Category Archives: Health and Fitness

Through the Shadow and Back Again

Here I am at last with something to tell you about some of my health issues.  I feel like I took a slight detour with my life the last few weeks.

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It wasn’t a detour I chose to take and it was rather worrisome despite all the prayers going up for me, but think I am on the other side.  Knowing that millions of people suffer diseases all over the world much worse than anything I have ever experienced,  I feel rather silly even discussing what was going on with me.  As you read in my past post, I had a heart scare.  A scare caused by something an ER doctor told me.   I have had more pictures taken of my heart than I had taken of me during my wedding!  My heart has been very photogenic the last few weeks!

I have spent weeks thinking I might have to have surgery or a stent or something done to my heart.  Well, today was my visit to the cardiologist who pretty much told me my heart was in excellent condition, my arteries were clear, my heartbeat was strong and my lungs sounded great.  Sooooo.  All that worrying for nothing.  I still have the winded feeling so don’t know why that is continuing.  The Dr. told me to start a walking regimen.  So that is what I will do.  Plus she took me off one of my meds and halved another one.  The fewer meds I have to take, the better, I always say.  No more water pills that made me, well, make more trips to the bathroom than I would like.

Speaking of bathrooms, this arrived on our front porch this week.

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The top for our bathroom cabinet.  Finally.  Today our contractor came with his helpers and a plumber and they finished my bathroom.  So happy I can brush my teeth and wash my hands in our brand new sink.  Now I have some decorating to do.  When I get it all done, I will show you. I ordered a picture today to hang on a wall above the bathtub.  I think you will think it’s appropriate when you see it.

To keep my mind busy, I kept knitting socks.  I’m getting quite a pile of them.

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And finishing this pair.

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My grandson told me he wants to learn to knit so sometime this Summer I am going to teach him.   He wants to knit socks too!

I have been adding to my stash of yarn just like I use to do with fabric.  Honestly, I have not been near a sewing machine for months except to repair some things.

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Self striping yarn. It’s like a box of chocolates.  I don’t know which one to take out first.

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This brown and tan looks so yummy.

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Then there is this yarn.  Varigated and oh, so pretty.   I have a lot of socks planned.

Our garden is blooming  and we added more lilies to it this year. There is a place called New Creation Lilies that is in southern Indiana and they have fields of beautiful lilies.  We went down there the other day.  It was pouring rain and I almost told David to turn around and go back home because I didn’t want to make the people have to go out in the rain to dig our lilies.  You go out in the field and write down the lilies’ names you want and they dig them on the spot.  It let up raining a little so we continued on.  We walked around the fields under umbrellas. It was buy four get one free day and I very quickly picked five lilies as the rain was getting stronger again.  We sat in a barn and were kept company by an old black lab while our lilies were being dug.  Chickens walked around free range around us.  It was such a neat atmosphere.  I could have stayed there all day.  I hope to go back next year on a sunny day.

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I actually got these lilies at a little grocery store.  I have divided these a few times and have them all over our garden.

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Phlox.

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Hollyhocks and larkspur.  I don’t know what that bush is called behind the larkspur.

We sat out on our back porch the other day enjoying the garden and decided to start planning a little trip we want to take for our 49th wedding anniversary.

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We got the atlas out and started dreaming.  We have been in almost all the states except Hawaii and it’s becoming harder to decide where we want to go. Next year for our 50th anniversary we are planning a long trip, but don’t know where yet and we are going to Walt Disney World with our oldest son, his girl friend and our daughter and her husband and family for nine days.  It’s going to be a busy year and we are planning now.   I’ve always thought part of the fun of taking a trip is in the planning.

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We may just go where the wind blows us.  Who knows.

I want to thank all of you who said a prayer for me during my health scare.  I believe your prayers were answered and for that I am very grateful to you and to God.

Here’s to good health, trip planning and lily fields.  Bye.

Talking Turkey

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.  Ours was very nice.  It started out early with a 5K walk put on for a senior project by one of the high school students in our town.  It was a cold, but beautiful morning.  The runners and walkers met in one of the parks we have here.

DSCN9844   The park has a covered bridge.  The original bridge that was here was set on fire several years ago by vandals and the city had to find one to replace it.  I like the new bridge even better.  It looked so pretty in its Fall setting.

