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Life in the Moment: Still Breathing #MondayBlogs

My Facebook page recently reminded me that no one has heard from me in a while. Funny how those prompts make me feel just guilty enough to start thinking about writing a blog post, but not guilty enough to write one right away. I’ve been cruising through Life lately, musing on how busy I feel even though I’m not as busy as I used to be.

I’ve been writing … which some of you might be pleased to hear. Still, it’s hit-and-miss. I’ve never been terribly organized and, at 60, I probably won’t start now.

Several months ago I was diagnosed with cervical osteoarthritis. Also known as chronic pain in the neck. Well, the pain is not constant and is mostly due to the stiffness that seizes my neck when it’s been immobile for a while … like when I’m typing … on my computer … for my blog.ย  My arthritis can even be a pain in the neck when I knit–adding insult to injury. My husband wants me to have an MRI to make sure it really is arthritis, that the physical therapy I went through really is what I need to be doing.

My husband is a case study of how x-rays can deliver an incorrect or incomplete diagnosis. The short story is after several months of physical therapy for his back (during which he got little to no relief for his pain), he finally got an MRI and found that he has, among other things, severe spinal stenosis. The kicker: the physical therapy he had been prescribed was contraindicated for his type of back problem. Before I continue, let me reassure you all that he’s fine. He’s retired which allows him to spend as much time as he needs to exercise and take care of his back. He’s actually doing quite well compared to a year ago.

So, given his experience, he’s somewhat adamant that I consult my doctor about getting an MRI. Have I mentioned that I’m claustrophobic?

Besides doing a bit of writing here and there, complaining about my neck, and knitting … and let’s not forget my day job–although I try to, I really try to–I’m living in the moment. About 75 moments were spent walking around Lake Overstreet this Saturday.

It’s a nice walk, about 3.5 miles from the parking lot and back. It’s one of the few places in Tallahassee–aside from our house–that gives me a respite from the workaday world.

Start of the trail

Sometimes we’re lucky and we see some wildlife.

Gray rat snake. Harmless and very pretty.

Unfortunately, as I was just starting to take a picture of Mr. Snakey, a bicyclist came barreling down the path. Mr. Snakey was startled and slithered away, his head hidden in the bush before I could snap. Still, he was a treat to see, and I’m glad we were there otherwise the bicyclist probably would have ridden over him.

The trail has a few places where walkers, runners and bicyclists can stop and admire the lake. I’m always looking for alligators, of course.

Lake Overstreet

I know they’re out there. The view in the photo above is from a rest area built away from the water. Too far away for me to see whether there’s any lurking about.

Another nice spot with a picnic table even. And no barrier to the water. So I strolled up to the water line, looking for alligator trails among the tall grasses. Nothing.

Nothing but the moment and the being there. Turn up the volume.

Hope you’re all doing well and living in as many moments as makes you happy.

Categories: Nature

Tagged as:

Marie A Bailey

Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.

23 replies

  1. It’s a lovely trail, so pretty. The rat snakes around here are dark and solid, no patterns. The snake you got a picture of is quite different. I wouldn’t have known what it was.

    I hope you neck behaves itself. I understand about the MRI/claustrophobic thing. We have a more expensive option available here, an open MRI. Maybe there’s one available in your area. It still has the THING looming over you, but it’s not enclosed.


    1. Hi, Priscilla! Rat snakes seem to have a variety of patterns. I know I’ve seen ones that have a solid color around here. Thanks also for the tip about MRIs. I’ll need to talk with my physician first. I’m not entirely sure I need to go through that ๐Ÿ˜‰


  2. Glad to hear what youโ€™ve been up to, but sorry to hear about the neck. As for your snake sighting, I would have bolted so quickly in the other direction, there would be no time for photographs of any kind. ๐Ÿ˜„

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Always nice to hear what you’re up to, Marie! Sorry your neck is bothering you, but it sounds like you’re getting good advice from the hubs.

    That trail looks terrific, and relatively close to home, I take it. You didn’t mention mosquitoes either! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s about a 20-minute drive depending on traffic. Our little Southern city has been growing exponentially. Used to take an average 10 minutes to get across town. Now it’s more like 30 (I know, I know: by California standards, that’s no time). And you’re right! I did not mention mosquitoes. I thought of it, but I haven’t had any bites yet. I’m kinda of hoping that I’m building an immunity but that’s probably an illusion. We had a pretty cold winter this year which might have actually killed off mosquitoes … but not for long!


    1. Some days are definitely worse than others. It’s a whole new experience for me. I’ve had my share of acute pain, but not chronic. At least it’s not debilitating and most of the time it’s more like an ache than sharp pain. Trying to be positive ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. Such lovely photos, Marie. Thank you for sharing them.
    I hope you have something to take for your neck pain. Glad your husband is getting the help he needs for his back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Linda! I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. So far I’m doing without medication (in part because it’s hard enough for me to remember to take my vitamins …). I actually hate complaining online about health problems, but, sadly, the arthritis does keep me off the computer when I’m not at work … because it’s bad enough when I am at work. Still, it could be so much worse. Thank you for your kind words ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. Wow, what a lovely trail. And so much green (still waiting for Alaska to green up). The birds sounds were lovely, too, though I was expecting an alligator to suddenly pop up from the water. Guess I’ve been watching too many movies. Loved the snake, too. Snakes are great, though we don’t have any up here, except for pets. So, so sorry about your neck problems. Hope it all turns out okay. P.S. Have you tried one of those desks where you can elevate it to a standing position? Might ease the tension on your muscles though I can’t imagine writing while standing, it just doesn’t seem as cozy, you know? Take care, and enjoy the greenness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I would have loved it if an alligator had poked up out of the water … maybe … I was pretty close to the edge ๐Ÿ˜‰ A snake as a pet. I could never do that. I once met a woman who had a boa constrictor (I think) as a pet. The first time I saw it, it was in its glass cage having dinner. The second time it was stretched out alongside the woman on her bed while she watched TV. That seemed kinda creepy to me … plus I don’t go in for having exotic or wild animals as pets. They are wild for a reason.
      I am supposed to get a standing desk for work. I’ve heard mixed reviews of them. Standing in one place for too long would create another set of issues for me. It will probably work best when I’m just using my computer to check email between meetings, but if I’m going to be at my desk for more than 10 minutes, I might as well sit down ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Enjoy your moose!


  6. Marie, I’m so happy for you about the writing! You must feel so good. And these photos . . . I want to walk there right now. Your neck does sound painful–and computer, writing, knitting, all of it is head hanging forward, putting pressure on the neck. Maybe PT can teach you a better way to sit? I dunno . . . . I hear your husband about getting a proper diagnosis. I am super claustrophobic, too. I’ll just throw this out in case you find it useful hahaha: to get an MRI, I blindfold myself with a scarf so I really can’t cheat and open my eyes, I take something like Xanax (there is something that starts with an L that worked well for me), AND the gardener has to hold my hand or my foot and not let go the entire time. Then I can do it. Barely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the tips! I don’t feel any urgency in getting the MRI (and I’m really busy at work), but it would be good to rule out any tissue problems. I have time to do more work on my novel since my future beta-reader-for-hire is booked up for about a month. I’m actually glad. I just finished The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware and it makes me want to go through my novel again, see if I can flesh out the characters more.

      Liked by 1 person

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