Ups and Downs and Ups / TEA

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Ups and Downs and Ups / TEA

I try to be upbeat and optimistic most of the time. I poke fun at things to get a smile, even when things aren’t necessarily “funny.” It’s just my usual way of dealing with life’s challenges.
However, some weeks are not “usual” and somethings are not always humorous.
Last week was one of those times.
It started off on a high note — my doctor had reduced my prednisone dosage by 10 mg. I was really excited about that. I have a love/hate relationship with prednisone. While it has been a great medication to “prop me up” and get me moving, it has a lot of side effects that are not so pleasant. For example, I feel like I am constantly vibrating inside, and my hands shake constantly. It makes me want to eat anything that is not nailed down. Plus the long term side effects include bone loss, which is not a good thing to have either. So I was really doing the happy dance to come down a peg on the dosage. The tremors and vibration feeling both eased up after a day or two on the lower dosage, I was feeling better. At least for a little while.
That was the GOOD part.
After a day or two on the lowered dose, I began to drag. I found myself sleeping more and more. I could do a short activity, then I just needed a nap. By mid-week, I was sleeping more hours of the day than I was awake.
Friday morning, I drove myself to Camden to pick up a few groceries. On the way home, I realized my vision was becoming a little uncooperative. By Saturday, I was seeing double again — for the first time in a couple of months, I was struggling to see again. As the weekend progressed, other symptoms re-appeared: I realized I was having some difficulty pronouncing some words, and chewing/swallowing was not as easy as it had been. A couple of “random gravity checks” made me feel particularly klutzy, as well.
To say that pitched me into the dumps is an understatement. I felt like I was seeing all sorts of progress unraveling. After being on the lowered dose a week, I asked my doctor to bump it back up to 50 mg. I’d much rather deal with tremors and “vibrating” than sleep all the time, talk like Elmer Fudd and not be able to focus my eyes.
Whenever I’m feeling down, though, someone or something usually can perk me up a bit — I think God reminds us of our blessings that way. My daughter Melody and grandson Kemp came for a visit over the weekend.
Melody put up my fall and Halloween decorations. It might be 90 degrees outside but at my house it looks like fall! There are colorful mums, jack o’lanterns, orange leaves, black cats, and little witches here and there. I haven’t really felt like doing any seasonal decorating in a while; it really made me happy that Melody spent some time here “dressing up” my house for the fall.
Kemp is almost 2 — and provides instant entertainment! He is all blonde curls and blue eyes, with a little grin that can charm the birds out of the trees! It is impossible to look at him and not smile — he is becoming a chatterbox, and full of curiosity! We enjoyed sharing breakfasts out on the deck both mornings he was here.
He particularly liked bath time — I have a big jetted tub and we filled it up with bubbles. He’d stand on the seat and say, “Nene! Watch DIS!” and then jump into the big tub with a huge splash and lots of giggles!
My smile returned and I truly enjoyed the weekend with the Melody and Kemp!
In addition to their visit, I had some calls, visits, and messages from friends and a former student over the weekend — I think God knows when we need a little boost, and nudges just the right people in our lives to make a difference.
(#shoutout… Yes, Tamara, I am drinking ginger tea! And Jan — the sweet potato pie was delicious!)
So while sometimes I might feel a little down — there are always reasons to smile. Counting blessings is a positive way to pass the time.
*** *** *** *** *** Untethered Time Travel: TEA
This is a constant “time travel” through ages and years. I am twenty-something, I am sixty-something, I am any age in between. From the 1970’s to the current year and (hopefully!) many more years to come.
Most people start their day with a cup of coffee.
Not me. Since I was a young adult, I’ve preferred hot tea. Nearly every morning of my life, I’ve brewed a cup (most days, two!) of tea for breakfast. Occasionally I add a bit of sweetener, a teaspoon of honey, or a squeeze of lemon. I also enjoy a cup of decaf tea after dinner. I enjoy the flavors as I sip. The warmth travels down my throat and into my belly, making me feel a soothing comfort. A cup of tea is “good medicine” to me; it’s a sweet way to start my mornings and a relaxing ritual to end an evening.
One of my favorite quotes — that also impacted my life a time or two — is from Eleanor Roosevelt: I have had a few “hot water” episodes where my strength really had to “brew” and pull me through.
No matter the season, no matter the temperature — I want a cup of tea. I sometimes have a bit of a ritual with my tea. I have a set of lovely china that I rarely use — but occasionally I will sip my tea from a cup and saucer that makes me feel elegant. One of my favorite flavor of tea is called Constant Comment (which now I drink in remembrance of my late friend Dorothy “Granny” Simmers — she loved CC tea as well).
I also enjoy Orange/Cinnamon, Raspberry, Ginger Root, Earl Grey, and Lady Grey Teas.
I’ve recently been drinking Astragalus Root tea, to boost my immune system. To be honest, I think it tastes a little bit like dirt but a drop of honey helps make it tolerable. If it helps my immune system, so much the better.
Currently, I am living in the “hot water” of a chronic illness, learning to find strength that I didn’t realize I had. Some days I feel really sad — I wonder if I will ever feel “good” again. I grieve the loss of energy that I once enjoyed (and took for granted). There are things I want to do, things I want to volunteer to help with — but now I have no idea whether or not I will be able to follow through. So I am stepping back here and there.
A cup of tea makes me feel good. It gives my spirits a lift. It is often a reminder that sometimes blessings come in teacups.
And sometimes, it’s a cup of “kickass” that I might just need! Have a sip with me!

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