter and getting a new companion.

Spring is the season of weather always in flux, lots of rain showers and high pollen counts. In addition I began going into the world in late March after 13 months at home isolating due to be immunocompromised. With my doctor’s approval we have began attending church and going into some stores in late March. I am to continue wearing a N-95 or better mask and social distance while I am out.

Worshipping in person has been such a joy! While I am very grateful for Livestream services it is not the same as being there in person. Joining in song and worship with other believers and hearing the teaching in person has been a huge blessing for my husband and I. We have enjoyed conversations with other believers before and after services. I have noticed very little impact on my MCAS from attending church.

I have gone to a couple stores and some doctors appointments in the last month and each time have mast cell reactions to the chemical disinfectants and scented hand sanitizers that knock we down for the next 2-3 days with migraines. All over swelling and pain as well as GI issues, dizziness, ringing ears and brain fog. I am feeling like the pandemic cleaners are greatly limiting were I can safely go. Prior to COVID, I could shop in Trader Joe’s without a mask and no reactions. Now with a mask with a 5 layer filter including a carbon layer I react afterwards for 2-3 days. Same thing happened after a visit to my oncologist/hematologist and again when went to my doctor who manages my mast cell disease.

Chronic illness has meant I am home much more than when I was healthy and my Goldendoodle Dexter was my constant companion. April 13 we had to make the decision to end his suffering from severe attitude degeneration and bladder cancer. The loss of Dexter left a huge void in my heart and life. I was surprised how much grief I had with his passing as much greater than with past animals. We have a second dog Bella a Bichon Frisée. She absolutely adores my husband but just tolerates me. She spends her days in his home office while he works. With medical expenses and my not working we wondered how we would find or afford a hypoallergenic dog I would tolerate.

Dexter a few months before he passed.

God graciously provided a puppy for us in His kindness. First of all, we were gifted money to buy a puppy by somebody who understands my love of dogs and my health limitations. Then when enquiring with the breeder we bought our puppy from they dropped their price $500 because liked us so much. Thursday May 6 we brought home an eight week old black standard poodle puppy we named Tozer after pastor and Christian writer A.W. Tozer

Picking him up at breeders
Tozer – those eyes!

Bella and Tozer have seemed to hit it off. Tozer is not a fan of his crate so we have some disrupted sleep with his whining. Saturday after playing with grandkids and a long walk after dinner, he slept all night. Sunday we thought he got enough exercise being in back yard while we gardened but he was up whining LOUDLY several times during the night. Our sleep is reminiscent of having a new born in the home so it is a good thing he is affectionate and adorable!

I am so grateful My husband built me high raised beds for our garden last year and completed the final bed this spring they are 28 inches high which makes it easy to maintain on higher pain days abd should allow us to garden as we age. This week I realized another benefit of the height keeping a new puppy from getting into them and trampling it all. Hopefully by the time he is tall enough he will be trained better.

This spring, my husband has decided my arthritis flares are more accurate at predicting rain than the weather man. I still try to walk or ride my recumbent bike most days. I just received a referral to an orthopedic doctor and hoping when get scheduled to see him for a cortisone shot in my bad knee to enable me to accomplish more and enjoy more activities this summer.

Currently, I am on a month long hiatus from leading/facilitating ladies Bible studies through our church via Zoom. Last week I finished a study on Psalms and June11 will begin a six week study on prayer thus summer. My goals for this month off include seeking how God wants me to simplify my life so less things to detract and distract from what He desires for me. What are the passions and gifts God has given me? What things need weeded out so those things can grow? Please pray for God to clearly show me and direct my steps. Secondly a concentrated effort on puppy training.

We have either raised or purchased all our garden and flowering plants. They are in the greenhouse shelf on our deck or indoors with grow lights waiting for it to warm up a bit more. Hopefully will begin planting them in next couple weeks. My garden has peas, lettuce, Swiss chard up and waiting for beets, carrots and onions to make their appearances. We have been enjoying the last couple weeks watching the tulips and bleeding hearts blooming in our back yard. The bright new green leaves and flowers of a pring so reminds me of God and creation. Soon will be summer with lakes to swim in and go to paddle our canoe. So enjoy being on His creation.

May your spring be blessed and May you see God’s hand in nature and events of your life.

Deb