February 24, 2016

Yesterday was largely lost to involuntary slumber.

It began when I turned off the alarm at four am, and went back to sleep. Mom was still sleeping in when I got up at seven, and aside from a couple of trips to the bathroom, she didn’t really rise until around ten. By then I figured brunch was in order, and made us a substantial meal. Mom went back to bed after eating, and I soon followed suit. Monday had been a really long day with the trip to Tacoma for my follow up with the plastic surgeon. Everything was fine there, but it was a long and stressful day nonetheless. On the way home, I stopped to pick up some coffee so that we would have some until Kevin could shop, and when we got home, I made a pot right away. I relaxed long enough to drink one cup, and then took the pups outside for a much deserved romp, after being in the car for hours.We played ball, they ran the trails…and then took off down the road. Keeping my worn temper in check, I went to check the mail. Thankfully, the dogs came back to the house with me. When I went in the kitchen to get another cup of coffee, the pot was almost empty. Not a big deal, but the fire I had banked under my temper began to flare. “Mom,” I began, “I wish you would ask when you need a cup of coffee, instead of pouring it all out in the sink.”

She came back with an indignant, “I don’t know what you’re talking about! didn’t spill anything.” My tenuous hold on my tongue snapped, and logic took a hike. “You were the only one in here, Mom, who else could it possibly be?” She looked at me with head cocked, and with a defiant smile she raised one eyebrow and said, ”You?” I could only walk away at that point, but she was not in a mood to let things go, and followed. I was in no mood to continue, so I wandered the house, looking for something I had misplaced that morning. She grabbed my arm as I went by-sometimes she will do this, and then make a big production of letting go, demanding to know what I was doing. Except this time, she was digging her long nails into my arm. “Stop, Mom, you’re hurting me!” I exclaimed. She just smiled, and repeated her question. “what are you looking for?” “Nothing that would concern you, Mom.” She kept asking, and I finally said, “One, its none of your business, and two, I don’t know how you would be of any help-you can’t see.” “Well,” she stuck her lower lip out in a pout, “You could at least thank me for offering…” All the while slapping at me or trying to get in a pinch. I think my mind left me at this point. “Stop trying to hurt me, Mom!” I snapped. She came back with, “Stop accusing me of things I didn’t do!”

That brought my foaming wave of anger to a full stop, dashing its fury on the rocks of her logic. I understand that what we both really want to do is yell and strike out at the disease, not each other. In her eyes, I get angry and frustrated for no reason. For my part I realize that the person behind her actions is different from the one I confront. Still, I can’t seem to help giving in to it once in a while. In my defense, but not as an excuse, I am suffering from anemia, and we don’t yet know why. I thought I was just burned out and needing a break. It leaves me weak and exhausted-vulnerable to attack, susceptible to using anger. I very nearly had my first panic attack in a long while, as she kept badgering me. It was probably a combination of those draining encounters and the ensuing depression that had us both abed for the day yesterday. And I hold myself fully responsible for her depressed mood. I got her up for dinner, hoping she would be able to sleep the night, through, and she obliged by falling asleep in her rice. She barely made it through a bit of ice cream, and then she went back to bed. I made a point of giving her lots of extra hugs and kisses while I could-one of the worst things about this disease is that you can’t absolve yourself with an apology once you’ve calmed down. Even though she has forgotten the incident itself, if it happens often enough she will associate me with bad things in general, and I don’t want that to happen.

My last blood work shows an elevated WBC (white blood cell count), indicating I’m dealing with some kind of infection along with the anemia, weakening my defenses even further. Not that the VA is too concerned, I couldn’t even get a telephone appointment until the end of March to discuss the results. I’m quite tempted to use the Choice program and see my local doctor about it. I wanted to see him about something else, anyway. My left hand is quickly becoming useless for a lot of things. The base of my thumb is swollen and angry, and I have trouble gripping things with that hand. I really just want to know it its simple arthritis, or the more crippling rheumatoid arthritis. At least I don’t use that thumb when I type, although I guess if Stephen King can write without eyesight, I can do it without hands. King suffers the same malady with his eyes as Mom, macular degeneration. Mom’s eye surgery won’t be until May, but today we have a consult with the oral surgeon-and by the end of next week, Mom should have her new teeth. That reminds me, we will have to stock up on nutrition shakes and soft food-she will be without her partial for a few days…


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