Monday, September 26, 2005

Can You Believe? A Bit of a Change!

Shhhhh.... Don't tell anyone.... Margo might overhear and get her hopes up too high, but there might just be the tiniest flicker of a light 'way down towards the end of this tunnel I have been alternately slogging and crawling through since August 18th.  

 I went to see my surgeon on Friday and was whining and moaning about sleep deprivation-I have been up to pee every 1 and a half hours all night long since Aug.18th- and he looked up and said, "have you tried any food?" Well, no, he told me not to. "Would you like to?"

Dumb question. Of course. So, we made an agreement. When I can get 15 grams of protein and 32 oz of water down, I can go on half rations of the TPM(IV food), to go in during 6 hours, so I can get some uninterrupted sleep. When I get to #( grams of protein and 48 oz of water, I'm off  all together. 

Tomorrow I start half rations of TPN. Yesterday I managed to get 18 grams and 30 oz of water in, and my stomach hurt, and I kept right on sipping protein drink(ugh). So far today I have 13 grams of protein, and 27 oz of liquid, and tomorrow I am going to have to do even better. I plan to be off TPN by the time I leave for the Poconos Oct 6th. If all is ok with my Upper GI scheduled Wednesday, of course.  

This is hard labor. Before surgery, I couldn't stop eating, and easily drank 64 oz of water a day. Now I have to force 2 Tbs of yogurt down and remind myself to sip, sip, sip all day long. It's all very odd.  

There, I am so relieved to have something good to write about I am almost giddy!  

Blessings, Margo

Monday, September 19, 2005

Just More of the Same

All day I have been wracking my brain about something funny and light I could use as a lead in to my Journal entry, because my life is so dismal I'm boring myself...but nothing has risen, so I'll be quick as I can.  

I have not written in over a week because I feel like a fly in amber, only not so pretty or interesting. Nothing has changed. I am still trying to increase my liquids, without much success. still attached to my PICC line, still getting IV feeding at night, still waking up every one and a half to two hours to pee, still dehydrated, still not losing weight, still stuck. And still trying not to let myself slip over the rim of the hole called Deep Depression.  

I am still doing many of the right things, too. I go out most days, to a doctor's appointment or shopping briefly, or for a ride with Peggy or Rene. I play at the computer, and read both newspapers, and take a brief nap, and try not to watch too much TV. I went to a local monthly WLS support group, which was a definite mixed bag. I met a woman named Tracey who reads my blog, ands now I read hers, which was great, and it was wonderful to be around others who struggle with the same issues I had before I had my setback.  

At the same time, I also felt so set apart from them, as they traded food hints, and protein powder drinks, and I cannot keep any down, cannot eat anything, I went home depressed as all get out, but determined to go again. At least I know that all the stuff I was worrying about before life went awry was normal!  

 I will rise from this funky place I seem to be inhabiting at some point or another-I always have in the past, so I believe I will this time, and hope to regain both a sense of perspective and a sense of humor when that happens.  

Blessings, Margo

Sunday, September 11, 2005

It's My Birthday!

Mood: cautiously Hopeful  

Today is my birthday; I am 56 years old.  For me, today starts the new year, as fall begins to creep in, bringing cooler nights and sweater weather. This is my favorite time of year (at least until spring arrives, then spring is my favorite) and I start looking forward to trees changing color, to crackling through dead leaves on the ground, to a trip to the Poconos to see my parents before they go back to Colorado.  

 I would also add it's the time of years for Courtland apples and cider and doughnuts and soups and stews and Halloween candy, but this year is different. I'll look forward to being able to eat applesauce and yogurt instead, I guess.  

Having a birthday on 9/11 is a mixed bag now. The date is etched forever in our consciousness as a country, a day of horror and sorrow and fear. It changed our world, and not for the better.Not to celebrate it would let the terrorists win, but celebrating it is difficult, too. And now we are in a winless war, with so many more dying and being maimed, all young men and women, scarred for life, physically and emotionally. And then there is the disgraceful response to those so terribly affected by Katrina... I will NOT go off into a political tirade, but these are discouraging times.  

