Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Not Forgotten

Last night was an intensely bad one for me, but this morning, after recovering from the drugs that I took to counteract my symptoms, I feel remarkably better. Well enough that I finished up the bracelet that I pictured in yesterday's blog (except for the closure... I really need to hunt down my box of buttons which is who-knows-where?) and am going back to embellish the green/red one more. I thought at the time that it needed more but didn't trust my instincts. Now I know that I was right and will "fix" it. As Myra Wood said in the class that I took from her last year, "More is more." So true when it comes to beading. You know when it's time to stop, and there's no reason to limit oneself based on preconceived notions of propriety.

When I feel better, I am intensely lonely. As always, those who are worth talking to are at work during the day, and I don't want to invite the "crazies" into my personal life. I can call or e-mail messages to my friends and they respond, but in the evenings when I tend to feel awful and don't want to talk is when they call. And my response makes them feel bad. So the number of personal contacts that I am having are becoming more and more limited.

But then there are the surprises. This morning I stumbled out of bed, still hung over by the Neurontin that I chose to take last evening, and let the dogs out of the front door. There on my doorstoop was a small square brown-paper-wrapped package. "Huh?" I thought? I've already received everything that I've mail ordered. What's this?

And there I had it. A book and card from Vennie - "The Best Friend in the World" it's called - but more important than the gift, the sentiment. I burst into tears. A physical manifestation that somebody cares about my trevails right there on my front porch, and then on my kitchen table.

I've scanned the book and think I'll read it all at once, then keep it by my bed and read one section at a time every night before I go to sleep. To remind me that even when I am physically alone, I am not alone in spirit.

One of the most difficult things about the kind of illness I am dealing with is knowing when to let my body rest and when to start to push back. I'm at that place right now. I know that I tend to get ill - including fevers - every time I exert myself, but my "good times" when my mind is active and my body a little more willing to work can be measured by the hour now instead of the minute. Don't get me wrong; I'm not ready to run a marathon or even contemplate a shopping trip, but knowing that I need to change my bed and put away the laundry I did the day before yesterday is not enough to bring me to tears. I'm even thinking about putting on make-up before my therapy appointment today.

This go-around with illness has been remarkably different than those of the past. Then they were mostly about Crohns Disease proper and weight-loss went along with the package. Now I'm dealing with other auto immune issues like Eyrthema Nodosum and terrible chronic fatigue as well as flaring Fibromyalgia along with the Crohns, and also the side effects of the Cimzia. I'm able to eat. I'm unable to move about much. And I'm bored. End result? Eating too much and weight gain. (I also, in all fairness, don't know what effects the various drugs I'm taking have on weight, but I don't want to use that as an excuse. I know my transgressions of the past week.)

Which brings me to exercise class. What to do?

Since attending the wedding with Eric last weekend, I know that I might be able to get a good hour or two out of the home before becoming physically and mentally incapacitated enough not to feel safe driving. I know that I am bored and lonely and would love to be amongst people, many of whom already know about my health challenges so I don't have to explain and I don't need to be secretive. And I know that I desperately need help with my eating.

But is Slimmons a good idea anymore? I'm not sure. I lost my standing there when I went "Scholarship" and don't feel comfortable defending myself against inquiries that are out of line. Like Richard's line of questioning about my sex life the last time I was there and was clearly too ill to either have a sex life or mentally acute enough to respond with a quick "Quid Pro Quo," thus silencing him. I also know that even before the current circumstance, my only standing there was as a hood ornament. I lost the weight, I was the big number, therefore I was welcome. Well I'm up 10 pounds now and don't know what I'm going to do. I really don't know if I have the fortitude or the physical stamina to get it off again, and that brings my position at Slimmons even lower.

With others at Slimmons, they have been put to use in other areas (like the Retreat or the Cruise or the radio show or the P.E. in School campaign) so when they started struggling, they still had some value to the operation. Me? The only times I've been asked to do anything was when X- had me doing the "Database to Nowhere" on a volunteer basis and I was expected to watch and keep silent about things going on that I considered unethical (and I did maintain the secrets which bothers me to this day) until I quit, or when Richard needed somebody in front of the camera that he could crow about. Again, it's all about the number.

So I don't know. I feel like some movement and some social interaction might be good for me right now, as limited as it might be, but I don't know how to get it started. I do know that if something untoward is said to me again at Slimmons (and Richard knew he was being inappropriate even as he was questioning me), I will have to leave and never go back again. Would that be a bad thing? Would that be a good thing? Would it not really matter in the scheme of life at all? And if I left, is there a place for me in another setting?


A therapy appointment behind me and the answer is clear. I am not ready to go back to exercise class at this point.

Dr. M- pointed out the following obvious facts which I know but got lost in my health drama:

1. Richard tends to get inappropriate in his line of questioning when he is feeling uncomfortable in social situations. With the way I'm feeling and must have looked that day when I made my way into class, it must have really thrown him for a loop. Ergo while there is no "fault" in this situation, there is a cause and effect, and I was the cause.

2. I have a long history of just picking up and going, before having permission from health care providers, when I want to go back to Slimmons. The fact that I am even questioning whether it would be appropriate for me to return yet (every time I get physically active, it results in a fairly high fever) is a strong indication that I should not be going.

Well, the pressure in that department is off, but I'm still scared to death about my weight gain. I know from experience that my mental health is directly tied to my body size and I don't want to return to the place from where I came.


Anonymous said...

i don't know that i can offer you an answer at this time.

i do love you..I believe in you and have faith in you that the numbers will go down again..When you and your body are ready for it.

Anonymous said...

Laura, just read the latest post. know you are never alone..I'm with you in spirit have no idea how many times you come across my thoughts..
Please continue to fight for health and fight to heal..

Love you

Claudia said...


Remember, you are a member of the Fab Four therefore you will never be alone. You are one of four.

I love the new bracelets. Your work is just gorgeous. Keep them coming.

I'll call you soon.

I love ya,


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