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Signs that you are a permie with health issues

 
steward & bricolagier
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I didn't want this confused with You know you're a permie when... but this is sort of a sister thread, intended for those of us who stubbornly do our thing, despite our health issues.

I have to lay down and take breaks right now due to health issues, and a sign that I'm a permie with health issues is there is a rolled up sheet on my bedroom floor, used to cover my bedding, to keep the mud from my work clothes off my bed!! I HAVE to lay down, but I'm NOT taking off my work clothes and getting them back on! That's too much effort, I'd rather use my energy to get things done.

:D
 
gardener
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Honey, you gotta get yourself a hammock! It will rock your world.
Staff note (Pearl Sutton) :

Look at my profile picture
That one was slung between my tractor and a tree!

 
gardener
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One from my uncle about it (or just getting old in general) is:

...when you bend over to tie your shoe, and look around to see if there's anything else you can do while you're down there, lol.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Arguing with seed packages "Soak beans 24 hours before planting." That assumes you are positive that you will be able to do the planting on that day.  
 
Mother Tree
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Pearl Sutton wrote: "Soak beans 24 hours before planting." That assumes you are positive that you will be able to do the planting on that day.  



I found that if I drain the water off and then cover them with a damp cloth, you can get at least one more day.  Rinse and repeat as necessary.

Once they've actually started to germinate though you have to plant them much more carefully else the shoots break off.
 
steward
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When your fiber animals are shorn/plucked in stages, and sometimes, before & after pictures of the same goat can be done in a single picture for days... maybe weeks...

 
pollinator
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July 2022 - all was planned to get a hip bone replacement in the winter (November 2022)

September 2022 - my wife called me excited and told me the land was bought and the land deed in her hands.
WE CAN START OUR PERMACULTURE FARM, YEEEEEEHHHAAAAAW!!!

November 2022 - I flew back from my job in Taiwan and got told the plane was overbooked.
Instead of the needed business class ticket I agreed to a refound and economy class flight.
A hell of a pain for 4 hrs, 3 hrs at the airport in Bangkok and another one hour in a national flight (even worse)

On the new Land all was forgotten.
We started our Permaculture Farm.
Every morning driving to the Land, standing about 5 minutes beside my Enfield, to adjust my leg so I could walk and the same in the evening.

My dogs (former stray dogs) needed their share of daddy, wresting with them in the dirt, untill they were exhausted.
Calling my Wife and Helpers to lift me up.  

February 2023 - a two years plan was done in 3 month and I had to fly back to my job...

Now I miss home and I am limiping over the project site..
In my mind? Nothing else than our farm at home....

Hip bone replacement?
Well I promised to do it this winter...
...But what about the plan about the fence, stocking the lake, making chicken paddocks, planting more perennials  and and and and and and.......?

Naah, not problems, I will squeeze it somehow in my schedule during the surgery and rehab..  

Enuff said, I didn't mention my knees are also worn out, but the traditional chinese medicine still works wonder, hence this is my secret..

Enuff said: I am fine........
 
pollinator
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Looking at reality, I can say that I’m in the group of “permies with health issues". Part of that is due to my age. Yup, I take naps! And I work more slowly than I did 10 years ago. But I surely ain’t ready to quit! I can still swing a 100 lb sack of grain, but it’s a strain now. And I fizzle out after hauling ten 50 pound sacks of feed, or whatever,  into the barn.

Came down with vertigo about 15 years ago, and it has never quite left me. So I’m mindful of where my body parts are in relation to the earth. Sometimes I need to stop for a moment so that my mind can catch up with reality so that I don’t spin out of control, flopping like a fish out of water. Yup, scared people a few times with that act! I’m wise enough not to get atop a horse anymore. Nor climb a ladder that isn’t braced or tied to something solid. I’m now watchful of where those rungs are located.

My hearing is starting downhill, but I actually find it somewhat pleasing. I don’t much hear those annoying coqui frogs at night.

Of course body parts ache after a work day. But it’s a great excuse for a body massage. Every Wednesday I treat myself to a wonderful massage under the guise of medically needing it. Nobody questions my extravagance.

The one thing that annoys me is that kneeling now is painful. But I lately discovered some high quality knee pads that are allowing me to kneel again. Of course they don’t come with built in boosters for getting up off the ground. Wish they did…. I would have paid extra for that feature.

I have lots of other annoying health issues, but I live with them. If I listened to the doctors, I’d be doing nothing but sitting in a rocking chair. Heck, I’d rather die working in my garden. Eventually something will get me, but in the meantime I’ll keep producing food and passing my wisdom onto new gardeners.