This year, like last year and the year before, we are low-keying my birthday. Two years ago I was just out of the hospital after surgery because of my fall at work, and last year I was deeply depressed and feeling hopeless, though I was faking happiness pretty well for my journal.  

This year, despite everything, I am less deeply depressed, though perhaps more anxious. I know I have more medical stuff ahead of me-I need a second surgery on my arm-and I am entrenched in a battle with Worker's Comp, which has decided I no longer need meds for my chronic pain, let alone the surgery. I have a disability hearing coming up, and expect to be turned down because I do not have one big overriding problem or disease, but a accumulation of many little ones.  

And yet, today, on my 56th birthday, the sun is shining and the air is cool and Rene gave me beautiful Swarovsky crystal stud earrings she brought back from Europe, so I will accept the gift of a quiet day and let all the problems wait until tomorrow.  

Blessings, Margo

Monday, September 5, 2005

First Attempt

  Yesterday I ventured out to a neighborhood cookout. It was my first "social event" since surgery, and it turned out to be a good deal more difficult than I had anticipated. Everyone was truly glad to see me, which was nice, and I was glad to see and talk to them.  

The problem was, they all asked how I am doing, which posed quite a dilemma. Should I give them the truth and say, "shitty and depressed?" No, there must be something better... I settled on, "I'll be fine in the long run, but in the short run it's been difficult." Most people immediately changed the subject-it was clear they didn't want to know any details.  

So I would brightly counter with, "How are you? How has your summer been?" Then nodded and smile as person after person told me all about their vacations and activities. A couple of people realized that the contrast between their summer and mine was large and petered off, embarrassed, but most just went on and on and on.   It did give me the brief illusion of being part of the group, though. It was good to hear neighborhood news, but difficult to join in the conversation, because after the first 30 minutes I was feeling exhausted. Not surprising, since I am dehydrated, hungry, and stuck in a cycle of small problems which sometimes seen insurmountable.  

Then the food came out. Everyone rushed off to get some except Rene, who has been kind enough not to eat in front of me. I told her to go ahead, that of course I knew I would have to be around people eating, so she, too, went off to load her plate. Everyone came back and began to eat and talk about how good stuff tasted and who made what...  

 ...and it all became too much for me. I grabbed my oxygen tank, struggled out of my chair, said, brightly, "Well, I think I'd better head home before I'm too tired to walk! It was wonderful to see everyone" and walked across the lawn, past the pool, and out the gate to dead silence, while every person at the picnic watched me, even the children. After I turned the corner, I could hear voices start up again.  

Now, I know this will not be my reaction forever, I have to learn to be around people who are celebrating with food, and eventually I will beable to eat some, too. But I felt so conspicuous and out of place that it was physically painful, and I was glad to get home to cry.  

 I record this, not as a pity party, but as my first attempt at regaining some small part of my life back. Life continues to be so diminished, that I need some hope for life in the future.  

Blessings, Margo  

Saturday, September 3, 2005

Difficult to Understand

As I have been watching TV coverage of the incredible devastation cause by Katrina, and then not watching because it is so overwhelming, all I can do is send small pieces if energy and prayers to all those so terribly affected. And, of course, send money. I feel sad than I cannot bring stuff to one of the collection site, but I'm not out much these days.

Like so many, I am grateful for all the blessings in my life, and have finally shut down some of my whining and moaning about my own situation. Human nature is a funny thing, isn't it? So many people all around the world are so much worse off than I am, and sometimes I get caught up in my own misery and forget this.Many people in J-Land have written so elegantly about this feeling, that I am not going to add more.  

I have also been meditating a bit on Mother Nature, who gives us moonlight and autumn colors and blue herons fishing in still ponds, and hurricanes and tsunamis and earthquakes. Creation and destruction, both integral to life on earth, but so difficult to understand.  

Blessings, Margo