Oh, how grateful I am for my blog. My only adult interaction in days.
I’m sitting on my back porch, surrounded by bees and pine pollen, but so desperate for sunlight, I really don’t care. I had a feeling that today was going to be rough when it started out with my son waking me up from the first, deep sleep I’ve had in awhile, informing that the cat just threw up in his room. And not just in his room. Under his bed.
After seeing Mike stir around for a minute from his medicine-induced slumber, I decided it was time to start making him breakfast so that he could take his next round of pills. I popped an English muffin in the toaster oven with ham and a slice of cheese on it while I cooked an egg to make him a breakfast sandwich. When I started to get the muffin out, I noticed that the cheese had somehow stood up on its own and melted to the back of my toaster oven.
Yup. Not the beginnings of a good day.
The last couple of days have been long and tough. It’s easy to forget how never-ending days can be when things are going well, but it all comes rushing back when you’re in it again...kind of like child-birth. You forget how painful it was, years later, and you start saying to yourself, “That really wasn’t so bad. I can handle the work and the lack of sleep.” And like an idiot you do it all over again and, a little too late, you start remembering how hard it really was.
The days blur together into one weird, exhausting time-warp. Setting my alarm at night every four hours to give Mike doses of medicine so that we can try and stay on top of the pain a little has not made for a whole lot of rest. Sleeping on the couch in the living room (which, ironically, was the one that used to be in the nursery when I had the kids) so I can listen for him when he needs something, allows for some sleep in between, but not as much as I would get sleeping in the wonderful “cave” I made for myself in my own bedroom after my husband died. No real time to sit and have a meal, between feeding the kids and feeding him, has left me feeling run down and crabby and wishing I could clone myself so that I could leave and get one of my magical pedicures. And a haircut. And maybe a new purse?
You all have been there. It’s a vicious cycle. No time to take care of yourself makes you feel terrible. Until you feel so bad you just don’t care about taking care of yourself.
I know that I have it in me to do this all on my own, but I’m grateful to the very core of my being that I don’t have to. Despite the fact that my own mom had foot surgery on Wednesday (the same day Mike had his), my parents just came over and scooped up my kids to take them swimming. So this gives me a few hours to relax a little more than I have been, sit (which I haven’t been doing much of), and possibly eat something.
Most importantly, I’m getting a short break from jollying everyone along, pretending like this is just one big fun sleepover.
So, now I’m on my second large cup of strong, black tea and getting ready to switch to something harder, like Diet Dr. Pepper. What I’m really wishing is that it was more socially appropriate to drink alcohol in the middle of the day.
I think I’m actually going crazy. You know, my husband was in an accident and then we were told that he was injured, but was going to be fine. And then a few hours later he had a stroke. And then a few hours after that, his brain started to swell and the doctors told me there would be about a 5% chance he would make it through.
When I first got to the hospital after the accident and we were told he was going to be okay, I did what I’m sure many of you have experienced: I didn’t think about how hard his recovery from a dislocated knee and broken ribs would be. I just thought about what needed to happen to get him better.
And I was robbed of that chance.
I’ve been thinking so much about that time these last couple of days, wondering if this constant vigilance and care-taking is not just a part of what I need to do for Mike...it’s the chance to do what I thought I was going to do for my husband. It would have been close to the same situation: Same three kids (only now, thankfully, a little older and more independent), leg injury, same house.
And I want to make sure I do it right.
There are even some moments when I wonder if my husband has put this situation before me so that I would know that I would have done it, that I could have done it, and stop wondering if I had it in me.
I know...it’s crazy, isn’t it??? And I haven’t even switched over to the wine yet.
There are times when I really have to remind myself that this is life. This is it. Life isn’t just made up of all of the wonderful, happy moments. It throws things at you that, hopefully, make you appreciate the good moments when they happen. I’m not always good in less-than-perfect situations...I’m the person who always expects life to be fun and full of great memories and I don’t like dealing with the other part. I get impatient with the bad and want to get it over with as soon as possible and usually the “bad” never works with my schedule. It’s hard for me to sit and wait for the good to roll around again.
But, as we all know...sometimes you just don’t have a choice but to wait. You just have to keep reminding yourself that it will.