I have always been a person who likes to do more than one thing at a time. To me it has always seemed efficient. It never occurred to me that perhaps being constantly active in body and mind might be too much and not really healthy. What I mean is, in my daily life of farm, house, work, animal chores, volunteering, errands etc., my mind and body are constantly active on what I am doing and what I need to do. In the efforts to get all the things done I want to accomplish in a day, I am constantly busy. From the moment I wake up, I am on the go.
I stage items to move about the house while whisking pet hair on the floor with my foot and will scoop that up on my next trip by. I water and transplant plants, check on the gardens, harvest produce and herbs, preserve everything, clean out garden beds and endlessly weed……. Clean out the chicken house and gather eggs, water everyone and clean those containers, take out or stock canning jars in my she shed, check on the drying herbs there, then go next door to the garage and pull beef from the freezer for dinner and 100 other things that just need done. I am not alone. I am sure anyone reading this can relate to the endless “to-do’ list.
I am so far behind on my reading that I always have a stack of magazine including the latest editions of Mother Earth News or Mother Earth News Living with me in the bath. Every book and magazine I own is water logged.
For the last decade I do butt scrunches while I watch TV or drive so as to be exercising while I ‘waste” time. My mind and body never really STOP and I move around at breakneck speed. This year it caught up with me.
This year I turned 52 but honestly don’t feel any certain age. I am not sure how 52 is supposed to feel but I have tons of energy, rarely get sick and my body feels like it did in my 20s. I go to the gym 4 or 5 days a week consistently year-round, and hike my dogs for about an hour pretty much every day. I cook all of our meals from real, unprocessed food, take high quality supplements via pill or powder form every day, drink lots of water, power and care for my body by consuming herbal teas and lots of natural remedies and I try to sleep enough though at times, sleeping is difficult for me. I don’t sit for long periods of time; I move my body all day long at chores and schedule errands and volunteering for after the gym. Last year I got a pair of Traq shoes which keeps track of those steps and one day I walked over 14 miles in just normal activity. I think that is a lot. That is a little above average for me but I am on my feet A LOT. I like to joke that the only time I sit down is to go to the bathroom and eat dinner.
After all the planting was pretty much done in late June, I was getting the farm ready to host our annual Summer Solstice Party. We save our cardboard and paper refuse and burn it several times a year. I store all that on our lower back deck and wanted it all cleaned up for the party so was taking trips back and forth to the burn pile. I slipped on one of those trips and fell down injuring my right middle finger. I could bend it so splinted it and went on working. There was much to do.
Four weeks later it was still REALLY sore and I had my annual doctor’s appointment with a physician I have had for decades. She examined the finger and said it will eventually heal. Tendon/ligament damage but no bones broken. I asked about a bone density test and she said not yet. I went on my merry way.
Several hours later I was rushing around as usual and needed to retrieve some light bulbs I had stored in our pole barn. I didn’t take the time to secure the ladder and box that I stepped on to reach them properly and, on the way down lost my footing and fell backwards onto the ground with the ladder whacking me on the head. I heard a snap and felt PAIN.
I looked at my dangling right wrist and knew I had broken it. I ran into the house to my husband who was working in his office. I said I think I broke my wrist. He looked at it, ran from the room, got ice, sat me down and said we are going to the ER. I broke both bones of my right wrist and had to have surgery to repair the one and now have a plate and screws in my body.
Being a farmer, I was devastated that work as I knew it would have to STOP. This was July 23rd, a VERY busy time on the farm. For two weeks I had to lie down and do basically nothing while the gardens grew, the chicken house got pretty icky, the meals were very basic and I SLEPT. I had NEVER been able to nap in my life unless I was ill, but I couldn’t stay awake now. I made a little bed on my screened in porch with pillows and a sheet and started reading the Harry Potter books on my settee. Every day I napped for 2-3 hours and when I resumed the dog hikes VERY carefully, I had to take TWO 2-3-hour naps daily. The dogs and cats were good company as they will take every opportunity to nap and I got through 5 Harry Potter books.
