Thursday, February 10, 2011

Best Laid Plans

I tend to be a 'cock-eyed' optimist most of the time. I also tend to bite off more than I can chew but somehow always manage to come out okay.

January started off good and after the past year's medical problems for both my husband and me, I was determined to avoid such unpleasant interruptions to my carefully laid plans for the 2011 year.

For one thing, I was going to work on my latest manuscript, something I had let slide the last few months of 2010. It wasn't because I didn't want to do the writing, I'm very pleased with the beginning of my next book. But,it just seemed that so many other things took precedent. "This year will be different," I told myself and began to make plans. I filled my January calendar with lots of events, things I really enjoy like speeches, one especially important one for a fund raiser by a local charity. There were other speeches, several to woman's groups at churches (I love those) and a reading at a local coffee house, all fun, all helping me promote my latest book, Forgiven, and all very doable. I was also teaching creative writing at our local community college. I was flattered that they had asked me back again. I had a class of ten, all enthusiastic about improving or just jump-starting their writing career whether it was for possible publication or something they really wanted to do for themselves. Of course, I was also holding the writer's critique group every Friday at the local library. This schedule, while a bit ambitious perhaps, was what I did during the 'season' in Florida. You rested during the summer when the snow birds had flown back north.

I was going along at a good pace when on Sunday, January 30th at 5:45 a.m.(see I almost made it out of January) I was whisked off to our local hospital with chest pains. My pulse had dropped to 48 and there was a look of contained concern on the faces of the EMTs. Of course, I had completely ignored the indigestion I'd been experiencing for about two weeks, even though I never have indigestion. Also, in keeping a diary for my primary care physician as to blood pressure and pulse, I also ignored the fact that my pulse rarely went higher than 55. I was busy.

It took 7 days, flat on my back, umpteen tests and changes to my meds to settle the problem -- I hope. Fortunately, they found little wrong with my heart but even after a catherization, I had another episode. The cardiologist thinks it is spasms in my heart's arteries. So, I now have to carry nitroglycerine tables. It seems as if I might need a 6-week recuperation period and I can't drive! Again! Fortunately we have the most wonderful friends and neighbors in the senior community we live in. They are doing laundry, shopping, running the sweeper and bringing over the most delectable food. They are also providing all the transportation we will need for the next few weeks. I am truly blessed!

So what lays ahead? Well my calendar is uncommonly undisturbed except for doctor's appointments (for both of us). My teaching class has voluntarily opted to postpone the class until I can return. Some things have been cancelled, perhaps to be set up later in the year. I have learned that I can't do what I did at 40. I have learned to plan my life around what's best for us and not expand my commitments carelessly. So, this first week back home we have home health care for both of us. I am determined to follow all medical directions and have set my schedule for the first week home, limiting my activities to medical necessities.

The best laid plans often do go astray but only because they are over-zealous. I love what I do but I just might have to 'do' a bit less. It is in God's hands. While I was in the hospital I had my husband bring me my daily devotional. I am amazed how each day's reading seemed to be aimed directly at the situation that day. But, after some reminders, I realize that it isn't my schedule that matters and it is God who lays the plans.

I'll be back with more, when I can. Bless you all for caring.