Monday, June 23, 2008

It's not if... it's WHEN

Monday June 23, 2008

So I spent two good weeks feeling sorry for myself.

Why? Well, let's state the obvious. I do taxes in the basement for money (worse than prostitution in some circles), my train of thought is more like a caffeinated pinball machine, and I have the ugliest feet on earth (and the next three closest planets.)

In this case, I'm not feeling sorry for myself because of the taxes, thoughts or MY feet - it's more about SPOUSE'S feet. Spouse's feet aren't ugly (in fact they're downright hot). It's just that they happen to be... well... broken.

This is where you can condemn and criticize me for being selfish and worrying about myself. After all I'm not the one who endured two weeks of extreme pain only to be cut open, screwed together, and left to bare the pain of 18 bic lighters beneath each foot. And after recovering from surgery, I'm not the one who quit breathing as the portal to another world decided to open and give the option for entrance. I'm not the one who spent 5 weeks in bed. I'm not the one who must chase after the children on hands an knees to hug or discipline. I'm not the one who hasn't been able to stand or drive in three months.

True. None of this is happening to me. But far and wide, watching the love of your life suffer is pretty dang hard. The hardest yet.

We had high hopes of Spouse walking by now. For some reason, I had forgotten about that thing called rehab. I thought the magic of 12 weeks would go by, he'd stand on both feet, dramatically throw that wheelchair aside and run to me with open arms. Both of us have since realized that the rehabilitation process will be slower than tar during a snowstorm in Alaska and as gradual as the bunny hill at your favorite ski resort.

While wallowing in self-pity, the partner I "visit" with demanded we go "visiting". (I leave off the teaching part because I ain't a teacher.) My partner is in her 70s. We visit two young ladies together and they too are in their 70s. So here we sit, three wise ladies with their lives behind them and one green and self-pitying me.

They asked how things were going and I cried. I blubbered on and on about how I feel pressure to keep it together and come out of this smelling like a rose. And amongst whining spits and spats, I told them how hard it is for me not to lose it.

You know what they said? "Honey. You got to let yourself lose it."

Each one of them had a story. "When Art broke his back...." or "When Mike had his back surgery..." or "When Ken broke his ankle..." They all had a story.

Suffering is part of the human package and suffering creates depth.

It has only been three months.


The McMillans said...

When My spouse lost his arm in Vietnam,....Just kidding.

I don't know what to say, because I have never been through such a thing. But when there is no other remedy, besides just going through the struggle, these are some of the things that remind me I am not alone.

"I have not lost faith in God. I have moments of anger and protest. Sometimes I've been closer to him for that reason."
Elie Wiesel

"I've been afraid every moment of my life and I've never let it stop me from doing a single thing."
-Georgia O'Keefe

"Just keep swimming"-Dori

"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved."
Helen Keller

rabidrunner said...

"Look for the bare necessities" - Baloo

"You have had the power all along" - The Wizard of Oz.

"Always look on the bright side of life " - Monty Python

Becca said...

If you ever need to loose it again, please call--my shoulders love to be cried on!
Seriously, I admire your strength and your attitude about the whole thing and I really look up to you for the way that you have dealt with such a hard blow. You are my hero and I know that you are stronger than I ever will be!

Winder said...

Just remember Tuesday's! You can always cry to me then. Not any other day. Why? I don't know because I said so. . .

Also, remember someday you will look back on this and think that wasn't so bad. When that will happen I don't know I am sure it will.

Staci said...

I am reading a book right now called, "Crossing to Safety" by Wallace Stegner. It's a tad slow, but suffering (and those watching it) is one of the strongest themes of the book. Although, it's like normal-life suffering not concentration-camp suffering. Not that you need it but sometimes when I am thinking about something, I like to immerse myself in it until I can just spit it out completely and it can be gone from my system. Anyway, I recommend it.

Also remember, it's not only that you have to watch someone suffering but you have to do all the extra work that someone else isn't doing plus the extra work of taking care of someone. Man, those ladies are right, go ahead and lose it. In fact, I think I'm about to lose it soon too . . . only for a different reason.

Andrea Brown said...

3 months is a long time, and although you haven't been stuck in bed, you've been stuck doing everything else because he has been stuck.

I'm sorry. But you've got friends. What can I do to help? I'm always good to go out; do you want ice cream, or a run?

Anonymous said...

Something to remind us all that our struggles are small. We have everything!