chats

After a chat with my mum about my vegetarian health dilemma, I have decided to continue my vegetarian lifestyle but I now have a new set of tools from my mother: she told me all the things she made me, that I have not made for myself, that helped me stay healthy while under her roof. That was the first 8 years of my vegetarian life, so she did pretty well and I managed to muck it up in just on 2 years, on my own ūüôā So I’m taking her advice to heart, and very seriously, and I’ve also upped my iron supplement intake (now at max) but I can’t up my B12, as that’s already at the maximum and any more is not healthy.

I feel better, after just a few days of this, but it’s early days of course and I have another “cycle” to get through before I celebrate any positive differences!

 

Things are moving forward (FAR TOO) quickly in the whole We’re Leaving The Country saga. Inspectors have come by, transport people have come by. We’ve signed things and set up final appointments, and now, on the (very sensible) advice of my husband, I need to pack my bags and see if I can live out of my two bags (suitcase and a large backpack) for the next few days, until they come to take all our stuff away. That way, I can see if I need anything, or if there’s anything I don’t actually use as much as I thought I would, before it’s too late to change my mind about what I am taking.

I also need to include all the dog stuff that we will have to travel with and have with us when we get there. My husband has to carry all his military gear (he’s also only taking 2 bags: a suitcase and a backpack) so I am (quite rightly) assigned the dog gear.

The closer we get to September, the scarier and more “real” it feels. It’s not a holiday (not that we’ve taken any of those recently) it’s actual MOVING. Taking our lives from one continent, over the ocean, to another continent. Taking our family – our beautiful fur children – and all our possessions – and putting them on a plane (or a ship) and off we go…

Taking my Rescue Remedy now, as things are starting to jump up and down in my mind more intensely. Giving the dogs their own Rescue Remedy (made for pets) and watching for any tummy troubles related. Of course, me being the idiot that I am sometimes, I gave them a LITTLE bit of ice cream yesterday, after our very long lunch time walk. Azzie’s tummy was fine, fine and then bleh. Gina went twice on our early morning walk, but both were good. Hoping she’s ok. Odin’s tummy was fine.

Azzie is getting used to her puppy cut, and Gina is enjoying the coolness of her trim down as well. I’m going to trim her chest and neck a bit more though – it’s still a bit long and she generates a lot of heat in there. I can feel it when I give her a scratch or put her collar on.

What else? Oh, hit another high point this morning… or low point? in my weight loss journey – getting very close to my final weight goal. So that’s cool. Will see how my journey continues when we reach Americaland.

I’m procrastinating. *sigh* I need to Get Things Done.

Still trying to sell Helga (Naartjie is already under new ownership, but the owner is away so he’s allowing us use of her until we leave – he’s awesome) so I need to put an advert up asap, as all other avenues have not panned out. I put up for sale ads everywhere I was allowed, but we only got 2 calls and one of them he said it was too much so I said call back in a month or so…

it is happening again

I’m generally a very healthy person. I love my vegetables and I love fruit and my legumes.

My blood pressure is, on last check up, around 2 months ago, 94/65 or something like that. While I normally have a very low, but HEALTHY blood pressure… I think that’s a little TOO low. My husband was also a little concerned when I told him. I don’t really have issues, normally, despite it being at that level.

I don’t avoid salt entirely, but yes I do keep it to a minimum when cooking and I always look for prepared food with a low sodium level. I hate salty food – too much salt ruins the taste of good food, in my opinion. Like food that’s too spicy/hot. My way of cooking/eating has helped my husband’s cholesterol and salt levels drop to excellently healthy levels, so that’s a bonus.

But the last few months now, I’ve been having issues. Again.¬†The lethargy, the light-headed feeling. The weak limbs. The feeling like my body is moving faster than my brain. Or the other way around. Can’t even work that out right at this moment.

When I was sixteen, I decided I wanted to be a vegetarian (I’m an animal lover, aren’t I?) and my mother was supportive and made sure that my diet was always up to par – I never had a day of trouble, and I very rarely got sick. I went on like that until around age twenty three or twenty four (I don’t remember exactly) and then I moved out…

