Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I have not had time to think today, barely time to breathe it seems, and now that life is quieting down the heaviness of this day is settling in on me, the sadness pressing onto my chest and making my stomach hurt. I don't know what to do with it or where to put it or how to be. Settling down into bed with his blanket, the first urge in my bones, will not break the spell of sorrow and feels useless and pointless. It is as if my spirit paces within the question of "why", prowling for some answer that will bring peace to me. Oh God, its been a year since we brought him home, a year in the next few days, through to the 28th, that we had our last "good" days with Joseph in terms of his being at home, being coherent, still very sick but able to try so hard to be well. Where do I put this? I have no pocket, no pouch, no purse, no emotional holding for all the ways it spills over. I don't know what i need or want. One minute I just want to be alone, the next I want to be held. One moment I want to cry, the next I am impatient with that urge and sick of it. One minute my mind and heart demand to know why, the next I am shrunken with the realization once more of how pointless that question is.

I had my physical today. I believe the Cooper patients go home more fatigued at the end of their day in our clinic than I do at the end of my day of work. It started with blood work, progressed through a baseline bone density, my mammogram, spot compression views to check an abnormality, consultation with the breast radiologist, then back upstairs for body composition, hearing testing, photographys of my vocal cords, vision screening, then on to the dermatologist for a head to toe skin cancer screening. After this, upstairs again to meet with the dietician and go over my three day food journal, then back to the doctor to talk about past medical history and current complaints, then basic physical exam, pelvic and pap smear, then dressed and across the hall for a resting EKG and treadmill stress test. After that, enough time for a brief snack before heading downstairs for a full body MDCT HealthScreen to check for coronary calcification, thyroid and abdominal tumors of any kind and other abnormalities and a CT scan of my head because I get headaches. Then back upstairs to meet with the doctor again, go over all the results, get all the recommendations, discuss all the concerns and issues at hand. All of this took over eight hours, from 7 AM to 3:45 PM. But I had all my results today and all my health testing done at once by the same people, who talk to one another and spend as much time as I need with me. So I found out I have a kidney stone, a dilated milk duct, a heart murmur that was not there before (a benign "flow murmur"). I have symptoms of potentially growing an ulcer and abnormal reflexes in my left foot that needs a neurology evaluation if after good hydration and some stress reducing measures (because it can be caused by anxiety) it is still there in two weeks. I have been assigned diet, exercise, yoga classes for stress reduction and attempts to wean myself off Excedrin for my headaches. My vitamin D is critically low and I am not getting enough calcium but to date my bone density is still normal. So I need Vitamin D supplements to the tune of 1000 mg per day. But the body can only absorb 500 mg at a time, so it will have to be twice a day, not just once. Oy vey. I suddenly feel very old, for a girl who has never had any worse health problem than being overweight. I didn't do too hot on my stress treadmill but that is no surprise. What IS a surprise is that the dietician wants me to eat more, not less, to lose weight.

So all of this of course left my brain and body pretty weary, after being squished, prodded, stuck, scanned, palpated, pulsed, sampled and screened. I feel like crawling out of my skin, laying it aside and just slipping into wonderful nothingness of a warm bath and time to be with my thoughts, to wash away all the hands and eyes that surveyed me today and passed judgement upon me, even if just medical judgement. Obviously it is time to make some changes, and I think I am ready to do that. But right now, I just want to be quiet, still, cared for and soothed. Joseph is dead. Today I see the toll his illness took on my own health and its time to get serious about remedying the damage done. I think psychologically what I hate right now more than anything is the feeling that I have no idea where we would be right now if Joseph had survived. All my life I have had this silent map in my head of the general course my kids lives will take...and its become so deviated. I can no longer dream for my oldest son. I can only remember. My head is weary and I have no idea what I need. I grieve. It is a weight. I would swear I could hold it in my hands. I want to be kept company but yet I want to be alone. I remember my Joe-Gi. I honor his memory. I miss him. I love him. Still and always.

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