Boulders and Rainbows

Pattye Snyder Health Guide
  • Most of the time, I’m a loving, caring, positive person who can find something funny in almost anything. Because I’m only four days away from my second hip replacement, my surgeon has requested that I not take any aspirin, pain pills, or anti-inflammatories. I understand his theory (in theory), but I wonder if it’s like the male obstetrician who tells you in the latter stages of labor, that it really doesn’t hurt THAT MUCH! Yeah right!

    I’ve become somewhat like a bear with a thorn in his paw-I even growl at myself. I’m really not proud of my attitude, and DO know that the surgery will ultimately make a vast difference. In the meantime, I try to read, but have trouble concentrating-now would definitely NOT be the best time to write my thesis!!! I am also avoiding people to avoid the germs from flu, colds, and other creepy crawlies.
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    On all of my trips, I keep journals. They remind me of unique things I’ve done, special feelings, great recipes awesome new friends, and they give me someone to “talk” to if I get lonely, which seldom happens. Out of desperation (I’ve been in MAJOR pain) I randomly picked up some of my journals and was transported back to the magic of my travels. I remember the mystical power of the fog on the point of Cape Horn in S. Africa-it was a clear beautiful day, but in a few short minutes the fog crept in and the Point disappeared-no wonder there have been so many shipwrecks there! On Lake Victoria in Africa I went out on a boat with three natives: two to row and (I found out in the middle of the lake) one to frantically bail since there was a hole in the bottom! As we returned to shore, the men started chanting a native song keeping rhythm by hitting the sides of the boat with their paddles. Soon, several other fishermen on the lake joined in as we were returned safely to our guide. Even seeing the fields of stately lupines gently swaying in the breeze and white daisies dancing in the wind while wild turkeys were hopefully pecking on the ground, hoping for breakfast in North Country brings back special feelings and memories.

    A few short months after my first surgery due to O.A. (and a ton of physical therapy and Exercise), I was strong enough to climb the path to the peak of Machu Picchu in Peru. I will admit that the Guinness Book of World Records probably will not search me out to record my speed, but that is no longer an issue with me-I DID IT! While recovering at the peak, the clouds suddenly parted from the rock faces and a rainbow peeked out high over the valley and I felt it was just for me-one of those “attaboys” that help so much.

    On another adventure, as I climbed into the mosquito-sized bush plane to continue the Journey—(the airport was a dirt path in Zimbabwe) -another rainbow suddenly appeared. I even saw a special rainbow in front of Cadillac Mountain in Northern Maine recently!

    Although I’ve seen a lot of rainbows in my life, they now take on a special meaning, almost a blessing for me. They tell me that I truly can achieve almost anything in spite of arthritis. O.A. has provided many boulders for me , but I accept those challenges. For today, I make the choice to accept what the doctors say, do what I need to do in order to return to a healthier me, and to keep following rainbows!!

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Published On: October 20, 2006