Oh, did I mention that I have tinnitus, idiopathic mouth twitch, crooked fingers and locking joints in my hands, spinal arthritis, hiatal hernia with half my stomach in my chest along with reflux issues, a gall bladder that acts up if I eat something naughty? Oh, I didn’t? Well, I do. Plus a heart that opts to beat kind of wacky, but never when I go to a doctor or wear a heart monitor.

I consider myself healthy. The doctors laugh at that one. But for real, I don’t see any reason not to work at farming.


 
pollinator
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I feel more like I’m trying to be a permie than actually being a permie. Hadn’t posted for a while because I just got out of the hospital. I’m starting to think I may not get land this year either. I suppose my stubbornness in this land search is a sign of me being a permie with health issues. A healthy permie would have land by now. A non-permie with health issues would have settled for some living situation much more “convenient” in the short term but depressing and possibly unhealthy in the long term.

I think these “struggles” themselves are often positive compared to the alternatives. I have found myself spending too much time learning and talking about permaculture on here when I should be taking care of my health though….oh, looks like like I just pointed out another sign I’m a permie with health issues.
 
steward
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Su Ba wrote:

But I lately discovered some high quality knee pads that are allowing me to kneel again. Of course they don’t come with built in boosters for getting up off the ground. Wish they did…. I would have paid extra for that feature.

I often carry a tall bucket around with me - good for holding tools/seeds/harvest - but also *very good* for using my hands to help me get that little extra lift off my knees! Not as good as "built in boosters", but cheaper!

And wrote:

Came down with vertigo about 15 years ago, and it has never quite left me. So I’m mindful of where my body parts are in relation to the earth.  

I had a bout of the version that involves the little hard bits in the inner ear. Apparently, if you move your head in certain ways, you can get them back where they belong and eventually I seemed to pretty much manage that. But yes, be careful with that one - I don't care if you freak out everyone else, I don't want to read about you breaking bones! I like to keep my quality permies as functional as possible!

I agree with you - farming is probably the best thing you can do for yourself - good food, fresh air, exercise, but keep accepting new limitations. I don't even try lifting 100 lbs - but then I only weigh 115 lbs - but that's what this awesome 2-wheel wheelbarrow is for. I can use it to lever up heavy loads and then help me wheel them where I want them. Simple machines for this tool using animal!
 
gardener
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Definitions are fluid, to some degree. Physical Therapy is just as good for you if you're using putting in garden areas (forking the soil, building low "semi" hugel beds, planting things) as Physical Therapy.

I've spent a lot of time sick and in the hospital in 2021-22 and it really did Bad Things to my already chronic conditions.
It took me most of the rest of 2022 to get to a point where I could take care of my poultry flock - just feed, water, gather eggs.
There are things: stretches, strengthening exercises, and just household chores that I'm slowly working into.
Sometimes being sick, especially if it's a chronic illness or has long term effects, just takes your energy out of you. That can predispose you for other trouble, and no one wants that.

Permies, the self-sustaining lifestyle, is my long-term goal and a rough plan going forward. I don't intend to be perfect, but some things are much easier to change than others.
Changing what I can, as I can, for the rest of my life seems a good plan.
Time I don’t spend outside or doing certain sustainable things inside, can be used for learning on the site, or working on other skills. Not everything has to be about Permaculture. I can learn how to carve, or spin, or a bunch of other things I've always wanted to learn how to do. As long as there's no rotating equipment or potentially hazardous stuff involved, I don't even need a doctor's permission!

I take comfort that there is no schedule of events or hoops you must jump through in a particular order. I can be me. Be the best Permie and person I can be.

To borrow a format: You're a Permie with health issues if you have health issues and have to rethink your grand plan to make room for whatever life holds for you now.
If you have to decide that maybe digging a pond by hand is a bit too excessive, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn about native local water plants, try to dig a small water garden, and still be motivated enough to wonder if there’s a place for a goose sized water feature in the backyard – you might be a Permie.

Yeah, I should be drinking more water, doing my evening stretches, and starting my nighttime routine. I'd rather be here, looking at what other people in similar situations have to say.
I have balance issues, joint problems; I only recently started walking without a walking stick being necessary, all the time. I can leave the stick in the house on some days!
The list of what I can't do is scary and long and ... doesn't define me.

This wasn't in my Life Plans: "lose" 20 years to various and sundry medical shenanigans.
It happened. Life went on.  
The past is stuck and wishing won't change it. I can, however, live my best life possible, now.

In the herb garden, as it stands right now, my oregano seems to be trying to die, but the thyme, peppermint, and lemon balm are growing well.
I have a potato plant! That's one more potato than I have ever managed to grow before!
The grocery store beans (pinto) and the "transplanted out of the wild" passionfruit are growing. That's more living plants in my garden than I have had in years!

