And if that doesn’t fix what’s wrong you need to move to more extreme actions.
I’m currently in between the two stages.
And, as long as I’m asking questions, I’ll also query: does anyone else feel like they’re living two lives at once?
When I hear the phrase “two lives at once” I first imagine horrible people who have two families or some dark occupation or habit or hobby.
However, my version of this phenomena is a result of “faking it until it feels real” and I’m starting to wonder when that realness really kicks in and molds the two realities together.
Because I’m living both what is indisputably “real” while also sugarcoating that reality with so much glitter and frosting it’s almost completely hidden.
My version is more like… knowing that something is wrong with, say, an engine while also lacking the proper tools to fix it and this isn’t terrible because it’s kind of still running.
That kind of “living two lives” scenario.
Because it’s wondrous what happens behind closed doors and it’s equally amazing to think how such terrible things happen in wide open public space and… nothing changes.
Life just putters on.
A friend who reads this blog recently inferred that this blog makes me sound “cheery” and that’s odd to me because I use this blog to really vent.
SO NO ILLUSTRATIONS TODAY. I’m going to really let it go.
(I expect the majority of this blog’s wonderful readers just signed off because, yeah, who wants to hear about someone’s woes and especially if there aren’t any pictures?!)… that’s a rhetorical question but… Answer: VERY VERY FEW.
After all, who wants to hear about what’s below the surface? Today I saw the same model of the shitty car my beloved dad had when he died and which I later had to clean out (sorry, family of mice in the glove department) while I sat in a different car in a parking lot and felt tears falling down my cheeks.
It’s so sad when a car evokes tears.
But I am very very very very very very very physically, mentally and emotionally tired so, yes, tears happened.
Last week I had to wrap up my knee and strap on my back brace just to get through the day because the body pain was so intense.
I had sprained my knee but it took me a day or so to realize it.
It wasn’t the super painful kind of injury, clearly.
And then that wore me and I faded further.
It was my right knee and that makes sense… my right side is more of a liability than a side of my body.
Six years ago, I apparently herniated a disc in my lower right back while battling with my mom to change her shirt.
In case you’re just dropping in, my mom was given six months to live in January 2012 due to the discovery of moderate atrophy in her frontal cortex (aka frontotemporal degeneration (FTD)) for which there is no cure or treatment.
So 2012-2014 was rather rough as my parents and I attempted to adjust, physically, mentally and emotionally. And my mom was super uncooperative at times.
Being unable to do things for yourself, including speak and move, while also being cognizant of all this while knowing that you’re dying means you may be very difficult at times.
Because that’s a whole lot to process, feel and cope with.
So I didn’t blame my mom for her occasional lack of cooperation.
At the same time, no matter what is going on, you have to wear a shirt. It sucks but that’s just one of the many bullshit rules of living in society as a woman.
In any case, one day my mom was being especially combative and I was exhausted and also unable to allow her to streak through the house in the middle of winter.
It was very cold in that old farmhouse and so that was somewhat unsafe and once you start allowing nakedness to happen it’s a fast fall down that slippery slope.
So I was almost done transitioning Mom from pajamas to “day clothes”, despite all her wiggling, and I just had to get the shirt over her head and… I turned, making a quick, jerking, twisting motion and… I also then heard a noise.
It was a bad noise.
I froze. I’d never heard my body make that noise before. I was afraid I’d really done something this time.
I’m pretty sure my mom sensed my fear as she also froze and stopped struggling.
After all, she was still my mom. Her eyes grew wide and met my own which were looking about the same as hers, I’m sure.
And then I slowly, slowly, slowly started to move again and… I was able to!
I was fine! Complete mobility! Super weird!
Fast forward three years, my dad was dead from cancer, my mom was temporarily at a community-based-residential-facility (CBRF) as I couldn’t care for both of them at once, and I was pacing in my bedroom, waiting for the bus to take me to a doctor’s appointment which was focused on my motherflipping epilepsy maintenance and… suddenly I couldn’t take another step.
