Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


I'm glad you're both home, now. Good luck with the life changes ahead! I agree with you about the shoes-I've reached an age that my feet deserve to be happy and comfortable! Jane

By Blogger jane, at 10:42 AM  

Bess, sweetie, the best gift you can give him is the independence to see to his own future. He will then be able to be proud of his successes and feel the drive that accomplishment inspires. You have wisely concluded that have a husband, not a son. You both have my most fond wishes for a speedy recovery and happy, healthy futures.

And Ed - No, you may NOT have some cheese with that whine!

Love you both -

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:39 PM  

I can do high shoes but pointy is just wrong. My feet are not pointy. They know this and object. I have some pointy shoes that are okay for short runs, like church, but no way would I wear them to the office. Strappy sandals are too iffy too - they may feel and look fine for an hour, but by hour four they are slicing off parts of your feet. You just can't tell in the store, so I don't risk it.

I work with young things who will limp around in 3 inch heels and pointy toes because they look so good, while whimpering that their feet hurt. I've always been too old for that nonsense. When they are my age and have bunions and hammertoes I hope they remember those shoes.

My feet have never heard of a bunion. VERY long ago in my first pass through collge I sold designer shoes in a high end department store, and you would not have believed the gross deformed feet that came through. I saw the effect of years of wearing those shoes on 40-50something feet and it put me off them for life.

By Blogger Catherine, at 6:45 PM  

Oh and I agree with LWLY, you are right to make taking care of his health his job. Don't let him become like your son or your patient, because you will lose your husband and lover. Cook healthy meals and exercise with him, thats good for both of you and something pleasant you can share, but his meds and such are his responsibility, and he'll adjust. If you make it your job your relationship will change and you don't want that.

By Blogger Catherine, at 6:48 PM  

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Saturday, April 23, 2005  

We are home! We are home! We are home! We are home! We are home!

Yes. We are home and from the hospital all the way to Champlain, I couldn’t stop grinning. Then, once I sat down with that bag full of pills - I became scared. I believe these are the two poles between which the needle of my psyche will be wobbling over the next few weeks.

I'll admit, one of my early reactions when BD had his heart attack was "thank god. Now he will begin to eat properly." Throughout the past few days, there has even been a little excitement about the important challenges we now face. We have ThingsToLearn and NewPatternsToDevelop. It will be like moving to a new town or a different house. The idea of having to grow and expand and become Even Better has been a constant prod all my life. Mama once told me my reaction to praise, even as a tiny tot, was to say "That’s nothing! Just wait till you see what I do next!" The thrill of success has always stimulated me to try the NextThing. BD calls them "Bess’ passions", these NewThings that capture my interest: pottery, gardening, music, fiber. But last night - when we got home with the bag full of pills and the pill box sorter - I began to quail. Would BD ever follow such a complicated routine? And then he began to sulk and mutter that "well, so that doctor says" and "You mean I have to have a podiatrist now too?" and I had to steady myself. This attitude is the reason he nearly died to begin with!

And so - the exciting new challenge will come with some hard struggles. And he did back off from the brat behavior quickly - and tell me soberly "I will do this".

We shan't be perfect right away - but we shall be successful. I think the reason the endocrinologist determined that he truly is diabetic is not so much because of blood sugar levels, which were normal almost all day, but because he's had both a detached retina and a heart attack. Talk about knocking on the door!! And I have to keep reminding myself that he isn’t in the full blown most serious stage - or even type - of diabetes. He is borderline type 2 diabetic. We can reverse some of the worst effects and prevent the development of others. The combination of healthy heart and healthy blood diets will do him nothing but good. In fact, I plan to incorporate the Weight Watcher’s way of eating into his life. I even expect to take off the WeddingWeight I put on this winter at the same time.

But at times, the changes we’re facing are really frightening. Big things - like death - and little things like erasing 31 years of assumptions we have. Assumptions I have, especially. The first hint of the magnitude of what we face came last night when I had to unload the car. I never unload the car. I walk in the front door, get a glass of water, kick off my shoes and plop down on the couch. Unloading the car is not my job. It’s something BD has always done. Not because I ever asked either, but because he does it. It’s what he does. He does it from love and tenderness and responsibility and because it is supposed to be done and because that is his job.

