Monday, June 6, 2011

It's the little foxes that spoil the vine

Last night I had a stress break.  Hit Friday with two big things, no, three - the appt. with the transplant surgeon to assess whether and when my native kidneys have to come out, that appt. pushed back three weeks.  I don't see how I can have that surgery and get to the retreat in late September.  The one time a year when my Teacher, Ama Samy, comes to the US. But how can I not have that surgery ASAP, and risk a fatal infection?  Long story, many infections since the transplant, I've blogged before about all that.

This schedule change, more delay, I learned about late in the afternoon after talking to Joanie, my transplant nurse, who was leaving on vacation for a week.  She is my lifeline, she is the only person on top of my medical problems, which include frightening blood pressure right now.

My shoulder hurts.

But worse, Tom and I had a long talk with sister Diane, who lives far away and visited the folks recently.  Lots and lots of scary things there - they are very old and no longer able to take care of themselves, but will not leave their crumbling cluttered mansion.  House. This is a very bad situation, and it worries me, saddens me that my mother-in-law, whom I care deeply about, is trudging through hell with her very sick and mentally incompetent husband, and the kids don't do anything to help.  The whole situation is profoundly karmic. I know you can't undo someone else's twisted karma. I work on turning my over-responsibility into simple kindness, not trying to fix things.  But it blossoms up now and then.

Other little things - T and I had a playdate Sat. a.m. at one of those nice huge stores called Market District where you can buy cool things. But very soon his wheelchair ran low on energy and he had to go back to the van while I continued the shopping alone. Shouldn't have. This is a new chronic problem, him letting the wheelchair run down. I don't want to be responsible for that.  My shoulder hurts.  Tashi has diarrhea from the worming, though, thank God, she always uses her litterbox.

Yesterday morning after church got to talking to an old acquaintance, listening, rather. She detests her mother, always has.  Mother is in a home in the next state, has dementia.  My friend calls her every night and hates that her mother doesn't seem to know who she is, has nothing to say (I said, has dementia). Friend has a real rigid sense of the obligations a Perfect Daughter will meet.  I used to call the two of us Eldest Daughters. It is a song, the term repeated over and over in a simple bass line.  A mantra. Being an oldest daughter is a syndrome you don't want.  It involves a sense of responsibility that can make you end up totalling your car. i.e. being unable to do anything. That's where I am this morning. Totaled.

My shoulder hurts.

So I had bought a pork roast, been wanting to do that since I read that the USDA has lowered the standard for doneness of pork to 145 degrees, so you don't have to cook it to death anymore.  So felt that last night I had to go thru with the plan to cook it, tho I didn't feel real well - confused depression.  It turned out to be laborious to figure out how to do it, it's been so many years that I was too sick to really cook. Hot in the kitchen, though we have central air. I could have just stuck the damn thing in the freezer, but had this Plan.  It didn't turn out very good, and was cold by the time I had a stress break yelled at the poor cat for getting on the table, got mad at T who was supposed to watch her so that didn't happen, because I could die from an infection borne by cats, long story, I've probably written a lot about the various dangers of being immunosuppressed. Being aware of these very real dangers and careful and accepting that I could die any moment, well my enlightenment doesn't quite cover that yet. And my shoulder hurts. I'd really like to buy some colorful annuals to complete the front garden, but I can't plant them (bad back, dirt is dangerous) would have to call Karen, just don't feel up to it.  My shoulder hurts.

All the mother stuff tugged at my now ancient memories of the nightmare of dealing with my alcoholic mother and alcoholic siblings as she slid into dementia.  Her basic conversation was about Your Brother, whom she always adored to the exclusion of my sister and me, and how she loved this young bartender who she kissed on the mouth when we all went out to dinner at his restaurant.  The tragedy and ugliness of all this is mostly laid to rest right now, but sometimes when the moon is full the ghost rises from the grave.  Don't anyone dare tell me to get therapy on it - I did years of it.  Years of practice, too. It's memory, I remind myself - it's in my brain and cells, but not real anymore.  A torn rotator cuff is real.  My shoulder hurts.  I must have slept too hard on it.

So, a stress break.  I used to call this kind of thing A Nervous Breakthrough, but this morning it doesn't seem funny. Somehow the cat getting on the table (she walks in the litterbox with those paws), table I had cleaned with Clorox, Tom not watching her, all the hard work of trying to make a decent meal which didn't turn out very good - frustration overload.  I have to ease up, stop cooking, stop shouldering (note shoulder metaphor) responsibilities. There is so much to do taking care of myself, I don't have much space for anything else.

Last night 108 Zen Books posted about Joko Beck being in hospice.  Here is a sane, sober person, which is how you hope to be with enough practice and hard work, here is someone who accepts sickness and dying as natural, who is having a good death and not stressing out her kids with craziness.  It is like another planet from what I have had to deal with in my own parents and Tom's. It made me sad.

So what's a little stress, what's a big stress, WTF is stress?  

Anyway. By the time you read this I'll feel different. Things change.

About the little foxes:  the meaning of the verse from the Christian Bible is this: mature foxes eat the grapes.  That's an annoyance, a problem.  But the little foxes can't reach the grapes.  They nibble on the vines instead.  That can kill the vines.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dalai Grandma,

    I hope you are feeling better, and if not, that you will very soon. It's good to remember that stressful feelings and depression usually come and go. But the waiting out period is tough. It sounds like you have more than your share of sorrows right now. But don't compare yourself to Joko Beck or anyone else who you think is weathering adversity "better" than you. We never know the whole story, what goes on in others' heads. And as for your troubling memories of your mother--they're just as you said--memories--and they're going to pop up now and again. You can't stop them but you can diffuse them by not taking them too seriously. Finally, meat can be hard to cook. And cats jump on the table when you're not there. I would try a scat mat!

    Take care and be well,