You Can’t See Me

When I was young, I was certain that hiding behind furniture, or under it, or even under the covers in my bed would make the bad stuff go away.  Monsters n the room?  No worry, just crawl under the covers, all the way mind you, and I was safe.  For extra security, crawling headfirst to the bottom of my bed was always an option.  The small problem with that is that now and then the sheets would be tucked a little more tightly and I’d get stuck, headfirst at the bottom  of my bed.  (Yeah I’m pretty sure my mother loved it when I yelled for her to rescue me during those moments!)

But this worked for other things too.  Don’t want to eat th dreadful sprouts and mama was giving me that look?  No worries, simply slide slowly off my chair, and hide under the table.  Neither of my parents would suspect a thing.  Granted I never stayed under the table for long.  My parents were sneaky.  They’d start talking about something fun they were going to do once they were done cleaning up and naturally I’d want to be in the fun.  So I would slide out and then be confronted with the awful sprouts. 

Honestly it is a shame that these techniques  no longer work.  Worried about a spell of bad news?  Throw a blanket over your head and get comfortable in a small space.  The bad news will pass you by!  Afraid that strange lump is cancer?  Hidin the closet!  If only it were all that easy.  Life certainly would be more enjoyable.

Of course life doesn’t work that way and hiding from worries, fears, bad news, and all the rest only makes things worse.

Glass Measures

In the movies, or television for that matter, if a person is holding a glass when s/he receives bad news, it almost always slips out of the person’s hand and shatters onto the floor. As if it represents how the news is shattering the person’s life.

In reality that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes glasses are broken in a tightened grip and sometimes, if you are like Beloved, you set it down carefully and gently. You take great care to not pass the horrors of the news onto other people or objects. I know because I’ve watched him receive bad news in a way where he set his glass of whisky down carefully before rubbing his face with both hands and heading to the door for some fresh air.

To look at him, unless you know him well, you’d never know that he received bad news. But the tightness, just there by his eyes, the slight crease between his brows and the set of his jaw told me all I needed to know. Just as the way he placed the glass told me he needed time to himself. He’d tell me everything when he was ready. Until then, I’d leave the glass where he placed it and just wait.

When he did come home, he didn’t pick up his glass. Instead he came over and took my hand to lead me gently to the large chairs facing the window. There he shared his news, never once taking his eyes off the scene outside the window. But when he was finished, then he looked at me with those soft eyes of his before he got up and took to his glass of whisky, silently drinking.

I would have thrown the glass if it were my news. But it wasn’t. It was his. And in his way, he is far more mature, far more composed than I am. And so, he set it down gently to pick up later on when he was ready.

Keep Going

I sat there on the hard plastic chair letting harsh medical smells invade my thoughts.  I’d given up waiting to hear the soft little noises letting me know the doctor was on his way, or at least the nurse, into the room.  There is something about waiting in a doctor’s office that makes time move in some strange way.  Time stretches to an incredible length and it remains that way.  Until.

Until the doctor or nurse is saying something serious.  And then  time zips by.  But I was just waiting.  Waiting for the doctor to tell me and go over lab results.  Waiting for the doctor to look at the newest round of swelling and maybe do something about it.  Waiting for the doctor to tell me he found a way to tame lupus.

The longer I waited the more I wondered what was going on.  And knowing me, knowing how my mind works, I opted to pull out a book to distract myself while I waited.  At least with a book I stop watching the clock, of course there is that wee issue of someone coming in when I’m not really ready to stop reading.

Finally the door opened, at a good place to stop riding, and my doctor came in.  Normally he has energy and a smile, but today that smile was forced and tired.  He made his way through my labs, looked at the swelling and told me that he didn’t know how anyone with a chronic illness keeps going.  Not after repeatedly bad labs.  The answer is that it’s tiring, but you keep going because there is always hope.  Always something just around the corner that may be the answer.

Just A Wee Thing Indeed

My mama used to say nothing good would come from an early morning call.  Early morning as in before the sun comes up.  Of course my mama never dealt with relationships across the pond where there is almost a half day’s difference in time.

Mama wasn’t wrong though.  Because while it was Beloved on the phone, it wasn’t good news.  Not horrible news, but not good news either.  A “wee accident” as he put it.  Of course he also put it like this “nothing of consequence except for a wee injury requiring a cast”.  Because that’s the best way to tell someone you’ve shattered your bones and require a few plates put in to hold things all together.

