Light at the End of the Tunnel

Coping with the pandemic has been difficult, but we appear to be slowly seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. With the vaccination program progressing successfully, Americans wearing masks and keeping social distances, the risk of infection is diminishing.

Steve and I have had our second shot, with severe complications for me, but I am so grateful that I am approaching an immunity that will allow me to live a fuller and more varied life. I would do it again, despite the complications I developed. The improved quality of life the vaccine gives us makes it all worth it.

During the quiet and mostly homebound year, there was lots of time to ponder about life. Unfortunately for so many, it was an imposed staying home because of job scarcity, and I hope and wish that this will improve soon. And my heart is heavy and sad, thinking of the significant loss in human life this pandemic has caused. There are no words to describe the pain and sorrow.

Now Americans are slowly climbing out of the hole, and although it will take more effort from all of us to make it a successful endeavor, it is a turn to recover and progress. I do not mind wearing a mask and observing restrictions as they come along, as long as they benefit everyone. Maybe you can focus on the positive aspect that with a successful vaccination program, the virus hopefully will be controlled, as long as we combine it with other safety features like wearing masks and maintaining social distances. I hope this will be the case rather than plunging again into an uncontrolled growth of the pandemic. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to place the pandemic into our memory banks?

Yes, life has its ups and downs, but we don’t have to cling to the downs, although it might sometimes seem that there is no way out. There is always a sunrise.

I hope you are traveling through these difficult times, keeping your spirits up and knowing that a better future awaits you. And hopefully, this restrictive period in our lives has allowed you to catch up with projects you wanted to do. I call it a physical as well as a metaphorical housecleaning. I have done both, which allowed me to remain optimistic and full of hope for the future.

I wish you a happy climbing out of the pandemic. Stay happy and healtlhy and trust that all will be well again.

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com

 

 

The Gift of Care Givers

After years of struggling to maintain a balance between my disease and Steve’s life, who endeavored to make my life more comfortable at a considerable sacrifice, my health finally required that I have professional home care, and the thought was intimidating to me. Was it because I had to admit that I am getting weaker, or the fear of losing my privacy and independence? With considerable trepidation, I agreed, and to my surprise, I am enjoying the care and attention.

My caregiver is a lovely young woman, a beautiful soul, and a charming companion. I feel like I have a loving daughter with me, someone who cares and likes to see me happy.

People like her seem like angels to me. They put themselves into your shoes, put your interest ahead of their own, and give without restraint or limitation. Having an angel assisting me is like a dream come true. When she arrives in the morning a few times a week, it is like the sun is shining, and her smile touches me deeply, even if it is through her face mask. I was never aware of these selfless and caring people and feel grateful for the pleasure of finishing my life with them. Please do not worry about me. I am still functioning and alert but getting weaker rapidly. I am still learning how to maximize my home care but am getting better at it. One thing is sure: I enjoy every moment of it.

There were times when I thought I would have to move to a retirement home when my need for additional care manifested itself, my husband being a willing but not professional care giver. These last few years took a toll on him, and I didn’t want to increase his burden. Now I know that I can enjoy my time at home to the fullest, and I am grateful. It is like a dream comes true being surrounded by compassion, empathy, and kindness, and no additional burden for Steve. There is no space for feeling sorry for myself, but rather a deep sense of being blessed and grateful.

I cannot express the depth of my gratitude. If you ever had a fleeting thought of “what will become of me and how will I cope?” do not worry. There are angels amongst us who will share their kindness and skills and make your life worth living right to the end. One thing is sure; with their assistance you can enjoy every segment of your life!

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com

 

 

Intuition

Intuition can play an essential role in our lives, and it is worthwhile to be open and listen to it. Don’t discard thoughts and feelings without examining them and evaluating if they are related to anything happening in your life or perhaps to some dreams and aspirations you are harboring.

I have used my intuition for a very long time. My metaphysical studies encouraged me early on, and it became second nature over the years. These days I mostly use it for my health, and it can surprise me.

Recently I suffered tremendous pain due to an enlarged spleen. It was so unbearable that the doctors at the Mayo decided to hospitalize me for a few days to develop a plan to control the pain. My stay started with a blood transfusion of two units in the emergency room, followed by intensive pain management in the hospital. A few days later, I was discharged, and for about four weeks, I was pain-free. It was a real blessing, and I was delighted and deeply grateful. I had forgotten how wonderful a life without constant pain could be. But then, the pain increased progressively, and only more pain medications made me comfortable.