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The river was running swiftly that morning.  This river floods the park about every year or so.

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I went here to get my number and my shirt.  Registration included bringing at least five cans of food for Love Chapel, an organization that helps needy people. They gathered over four thousand cans of food that day.  How great is that?

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I am beginning to get a collection of 5K shirts.  I hope I can walk in a few more next year.

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Our son arrived from Cincinnati with a friend and her son.  My son was not a happy camper about the run.  But because he’s the one who talked me into doing it, he was compelled to run it.  Yes, he would run it.    I would walk it.  I don’t run if I don’t have to.

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There were around four hundred people participating in all ages and sizes and clothing choices.

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Shawna and her son walked with me.  We were bundled up against the cold.  I think I had about four layers on, but my legs still got cold.

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Some people really got into the theme of the race by dressing the part.  This man looked like he was riding a turkey.

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There were several different turkey hats.

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Even cooked turkey hats!

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Here we are completing the walk.  I think we were the last ones as everyone else was running.   See that boy behind us?  He probably walked four miles as he meandered all over while we walked the trail.

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Then we went home. Dogs were played with.  We ate a huge meal.  I have not been hungry all day today.

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We played Dizzios.  I lost as usual.  I keep telling my one grandson that one day I will beat him.  He is really good at this game.

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I love these two.  They made David and me turkey pictures.  They are so cute.

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When I looked around our table, I knew exactly what I was thankful for.  Family and friends.  What would the world be like without them?   And love.  That’s what it’s all about.  Bye.

 

Sleepy

I don’t know why, but for the last couple of weeks I have been so sleepy.  I sleep until nine or ten in the morning and by mid afternoon I am sleepy again.  Maybe it’s been this extremely cold, damp weather we have been having that chills you right to the bone.

Last night  after supper, I was so cold I got three blankets and laid on the couch with them over me and fell asleep until ten o’clock.  Stayed up for a couple of hours, went to bed and slept until almost nine thirty this morning.  My mother would tell me I am sleeping my life away.  I kind of feel that way.

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I wish I could be more like my dogs and not be ashamed I am sleeping so much.  They don’t seem to mind wasting away a whole day just snoozing.    Bonnie stays in my shop all day and doesn’t move a muscle for hours.  She doesn’t care what others might think.  Look at her, how peaceful she is.  By the way, she and Belle got new beds for my shop so now I let them in more often since they don’t get on the furniture anymore.  They are loving that.

It’s not that I haven’t been busy.  When I am awake my hours are full.  I just finished a Bible study, have been doing some Spring cleaning and have been cutting hundreds of two inch squares for a quilt I am making. It needs over two thousand squares.  As I cut them, I sew a few together.  I want to have this quilt pieced before hot weather gets here.  I’ve been taking care of the chooks.  They are beginning to lay more regularly now.  They might be getting some new friends later this summer if my daughter gets me the Austrolorps I want.    I’m too tired to download any pictures right now, but I will be showing you  what I have been up to soon.  I made a bunny garland today.   Just need to do some hand sewing on it.  If I can get out of this sleep funk, I will take some pictures.

We had some exciting news today.   Our contractor, Claude(He calls himself Bub) called us today and said he was ready to start work on our new front porch and put in some new windows.  I have told you our old porch on our hundred year old house is sinking and pulling away from the house causing cracks in the wall of our living room.  David said we had to replace the porch or the side of the house would be torn off eventually.  I don’t like that idea.  I kind of like to have walls between me and the elements.  Another winter like this one with a wall gone?   So, we are biting the bullet and getting the porch built.  It will go all along the front of our house instead of just halfway like the old one is now. It will have stone facings on the porch posts, a ceiling fan and tiffany like lights by the door. It will have low rise steps instead of the high steps it has now and railings down them so my friends and family won’t fall going up and down them.  I have seen people fall off our steps too many times.    If we have to do it, we are going to do it right and in style.

So now I have my work cut out for me.  I have dozens of flowers to move by next week.   If I don’t, I will lose them under the porch.  I guess I won’t be sleeping a lot for the next few days.