I tried as hard as I could to keep my diet correct, and eat the right amount of things to keep my iron levels up and my bones and muscles strong. Around age 26, working at UCT, it started really affecting my life. I was too weak to climb stairs – I had to stop every two or three to catch my breath and stop the stars from swirling around my head and the spots to clear from my eyes. I couldn’t drive very well, because my foot would start to shake on the brake pedal, and I was too weak to lift the handbrake on a hill. It was a recipe for disaster. I finally gave in and went to the doctor (I hated/hate going to the doctor) and she said that I would either have to get iron injections (the supplement form would do nothing for me at this point) or I would have to start eating meat again. I am terrified of needles. The thought of them made me feel sick and faint, and having to get them once a month just made my mind go blank and my body go cold. The doctor had to help me sit up – merely at the thought of it. That was another side effect of being anemic and mineral deficient. So I, very angrily/unhappily, chose to try eating meat again. I had to start off very slowly, as my system was by that point not used to having to digest meat, and if I overdid it I became VERY sick and pretty much ended up losing anything I ate… from both ends… (TMI, yes I know – but I’m trying to be honest here) but after a mere month or so of eating meat (mostly chicken, but some beef when I could handle it) I was back to perfect health and had all my energy and strength back. It both disappointed and astounded me. And hurt my heart a little bit. I really tried so hard.

So, almost a¬†year ago now (I can’t believe it’s been that long, but I counted back to the post I made) I made the choice again, to try the vegetarian diet. I thought, since I was more in control of my diet, of what we could eat, that I was making food for me AND my husband (who has remained a meat eater – and that was never a problem for me) that I could keep up my diet to keep me strong and healthy.

It worked… at first. Then about 2 or 3 months ago, during “that time” (not going to go into that any more than I have to – if you don’t understand, it doesn’t matter) I started with the vertigo again. And the nausea. And each time it’s gotten worse. Today, and yesterday, it has been the worst. I feel like my brain is surrounded by cotton wool. My ear is blocked, they are both ringing and my hands keep going numb when I’m lying on my side in bed. I’m feeling incredibly weak. Slow. Tired. My head hurts almost constantly – not a headache, per say, but more a thumping of my pulse through my temples. My heart POUNDS just climbing some stairs, or going up a hill, when it never did before. I can barely run a few meters before I have to stop to catch my breath. This is not good. This is deja vu. My hands shake when I carry anything heavy and my heart thumps all the time. I have to force myself to eat, too. And that is¬†so¬†not normal for me. I love food.

So, I am thinking I need to make that choice again. I don’t want to, but my body is clearly trying to tell me something is wrong. I need to listen.

I’ll talk to my husband about it. He usually has something useful to say.

 

A tiny update

Hello watchers!

I just wanted to give a little update to tell you that I will be posting a longer update in just a day or so – there’s been lots happening in the last few days and I need a chance to catch my breath and sit down and write it all out.

Some positives:

Odin’s interactions at dog obedience/socialisation classes have been AWESOME! He has come so far that people are astounded.

We took the girls to the groomers today – their first time ever having it done professionally – and according to the groomers, it all went well. The young gentleman who was assigned to Azzie got a little over zealous with the scissors (they didn’t shave them – except for their bellies and “bits”) and she has a very short “puppy cut” which makes her, weirdly enough, look even BIGGER than before! But she looks even more like a puppy now. She’s so cute. He nicked her a few times with the clippers or scissors, so she has a few cuts – but they did say she was very “wriggly” and I can well imagine that. They gave us a discount because Azzie’s groom was a little more extreme than we discussed with them. Gina’s was well done, if a little tentative. She was neatened up nicely, but her neck and chest are still a little long, so I might snip that down just a little more. The rest of her body looks GREAT ūüôā I think it’s already making them feel cooler, as when I took them for a walk this afternoon, they ALL (including Gina) wanted to run around and play like mad on the grass together, despite it being quite humid. So that’s great news for them, and for our move. The fact that they handled that stressful situation so well also takes a load off my mind for the big move and them being alone in their crates on the flight etc. We still need to practice that a bit more with the doors closed and me leaving the area for a little longer each time, but I’m more positive now (and also with their previous behaviour in the dens, because they have been really good about going in and chilling without any issues) and it really does lift a lot of the stress off me.

Some negatives:

Odin, when walking with the girls, still overreacts quite badly if another dog gets too close, or is off lead (even far away) but, admittedly, that’s not as bad as he was the first few times. Unless the dog surprises us – then he still gets quite nasty about it. I’m also learning, through all this, that Odin is the “normal” dog and that Gina and Azzie are actually the ones we need to work on!

The big move looms. It’s stressful – even though we are both very prepared people and have set up pretty much all the appointments we have to and the dogs tickets are sorted etc. Moving is never fun, and this move is over oceans and a continent and with our beloved dogs and all our worldly possessions. So it’s Rescue Remedy to glug and lots of meditation and mantras…

Musings

My heart is still very sore over the loss of my Macky-Moo. But it’s now an ache that sits quietly and doesn’t make me feel like I’m going to burst into ugly tears at any moment. It’s a bittersweet ache.