We found out I can eat tomatoes, again, after a 5 or 6 year hiatus. I'm so excited to be able to grow tomatoes for a purpose!
I've been having grocery tomatoes as often as possible since we discovered the new situation and I'm so looking forward to that first home grown ripe one!

I'm taking small steps because small steps are what I can take. Would I have rather rented a tiller, dug out a huge amount of my yard and planted All The Things? Sure. Even if it's not the perfectly "Permie thing", it would mean growing my own food and trying to improve untouched soil.
There's a box full of seeds sitting in my kitchen waiting to be planted. They include things I've never tried but that sound good. I want to get at least one or 5 of all of them in the ground, but it won't happen this year. (The variety! Tomatillos and ground cherries, kale, sage, squash, beans, ...)
It might never happen. I'm trying to be honest with myself.

I'm expanding my garden in small chunks because, if I can dig up and prepare a small chunk, I know I can probably take care of it and keep it planted in the way I've learned how to do through this site, from y'all.

One step forward (or even standing still) is better than three steps backward for me.
I work hard for that "forward momentum", so I want to keep it going. Slowly.
I got this. *We* - all of us in this thread - have this.
 
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I just had a double laminectomy to try to unpinch my left leg, and I worry I missed my health window to get my farm going without serious partnership of some sort…I’ve also had 7 shoulder surgeries so far (ex weightlifter with more muscle than brains…) and *still* need either 2 mechanicals (do not want) or just more rebuilds that only last 2 years…

I used to be able to pick people up and throw them. Right Now I can’t even wear an electric guitar much less stack a couple cord of wood, but I'm hopeful this will change in 5 weeks. In any case lifestyle adjustments are in order, probably won't be jumping off cliffs on skis too much, running uphill with a pack and boots on...

Anyone else come back from serious spine surgery ?
 
pollinator
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My own signs:

1)  I spend more time looking at utility beds to put on a golf cart than building plans for a new sunroom

2)   I despairingly examine that pretty mushroom from a standing position....knowing how far that distance is from head height to ankle height where I might get a better view.

3)  What I used to identify as the drumming of a roughed grouse in the distance can now, when sufficiently prolonged, only be construed as none other than my cardiac arrhythmia playing with my head....and eardrums! :-o

4)  When the overhanging 'spare tire' from winter's hibernation provides yet another nesting location for spring's bounty of wood ticks....

5)  When 'crouching dog' is no longer a Yoga position, but a necessary intermediate re-oxygenation phase from laying on the floor to the labored attempts at standing.  (...but dogs licking your face do provide some levity in the process... ;-)  )
 
Su Ba
pollinator
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John, you got me laughing on #5.  I’m still chuckling!

Around here, lots of women are into yoga in an attempt to stay young. In addition to regular classes, they offer senior yogi, also called chair yoga. One sits in a chair while one flings their arms about and strike poses. These are the women who are beyond crouching dog. I seriously doubt any of them have been down on their floors in years.

While I’m not into yoga myself, I do taichi each morning for the stretching, strength building, and balance. As a senior myself, I feel that taichi is the way to go. Oh, I don’t follow any particular taichi program anymore. I just do whatever moves I feel that I want to, in whatever order it strikes my fancy that morning. I believe it makes a real difference.
 
pollinator
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Signs that you are a permie with health issues?... Signs like these???
When one of my tenants tells me again that she thinks the toilet in the main bathroom just  might be stopping up... and I'll get to it as soon as I can.
And all my clothes seem to have turned into rags and I just can't keep walking around with maybe a bit of my butt hanging out (not cool, I'm pretty old) and …. I'll get to it as soon as I can.
And spring is almost over and I still haven't done my spring cleaning and do we really need to be able to see out the windows and I keep putting it off..... Really, the garden is so beautiful when your IN it!
And did I sit down and pay all the bills this month? Did I forget to make that doctor's appointment for a checkup? Do I really have to paint the front of the house that's showing bare wood before it gets too hot for paint to stick? And does my truck really need to have an oil change right now?
And I sent a note to my local nursery recently and asked if they will have anything new this fall that I might like.... and they had the nerve to write back to me and say why don't you make us a list of what you want and we'll look into it! The Nerve!! I don't have time to write a list, dozens and dozens of plants that I am hoping for!! Can't they just read my mind? I think I need AI for this!
When what's really important is that the last of my 50+  tomato plants are becoming pot bound because I haven't planted them yet! And I have to harvest all my peas every day so they will keep producing!! And the artichokes are going like gang buster this year and it takes a lot of time to harvest, process and cook them!!! And the chard and the beets and the sorrel and the something else that I left to over winter are all going to seed right now and the seeds must be saved!!! Now!!!  And I have things to water!
Health issues include mental health! And I think I have a problem. I think I have become an addict! Maybe someone needs to stop me now! I think I'm losing it! Totally! Is there a 12 step program for this?? Anyway, happy gardening everyone.
DSC05336.JPG
Let the games begin! Artichokes up front....
Let the games begin! Artichokes up front....
 
