A miserable day for me
I had a miserable time today trying to get relief from this pain. It’s really hard to describe. I’ve been trying and can’t come up with words. It’s bizarre and awful. Made me cry a lot. Uncontrollable. Sucky.
Finally got some relief around 3 p.m. this afternoon after four phone calls to the doctor. (They returned our first call, but that didn’t get me what I needed, so it took three more calls to get a new answer.) I’m taking a combination of the maximum doses of ibuprofen and Percoset that I can have, per the nurse’s instructions. I’ve had more painkillers today than I’ve had all year – and I had a biopsy and surgery this year!
My brother is having teeny improvements. It seems like it is slow going, but I get the impression that’s ok. He will definitely be in ICU for several more days and will be in the hospital for days after that. Everyone is exhausted, of course – his wife, our parents, his in-laws, his kids. All are worried and in and out of his bedside. I would have been there, too, if I hadn’t been incapacitated by this pain since yesterday. But he is getting better, not worse; this is good.
My father-in-law continues a gradual decline. My mother-in-law sounded ok on the phone today, all things considered. She is having Hospice come as needed and is relieved to have them available. She is glad to have time alone with him at home. Russ is not in pain and is sleeping lots. There are blessings in all of this.
Friends asked me yesterday how I was still standing, still functioning after all of the drama and trauma in our lives. Partly, the answer is that I got numb a long time ago. When my dad had heart surgery in April, I felt like I had met my limit of fear and anxiety. I’m not sure I’ve felt much since. I’m certainly very foggy. And I find that I have developed a really strange distance from other people’s problems. I have always been really good at getting wrapped up in other people’s concerns – wanting so much to help them, even when the situation didn’t need my help. But now, I hear things and I feel concern, but have no desire whatsoever to be involved. I have this feeling in me that’s something like, “Gee, I really hope that works out for you.” I don’t mean that sarcastically. I do feel caring toward the person, but I have nothing more to offer than a few nice words.
In the last few days, it has been boggling my mind that for all that is happening to me, all of those same things are happening to everyone around me. My mother has two children who are very sick, a husband recovering from heart surgery, a grandson in Iraq and lots of middling concerns that were around before all this junk started. My daughter has a grandpa dying, a mom who is sick, an uncle moving away and multiple close relatives hospitalized in the last year: both grandmas, both grandpas, an uncle. My husband, who lost his father five years ago, is about to lose his stepfather (the man who raised him) and, of course, is beside me with all the crap I’m dealing with.
That’s just a few of the people. Let’s not forget my mother-in-law, sisters, dad, my brother’s family, all my nieces and nephews, and our friends. Sometimes, I imagine we have friends who don’t read this blog because it’s just too damn sad. I have to avoid CNN because I end up on anti-depressants if I watch it. I would understand if you can’t read this blog for the same reasons.
We have really great friends. We have a really great family, too, but they are all tied up at the moment! Thank goodness friends have stepped in to help. Someone brought us a fantastic dinner tonight, which was great. The popcorn I had for breakfast and lunch just wasn’t going to cut it for dinner. Another friend called while I was in the midst of agony and told Troy she would come rub my legs if I needed it. I think she was serious. I was too out of it to accept, but I might just take her up on it tomorrow. Troy and I are so completely wiped in numerous ways that we are ready to take help I’d never thought I’d want or need. When we first asked for help – rides, meals, babysitting, dogsitting – it was hard. But once people did a few things, we realized what a complete relief it was. Just having Petey (the dog) go to a friend’s house for a few weekends ended up being a tremendous help. I’ve been extremely grateful all along for the meals people have brought. But I couldn’t imagine what else we could possibly need or be able to ask of people.
I’m afraid, though, that we now probably need a lot more help than we have asked for. I’m afraid Troy is running out of emotional batteries, which is really going to mess us up. My daughter hasn’t had a bath in several days. The cats need to be fed, but I can’t get to the food to get it for them – it’s a Troy job, but he is asleep. If I feel up to it tomorrow, I’m going to have to find a ride to see my brother because I won’t be able to drive myself. I really wish my mommy could come move in for a few days! Unfortunately, both our mommies are in need of help themselves.
Maybe this will seem different tomorrow. I hope so.