At the farm...

I'm not sure if the first thing you'll notice about this post is the new look I'm working on for the blog, or what's in this picture. 

As I wrote on my updated "about me" page, it's taken me a long time to decide whether I wanted to continue writing the blog, quit writing altogether, or start a brand new blog. The only thing that made sense was to continue or quit - but my heart has needed time to adjust. 

I have of course continued to write, and I've written plenty, and I've tried to make multiple efforts to begin blogging again, consistently... but they have failed. My health does not help - but that's not been the main reason. The main reason has been, my heart and body adjusting to change, to accepting the past, present, and remembering to continue to be hopeful for the future. Many, many, good things have happened, and I continue to heal. My health continues to fight me, and it always will. It's going to be complication for the rest of my life and more of a complication than I ever wanted or dreamed of, and to be honest, as much as I write about being strong through all of this, and trying to focus on the good (and I do) I have been still, in a lot of denial, about just how bad it is, and just how dangerous it is, and that most of the diseases I have been diagnosed with are degenerative. And the complications have been and can be... well... staggering. Twice this past week I almost completely blacked out in public, away from home. If I had been alone, I have no idea what would have happened. My sight is failing from the damage to my eyes, there is damage to my organs, my esophagus. I will never be able to properly eat solid foods because my stomach muscles and nerves are paralyzed, leading me to possibly needing a feeding tube... on top of the several immune suppressant medications I continue to take daily and also inject. And unfortunately I have become dependent on steroids, prednisone, as my adrenal glands will not take over functioning as I try to wean. 

Just this past week my dentist was shocked that in two months I went from zero problems with my teeth to multiple major spots of decay. But it's from the almost daily vomiting, and complete lack of saliva because those glands, they are being destroyed.

In the past 10 days I managed five visits to the Emergency room, which is a record, even for me. 

This is just a brief glimpse into what I'm working through. It's not even half of the side effects or symptoms, but I share this just because this is my reality. Right now, and always. I do know there is much hope we'll get things under better control, we'll find better meds, I'll find better ways to manage the pain and fatigue, and my symptoms. I know that. But I still forget, very easily, I will not magically wake up some day and have my old self back. It's just never going to happen. And my youth, it doesn't care about me or how old I am, or how I was before. This is my reality now. 

But at the farm, despite the things that are still up in the air, that are still on my shoulders... 

We have goats!! 

There are three little goats back at the farm, for Max to guard, for me to snuggle. I feel so much happier already, so much more hopeful, and like myself than I have in so very long.

Violet, Sunny, and Klaus, named after the Baudelaire children from Lemony Snicket's, A series of Unfortunate events books, are all Nigerian Dwarf goats. Klaus and Violet are kids, but Sunny is a very small, two years old. They are all very sweet, especially Klaus. Sunny has some mite issues and needs fattening up, but those are easy things to remedy. Violet is a skittish one, but hopefully Klaus and Sunny will calm her. Sunny is very adorable, bossy with the kids because finally she is the boss of someone, and Klaus is of course a real cuddler as most bucklings are. 

I am so, so, happy, to have goats back in my life. 

And there are hens and fresh eggs! 

As I'm sure you'll notice, there is also a groundhog in this picture, eating breakfast with the hens... he has since also moved his girlfriend in, and why not... free food, a safe place to live, nice view... obviously he's not threatened by us because he comes out to have breakfast right in front of us without a care in the world! 

There is also a man in my life (a human one), who met me during a flare and has only known me, sicker than even usual, yet somehow here he is. Our third date he showed up here in the night and carried me to the bathroom because I was unable to walk. 

Our "dating" was trips for CT scans and Dr's appointments, and he's driven me to dozens... and he's spent a whole lot of time in multiple ERs with me and helping me through pain when I thought I wasn't going to make it. I've been very grateful, and surprised for his presence in my life. He is a city boy too, originally from Holland, but quickly growing to love country life, and also goats. He had no idea just how easy it is to fall madly in love with these little bundles of cuteness. But he's learning fast. Somehow during all of this, I have ended up with him in my life, supporting me, and his little girl, who has sat beside me while I'm being sick, lied with me in bed when I can't get up and do anything else. 

I'm very grateful to have them both in my life.

I've been doing tons of sewing and crafts to keep me occupied as I've been down so much, and earlier in the spring I started attending a flea market which was a lot of fun... but my body couldn't handle it... every Saturday I went it sent me into a flare which caused me to be extra sick for days and the last time I went about three and half weeks ago, I went into a flare I have not come out of at all, even with massive increases in my steroids and all my ER visits, so I haven't been able to go back. 

At the farm, we have been continuing to clean up which is a huge job. There has been so much to do, and still is. There was so much we were behind on before (over the past several years) and then since it's been just me, more jobs have fallen behind. There is a lot that needs tending, basic clean up but also painting, and things around the house that have all fallen to me. They will get done though, I know, as time and money allows. 

And so, the story continues, and there is life here, at Our Forest Haven.... 

and slowly, I am switching from just surviving, and just living in survival mode... 

To actually living again. 

It's time. 


Mark Kimel said…
I just want to let ya know dear, you are still in my prayers. There will come a day soon when our Lord and Savior returns for His Bride and take us home were there will be no more pain or suffering, but pure love and joy.
It looks like God has already sent you couple of Angels to comfort you in the meantime. You hang in there and stay as positive as you can.
I'm 65 yrs. old with primary progressive MS being diagnosed in 1999. God has blessed me sooooo much in my years as I'm still able to walk on my on. It is slowing me down but I can always see individuals in more pain and discomfort than I and I'd have to say you are much worse health wise than me, but spiritually you sound to be on high. It is our spirit ya know that holds our lives together and with the help of our Holy Spirit from God our Father we will always stay strong. Again my prayers of healing and strength for you my dear.
It is so good to have you back writing. I read your blog before and enjoyed the whole deal. Life in the woods, the animals and the recipes. With you back, I hope you will tell us updates on the deer, especially Torn Ear. It was so fascinating for him to show up year after year and your search for his antlers.

I have kept you bookmarked on my computer in hopes you would return. So glad you are back!
jody said…
I think of you always Donna and pray for your health. Im so glad you have all your fur babies and a new man! In your life! I love reading about your life in your enchanted forest haven so hope you continue to write!! Take care my blog friend!!
O'Quilts said…
very happy to hear from you...grief takes a toll on the body as well as the heart...You have grit girl, True Grit...sending love to you
The JR said…
Donna, you've been through so much. I'm so happy that you've found someone who seems to be a wonderful man and his daughter. They sound like angels. I hate hearing how sick you've been. Do you still have the other dogs? I look forward to you blogging again.

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