Tag Archives: Sickness

Journal – past fears, future fears

 

Reading about Huntington’s
Brings back memories of caregiving
The stress, the pain, the joy, the pain, the guilt
The pain, the pain
My heart aches, it’s full of love for her
But I’ve got nowhere to put it.
She knew what she meant to us.
We told her we loved her.
Remember her calling “I love you” to our backs as we left
When she finally managed to get her tongue around the words
Was it three years ago that we lost her?
Is that all?
Is that a lot?
The wound has reopened
And it feels like she’s still in the nursing home
I’m once again feeling that terrible weight
“I have to visit her, it’s been a while.”
Seeing her crumpled up
Like an empty can.

Sitting in my car
The car she gave me
The car she loved so much
She would still ask after that car
Say things like, I’m glad you have it now.
I would sit in the cab
In the nursing home parking lot
Stare at my young hands
Resting on the wheel, just where hers did
Wonder whose hands they were
Building courage, every time
To go see her
For her sake, to go see her
Because of what she did for me
Because she gave me so much joy
Because we laughed together in that car
Getting pizza, renting movies
She drove me to college in that car for a year
We gave rides to a pathetic classmate of mine
Mom scolded me for not talking nice about her behind her back
Although we were both exhausted by her unending need.
I would sit in that car
Alone now
Behind the wheel now
Despair gnawing on my brain
Dread gnawing on my gut
Knowing I would have to face her again
Face her dying again
Face her confused tears again
Watch her cough and choke again
Her hands clenched into cold blue granite
Argue away her demands for ice cream, diet coke, diet coke, one more diet coke
They said only two cokes mom… okay I’ll sneak you one more
In my childhood I said yes ma’am
I obeyed without question
It was my joy to obey
She accepted me well; I never rebelled against her
Until she was dying
Then
I finally learned to tell her no
I’d spend an hour
Either fielding her demands
Or talking her down from a mental precipice
On good days, I just got to listen
As she rambled through her own fanciful mind
Picking gems here and there for me to examine
Her imagination truly unfettered.
Every day hurt.

I’m going to have to go through it all
All of it
Again.
The spiral is coming back around
And points this way.
It’s still far off
Barely visible on the horizon.

Well
I’ve done things I’m afraid of before.
I’ve gone to the dentist
I went and went until I wasn’t afraid
I’ve taken the worst they can throw at me
And trounced that fear.
I’ve ridden roller coasters
I’ve jumped from great heights
I’ve walked alone down dark hallways with the lights off.
I visited mom.
I can face fears.
I can face reality.
I can face grisly horrors
I can face and embrace the darkness.
Shit happens.
We all gotta die.
We all gotta lose someone.
It’s okay to be scared
But being scared is a waste of precious time.
I am strong
I am brave
I can take a lot of fucking punishment.
I can take a lot of grief.
I can take a lot of burden.
I’ve been there.
I will be there again.
I’ve been well taught
How to bear things with stoicism and grace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Head cold brain fog

 

I finally finished something! My little horror comic is all done. See how cute and horrible it is. Joel is definitely me, going to work every morning. Witness the melodrama.

https://www.webtoons.com/en/challenge/last-minute/list?title_no=276285

Being sick actually helped get this done. My brain was in a weird fog. I spent a long time sitting in my car in the parking garage because I got distracted by the weirdness of my tongue in the rearview mirror. It’s such a horrible gross alien, all twitchy and purple and veiny and sluglike. I just stuck it out and moved it around and marveled that I was in control of this thing. After a while I realized, I’d been doing this for god knows how long, and I needed to get a drink of water, and drive home.

Then I got home, and Don said something about the cat doing something, I don’t know, I don’t listen to him much 😉 and I thought about saying, “It wouldn’t be outside of the realm of possibility” in response. But I got mentally hooked on that phrase and was like, how long did that take just to say in my head. It’s the longest possible phrase. I say that all the time, too. Did I say that just now? I’m not sure. Why don’t I just say maybe. Could I find a LONGER phrase than “It wouldn’t be outside of the realm of possibility?” Could I BE any dorkier?

But when I called in sick, I just spent all day staring at the computer screen with the paint bucket tool, connecting lines, clicking fill, connecting lines, clicking fill. The whole damn thing got done. I am really amazed that I got anything done in the state of mind I was in, but if I were in a normal state of mind, I probably wouldn’t have done jack.

I didn’t used to be affected by colds this way. I’m not sure if this comes from getting older and being just more susceptible to everything, or if it is simply a matter of me not being as repressed, so I allow myself to get emotionally and mentally affected by things. It was kind of fun, except for the occasional drowning in my own excretions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Caretakers

You can recognize them once you know how to look.

Their shoulders dragging intangible weight.

They are pale and doughy

Living off of pre-made meals and energy shots.

They have dark lines under their eyes

And smiles underlaid with sadness.

They mulishly take blows

Sharp words that cut too true

Abuse that only family can give.

They can whip their way through hideously complex paperwork

Without blinking.

They can make decisions

Hard decisions

Pop a Rolaid and move forward.

 

They are bound, bound

Earthbound

Emotionally bound

Bound by duty

Bound for destruction

Sick with dread

Awaiting the day of freedom

Which carries with it

Their greatest grief.