As is bringing in the firewood and carrying other heavy things for me and doing BIG things and HEAVY things and POWERFUL things and all the ManlyStuff. These are sometimes so small that I can’t even think of what they are - but the next time I expect one of those things to be done - and then I realize I have to do it - it’s going to hit me again. KAPOW. We had been a team and, for a while at least, I will be flying solo. Thank goodness it’s springtime and I don’t need to bring in a load of firewood.

I am resisting the driving urge to baby him by taking on all the responsibility for his health. My natural inclination is to be everybody’s mother. It’s so imbedded in my soul that I pretty much attract all the waifs for miles around. I’ve always done all the cooking around here anyway, which has never been onerous because BD never ate breakfast and over the years he stopped eating lunch. He would just wait till I got home and eat mountains of whatever I prepared. When the diabetes counselor heard that she almost fainted. Her reaction was so strong and so swift and so powerful, I know he'll take care to eat more often - but ... if I do all the Mama stuff - that will mean I have to leave him 2 meals before I go to work AND cook when I get home. So. I love being a mama - but I don't want to be a slave. Yes. He will have to learn to cook.

The same with counting out his medicines. Part of me wants to do it all because:

a. it is the sort of thing I like to do - little fiddly detail stuff - I am a Virgo, after all and
b. I’m fascinated by the science of it all and
c. That’s what Mama Does - heal the sick and
d. If I do it I’ll know it gets done and
e. If I do it I’ll know it’s done right

But there is another part of me - a wiser, less co-dependent, less manipulative, less frightened, stronger, and finer part that says:

a. If I do all the work, he won’t be the sick one - I will - both in his mind and in reality
b. Eventually I will grow resentful and even possibly bitter about the burden of it all
c. What if I died or had to be away - would I come home to a crisis?
d. I might just quit!

As I sat there looking at the pill box organizer and the bags of medicines and the leaflets and pamphlets and instructions I realized that we were going to have to do a lot of talking about our new routines. This prior discussion is a new thing for us. We have so naturally divided the responsibilities between us over so many years that it may feel a little like 1971 again - as we divvy up the Chores of Health. All morning I have been gathering my CloakOfCalmness about me, for there will be some heat in our discussion. I will have to wear the EarPlugsOfUnderstanding to filter out the whining and brattiness and gently apply the SteelyHandOfTruth to any tense moments that crop up. When I hear defeat and sulkiness and the "I Wont And You Can’t Make Me" of the 2 year old - I’ll have to resist the urge to shrug and say "okay - your life". Equally as important - I’ll need the MuffleOfManipulation so that I don’t become an intolerable BossyBigSister to my BabyBrotherHusband. The S.H.O.T. must be applied equally to both BigDarling and TheQueen.

So - as if the heavens wanted to confirm the absolute Rightness of these first baby steps into our new future, here is my horoscope from Mr.NailOnTheHead himself:

Your week ahead: As children, we all play with building blocks. Early in this process we discover that, when creating a tall tower, it is important to have a strong, solid, level base. The same is true of any construction process. Get the foundation right and the rest will be much easier to deal with. Sometimes though, we don't quite realize that we are at the start of something - and that the future depends on what we do next. Or we do realize this... but we are in too much of a hurry to care. Look hard at the precedents you are setting now. Above all else, you need stability.

And just to prove that there is balance in my life, even at a time like this - Just read this!
I was so relieved to find out I’m not the only person who can’t wear those Barbie Doll Shoes that are so popular right now. Not that I would try to, except for the pair I bought that has lights that flash when I walk - and those are only for wearing to story hour, which I do sitting down. No. Just that I have always felt that my feet must be not just huge, but ugly and bad and awful because I can’t wear those wretched "strappy sandals" that are photographed in 100% of all fashion layouts, magazines, catalogs, and in the film world too. I’m not defective - it’s just that all the designers are sadists and all those women are masochists.

Also - I thoroughly enjoyed knitting on the Spring Fling Purse. I’ll finish it today on this Thunderstormy Saturday. It’s cute. It’s fast. It’s even a candidate for a summertime Learn To Knit class.

But I can’t leave without thanking you all again for your tender contact. It has been of immeasurable help. You are all so good.

posted by Bess | 8:15 AM