Thursday, October 6, 2011

Breathe In, Breathe Out

Yesterday things were looking good.  I woke up before my alarm clock.  I felt optimistic enough to dig my lightest hand weights out of the back of the closet (I graduated from those little things months ago and hadn't looked back since) to do a few arm exercises.  I went to work and had a day that felt almost normal.   So when it came time to leave, instead of calling for a cab I decided to try taking the bus.

There is a bus stop right outside the building, but that bus only comes once every half hour.  It's a beautiful walk, slightly over 10 minutes at my normal walking pace, to the next major intersection, where the buses come on average every 5 minutes.  I had been cooped up inside for so long, and I wasn't carrying anything heavy.  I took the longer walk.

By the time I reached the bus stop, my legs felt heavier than when I'd started, but everything else was fine.  The bus came quickly and I got a seat.  It was all good.

When we pulled into the station and I had to stand up, I realized how exhausted I was. Uh oh.  Too late now.  That's the problem with this condition: there's no fuel tank indicator to warn me I'm running near empty.  I'll think I'm well enough to do something,  and by the time I figure out that's not so, it's too late.  I had a five minute walk to the taxi stand, and then I had to wait for a taxi.  I was spent.  I couldn't go to work today, and probably won't tomorrow.  There are other symptoms too, but I'll spare you.

As if that weren't enough, I was lying on the couch, drained to the dregs after a short day of working from home, when Ken came back from his cardiologist appointment. He requires a catheter ablation procedure.  They are going to schedule it in a couple of weeks.  This is a fairly simple procedure with a very low rate of risk, but still.  He's my husband.  He's going to the hospital so that doctors can stick a probe into his heart and mess around in there.  I can't not worry.

Ken also produced a bottle of medication that the doctor had prescribed for him.  We're both a little scared for him to start taking it, due to the risk of side effects and all that.  As a matter of fact the medication looks riskier than the surgery.  He decided to start taking it tomorrow morning, so that if it slows his heart down too much he'll be awake and we'll be able to deal with the situation safely.

As if that weren't enough, Ken found out this morning, just prior to his cardiologist appointment, that his dad was moved into a hospice.  I could tell you some details about that situation that would cause your heart to break too.

Things could be worse.  We have our comfy home and savings in the bank.  My boss is cooperating with me on finding ways for me work as effectively as possible without overdoing it.  We have supportive family and friends.

Although I'm not planning to lean on anyone else too heavily. Right now just about everyone I know is wading at least hip-deep through their own swamp of personal crap.  Everyone has health worries and/or child-care worries and/or elder-care worries and/or financial worries, etc.

People say kind things but when you come right down to it we're all stretched pretty thin.  You can't expect more from anyone than a sympathetic ear and a little encouragement.  (A little can go a long way.)  It doesn't help that none of my support people live in my neighbourhood.  Lately I've been feeling very physically vulnerable due to being so weak and effectively isolated.  I've been worrying over and over "What will become of me?  What will become of us?"  There are no answers.

I keep tripping up because I've been basing my estimations of my own strength on past experience.  This is the worst crash I've ever experienced, so I guess none of that past learning applies.  I've never been this slow to get my energy back.  I wonder if I will ever get it all back.  I wonder if I am permanently disabled.  I'm too weak to leave the house today, again.  It's scary.

I've been trying to watch uplifting and humorous movies and TV shows to distract myself, but there's only so much you can stuff that kind of fear under the rug of cheerfulness.

Right now I'm deliberately slipping into survival mode.  Just get through each day, and if that gets too tough, just get through each hour, or each five minutes, or each breath.  Beyond making sure there are enough groceries in the fridge for the next meal, try not to think of the future.  The future will have to take care of itself.

10 comments:

Jameil said...

((hug))

LL Cool Joe said...

Geez sounds like tough times for both of you. I'm so sorry that you are going through this. All you can do is take each day as it comes and try and make the most of it and enjoy the snatched moments when you can.

I will pray for you Spark.

Jenski said...

Aw. Sounds extra rough. :-( Hope the cycle starts slowing and then turns around. I'll be thinking of you!

G said...

Can't think of much to say beyond "Hang in there 'cause there's gonna be an exit at the end of this deep valley that will allow you to start heading towards a neverending peak of good times."

Okay, that probably sounded contrived, but the sentiment is still genuine: Keep the faith and take it one hour at a time.

DarcKnyt said...

Wow, that's so hard, Spark. BOTH of you down and out health-wise. I'm so sorry. I wish I could say or do something to help, to ease, to comfort.

Do know we're still praying for you and rooting for you. It feels like not much, but it is all I can do right now.

Lynn said...

Yes - (((HUGS)))

Warped Mind of Ron said...

{{HUGS}}

Sparkling Red said...

THANK YOU EVERYONE!

Your prayers, hopes, kind words and thoughts, etc. make all the difference in the world. And the hugs. The hugs help big time too.

LL Cool Joe: Exactly. Actually today I have had some good moments, sitting in the sun on the couch with my hubby and feeling no worse than a bit tired for a while. I feel like myself again, so I don't know how long that will last, but it's great while it lasts.

Jenski: Thanks! One day later and I can feel myself stabilizing again. I always panic early on in a crash because I feel so awful and my body's pumping all sorts of stress chemicals into me. At least today I feel calm.

G: I couldn't have put it better myself. :-)

DarcKnyt: Your prayers are much appreciated. It may feel like Not Much to you, but it's plenty to me. :-)

John McElveen said...

First time Here--and I can't believe what you are both up against. Please know my Prayers --are with you both.

Recover swiftly, and may the Ablation procedure be smooth and quick. It is low risk--but I totally understand your concerns!

Blessings,

John

DarcsFalcon said...

Oh Spark! *hugs* When it rains, it pours. I'm so sorry you're having to deal with all of this on your plate at the same time. It can sure seem discouraging.

I'm so sorry about Ken's father.

There are times when the road ahead seems so dim and hard to see in the night. We don't know how long it will last or how hard it will be. I am praying for you, for health and healing and faith to endure. Often, blessing comes through the rough times. *hugs*