Saturday, October 30, 2010

invisible disability

Well it was bound to happen eventually... there's only so much I could put off not "letting" her see me wearing my O2. And so it's happened and I'm still alive (of course). You'd think that since I've been sharing all my health issues to the greater world I wouldn't still have problems letting someone (new) in. Well, it's just as difficult - if not more so. I can write here and not give a care in the world what you/others think, but la femme francais, not so much. Of course I care what she thinks- I'm still human and still fear rejection.

But I'm not being rejected. It's so weird and I have to fight all that self-sabotage baggage to not push something so wonderful away. I also don't want to be "cared for" in that helpless patient kind of way. It's kind of a relief that she knows more about the technicalities of planes than the technicalities of the human body! Sometimes it's a little disconcerting.

So we're planning a trip to la ville de Quebec soon and I guess it's about time she get used to the O2 issue cuz if I'm gonna hang out in her old stomping ground I'm gonna need to bring my travel tanks (old Quebec is all hill). It's a quiet pleasure to have someone consider accessibility issues without even asking (old inns with no elevators vs locations of b&b's in relation to the major hills). It doesn't seem like a burden right now (although in all the literature on couples & family therapy that I've read, it indicates that what you originally fall in love with in someone, you eventually hate). So maybe right now it's not an issue... but there I go resorting to doom and gloom and not accepting what IS right in front of me. What is, is.

We walked a trail yesterday. It was cold and wet and we went slow. On the way back I turned to see how long I walked and couldn't believe that I did almost the entire trail. I am, at my own pace, returning to a pace I could handle about two years. It's a lot slower, but I can do almost as much. It was so cool to walk the trail... OK not at regular speeds, but go further than even a year ago.
Something we've talked about is self-care. How some people don't take care of themselves and take their health and life for granted. I feel appreciated for my efforts to still live an active life - perhaps not her level of active, but there's no comparison because she is healthy and super-fit and has to be (for work). We all have choices she says, and I could choose to sit in front of the TV on a cold and grey Saturday morning rather than walk the forest. But I don't. That's the joie-de-vivre she sees and acknowledges.

Perhaps disability is not as scary to some as it once was. The more it's talked about, not hidden, the more sensitized people become. I think right now it's that reason I continue to write. My reasons have definitely changed over the past 2 years. Originally I did not want my 'ex' wife to be alone with the huge burden of living with someone who was in the process of slowly dieing. Since we're all dieing on some level I'm not sure that's such an issue anymore. Sure there are still days I cannot for the life of me catch my breath and have to end all activities or leave work early, but they are less frequent and last a very short time in comparison to the past.

My joie-de-vivre is reawakened. I spent the past 11 months opening up to it, finding me again, and now I've found someone that speaks the same language. Literally. It's incredible. There are words I thought I had forgotten long ago that were buried so deep, that in some cases go back to childhood (with us having read the same french cartoons etc.) that just bubble to the surface. (And she doesn't make fun ofhte fact that my grammaire is atrocious- just loves that I try). I had thought it dead and like a slow burning fire it's re-emerging realizing it was never gone, just buried. Perhaps this is why I could do that little trail in the cold rain yesterday. I'm not sure I can snow shoe but I am so grateful for the opportunity to be able-bodied enough to still go outside and walk in the universe, breathing in the fresh air, milling about slowly in the pine and birch forest.

I'm excited to return to one of the most romantic cities in North America but with her. I've wanted to go back there the past few years. Now I can be shown around rather than lead the way. Ahhh.... I am so blessed for the ability to open my heart once again! May it continue to repair itself, both metaphorically and medically.

(Meow-Meow I intend on keeping that pact: 53!)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

living her words/ living my words

Not quite sure what to write lately - just feeling very blessed - living, breathing, being well-ish enough. I'm having moments of pain, but am able to cope with it. I guess it's "easier" now that my lowered baseline of the past year or two has been the new norm. Well, my norm. I know not to expect much. That doesn't mean I'm giving up, rather recognizing that "it could be worse" (I could have to use a cane again, most of the time- and right now, I'm not!!). It's still some getting used to for la femme francaise but I'm getting a sense that it's "ok". The thing about dating at this age (and hers) is that health issues flare up, unlike when you're young and in your 20s raring to go with nothing the heck wrong with you. At our ages there are bad knees, arthritis etc. that creep in. Boy am I ever grateful for that! That and being with someone who accepts that everything after trauma (or who's been through their own wars, literally) is manageable - not like, "a walk in the park" but, a gift nonetheless.

