I find myself babbling cheerfully to the barista at Ralph's about sugar addiction. We talk about white peach and green versus pineapple and black, and she says the pineapple is popular so I pick that. The more you eat, the more you crave," she says and I agree and she puts only one pump of sweetener in mine instead of the six that is called for in the recipe. Behind my sunglasses are tearburned eyes. I've just had a harrowing ride home in the car with Sophie. I had picked her up from the day program in a bit of a state. I contemplated driving straight to the emergency room of any hospital to admit her for another weird episode of Unable to Swallow Well and Therefore Laboring a Bit for Breathing and admit me for despair. Instead, I continued to drive home in some of the worst traffic The City of Angels has to offer, rubbing her back, wiping her drool and speaking sharply to her to both Cough! and Come ON! and then called the neurologist's office to yell at the receptionist about The Fact That I Have Still Not Received The EEG Report Which Was Done On July 4th. I didn't really yell, but I got upset, and she said to hold on and I'll speak with my supervisor, and then The Neurologist got on the line and in his gentle way apologized and said that he'd review the report and get back to me tonight. I've learned by now, in this the 24th year of caregiving that it Pays To Be An Assertive Unreasonable Bitch and you can always throw in a I know it's not your fault, but I'm tired of this, and I feel like no one cares and I am doing all the caring and the work, and I'm losing my mind. That's what I said to the receptionist who then left for her "supervisor," and lo and behold, The Neurologist, and that's what I said to him, too.
When I drove up the driveway to my house, I jumped out of the car and ran around to the passenger side and dragged Sophie out and carried her to the front door and considered screaming for help but instead pounded on the door. Saint Mirtha opened it and helped me carry Sophie back to her room where, for the next half hour, we coaxed her into coughing and relaxing, and I don't know what else. The suction machine was involved but it's psychological, like everything else, I'm afraid. You're doing something! You're making an effort! You may wonder why I didn't let The Professionals take care of this, but you might also dig not so deep (just a few shovels) if you know me and very deep (all the way to China) if you don't, to figure out why.
Meanwhile, Sophie fell asleep for a bit, quite peacefully.
I'm going to go in my room and cry, I said to Saint Mirtha, and she said, Elizabeth. I lay on my white bed and wept through the eyelet of my white blouse and then I got up and walked to Ralph's where, like I said, I noticed how inane my chatter is when I am most in despair and where, I've also noticed, the eyes of men who work unpacking crates of beautiful vegetables follow me, right through my dark glasses like they know and love sorrow, a sad-eyed woman. I bought thick-cut bacon, tomatoes and tortillas for BLT tacos and walked home.
Sophie is awake and has eaten dinner like normal, and I wish I was (or is it were?) an angel and I'd fly back somewhere, anywhere, but here.
Man, what an afternoon. I don’t know how I knew you had a lot going on! I hope you know I was being my silly self with my email. And you poor things! I hope Sophie’s breathing is better and that your cry released some anxiety. What an afternoon! I had a bit of a vision of you sitting in the library writing today... not so. ❤️ReplyDelete
Oh. Good. God. And oh, shit. My heart is pounding. Thinking of your heart with love.ReplyDelete
It's were. I wish it were different for you. I wish it had never been this way. They're talking about making the MMR mandatory in Ireland because we have another minor 'outbreak' of measles at the moment. There is no mention of a compensation scheme, or care for those who will be injured though.ReplyDelete
I always read your posts. Many times I have no words. Like now.ReplyDelete
Oh my. I'd hug you if you were here, Elizabeth!ReplyDelete
I really don't know what to say except that of course you didn't go to the hospital because you'd still be there and you already knew what Sophie needed, you and Saint Mirtha and of course you talked on and on to the barista because you had all of that adrenalin flowing through you and of course the receptionist went and got the neurologist because you were right and you needed some goddamned help and like Steve I would hug you and I would hug you.ReplyDelete
Oh Elizabeth, sending so much love.ReplyDelete
I don't miss facebook, but I do miss getting the reminders of your blog posts.ReplyDelete
"I'm going to go in my room and cry, I said to Saint Mirtha, and she said, Elizabeth. I lay on my white bed and wept through the eyelet of my white blouse and then I got up and walked to Ralph's where, like I said, I noticed how inane my chatter is when I am most in despair and where, I've also noticed, the eyes of men who work unpacking crates of beautiful vegetables follow me, right through my dark glasses like they know and love sorrow, a sad-eyed woman. I bought thick-cut bacon, tomatoes and tortillas for BLT tacos and walked home."
I have no words to express how your words reave my heart.
I shall remember this and use it: I know it's not your fault, but I'm tired of this, and I feel like no one cares and I am doing all the caring and the work, and I'm losing my mind.ReplyDelete
Good for medical people and good for whatever universal forces are at work here (if any).
Oh, Elizabeth. I wish I was a wordsmith and could fashion beautiful words for you to express what’s in my heart. Just know that you and Sophie are in my heart.ReplyDelete
Sending love to you and Sophie on this sad-eyed day in the lowlands. That's an eloquent shadow portrait.ReplyDelete
I can relate to every beautiful word. The innane chatter, the private cry, the fear, the void, the world that just keeps spinning. I was at our block party last evening and as I went to get a plate of food and my first beer, Carlie (who had been sitting in a folding chair, went down with a grand map seizure. The band kept playing (literally, we book a live band for this shindig). The kids kept running around playing. 99% of the folks there kept drinking and talking, not noticing 2 adults where sitting on the asphalt cradling a seizing girl’s head in their lap for 45 seconds. An hour later, she is in her stroller and I’m making innane small talk behind my sunglasses. Some people offered kind words,ReplyDelete
But overall, we all march forward as if she hadn’t turned blue and my knees aren’t scrapped raw, and I didn’t go in and cry for 10 mins. It’s just a ridiculous and surreal sort of life to live ...
Oh my god, yes. I love you Alicia.Delete