pollinator
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When your husband informs you that he can no longer manage the sheep and tells you you are moving away from your much loved smallholding in the middle of nowhere to somewhere less rural.
When you get to the new house and realise it will take you years, not months, to get it into shape and that this time you will be "getting a man in" (somehow it's always a man) to do a lot of the work you would have done together in the past.
When your doctor has told you the one thing that you MUST not do is to lift heavy loads due to the strain it puts on your heart.
When for half of the month, health issues mean you do not have the energy to do all you want and can only manage to paint half of a room or cut half of the lawn.
When the greenhouse which the instructions say "can be erected in a weekend" has already taken the two of you 4 days and will probably take as long again to finish.

Oh, I could go on but, I live in a lovely friendly village and I can still appreciate the beauty of nature. I am alive and can connect with my tribe here when I run out of energy for outside work. I raise a glass to all my permie friends with health issues and say keep going everyone. We can still make a difference.
 
pollinator
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tom brennan wrote:Anyone else come back from serious spine surgery ?



Tom, I had L4-L5 laminectomy in 1984 so I've been living with this for a while. At the time the Drs told me to rest because of pain but too much rest and not enough movement created it's own pain. Finding that balance between exercise and rest is my newest art form. The balance point is constantly changing and I have to finally listen to my body to know when I'm on the edge of doing too much.

I've lifted weights since the early 80s and for what you're describing I highly recommend high reps, low weights. I know this can be difficult when you're used to heavy weights and how awesome it makes you feel. Dead lifts with perfect form and light weights were the best thing for my back after surgery (after the initial healing of course). This strengthened and stretched the spinal erectors which in turn supported my spine and reduced the post-surgery pain. I do lots of yoga too. It's a lot harder than you might think and great for range of motion and strengthening. There are several threads about yoga if you're interested.
 
tom brennan
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Thanks Robin ! Yeah I do a lot of yoga and tai chi, or at least I did until l3-l4 l4-l5 all went south a year ago. I can't wait to get back to it, as it helps tremendously ! I have long since stopped the powerlifting/building thing, I do mostly elastic bands high reps stretching these day and swimming is the BEST...
I'm worried about doing things solo though - I was looking at acres in the middle of nowhere for a farm, but now I have to consider proximity to help if my body fails under load and I'm laying on the ground next to a shovel or something.

Nerve pain is totally its own beast compared to heart attack, or shoulder failure I've found (former cig smoker, went down hard at 40 while training for adventure races because I smoked a pack a day since I was 15...I blame no one but myself...) When your leg simply Will Not Work and the lightning sets in its impossible to think much less walk back from the dumpster...

I've seen a few setups where they designed with aging in mind - ramps instead of stairs, gravity assist where ever possible, smaller shrubs instead of taller trees etc) on youtube - def going to keep that in mind as we move forward with this...
 
Carla Burke
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Robin Katz wrote:...too much rest and not enough movement created it's own pain. Finding that balance between exercise and rest is my newest art form. The balance point is constantly changing and I have to finally listen to my body to know when I'm on the edge of doing too much.



THIS!!! I think this is the key thing for ALL of us to remember. Listening to our bodies is such a huge thing - and decoding its messages. If you're stiff, your body probably wants to stretch - gently, at first, to warm up, and *gradually* ramping it up, through the stretch. Stopping when we first notice the signs that our bodies are tiring, rather than waiting until we're too tired to even want to get in the shower, to refresh ourselves. Staying hydrated. Skipping the less nourishing foods, at least most of the time, in favor of more nourishing ones: for a couple hot-weather (& hopefully inspiring) examples, instead of that delectable, but oh-so-not-good-FOR-you Dove ice cream bar, make (& keep in the freezer) some equally delectable chocolate sorbet, with organic cacao and honey, monkfruit, or stevia. Or, instead of typical grocery store strawberry ice cream, throw some frozen strawberries, plain Greek yogurt, a little vanilla & if needed, a bit of honey into the blender or food processor, and give it a whirl. So many ways to nourish our bodies when we want to indulge, that it doesn't make sense in my head, to go for things that can add to my inflammation and pain. But, dammit, when I have a craving, I want it satisfied! Those cravings are also often a message to you from your body, that it needs some nutrient that's missing or low, in your system.
 
Pearl Sutton
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tom brennan wrote:Thanks Robin ! Yeah I do a lot of yoga and tai chi, or at least I did until l3-l4 l4-l5 all went south a year ago. I can't wait to get back to it, as it helps tremendously ! I have long since stopped the powerlifting/building thing, I do mostly elastic bands high reps stretching these day and swimming is the BEST...


