Tired of Toein’ the Line

I just want to mention again if anyone in these crazy times needs to have surgery, be vigilant…..be careful. Be careful of everything anyway.

When I was in recovery, I saw a woman in distress after being given the wrong medicine…one she had an allergy to. I myself was prescribed a pain medicine I cannot take. Since I had taken one without any incident, I thought perhaps I could try to take the other one again, but nope…..felt like I was on a tilt a whirl without the carnival. Thought I was going to die. Called the doctor’s office to report the incident (on a holiday) and was told that unless I needed to change an appointment or it was an emergency, that I needed to call back in the morning. After a bit…..because the horrible feelings had passed by then….I decided that I was important enough to report to someone about what had happened and I wanted them to know that I was no longer on pain medicine at less than ten days out after surgery. So I called back to speak to someone.

I was given a boot after an excruciatingly painful follow up appointment with a paper that said “non-weight bearing”.

I don’t use the boot but did the other day when I went to see my mom. I used the boot and the walker. I did put some pressure on the foot as I was told I needed to get used to walking when I was in the office….very little pressure…..just to balance….was for the most part, sitting at my mom’s….and by the end of two hours, I had to go back home. My foot was swollen to twice it’s size and was turning purple.

Called the office to report and was told that I needed to use the boot but I was also supposed to be non-weight bearing. I don’t even know that that means. Why use the boot? Sleep with it on? How do I elevate or ice my foot then? I can’t use it with my scooter because that is dangerous. If I want to lose my balance and fall again, that is a sure way. Want to point out that I have been very careful. It’s now 4 weeks post surgery and I don’t think this foot is ever going back into a shoe ever again in my lifetime.

So I just want to point out that in these days of lessening staff and generalized world confusion, take extra special care of yourself and your loved ones.

And speaking of loved ones, when I was visiting my mom, it looked like she had a blown blood vessel in her eye. She had a visiting nurse increase her blood pressure medicine. My mother you have to watch as she doesn’t believe much in medicine or telling anyone anything. I got her an oxygen sat reader which she doesn’t like to use and I got her batteries for her blood pressure reader which she probably hasn’t used. And she is not telling her G.P. that I brought her to about the increase in her medicine….as a matter of fact, she wants to cancel the appointment next month because there is no need for it…she says.

So if you have an older relative who is scared and turning a blind eye to things because they don’t understand and you need to kind of keep an eye on them, it may be time for “the talk”.

I said to my mom….okay, we know that we are all going to die and we can’t prevent that. But what we do have a certain amount of control over is how and where we die. Well, to an extent. At 94 years old. My brother has pretty much taken the car away from her. He lives next door to her. That is good to a certain extent except when he says he will go to the store for her but then uses the money she has given him to party a bit and then is too hung over to go shopping for her. But I told her that they don’t hospitalize people the way they used to.

One of the things my mom was worried about…rightly so….was going to get checked out and being put in the hospital. And she is trying to prevent that. Understandably so. But I told her that what she does not want to happen is a stroke or a bad fall. Then she would have to be in a rehab center and would not be at home. Those are the things we want to prevent. That is why taking oxygen levels and blood pressure is important. We want to know what can be fixed. Because we don’t want to die. But when we do, we want to die with our dog by our side peacefully at home with someone there who loves us.

That seemed to help her and alleviate some anxiety. I hope.

My room-mate just started chemo this week. He and I don’t always get along. Much of it has to do with boundaries and the fact that he does things like order cameras for the outside of the house and the inside of the car for our protection and security and then I realize that I am also being watched wherever I go and whatever I do. So, depending upon him totally for my existence brought up thoughts of Stephen King’s “Misery”. Have to say that except for my youngest son coming over to help out yesterday and bringing his son by to visit last week, I’ve got to say that when your parents get older or die, it’s not easy finding someone who is willing to bring you ice for your foot or put your frozen dinner in the oven for you and bring you your food on a tray. Not to mention feeding the dogs and letting them out and cleaning up after their accidents when they can’t get out. So all in all, I am very grateful to have my friend. To be fair, I have taken care of him as well when he needed someone. But now we are in that dreaded state of both of us needing some help.

