Sunday, May 22, 2016

You Play, You Pay

Big sigh. I would much rather be in Tennessee today, but as the meme says "ain't got spoons for that." Ten hours driving, even with stops to rest and stretch, and I'd have to be wheeled from the car in a golf cart. But the commencement ceremony and graduation party are going to be fabulous, and I will have to get a vicarious thrill from the photos.

While my Friday started out ambitiously - I went for a haircut and then a very short walk along the old lakefront - from there I had no choice but to head straight back upstairs to my pills and pillows. Still hadn't taken my daily medication, a really dumb move on my part. Also hadn't eaten anything resembling breakfast (chocolate doesn't count) and when I finally assembled some morning edibles, it was all junk food. Crap.

While I was at the lakefront, I realized that I couldn't clearly see anything in the distance, so I blindly shot a few photos (at least the camera doesn't have cataracts). Now at least I can hold my iPhone at nose length and admire the scenery. Clever of me, albeit pathetic. I'm still waiting to hear if my insurance company will approve the cataract surgery; until then, I am stumbling around and squinting like Mr. Magoo.        

Sunday - And here we have another one of those blog posts that takes three or more days to complete.

Back when I was working, it was the petitions and final judgments that were taking ridiculously long to draft - what should have been hours became days and days became weeks. I could no longer integrate the facts provided me by the CPIs into a properly written legal document. I could no longer apply the law to the facts, because I could no longer remember the law. And I could no longer finish a full day of work - looking at the calendars I kept from the past few years, I noted a depressing number of days where I came in at an increasingly late hour and left several hours early. In my earlier years with the  Department, I worked 70 hour weeks, never needed to take sick days, and was extremely active in my synagogue's Sisterhood, published the monthly newsletter mostly on my own, and taught Hebrew school.  Damn, I was alive in those days! Even while I was shlepping an additional 150 pounds around, I was active and mostly happy. Okay, I was dealing with depression. Story of my life, literally, but being able to keep my mind and body active helped, a lot. That and a series of SNRIs. Better living through chemistry, my friends.

Saturday was worse than Friday, and now that it is Sunday afternoon I am resolved to call my rheumatologist for an appointment tomorrow because the last few weeks have been working up to this, when every moment not sleeping is bordering on the unbearable. Every cell of my body is existing at some level of discomfort. Headache, eye pain, insane itching on my scalp and ears. Then comes the muscle pain, from the back of my neck to my shoulders and then to my back, which is threatening to shatter if I try to stand up. My legs hurt, when I walk, when I sit, when one of the puppies, all of them Yorkie lightweights, rests his paws on them. It hurts to hold this iPad and keyboard in my lap (incidentally, the Zagg Pro is nothing short of marvelous.) Even my ankles hurt, and that has totally screwed up my already tenuous balance. I cling to my tri-weekly tai chi classes like I would to a life raft, but on Saturday I kept falling forward (the floor of the school, unlike that of my house is nice and flat) and I could not keep my eyes open.

The worst for me right now are the electrically charged muscle spasms that have taken over my hands, arms, shoulders, knees and lower legs. I am having real difficulty scrolling down an iPad screen, knitting a simple pattern, typing on this keyboard, carrying anything - I dropped a half-full cup of coffee while at tai chi class, and later dropped my little lunch plate, twice - no strength. I tried to do some wire-wrapping on a single charm for a bracelet, but had no strength to wrap. My hands are jerking uncontrollably just under the skin, so even when I switched to another charm, I kept dropping it and losing the jump rings. All shoved back into my closet for now, until I regain some control over my hands and my back no longer screams when I bend over slightly from the waist.

My mind has gone on vacation again, possibly cruising the Caribbean while leaving me in the midst of a vicious brain fog.  We went to dinner with friends and I could barely conduct a coherent conversation, as I seemed to have lost a good chunk of my everyday vocabulary. Fortunately they understand my problem and have gotten quite adept at finishing sentences for me (as have my husband and son.) Still, it was another in a series of scary incidents (but the food was delicious! - Sakura Asian Fusion, on West Irlo Bronson Highway in Kissimmee, a little past Celebration) and when they happen, always brings to mind the book Flowers for Algernon, and what the main character, Charlie, writes in his journal towards the end of his mental deterioration: "please don't let me forget how to reed and rite."

Like Cloris Leachman I want to end this on a high note, and since my singing is mediocre at best, let me share some very good news.  I knew part of it, but it was "family-only" at that point, but Now It Can Be Told: my niece and her husband are expecting their first child, a little boy, in October. This is the kind of news that warms my heart (without causing a reflux attack) and makes me smile despite all the doom-and-gloom I tend to write about these days. Welcome to the family, little man! Rest assured you are already much-loved.

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