04 March 2012

be here now

I was playing observant gardener, i.e. wrapped in a warm blanket, resting on the sofa and observing my gardener outside, when the cranes flew in their noisy v-shaped formations across the sky yesterday.
I remember watching them two years ago while I was high as a kite on cortison and my liver and heart were kicked around by the first immunosuppressing drug that almost buried me. 
There was a time when I would run away from memories like that. Still have the urge but where to? No place left to run. Not after two years of this. 

And yet, every time I come up from another blow to the system, another yuk inflammation here or there, a couple of days under that heavy blanket of fatigue, whatever - there seems to be an endless supply of things that can go wrong -, every time my silly childish mind cheers up and tells me that now, finally, things are getting better. The feeling that a good rest and a couple of early nights will see me right.
Bless your innocence, I want to hiss back, watch me come undone.

Some nights before sleep I run through all my fraying edges, down to counting all of the open sores in my gums, like a pilot getting ready for flight.
Other nights I just lie back, thankful that this blasted fatigue will drown out any thoughts. 

Compared to two years ago, I am coping. Occasionally, I am coping splendidly, efficiently, even with a sense of humour. You'd look at me and you'd think, why, she is fine, and I am sure many people think that (and suspect me to be a bit of a hypochondriac). But still, sometimes I can see this woman peeping out from behind the dark blinds, this middle-aged, healthy, energetic, active woman... she is fading fast. Sometimes I pick a book from the shelves and I remember that I read it in that gloomy period between getting ill and being diagnosed and I remember how I joked to my GP that I was rereading my way through our book shelves, starting from the bottom right hand corner, and that by the time I reached the top left end, surely I'd be well again.

Two years ago I had just come home from four weeks in the specialist clinic where twice a day a friendly woman would guide a small group of us seriously/weirdly ill patients through a half hour of relaxation, with gentle music, breathing and muscle movements. I used to love that music but now when I hear something that sounds even the faintest bit like it, I want to run. 
There is no agenda, no sense of direction or purpose, instead I simply make it through another day, another week without getting anywhere. And then again, why would I want to get anywhere at all. Be here now, I used to tell my impatient daughter when she was small and spinning towards a tantrum. And I was feeling ever so grand and superior and wise.

Ah well. She tells me it worked for her.


Jayne said...

Sabine- This year has been full of health challenges for me, (you have me counting the sores right now!) so I empathize entirely. You seem like you're very much a "being here" kind of person, and I imagine that being here, being present, very much soothes your heart. Take comfort in the here and now.


beth coyote said...

Bless you and your honesty in these pages.


Rouchswalwe said...

Mother daughter communication is really something unique and special.