Monday, June 30, 2008

In just three days, two really, I shall be in the abode of my dear friend B again, compliments of one day of holiday leave and two of comp leave.

I am of two minds, or even three, about going. I want very much to spend time with her family and am honored that she changed her plans for camping so that the weekend would work out (granted our earlier discussion of coming again did slip her mind when she started making new camping plans). I do not wish to hurt her feelings.

After my last, somewhat disastrous visit, I posted my thoughts that perhaps I shouldn't travel. I wrote them, but did not post for a while because I did not want to hurt her feelings with my own feelings. I finally posted and her magnificent husband G sent me a most welcoming email. At one point, he rather bluntly pointed out that he was a guy and that meant he needed explicit instructions about the thermostat, not hints. Part of me did feel as if I had to beg for cooler air even there. 74 or 76 is cool to most everyone one I know. Those are uncomfortable numbers for me.

Prompted by his kindness, I pursued a visit with B again and voila...I am going. G is the one riding the train (oh, how that man loves trains). And I have to admit that I am looking forward to shooting the breeze with him on the way down. Even more so, I am very much looking forward to bringing him to bible study that night so he can meet Pastor D. [I have volumes to write about that man of God, but each time I try, my description pales in comparison to the light of Christ he is. In the meanwhile, I added his blog to mine.]

However, even the thought of endless game playing between dirty diapers, pizza, and sharing Dr. Who with B, is not enough to quell the troubled waters of my heart. I feel as if it is so very difficult to walk through my days. Why should I inflict that on anyone else?

What trauma or drama or both will occur this time? If I go and visit and once again tumble down the stairs or keel over in public or gasp through an asthma long will it be before I lose the first place I have ever been able to even consider a place to call home?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

My legs are hurting. All my limbs are trembling. I am sweaty and weak and exhausted.

Yesterday, I vacuumed for 1 hour and 23 minutes, because I have been woefully neglectful of my house feeling so poorly as I have been. While vacuuming lasts about 10 minutes in my house, I did think that I ought to roll up my sleeves and apply some elbow grease to my abode.

I scrubbed, mopped, wiped, dusted, polished, swept, picked-up, and scoured my home. The silver and mirrors are shining. The color on the television screen is much brighter. The furniture and floors are gleaming. The trash is emptied. The blinds are clean. The artwork, books, and knick-knacks are dusted. And the appliances no longer sport bits of food or stains. The funny thing is that I honestly think that it needs much more work.

Also mixed amongst those labors were three loads of laundry, already washed, dried, folded, and put away. Sadly, it is truly a personal victory these days when I do not end up sleeping with my laundry.

I am exhausted. Fancy's cage still needs attention and Kashi is verging on growing ripe. However, spending a whole, very-long day cleaning is probably more than I should have done. I do think, though, that it is peaceful to rest in a home that is not quite so filthy. I mean, my grandmother's antiques always lends a certain beauty (in my opinion) to my home. But unless you are lapse on your glasses/contacts prescription, if you visited me since last fall (oh, that is terrible to admit) you would see a disturbing layer of dust on everything, grime on far too much, and find only the rug in front of the couch fairly clean.

I cried some of the time, because the labor was difficult. I prayed some of the time because the folks in the midwest are facing a nightmare of momumental proportions, the extent of which will not be truly known for weeks and weeks and weeks. I called B and her husband to discuss my broken weed-whacker (a moment of procrastination wrapped with irritation that my weed-whacker broken after a mere five years of work). I sang. I told Kashi and Fancy stories. I wished for that which I do not have.

At the end of the day (just now), however, I am finally calling it quits, ignoring the rest of the work that ought to be done for a thorough job and taking solice in the fact that my home is far, far cleaner than it has been in months.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Last night, I worked on a grant with my boss until 11:58 when I submitted it just under the deadline. The final product was good, but I really, truly do not enjoy working at the last minute on something so important. I essentially worked for 13 hours yesterday.

Today, I have been channel surfing looking for a NASCAR race or something to flop on the couch and watch. I am still tired from that marathon writing/editing session.

I did have lunch with a woman from a past job. I am trying hard, truly trying, to get out and do something once in a while, no matter how hard it is. I called her, because if you say something the least bit stupid (translation: self-deprecating), she jumps all over you. While you might end up somewhat bruised, it is strangely refreshing.