And I’ve mentioned before that I have hit some pretty low lows the past couple of weeks. And it can be awfully difficult at times when your entire body and soul really is trying to heal from a physical issue. Because it affects everything. I’ve lost almost ten pounds in the past four weeks. And while that usually would be cause for celebration, I have also been very lightheaded and I’ve gone from…..there’s nothing I feel like eating to….if I don’t eat right this second I will pass out. And sleeping a lot of weird hours. And experiencing nightmares. And thinking things like…..if this is what it’s like not being able to function without a foot….what does the future hold? And how do people live like this on a permanent basis?

And I’m not going to lie, being in a state of negativity whether physically depleted or feeling grumpy and emotionally depleted, can and does affect how much you feel you can give. It can make you feel overwhelmed. It can make you feel less than and vulnerable and unloved and sorry for yourself and all kinds of things that make it really hard to let your light shine as it were.

But then I remembered this woman that I used to know. She was a beautiful woman whose light and brilliance came from deep within her soul and was difficult to miss. She had not had it easy. Her son was shot and killed at work. Her husband was using their money and their assets to flirt with and get the attention of a younger woman at their place of business. Right in front of her. Talking to this woman on the phone in the morning while they were in bed together. She was also overweight and diabetic and there was so much that could have made her want to give up or hide under the covers or want to tell the world to go away.

Then she got cancer. And what stands out to me I think more than anything is what she said to me when I went to see her a couple of days before she passed away. I will never forget her words.

“It’s so good to see you. How are you doing?” she said.

What? How was I doing? And I think she really meant it. Was she aware of her situation? I’m pretty sure she was. She passed away less than a week later. But she never let her problems hide the light within her. She cried, yes. She grieved. She had a tremendous amount of faith….and by faith, I don’t mean the kind you get by going to church or by believing in what other people deem to be the correct things to believe in….I mean she had an ability to see pennies on a dresser that weren’t there before and know they were left there by her deceased son. Things like that. She had an ability to see beyond the physical and beyond the here and now and beyond what anyone preached.

She had what might be called an unshakable inner peace.

So I was thinking about this person this past week. Perhaps that was her thinking about me from the other side. That’s possible. Because I do believe in things like that. What things, you ask? Things like when you need spiritual help, it will be given to you. Things like you can’t look without to find peace. It’s not out there. And I don’t think you can find it in a book. Or in a church. But that’s my opinion.

I once mentioned to another friend of mine that I was worried about my son. Her response (she is a big time church person) is that I should look at how little control Mary had when Jesus was on the cross and how she could do nothing about that either.

Okay, I’m sorry, but that didn’t bring me peace of mind. It didn’t even bring me acceptance. And it had nothing to do with Mary and Jesus. It had to do with my friend preaching to me and not acknowledging my feelings. It had to do with her figuratively opening the bible to page 540 and telling me to “read this”. I really don’t think that’s what it’s all about. Not for me, anyway.

At one point in time, I wanted to help my boss write his sermons. I started out writing in the religious field for children a long time ago. I did get one or two things published. I wanted to write to help children be able to connect with the spiritual and to help them make sense of things and to connect with God.

And all that is great an everything except….back to my friend. I think delivery is 9/10th of something anyway but I think there is a difference when someone prays or seeks guidance from a source….or shares what has helped them personally feel better….like perhaps seeking guidance from Mary who had gone through what is a parent’s ultimate pain…..and having someone tell you what you should do. It’s like telling someone who has had a miscarriage that science says they can get pregnant again. You are not validating someone’s feelings but you are coming across like you have the answers. It’s insensitive. And it can be dangerous to try to fix someone else’s problem.

But in truth, I do that myself. Other people have glaring problems that if they would just listen to me, I am sure I could help. Uh-huh

But be aware also of the need that may arise to help someone. To help them fix their life. Whenever you feel yourself slipping into martyr mode….where you are putting someone else’s feelings or needs above your own and perhaps putting yourself at risk. Be careful there as well.

If nothing else, we have learned that people who know how to manipulate can disguise themselves as caring and good individuals in need of your help….and you may find that you meant nothing more to these people than a boost to their ego. And remember that the Narc shall remain blameless. So again….outside crazy, inside peace of mind.

Help others but don’t fix them. Help to guide others but don’t lead them. Be there to listen but not to have the answers. Do not give to the point where it can hurt you emotionally, physically or financially.

Be careful out there…..

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