News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Life is good — now

Twenty months ago, I experienced a life-altering fall. At first, my only consequence of falling was a broken nose and two black eyes. But two months later, I began to experience troubling post-concussion symptoms.

My encounter with the ground was a full-frontal crash on the asphalt as I was running with a friend’s dog. The sound of my head hitting the pavement is one I will never forget — like a ripe melon being dropped from the heights.

Headaches, vertigo, brain fog, dizziness, disequilibium, painful neck — it was hard to figure out where to start with addressing symptoms. For the first year or more I saw any number of medical practitioners — neurologist, neurosurgeon, neuropsychologist, speech therapist, rehab specialist — each suggesting a different approach: lidocaine injections, surgery, traction, vision and balance exercises, accompanied by heavy-duty pain medications and muscle relaxers, creating their own set of problems.

There were no magic answers or elixirs. And, along the way, several other health issues arose requiring attention and medication. It seemed as if my body had turned on me. I felt myself rapidly sliding into old age and infirmity after having been an independent, capable woman who felt and acted younger than my years. I was very fortunate to receive support and encouragement from many corners of my world, and especially here in Sisters. Thank you to those who reached out with kind words, homemade soups, and help with yardwork — you know who you are.

After repeated falls, I became untrusting of my abilities and limited in my physical endeavors.

I found myself in the deep well of depression exacerbated by the isolation imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

What occurred was a lengthy period of self-assessment followed by adjustments to my intentions for the next chapter of my life.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing and I experienced setbacks and wanting to just give up.

With circumstances slowing me down, providing time for another review of my life, I began to shed outdated habits, beliefs, and activities, some by choice, some out of necessity.

Expectations of myself and others softened, some dropping away altogether.

I am now more accepting of myself and my limitations.

As spring arrived and my symptoms began to improve, due to the passage of time and wonderful physical therapy at Green Ridge Physical Therapy, I have embraced a philosophy to which I used to only give lip service — it’s not about always having the right answer but about just showing up. I choose to live with intention, savoring each moment as it comes and being present in that moment.

Instead of racing the clock, I now subscribe to the idea that there is more than enough time for the things and people who matter. Honoring and nurturing those relationships that feed my soul, and letting go of those that simply drain my energy, leaves time for what is important.

It has helped me to stop being concerned what others think and instead be true to my life purpose. Am I doing those things that make my heart sing? Do I feel energized by my activities and relationships? Am I doing good in the world by sharing my gifts, material and innate?

Life has provided me with some challenges at various times, but those challenges have made me the person I am today. I can share what I have learned with others facing similar struggles. My battles have made me a wounded healer with empathy for others.

I celebrated my 77th birthday last weekend in Wenatchee with my son and his wife. I fell again while there, but, thankfully, no major damage. Just another reminder to slow down and pay better attention to how and where I am.

As summer warms the soil, like the flowers I am full of promise and hope for each day after two dark winters of searching and reflection. My niece is going to be moving to Sisters and living with me starting later this summer.

Life, now lived at a slower pace, is good — and so am I.


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