Monday, July 07, 2014


"Well," I said, looking down at Socks. "It's just us for a month."

Socks sighed, but wagged his tail sweetly. He's a gentleman dog, doesn't like hurting my feelings. I heard his Ernest Borgnine voice in my head.

"No worries, sugar foot. We'll be just dandy."

I pet his head with my good hand and then we walked into the house together. I'd let him ride with me to take Bing to the airport. Liv and her Father left yesterday. Bing is off to New Orleans, followed by San Diego, followed by Washington, D.C. A month of presenting at Apple seminars. Liv and her Father off to North Carolina to a dig in the Appalachians.

Bing comes home on August 11, the day before she heads back to school. Liv comes back August 7th, a week before her school starts back up...just in time to go school shopping. It is gonna be a really long month. In our original plans, I was to meet Bing in New Orleans to spend a week with her relatives mid July, but my doctor nipped that in the bud. Blood work bad. No traveling.

I was upset at first, but then...later...relieved. I'm just not up for travel. I know this in my heart. I'm barely up for work and then coming home to collapse with a book for an hour before bed. Maybe some harmless television.

The last few days before everyone left were the hardest. Bing was watching me like a hawk, considering skipping New Orleans and staying two weeks with me before heading off to San Diego.

Dudes, you should have seen me. Meryl Streep couldn't have done better. I had no idea that I possessed such great acting chops. Somebody hand me an Oscar.

Because, just between you and me the fence post? I feel like shit. My energy is level is so down from this RA attack that I can barely keep myself fed and dressed. One lone finger is refusing to heal. The middle one on my right hand. It is wretched to look at, swollen sausage finger. My rheumatologist referred me to a hand surgeon last week. I went by myself, not telling anyone. The prognosis is a little dire. Trying one more round of super antibiotics which are very hard on my RA drugs and type 1 diabetes. If these don't work, looking at either joint replacement or.....amputation. The damn thing just will not heal. I'm depressed. Furious at my body. Pleading with it every night: Why must you attack yourself? Heal already!

For those of you who have RA or know someone who does, you know how frustrating this is. The problem being that your own body attacks itself. I once went to a psychic long ago who looked me gently in the eye and said, "Why do you punish yourself so? You have nothing to blame yourself for!" I was speechless. Did she really believe that I was somehow punishing myself? And for what exactly? I'm still not sure if she was incredibly intuitive or full of shit.

I am pretty good at keeping things from Liv, but the older she gets, the wilier she is. And I can't exactly hide a finger that looks like it belongs on a cartoon character. I keep it wrapped in gauze at work, but need to let it breathe at home, so she sees it, sees me wincing when I accidentally graze it across anything. I just shrug and act like it's no big deal. Like it isn't killing me that Bing and I haven't been able to sleep in the same bed for 3 weeks because if she brushes against my hand in the middle of the night, I come awake fast and hard and in agony. The pain is truly terrific. And not good terrific.

Bing gets it, but I've minimized the fact that along with this pain, my fatigue is almost too much for me. I've managed to get up and go to work, but sometimes I have to fight to stay awake during dinner and I'm just so very tired. I feel like it's a double whammy, fighting anemia, fighting this never ending RA attack. I am now very relieved that I don't have to worry about what the cabin pressure in an airplane would do to my finger.

I'm glad to be home, glad not to feel so on stage. Because Bing came THIS close to not leaving. And I don't think I could stand it if she stayed home to be my caregiver. I'm not there yet. I fucking refuse to be there yet.

So, it's just me and the dog. And those antibiotics that I am keeping my fingers crossed do NOT mess with my diabetes because then I will have to go off of them. And then? Well, I'd kind of like to keep my middle finger on my right hand. It's served me well in the past.

You have no idea how much that one little finger does in a day until you can no longer use it.

I tell myself that this is a blip on the radar. That Socks and I will have a great quiet time. He will miss his morning runs with Bing, will have to settle for a run in the back yard before I head off to work. I've swore to him that I will take him on long, long walks after work every evening. He looks at me, skeptical.

"Well, I'll TRY!" I tell him. He nods, understands. As I said, he is such a gentleman, If we only make it once around the block, he'll be sweet. He will.

And we both love our nights outside in the Adirondack chair together. If it doesn't rain. Because this has been our monsoon Summer. It has rained so much that the ground is saturated. I haven't had to manually water my garden once. Ah. My poor garden. It is so waterlogged and weedy. I try to keep up with it, but often fatigue gets me. So, my garden is bedraggled looking. Root rot is trying to set in. I keep hoping for some long sunny days. And for once in my life, I'm grateful to be left handed. I can still pull those weeds with my good hand.

So, life hasn't been horrid. It's just been....very uncomfortable. Sorry to have neglected all of you. I miss your blogs but admit that more than once, I've sat down to read them and dozed off. Not that you aren't all scintillating and all that. I'm just a cruddy reader lately. Forgive me?

