Sunday, July 4, 2010


Happy July 4th! Are you doing something fun today?

Did you do anything fun yesterday? Gettysburg, PA never materialized for us. After visiting mom, we determined it was too long of a trip to make since we wanted to get back to her for a 2nd visit.

We had a fun time, though, and ended up visiting the Lehigh Valley Zoo, located on the 1200-acre Trexler Nature Preserve in Schnecksville, PA.
We saw so many different kinds of owls, hawks, birds. We saw camels and ibexes, otters. And, the cutest penguins! Man, did i want to get in the water with the penguins! It was a scorcher out yesterday and it's going to be even hotter here in Philly today.

The ostrich was my favorite and so freaky deaky... It kept moving it's giant skinny neck around and staring it's tiny little "smiling" face right into mine...with those big was like watching some kind of space E.T., looking right at me. Really amazing. I'll never forget it. And talk about ugly feat! They're prehistoric looking with two giant toes.

Guess what, ostriches are mainly vegetarians. The diet of the Ostrich mainly consists of plant matter, though it also eats insects.

That got me thinkin' about the bonobo, who is supposed to be our closest cousin. According to wikipedia, bonobos don't eat just a vegetable, fruit, and insect diet as I had believed. They eat meat! I thought the bonobo was a frugivore! Chimps, i found out, are omnivores. Gorillas seem to have the closest diet to what raw foodists hope to acheive. "The DNA of gorillas is 98%–99% identical to that of a human, and they are the next closest living relatives to humans after the two chimpanzee species. Gorillas are herbivores, eating fruits, leaves, and shoots. Further they are classified as foliovores. Much like other animals that feed on plants and shoots, they sometimes ingest small insects as well (however there has been video proof that gorillas do eat ants and termites much in the same way as chimpanzees.) Gorillas spend most of the day eating. Their large sagittal crest and long canines allow them to crush hard plants like bamboo. Lowland gorillas feed mainly on fruit while Mountain gorillas feed mostly on herbs, stems and roots." Victoria Boutenko talks about the bonobo's diet being our ideal, but since they eat meat, i think it's really the gorilla's diet, we should attain to. But, it seems ALL of the monkeys eat insects. Maybe we should, too?

Anyway, no chimps, or gorillas at the Lehigh Valley Zoo. It's a small zoo. But, what's neat about the LVZ is how up close and personal you can get. You can get right up close to the animals to really admire them. I never realized the coat of a penguin is so feathery and slippery. And ostrich feathers really do look like they would make good feather dusters! And, gosh, penguins are so cute, you just wanna hold one and squeeze it!

You feel kinda bad all of the animals are all holed up like that, instead of out in nature, but, Cliff and I have always supported zoos, believing that ultimately they do help preserve animals in the wild. We feel sad they're in gated boxes as 'homes', and not able to roam free, but we've always hoped, ultimately, that zoos strive to help animals, and that zoos bring awareness, and awareness to preserving wildlife.

Zoos also bring alot of money...for themselves...but isn't it like anything? Everything is a business.

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Speaking of businesses where people are holed up, ala hospitals...

Mom is doing well, but my heart breaks constantly for her. I cry alot. And the truth is, i miss her, too, terribly. I want my old mommy back. This is emotionally very, very painful for me. She is doing well, better, but she is so weak and frail and vulnerable. Her little hands shake, and her head shakes when i hold her head away from the pillow to brush it. I think about that and i start to cry, again.

Cliff keeps saying for me to keep my chin up.

She is weaning daily for the entire day off the ventilator. That's huge improvement. Her lungs are getting stronger and stronger. And they fit her with a new smaller sized trache. That's progress forward, as well.

I still can't help but feel enormous amounts of sadness for her situation. She does make small improvements everyday, but still, she's been in the hospital for almost 7 weeks, and she has probably AT LEAST, another 8-12 more to look forward to. Maybe even longer, including rehab.
Her drains from the surgery site (her bowel) are still draining. One has stopped completely. The other 4 are still flowing. When they change color to lighter and clearer, we'll know the bowel has begun to seal up on it's own where it had sprung a leak. How long that will take no one knows.

She's still being fed intraveniously. She is too weak to walk.

And her eyes don't look clear to me. I'm concerned about that. I keep telling the nurses.

Her swelling has gone down significantly.

She seems more coherant, which is good. That crazed psychosis stage seems to have improved somewhat, although they are giving her something called Halidol to help her relax when she starts to get 'rammy.'

Perhaps next week, she can start talking. They'll put a cap over the trache and she'll be able to make sound. I think she will be less confused then, having people be able to understand her, and being able to communicate again.

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I ate raw fruits and veggies 3/4 of the day, yay, then a salad for dinner, and some cooked snacks later. Not perfection as i had hoped to achieve, but, you know what? Under the circumstances, it was the best I could do. I am pretty much an emotional basket case, i am realizing.

I realized last night, in the kitchen, looking for comfort food, just how much comfort i need. I ought to find new ways of comforting myself. Cliff was sleeping early so i couldn't cuddle up to him. Maybe i oughta get out one of my stuffed animals.

I think the most i can do is manage the situation and just keep getting back up on that horse daily, and do the best i can, and not give up. Watermelon for breakfast time!

I hope you liked those videos of Nick. I think he's probably the most inspiring person i've ever come across.

On the one hand, i keep telling myself to cut myself a break with the food, "i'm doing the best i can," and on the other hand, I just have to do better. I have a wedding to attend in 2 weeks, I'm singing in the raw festival in about a month and a half, I'm starting up singing lessons again and my voice is never better than when i eat raw, I'm singing a new opera in October, and have my class reunion in October. I gotta do this for me. I refuse to let this snowball roll any further.

I wanna be back to the ME i used to know.

"What do you do when you fall down? You get up." Nick Vujicic

Hearing somebody like Nick say that brings those words whole new, deeper meaning.

By the way, i think he's totally sexy-cute-hot, and I've wondered how he gets his beard so nice, and assumed that someone grooms it for him, daily. Watching this next video made me realize i am probably deeply mistaken.

I'm Jewish, but this Christian stuff always inspires me. Cheese 'n Crackers, if Nick can do ALL of that for himself, how can i ever feel sorry for myself, and not do what i need to for myself?

Cliff reiterates the message, "Look at your mom laying like that all day. That's why you have to be GRATEFUL you can do what you can do."

Don't start your day without being inspired, people. I'm glad i'm starting my day off better now. Attitude of gratitude. If Nick can shave his own face, i can get back on the horse and eat my fruits and veggies.

xoxo michelle joy


mikelle said...

hi m joy! great post. thank you for introducing me to nick. he is so inspiring, as are you. hope you are having a day filled with joyful and peaceful moments.

mikelle said...

hey m joy~ i see you haven't posted in a few day. hope all is ok in your world. maybe you just simply haven't been on the computer - just wanted you to know i was thinking about you and your mama.