I’ve been thinking a lot about life, about death, about the circle of things. I’ve always liked the symbol of the circle. Infinity. Life, Death, Life. Things carry on, whether we want them to or not. We can’t stop time. We can’t stop the world. We can’t step off and wait until our heart feels less broken, or our mind catches up with us after a trauma, or while we catch our breath and try and get a grasp on WHAT just HAPPENED?!. The Earth keeps spinning. Mother Earth.

I’ll die one day too. This thought used to terrify me when I was younger. Much younger. I thought about these things when I was a very young girl. Especially after losing a member of my family, whether they were human or animal. I could dwell on it for days. A dark cloud settling over me. Because I was such a solitary child, I don’t think anyone really noticed. Which is fine. That’s the way I wanted it. I didn’t like to talk about the way it made me feel. I could talk about it now, I suppose, but years of keeping it all inside make me loathe to start doing that.

Now, being older with more life experience under my belt¬†and knowing that I’m a survivor and that I am stronger than I appear (outside and inside) the thought of Death simply makes me sad – leaving behind the ones I love: human and animal. Not having done the things I wanted to. Said the things I wanted to. I’m not scared of dying itself. I’m scared of what follows. Not for me, but for the people I leave behind. What makes me feel small is that the world WILL continue turning. The Earth will carry on without me (for the moment) and my energy will go … somewhere…. but I have no control over that. I think THAT is what scared/scares me. The way Death takes over and you no longer control anything. Even if you never really controlled anything.

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So after losing Macky, I’ve been dwelling. Thinking. And I’ve been trying, desperately, to live in the Present. For me. For my dogs. For life in general. For the Universe, Mother Earth, The Goddess – whatever you want to call that overwhelming force that binds us all together – so that I don’t go weakly, but I do go calmly, serenely, without TOO many regrets.

With this new thought pattern and attitude comes a curiosity (caused by a dream I had) to explore new ideas. Or old ideas, as the case may be.

The Moon. I’m drawn to it and always have been. Now, I am trying to be more¬†aware¬†of the Moon. Of how I feel at what point in the Cycle it is. I am a woman. I am attuned to the moon. I want to see where I go from here.

The cry of a crow. When you least expect it.

Connected

I have been thinking about one of my dogs back home, Macky (aka Moo Рhe was Moo long before I met you, Michelle-Moo) quite a lot the last few days, in between my strange dreams about crows and the full moon and being tattooed with black feathers (and a sudden urge to read about old Goddesses and mythology) and carrying a sword.

And a few minutes ago, I found out why he had been on my mind. He passed away today, around 3pm. At the time I was walking my dogs I think and I felt a strange lethargy and I felt quite sad… but I put it down to low blood sugars and that afternoon drop.

My mum sent me a message and let me know and said that the vet (he’s been our vet for over 30¬†years – pretty much all our animals have gone to him) said that we had done all we could and that it was time for Macky to head over the rainbow bridge. Free from pain and fear (he was blind and mostly deaf and spent a lot of the time not knowing where he was or if he was alone or in company – so he would whine and pant and worry) and anxiety, and bouncing around like he used to in fields of green, chasing a soccer ball (his favourite toy) or sniffing things and swimming and playing and meeting other dogs and walking with them. He was the unofficial Greeter of the 10 ‘o’clock Strollers (a group of us who used to walk our dogs every morning around 1000, or much¬†earlier, especially in summer) and he made sure that every new dog, and even returner Strollers, felt welcome and part of the family.

I will miss my little Moo a great deal – he was a very special dog. I know people say that of all their animals (and I know I say that of mine) but he was truly special. After the horrible start to life he had, his positive outlook on life and happy go lucky attitude never failed to make my heart warm.

He was around 14 years old (maybe older – we’re not sure as he was a rescue with a hard past, as I said) and he had a good long, happy run of life. It still hurts, obviously, but he filled his days with happiness and curiosity and love of life¬†and it was kinda contagious. ¬†Being around Macky was like being around joy on four legs with a curly floofy tail. ¬†You couldn’t be unhappy when you were with the Moo.

 

He leaves behind one of his best friends, Mardi Gras, who took an instant shine to him the moment they met, and that was what made the decision about who we adopted after his previous beloved pack (Molly and Mishka) passed away. She will mourn. Like we will.

Farewell my handsome lad. My little Moo. My little Prince Mackintyre.