I am so ready for gardening, though.  David tilled the garden and we let the chooks in and they had a ball scratching and pecking at the newly turned soil.  I have dozens of tomato plants started and one pumpkin plant that is getting pretty big in its pot.  Hope warm weather will get here before it outgrows it.  I have flower seeds and gladiola bulbs and beans and squash, plus the rest of the pumpkin seeds to plant.  I can hardly wait to make that first trip to the nursery to buy more flower plants.  I am losing my porch flower box that David built me when the old porch goes, so I will have to plant hanging baskets now.

Now, if the weather will just cooperate and I can stay awake long enough, I may get something done.

Here’s to sleep, new porches and dreams of gardens.  Bye.

What I Find

I have been walking for several years now.  Well, I’ve been walking since I was about nine months old, but I mean I have taken up walking as a hobby.  I got up to five miles a day for a while, but this winter it has been hard to get outside and walk very far without slipping and sliding.  Now I am training for a 5K walk and am trying to walk several times a week.

I usually take a dog with me.  Belle has been walking with me since she was a pup.  She very rarely pulls or tugs on the leash, unless she sees a rabbit or a squirrel, so she is a fine companion.  We have walked hundreds of miles together. I use to walk with Bonnie, but the farthest she wants to walk now is to the car because she thinks we are going to the vet or to our daughter’s house in the woods.

Through the years I have found several things alongside the road.  When Bonnie was a pup, she found an American flag.  I brought it home and washed it and still have it.  Once I found a pair of scissors.  I found a really big knife once.  I was a ways from home and got odd looks from people as I walked down the road carrying a knife.  I found a really nice pair of pliers once that I gave to David.  I don’t know how someone lost a pair of pliers alongside the road, but they did. This is a different story, but once when I was cleaning our church and taking out the trash I found money laying all over the church parking lot.  Bills.  I gathered all that I could find and took it to the office in case someone came asking if anyone had found any money.  My daughter and I found a purse in a parking lot in a cart at a store once and we could see a big wad of money in it.  We took the purse, with the money, of course, inside to the office, but I have always wondered if the person whose purse it was, found the money in it when she picked it up.  I should have had them call her before I left the store.  Hope they were honest.

One day a couple of years ago I was walking with Belle when I saw something flying up in the sky.  I watched it come closer and closer and then it began to drop lower and I could see it was in the shape of a fish.  It kept coming down and landed in the parking lot of a business across the road.  I went to see it and saw it was a rather large shark.  It was a remote control one.  It had lost all its air.  I took it home to use one day.  I don’t throw anything away.  This past summer when we had our family reunion, we put helium in it and set it free.  I wonder who found it this time.

I found a complete set of keys laying in the street last fall.  There were probably ten or more keys on it.  I took it home and asked David if he would go over and ask at the businesses across the street if anyone had lost some keys.  There was a man who had just done a good deed for someone by returning their dog who had gotten loose and had put his keys on top of his car and had not been able to find them.  He was so happy to  have them returned.

I find change all the time.  I have a jar I put the change into and when it is full, I will take a European vacation.  Ha.

I have seen gloves, socks and yes, even underwear on my walks.  I have picked up trash along the road.  This weekend David and I are going to go pick up a chair someone lost off a truck last fall and it’s been along our highway all winter.  We will break it up and put it in the trash.

I have been chased by dogs, asked by a couple of men if I wanted a ride, (I didn’t, of course) and have screamed as my dog tossed dead moles at me she has found along the roadside.  One time I was walking with one of my grandsons and Belle found a huge mole and began to sling it at us.  We tried getting her away from it, but she kept throwing it up in the air and we were screaming and laughing so hard some man stopped his car beside us and asked if everything was okay.

I have watched Belle fight a baby raccoon.  I have seen a skunk, a fox and a deer on my walks.  Yes, I have had some interesting walks.  One of my favorite walks is when a particular road is closed because it is flooded and the bridge is out about a mile from our house.  It’s about a two mile walk to the bridge and there is no traffic because the road is gated.   Belle can be let loose and she loves running everywhere sniffing everything and getting in the water.   It may be flooded this weekend with all the snow melt and rain we have had.  I will have to walk there to see.

Today I found a large, blue rubber ball that had probably blown out of someone’s yard because of the winds we had last night. I found it in a woods.

