Saturday, July 14, 2007

Kali's Indifference, and the Struggle Continues

Kali reigns supreme over all destruction. Though I cannot dump my anger on her, nor receive anger from her, I still like her image. She is blind destruction. She presents no reasons, offers no "silver lining," and has no ulterior motives like knock this one down, she'll grow and change and have a better life. She just destroys because that is her nature, and in the scheme of things I am a very, very tiny piece of her universe, no more important than the tree knocked down in the whirlwind. Or the ant stepped on by the elephant.

For some strange reason. this is a positive image for me. There is nothing I could have done to stop her from smashing my life to bits along with my arm, it is all a random act. And I simply cannot believe I fell for my own good. Good may well come out of it, it's possible, but it was still not a good event, nor one I am thankful for. What I am grateful for is that I am still alive and trying. Of course, if I hadn't fallen, I'd still be alive and trying. It is my very nature.

Today was my two year check up with my gastric bypass surgeon. I am doing fine, on the surface, though we'll know more when my bloodwork comes in. I weighed in at 159 pounds, so have lost 225 pounds. It is a good thing, because my doc told me that of those at my former weight and health level, 10% have died in the last two years. By 10 years it will
approach 100%.

But I do not believe this has anything to do with my fall. Three days before I fell, I had made an appointment with a gastroenterologist for a pre-gastric bypass consultation, so I would have done it anyway, probably two years earlier, without the fall. I am glad I had it done, but I did not expect it to "fix" my life, and it has not. It has give me a longer life, but not a wildly happier life, because it is just a tool to be use to lose weight fast. Afterwards you are on your own to maintain (in my case literally on my own. Thanks, Rene).

Kali seems as good a "reason" as any for the fall which has left me with intractable pain in my shoulder and neuropathy in my right hand. Two different kinds of pain which join to make daily life exhausting and complicated, and I am just beginning to rage and mourn over the recognition that my last surgery has hurt me as much as it has helped. The rod, which felt foreign from day one, is gone, and the rotator cuff fixed. But the pain remains the same, needing narcotics, and the neuropathy is worse. I cannot see any silver lining from all this.

I am obviously terribly angry, and still have some days when all I can do is cry, mourning all the losses, as well as whining and wailing about the pain. This is not to say I am sunk in the pit of depression. I am actively moving forward, with the pain, physical and emotional, despite Kali's indifference. In the long run she creates a new. But her long runs are thought of in eons, and I haven't got that long.

The issues for now-yesterday, today, this week, maybe this year-are twofold. How to live with the continuing pain, which flat out exhausts me, and how to scrape up enough creative energy to build a new and different life. As yet I have no image, no inkling of what that will be. But it will be more than PT and yoga and the gym, and doctors and therapist appointments and pain and narcotics and guided imagery pain tapes and self hypnosis, and two good (but ultimately painful) hours of volunteer work a week at the hospital.

I need more than this, and cannot seem to turn my vision towards a creative, helpful future which allows for my disabilities and pain, but still has meaning. My therapist talks about shifting inner vision, which for me means finding a symbol, a myth out of which I can find new meaning, new energy and new creativity. My next life will have to be very different from my last one. Less stressful, certainly, and perhaps less interesting and helpful, but perhaps still fulfilling. I have to believe this to get out of bed in the morning.

To change the subject, my mother meeds your energy, thoughts and prayers again. Last weekend, I flew to Grand Rapids, MI, rented a car, met my parents, and drove to Saugatuck for my sister Catherine's wedding. Meg flew out, too, with Myla, and Catherine's two sons (ages 21 and 18) and the whole famdamily stayed together at a retreat house next to the church. Friday, a couple of hours before the rehearsal, my mother fell up a small, shallow set of steps, banging her face and knees on the concrete. She bled like all get out, but absolutely refused to get medical help.

She stayed home from the rehearsal, propped up on a couch, putting ice o her face. Several of us stayed with her, but she insisted we all go to the rehearsal dinner (for which she was paying, poor thing). She had soup for supper, and was helped upstairs by one and all, and put to bed when we got back. She made it to the wedding and reception lunch, which she could not really eat.

When they got back to the Poconos, she did finally go to a doctor. Her jaw is fractured in three places, and she had surgery (yet again)! this time to wire her jaw shut. My father waited 48 hours before calling to let me know. Poor woman, I do not know how she manages to keep going. Or why.

The wedding itself was beautiful, but weird. Catherine, at 48, is ten years younger than I. Bob, the groom, is 79. So you won't have to count on your fingers (like I do) that's 31 years difference. He is neither rich nor organized, and Catherine is even less organized. I hope it truly is a love match. Her sons dislike her to the point of hatred (they have been poisoned by their father), but Catherine does stupid things, like not including then in the "family wedding photos." The eldest voiced his bitterness, the youngest just shrugged. I wanted to cry for them. Bob tries to stay out of it.

I am glad I went; I wanted to support Catherine, see the wedding and I hope I helped her by taking care of my parents, buying food, and generally keeping the retreat house situation as grounded as possible. But I came home and was very sad. None of my parents' offshoots have had good lives, and neither have our own offshoots. We all need more therapy than is available, and sometime I think my own years on and off in therapy have just allowed me to see all this clearer than most.

Still, Catherine walked down the aisle on my father's arm, dressed in a vintage turquoise beaded cocktail dress, looking radiant, and Bob got quite choked up as he said his vows. I really wish them happiness and enjoyment of each other.

Thank you for keeping my mother in your prayers, and I'll let you know haw she is when my father lets me know. I'll probably not talk to her for at least a couple of weeks.

Blessings, Margo


Becky said...

Your poor Mom! You and she probably both have your own chapters in the Murphy's Law book. Reading about her jaw made me recall a movie I saw years and years ago. This woman was treated horribly by friends and school mates because of her weight. Then she was in a horrible car crash and every thought she had died. She survived but her face was shattered and her jaw wired shut. As a result, she lost tons of weight, needed tons of plastic surgery and in the end, months later, she looked like a completely different person. Then she went on this psychotic revenge spree against the people who had hurt her. Eeesh. My mind just drifts aimlessly at times. Anywho... Hope you and your mom are both feeling better soon. You both need a break.

hestiahomeschool said...

You weigh less than me! I am so proud of you! You have plowed on through shit no one should have to deal with, and you are managing your anger.

Your poor mom...I feel so bad for her. She is a breave woman, too.

lots of love, Kas

Judith HeartSong said...

I am simply sending you a warm hug.


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