Not in any dramatic way… I literally, physically couldn’t take another step.
I hadn’t been doing anything that should have inspired my repressed back injury to manifest right then but… welcome to the human body.
Since I was confused about what was happening, I just kept going until doing so became almost physically impossible.
It took a bit to get help for my back because if you’re not kicking and screaming doctors may not take you seriously or something.
Eventually my doctor at the time referred me to see a physical therapist (PT) if my back didn’t “feel better” and I had to make that appointment as my back did not feel better.
It also took forever to get a pain medication and I sometimes wonder how in the world our country has an issue with doctors prescribing pain meds to people willy-nilly because I was almost green with relentless pain, hobbling around stiffly for weeks and
they gave me nothing.
Eventually I asked my doctor if I could have something… it’s not like I have a record of substance abuse or anything like it… and I swear the woman looked at me suspiciously and then gave me a prescription for
What the fuck. It must have been my tattoos.
When I had my appointment with a physical therapy (PT) person, she felt I had a herniated disc and threw her hands in the air and said there was nothing she could do because my back was such a mess so she was forced to put me under this crazy machine for an hour instead.
If the machines want to take over, they’re welcome to it because that was heavenly…
the sounds of popping and cracking coming from my back were amazing because the machine was doing something.
Magically, that machine was untangling me.
And, after an hour, the PT came back and felt satisfied with the progress the machine had made and tricked me into standing still when she witchcrafted me… she put her hands on my back and hips and made a quick, sudden movement on the count of two on the count of three and
I didn’t scream but I couldn’t because it hurt
but it was over so quickly and… whatever she had done, it worked.
I was much more able to walk the normal way immediately afterwards. I didn’t even need the second PT appointment, said the person I saw, because I was so well on my way to being healed.
But that lower back injury on my right side has scourged me for life and it doesn’t help that I had also broken my right foot.
My right foot was broken in a really bad car accident where I floored my car into a light pole as I had a seizure (I was young and dumb and shouldn’t have been driving as I’d experienced an aura but I almost made it… I was on the block of my destination) and the emergency workers allegedly had to use the jaws of life to pry me from my poor car.
I was unconscious forever so I can’t verify any of that. It’s what they told me when I later woke up in the hospital to find a boot on my foot.
How annoying, I thought.
I was very lucky they said.
My car was a true wreck. It could not be fixed. My dad took care of it which means he had it towed to be stored in the barn of the family rental farmhouse my parents were staying at after they moved out of my childhood home after I testified against my mom in a sanity trial and she was sentenced to two weeks at a university’s psychiatric ward to get on meds before I told the doctors it was FTD and they gave her six months.
That’s when my dad and I strategically moved houses… when my mom was serving her erroneous court-ordered temporary commitment.
After all, you have to take advantage of opportunities when they arrive.
So the rental farmhouse had a large barn and that’s where my crash of a car was stored. I discovered it years later.
In any case, my right side is a bit ducked.
You know that children’s song which is quite catchy but which I never learned for some reason which thus decimated my chance to ever become a medical doctor?
The skeleton song?
Well, my back bone with all its drama is connected to my hip bone which has been depleted by my epilepsy medication which is connected to my knee bone (no issues there before this last week) and that’s connected to my broken foot.
So recently my right knee was all “Why am I not ducked?” and this past weekend it did something about it.
I don’t know what but something happened.
I heard a small sound when I was simply walking and then… my knee started to swell.
When I got home I iced it and put it up and then started to wrap it yesterday because it wasn’t getting better and…
this pile of bones stayed indoors last Tuesday and rested.
And I also cleaned. Good lord this place was disgusting. I clean and do laundry every Monday but this gigantic mural project I’ve been helping my husband with non-stopnodaysoff disrupted my schedule.
