Life goes right on happening…

Constant or even Casual Reader probably knows that when I say *interesting week,* stuff happened. This past weekend has been interesting.

On Friday, Kim had his first Mid-Life Crisis Sports Injury, and since 9:30 that morning, routine, that deadly imposter, has gone out the window. Two neatniks have reverted to hippie habits, of necessity, and are getting used to relaxed standards. My singleton side of our King bed is easy enough, just pull up sheet and quilt as I bail out, but there’s a 3′-high pile of clean laundry on the chaise next to the bed, and various admission and dismissal detritus from the hospital strewn across the dresser. Kim’s living and sleeping in his recliner for now, so the table next to him is a conglomeration of what he needs throughout the day and night – but he has a system and don’t screw with it. His kitchen needs his Navy Squid attention, especially since we’d been planning a fall scrub-down, but oh well, I’ll knock some of the big chunks off in a day or two. When somebody you love is in pain, that’s where all your energy automatically gets funneled, as it should.

All day Friday, from 10am to 5pm, was spent going from ER to Ortho and back, X-ray to CT Scan, lightweight “sugar tong” cast, to temporary traction, to plaster “sugar tong.” Food, finally, at 6pm, and home. Saturday and Sunday are a blur of opioids and other meds, a grocery run to maintain a cushion for the drugs, some amazing sleep, and a sense of marking time.

Yesterday, Monday, we checked him in for surgery at 10:30am. He went to the back for pre-op at 11. Was told they were taking him to surgery at 12. Froze my fanny off in the waiting room, listening to my tummy growl, until 1:30pm when a nurse came out to tell me they were backed up in the surgical suites and had just then taken him in. I nearly cried, and would have had she not said “He’s been napping this whole time.” I just said very quietly, “I’m freezing,” whereupon the receptionist said “Oh honey, you have to say something!” I told her “I didn’t know I could!” She turned up the thermostat, the nurse brought me two blankets out of the warmer, and I settled in for the long haul. I’m terribly out of practice since my days of caregiving for six older family members – I didn’t think to take my iPad or any protein snacks, or even BAD snacks. My head had room only for Kim, getting this repaired, and taking him home.

When all was said and done and I’d gotten the Ortho surgeon’s report (he looks all of 19, of course), it was 6pm, eight hours since we’d left home. But the report was good and that’s all that matters. It was a bad break and Kimmers now has a plate in his body that wasn’t there before, but the bones went together well and Dr. Huston was able to deal with the bone gravel and other crunching in there that wouldn’t have been good longterm. All’s well that ends well, which is down the road a bit. He’s in a heavy-duty cast until time for the stitches to come out, then a less mondo one, and finally he’ll get a fiberglass number that will start increasing his independence noticeably.

For now, it’s a little like Momming again and I’m glad for grown-up cartoons like YouTube and television. The drugs make the patient a little sleepy, so movies are good. Also car porn, like Mecum Auction and Barrett Jackson. And the car rebuild shows – there are some of those we both like a lot. The Big Guy has seen me through at least four major medical events in the 14 years we’ve been married – I’ll do anything to keep him comfortable through this one. It’s how we roll.

 

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A Time for Truthiness

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I do seem to be gone. But not for good. Don’t you go away forever either, friends, I would miss you terribly. Fall will happen, it always does, and we will be right again, and be human together. Be safe ’til then…

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Catharsis is not pretty…

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Dammit, life in the end is a cruel mysterious bitch because it’s so beautiful and so brief. I stand in the shower and cry wracking sobs that leave my ribs sore because we’re getting into our 70’s now and some of my most brilliant friends are falling to Alzheimer’s and I can’t make it stop and IT’S NOT FAIR. And I’m wrapped in a towel with my hair dripping water and running down with the tears and I’m trying to find words that mean anything at all when the world is ending and I’m mad as hell and nothing’s right anywhere except… a precious beautiful man loves my son and maybe I can stop crying in a little while… maybe… because when life seems like it has to end right this minute so we won’t die from the ache… there’s something so good we’d be really… pissed if we missed it.

And then we’re crying… softly now… from the grace and the sweetness and the peace and the yin and the yang.