I also became symptomatic for severe anemia, and my CBC showed that I was urgently in need of a transfusion. I received two units of blood at the Mayo Clinic. We returned home, and the next day my spleen pain was gone, like before. I went to bed that night and asked my higher self if there was a correlation between my hemoglobin level and my spleen pain since it happened the second time. I always talk to my higher self, but you can call it anything you are comfortable with. The next morning, I woke up feeling confident that my spleen pain was related to my anemia. This sounded far-fetched, but I believe in my intuition and decided to submit that question to Mayo’s palliative care team during my Zoom meeting. My question surprised them, but after some consideration, they concluded that my intuition might be right because a higher hemoglobin level allows the spleen to work more efficiently. Conversely, a low level puts more stress on the spleen. The Mayo team concluded that it is logical and a possibility, although not clinically proven. I thanked my intuition for giving me that insight. Moreover, it might open a door for me to participate more actively in my care. How? Well, I will keep detailed notes on what medications I take. I’ll have my blood checked more often and have a blood transfusion sooner rather than waiting to become symptomatic from severe anemia. I have to see what the future brings, but not having to suffer so much pain would indeed be a miracle sprouted from my intuition. It is a thrilling thought.

How can you develop your intuition? Try making sure that the last thoughts before going to sleep are something you want your higher self to work on during your sleep to give you more clarity. Lie with your eyes closed, open your mind, and allow your intuition to communicate. I have found that it is a powerful tool.

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com

 

Mind and Body

Recently I was challenged by an abrupt hospitalization due to severe and intolerable spleen pain. Before I knew what was happening, I was in the hospital emergency room, then transported to a patient room with numerous special teams taking care of me. High doses of intravenous pain medication took the pain away like a dream but left me numb and out of touch. I knew this was only temporary, and that the final regiment would be effective and comfortable. The most important thing then was that the pain was gone.

But I have never felt so strange in my life. It felt like my physical and spiritual body were separated. And the question popped into my mind: “why would people drug themselves, is this what they are looking for”? Sure, problems disappear, and an artificial balance is created, but feelings disappear as well, and isn’t that what allows a human being to enjoy pleasures, feelings, and to grow? Lots of questions went through my mind during that short period of time, and I feel grateful and in awe of the complexity of our mind and body. Here I was crippled with pain and feeling sorry for myself, then I go through a period of complete pain-free detachment, and finally, my whole being comes together again. The image of a dog shaking wildly and bringing all the hair back in place again, that’s in a way how I felt. And it was a heavy shaking!

I am nearly back to my old self, pain-free I would like to point out, and I am grateful and delighted. I am still struggling with some of the drug effects, but they are disappearing rapidly. The doctors at the Mayo did an awesome job, and I am grateful for my blessings; doctors who can perform such miracles are mind-boggling and my gratitude is deep.

The mind and body connection is a miracle. Treat it with respect and be grateful for the blessings it provides. This experience in my life is difficult to describe, but hopefully, I was able to give you a glimpse. It will always be at the forefront of my mind. It made me clearly aware of the need to keep a harmonious relationship between the two so we can enjoy life to the fullest.

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com

A Special Day

Seventy-six years ago, a little girl was born into the ravaging final stage of WWII. Three months later, her father died in a massive bombing attack, and then after a few weeks, the house burned down in another assault by allied bombers, burying her under the rubble. Her mother dug her out and tried to save the baby’s eyes using her breast milk since no water was available. A rough beginning indeed, and that little girl was me.

It has been a long and diversified journey since then. I experienced incredible spiritual encounters, painful losses, stressful family situations, two immigrations, a successful career, exotic travel, and a more even and exciting life with my husband for the last 38 years.

Looking back at my life and considering the serious health condition I am dealing with, my birthday this year felt like the closing of a circle. I felt compelled to ponder where I stood in my life at this time and came to the conclusion that I am in peace. Most of my life lessons have been absorbed, and I can honestly say that I am ready to accept whatever is waiting for me. Not everything has been solved to my satisfaction, but I cannot change people. The only thing I can do is love them from far away and hope that someday they will open up enough to feel my love.

I have been blessed with many loving and caring friends, and my life is filled with happiness. Please do not think that this is a goodbye note, I still have some living to do, but my birthday this year brought clarity to me which I wanted to share.

Life is a gift, and being close to the end of mine, I am filled with appreciation. I know that some of the struggles and challenges made me grow to the person I have become. I am grateful for the opportunities and will keep on with my efforts to become a better and more fulfilled person. My birthday has always been connected to a painful loss in my younger years, and I understand loss so much better since I have lived it myself. We all feel in different ways, and I am not so presumptuous to think that I am an expert about loss and know how others think and feel. I am talking about the hole and the void loss creates and the resulting experience we carry with us throughout our whole life. This is true for most of our emotions, and the more I can feel, the humbler I become.

My birthday this year was a special day. I’ll travel this memory lane often and it will give me strength and joy during the coming year.

Enjoy every day to the fullest and be happy.

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com

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