Friday, October 7, 2011

spinning 'round and 'round we go

It seems that my life keeps getting busier as I look to trim down and simplify. I move to a bungalow to downsize. I cut my hours at work so as to not burn out and take care of my precious health. And yet the world keeps spinning... my world keeps spinning.
La femme francaise had surgery 2 weeks ago. A major yet routine surgery. As I spent time in the hospital with her I became amazed at how scheduled "normal" healthy people's recovery is supposed to be: day 1 you get ice chips; day 2 you get clear broth, sit up, get out of bed; day 3 you use the washroom alone; day 4 you're out the door. Well sometimes when individualized care is overlooked (in favour of generic results-driven care), things go wrong. Day 2 when they insisted she get up, something popped. She bled. By day 4 she was still feeling that something was wrong but they sent her home. Allopathic health-care: don't listen to 'the body', read the text-book.
Five days later she was still feeling that something was off so went back to the hospital (I'm sorry, but military hospitals suck). They looked at her, said everything was OK and sent her home.
Next day we end up back in the ER - this time to my chosen hospital with exactly what was wrong since her surgery. We spent the weekend there waiting for the blood clots to get drained and her repackaged up. She is now at home, doing well but she has an open wound. This happened to me 12 years ago. This has also extended her healing time by another few months. This could have been avoided if they initial doctors and nurses and the 3rd rate hospital listened to her. Now the woman who would shovel my walk-way last winter, lift things for me and carry the physical aspect of our relationship is now dependent on me to do all that, and more. I wish I could. We are quite the pair when we shop: her in the scooter and me with her cane trying to keep up. It's quite the thing to figure out how to carry everything (including cat litter) into the house when I'm the one doing it. I pulled my back helping her get out of bed the first night she returned home. I'm not at all resentful - I wish I could do more, but I can't. She is also going through the journey of losing ability... the one I face everyday on a slower level. After her first time using a scooter in the store she remarked at how rude people were and how invisible she felt. She now understands when some days I say that I have less energy to negotiate with other peoples' reactions than I do to take a scooter to 'ease' shopping. I'm sad for her she's going through a very helpless period - from being a soldier that can take on anything, being my hero, to not being able to take her own shower without help. I am not sad about the realizations she's having about the positions I've been in and my feelings about them. It's her opportunity to walk a kilometer in my shoes. At least hers has an end-date. She will eventually be able to lift in the spring, she will eventually be able to shovel, etc. She's also learning the lessons I've been facing most recently about "asking for help". I've used one friend's line "what makes you so special as to not ask for help".

So all this time spent caring for her is magnified by the fact that we just moved: furniture still needs placing, things still need to get done. But wait, there's more: we're getting married in 2 weeks. For a simple small gathering it's become filled with more drama than I've ever had hoped for. My mother decided she is too busy (with her own addiction) to come, my sister has resorted to being her lost self and has managed to throw a few jabs in before I un-invited her. I do not want any bad behaviour on my wedding day - and la femme's first and (hopefully) only wedding. I am having enough of a time trying to keep it together for a fallen soldier, I am not above un-inviting unsupportive people be it family or otherwise. I'm too old and this couple is not well enough to deal with other peoples' baggage.

I feel like I've become the queen of asking for help - to the point that I'm feeling twinges of guilt... just when someone flaked out on me in regards to the dresses (I still have no idea what I'm wearing) 2 beautiful old friends stepped in with spreadsheet in hand and took control. If people think I'm a control-freak, they don't know la femme. When I trust someone, I give up control. Gratefully so. My day will be filled with weird things: we're going to wear our black spit-shine combat boots under whatever white dresses we find, to paper plates at lunch or saying I do in the snow (no rain/snow location). It could be the coldest day on record for that day (and yes, I did look at the historical weather readings) and nothing else will matter except that my nouille says "I do" to her little nounoun.