Tuesday, June 12, 2007

This is GOOD.

So here I am in the Northwoods, hanging out with Livey. Sometimes I just sleep all day. Sometimes she just sleeps all day. We seem to alternate our energetic times and sleep times really, really well.

So when one of us has energy, the other doesn't, and whoever is up, does what needs doing.

It's great.

It's amazingly comforting to be around someone who's sick like me. That sounds a little cold-hearted, right? I know. I'd give a lot to see her NOT be sick. But it is what it is: we're two chronically ill people, dealing with a lot of identical issues, and it's so nice to be around someone who understands not just with their mind, but from personal experience. I can tell her things I can tell few other people; the things I say don't shock or puzzle her. From her own knowledge, I've already learned a lot of things to help me be healthier.

The first day I was here I had a little energy, and put away food I'd brought, and started cleaning her fridge a bit to put things away. (Don't want to give anyone my germs, here.) The next day, I totally crashed and slept all day. Then, yesterday, I was rested, and I cooked and did some more cleaning and organizing my Important Kitchen Stuff. See, here I am, taking over her kitchen.

One thing we don't have in common, healthwise, is digestive issues. I mean, mine are the opposite of hers. I get food allergy reactions that give me horrid cramping runs. She gets constipated, badly, and basically can't leave the house for days at a time as she waits for various, um, poop inspiring techniques to take effect.


Eating mostly hot dogs for a living is certainly not the cause of this problem. But it doesn't help. Or rather, it DOES help. Yup. That constipation thing really likes to have no-fiber foods!

So I knew before I even arrived that there were things I could do to help her out on this one.

Therefore: The very first cooking exercise wasn't actually cooking. It was just cutting up fresh fruit.

I'd left a pineapple behind on my first trip. When I got back here it was finally ripe.

Beautifully, perfectly, reeking to high heaven of pineapple, ripe.

Most people these days are not well schooled in making sure their fresh fruit is ripe. (My grocery store rant can wait, for now.)

She didn't know how good real pineapple can be. Unfortunately...it also looks like she may be allergic to it. Crap!

But the perfectly ripe fresh cantaloupe and pear look to be fine, allergy wise.

Next? Beef stew. With LOTS of veggies too.

Rich and tasty. Beef, onion, fresh garlic, carrots, celery, red potatoes, bay leaf, thyme, salt. Simple. Beef very well browned for that seriously beefy flavor.

Then, home baked bread. She'd never tasted fresh bread before. Oh, that was a TREAT to watch!

I love to cook, I have a *need to feed,* Walter's not home much when he's working, and I can't eat much food at all. So having someone to cook for, someone who - shockingly! - didn't mind one bit when this person from 2000 miles away strolled in and took over her kitchen? - is like Christmas for me.


Now is a rest day, and we'll go out in the car and do a bit of grocery shopping for her patient in Rhinelander, and basically mostly chill. I love to drive, so that's another thing I have to offer.

Have to offer.

See, with most folks? I tend to feel like I'm all *need* and little *give.* I can't walk well, and the canes and/or scooter take some work for others sometimes, helping me with it, or even just adjusting their pace to mine. I'm hyperallergic and people have to be very careful with things like their soaps and hairspray and laundry and air fresheners around me. I'm exhausted easily and then we have to stop visiting and send me home to sleep.

I'm in a place, here, where I can actually help another person.

Like that Productive Member of Society thing.




prettylady said...

Woooooow. Wow, wow, wow. That's so great. It is so true, how being able to help somebody else is the most healing thing there is, and not being able to do anything at all for anyone makes despair almost complete.

I gave a healing session to someone on the second-worst day of my life; I thought I'd have to cancel, that it would be irresponsible to work on anyone else while I was such a mess. But I scraped myself together, and gave the session, and the person was thrilled, and it helped me too.

Nancy said...

I had a feeling the two of you would be good for each other.

Dazd said...

I was starting to wonder...but I see your safely nested away.

Yes, I find that helping others during my stressful times helps heal me.

Homemade bread...yummmmm

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the two of you are a real compliment to each other. Perfect combination. Enjoy!

k said...

Pretty Lady, you put me in mind of a friend of ours, a former employee who became disabled and was depressed, trying to deal with it. We talked to him about treating not just the physical illness, but the depression - including this: that one of the best ways to treat it is to help someone else who's sick and depressed.

The concept startled him. Then, after he got his mind around it? It also helped him, considerably.

He turned around. As time went on you could see it in him, the change, in his face and even the way he held himself and walked and talked. I don't often get to experience the kind of joy I think you must in your work, seeing that happen. It's really something.

Nancy. Yes. Oh yes. You pegged it way way back, gf.

hey dazd! Yeah, I've been going in and out here, computer time mixed with sleep time and cooking time and visiting time. heh! I think I'm back on track though. I have like 1800 posts all bottled up in me, waiting to get born!

snog dot, it's just...it's really fine. Really fine.

One of those posts in there is a nice bread recipe, with Special Notes and Instructions.

Jean said...

heh... two peas in a pod.
Wonderful for both of you!

LL said...

More like two loons sharing a "special jacket." haha

Hope ya'll are havin' fun!!!

By the way, we see the baby groundhogs almost every day. They are getting BIG.

Livey said...

LL you're just jealous! haha

kdzu said...

God Bless you both ladies.

Desert Cat said...

Well it seems to me that someone needs to move from the northwoods to central Florida. :)

Livey said...

Oh no DC, I could never handle the summers there! I love the summers here! So I'm going to be a snowbird.

Anonymous said...

I can't find no stinkin recipe. I'm so depressed.

Kenny said...

The beef stew sounds great. Reading your post brought a smile to my face. It sounds like you are having a wondeful time, I hope you continue to have fun

Doom said...

You have no idea how much joy your little adventure has been to me too. Just seeing you make your way out and share your time and care with another in these harsh times. To see you two working together so seemingly well. I guess you have spilled a little hope and laughter and some other stuff. In this sometimes parched world, it is a blessing.

Plus, it's a great story. Be well, I'll send a prayer. Why pray only in hard times, I always say.

k said...

LL, I have some excellent news that got happened because of those cute little babies, the mantises especially.

DC, she really does need to keep her place up here. It's her home in so many ways, you know? How you can carve yourself into a bit of land? And it's so COLD up here, which she needs, just like I need the heat and humidity. I think some mutual snowbirding might work out most excellently for both of us. I'm a little worried that even January in SoFL may be too hot and humid for her. But there's only one way to find out.

Snog Dot, HMMM!!! Look again, mister! hee hee!

jean, ll, kdzu, doom, hell, all of you - Thank you. We did something smart, here, for both of us.