We ate at Chili's, where I discovered a new and extremely tasty dish! Now, normally, I only order fajitas at Mexican food restaurants, but my eyes kept coming back to this menu insert for Build-Your-Own-Fajitas. I ended up choosing chicken, applewood smoked bacon, and honey chipotle sauce. Oh, my! Well, let me say that in the moment of that first bite my life was changed. I am still thinking about the next time I might repeat that savory taste...

Well...there are leftovers in the refrigerator...need I really wait until tomorrow?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Cousin D thinks I should take up professional wrestling...that's about the only profession where my frequent grunting would be part and parcel to the job.

Sometimes the arthritis pain is so overwhelming that I cannot do anything else but endure it. My temper grows short, the grunts grow near constant, and my grows

Pain if strange, if you think about it. There is sharp pain, dull pain, aching pain, throbbing pain, pressure pain, burning pain, tingling pain, tight pain, nauseating pain, bone pain, muscle pain, joint pain, nerve pain, and probably more that I have yet to experience.

Embrace the pain. Ignore the pain. Fight the pain. Endure the pain.

What makes one day good and another bad? What makes pain come and go? Signals from the brain? Changes in barometric pressure? Stress? Exhaustion? Diet? Too much rest? Activity? Inactivity? All of the above? None of the above?

I want to step up to the next dosage level on my Celebrex prescription, but it is the controversial one, 400 mg twice a day. The only real working thing in my body seems to be my heart, so I say take the risk. For several months now, I have had more bad days than good when it comes to my battle with arthritis. Of late, I have spent more time lying beaten on the field than yelling victory insults at my enemy.

I cannot sit on the floor for any length of time without excruciating pain building up in my lower back. I cannot stand without stiffening up until the pain is unbearable. I cannot bend over without the same.

I could barely contain the pain while playing Chicken Foot Domino's (a most wonderful game) at my birthday party. I nearly chewed off D's head last week when working with her on an assignment for her master's program. Sunday, I was considering having roast cockatiel for dinner. Last night, I practically threw my beloved Kashi off the bed when he wouldn't stay still. Getting up from a chair or out of the bed is enough for me to scream in agony. While I suppose I could let go a bellow at home, I cannot do the same at work. All I can do is grunt.

Now, I am most thankful that the pain in my legs I battled a few months ago is currently gone. I am thankful that the pain in my head that lingered for weeks is currently gone. I am thankful that the pain in my wrists and ankles is muchly abated in comparison to that which riddles my lower, lowest back. It could always be worse.

However, having arthritis is crappy. Pain stinks. Grunting is neither professional, nor attractive, nor graceful. I guess if all I can do is endure it, then I should be thankful that I can, at least, do that. Just don't expect me to be gracious while doing so.

Sadly, I am not rising to the occasion in this matter. I am not considering it all joy. I am not joining in the fellowship of suffering. Perhaps, with time and much prayer, I might grow to be gracious, to find joy, to fellowship with a Savior who deserves my attention rather than mere pain.

I know that no one can really do anything to help me, but I just wish...for just one moment...I just wish that I had someone holding my hand as I shudder, grimace, grunt, or leak tears and tell me that it will get better...eventually.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Walking on eggshells is exhausting. Living in dread is draining. Will I ever have that synchronicity of all things working together instead of the chaos of everything not?

Today, I ran into a woman for whom I used to work. She is brilliant. She is classy. She is grace personified. I couldn't help but wonder who I might have become had I been able to remain beneath her tutelage. I think, perhaps, of all the women I have known professionally, she is the most like whom I would wish to become. She is forceful, yet patience. She is well-spoken, yet silent. She is strong, yet gentle. I know that others have seen her a bit differently, but I believe their perspective was sullied by some who worked beneath her, yet against her. I do know that she has a long history of being well-regarded by many for her passion, her ethic, and her accomplishments. Would any of you desire less?

My Cousin D is walking such a difficult path, watching his father in what seems to be his final days. In such a short time, Cousin D had grown and changed, even if he cannot quite articulate how or why. He is filled with far more questions than answers, but he has chosen the noble path. I admire his intelligence, his talent, and his passion. But right now, in this moment, I admire him most for being willing to set aside self in the interest of another. Like father, like son.