Because metal plates and screws are just “wee” things of “no consequence” and therefore shouldn’t be considered as alarming or shocking.  Everyday occurrences basically.  Which for some people I guess isn’t that big of a deal.

I’m not sure if once the pain medications wear off that Beloved will feel exactly the same way about the injury.  And I can’t shake the feeling that there is far more to this story than he is sharing.  Which wouldn’t be unusual due to my lupus and all.

And speaking of lupus, it is definitely not going to let me rush to Beloved any time soon. Granted he isn’t going anywhere any time soon either so maybe lupus will settle down enough for me to make it to him, or he will be healed enough to get here before it settles down.  Because it’s just a wee thing indeed.

Early Morning Vists

Nothing good comes from someone pounding on your door at two a.m.  For the record the same can be said for people ringing your doorbell at this time.  Now I’m sure in some other inverse this isn’t a truth, but in mine, the only people who ring my doorbell at this hour are the bearers of bad news or bring bad stuff into my life.

The less-than-adult side of me has this great way of handling these things.  This part of me thinks if I just don’t answer the door, if I pull the covers up tight around my head the bad news has to go somewhere else.  It cannot be mine.

The adult side of me knows that ignoring it isn’t going to change the end result, so I go to the door.  Of course I hold not hope that this time I will be proven wrong.  I hope that this is the time good news or something like that happens to me.

A dear friend of mine recently had one of these two a.m. visits to her front door.  Two police officers appeared to tell her there had been an accident and could she just sit down?  Her partner had been coming home after his shift at work was over.  Unfortunately there was an accident and her partner was n bad shape at the hospital.  The officers had come to take her to the hospital.

When she was telling me about this she assured me that good things can happen with these early morning visits.  You see her partner’s coworker’s, those officers who came to her door, ensured she got to the hospital quickly.  And thankfully she will have a happily ever after with her partner.

It is, I guess, a case of how you view it all.  Maybe on the heels of bad news, is the positive of getting there in time or what have you.  Maybe you can find some comfort in the uncomfortable.

Surprise And Then Some

Sometimes no matter how hard you try it’s impossible to surprise a loved one, but every now and then you manage t pull it off.  And when you do, it’s amazing.  A feat that’s right up there with climbing Everest or winning the Noble Peace Prize.  And sometimes the effort involved is roughly the same as a achieving those other feats.

So of course I was feeling rather pleased with myself after my latest accomplishment.  Especially since trying to  surprise Beloved is a bit like spinning straw into gold.  Not that I’ve ever even tried this in the past,  but given my lack of crafting skills as well as being an ordinary person means this would be impossible for me anyway.  Trust me on this! 😉

Feeling pleased and rather proud I waited patiently for Belved to come home so that I could surprise him.  What was the surprise?  A much desired book that he hard been wanting for years, but it was never where he’d think to look for it.  Sometimes it’s all about who you know, the circles you move in and the levels you climb up or down.

when he finally came home, he had a look on his face that I’ve only seen a few times.  It’s the look of bad news and each time he’s worn it the news has chilled me to my very core. This time was no different.

The surprise was forgotten, lost in the rush of the news and the changes it immediately brought.  It was awhile before I found the surprise and to be honest, when I did find it, it was a surprise to me.

But it was a surprise now tainted, for me at least, by the memory of the bad news.  Still when I gave it to him, Beloved was pleasantly surprised and none the wiser for how long I had kept it.  He also had no clue when or how I had achieved this feat, but for me there was no need nor desire to announce this ascent to Everest for Everest had lost some of its magic.


Willing To Wait, Sort Of

Let’s face it, I’m not a patient kind of girl. I’ve tried, oh how I’ve tried. And how many different ways I’ve worked on this, I cannot even begin to figure out any more. All I know is that patience is a virtue that I lack.

I’d like to blame society, I mean it’s all about immediacy these days anyway. That’s the joy of social media and the internet in general. You want it? You can find it. Now. Frankly I wonder how this has worked for people who are shopaholics. They can simply zip online, find what they seek and make the purchase and viola off to the next adventure.

But the truth is, as I try to get back on track, even before having access to all this immediacy I still struggled with this idea of waiting.

As a child, the wait up to Christmas was pure torture, same with my birthday. Okay okay twist my arm! There are still times when Christmas makes me impatient! But honestly it’s just to see the expression and glee upon another’s face as my present to him/her is opened. (See, I have matured some!)

