Note: This post was originally intended to be published on October 16.
Abstract 4: Wind on the Tide Pool by russell.tomlin*
“To look at her, you might not guess that inside she is laughing and crying, at her own stupidities and luckiness, and at the strange enigmatic ways of the world which she will spend lifetime trying to learn and understand.” ~ Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
One of the problems with piggy-backing onto someone else’s network is that you are at the mercy of the other person’s network, as in if it (the network) is not available, then you (the piggy-backer) are essentially SOL. Hence, the dearth of posts in recent days.
So it’s Saturday afternoon, and I’ve been trying to write a post for days now. Today I finally decided to write in Word and just paste if/when I finally get a network signal.
It’s been a very rough week. About mid-week, my mother was doing much better. She was using the walker several times a day, and seemed to be moving without a lot of pain. I made the mistake of telling her that I thought that if she kept up the progress, I would try to start spending nights at home and coming back at 7:30 in the morning. Ever since I said that, she has been regressing.
I don’t think that she’s aware of the timing, but something subconsciously is not ready for me to leave. Now she’s being difficult about taking her medicine; whereas she never gave me a problem before. The way in which she shuts her mouth and shakes her head reminds me so much of my kids when they were young.
She says that now she hurts all over her body, and she feels weak. I can see, though, that her leg is healing well. Most of the swelling has decreased in her calf, and the swelling around her knee is also visibly less. I know that her back is beginning to feel the strain of the up and down movement from supine to sitting, as well as the tugging that she is doing with her arms.
Is it horrible of me to say that I just want to spend a night in my own bed, with my husband and dogs? I feel horrible for even wishing it, but damn, I’m weary to my bones.
“The dream of reason produces monsters.” ~ Goya, from “Caprices”
I tried to sleep in my old bedroom, which is directly across the hall from her bedroom, but she turns the television in her room up full blast as soon as she is awake, making it impossible for me to doze an extra hour or two, so I’ve moved back to the couch full time.
Last night was a doozy. I feel asleep around 11, and woke up at 1 a.m. with her calling my name with a sense of urgency. The latest development is an upset stomach (not going to give too many details here). She didn’t feel as if she had enough strength to use the walker to get to the bathroom. We made do (no pun intended). I got her back in bed, and then found myself wide awake, so I cleaned the kitchen and tried to find something on television to watch.
In the midst of all of this Earl Grey, the cat, managed to sneak into the house. Once I positioned myself on the couch, he decided that he wanted to sleep on my feet. Have I mentioned that I am allergic to cats. It used to be unbearable, but over the years, I can tolerate mild exposure without having a full-blown asthma attack. However, I was so spent, that I didn’t even fight with the cat, and let him sleep on my feet until the wee hours of the morning, whereupon both he and Willow (the dog) both decided that they needed to be let out at 7:15.
I’ll bet that you are absolutely agog with envy over the situation that is now my life.
“The greatest mania of all is passion and I am a natural slave to passion: the balance between my brain and my soul and my body is as wild and delicate as the skin of a Ming vase.” ~ Hunter S. Thompson, The Curse of Lono
Anyway, today is another day, and for the first time in days, no television is on in the house; the animals are about their business, and my mother is sound asleep. The silence is wonderful, but I think that I am a bit unnerved by it; having had a full frontal assault on my senses for weeks now, I think that I am equating the silence with a bit of trepidation: as in, it’s too quiet; something is bound to happen to break this stillness.
The other thing that is happening simultaneously is that Corey’s mom is due to arrive anytime today. He is madly cleaning, while I am over here waiting for Alexis to come and relieve me so that I can help Corey. A few days ago, I spent a couple of hours at home, during which I scrubbed the kitchen all over (except the floor), did a load of laundry, and cleaned the bathroom.
Since I am not at home, all of my nervous energy has been directed at keeping my mother’s home spotless, so when I went in the door to my own home, everything looked and smelled funky. We have made a valiant effort in the past six months or so to keep the house tidy, but my fat, gay, mama’s boy Jack Russell Shakes has taken my desertion of the home front quite personally, and has been marking a lot of territory out of spite.
Hence, the funky smell.
I’m not going to be able to spend very much time with Corey’s mom as things in this house change so drastically from one moment to the next. We are hoping to get together tomorrow evening for dinner. At least she’ll have some quality, one-on-one time with Corey for a few days before she flies back to Ohio.
“I take into my arms more than I can bear to hold
I am toppled by the world
a creation of ladders, pianos, stairs cut into the rock
a devouring world of teeth where even the common snail
eats the heart out of a forest
as you and I do, who are human, at night yet still I take into my arms more than I can bear to hold” ~ Nikolai Gogol, “Old-World Landowners”
Did I mention that the judge who oversaw my Social Security hearing decided against me? Yep, my long string of lousy luck continues to hold sway. I allowed myself to think that the hearing had gone very well, and was even thinking about how wonderful it would be to be able to receive Medicare, only because it would mean the end of extremely high health insurance payments.
No joy. I had a long conversation with the lawyer who represented me, and she said that all of the cases that she presented before this particular judge were denied. Luck of the draw. She reassured me that I had done well in the hearing, but said that this judge does not really considered people to be disabled unless they have stage 4 cancer and are near death.
The judge’s ruling was quite slanted— of course— and made me out to be a slacker. Understandably, I was quite upset as I feel that he took so many things out of context. The next step is up to me, I can try to appeal, which can take up to another year and a half, or I can just give up and continue to receive benefits from the insurance company.
I told the lawyer that I want to appeal, mostly because I’m stubborn, but more because I’m pissed. The other thing about the appeal is that I don’t have to do any work on this end. It’s all done by the company representing me since they are actually representing the insurance company, and the insurance company would like nothing better than for me to move from their rolls to Social Security’s rolls.
Biggest drawback: There is a good chance that my new hearing will be before the same judge. How is that new, I ask you . . .
But then, if it were easy, it wouldn’t be my life, now would it?
More later. Peace.
Music by Damien Rice, “Cold Water”
*All images taken with permission from russell.tomlin’s Flckr pages.