After two weeks I returned to see the surgeon. They removed the cast and the doctor said I could wear a splint now. Yippee. This was much less restrictive. I had several follow up appointments and each time the doctor has been really pleased with how fast I was healing. I was on weight restriction of course but as soon as I finished the physical therapy, I could do pretty much everything! I resumed as much farm work as I was able and accepted help from friends and neighbors.
Last week, in mid-October, after my gym class I took two big boxes of gifts I needed to post. I could have taken them in one at a time but no, in usual Marsha fashion, I piled them both in my arms and was quickly walking to the door. People were exiting and considering we are living in the era of Covid-19, though everyone was masked, I moved out of the way to give them some room to pass and stepped off the sidewalk rolling my right ankle like I had never done before. Down I went like a sack of potatoes, boxes flying and I watched my ankle instantly swell. The urge to retch was really strong and I was in intense pain. At this point I cried a bit too as I was feeling like I broke my ankle this time and if that would be the case, I was REALLY screwed. A wrist was hard enough but this injury would stop the dog hikes and the massive running around the farm. I had a bit of a pity party right there on the ground.
While I was laying there with my head in my hands, one lady did stop and ask me if I was ok and in about ten minutes, the urge to vomit passed so I got up and hobbled into the post office, mailed the packages then went home. Mitch was getting ready to leave for his annual camping trip with his childhood buddies and I presented my bruised and swollen ankle to him for review. He went and got the athletic wrap, tightly wrapped it and brought me some ice and Advil, kissed me and left. The pets gathered around and looked sad. This was one day Bandit and Bubba were not getting hiked. We have 6 fenced-in acres, go walk yourselves. Mommy is possibly broken AGAIN.
So, I lay there and Googled ankle injuries and agreed it was probably a sprain. There are 3 degrees of sprained ankles I now know and I thought I was a 1 or a 2. I did not rush off to the ortho and all my friends were chastising me for this.
After the first 24 hours I pulled off the bandage and had a look. Lots of swelling and bruising but it seemed stable to walk on. 72 hours in I had my regularly scheduled final post-surgery follow up with Dr. Welker on my wrist and I asked him to look at my ankle. He examined it and said it was a sprain and if it isn’t 100% better by Thanksgiving I am to return. Ice and elevation and rest to continue and I am doing all that. As when I was newly injured on my wrist, every day during that first week, I simply HAD to nap.
Again, I am healing remarkably fast and people keep commenting on this. I am 11 days in and back at the gym.
I truly believe that all the efforts I put into taking care of myself every day of the year is to credit my fast recovery. Since I started deeply delving into growing food organically, raising chickens and bees, growing mushrooms, growing herbs for teas, tinctures and herbal extracts and exploring healthier ways of eating, I am not only preventing illness but fortifying my body so it is strong and healthy and able to concentrate on healing. I also have a grateful heart and I think that is also helpful.
I need to and am going to make a conscious effort to slow down and take my time. It won’t be easy for me, but what has happened to me in 2020 has truly scared me. I did get that bone scan and while I don’t have osteoporosis, I do have osteopenia. I already take the recommended dosages of calcium and vitamin D3 and ingest lots of collagen, magnesium and Triflex for joint support, but I need to take my speed through life below 70 MPH. I believe I am doing a really good job at caring for this body but I will be a senior citizen in three years (OMG, really?) and taking careful and slower steps are becoming necessary.
While over the course of a lifetime, we will become ill, break bones and more, I do believe taking care of yourself is the best medicine and we CAN heal our body naturally. During Covid, I published a restorative and healthy cookbooklet on that subject and I hope you will check it and me out. https://www.amazon.com/My-Healing-Cookbooklet-Recipes-Restoration/dp/1734711906/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Marsha+Cassel+book&qid=1603832048&sr=8-1
I want to become a real natural healer and expert with herbs and through attending several Mother Earth News fairs, know just the teacher I want to contact to reach that goal.
Winter is coming. The pace of life around the farm is slowing. Now is the perfect time for me to get a deeper understanding of all the medicine growing right outside under my healing ankle. #naturalmedicine #herbalremedies