Take a walk today.  You never know who or what you might find.  Bye.

Finishing My Last Blog

My computer went all whacko on me last night and refused to let me post anymore pictures.  I think it was tired. So I will try to finish what I began yesterday.  What was I talking about??? Oh, yes, traditions.

One of my favorite traditions on New Year’s Day is to put up new calendars.  I didn’t get it done yesterday, but they are all up today.

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I didn’t even know there was a Susan Branch until a year or two ago.  She is an author who hand writes all her books and water colors each page.  They are beautiful.  She includes quotes and recipes and stories about her growing up which is very like how I grew up.  Since we both grew up in about the same era, that is natural.  She also produces a calendar each year and last year was the first year I bought one.

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How can you not like a calendar which has on one of the dates in January to visit your local fabric store today?  I visited one a little early already, but this made me smile.

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Each calendar page is a work of art and very interesting to read.  There are probably a few left out there, so run to your local calendar store and get this calendar.

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I have to have a labrador retriever calendar which I put in my downstairs bathroom.  This one has all puppies which really makes me want to get that lab pup this year.

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I have been buying Lang calendars for years.  This one was a gift and will hang in my dining room.  This is the one on which I write all the birthdays and anniversaries in our family.

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This Lang calendar will hang in my shop.  I love all the old timey pictures in it.  Makes me wish I had lived in those simpler times.  Especially on a farm.  With a horse.

Did you make any new year’s resolutions this year?  I quit doing that long ago. Too much pressure.  I have a lot of plans and things I would like to do this year.

I want to spend as much time as possible with my children and grandchildren.

I want to learn to play my ukelele and not be afraid to play it in front of people.

I want to make as many quilts as I can, especially the ones that will be gifts.

I want to learn how to water color like Susan Branch.  She started water colors later in her life.  She didn’t even know she had that talent until she just started one day.  Isn’t that like a lot of us?  We are afraid to start something new because we are afraid we won’t be any good at it.  So what.  At least you tried.  There are so many things we can learn if we just set our minds to it.

I want to be a good witness for Jesus Christ.  I have given this year and my family to Him and pray He will do His will in them.

I want to stay connected to old friends and family members I don’t see very often.

I want to keep raising chickens and maybe adding a few more to my little flock.

I want that lab puppy.

I want to see my grandson play his lacrosse game in Traverse City, Michigan where David and I honeymooned many years ago.  There is a road in Traverse City named after my husband’s family because only his family lived on it at one time.  I don’t know if any of his family is still living on it, but we will probably check if we get up there.

I want to see my granddaughter play her ukelele we gave her on her praise team at her school.

I want to get to Cincinnati and Chicago for personal reasons.  I want David’s brother and sister-in-law to bring their grandchildren to visit us and meet our grandchildren.

I want our new porch to be built this year as the old one is pulling away from the house and playing havoc with the walls in our living room.

I want to write more blogs to include stories about my growing up on an Indiana farm in the fifies.

I want to have Bible studies in my home and have fellowship with other Christian women.

I want to walk more, eat less, lift weights more and just take better care of my body.  Notice this is the last thing I put on my list.  Hmmmmm.

Oh, I could add a few hundred more things I would like to do this year, but I think these will keep me busy for a while.  Hope your new year is productive and creative.  Bye.

 

 

Chickens and Chatting

I got to spend some time with one of my best friends from school this week.    We went to school together for twelve years from first grade until we graduated.  While I was attending college and marrying David, she was attending beauty school and getting married to a farmer.  We have kept in touch all these years even if It is just once a year.  When we get together it is as if we hadn’t been away from each other for months and months.  I love her to pieces.  She knows things about me and I know things about her and we aren’t telling!

My friend’s husband raises chickens for the eggs.  Not just a few, mind you, but thousands.  Ninety-seven thousand to be exact.  I have always wanted to go up and see their chicken operation and I got to do it this trip.    When we first went in the building, it was cold and on a conveyor belt were hundreds of eggs.  There were stacks and stacks of eggs ready for shipment.  We then went into where the chickens lived.  I was overwhelmed.  To see that many chickens and eggs continuously coming down a conveyor belt was amazing.  They were beautiful white chickens with bright red combs.  And the eggs.  They were enormous.   They made the jumbo eggs in the grocery stores look like small eggs.  The building was so long that you could not see the end. My friend told me if someone was standing at the other end  you would not be able to see them.

