We had two days of warmer temperatures–up into the mid- to high 40s. The snow was melting and dripping off the roof. The chickens and ducks were out enjoying the weather. However, once again our yard and driveway has become a treacherous glare of ice. The photo at the top of this post is of the icy driveway. Today it is snowing. The snow is covering the ice, repeating the conditions that caused me to fall and fracture my arm. I’m being even more cautious when I take Hannah out and only letting her go the length of her 6 foot retractable leash while I stay on the pavement near the porch. If I were a superhero, my villanous nemesis would be ice. Sadly, I’m not a superhero, but my nemesis is still ice.
Hannah Joy is a sweet, adorable, interesting, funny, fun, delightful, and much-loved dog, but she is not particularly calming to be around while I recover from my injury. When she wants something, she wants it NOW. If she isn’t asking to go outside, she’s bringing her toys to me and demanding to play, or wanting food, or trying to steal my kleenex, which she eats and later poops out. She has become quite a skilled pickpocket, stealing kleenex from my pocket as she sits innocently on my lap. If I ignore Hannah, she gets very vocal or climbs into my lap and paws at me. I feel as if I am constantly taking her outside, constantly throwing her ball, or constantly trying to protect myself, my food, or my kleenex from her. It’s not her fault. She is young and energetic, and has things to learn. If it weren’t for my arm and the nemesis ice, I would be taking her for frequent walks to use up some of her energy, and I would be teaching her. I can’t do that right now. Poor dog. And poor me because sometimes I need a bit of a break.
When Hannah, isn’t demanding attention, the cats want lovings. I love cuddling with them, but they don’t understand that they must not walk on my damaged arm on their way to my lap. Little Bear shows lovings by kneading with his claws out. I definitely do not need additional pokey pain. I dearly love all my critters, but sometimes want to shout “CAN YOU JUST GIVE ME SOME SPACE AND LEAVE ME ALONE FOR A BIT!”
A couple of days ago when I took Hannah out, Miss Madeline Meadows, our sweet serial killer cat, was lurking under the bird feeder. I’ve been keeping Hannah away from Madeline because Madeline is skittish and I didn’t want Hannah to scare her. But yesterday Hannah got a little closer than usual and Madeline didn’t run away, so I let Hannah go right up to her–although I was prepared to pull her away if there was a problem. Madeline just sat there completely unconcerned as Hannah sniffed her. I thought that, wow, Madeline has chutzpah, she has nerves of ice and steel. Nothing scares her, not even a big galooty dog.
Ever since I was sick with a bad cold a couple months ago, I have felt as if my sinuses have been swollen. Tuesday I blew my nose and filled a paper towel with mucus. Gross, I know, but to quote Shrek, “Better out than in, I always say.” I still feel as if my sinuses need more clearing, but I can breathe a little better now. I woke at 3 a.m. Wednesday morning with a headache and feeling nauseous and I felt that way most of the day. I didn’t know if the cause was connected to my sinuses, if I was getting sick (broken hand plus flu would really be special!), or if my pain meds were causing it. My pain meds come with a warning about addiction, which worries me. I have no problem taking them for pain, but I don’t want to risk addiction. I’ve never been addicted to drugs but I’ve heard stories a people getting addicted to pain meds and I don’t want to be one of them. After a couple of days of taking whole pills, I reduced them to half. I did fine on half so yesterday I tried taking only OTC pain meds. I lasted most of the day but then I couldn’t endure the increased pain so I gave in and took the prescription med. I am now trying to lengthen the time between taking the prescription med.
The other day I apologized to EJ for my bad attitude. He said that he hadn’t noticed me having any bad attitude. That’s good because I was afraid my attitude has been less than good. Although exhausting and frustrating to have minor tasks turned into major endeavors, I think I’m mostly meeting the challenges with creativity. I’m able to do dishes, laundry, vacuum, clean the litter boxes, set up the coffee machine, and even prepare simple meals one-handed. It just takes a while. It took me about 15-20 minutes to figure out how to open a can of baked beans with the electric can opener when my injured hand can’t hold the can or press the lever that grips and opens the can but, hey, I eventually did it, through trial and error, by putting the can on top of a thermos lid that I put on top of a cutting board to raise the can to the necessary height. That’s not nothing.
My frustration and discouragement rises when my guys–mostly EJ because JJ is seldom home these days–have to do tasks that I cannot manage. I hate that EJ has to lug heavy buckets of clean water for the ducks and chickens when his back is killing him (we can use the garden hose in warm months but not in winter). I hate having to ask him to take out the garbage when I know he’s very tired.
And JJ brings up other frustrations and fears. He took me to the initial consultation with the hand specialist, but he had to cancel taking me to have my surgery because it interfered with a class he couldn’t miss. That’s ok. I was actually relieved that EJ took me. But JJ said he would take me to get my cast on Monday and he has twice implied that he might not be able to take me. Then he told me to not worry because he would definitely take me, but the fear is already stirred up that I am dependent upon him, I am helpless to get myself there, and what will I do if he cancels at the last minute so EJ doesn’t have time to arrange to take me? Getting the cast is not a frivolous thing that can be blown off; it’s a necessity. Also this triggers fears of being like my Mom, who was abusively manipulative and controlling. I don’t want to be the guilting, controlling, manipulative Mom who thinks she is more important than anyone else and her kids should submit to her demands because they owe it to her because she raised them. I try to be careful to encourage and respect JJ’s independence. I will never demand that JJ put me ahead of his spouse, as my Mom did me, and I will never get angry if he chooses not to spend a holiday–or whatever–with us. I think things should be given freely out of love, not forced with demands, manipulation, or anger. But, dog-gone-it, sometimes everyone needs help. I need JJ to either get me to my appointment as he offered and promised he would or give us enough notice that his Dad can arrange to take me. Not being sure of what is going to happen, one way or another, is stressful. This is more about my emotions/fears being triggered than JJ’s reliability. He will take me if he can, and if he can’t for some reason, EJ will.
About 20 years ago, I suffered through a few years of chronic health problems. During that time, I struggled with fears of being a burden, being abandoned, and being dependent, vulnerable, and helpless. In spite of all the heartwarming quotes about family always being there, EJ and my experiences with both our families of origin is that they are more noticeable by their lack of loving support than the reverse. We know we can’t count on most of them to be there. I faced those fears back then, I learned to relax about the tasks I couldn’t do, I learned that I could survive unloving family/people, and I learned of God’s faithful love at a deeper level. Some of these fears are resurfacing a bit now. I know that eventually I will survive, relax, and grow this time just as I did last time. I just feel as if I’m in the messy emotional stage now. I will be ok–and better than ok.
JJ had to go to the courthouse this morning for jury selection. He wasn’t chosen to be a juror. This is his first time having this experience.I have had to go to jury selection several times over the years–I think it is an interesting experience. Like JJ, I have never actually had to serve as a juror. JJ thinks he won’t ever be selected because of his pursuing a career in law enforcement.
The other day EJ and JJ told me that the metal plate in my hand will set off detectors in places like courthouses or airports. Wow, that’s alarming (pun intended 🙂 ) as well as interesting. I wonder what would happen next? Would I be dragged off to a small dark room and searched and interrogated for hours? Will they somehow x-ray my arm? It’s sort of interesting to consider.
As I write this post, I have been watching about a dozen squirrels eating and chasing each other at the bird feeder. They are fun to watch.