The balance is always there if we can let the quiet find us…

… so pain is such a mixed bag that we don’t really dare wish it to be gone forever. That’s a much-needed revelation this morning and I’m glad for it.

Have a beautiful spring Sunday, friends. Because life is good. So good.

 

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Um…what was I saying?

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Good morning, friends. I woke up to sunshine and a stack of birthday greetings, so I’m currently fortifying my brain and bones with coffee and preparing to meet myself at age 70 before the day’s over. It feels odd to own that milestone, but my primary emotion is thankfulness – I’ve outlived my mother by three years now, and I like not dying yet, so here we go…

Kim’s playing PickleBall for a couple of hours in NoLaw, and when he’s home and showered we’ll walk through the alley to The Roost so I can have potato pancakes like my mom made. This evening will be dinner at Basil Leaf, with serious fasting between the two birthday meals. Some industrial-strength healing is in order as well – over the weekend Kim narrowly missed getting slammed by a bronchial event, and yesterday I picked up where he left off. It’s been years, I have no idea how many, since I’ve had a cold or flu, but this thing is trying to kick my butt. Razor-blade throat, cough that won’t quit, head full of gack. My stubborn intention is to feed it, drown it in good coffee, sleep it off this afternoon, and otherwise ignore it to every extent possible.

I have projects to finish and about a million books to read, so Job One is to stick around and do life right. There are people to meet, family to embrace, music to cry over, beauty to fully appreciate, and love to hand out like candy, so I hope I get to stay here with all y’all a good long while.

Experience is worth everything and I happily own the lessons it’s taught me – I’m genuinely liking this part of life from 65 to whatevs. Things have kind of smushed together by now and squeezed out the excess baggage, so I mostly deal with only what really matters, and that works super nice.

Hey, I’m feeling better already. An excellent week to all, and come talk to me. ūüíč

 

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but listen…

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Break-time…

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weekends feel dif’rent

even for retired kiddos

neutral is the gear

JSmith 07/29/2017

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I don’t hate them anymore…

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time for a nap now

new thing from an old life gone

makes the day go right

JSmith 05/19/2017

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How bad is your OCD?

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Over¬†the years together¬†Kimmers and I have gradually realized that we’re both assorted shades of OCD. His shows up, fortunately, as a desire for neat and clean so we’ve saved serious coin by declining to engage the services of a Professional Domestic Engineer since his Mom-&-U.S.Navy Training rendered him¬†eminently qualified. He also prefers being alone in his kitchen while he works his magic according to nose and feel. It isn’t¬†nice to interfere with¬†the Zen, not to mention that it would be¬†foolish, so staying out of the way¬†and maintaining partial radio silence is no sacrifice on my part. I read yesterday that “he who feeds us is our personal god.” I’ll buy that, especially since Kim’s an entirely benevolent one and those are hard to find.

My OCDness is sort of what it¬†looks like – oddness. Odd Cranial Disarray. That’s me up there with too many things taking up space in my brain, sorting priorities, trying to stockpile enough spoons for whatever’s ahead. When it all gets to be a little much I start asking myself what needs to go, either for a while or for good. This month it was my long-term addiction to Facebook, something that felt¬†unbreakable until now. In a bold effort to rescue myself from the slough of despond over politics, which is to say daily life, I shut the door cold turkey on February 1 and the only thing I miss is comments from my real friends there. If I go back¬†when March blows in it will be with a far less engaged mindset. No rush.

The most obvious clue that I’m at least a little OCD is that whatever toy grabs my interest and attention gets¬†the “You’re my favorite thing in the world” treatment until the shiny¬†wears off. Disclaimer: The preceding statement does not apply to people I love – distractions only.

First obsession I remember was learning embroidery from my grandma, making quilts with her, making my own clothes, and then in my little old lady days falling victim to the counted cross-stitch fever that took the civilized world by storm. It was fun, expensive, and I got good at it, but alas, in the end too much work for the eyes and neck muscles, so bye-bye trunkload of fabric, floss, and patterns, hope your next mistress isn’t so fickle.