I do range of motion/flexion exercises. Lots of them. Every day. Or I cannot walk.
I had L5-S1 done years ago, and a small nerve was pinched, not a big one, but it makes one of the really deep structural muscles stay in spasm, and that pulls everything out of whack, and it cascades from my hips, to my knees to my feet. I have complicated health problems, and when other things go bad, I have a hard time doing my exercises, then all the muscles pull my back out of alignment, and the nerve pain is incredible, like I have been dipped in fire.


I'm worried about doing things solo though - I was looking at acres in the middle of nowhere for a farm, but now I have to consider proximity to help if my body fails under load and I'm laying on the ground next to a shovel or something.


Yup. I had to buy in a small town due to that, NOT what I wanted, but I was going to get in trouble. I HAVE learned that I can CRAWL from my pasture to where I park my truck (uphill about 400 feet through heavy vegetation) if I have to. Good thing to know I can do!! I added crawling practice to my exercise routine, up and down the hall. forward and backward. Lots of muscles involved! Freaks my cat out

Nerve pain is totally its own beast compared to heart attack, or shoulder failure I've found (former cig smoker, went down hard at 40 while training for adventure races because I smoked a pack a day since I was 15...I blame no one but myself...) When your leg simply Will Not Work and the lightning sets in its impossible to think much less walk back from the dumpster...


Oooh yes. Totally unrelated to any other pain out there. Part of my damage makes a certain  neck position being able to make the bone touch the spinal cord, the sheathing is messed up. Now THAT is a hell of a pain. Think funny bone hit on your whole body... And the position most likely to do that is the position when you are in laying on your back in bed with a standard pillow under your head. It's VERY hard to keep people from doing that to you if you are too weak to fight it off. They mean well, but NO!


I've seen a few setups where they designed with aging in mind - ramps instead of stairs, gravity assist where ever possible, smaller shrubs instead of taller trees etc) on youtube - def going to keep that in mind as we move forward with this...



Lots of us have thought hard about this. Threads I'd recommend reading here:
How do you Have Both a Homestead and a Chronic Illness?
Aging in place with permaculture
And my house design, read the first part of the first post in this thread Maison du Bricolage: Do it yourself house  And the first part of the first post in this one Gardens in my Mind Look at the parameters I listed. I was pretty brutal about reality.  (and lack of some of those factors I noted are what has made it so my house is not built yet, and I still live in a rental that is NOT NOT NOT designed how I need. Makes the pain MUCH worse living here!) I put a LOT of thought into exactly what matters to us and what we can do.

Basically you need to design for REALITY, not fantasy. Would be lovely to have all that acreage, what EXACTLY do you want to do there? CAN you actually DO that? Are there ways to make it easier?  A good system design takes that into account.

Welcome to permies! Where you are absolutely NOT the only one who is broken
It would be good for you to start a thread here in Personal Challenges for more input on your particular problems... We are derailing this thread  
 
Kristine Keeney
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You know you're a Permie with health problems when:
This has happened -
https://permies.com/t/217585/a/212589/8d0e56939f85e17a77b93242a116f566.jpg


Or you find this funny:
https://permies.com/t/217585/a/212591/29b20d8f9ccf412926599d2655b48599.jpg
 
master pollinator
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This is a great companion discussion to the ones about designing for aging in place. Thanks to illness or injury, any one of us can become much less able much sooner that we had anticipated. If you're dealing with chronic conditions, reduced strength and mobility, low energy levels, and all the other things life seems to throw at us when we're least equipped to manage them, you start to really appreciate all the things that ease the burden.

Ramps instead of steps. Smaller bags and buckets. Mechanical advantage (and this includes things like long handles or pulleys as well as motors to do the work). Non-slip surfaces. Contrasting colours on edges that are hard to pick out in low light. Big bold labels on the boxes in the shed. Mowing strips and mulched pathways.

A lot of us get onto this journey when we're young and fit and think we'll always be that way. Some of us get the wakeup call ahead of "schedule" but that just means acceptance and adjustment, not giving up.
 
