I told my very hip friend, Sybil today that I have a dorky new hobby - needlepoint. She said, "What is that?" and I said, "Oh my god, it is so dorky you have never even heard of it!" Anyway, yeah, I learned about needlepoint yesterday. Well, relearned because I used to do that when I was about 8 years old. It's very zen. The only problem is I need to find some decent patterns. I did not like any at the craft store. I think I may start making my own. Nothing against Precious Moments and stuff like that, but it is not my style. You can take the girl out of the city but you can't take the goth out of the girl. Or something like that.
The chicken run is almost finished after what now? Two months? My poor husband is having dreams about chicken wire and hearing ghostly chicken clucking in his head when he is no where near them. But they are going to have a fabulous raccon-proof run when we are finished. And earlier today I stopped by the RE Store with my daughter and found a couple really cute antique leaded glass windows we're going to put in the coop so they get some light in the main area (the nesting box is a little dark but I hear they like that). Not that they are laying eggs yet. I am trying really hard not to say things to them about how they need to earn their keep "after everything we've done for them!"
The last week or so I've been feeling pretty stomped physically. I'm not sure if I have mentioned in this blog yet or not that I have an autoimmune disorder called Rheumatoid Arthritis. That means that my immune system attacks my joints, thinking that they are foreign invaders. For the last couple years I've taken two immunosuppressant medications so that I can function. Without those medications I can't bend my knees, my feet hurt too much to walk more than a few feet at a time and my hands hurt so badly I can't even pick up a pencil or make a fist. But I also had three sinus infections and a couple ear infections last year and felt like I was sick the whole winter so my doctor agreed I could quit one of the medications. Unfortunately, my hands are getting achy and by 5pm every evening the last week my feet hurt so badly I don't want to stand up for the rest of the evening. I'm debating in my head how to handle this.
One thing I heard about yesterday is worm therapy. My husband heard about it on NPR and my initial thought was that it sounded about as plausible as bleeding someone with leeches. But I've been reading more about it and I might actually be kind of slightly interested in it. It's super expensive so I doubt I'll try it - but one company is offering discounts to people with Lupus and RA because it has not been tried much on those disorders. Still, I can't quite imagine purposely infecting myself with parasites although I've been in varying degrees of pain constantly for about five years now so I'm starting to feel like I'll try just about anything that has some scientific validity behind it.
A big trigger for RA flare-ups apparently is pollution. So, in spring of 2011 when we move out of the city I'm hoping that being in clean air all the time will help me a little bit. Meanwhile, I need to just keep thinking optimistically that I will feel better eventually for more than just a week or two here or there. My biggest fear is that being crippled is right around the corner. My doctor says as long as I keep exercising and taking the medication to slow the progression of the disease I should be fine, but the fact that there even IS a progression of the disease is always in the back of my mind. What if by the time we move to the country I can't ride horses any more or walk or use my hands?
That is kind of tied to "what if I die before I can live the life I want to live?" But that's not just about living out of the city - I think a lot of people feel that way. That they are living a life that is not their choice. I had a very wonderful, close friend whose husband took a job in Baltimore so she and her family moved there a couple years ago. She didn't like it at all, but there was nothing she could do about it and it was "just for a few years". Then they'd move back here or maybe move to Ashville, NC or move to her home town in South Dakota. We'd talk about moving somewhere together when our husbands could and we finally had the chance. Then out of the blue she was diagnosed with brain cancer and died this last July. And now I have this nawing feeling, "What if I die living in the city, feeling like I never lived the life I wanted - out on a farm, living off the land, surrounded by dogs and horses." "What if my daughter grows up and goes to college having never had the life I wanted to give her - learning about nature and spending her days outside in the fresh air all year long in real wilderness - not manicured and landscaped parks." But that isn't my life now so I guess I will just keep doing what I'm doing and be happy with the life I have.