Sometimes a major or even minor disaster can jerk back you to earth so fast it makes you dizzy. I was sitting in the den, wrapped in a blanky, zoning out, half writing and half watching Downton Abbey. Great show by the way.
Suddenly Mr. Husband appears at the door. He just said my name and stood there. I took one look at him and my heart jumped to my throat. Then our entire 10 years together flashed before my eyes. His body was white as a fish and his face and head were purple. He had his hand clapped to the side of his head. I thought “dear God, he fell in the shower and bashed his brains out; his hand is what is holding them in.”
I managed to calm down and thought, well he’s not having a heart attack because he’s standing up and he’s not clutching his chest and he’s talking OK. Also, if his brains were in fact bashed out, there would probably be more blood visible.
He said “I think I ruptured my ear drum.” What? Turns out he was using a Q-tip and started fiddling with the radio in the bathroom. When he returned his hand to his ear he missed and jammed the offending Q-Tip down his ear hole. Yoowwch.
I’ve been plagued my entire life by persnickety ears and know that it is not something you take a wait and see attitude around. Unless you are just dying to find out what it feels like to have a flaming ice pick shoved in your ear.
I jumped up and said “we’re going to the emergency room… now!” He muttered some vague objections and I repeated, “Get dressed; we’re going to the emergency room now!” I don’t even remember what he said because I was ignoring him. We were going to the Doctor, and I wasn’t taking no for an answer. If his ear is damaged, he’s opened a pathway to get coodies in his middle ear or brain.
We ended up in a walk in clinic near the house. The doctor looked in his ear and said, “Well you’ve ruptured your ear drum.” For some unknown reason I burst out laughing. I tend to do that when stressed out. It was a laughter of relief. I was concerned and relieved at the same time. I recounted what my ear doctor has always told me. “Never put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear.” The doctor chuckled and backed me up. She said “yup, Q-Tips are dangerous items that really don’t belong in your ear.”
So Hubman is OK, thank you God. And has a prescription for antibiotic, pain relieving ear drops and instructions to follow-up with a doctor in 5-7 days to make sure his ear is healing properly.
Back home he talked to his mom. After she finished her freaking out, her question was “well how are you supposed to clean your ears?” The answer is you don’t. Your ears clean themselves.
It’s another case where companies have a product to sell and launch an ad campaign to create a “need” for that product. It’s OK to use Q-Tips on the outer part of your ear, but they do not belong in your ear canal! That little bit of cotton at the end does not change the fact that they are a sharp object. If you absolutely must, make sure you are not multi-tasking at the same time.
I’m a rather curious person. And I’m also a curious person. I like to click on the people who “like” my post and go to their blog to see what they have to say. What’s their take on life as they know it?
While perusing others blogs I came across an article The S.A.I.D. principle, posted on February 9, 2013. It means Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands. I found this on the Real Women’s Health Blog. She’s got some good stuff there.
While exploring this topic she posed the question: If faking a smile can make you happy, does whining make you more miserable? I think this is absolutely true in a most profound way. I know that whining never solves any problem that I have.
Nor does having a tantrum. But, but…tantrums are so cathartic, even though they do tend to damage people and objects subjected to said tantrum. Whining only turns you into a sniveling bowl of poorly set jello. It doesn’t help at all. It’s not cathartic, it’s not satisfying, and it does not help the situation. It just makes you and those around you more miserable. And it reinforces a sense of helplessness and being an all-around ineffectual person. “I can’t or won’t do anything to make this better, so I’m just gonna sit around and bitch about it.”
Years ago I sat through many a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon (for people who deal with other alcoholics). These people are ruthless I tell you! I’d be sitting around nursing my crappy coffee in a Styrofoam cup and singing the blues. “Oh woe is me, my life sucks, and this will never end.” The old wise ones would tell me things like: “Put on your big girl panties…. Get off your pity pot.” My favorite was “come down off that cross honey, there’s only room for one up there.”
I would of course become outraged. “How DARE you say that to me! If you had the problems I have…<insert horror story here>…blah blah blah.” Then I’d calm down, shut up and listen. Everyone who has to deal with substance abuse or mental illness or any other freak show has their own horror story. The may be different from mine but they’re all terrible.
I’ve listened to people talk about their schizophrenic or bipolar/alcoholic daughters, who would go off their meds, disappear from the face of the earth for a year or 2 and then show up out of the blue with another baby for the grandparents to raise. Then after another year or 2 the daughter would pop back up and say “Hey, I’m all better now, gimme back my kids.” And with the courts behind them, they snatch the kids out of the stable environment and go off on another magic carpet right, kids in tow. How’s that for a nightmare scenario?