I'll head back in a few days and let you know how the wind is blowing. In the meantime, how about you leave me a comment and tell me how you are faring?

I miss you....


Joanne Noragon said...

Just take care of yourself. And Socks.

Josie Two Shoes said...

As much as I hate for you to have to be there alone to take care of yourself and everything, I can understand why it might be easier, not having to pretend to be more or less ok, being able to cry when the pain and the struggle feel overwhelming without distressing Bing and Liv. I'm glad it's only for a month though, and I'm glad Bing offered to stay, she clearly loves you. I am so hoping that middle finger will settle down soon, so you don't have to deal with other options. It would be funny that it's the middle one, if it didn't hurt so much! I can only imagine how many times a day you bump it, or it gets in the way of doing things. Darn it!!

How much does Liv know about what's really going on with you? I'm thinking that she's soon getting to the age where not being clued in will begin to worry her more than being told the truth. You have always been so straight forward with her about everything, and I want her to learn from you how strong women handle tough times... and that it's ok to ask for a little help and a little extra TLC when life gets mean.

Sending lots of prayers and healing energy your way, you are due for a break and some quiet healing time.

You and Socks behave now, no wild parties while the girls are gone! :-) XOXO

lily cedar said...

I'm faring well. A mild breakdown but otherwise ok. More of a breakthrough really. Fucking floors still not finished. Good friend got her pathology report back, 37 of 54 lymph nodes in her neck positive for cancer. FUCK!

I'm feeling sad. I don't even have the fucking cancer and I'm upset. She won't get to see her three daughters finish growing up.

Sorry that you're still suffering so much. I can't imagine how you get up and go to work everyday. I'm a wimp. I would stay home.

Take care and sending hugs.

English Rider said...

I got rear ended on Saturday. I hope that makes you feel a little better. the other driver was in a "balloonatics" truck.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your struggles here. I have been a big fan of yours for quite some time now, and I love that you keep it real.

As far as how I'm doing….I don't think I could be better. I am madly in love with someone who is best described with the word finally! For the first time since realizing I was a lesbian 7 years ago and coming out 5 years ago, I am absolutely, positively sure of a relationship, and it feels amazing!

In other news, I have a tooth that is bothering me so I'm seeing a dentist tomorrow. I hate dentists. Not personally, but professionally.

Hope you feel better soon.

MmeBenaut said...

I miss you too. Would that I could just jump on a plane and visit and look after you at home for a bit but that's a dream so far from reality that I'll just be hoping that Harriet will look in on you from time to time.
I'm fine; we're all fine down here but we're in the coldest, wettest month of our year and apart from my beautiful camelias, there's not much in the garden to inspire.
Sascha is asleep in her basket in front of the fireplace, a roaring fire is warming us on this cold afternoon.
I've done the grocery shopping but had to have help to load it into the car and have Ian unload it at home. So much heavy lifting really isn't the best thing for my back so I'm up there with you in the pain stakes.
Take care dear Maria ... if you doze off, that's ok.

Jacquelineand.... said...

You and Socks take care of one another Marie, and remember it's not a race.

Maria said...

English Rider, thank you for making me chuckle this morning. You remind me of my bestie, Harriet, who when I was almost bawling on the phone last night told me, "Oh, for gawd sakes, you'd think you had RA, diabetes, meniere's syndrome, anemia, pre-lupus, juggling thirty meds, and were a cancer survivor. Oh, that's right. Never mind."
I keep picturing that truck....

e said...

Things are chugging along as usual here in the PNW. Sometimes the thought of coming home from work and going right to bed sounds so damned good to me! I'm fighting to keep my non-work schedule from booking up too much. But, my brother and his family just left today after a week long visit so things should settle down somewhat...

Pet the dog (with your left hand) and don't worry about the garden. If you raise a fine crop of weeds this year, well, go to the farmers market for produce instead.

Thinking of you and sending strong but gentle hugs.

megan blogs said...

I hope your energy rebounds soon, and that you get to keep your finger. Sometimes, when flipping somebody off, you *need* double barrels. Just sayin'

I'm having a root canal on 23 July. Just so you don't have to be the only one with some misery. It loves company, i understand.

Kate said...

I miss you too! I have been thinking about you this week, because Sara is starting to drive; and I'm wondering where Liv is in that process. I am so sorry about your finger! When I first started reading, I thought, well, Maria has her garden to keep her cheered up; but it sounds like the garden will have to wait a little longer until you are ready to frolic there again. At least you don't have to keep up appearances for a few weeks. Rest, rest, rest...

Jocelyn said...

If there is any one continuous blessing in your life, outside of Liv and Bing, it's that you are able to write, no matter your fatigue or agony. The processing and sharing you do here is amazing.