How would you judge me as a birdy momma? Sunday morning, I plucked Fancy off of her eggs. At first, when I thought it was just one egg and she only had a week left of setting, I ascribed to my vet's plan of sabotaging her egg to shorten the strain on her body. But then I discovered a second egg and a third. From Friday to Saturday, Fancy moved nary an inch...not to eat, nor drink, nor relieve herself. Fearing just how much weight she was losing being a good mother to her eggs, I decided to take the risk of sending her into a depression at losing her eggs. She did manage to break the skin on two of my fingers, but I go ahold of her eggs after a mere four attempts. Fancy shreeched and hollered something fierce and let loose of all that she had been holding for two days. So, for several hours, I soothed her and cleaned up after her, all the while stuffing as much food as possible into her gullet. When I first placed her on the scale, she was a horrifying 82 grams. I am avoiding the scale for at least a few more days of encouraged gluttony. I am hopeful, however, at the signs of her recovery: she is perched on my shoulder once more (I just love it when she falls asleep tucked beneath my chin); she bends her head toward me from time to time for a good nuzzle; the consistency of her bodily functions is returning to normal; and her screeching is on the decline (I'll be grateful once it is back to her morning and evening greeting cries of reminder that she is in her cage and should not be forgotten).

I learned today that my "stimulus" check that was supposed to go out "no later than" June 13th is now slated for July 4th. I am not feeling the love from my government.

Arthritis is a crappy, horrible, wretched, miserable, frustrating, despicable disease...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I am less inclined to go plowing through previous posts than I am to merely repeat myself...especially since my faulty brain apparently does that with disturbing frequency whilst chatting with friends. I want to know that I have already said what I am saying, but it is devastating to be told that I am repeating myself when I have absolutely no memory of the first (or second or third) time the tale was voiced.

So, whether I have written here or only in the pages of my mind, I wanted to speak about least the one in my office building.

When I was commuting to my job of a couple of years ago, I had to cross this bridge that genuinely disturbed me. I mean, there I was, day after day, sitting in a heavy SUV being bounced up and down as cars traveling in the opposite direction shook the bridge. Given the fact that they were not traveling all that fast, I was most disbelieving in the stability of the bridge's construction. B's husband G, an engineer, could talk for hours about why the gaps in the bridge were important and why the fact that it moved actually meant that it was strong. For me, the facts and my fears just didn't compute.

Well, there is this elevator at my new office building that I find most discomforting.

It is small and creaks and jerks and rumbles its way between floors. The inspection certificate on display dates back to 2000, but I am loathe to actually ask to see the current one because of the eggshells upon which I am currently walking at work. But, oh, how I long to know that despite the decrepit states it seems to be in that it is actually deemed safe by those who know the warning signs of soon-to-break-elevators.

Now you might think that some of my fear of that elevator secretly stems from what I shall write next, but I can only ask that you understand that the two are completely separate.

I hate using the blasted thing. Given the fact that the HVAC system is still faulty and has not yet been working all day for any amount of time, using the stairs in the slightly oppressive heat of the hallways and stairwells is probably not a good idea. Couple that with my sometimes uncooperative legs, the elevator is most likely the best choice for me.

However, I am loathe to step inside.

I am loathe to step inside because I struggle to figure out which button I need to push. Is it 1 or 2 (we will not go into the problems when I have to go to the 4th floor)? What floor am I going to this time? Will 1 get me there? Or 2?

I step inside and then, far more times that I would care to admit, I try to figure out which button I need to push.

The other day, I was caught standing in the elevator with the doors shut. Someone pushed the button to call the elevator and found me still inside. The woman was someone I did not know, but I fear being caught by someone at my job. I fear having to explain why I do not know how to get to my office or to my car.

B came to my rescue a few years ago with my contact dilemma. Even though I have been wearing contacts since I was 11 years old, I began struggling to put them in my eyes each morning. I would put them in, think they were inside out, and remove them. Some mornings, I would repeat this process so many times that my eyes would be bloodshot and my temper frayed. Finally, B came up with an association to help me remember which way was right side out. I live inside VA. When I look inside my contacts while holding them on my fingertip, I should be able to read "VA."

After learning about my elevator button struggle, B tried to help again. Here is her memory association idea: "One" has 3 letters in it as does "car," so when I want to go to my car, I press 1. "Office" has two "f;s" in it, so when I want to go to my office, I press 2.

I have been to work just two times since she came up with this idea, so the jury is still out on whether it will work as well as her first one. I hope it does. However, I am trying to focus on the real gift of her idea.

