Thank you

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I just want to take a moment to thank everyone who reads the blog, takes the time to comment, or send me an email, and for all of your support over the past year in particular. It has meant the world to me. I have gotten behind in blogging in the past few months mostly because it's been cold and there hasn't been much to write about, but I also spend a great deal of time feeling miserable so inspiration hasn't come as easily. I miss blogging, and I've fallen behind in keeping up with a lot of your blogs although I do try to catch up. I'm trying to get back in the swing of things slowly. I apologize to anyone who has sent me a message that I have not replied to in a timely manner, I'm behind even in real life with things with my friends and family, its not personal, it's just a product of me being sick and having limited energy... with the limited energy I do have it goes to trying to keep the house from falling apart, trying to keep us fed properly, and trying to take care of all of my animals of which there are a lot. I've found even people closer in my life do not seem to realize that it takes a great deal of time and effort to care for so many animals - even when well, let alone when sick. My health still sucks. Since January I have spent 90% of all my time in bed and it's gotten worse instead of better. I had a good day where I had a lot less pain two days ago - I have been keeping a log for my Doctor and the last time I had a good day was 32 days ago. We know what is wrong mostly and I do need surgery again, and also a few other things - but Doctors appointments take a lot of time to get - I've been waiting for my next one for over a month, surgical appointments take months to get, so nothing happens quickly. It's a constant struggle. I have a lot of fatigue which hits quickly and when it does I can't function, my brain shuts off as well as my body, it's like someone turning a switch, I'm good, and then it's like turning a light switch off. I know some of you will understand what I mean by that. However, I am coping and some days I have a few good hours, and every month I have usually 3-4 days where I'm a little better, but it's completely unpredictable... so making plans is impossible. I have set dates for friends AND family to come over and cancelled about 20 times since the fall. 

My point is to say, my health is still not good and I'm trying to keep afloat. However, I don't want to talk about it in every blog post because it's not the only thing going on in my life. I also find when I post on FB pictures of my animals or cooking, people tend to think I must be better - because I don't constantly write about the awful stuff. That's just not me, on both the blog and other social media, sometimes I will mention things but not everyday, I am not going to go through every awful thing that happens during a day or a week, I'm going to try and focus on the good. When I have updates on things, I'll give them, but I can't only write about or post about the pain, the frustration, and the sadness I fight constantly. Life is more than that - and for anyone who is dealing with chronic illness of ANY kind, if we only dwell on negativity we will never heal and we will have no quality of life and nothing to look forward too. I know this because I've done it. I've felt that hopelessness that you will never find pain relief and that you will loose everything you love. It's not a place you want to be in your mind or heart, and it does no good. 

This has been a huge struggle for me in a lot of ways, physically it's difficult, but mentally and emotionally it's a constant battle to keep moving forward. Thankfully I have a lot of reasons I want to get better, and I have constant motivation every time I look in the eyes of any of my animals. 

Part of the reason I think I have felt less motivation to blog or to write is that mentally I've had too much fog caused by pain, fear, and also fatigue. But then I hear the frogs peeping at night, or am able to take a short walk in the forest, or cuddle with my goats, and I am reminded of what's truly important, and suddenly that fog lifts a little bit and I am much more inspired to focus on the good, and I am also much more inspired to share with all of you. I appreciate very much the friends I have made through blogging, and each of you who read. I love so much being able to share my life with you, my animals, the good things, and I also appreciate being able to open up to you about some of the bad. I don't like writing about only the happy things because it's not real, everything is not always rainbows and puppies, sometimes it's really painful, and really hard. And I think in order to share I need to be honest, because it's important. Life gives us many challenges and it's absolutely about how you handle them that defines you - not the challenge itself. 

I appreciate the spiritual and emotional growth I have gained from what I have been going through. I imagine if I had less pain and was more physically capable I'd appreciate it even more though! But I am hopeful in time that will come. Before my last surgery I was fighting a big battle but I was still capable of doing things, since surgery in July, I am still not doing all my animal chores, and some days (a lot of days) not able to do anything at all except feel miserable. That's been hard. Never in a million years did I think that would happen. I know the surgery helped but certainly not on the level we had hoped, and we know a couple of those reasons and hopefully if they get taken care of, I'll see real relief. It's a gamble because I may not see real relief, but I will not think about that because it's pointless. I am focusing on getting better - I may not ever be pain free but functional and in a lot less pain I will accept and I still have great faith I'll get there. It's just all about patience right now. 

All of this is to say, I wanted to be open and honest, and I appreciate all of your ongoing support, and kindness. But this isn't my focus, my focus is on healthy baby goats, the forest slowly but surely waking up from her long winters sleep, and bread that needs kneading. Life is full of beauty and blessings and while it's perfectly fine to let yourself acknowledge the negative things (like disease, illness, loss) we must be remember not to let ourselves live in that place. We have to be able to live in a space of hope, and beauty. It's what keeps us living, but also what gives us a reason to push through all of the difficult things. 