pollinator
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When I got sick with a mystery illness in 2005, we were already talking about building a homestead, using permaculture principles, to see if we could become less dependent on others for our food needs.
We bought our small California homestead 10 years later, not because I had gotten better, but because we needed something positive and productive in our lives.
I spend the next many years, mostly in bed going to doctor’s appointments and having nurse visits. During that time I was limited to using my brain to help my husband and kids. So, I did the design for both our front yard forest garden, and our more traditional raised bed garden, in the back. We started keeping chickens, then ducks moved in, and then my husband wanted to raise rabbits, more specifically an endangered livestock variety. As my depression from bedrest got worse, and I was unable to move outside the house without a wheelchair, my husband helped instal a small plant nursery in the bathroom connected to our bedroom. That nursery together with my therapist, kept me sane during some very hard times.  Slowly the food we ate, got better which helped. Then boom 3 1/2 years ago, and I finally got diagnosed with small fiber neuropathy and a body full of unnecessary antibodies. It was a revelation to not only get a diagnosis, but to also find out, that there was a treatment.
I started plasmapheresis in April 2 years ago. I was actually in surgery getting a port, on my birthday that year.
Now I am a lot better. I only use the wheelchair for long walks, I have taken back and expanded our gardens, and I can now usually put in 4- 6 hour days with gardening and food preservation.
My husband and son, still does the heavy lifting for me when I need it, and I love getting my body back. I am in PT once a week, since my muscles don’t work right, because of the long bedrest. I am also on oxygen since my heart needs to be reconditioned too, but I am out there every day and loving it.
I have good and bad days. Bad days, are when I throw my oxygen & HR monitor across the yard, because it keep going off “preventing”  my stubborn add from doing the work I need to get done. Good days are when I see my plants thriving, hear the birds sing in the morning, and can watch the rabbits hurriedly crossing from one tree to the next.
I have a gardening chair, that when you turn it upside down, turns into a kneeling pad, with handles to help you get up. It helps, I just have to remember to bring it with me. Got stuck yesterday on the ground, planting comfrey, because I didn’t take into account that the ground are more unstable there, so it’s harder to get up. Ended up crawling to a more stable surface before getting up.
In PT, we practice movements and stretches, and we do 5 minutes of cardio, to try and encourage my heart to pump better. At home I do stretches, since I get plenty of lifting and other exercises just by doing my everyday chores.
I do love it, so I ignore when people look strangely at the two ports in my chest, my oxygen tubing and the monitor at my wrist and fingers. Once you have spend 5+ years in bed, other problems seams minor, and you learn to love being able instead of being unable.
I will always need to get my plasma exchanged and my blood cleaned, but that’s no longer a large part of my life. It isn’t, in part because I want it like that. My focus isn’t on hospital visits, doctors, meds and all of that. My focus is on being happy for my second chance and to make the most of it. It’s on building a forest garden, that will feed many people for generations, and on building up my raised bed garden with as many perennials as I can find, and with as wide a variety of plants, as I can fit in. It’s on family, love and living.
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This is  the thread I can relate to, I could not wait to retire so I could get my place up and running. Only problem is I injured my knee again, got covid and it left me with no energy and severe problems with my eyes, ears and brain. Now I feel accomplished if I get the garden watered and the chickens and rabbits fed before noon. the chicken coop was all but destroyed by a heavy snow fall and I am still trying to put it back together. I told my kids that for my birthday this year I wanted it fixed and they came and just about got it all fixed. I just need a few more adjustment and it might even hold the chickens in. luckily, I  have been working on getting a homestead up and running for  several years. if I had waited to start when I actually retired I would not have anything done. I already put up the green house and build the rabbit cages and shelter before I actually reached retirement, had my garden square all set up and ready to go. I keep hoping I will get better and be able to do more, but I am finding I need a lot more rest breaks and struggle to get more than the basics done each day. It  took me almost 2 weeks to get the plants from the green house into the garden squares and I still have 2 squares  to go out of 13. so thanks for making me feel like I am not alone. I am not giving up and will just do what I can each day. Its better than the alternative of just giving up and watching live go by.
 
tom brennan
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Location: Ludlow, CO
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Suzanne Neumann wrote:so thanks for making me feel like I am not alone.



2nded...this site is really great for that reason and many others...we should have a gathering somewhere sometime, but we're all probably too busy on the farm
 
Robin Katz
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Pearl Sutton wrote:I added crawling practice to my exercise routine, up and down the hall. forward and backward. Lots of muscles involved! Freaks my cat out



I added crawling on carpet to one of my morning workout sessions after I injured my hamstring. My cats think I'm nuts too but that's nothing new. I think I have the most judgmental cats in the world.

Most of us haven't crawled since we were babies and it works muscles in a different way than we're used to. It strengthens the forearms and stretches the wrist joint too. I haven't tried crawling backwards yet but I'll do that next week. I'll probably trip over my knees and end up in a ball of tangled limbs on the carpet. Could be fun.
 
steward
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Yes, as I age, I find myself taking more scheduled and unscheduled breaks.   I also do a great deal of thought checking rather than rushing in and doing something. I closely examine what can go wrong …. And how wrong can it go.
 
See Hes
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I got an email from the Orthopedist telling me in his endless mercyness, that he was able to find a slot in beginning of November for my hip bone replacement.