Once the eggs are packed and shipped, they go to another company where the eggs are boiled and chopped up and packaged for restaurants so if you get a salad with chopped eggs on it, you very well may be eating my friend’s chickens’ eggs.  It was so interesting and I am glad I got to see it all.

We didn’t just look at chickens, though.  We went to quilt shops and antique stores and talked and talked and ate dinner together before David and I had to get to our motel.  It was so much fun.

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This is my best friend forever and no, she is not an antique.  This girl can do more work than any ten women.  She is always busy.  We are bound by something that cannot be broken.

The next day David brought me breakfast in bed from the motel’s breakfast room.  Cinnamon rolls, blueberry muffins, yogurt, a banana and coffee.  It all tasted so good. I had slept so well that I didn’t get up in time to go down for breakfast.

We drove to Geneva where the Limberlost cabin is.  If you have heard of Gene Stratton Porter you know what I am talking about.  She was a famous Indiana author who wrote “Girl of the Limberlost,”  “Freckles” and many others.  She studied moths and butterflies and wildlife in the swamps that surrounded her house in the early 1900’s.  She was saddened to see the swamps being drained for farmland and houses and later in her life she moved away because she couldn’t stand it anymore.  She lived in California, built a mansion there and became the first woman to produce movies.  She was killed in a car accident when her limo was struck.

We took a tour through the house and it was wonderful.

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It was a frame house with whole logs nailed to the side to look like a log cabin.  It had a broad, airy front porch that made me want to pull up a chair and sit for a while.

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I could live in this house.  I didn’t have my camera to take pictures inside, so you will have to go here sometime and see just how beautiful it is.  The fireplaces all had gas logs.  Something most houses in that time would never have.  It cost five dollars a month to use all the natural gas you wanted.  Wow, I wish it were still that cheap.  The house cost five thousand dollars to build.  In those days that was still a lot of money.

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This is the guest bedroom’s own private porch.  How neat is that?

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A beautiful bay window with windows that opened at the top and the bottom.  Inside the house Mrs. Porter could close off this area and she would allow any animal or bird to come in this area and could watch them through the glass doors inside the house.  She loved watching the animals and birds.

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Mrs. Porter hated seeing the trees being cut down in the swamp and when they cut down this big one, she had it brought to her house and used it as a smoke house for meats.

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This little kitten was wandering around the grounds.  He or she was a little skittish and wouldn’t allow me to pet it.

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This is the hired hand’s room.  Real comfy looking.  Our tour guide said his pictures look like Yosemite Sam and that he was just as cranky.  Not our guide, the hired hand.

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My mother always wanted to come here all her life and never got to see it.  When the tour guide asked us why we were there I told him I was seeing this for my mother.  She read a lot of Gene Stratton Porter’s books and was always telling me how wonderful they were.  I guess I am going to have to read some soon.  Mrs. Porter was very popular when my mother was a girl.

We drove country roads.   We arrived in Berne where I found another quilt shop and saw this clock tower.

 

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It plays music at three o’clock every afternoon, but we left at two-thirty and missed it.

Then we returned to Geneva to find the marshes.

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They are returning the marshland to areas around Geneva and this is one of them.  I walked this path and enjoyed seeing a large hawk fly before me, hear the crickets chirping and hear the swishing of the tall grasses in the breeze.  It was so peaceful the farther I went back into the marsh I felt like I was the only person in the world.  It was a mile round trip and I walked it twice, then walked another path across the road.  I would have stayed longer, but David and I had to get home.  We drove back roads as much as we could through small towns.

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Saw this sign.   Free speechDSCN6824

Where else but in the country would you see a tractor pulled up to a gas pump?  This was farm country and tractors ruled.

We drove past soybean fields being harvested as dust clouds rose from the combines.  We passed acres and acres of corn growing brown and brittle in the Autumn sun. The sky was blue, the breeze was pleasant.  I love our state.

We had a wonderful time, but we were glad to get home and see that the automatic door on the chicken coop worked and the girls were all fine.  The dogs were hungry and telling us it was time to eat.  Nice to come home to pets.

