Thursday, March 21, 2013

Walking Sideways

I've grown bored from writing about my day to day happenings. The details change, but the pattern is largely the same and I'm sure that nobody really want's to know how my bowels did today. Things have been so inconsistent of late that I've started logging the daily play by play into Evernote mostly so that I can remember them correctly when I review things with my doctors. I noticed that, even writing here, it was difficult to get all of the facts straight just a couple of days later. Everything has become a blur, hours, days, weeks, months. I haven't taken down the Christmas lights yet, I haven't even picked up the extension cords going to them. I did unplug them shortly after Christmas was over.

I reached a milestone at work this week, as of Sunday, I've been at this job for 10 years now. That's twice as long as I've ever worked anywhere else and practically unheard of in the IT/Software industry and I cross that threshold from the relative comfort of my living room unable to even drive into the office for an occasional visit. I'm told that I'll be receiving a leather jacket for my years of service. Hopefully I'll be able to actually receive it in person rather than having it mailed to me.

My baby girl is now 4 months old and so is my diagnosis. She's getting bigger and stronger, but I'm not sure about myself. After switching me to Lyrica, my sciatic pain went away and I thought this was good progress. Some of my old back pains returned, but I chalked that up to the hours I'm spending working at my desk now that I'm able to once again sit in a chair. Then my knees started hurting every time I laid down to go to sleep and I found the only way that I could comfortably sleep was sitting up. Not sitting up in my recliner, no that has the same impact as sleeping in bed, but sitting on the couch in a slouch with a blanket draped over me like some kind of tranced shaman. There were several times this week that I simply fell asleep where I sat, regardless of where I was sitting, but it was the only sleep that I could get. I once woke up, having nodded off as such, and found my self slouched forward and slumped over at about a 30° angle. I have no idea how I managed to maintain that angle. I guess the good news is that I can now actually sit on the couch which wasn't possible a mere month ago. That too has changed in the last few nights as I've regained the ability to sleep in bed, even made it a full 5.5 contiguous hours last night, so that's something I guess.

I haven't eaten anything since Friday, not enough to speak of anyway. After the baby spent the better part of Friday night with a roto virus, I felt a general ick through the day Saturday. Some of it I'm sure was due to the fractured slumping sleep of the previous days as I found myself nodding off throughout the day and just never really got hungry. Sunday my stomach felt a little ill and I couldn't decide if it was due to hunger or vestiges of the baby's virus, but I wasn't hungry and erred on the side of caution. My wife made pulled pork for dinner, yet I didn't feel like eating. What does that tell you?

I took a shower on Monday before going to bed. This is noteworthy because of the blurring of time that I mentioned above. When you are more or less house bound, you forget to shower. You tell yourself "I'll take one tomorrow", then tomorrow comes and goes. Before you know it, you can't remember what day you last took one and it's only when you start to "notice" yourself that you make the time. If my family has noticed, they haven't said anything. I think that sometimes my wife is too afraid to push me over things like that, thinking that it's not high in importance in the grand scheme of things, but it's actually good for morale. Taking a shower refreshes and invigorates, washing off not just the grime of night sweats but also washing off the haze that forms from being stuck in a rut. Sometimes I wish she'd push me a little more than she does.

There are times amidst the blur when some things come into sharp focus. This happened for my yesterday when I decided to take a look at this:

After seeing how cathartic writing this blog was for me, my wife decided to start her own to get those thoughts out that have been circling around in her head. She told me about it when she first put it up, but I hadn't checked it in a few days. When I checked back yesterday, I read the "Daddy's Sick" entry and my heart broke as thoughts that I had long since put aside came rushing back and I got a fresh perspective on how this all has been affecting my family. It was the wrong time to read it, just 15 minutes before the girls were all due to come back from gym practice, with not enough time to get myself under control before they returned. I did the best that I could at that effort, but it was obvious to everyone, probably even the baby who tried to cheer me up with her whole body smiles and an extended cuddle. I largely kept it together until it came time to put this girls to bed. As I turned out the light and wished them good night, they said "Daddy, I love you and I hope you feel better". I lost my composure.

If I have learned anything from this trial so far, it's just how much I love my family and how the thing that scares me the most is the thought that I may not be there for them one day, possibly sooner than we'd all like. That's always a possibility for everyone, accidents happen, but accidents are generally quick and unexpected. It is the idea that they may have to watch it happen that both terrifies and infuriates me.

I've always lived by the motto that until you have something to worry about, there's no point in worrying. I've never been too concerned with the "what-if" and have chosen to focus more on the what is, but it's much more difficult to hold to that when it comes to my family, especially the girls. How do you explain the what is of this to a 5 and a 3 year old? Until I read my wife's blog, I didn't realize just how much they've been affected so far.

The other thing that I've learned from this has been how much I am loved by my family, by my friends, and even by acquaintances. The outpouring of prayers and offers of assistance has been overwhelming. In many ways it helps and comforts me but in some ways it saddens me that much more.

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