Having grown too young at that point for needlework I got my first computer and the world was new again. It turned all that industrial-strength bookkeeping on the farm into a sweet walk in the pasture, and it was chock full of games, including an elaborate DOS setup that taxed all my brain cells even as it entertained. Then…years later, when I was even younger, social media burst onto the scene in all its primal glory and began its scorched-earth march to the sea, incinerating all in its path. And hasn’t it been a barrel of laughs, boys and girls? Still is, some days, and I’ll wander back soon, to touch base if nothing else.

I have fond memories of the adorbs farming app in the early days – I lived that silly game, fretted when my crops failed because I was, incredibly, away from the computer when they ripened, took pride in arranging everything just so. One day it dawned on me that I was exerting a godlike control unavailable to me as an actual farm wife and I quietly left it to the birds and bunnies. Then came Candy Crush, the game that ate my soul.

In my current iteration as an adolescent I’m bouncing from one fill-the-blocks app to another, working an endless selection of online jigsaw puzzles and crosswords, dabbling with Twitter, and still ending up with plenty of focused hours¬†to write. Shocking how time-devouring Facebook alone is if you think you have to see every.single.thing that passes through your feed.

I started out to say something here but it got lost in the spaghetti, so let’s do this – if you have reason to think that you, too, may be eligible for the OCD Club, raise your hand, introduce yourself, and let’s have a meeting.

 

 

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“You’re faking it…”*

 

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Thursday was amazing – from morning ’til night I stayed busy with stuff people all over the civilized world do every day and never think twice about. Rolled out of bed at 8:00, had some coffee, got dressed, slapped a cap on my wild head, and strolled¬†over to the barbershop, a distance of half a block plus an alley. After all that dedication on my part, my girl Shelby wasn’t in yet, so I turned myself right around and trekked¬†back home.

Took a shower and spent the morning writing at my computer. After Kim got home from PickleBall we had lunch at Five Guys, went to Target where only he went in, stopped at the dry cleaners, Kim again, and he dropped me off for my haircut, after which I walked the block and an alley home again. Played on my computer a while, did a load of laundry, policed some clutter. Around 3:00 we went south again to Cielito Lindo, which sits that one alley I mentioned short of the barbershop, for Margaritas, chips & salsa, and forbidden queso. We were home and entertaining each other on our own balcony by 5:00, and asleep early, as in by 9:30pm.

That was a big ol’ mess of trivia and why in the everloving did I bother sharing it, you ask? Only because, since no good deed (or day) goes unpunished I woke up at 3am in full-on fibro meltdown. To expound¬†on the symptoms would turn¬†this into a whine, just know that I paid big for the best day I’ve had in quite a while, and that this is the sort of price extracted from anyone out there with an autoimmune disfunction who’s bold enough to enjoy what’s in front of them once in a while. You can say I overdid it, but if you read back through and pick out the action words you can see that it was well-paced and carefully done and didn’t amount to all that much. At no time did pain tell me to sit down and shut up, so I rambled around in the sunshine behaving like a real person just for shits & giggles. The 3am message was “Hey, girl,” sounding nothing at all¬†like Ryan Gosling, “you thought that regular stuff was for you. Haha, so sorry.”

The good news, because who can’t¬†always use¬†some, is that Friday was the only lost day this time, down from an average three. Tells me we’re on the right track with Ken & The Lymph Nodes, and that makes me happy.

The reason I’m taking the time to blog about this is that the thinly-veiled scorn that ends up out there on the backs of people who can scarcely spare the energy to deal with it is grating and I hurt on their behalf. Whatever people might say about me is none of my business, but ignorant digs at friends and family don’t go unnoticed, so I choose to fly my educator flag occasionally.

It’s all so simple – if you haven’t experienced or been diagnosed with an illness that for some reason annoys you in others then you don’t have a platform, so this is not your circus, it’s okay to wander off and take care a’ bidness, maybe contribute to the greater good through kindness or tolerance, something like that. Fibromyalgia is an invisible disease that affects 100% of the body, so you can feel really good about¬†cutting people slack, in fact that’s your mission today should you choose to accept it.

