• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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The World Was Moving She Was Right There With It and She Was


Here’s what’s going on. I have to get off the meds I’ve been taking for thirty years because its causing kidney failure. I’m not writing this hooked up to a dialysis machine, it’s not that bad yet. But I have to go off the meds and try to find something else if I want the contain the damage. Except for shredding my organs, Lithium pretty much saved my life and I’m more grateful than upset. My relationship with Lithium has lasted longer than more marriages. It stabilized me, gave me a floor and a ceiling. I’m not happy with the idea of finding a new drug but for once in my fucked up life, I’ve decided to be positive about the change.

Can your attitude affect your outcome?

10 Responses

  1. I’m a believer. The medicine I was taking was damaging my heart. Had to endure a bunch of tests, restructure some other life routines, but decades later, all is good. You can do this. xo

  2. Good on you, B! Sending all the healing vibes for the next phase of meds. (& I believe 100% in attitude affecting outcomes. I had a bilateral mastectomy back in June & when I asked my surgeon if there was anything different about the patients who did well post-surgery vs those that had a harder time, his immediate response: “their attitude”)

  3. “Can your attitude affect your outcome?”

    Yes, and you know it can, and thank you for again providing an opportunity for me to talk about myself.

    Taking a positive attitude through and out of my recent medical misfortune has been, and remains, crucial to my recovery and my life from here to the end.

    As an aside, or almost an aside (we’ll get to how it ties in with the general subject below), I have two identically sized bottles of pills here on my desk. The contents of one cost $12.44. The contents of the other cost $5,000.00. Go figure (someone did).

    When I was younger, from late teens on, for many, or too many, years, I found life emotionally difficult. This happens. People cope, one way or another. I found I did not trust the professional medical approach to my problem (trust issues are an old set of issues for me), so I took my own path. I started smoking a lot of cannabis as a way to calm myself and eliminate the likelihood that I would take a one-way outbound on the Suicide Express.

    It worked, but as we know, or should know, nothing’s free. Black-market cannabis was expensive, and not tax-deductible. Smoking it took a toll on my lungs (I stopped smoking ten years ago). I no longer use it in any form, as it was time for me to turn away from that. While the benefits of cannabis use were, by my estimation, undeniable — I believe it saved my life and sometimes provided me remarkable insight and inspiration — it was time to let it go. I could no longer pay all its costs.

    It looks like your experience with Lithium is generally similar to mine with my own medicament. Now it’s time to let it go. So, keep a smile on your face and a song in your heart — or no expression, or a frown, you’re in New York — and carry on, knowing that there are those of us who are of your fan club, with permanent memberships, and who know you aren’t perfect and wouldn’t want you that way, anyway.

    I wish you the best of outcomes. I am confident you can do this. Take care of yourself.

  4. Take good care of yourself. Communication is key and I’ve no doubt you’ll be honest if you start riding a medication roller coaster. Listen to good doctors and good doctors listen.

    Positive attitude is a plus.

  5. Well. Damn. First that.

    Now this.

    I’m definitely of the mindset that it does no one any good to be mad/pissed off or otherwise negative about that sort of news. It won’t help, that’s for sure, and if anything, it only makes you feel worse. Like above, I was told this by my oncologist, and he said he had seen it time and again, patients with better outcomes were those who didn’t sink into despair or anger.

    However, and not to sound all chirpy, positivity gets more traction, and more mileage in a host of ways. Yep. It just does. It’s actually physically true. Stress and anger cause other health issues – as if any of us need that.

    You’re in the right frame of mind. Your doctor will help figure it out, if s/he hasn’t already. Rooting for you, Betsy!

  6. Good luck, Betsy. My husband struggled with this and he made the transition — I won’t say easily — with few problems. I almost said “we made the transition” because this affects everyone who loves you. You’ve got this.

  7. It’s a pretty much given that attitude can affect outcome or the placebo effect wouldn’t be so powerful. I’ve often wondered if there’s a placebo effect in other animal’s outcomes?

  8. I certainly could join the long line of testimonials, but I won’t, (now anyway), because we all have issues. What I will say is DON’T WORRY ABOUT WHAT ISN’T.

    For weeks, if not months after my near-death issue I lay awake each night wondering if the big one would pounce upon me that night. Then I figured if the shit hits the proverbial fan, then I’d deal or die. It’s been three years. It is what it is. It will be what it will be. (God, I love cliches).

    Why waste what time is left with an attitude that denotes anything other than waking up with positivity. Tet and Donna get it. So do a lot of other people here.

    Like I said, “don’t worry about what isn’t.”
    Dick Proenneke said that and aspired to that way of thinking while living alone in the Alaskan wilderness for decades. His words let me sleep fitfully.

    You got this sweetie. (Yes B, you are a sweetie.)

  9. This must be terrifying for you, Betsy. But I love your attitude. You seem to me to be a brave, gutsy, and “can do” kind of woman. So I’m pulling for you, in every way!! Sending lots of positive vibes. Xoxo

  10. Yes. I just read that conscious thought starts in and comes from the subconscious. It’s a challenge to make the shift, but you have some extra time…right? Consciously think positive so it sifts down to the subconscious.

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