I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Calla lilies and more

Calla lilies
Well, this is becoming very annoying. It's taken me awhile just to figure out how to put a picture into the beginning of the post, since Blogger has changed all its settings and displays, and nothing was working correctly in Chrome. So here I am in the Safari web browser, hoping to have a little more success. Finally, after much difficulty, I was able to get this picture inserted. Sigh. As if I needed more challenges in my daily life.
The calla lily was named after the Greek word for beautiful — calla. It is associated with the Greek goddess Hera. ... However, the most common meaning for calla lilies is purity, holiness, and faithfulness. It's commonly depicted in images of the Virgin Mary.
I found this information about calla lilies, wondering what the name "calla" means. Now I know: it means beautiful, and they certainly are. I saw these in a garden while on a walk and was enchanted by them. (This post is going to be a struggle, I can see that now: every time I turn around, the font is a different size or type. I will just have to muddle through and see if I can learn to use this new Blogger interface without too much pain.)

Anyhow. Nothing ever seems to stay the same, either in life or in free apps such as Blogger. They did this once before, long ago, and I tried to change over to Wordpress, but it was even more complicated, so I came back to this app. It's been many years since I've been frustrated by Blogger to this extent. 

I thought I'd publish a post about my dad, but that's coming next week, when it's Father's Day. Instead, I'll tell you about my Wellness visit last week (or was it the week before?) Every year Medicare pays for me to see my regular doctor for a visit, and it was really nice to see her. She always makes me feel so good about all I've done to keep myself healthy. She even said I am the healthiest 77-year-old patient in her practice, which gave me a chance to pat myself on the back.

And then yesterday I received a call from her nurse, telling me that my blood work shows some anomalies. My white blood cell count is quite low, and the neutrophils (a type of cell) are lower than they had been, way lower than last year. So she wants me to have another test next week and then see a hematologist, if the numbers remain the same. That was quite a surprise, so of course I got onto Google and tried to figure out what it might mean. The condition is called "leukopenia" and can indicate several different things. I'm hoping that when I get my blood drawn next week it will be normal, and all this will be forgotten. I feel fine, but the nurse warned me that it means I am more susceptible to infection and should be careful about being exposed to diseases. Well, there is a pandemic going on right now, so that will be difficult.

On the other hand, I do think I've already had the virus, so maybe that's one reason for the differences, or maybe I'm developing something internally. I do realize that once we reach a certain age, it's normal for our bodies to begin to wear out. And I've used this one quite vigorously and have the scars to prove it. At first I was worried, because that's what I do, but now I've grown more sanguine about it. It's always a bit of a shock to find that one is not immune to disease and decay. 

The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places. —Ernest Hemingway
Well! I managed to cut and paste that quote and get it in the right font and everything. Maybe I'll learn how to use this new format without tearing my hair out. Which, by the way, has been cut, finally (the hair, that is). It was sure nice to get rid of the shaggy locks that had grown out during the lockdown. We are now in Phase 2, and yesterday I even went out for lunch with my friend Lily and we dined inside a restaurant at a table. We had to wear our masks until we were seated, and boy did that clam chowder ever taste wonderful. It was raining, but we wandered around for awhile afterward, and I notice that many more places of business are opening. It will take some time, but we are on the upswing here. I just hope we don't end up spreading the virus and have to return to lockdown. That would be very unpleasant for everyone. I'll stay positive, though, and will look forward to getting back to normal, or at least getting back to our new normal.

This post is going to be a little shorter than usual, because it took so long for me to get started, and who knows how it's going to look once I post it. I couldn't find my usual font, but it might only be like this as I write it. Please bear with me as I figure out the interface. At least I've got different browsers to use, and I've learned that if one doesn't work, it's time to try another one. Works most of the time.

And now it's getting to be time to finish up, and look forward to my day. We had rain again yesterday, but today it's only cloudy and looks like we might get a short break before the next onslaught. It will be okay, rain is good for the garden. My dear partner still sleeps next to me, and my tea is long gone. It's going to be a good day, I can feel it. I do hope you will have a good day, too. Until we meet again next week, I wish you all good things. Be well, dear friends.


Rian said...

DJan, since you think that you might have already had the virus and are now having some 'oddities' in your blood-work... did they not suggest being tested for Covid-19? These 'oddities' might very well be the result of having had the virus (as you mentioned)? Hopefully the test next week will tell you more.

And you'all are scaring me about even trying to use the 'new blogger'... doesn't seem to be too user friendly. Think I will hold out on the old one as long as I can.

Haven't had our hair cut yet. DH is curly and I'm shaggy. But since we don't go anywhere, we'll wait a bit longer.

Hoping you enjoy your day... and I will pray that your blood-work is back to normal next week! Virtual hugs!

ApacheDug said...

Djan, I’m also sorry to hear of the low white blood count but I have optimism that it’s going to be okay. Like you said earlier, you’re in remarkable good health and since discovering your blog awhile back, you’ve inspired me to not spend my retired life spread out on the couch.