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*Don’t read past this point unless you’re in the mood¬†for naked¬†truth…

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#saturdaymorning #notwhining #Fibromyalgia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Keep peace in your soul …

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self-care is hard-learned

after all options used up

rest has to happen

JSmith 02/15/2016

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Just get through it…

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days informed by pain

must be survived in one piece

life takes a back seat

JSmith 02/11/2016

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Namast√©…

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clear out the cobwebs

brain engages as it will

worth the good effort

JSmith 02/09/2016

#ShePersisted

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Facts of Life

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move it or lose it

the experts are not kidding

leaves not to return

JSmith 02/04/2017

 

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Today’s drama on As the Eye Turns …

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March — it’s what time DOES. ¬†Snow fell all day yesterday and the ground is white, but spring is, even as we speak, gathering up little robins and crocii and dandelions, wheee, and it will all be showing up here any minute now!

The passage of time is so very relative, and that effect seems to be accentuated when your brain is on the fritz. ¬†The day of the initial biopsy my surgeon said, “If it’s malignant we’ll do an excision, and if necessary a skin graft ….. you’ll come back in five to six weeks, we’ll remove the¬†stitches, and you should be good to go.” ¬†Crap, what did I know from what he actually said, I don’t hear for¬†beans!

The day before my six-week check-up we figured out that I’d misunderstood parts of the process, but it was not yet clear just how delusional I was. ¬†And then the appointment took all of ten¬†minutes, not counting iPad time in the waiting room. ¬†I’m not complaining,¬†let the record show, my doctor and his assistants are lovely people who excel at what they do and I adore them. ¬†But it was quickly apparent that no stitch-release stuff would be happening at that present time. ¬†Ninety-degree turn in the Expectations Hallway.

THE GOOD NEWS:¬† The graft site is healing beautifully and we’re right on schedule (the correct one). After the¬†next¬†six weeks there’s an appointment to see how much longer¬†the graft needs to cure. ¬†I was indeed self-deluded, but now I know and all is well. Most important, this is neither fatal nor permanent. And life goes on.

So it’s at least a year-long process to reach total healing — I have friends who will deal with health issues for life. ¬†One lost an eye at age two …¬†and I’m whining about stitches holding an eyelid down for a few months.

NOTE TO SELF: ¬†You are not allowed, for the duration, to apologize for looking demented, not to anybody, even if you happen to bump into¬†President Obama on Mass Street next week. ¬†{Sorry, deal’s off for the president.} ¬†But you’ll get to walk away from this at some point, maybe even by summer, and that’s almost not even fair. ¬†Your friends who’ve had to actually give up body parts are hoping nobody notices, too, and they don’t get a pass, so own your I’ve-been-drunk-for-a-week eye and live your life.

So yeah, “March¬†is the month that God designed to show those who don’t drink what a hangover is like.” ¬†–Garrison Keillor

ENJOY!

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Feels like a HumpDay …

4:00pm. ¬†Good news and bad news so far today. ¬†Rewind to …

10:45am. ¬†Kim returns¬†from his annual cardiology exam/report full of great news — the sonogram shows no sign of muscle damage, his blood pressure read 116/63 in the office, and he is, in clinical terms, healthy as a horse. ¬†Everybody hugs and does the happy dance and the house feels warm, and safer than it did at 9:45¬†before his doctor¬†said to him “You should be around for a very long time.”

11:45am. ¬†My surgeon’s assistant calls to remind me about tomorrow morning’s appointment, which I think¬†is¬†for finishing the graft and freeing¬†my eyelid again but is simply a check-up, at which time Dr. Khan will determine how much longer the graft has to “bake.” I will not cry. I will not cry. I will not cry.

11:46am.  A meltdown may or may not take place, after which Kim takes me to Hog Wild BBQ for a loaded baked potato bigger than my head.  Carb therapy.

2:00pm to present. ¬†Lying prone in a darkened room¬†does wonders for temporary insanity, and by darkened room I mean Facebook and WordPress. ¬†By *lying prone* I mean I’ve intentionally flat-lined for a while, and by *temporary insanity* I mean batshit crazy.

4:15pm. ¬†It’s all¬†good news, of course. ¬†A delay in ditching an irritant does not a tragedy make, the graft looks like it’s healing perfectly, and my well-worn face has not been further marred —¬†the scar is going to fade¬†beautifully¬†and who really cares!

Staying cozy tonight with Kim and Madison and feeling grateful.  Another HumpDay conquered.

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