The email came about 2 hrs after I was reading my own post:

https://permies.com/t/30/205283/permaculture/long-dream-Thailand-Part#1844559

Still all the happyness spinning around in my head, how much we achieved in just 5 month on our farm,
(It gives me the hope and power needed, to do my 9 month work season in Taiwan)
I replied: Thank you Sir, I will confirm in due time, if I see that the physical condition getting worse and makes a hip bone replacement really necessary...

I forgot that my wife was in CC, she went a little weeny bit ballistic on me at the phone and joined the converstation:

Dear Doctor N.....,
herewith I confirm the surgery date for my husband as per your email.
If I have not the power of attorney to confirm the date, I will work on some physical impacts by car or scooter, to make his hip unuseable.
Be assured that my husband will be there.

Shall I tell her that my knees also are quite worn down too?
Naah, better later.
If I am still limping and struggling, I can blame the Doctor messed my hip bone up.. LOL

Maybe I can persuade the doctor, that I do not need a 14 days rehab and tell him, what I have on my to do list on the farm next winter...

I have a Farm now hence I am OKEE!
 
Kevin David
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I’m catching up on the recent posts in here. Lots of beautiful remarks that are quite cathartic to me. Thank you for starting this thread Pearl. Reading these  posts gives me some solace. To be honest, a few comments were painful to read because it reminded me of ways I’m stuck in life that I have been ignoring.

Since I found this thread I’m also noticing my little square foot garden bed on the balcony is full of “signs you are permie with health issues”…

-I put the frame for the netting on backwards last year. I’m not fixing it. Just found a way to attach the netting that looks…wrong

-the whole design is sloppy. I didn’t follow instructions to use screws and braces when I made it. No coating on the boards, it’s falling apart already on year 3.

-I just used nails around the house, which were too big(more like the boards weren’t thick enough, another way I didn’t follow the books advice). I only covered up the nails sticking out a week or two ago. I put screws in last year because the boards were coming apart and soil was escaping, but it was too late. Cracked boards on the ends, nails, holes….I threw on some L-braces very sloppily. I should take a picture of that. I can imagine my uncle shaming me for being lazy and just “not having it in me” as he said, when it comes to building things.

-I suppose my anxiety and insecurity over not being able to do these little projects better is a sign as well. Generally just feeling lazy and guilty about not doing more, with better quality.

-I’m typing this laying on the floor with abdominal pain, doing breathing exercises, aromatherapy, and red light therapy simultaneously. That’s a sign of something, maybe not necessarily a permie. (By the way, some of you might benefit from red light therapy based on the health issues you’ve mentioned)

I’m feeling a hell of a lot better after getting that off my chest.

 
Pearl Sutton
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Kevin David wrote:-I’m typing this laying on the floor with abdominal pain, doing breathing exercises, aromatherapy, and red light therapy simultaneously. That’s a sign of something, maybe not necessarily a permie.  


I can't type while I do my floor exercises, although that's when I do most of my texting. I sit at my desk and drink the weird stuff I do, and use my nebulizer with herbal stuff in it, and take my vitamins.
You can usually tell how much crap I'm having to do to function by how much time I have to post on permies, lots of posts means I'm sitting here doing medical stuff, not ready to stand up and go out and play in the dirt.
 
Kevin David
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Pearl Sutton wrote:

Kevin David wrote:-I’m typing this laying on the floor with abdominal pain, doing breathing exercises, aromatherapy, and red light therapy simultaneously. That’s a sign of something, maybe not necessarily a permie.  


I can't type while I do my floor exercises, although that's when I do most of my texting. I sit at my desk and drink the weird stuff I do, and use my nebulizer with herbal stuff in it, and take my vitamins.
You can usually tell how much crap I'm having to do to function by how much time I have to post on permies, lots of posts means I'm sitting here doing medical stuff, not ready to stand up and go out and play in the dirt.



I relate to that last sentence a lot(although I don’t have much dirt to play in currently), especially if I’m up with pain or some other symptom keeping me up at night.
 
Carla Burke
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Pearl Sutton wrote:
You can usually tell how much crap I'm having to do to function by how much time I have to post on permies, lots of posts means I'm sitting here doing medical stuff, not ready to stand up and go out and play in the dirt.



This is me, too. I'm getting so little done, this last few weeks. When I'm not here, we're either running errands or making a wild attempt to catch up on all the things I'm falling behind on. It's an annual spring challenge to myself, to buy the stuff I want to plant, then see how much of it I can get into the ground, in between taking care of the critters, John, and myself. John has all he can do, most of the time, to keep us fed.
 
