Today, Five Minutes at a Time

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gotta write. If nothing else just to do something productive. I have a desire to scream and withdraw. Less today than yesterday, and probably less after I release these noises in my head. My jabbering voice. My noisy heartbeat. My ears. The squeaky joints.  Now I have a limp to accompany the vestibular challenge.

Back to Group Health for me this week. Well, last week, after I pulled what I figured was a groin ligament. It flared up again after I changed my weight training workout a couple of weeks ago. Apparently hip flexor exercises are not good for me! So after limping around for a couple of days with more pain than usual, I decided that it may just be time to get a professional opinion – ice or heat? Some days are better than others. My attempts to  stretch out of the  problem were causing more pain rather than relief. I haven’t had this for quite some time. Out of sight, out of mind. But back again. Referral to sports med, another $25 dollars, another trip across town, get an x-ray. Hmm. The femur bone is not the perfect fit into the hip joint. Perhaps the bone didn’t fully develop in childhood. Is there a theme here? Call it arthritis, he said. When you are old, he said, you’ll probably need a hip replacement. Great. For now, it will be six months of body realigning PT exercises to go with my already unaligned balance issue.

I don’t like complaining, but this sucks right now. Slipping the instep supports into my slippers as suggested created all sorts of dizziness yesterday. My brain just doesn’t want any more information or changes, no matter how subtle. Please. I’m getting grumpy.

I’m getting crazy!

True story… Many years ago (when Safeway still existed in downtown Olympia) I lost my car keys. It was between the car and the grocery store. Now, anyone can drop their keys, or have the key ring bust open. Not too mysterious. But that car required the key to lock the door as a protection against locking your keys inside. I bought my groceries, just a couple of items as I recall, and started to unlock the car door. Except I didn’t have my key. I dug through my purse. I searched the parking lot. I traced my steps through the store. I went to the customer service. No key. Door locked.  Too weird. I finally called a locksmith to fix the situation. Several months later I found the key – inside the car, under the driver’s seat. It just appeared. How? I have no idea, because I had to use the key to lock the door. I had cleaned out the car. I still don’t understand.

Yesterday, I was talking on the phone, my calendar notepad in my lap, in front of the computer. Something fell. I thought I had dropped my pen, but I hadn’t because the pen was still nested among the calendar pages. Oh, it was my glasses. I can’t see now. OK, glasses have become such a part of my face anymore that I look for them when I’m wearing them. Don’t laugh! I’m trying to talk and find my glasses at the same time I am talking and searching and confused. It’s a good thing I was on the phone with an understanding friend.  I grabbed the spare pair from my purse. I’m wearing them now. I can’t find those other glasses. Gone. Vanished. Not in the recycle box, not in the wastebasket. Didn’t bounce under the chair, or fall into my shredder. Can’t be found under the desk and not among the computer wires. Not in my jacket pockets. What the heck? Am I crazy?  I have moved everything a half a dozen times since then with no luck finding this pair of glasses. Could I have not been wearing them? No, I was working. There’s no way I could see. And I haven’t found them elsewhere (yes, I looked.) Why am I so distracted? How can a pair of glasses literally disappear from my face? This isn’t normal. This isn’t funny. Alright, it is sorta’ funny.


How can Dave still be getting upright when he is literally skin and bones? (I can’t believe that there is less of him each week, I gasped to myself after his shower yesterday.)

How does his will work so powerfully against illness? What keeps him going?

Am I placing distractions in my way?

There is more to come. I am feeling a little crazy. Thanksgiving dinner was fun. This time now is not fun. It’s the aftermath – leftovers, creating new dinners from the main dish, finding more turkey hidden on the carcass, filling the containers, eating, using smaller containers, cleaning up, freezing dinners, storing the specialty gadgets. It has taken me a week to get almost back in order.  Four loads of dishes. Stack up the dirty ones until I put away the clean ones. Something always waiting to be done. It’s not simple and it is simple. “Aftermath” is my life analogy at this moment. I feel reactive, not proactive. (Grief is a reaction to loss.) This is grief. Caregiving. Life. I am operating in slow motion.

I am fighting my way through a thick fog: in battle against my own body; acting on behalf of Dave’s body. When I try to not fight I get restless. I have trouble being in the moment, because I don’t like it here. When I am still, I hear too many noises in my head. When I move, I am off balance. I spend more time in quiet as Dave sleeps longer. We sit without much to say. I can’t look forward and I can’t look back. Reactive, not proactive. I’ve lost my initiative for the moment. I can’t get away from myself or Dave’s illness.

Five minutes at a time. That’s how he combated Hodgkins Disease. This is how I get through today. Before I know it, the clock will move and another day is gone. This too shall pass, I remind myself.

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