This apartment becomes unlivable if I don’t clean it weekly. The moths, fruit flies and mutant centipedes may unionize in such a lapse.
In any case, I called my “regular doctor” aka GP to ask about whether she did a Complete Blood Count (CBC) recently because, despite the skeleton song, the physical toll I’m currently paying seems a bit excessive.
These little red dots started to appear two years ago and now there are more of them. They’re just there. I’ve never brought them up because they’re so docile and calm.
But a friend recently saw them and freaked out because her aunt died from leukemia and petechia was the first symptom she had.
Well, my money had been on leukemia, if I had to pick a cancer, so her concern was all I needed to hear to follow up on the blood results.
Just to make sure. But they somewhat coldly told me everything was normal so… that’s good news..? Right?
Yet, yesterday I looked at the same MRI where I found out I had brain lesions primarily on my left frontal lobe, and discovered they had also found “mucous retention cysts/polyps in the maxillary sinuses” which could explain a lot…
so my rockstar neurologist referred me to an ENT
which caused me to immediately think of Tolkien’s giant tree creatures because I simply adore Lord of the Rings and don’t care what people think.
Yet, and ENT is an ear, nose and throat specialist. That’s cool.
Not as cool as ents
But, because, if how I’m feeling isn’t systemic, then my midlife crisis is waaaaaaaaay different than I had pictured it.
So I took a day off last Tuesday and I’m contemplating another one right about now.
I feel like I’m just living a sunny lie every single day.
And, honestly, all this body shit? What I spent this blog ranting about?
The epilepsy? The body pain? The weird symptoms?
What presently kills me is something else and, no, I can’t just open up and talk about it here or anywhere on the internet or in whatever real life is.
But I can share it using poetry…
this poem titled “Apart” was published by a friend who runs Vegetarian Alcoholics Press:
Not knowing where to put this
heavy glaring sense of time lost
and consciousness frayed and displaced.
Does it belong compressed, in the cavity of the body
or is it meant to be thrown off the top floor of the tallest
building in a small town or into traffic at 3AM on a Monday morning in Chicago’s south side.
If released to scuttle about by its own devices a deep sense of drugged calm falls upon me. Appearances.
And so I choose wildness.
A decomposite of play in a changed world.
A bed of dust and recollections.
Stillness and death.
Loneliness like a stillborn product of labor and sweat and blood and heartache.
Sailing numbly and home again.
Bones and bloating
motionless and frantic and contained, hooked
in a frenetic code.
worn tightly and warm.
Clutching the fabric of images cast by an old projector unplugged and boxed in the basement beneath the holiday shit.
Glitter muppets of plausible caricatures that nod and function and collapse into the sink,
In close, and as always… music is medicine.
4 thoughts on “Sometimes You Just Have to Take a Day or Two”
You have stopped me in my tracks with this post. This is above and beyond human endurance yet you seem to deal with it through a quirky but sensible outlook on the crap hand that you have been dealt. Your creativity here and on twitter is uplifting and an inspiration to those of us that face physical challenges. You just TRULY AMAZING.
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Oh Wendy… you and Bonnie and my new Twitter family have really saved me today. 😭 I can’t even quite express it but you’ve kindly made such an impact on me when it’s been most needed and I’m so grateful to and for you. 😭
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my little blog. It was my lifeline but then I found YOU AND TWITTER!!! 🥰😻😘🙏
I’ve been saving your post until there was time for savoring–impeccably bad timing on my part. I’m glad that you keep on trucking, sad you have to endure instead of enjoy…everything…
Ah, sweetie. Sending hugs. Also this, just because I thought of you when I saw it. (HALLOWEEN, BABY!) (Possibly also poorly timed. Or timed just right.)
Take care of you.
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Aw. LOVE Halloween baby! Thank you so much, Lisa! 😘😘😘 Hugs hugs hugs. We are leaving for a brief vacation today so… that is desperately well timed! And hopefully it will help. 🖤
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