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Buying soap and hand lotion in bulk because I've gotta do most things by feel, so no gloves for sticky tomato harvest. My hands are green and black July through September.🤣
 
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When a big object only moves a couple feet a day until it's where it's supposed to be 😬
 
pollinator
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I can relate to having to do most things by feel, I have visual impairment I was born with, so that's my life.  And so gardening is no exception, I can see shapes and colours, but that's often not enough haha.  Whenever a "volunteer" plant decides to grow in one of my pots (limited to container gardening because we're in an apartment with a patio), I have my husband come and use the plant ID app. so we know whether this mystery visitor is a new plant friend or a "no thanks".  I try to do as much of the garden stuff as I can solo, since its not my husband's thing, but occasionally I need visual help like that.  

Because of my other conditions I need to do things on days when its doable.  Some days not very much will get done, I just accept that, and cudos to my husband for also accepting that, he knew the score when we got married, and then on days when I can then I try to do as much as I can.
 
pioneer
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Kristine Keeney wrote:Not everything has to be about Permaculture.



This might seem pedantic, but I disagree. As I've struggled to be functional these last few years, I've discovered that I haven't made enough things about permaculture. I'm guilty of it too, but I think we tend to put too much focus on permanent culture on a macro level, but we don't consider what that means on an individual level. If it isn't sustainable for us as individuals, then it cannot, as a collection of individuals, be sustainable for us as a culture. Patterns repeat at every scale.

We get stuck on things like food production, or building, or energy production, or whatever... but at its core sustainability has to be about what the human animal is actually capable of sustaining over time.

When a task makes me absolutely exhausted I have to stop and ask myself some questions. Was this a one off thing that I won't have to repeat? If so, then it's probably fine. Sometimes you do just have to push through. But if it's a recurring task that repeatedly wrecks me, that isn't sustainable. Do I actually need to do this task? Do I need to do it in this particular way, or do I have to do so much of it? Can I keep going like this for a year? 5 years? 10 years? If I can do something now so that I won't have to do it in 10 years, that's probably also worth doing. But if doing it now will obligate me to do it in 10 years, then maybe I should find a way to go without or to do things differently.

So many of my health issues stem, at least in part, from not saying no enough, both to myself and to others. We don't stop to recognize that many of us work 2-3x as long in a given day as hunter gatherers, or to ask if what we're getting in exchange for that is worth it. We traded skill for effort and a handful of shiny baubles. I think most of us, if we were honest and realistic, would be much happier if we had more and better connections than if we had more stuff.

I guess this is a long-winded way of saying, give yourself a break. You are all almost certainly doing more and for longer than the human animal was ever meant to do. We were designed to sprint, literally and metaphorically, and then rest, not to sprint an entire ultramarathon. We were built for feast and for famine. We were built to gorge ourselves when a tree ripens its fruit or when we had a successful hunt, and we were supposed to rest while enjoying the spoils of our short, hard effort. If our lives don't support the kind of rest, and the kind of community, that we're were designed for... well, you're never going to build permanent culture out of that. Be kind to yourself, because it is reflected in the kindness you are able to show to others. Do small things and celebrate them. Celebrate the small things that others do too. Small things add up over time.

The other way I judge if I'm pushing myself too hard is when I need something external, like caffeine or painkillers, specifically to do that task (and not as a manner of treating chronic pain, etc., obviously.) I might still indulge in those things, but as soon as it becomes a matter of "I need X in order to do Y" it's a sign that I'm pushing the human animal beyond its natural limits. I enjoy working hard and doing difficult things, but I didn't evolve to do that day after day for decades. Some of that effort must go towards play, and towards connection. When it doesn't, we get into problems.
 
Riona Abhainn
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Thank you Matthew, I needed this today.
 
Pearl Sutton
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When you make a classy style out of what you have to do it cope. My canes are lovely, my corsets look neat and work with my wardrobe, and my small scale systems I need at the moment are designed to do exactly what I can cope with.
My first biochar burn! Itty bitty Pearl sized system!

I gave up long ago attempting to hide the things I need to do, and now I flaunt them! :D  I'm told it helps others to feel like they, too, can do stuff if they just think on it a bit. And helps them feel a bit more confident about being visible with their coping.

What WOULD it take for me to be able to do this? Do I need to do it the way others do? Do I need to do it at all? If there was something that would do exactly what I need, what would it look like?
 
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Mercy Pergande wrote:Honey, you gotta get yourself a hammock! It will rock your world.



Yes! a decade in a hammock - terrible scoliosis - I never have had to wear a brace again. It stretches the spine and wraps. I use the parachute fabric type.
I do have other health issues and need to take breaks.
I love my hammocks/s. Every time I launder it - it's a brand new bed.
Anyway - many breaks. We persevere.
Peace,
Jo
 
I am going to test your electrical conductivity with this tiny ad:
Binge on 17 Seasons of Permaculture Design Monkeys!
http://permaculture-design-course.com
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