Monday, November 28, 2011

When frustration goes walking

I want to say that our current situation seems unfair compared with the events of recent history, but here we are going to the doctor.  Not for me in my odd remnants of chemo side effects, but for my mister.

During the past several weeks he's been suffering from a pinched nerve in his neck on the right side.  After too many days on pain medicine he got so frustrated today, we took our frustration to the doctor's office.  They soothed our vexation with a quick referral to a back specialist (surgeon).  It didn't take long for the doctor to ascertain that the MRI report and Gordy's face and grimaces during examination told the story of disc problems.

Polite discussion about pain shots in a week's time only served to clue us to the fact that my darling man might be facing yet another surgery on more than one disc! Oiy!  The doctor explained what fusing several discs entailed and that we might be going down that road if the pain shots didn't alleviate the problem.  Knowing my mister's history the odds are leaning more knife than needle!

This news left us feeling as if we'd fallen down, what at first, seemed like a large hole, only to turn into a bottomless well.  For the chain reaction of reason about what surgery means and how long recouperation might be started making our brains hurt with shock.

I'm just barely functioning after a year of cancer, chemo and all that crazed journey only to be aware that I haven't got anything close to gainful employment to take care of us financially while Gordy recuperates 3-6 months from a surgery!

It's a weird kind of twist of fate that we find ourselves.  The only consolation that I can find at present is that all of Gordy's medical fixing is of a mechanical nature while I, unfortunately have to be at the mercy of some tiny microbe or cell in my body that might go hay wire.  He truly is becoming bionic.

If I reason out the rest of this month and how we'll need to go step by step before we get to a surgical solution I'm realizing that we might have to cancel Christmas like we did last year with my cancer diagnosis.  We shall have to live frugally and perhaps the old girl will have to find a job.  I haven't had a "real" job in 20 years!   I wonder if I'm qualified to do something out in the world other than paint?

Whatever we need to do to sort ourselves we hang on to the idea that this like everything else that has made us stumble from time to time, just a bump in the road.  Or to be more accurate, a pain in the neck!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011


The past several weeks have brought about a kind of limbo.  By that I mean a sort of existing of slow movements and simple functions.  Where my thoughts have been in a kind of suspension.  It feels rather like waiting.  Waiting, not in an anticipatory way, but just being still.  Where there are no days, just one long stretch of time.

Limbo exists because of physical frailty.  My mind has had to slow down to accommodate my body healing.  Slowly, ever so slowly my body is feeling more whole and getting stronger.  It is such an odd thing to be fragile, to not be able to do without thinking.  But time heals that too where my mind won't have to walk through pudding waiting for my body to catch up.

Perhaps I cannot go to the studio to paint just yet but I can mess about with sewing projects and wearing ruts in the floor boards puttering from room to room!  In future I'm sure I'll be going on about painting techniques rather than explaining my medical blues!

In case you didn't know the 'why' of this current malady.  Well, it has to do with a buildup of fluid in my lower abdomen as a result of having bits missing.  Fluid builds up and the body can't always absorb it adequately enough.  The surgeon helps it by making two small incisions in my lower belly to burst the fluid bubble and create a way for it to drain.  Slowly over time the area that traps the fluid collapses so that fluid cannot collect there again.

More than you'd ever want to know about such things, eh?  I wish there were an artful way of making it through this mess, but there's only persistance, a dogged kind of unglamourous crawling that with each day becomes a better fumble to a better walk and so on.  Once out of the feeblness of couch weight I can start to build castles in the air again and feel lighter because of it.  I watch and wait as the magic of being alive heals me everyday.  What a wonder that life will always find a way.  No wonder we hang on to it no matter what!

It is this wonder that I'm always looking to paint!