She learned about the button trouble and immediately tried to work out a solution to my problem. She didn't tease me. She didn't tell me that we all forget at times, especially as we get older. She understood how very scared I get when I have yet another cognitive problem stemming from this blasted disease.

Most of the time, B doesn't really know what to say to me when I spill out how much I am hurting or frustrated or afraid. She listens even when it is most uncomfortable to her. She never tells me I need to get over it or move on or stop wallowing. She understands how awful it must be if I am actually reaching out to another person. She doesn't know what to say and is uncomfortable and yet listens anyway. She listens and then she tries to help in such a way that preserves my independence and dignity.

This is how she says "I love you" to me.

I wish I were better at focusing on her message rather than on my cognitive decline. Writing this, I have tears streaming down my face for the loss I feel and the fears of how much I am changing of late. I smile at the thought of B's effort, at the love she gifts me so very freely. I smile, but I am still crying.

Is it 1 or is it 2?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Last night my writing student came over for dessert, a haircut, and a movie.

I had a pretty wretched week and am having a difficult time facing what I cannot understand. She called right in the middle an arduous meeting and asked if I had plans for the evening because she had been working like crazy and thought I might want to take a break with her. I did. We did.

Her call was an act of God's grace to me.

The dessert was a surprise. In addition to her wonderful presence, K had brought all the makings of homemade strawberry shortcake...something I had never consumed before. She brought it as a bribe to cut her hair, but I never need a bribe to help another person out. I feel so very useless most of the time these days that someone asking me for help is a gift to me.

Of course, it is difficult to actually shorten her luxurious, long curls, but I steel my resolve and get the job done. Usually, I take just one curl's length to trim off any split ends. Wet, her hair was almost down to the small of her back. Dry, it hangs beautifully curled to the middle of her back.

While much of our time together is usually spent writing, because the days have been full of hard work for us both, we opted to watch a movie instead: Juno. I really enjoyed it. Juno's pithy humor was thought provoking at times and at others just plain funny.

I thought this evening was a perfect...good food, good company, and peaceful rest.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I would like to say a word or two about mosquitoes.

Just how do they fit into this world?

Mosquitoes fall blissfully out of my mind once cool weather arrives. When they begin to make their presence known in the late days of Spring, I longingly think of October with gusty sighs.

Oh, how I hate them.

I think, perhaps, my reaction to them has worsened over the years...if that is possible. I mean, I spent a childhood fighting with my sister about who got to use the melon scoop when it came to helping Mother preparing the cantaloupe for our meal and now just the juice alone would endanger my life. That, along with other fruits I used to consume. So, if I can develop a food allergy as an adult, could I develop an allergy to mosquito bites?

First off, I get these rather large welts, something more akin to hives than an insect bite. The funny thing is that I rarely feel the bite. Perhaps it is because I am too busy puttering in the soil or pushing about the mower. Perhaps they sting and I just don't notice. In any case, I know it later. Boy, do I know it.

Summoning a will power that always seems to fail when it comes to B's peanut butter cookies, I usually manage not to scratch them. A hot shower later, the dirt is gone and so is the itch. I think I dodged a bullet. I am wrong.

One, two, or even three days later, the itching starts. I scratch and I scratch and I scratch. I spray on, spread on, and pat on any number of anti-itch creams, ointments, and gels. The hives that initially shrunk come back in the form of wide welts that can have streaks of red flesh spreading out from the center of the bite.

Eventually, the creams, ointments, and gels work long enough to break the itch cycle. I find some measure of relief and recapture that will power. One would think that the ordeal would be least until the next bit of time spent out of doors. However, those darned bites have a fourth cycle in the form of red, and I do mean ruby red, spots on my skin. Seriously, they look like some form of wretched pox, one that lingers far longer than a person would generally think possible.

Am I exaggerating? You be the judge.

My last exposure was fifteen days ago (thanks to the lovely mowing job of my talented ex-writing student-now-turned-brilliant-college-student done last week). My legs I have a mixture of itchy welts and red spots, and I have gone through nearly 2 ounces of Band-aid brand itch relief gel spritz (a new type based on camphor rather than cortisone like the half dozen bottles, jars, and wipes that are currently resting on a shelf in my bathroom closet).

Jen: The answer to your question, I believe, is pirate style, down on my forehead.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Happy B-day D!