I’m grateful now that I heard these stories. My daughter tried that with me. She did not even ask, she demanded that I take her children. And threatened that if I did not take the kids, I would never see them again. Fortified with the information I had – I refused. I told her that she needed to get straight, get treatment and TAKE CARE OF HER CHILDREN, THE KIDS SHE GAVE BIRTH TO. It broke my heart into a million tiny pieces.
I got a ton of flack and grief from people who don’t understand the labyrinths of hell that is untreated mental illness and substance abuse. “How could you do that, what kind of person are you that you would not take in those kids?” It cut me to the bone. I was a single woman at the time living at a barely subsistence level myself. I was in no position mentally or financially to take on the raising of 2 children.
Unfortunately she made good on her threat. I have never seen these 2 grandkids since. She disappeared again for a couple of years when I failed to meet her demands. I found out later that she gave the children up for adoption. She claims the state took them away. I don’t know what is true around this. But I do know the kids are in a stable 2 parent home, cared for by people who love them and can give them a happy life. Could I have done that? I don’t think so.
Am I whining about this? Nope, just stating the facts, Ma’am. Tough love is exactly what is says –tough. You might be better off walking barefoot across hot coals topped with broken glass. I guess what we have to do is pull way back and look at the big picture. Would things have been better if I chose a different path? I don’t know. I will never know. I just have turn left at the next star and head straight on ‘til morning.
I swear they really did. That’s my working theory anyway. In my grand and glamorous youth I had really long eyelashes. They were so long that it was difficult to find glasses that were comfortable because my lashes would brush against the lenses and irritate my eyes.
Well, don’t have that problem now. If they didn’t go so far as Yuma, the next theory is that they migrated to my chin and are living a happy life there, much to my annoyance. I suspect they’ve even invited friends to come live with them.
Because this body is the only one I have, I try to stay on friendly terms with it. The problem is that it seems to have a fiendish sense of black humor. I’ve considered hiring a personal assistant just to keep track of all the medications and supplements I’m supposed to ingest on a daily basis.
Occasionally I go on strike and refuse to take any pills for an entire day. Pffft, that always goes well. The lack of some random chemical coursing through my brain will send me into a freakish muscle spasm. The resulting sudden shriek of pain is embarrassing and scares the hell of whoever happens to be with me at the time. So I try to behave. It’s not easy though. I’ve spent a lifetime devoted to refusing to behave, just on general principles.
On another geo-political note, I consider myself damned lucky to live in a part of the world where my biggest problem on a given day is a sparsity of eyelashes, instead of whether or not my house is going to blow up.
Well I lived through another steroid injections in the neck episode. It must have worked because I’m able to get through the day without pain meds, muscle relaxers and on and on. I’ve caught myself smiling and laughing for no particular reason other than the joy to be alive on planet Earth. This adventure through pain and being under the influence of mind altering medications reminded me of a book I read decades ago called Flowers for Algernon.
The story describes the experience of a young man who had a low IQ. He agrees to submit to an experimental brain surgery that increases his intelligence to the point of genius. Along the way he realizes that people were laughing at him rather than with him when he was mentally challenged. The book turns into a tear jerker because the change was not permanent and his mental capacity starts to degrade. Along the way he is aware of the changes from “retarded” to genius and then the slide back down to low IQ again. He discovers that being “smart” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and that intelligence has little to do with happiness.
I feel like I’ve lived through that experience in reverse. I’m not claiming that I’m a genius, but on most days I can think my way out of a paper bag. The last few months have been a bizarre but enlightening experience. The witches brew of pain meds, muscle relaxers and antidepressants made me feel like I fell down a well and was thrashing around at the bottom with no way to climb out. I could feel my ability to think straight slipping away, but felt helpless to do anything about it.
Most of the time I didn’t know if it was me, or the pain, or the meds talking. I began to lose confidence in who I was, what I thought, what I had to say, what I wanted, didn’t want. The whole shebang flew out the window. It was an extremely unsettling experience. A weird sensation of walking around wondering how someone managed to kidnap my brain.
When I write posts I check with Word spelling and grammar check. One of results is what grade level the writing meets. I slipped down to a 5th grade level and at that point I lost it and decided that I needed to take a break and let my brain recuperate.
But the cosmos threw a rope ladder down the well and every day I’m feeling a little more clear-headed. Mr. Husband is having trouble readjusting because once again his wife has undergone a personality transplant and is not dead from the neck up. I try to understand from his point of view. It must to be incredibly stressful to watch a spouse go through an extended illness or injury and feel so helpless. I confess that I’ve gone through a few sessions of peevishness, to put it lightly. Snapped at him the other day because he asked how I was feeling 3 times in 8 minutes. (I know because I timed it)
However, I woke up this morning feeling great. I slept through the night for the first time in months. Yee haa! Maybe I’ll send my doctor a dozen roses and a box of Omaha steaks! And of course shower the hub-man with lots of hugs and kisses. And a big thank you to all of you who have expressed kind thoughts and been patient with my whining and ramblings.