Our lives are on hold…Staying upbeat through the process…

Typical house in the Campanario neighborhood in Madeira, where we lived for almost three months in 2014. Excuse the tilted photo…we were on a very steep hill.

In the past two weeks since we’ve been sick, time has passed so quickly that one day folds into another, and we hardly notice. We are anxious to reconnect with family and friends when we are our “old selves” again.

In reality, we aren’t our “old selves” lately anyway. The waiting period until we leave for Cleveland in two months is dragging on, regardless of how busy we are. Typically, we love the anticipation of our lives, but this type of anticipation is hardly enjoyable or exciting. The sooner we “get this show on the road,” the better.

Days pass when I hardly think about it in an attempt to stay upbeat and not be dragged down by the eventuality of this gross surgery. When we are with our friends and family, we are cheerful, and they never know it is on our minds. When it’s just the two of us, we do very well. It’s not “doom and gloom” in our daily lives. We still laugh, talk, and enjoy our time together.

My primary concern is that I’ll start getting severe symptoms of valve disease before we get to Cleveland and have to seek medical care in Minnesota on an emergency basis. I’m hoping I can hold out for two more months. I have mild symptoms, but nothing I can’t live with for now.

It’s been a little more difficult while we’ve been sick these past few weeks. This Friday will be two weeks since I got sick and three weeks for Tom. Tom is still feeling tired and out of sorts. I don’t feel weak or tired but cough quite a bit, although it’s not a dry, hacking cough.

In any case, it’s been dull and uneventful these past few weeks. Hopefully, we can go to Billy’s Bar and Grill in Anoka this Friday to get together with Tom’s siblings and other family members for happy hour and dinner. Gosh, I haven’t had a glass of wine since Vincent’s graduation party on June 7, not that I’ve missed it.

Often weeks go by, and we don’t drink any alcohol. For us, adult beverages are more about socialization and ritual than “getting a buzz,” which rarely happens for either of us. Based on my heart situation, I am very cautious about drinking wine, sticking to small portions when I imbibe. Tom, always the driver, also keeps his consumption to a minimum.

The walking is going OK. Yesterday, I walked for a total of 3500 steps, which is the most I’ve been able to do for quite a while. I set my phone’s timer for once an hour or less, depending on how I feel that day. My new goal is to stretch the time I am walking instead of a specific number of steps while keeping the end-of-the-day step count in mind.

Today is another beautiful sunny day, making the walking all the more enjoyable. But, the struggle to walk causes me to concentrate on not teetering while walking to avoid falling. My gait is not consistent and steady.

We wish a fantastic summer day for our friends and family in the northern hemisphere and a pleasant winter day for our friends in the southern hemisphere.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, June 26, 2014:

A papaya tree in the house’s side garden in Campanario, Madeira. For more photos, please click here.

Patience, a virtue?…

Unusual-looking pastries in Marrakesh, Morocco.

What is the meaning of patience?

Definitions from Oxford LanguagesLearn more
  1. about the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.
    “you can find bargains if you have the patience to sift through the dross.”
    any of various forms of card game for one player, the object of which is to use up all one’s cards by forming particular arrangements and sequences; solitaire.”

There are countless situations in our daily lives that require patience. We’ve found that when traveling the world, a number of circumstances tap into our ability to be patient. Why exercise this aspect of life?

For us, it all boils down to avoiding negative emotions that result in stress. Yes, stress is good for us to some degree when we have a variety of tasks to accomplish. It can motivate us to get a “job done,” let alone a “job well done” or, in other cases, a task accomplished with finesse and dedication.

But patience is often the barometer of how we feel when we don’t have total control of a situation’s timing…and we must wait patiently.

Right now, we need to be incredibly patient when our lives are up in the air. If we had a permanent home, the current state of being might be easier. We could go about our daily lives and responsibilities, only waiting for an appointment, a result, or a change in situation.

For us, waiting for the upcoming appointment is an event that can greatly impact our lives, which is prevalent in our minds now as we wait to hear when our appointment at the Cleveland Clinic will be. It has entirely put our lives on hold in the following manner:

  1. We can’t book a hotel in California when we leave here in 23 days to visit my sister.
  2. We can’t confirm our visit to Utah to see friends Gary and Marylin on our way to Minnesota.
  3. We can’t confirm our arrival date to Minnesota and Wisconsin to visit family when we may end up in Cleveland during that previously planned visit.
  4. When we hear from Cleveland Clinic, we may have to leave here right away before the end of the one-month rental, in the event of an early arranged appointment (less likely).
  5. We can’t book prepaid cars now for better pricing while we’re unsure of dates.

I am more inclined to plan things, so my patience is being tested. Tom is okay, not knowing what’s next until the last minute. That’s more of a “guy thing” (not intended to stereotype all males as possessing this quality). But, I am taking lots of deep breaths and continuing to exercise to control any potential stress that this experience may precipitate.

Is patience a virtue? I found this little morsel online that sums it up quite nicely:

“Patience is a virtue in many religions and moral traditions. It is defined as the ability to wait without complaint and to respond to minor irritations with kindness and gentleness. Patience is also considered a moral virtue that can contribute to happiness and living well.”

So true! I am working on it, staying busy, cheerful, and without complaint. We’ll see how that goes.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, April 7, 2014:

The mosque in Medina, Marrakesh, Morocco, lit at unset. For more photos, please click here.