This has been a long, long, long day.

Working with my boss is at times like mixing oil and water and other times like licking a bowl of brownie batter. Today was the former.

Then, I come home to Fancy. She has laid 3 eggs and will not venture off of them. At the risk of the loss of bits of my fingers, I have been forcing her off of them in the morning and evening to make her drink and eat some. When Madison was alive, he shared the setting duties. As a single birdy parent (no, the eggs are not viable), the responsibility falls solely on her shoulders and she is at risk of dying from malnourishment. But if I take the eggs away from her before she is ready, she can fall into a deep depression and die. Fancy needs another spouse.

And then there is my dear Uncle D, Cousin D's father. He is ill and seems to be heading out of this life. He as been an utter source of encouragement for me, such a loving, kind, and witty man. My prayers are with his three sons right now, and I am truly grateful that they can all be by his side.

Finally, on a scale of 1-10, the arthritis in my lower back is an excruciating 10.

Last week, I was helping D with her graduate school assignments. While I am both excited and honored to be her academic coach (in addition to being her writing coach), it took nearly everything I had not to bite her head off when she did not instantly understand absolutely everything I was saying. While D is one of the most intelligent people I know (I wonder what a game of Scrabble would be like between D, T, B, and I), making the adjustment from mom back to student is a bit rough at times. What a champion she has been. I just was battling such pain in my back that I could hardly keep a civil tongue in my mouth. How could I waste the opportunity to delve into complexity theory with her????

I am disappointed not just for the increasing amount of time my beloved Celebrex appears to be working less effectively, but for my dwindling capacity to do anything but huddle in misery when the pain I feel is high. I would wish that I could be more tolerant, more patience, more accepting. I am not wallowing in pity, but I am drowning in pain and wish to do nothing else whilst waiting for it to lessen or pass alltogether.

Tonight, I had not the luxury of ignoring the rest of the world. One of the companies who utilizes my contractual services needed a complex job completed this evening. Since said work is now few and far between, I want to be available when it arrives. So, I buckled down and applied my fingertips to the keyboard and learned how to program an on-line survey. I am grateful for the lessoning and skill garnering, but I could cheerfully sever my spine about now and would have preferred curling up in the green chair, reading through all the emails I've gotten from my dear Uncle Danny and savoring the love he's poured upon me.

For the past several years, he has suffered from bone cancer and other ailments. He is much, much better at being stoic about it all, accepting what comes when your body fails with far, far more grace than do I.

Perspective. That is what I need. Where are my eyes tonight? On my boss? On my work? On my pain?

I shall finish this day by meditating on all the blessings I have been given through Uncle D, my Cousin D, D, and B, who listened to my heavy heart today with such loving patience.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I had another wretched night last night.

The power went out yesterday (just as Tiger was hitting his second shot on the sudden-death playoff hole...stopping my VCR). It did not come back on until late this afternoon.

I spent the night huddled in the basement with Kashi and Fancy trying to keep cool and desperately willing the power to come back on so that I could a.) stop sweating and b.) turn on the sleepmate so that I could fall asleep (Kashi, Fancy, this house, and the wind combine to make far too many noises for me to sleep).

Before the house warmed up, I did sleep from 6 to 9 since there was little else to do. I am grateful for that respite. I am also thankful that the power did come on before my food could spoil. However, I went through all this rigmarole to have my account noted as a medical emergency one so that I would be a priority when power goes out in warm weather only to discover this morning that my account was not flagged, even though three previous representatives claimed that it was. It turns out that all those hoops I jumped through before were for naught. I need my doctor to fill out a form for me. SIGH.

I am tired of sweating and trembling and being weary with fatigue...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I believe that from now on I shall be known as Bandana Girl.

I am not sure what prompted me to put one on my head, but I have discovered that bandanas do a fine job of holding my hair back with absolutely no possibility of triggering that nerve on the back of my head that makes me so very ill.

This morning, while digging through my unmentionables drawer, I spotted a pile of three bandanas in the very back. I picked up a white one and tied it around my head as a quick way to cover up the fact that Dad and I stayed up entirely too late and I did not use that shampoo as I should have. When Dad saw me, he actually remarked that I looked good in it. What a shock!