I am worried about that new Blogger interface, I did a preview of the new tools last week and went right back to the ‘legacy’ version. I wish they’d give us a choice here. Some years back, I used an offline editing tool called ‘Windows Live Writer’ to work on my blogs, without going near Blogger’s editor. Then Google stopped supporting the offline writer in 2015. A team of former Microsoft programmers came up with an alternate version of it called ‘Open Live Writer’. It worked great for awhile, I still use an old version of it—but first I have to go into the Blogger editor, insert the images I plan to display in my blog, then go offline & open that ‘draft post’ in Open Live Writer and type around the pics. It’s a klunky process, but it works for me.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed you get good health news soon.

Linda Reeder said...

Medical complications are worrisome. Sending good thoughts your way.
I have managed to get myself up and going, no easy feat anymore. Each day is bringing a new struggle now. But we are up and dressed and we will soon head on down to Gig Harbor for a meet up with Tom's sister and some garden touring. I look forward to a change of scenery.
Be careful out there in the opening up world. We are still staying mostly at home.

Sheila said...

Just saw a hematologist for the same reason. I've had the issue for years, and have had no problems with infections, although I've been warned about infection risk, too. It is scary when you read about it, though, but I'm betting they'll find nothing amiss. The flowers are beautiful. When I was a kid, I would stick my face in a calla lily and get the orange pollen all over my nose.

gigi-hawaii said...

Why is it so necessary to change the format for writing? WordPress is trying to do the same. Why mess with it?

Marie Smith said...

Every now and then I feel so happy in my life and then fear something terrible is right around the corner. Living in the present is so important. The fear keeps us from getting the most out of the here and now. I have to remind myself of that every so often.

Good luck with the blood work next time. Thinking of you!

Anvilcloud said...

What folk are saying about the new Blogger does not inspire me with confidence. I continue to resist. :)

Our phase 2 does not allow indoor dining in restaurants, only on their patios should that be lucky enough to have one.

Does your doctor know that you may have had a bout with the virus? Perhaps it would now be time to confirm if that is indeed the case.

Quite awhile back, and I mean decades, I had a test in which my triglycerides were up, but I've never heard of it again. Maybe that will be your experience too.

Arkansas Patti said...

I tried the new Blogger but it fought me too much. I scurried right back to legacy. The blood work could be a sign of the Covid antibodies doing strange things. Think you ought to have that test anyway. Sheila had some encouraging words in her comment. Let us know what happens. Hoping it is nothing to be concerned about.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

Hi DJan. Your blood cell change is one hubby has had this for some time now and is fine. Eating more greens with an addition of an iron supplement made a difference. Let’s hope you get an easy solution and feel fine. We are still in full lock down until the 19th.
I posted on ChezKleinsteMotte yesterday but do not see it in the reader feed again. After posting I hit the Try new version of blogger and all turned to a confusing mess. And there was no more turning back! UGH !
Life is already hard on my eyes but this didn’t help at all. On my photo blog I cannot post pics at all. I guess it wants us all to but google phones ?
Have a great week.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Wear your mask and wash your hands. Do the best you can do. It is good that they are doing another blood draw. Hope it is just a supplement that you need...she may say Red meat!! I think at older ages our bodies ebb and flow. Good to hear you are getting out I am sure that cheered you up! Hope you have a wonderful week!

Elephant's Child said...

I am so very sorry to read this.
I hope (fervently) it is a temporary aberration and will hold you in my heart.
Sigh at the new blogger. I have had a look but it seems to be particularly recalcitrant if you want to post/resize photos.
I have reverted to the legacy version for now.

Gigi said...

I haven't even peeked at the new interface yet but I'm not liking the sound of it...

I agree with the others that if you did, indeed, have the virus it could be what's wrong with the blood test. I would certainly ask for a test. I'll keep you in my heart and send up prayers.

Have a beautiful week, DJan.

Red said...

You worry me with your comments on the new blogger interface. I'm not very good at changes. Yes, there are still things to worry about regarding the pandemic. Today there was some good news on treatment.

Glenda Beall said...

I have been sick, too, so am behind in reading blogs. I hope your blood tests turn out to be nothing serious. That is always scary, however. I look forward to hearing more and better news soon.
I can't believe I have to change to a new Blogger format. It is like these tech companies thrive on making our lives as complicated as possible. Lately nothing in my house that has to do with internet works well. That means my smart TV which now depends on internet for all programs. My phone, my computer and all the new programs that are being thrown at us.
I try to remember something that Garth Brooks says his father taught him: In every curse is a blessing and in every blessing is a curse. So I keep looking for and finding the blessing in this curse of the pandemic. Because of being in lock down, I am learning to use Zoom to teach writing classes and organize critique groups for my students. Good luck with your health issues and you are in my thoughts and prayers, my friend.

Galen Pearl said...

I haven't tried the new interface yet. Oh dear.

Hope the blood thing is just an anomaly. However you are right -- our bodies age and eventually wear out. This pandemic has given all of us, especially in high risk categories, a chance to make our peace with our inevitable transition out of this incarnation. However, still hoping that is a ways off!

Margaret said...

I dislike getting my blood work done lately because it seems like there is always something a bit off, and then I worry, which isn't good for my blood pressure. Hope it turns out to be nothing. I have a calla lily too, but it's orange and not blooming yet. It's an exotic looking flower.