Remembering When

As I stepped out the back door and onto the deck, the heat and humidity seemed to wrap around me. I couldn’t breathe.

After tossing my garbage into the can, I hurried back into the house.

This seemed to envelop me and to take my air away from me.

As I stepped into the house, I used my pro-air inhaler. There was some but not enough relief.

The nebulizer made a difference. I sat down and breathed in the fresh air.

Looking back to when breathing was easier

Remembering the days when the heat didn’t bother me, we did horse shows, we went fishing, hiking, and walking. We had picnics and get-togethers. We would swim or garden.

I took pictures, so many pictures. They are my treasures.

The ones I liked best were found when I drove up and down the old gravel roads. It's easy to remember the smell of fresh-cut alfalfa, a cow bellowing for her calf, and teens riding horseback in the ditches.

I was at peace. I drove around the lake and stopped by picnic tables to eat my sandwich.

Taking my camera out of the case, I realize I should document my travels and events.

At times, it’s more challenging to be in the dust, to smell the distinct odors of country living or farm life. I miss that life so much and like to think that I can still do it.

Walleye fishing on the Missouri River was so incredible. Now though, it's difficult on the humid South Dakota days.

If I could fish, I was on the river. Humidity was never an issue, even though some days were uncomfortable.

We went out early and came in around mid-afternoon, or earlier if we met our fish limits.

These were things that brought my husband and me closer together. Hunting was something that we had in common as well. I couldn’t always afford to put meat on the table, and hunting made the difference. Plus, everyone loves jerky.

Deer jerky would be a must if my husband or I got a deer. Pheasant meat is so good, and the jerky is always a favorite. One granddaughter often reminds me that they are the best.

I’m thinking of making turkey jerky if prices aren’t too high. My hubby says that prices are going up, and the man in the meat department said that some regular chicken packages, such as drum sticks and wings, aren’t available. It’s crazy, and prices are getting so high.

Trying to move forward

Sometimes, I get down about some of these things.

I may not be able to do everything like I used to. Probably not in the same way I used to.

I just have to learn how to do it in a new way. The most challenging part is understanding and accepting that it will never be as it was before. Those are beautiful memories.

Now I can try to recreate or just forge ahead and start over, at my pace, within my abilities and breathing, as only I can do.

This is my new life. Today I’m starting over.

You see, I’m a new person with my perseverance and limitations. Sometimes I think of myself as being a contradiction.

Having to recreate myself

I think I contradict my life and my plans often. That’s why I have to start over. I can recreate myself with my limitations.

A couple of days ago, I saw a toddler eating grapes online. He had no hands or even arms. He used his toes to pick up a grape so he could eat it.

There was a video of a lady without arms who painted beautiful pictures. She held the paintbrush between her teeth.

It’s amazing! I eat grapes and always drop a few of them. I paint with my hands and often get a bit sloppy. They don’t compare with the woman painter. I drop the paintbrush, too. These people and others have learned how to function with their disabilities.

I must relearn with my disabilities. This is like a new journey, recreating me!

Recreating myself while learning how to breathe in this new body, as handicapped as it seems. Recreating myself, how exciting that can be.

Journaling will be a must as I learn what I need to keep of myself and what I must leave behind. Also, it’s essential to recreate my relationship with my husband and family.

I’m not the same person my husband married, no matter what I think. People always change.

I'm not the same person who gave birth to my four children or as a stepmother to my four stepchildren. Nor as their families. Maybe we need to re-evaluate my medications.

Possibly start pulmonary rehab or even find someone to do daily walks with. He could maybe set me up with an appointment to see a nutritionist. There are so many possibilities. I need to figure out how to improve my life by doing something to help me fulfill my life goals and dreams. My husband's life as well.

It’s so important to remember the #1 rule: just breathe.

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