Thinking about his reaction while we were doing our Wal-Mart Thing, I decided to add two more bandanas to the cart: a red one and a black one to match my Sugarland t-shirts (I probably would have added a navy one, a light blue one, and a kelly green one if they had them to match my Dallas Cowboys t-shirt and my other 2 Sugarland ones--yes, I now have 4 Sugarland t-shirts...strange for someone who only recently started wearing them for anything other than mowing the yard). Dad was so enthused about my solution (even though he does not remember why I can get so ill wearing barrettes or clips) that he put them on his side of the divider bar at the check-out stand. I accepted his "gift" with thankfulness. I now have white, green, red, orange, and black bandanas.

I don't care if I actually look stupid in them, if they are out of fashion, or if I am just too old to sport the look. I finally, finally have a comfortable solution that does not involve me shaving my head!

If only I could wear them to work...

NOTE: Before taking Dad home, we watched 2 hours of a documentary on the Hubble Telescope. Our universe is so vast and so magnificent. What a might Creator we have!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

After hanging out at Toyota for five and a half hours and ending up with a $442 car inspection bill, I brought my father home for another movie fest.

We watched The Da Vinci Code (interesting plot, stupid premise), Murder at 1600 (satisfying action flick), National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets (just as good as the first one), and Jumper (enjoyable sci-fi). We also watched the third round of the US Open, while fast-forwarding through the commercials and extras.

I really, really, really enjoyed sharing my Tiger-watching with another person. Dad did not even laugh when I got out my clubs and had a putting contest with him on my rug. He's not a bad indoor putter.

I do wonder if I will ever play again...if I could make it through a round of whacking the ball all over the course. I think about how hard it is to mow and grow discouraged at the thought, but perhaps in the fall, when it is no longer stinking hot, I might finagle a golf date with someone who could help me make it through a round. I miss playing.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday the 13th is an ill-omened day? Nay, I is a good day!

My writing student popped by this morning to mow my grass, a task funded by the birthday gift of my sister (I can afford one more mow on her dime.) My, my, my...what a beautiful sight that clean yard is!

K also brought me the most wonderful of birthday gifts (she rivals B with being able to choose the most thoughtful gifts): a 1971 reprint of the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulger Tongue, a book based on the 1788 first edition of A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

  • Were Tiger Wood alive then, he would say of his competition: "I plan to hoop his barrel!"
  • If your hands are full of groceries, you would ask someone to "dub the gigger" as you came up the sidewalk.
  • If you were thinking about two Sundays ago, you would probably find my choice to walk up the stairs rather "mutton-headed."
  • Your commentary on Warren Buffet: "Stephen's at the door."
  • Captain Bligh? "Well, he was a cove with a queer lamp."
  • I wish there were more Sundays where I learned from "One in Ten."
  • In the winter, you made your trips to the "tea voider" as brief as possible.
  • In the inner city, if you hear "barking irons," you had better duck.
  • Though you may not have committed the murder, you can be tried and convicted for "rowing the same boat."
  • The oldest profession: a "mab."
  • Brinks keeps folks from "milling my ken."
  • J used to nurse from B's "apple dumplin shop." Does that make her my apple dumplin shop buddy?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Are you praying for the folks in the Midwest? Iowa is a most beleaguered state. Those in Iowa City need fortitude, patience, and peace to face the monumental task of rebuilding oh so much of their city.

Pray, too, for the countless thousands facing the flood waters that are inexorably working their way down south. Days and days of wondering and worrying and frenetic work to try and stave off terrible damage.

Small towns, bits of our history perched along the Mississippi River, could be wiped out forever.

Heartache. Sorrow. Loss of life, livelihoods, and memories. So many need so much in a time when far too many philanthropic pockets are empty and cupboards bare. Volunteers are tired. National Guardsmen stretched thin.

Cover them all in prayer...

Monday, June 09, 2008

I am not sure where the weekend went. Perhaps it never really happened.

I pulled the bed out of my small couch on Friday evening, plopped down on it, and did not move much until this morning.

I still feel rather wretched...and...perhaps...a bit sorry for myself.

After hours and hours of thinking, I am bothered by how littled I trusted B and G with my worries about staying at that church and all that ensued afterwards. I am bothered by how weak and weary I feel. I am bothered by the thought that I have no real plan for when I can no longer live alone (something I feel creaping up on me despite my relatively few decades of life thus far). I am bothered by how much I long to have someone else to lean on to help face what is happening to me. I am bothered by the fact that I feel as if I should no longer try to visit anyone.