I know good things come to those who wait, but I wonder if by the time they get what they were waiting for they even remember that once upon a time they wanted this.

These days my impatience shoes itself when I have a million things to do and one person is slowing things up. As in that person in the grocery store who can’t remember the pin for her/his card.

The real deep, dark impatience rears its ugly head when I’m waiting on results regarding publications or such. Oh then it’s hopping from one foot to the other as almost right after i make the submission. I’m pretty sure the floor has spots where I’ve bounced too many times!

I’ve wondered why I have this issue, and I think I’ve figured it out. It’s the fear of not knowing, the fear that what’s coming is going to be not what I hoped for. I suspect it’s a bit like deciding to just rip the Band-Aid off and getting it over and done with. If it’s bad news, I’d like to know sooner rather than later thanks all the same.

If it’s good news? Well here’s the curious thing about that. Good news makes me uneasy. I always doubt it, questioning it over and over again. I examine it from all aspects and even then I don’t trust it. Oh it isn’t that I don’t believe in good news, rather I just don’t believe it comes my way, as though I shouldn’t hear it in conjunction with my name.

So if it’s good news, I need to hear that sooner rather than later so that I have time to examine, dissect and finally believe it and then accept it with stumbling grace.

Highest of Highs, Deepest of Lows

He clicked his tongue against his teeth, sighed, took a deep breath and hen looked me straight in the eye. He got ready to speak and then stopped, took another deep breath and shook his head.

It was at that point that I felt for him. It was the first time I realized that his job wasn’t an easy one. Sure there were some pretty amazing highs to his job, miracles some might even say. But the flip side to that coin is that the lows had to be incredibly deep depressions.

I got the feeling that no matter how bad the news was going to be, it would hurt him more to say it than it would hurt me to hear it. At the point I had a few years of getting used to hearing the rough news that comes with living with lupus. My doctor was fairly new to this.

When he told me that I was showing increased signs of damage to my organs you would have thought it was his liver, his kidneys that were damaged.

I felt for that doctor and I’ve felt for each one that I’ve had since that time. I’m not saying all doctors have that compassion, but many do. And not all become calloused enough from their jobs to be able to just deliver the news in a detached manner, although that may make things better for them.

Each battle I’ve had with lupus, each gaining and losing of ground has not been fought between just myself and the disease. You see lupus does not fight fair. Lupus comes with various disguises and such. Lupus has a myriad of techniques to get past defenses.

Knowing how lupus fights, dirty and constantly changing the terms, I used my own tactics. I have an army of medical people to aid me in my fight. Sure the fight happens in my body, the damages inflicted are inflicted on me physically, but my army feels each loss as though it was happening to them.

So I thank these people who don’t have to do what they do, and certainly not with the care and compassion that they bring. I’m not just a patient or a case before them. I am a human being, in need of help, their help.

I’m grateful to that doctor, who showed me his human side. Who reminded me that he too had to deal with some of downs of my lupus.

Breaking Bread To Bust Cancer

I made bread, from scratch. With my own two hands. Okay a bowl and a wooden spoon were used, as were some measuring cups and spoons and well a pan too cook the bread in. But still, I made bread, from scratch. Did I mention it was from scratch?

I’m a little pleased with myself, not just because I made the bread, but because it was good. I didn’t have expectations other than for the bread to be, well edible, but it was beyond edible. It was, well good if I do say so myself.

Oh don’t it wasn’t a lovely braided yeast bread. No, it wasn’t anything spectacular like that. I’m sure I could make something like that, if I wasn’t afraid of yeast. But I am, afraid of yeast that is. I’m terrified I will kill it or something dreadful. So no yeasty breads made by me. Beloved though, Beloved can make bread like that. He calls it therapy, I call it not for me.

So there I am, rather pleased with my tasty bread when a friend phones. I cannot contain myself, I announce my accomplishment, like a proud toddler. She acts suitable impressed before sharing her news with me. News that of course is well more news than my bread.

It seems cancer likes my friends, lots. She is not my first friend with cancer and as much as I hope for her to be the last, I know that won’t be the case. So we talked chemotherapy, radiation, and well fear. We also talked hope.

I told her I’d be there for her, as much as I could given my own health issues, and she asked if I could bake her some bread. As she out it, if I can make tasty bread, I can make her day now and then. This gives whole new meaning to breaking bread and I’m thrilled to be a part of it! (Now I just need to make sure it doesn’t get hard enough so someone breaks a tooth breaking my bread.)