Here’s to BBF, country roads and wonderful Hoosier authors.  Bye

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Histoplasmosis

  Because I can’t get my pictures to upload I will continue on my lectures. Today it will be about Histoplasmosis.  Tomorrow, it might be about toenail fungus.  Who knows?

  Histoplasmosis is an infectious disease caused by a fungus. Sounds fun so far, doesn’t it?  I have had a run in with this disease.  Chickens have gotten a bum rap for causing this when one can get it in many different ways.

  My history with histoplasmosis began after the birth of my third and youngest child in 1977.  I was a pretty healthy woman and had not suffered any kinds of diseases or health problems ever except for tonsillitis  in my youth.  One day as I was watching television, I noticed the people all had two heads.  Hmm, that was strange.  Was I just tired or did I need glasses? This happened just before David and I was to take a youth group to Arkansas to a Passion play there. 

  We were making plans to take this trip and I didn’t have time to think about my problems with a new baby and two small children at home.  We took the trip and at the Passion play I was seeing everything in double.  Well, I must need glasses pretty badly.  It was a very stressful trip in more ways than one and we were so ready to get home.

  The next week, I made an appointment with an eye doctor and he said I might have cancer of the eye.  Well, this made me very upset.  I was sent to the IU medical center in Indianapolis to the eye center where one of the bests eye specialists practiced. 

   I was put through all kinds of eye exams, one of which  was having a dye put in my veins and pictures taken inside my eye.  It was soon discovered I was allergic to this dye as I passed out on them. After all the tests, Dr. Schlegel told me I had Ocular Histoplasmosis.  I didn’t have a clue what that was.  Then he told me something very interesting.  He said that most people who live in the Ohio valley and surrounding areas have Histoplasmosis in their bodies, usually in their lungs. Mine had gravitated from my lungs to my left eye and destroyed my central vision there.  Histoplasmosis can be caused by pigeons or any kinds of bird dropping where people breathe the fungus from the air.  Evidently the Ohio valley has a large amount of birds, thus the fungus. 

  I was sure I was going to go blind and not see my children’s faces as they grew up.  I was beside myself.  Then think what I thought when Dr. Schlegel told me I had two options.  Take  corizone  which would very probably make me gain weight or get a cortisone shot in the eye, which wouldn’t.  Guess which one I chose?  I didn’t want to gain weight.  So a shot in the eye I got.  If someone had told me that one day I would have to have a needle put in my eye I would have told them it’s never going to happen, but when you are faced with the decision, you must make it.  Seeing that needle come toward my eye was a weird feeling, but it really did not hurt at all and it stopped the bleeding in my eye.    

  David and I had to make several trips to Indianapolis where I would get a shot in my eye every few months.  Then one day Dr. Schlegel told me my eye was as bad as it was going to get and there was nothing else to be done for it.  I was really glad of that.  Now I have heard from eye doctors that this disease of the eye can be surgically corrected if caught in time.  Mine cannot be fixed.  But I am use to it now and don’t even think about it unless I shut my right eye and then everything gets blurry.  I am so thankful that I still have my vision in my right eye.

   Years later, my husband had an x-ray taken of his lungs and a spot was found.  Since he smoked, we both thought it was cancer.  After many tests, the doctors said it was a calcification of Histoplasmosis in his lung. 

  Then our son called us one day when he was stationed out west in the military and said they had found a spot on his lung.  Of course he thought it was cancer and was very worried.  Then he went to a doctor who was from the Midwest and he asked my son where he was from and when he said Indiana, the doctor actually laughed and said what he had was Histoplamosis. 

  So that has been my family’s experience with this disease.  It isn’t fun, but it isn’t life threatening unless you do nothing about it.    I have found with just about any disease people learn to adjust their lives around it whether it causes you to go blind, lose your ability to walk, or any other of a myriad sort of things.  People are tough.  I found out how tough I was to face this rather frightening disease.  Now I can even joke about it and I can’t watch 3-D movies, but that’s okay.  I saw my children grow up and can see my grandchildren and that’s worth everything I went through.

  Here’s to sight, health and being tough when times get tough.  Bye.