Friday, June 06, 2008

I barely made it through the week, canceled my car appointment for tomorrow, and plan to sleep away the weekend. I am still dizzy and nauseous. My shoulder protests much of the time. And I am very, very, very tired of being lectured about my choices.




Thursday, June 05, 2008

Tried to mow since my grass was nearly at the 12 inch maximum allowed by the county and if anyone is going to get fined for long will be me. I asked for help 3 times, but all 3 times, the person offering to mow backed out.

Dizzy. Vomited. Fainted. Ended up in ER due to asthma.

A nurse, after observing all my bruises from the past three involuntary trips down the stairs asked if I was being abused.

Arrived back home at 2:37 AM.

Really discouraged.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The one bright spot since Sunday has been dragging myself to a new bible study taught by my bible study pastor that is fairly close to work. A long lunch earned me a most peaceful respite.

The pastor is taking us through the Psalms, one by one. Today, we meditated on Psalm 4.

When you think about Christ being the Light of the World...what could that light mean?
  • the Light that shines upon us
  • the Light of the pillar of fire that guides us along our path
  • the Light that searches out the dark recesses of our heart
  • the Light that reveals the enemies around us
  • the Light that defends us from our enemies (angels)
  • the Light of His grace and mercy and forgiveness

Monday, June 02, 2008

Death warmed over = 2 hairline fractures in my skull, a sprained shoulder, and a mild concussion.

I was right in that it would have been very bad for me to miss the expo since none of the senior staff came to the booth to help field inquiries, but it was really, really stupid of me to drive.

I feel rather, rather wretched.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Today was a wretched day, all the more so since it was my last day with B.

We ventured out to a new church, Grace Menonite. I was looking forward to visiting the local church that was just a block or two down the road. However, the moment I stepped foot into the sanctuary, I knew I need to leave. I knew it, and yet I was afraid to speak up.

I should be able to say anything to B, but I really was worried how she and G would react. I mean, after all I could have just borrowed the keys on walked back to their home. Easy, right? That would have been the correct and wise course of action. However, I was trapped by my fear that B would think I was "whining" about the heat.

While I am always more than willing to contribute electricty funds, I feel as if I have to "remind" (what feels like begging) people that I need the air down. Often, someone will change it one or two degrees, when really I need a bigger change. It is at times like these, that I feel as it if is best that I stay home and avoid visits all together. I feel this way because I truly dislike feeling like I am begging for something that I need, not for comfort, but for health.

So, I kept my mouth shut and determined to just grin and bear it.

Well, the grin did not last long. I found myself sitting in the pew thinking far more of the time ticking away on my watch than the service. After about 45 minutes of suffering, I rather belatedly realized that the service would be an hour and a half instead of an hour. I began to panic. I should have left then.

I didn't.

By the time the service was over, I was hanging on by a thread. A thin one. I walked to the foyer and sat down on the steps to wait for G and B to fetch the children. I am not altogether certain how long that took. G took the children to fetch the car. B then followed because he could not drive back with the children. So, there I was, lying on the concrete hoping to make it back to B's house. I am thankful I did.

I am not sure just how low B dialed down the thermostat, but after being helped to the couch that is just inside their front door, I gratefully collapsed and fell asleep. After sleeping for a couple of hours, I thought I might survive the rest of the day.

I almost did.

After making a passal of foolish questions, I made another by not asking B to bring me my clothes when I felt well enough to change out of my Sunday finery. Instead, I tried to climb not one, but two sets of stairs to my attic room. I am not exaggerating when I write that I literally crashed to the floor.

That fall was the third one in just 8 days. It was, by far, the most terrifying one I have had yet on a set of stairs.

I hit my head twice, along with most every part of my body as I turned the corner and tumbled out onto the hall floor. B raced up to see if I was still alive and sat with me for a moment whilst I took stock of my state of health. I realized nothing was broken, but I also knew that my brain felt like it had rattled around in my skull a bit.

B and G started trying to figure out how to get me home between train schedules and driving and all, but I just took myself on home. I was dizzy and sick to my stomach the whole way, leaving parts of my meals in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia...and crying quite a bit.

I went on home because I have this exhibit tomorrow at a rather important networking function. I just know that were I absent it would not be a good thing. However, I feel like death warmed coin an over used phrase...