I'm wishing each of you a very beautiful weekend and Happy Easter full of beauty, blessings and love.

I'm off to bake some pies. Because pie is one of those things that reminds us to get through the difficult things  in life and focus on the good :)          

Comments

Ian H said…
Donna, sorry to hear that you are not doing any better. If you manage to head out west this year, please let us know and stop in for a visit.
Anonymous said…
I rarely comment on a blog because ...well, just because. I have several SERIOUS diagnosis but many times I look 'just fine' to my friends. So, when you put up a picture of you, cooking or with your animals, I scrutinize your face (which is beautiful) and know that it takes heroic measures to just be doing what you are doing. I cheer when you are able to be with your beloved animals, be out in the forest, or do some cooking. Seeing you doing what you do, the beautiful way your share your love of animals and nature, lifts my spirits every time I see a new post in my e-mail box. :) Thank you for sharing yourself with us. ~Pogonia
Mary Ann said…
Donna, what a wonderful post... and I'm so sorry you have to explain to people why you aren't posting. It's good to see you, though!

Rollie's picture today was perfect... and I bet those pies will be, too. Have a blessed Easter!
Hang in there! Its tough, I understand. There is nothing worse than feeling unwell and having so much responsbility. Take each day as it comes, don't sweat the small stuff, blog when you can/feel up to it, hang out with your precious animals and to those whom you are close to. When the next surgery comes, just think how much better you will feel. Baby steps leading up to gigantic steps! Keep baking pies! :)
Primitive Stars said…
I enjoy your blog through the good and bad, we need each other it seems many times. I adore all your animals, love your Forest Haven. Easter Blessings Francine.
You do whatever you need to do to keep yourself going. I am so sorry the first surgery didn't help as much. I pray the next one will give you the relief you need. You have an online community who loves you and only wants the best for you. Don't feel like you have to explain anything. Anyone with any sense knows that a picture of happy lambs doesn't mean all is well. It just means happy lambs!
jaz@octoberfarm said…
hi donna! i sure hope they can eventually get up fixed up! it is horrible to be in such constant pain. i hope you and yours have a wonderful easter!
Denise in PA said…
Donna, yes, blog what you feel like when you feel like. I pray for your struggles and for your good health to return and I delight in your joys and the photos of all of the animals and love the "commentary". I do think you accomplish more than most even with your health issues, you are an amazing and beautiful woman. I am so glad I stumbled across your blog a few years ago and can be a cheerleader from afar (although I wish I was closer to be of some help to you). I hope that you are able to get the medical appointments you need quickly. Many hugs.
wendywoo said…
I always read your blog, but hardly ever comment. I think you are amazing to deal with your problems the way you do. I can not even imagine how you must feel, but I can tell by your words that you do struggle. You are an inspiration. I am glad for you that you have your beloved pets to put smiles on your face, as mine do for me. I surely hope you can get to a much less painful place, many people out here in blogland are pulling for you! Hoppy Easter to you and all your family, two legged and more!
Nana-Bob said…
Beautiful post Donna. We are all praying for you to get better and understand. You just do what you gotta do for now. Everything will be ok. We love you and reading about your ups and downs. One day it will be better too, I just know it. :) hugs
Dreaming said…
Awww, I am so sorry to hear of your pain. I was hoping things would be better.
Hugs to you... every day!
Thank you Donna for sharing!! There are always words - but wish that my words could make you better. You have an amazing home in Alaska and live through you with all your creature, big and small!! Pray that the tables turn you start having more good days than bad!!
Happy Easter to you and your husband and to your critters!!!
The JR said…
Oh my gawd, we don't have as many as you do and it's almost a full time job taking care of everybody.

The horse stalls require a lot of attention especially when you have 2 full time stabled horses. And 3 part time ones.

Take care,
Ramona
Hope you had a wonderful Easter. I sincerely hope you feel less pain soon - I can't imagine how difficult it must be. So happy you have the adorable animals to help bring joy. Hugs to you!!
I am very sorry that your surgery last summer didn't bring you the results you were hoping for. I have been struggling with my own health troubles this year as well, a host of autoimmune disorders, and I know all too well how debilitating chronic illness and pain is. I don't talk about it much, but I sure understand what you are going through. I hope you and your doctors finally find a way through for you.

One of the very few things that I have found to actually help is taking high doses (9000 iu/day) of vitamin d. The doctors all told me it wouldn't help, but they were all wrong and it has helped a great deal. It doesn't make the pain that much better, but helps with the fatigue and mind fog, which makes the pain easier to deal with. I don't know if it would do anything for you, but it couldn't hurt to try. If that doesn't work, stay strong and hug a goat:)
Heather Hogan said…
You are an inspiration and I appreciate everything you share with us, the good and the bad! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with the world, and keep doing what you're doing! I hope for you to someday soon be able to care for your animals the way you want without muddling through a painful fog. Everything you do on top of that is just amazing to me!

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