Yes, she now knows about my DNR, and more health stuff but little by little she hasn't run away, only grabbed my hand in support. I'm beginning to believe that I've been forgiven by my Creator for breaking my vows/my promise to my Creator (maybe not to my ex yet). What I was wrestling with on Yom Kippur seems to be slowly resolving itself, not without pain and reflection, but perhaps a gentle acceptance or letting go that sometimes we do turn our backs on g-d and that like a parent that will always love their child (whether they like them or not), I am also accepted as a child of the Divine - that I too make mistakes. Afterall, it's the same Creator that put la femme francaise in front of me when S/He did. What a gift, what a way to say "you're allowed to be happy KAt, you're allowed to move on, you failed this person but here's yet another chance". At least, that's what I've been getting in my last few meditations.

Another friend reminded me tonight of something I said in July "we're not together but I'm together". I was amazed that it was I that spoke those words - and that someone who also went through a major break-up is going around quoting me! Some days I wonder who's standing in the mirror! This was not me 3 years ago on a dark night in November, or even a year ago. So much has changed - some very painful stuff has happened, but nothing that has killed my spirit, only made it stronger. And yes I will add "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger".

Work is good, stress is increasing as a direct co-worker is leaving and my workload will double again - however I am getting much better at handling stress and anxiety - to the point that I'm very sensitive to other friends' inability to deal with stress and anxiety- I end up needling their ears just to help. I am grateful to offer such a gift (and have been gifted with that training from work). My close friends have put up with a lot of late-night crying, self-pity, pain, etc. from me earlier this year that I feel so fortunate to be able to offer such meager gifts (not that friendship is a score card, but separation/divorce/grief tore a few strips off me that I really couldn't get through without them and want to offer my gifts back: perhaps taking care of the ears that listened to me all these months!). In my own world am so fortunate to have benefits to pay someone to help me relax (massage, accupuncture, etc.) if I'm not able to get their on my own (be it through whichever self-care means I choose). Anti-stress is essential when you're looking to optimize your health. And my life is SO full, I mean SO full that I don't have time to let stress get the better of me. I forgot how much time relationships take!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

discloure pt 2

So circumstances have indicated that it was about time to start disclosing some truths about my health/life sentence to la femme francaise.
Of course, I didn't go into details because it would have been be too overwhelming all at once, but the situation called for honesty, deep sharing etc.
She knows I probably won't see her age (she's significantly older than me).
And of course, she's not oblivious - she's noticed my nails, my inability to keep up, etc. etc.
Her reaction: it's not what people have, it's what they do (or don't do) with what they have.
We'll see if her words match her actions when my health flares up. This is a lot to handle. Not many people are built to deal with someone else's serious illness (even though vows suggest in sickness and in health, most people bolt when it gets tough - I know).

But for now...I'm in so much trouble!

Friday, October 1, 2010

medication meltdown

Landed safely in Toronto... with only a disastrous medication meltdown. I was due for another shipment of my designer meds on Thurs. since I was supposed to be on the road to TO after Friday's afternoon (work) group. So today I get a phone call from purolator at 7 am telling me that the meds have not yet left Toronto and can they deliver them Saturday morning. Um - NO. I have exactly enough meds to take me to TO but none thereafter. I gave Puro an Ottawa friend's address to be delivered by 3pm (departure time) while I was at work. So Purolator said they'd get in on the next flight out. Fewf - it's only 7am, there's still time before 3pm.
So 2pm comes and my friend still hasn't received anything. I call the pharmacy in TO just to double check. Not sent out! WTF. I explain my situation, telling them that I'm in training all day and that I won't be able to pick 'em up in Toronto even though I'm there. So we arrange for a 7am Sat. morning delivery.
They call back and low and behold my life-enhancing meds are in the air on the way to OT - and I'm on the way to TO.
Life is a little crazy sometimes - and sometimes I just don't want to be the one organizing it all.
I've been practicing assertion the past couple of months so at one point when Puro called me I told 'em (not to go f*ck 'em selves even though I really wanted to)... I told them to work it out with the TO pharmacy because I was no longer available (TO pharmacy had my entire itinerary).
And, because even though my life can get chaotic, I still have angels, my meds were delivered to my friend's place in TO by 8pm (not 8am next day)!
So here I am, meds, belly full of super good, super cheap Indian food and my first weekend away from la femme francaise in over a month.
Good food makes me content!