Friday, 25 May 2012

I CAN (NOT) DO IT MYSELF.




The above picture is as close as I can come to showing what I mean when I say my vision is blurred. Usually it happens with no warning and lasts anywhere from 30 seconds to a couple minutes. Unfortunately, I can’t do a picture of the staggering that occurs when I’m dizzy but imagine the walk of someone who hid in a bar after closing time and kept themselves well lubricated into the next day. Possibly someone with wooden feet.

So, reluctantly, I had to resume the steroids. Lesser of two evils, I figured.

When I’d first started back on them and was feeling somewhat less precarious, Heather and I drove out to Herring cove to a spot with a fabulous view of the coast and ocean. She and Wendy wanted me to view an area that required walking a very short path through woods. Last time I was there, I didn’t dare to, but armed with hubris and denial, and the barest minimum of steroids in my system,  I tottered after Heather.

Wrong.

The path was a foot and a half wide, sunk down, not level with the surrounding ground – and it was mined with tree roots and stones. Heather saw how unsteady I was and turned to hold her hand out. I didn’t, of course, take her hand. That’s where hubris and denial come in. The end result, near the end of the path, was me sitting down hard and unexpectedly and sort of sideways in the brush. No harm done. No injuries, unless you consider the last shredded remnants of my pride.

I keep an eye on “side-effects” because I have to report them and because I discover useful information. Like the fact that I have begin to, quite unconsciously substitute one word for another. Malapropism is the name of the disorder. Sometimes it’s funny.

The other day, I couldn’t remember the word for sushi and substituted “tsunami”…
(Which, in fact, was strangely appropriate as it came back later that night as a sort of wave) More often, though, it’s repetitive and annoying. I can edit something four times, send it or publish it, and still find more errors. I change tenses without noticing and leave words out – and if there’s a name or a word I haven’t been able to temporarily forget, I’d like to know what it is. Not that I’ll likely remember.

But overall, I’m a bit improved.

People often think they wouldn’t be as “brave” were they in my position. I think they might surprise themselves. And besides, I’m more stoic than brave. I do grieve. I have my teary times. But the thing that happens, if I don’t keep that in check, I end up wallowing in self-pity. Which is not anything like simply acknowledging your feelings or letting them out. It’s a wretched, miserable state. Far worse and less useful than simple grief -and it’s a shitty state to be in around your friends, too.

It’s a fact that we die. Now, later, sometime. I think I’ve pretty much accepted that.
It would have happened sooner or later – it’s just not avoidable. I’m fortunate to have the enormous support that’s come my way.

I do, however, need to reign in the I-can-do-it-myself denial factor. I am SUCH a pain in the ass to my friends.


8 comments:

Marcia DeCoster said...

When you've been strong your whole life, it's pretty hard to change things up and ask for help...but I hardly think it qualifies as a pain in the ass.

Did you get to view the coast?

Cynthia Newcomer Daniel said...

Perhaps it would help if you remember that there are lots of us out here, just wishing there was something we could do to help you. Letting us help is the best gift you can give us.

I'm no good at accepting help, either - but I know how very much it means to me to be able to give it. So I think that's something we both need to work on.

Thanks for giving me the food for that thought. Thanks for helping ME, yet again . . .

Howpublic said...

Indeed, I got there and the view was splendid. AND I got busted and took Heather's hand on the way back. I know being stubborn is downright stupid, but I think it's partly because I have to prove to myself first that I'm not just sinking down and pleading helpless before I truly need to. (PS I spoke my first word at 9 months old. I stood in my crib, reached my arms up and said, "Go" - as in "go too". I probably hate to ask for the help.

Howpublic said...

hated to ask, that is. Another uncaught "oops"

Roberta said...

Having spent a recent two weeks at my own pity party, I know what you mean. Not only is it a horrid place to be but it is quite unsustainable as well. I am glad you got to the coast. I know it helps to get a change of venue.......

Howpublic said...

It's true, Roberta. Crappiest party in the world. And PS - I'm 10 minutes from the ocean! It was the last 20 feet that were my downfall.

Beady Zoo said...

Asking for, and accepting help are two very difficult things for me as well. After recent surgery, I had to do the same, and received several lectures when I did not ask soon enough or often enough. Hard lesson to learn for mature, independent women ....

Marsha Wiest-Hines said...

I simply cannot put the idea of you and "pain in the ass" together. Impossible.