Saturday, February 21, 2009

Slowing down

I feel better today than yesterday, but I'm still noticeably weaker. As soon as I get out of bed for any reason, I immediately just want to get back in bed, and I'm most comfortable there. I've finally got the computer set up so I can use it on the bed table, and it's much easier and less tiring than sitting up in a chair. Whenever I feel that I'm going downhill, of course I immediately start wondering if it's temporary or if it will come back. I've slowly adjusted to all kinds of losses--I can do so much less than I could even a few months ago, and I will adjust to this, too. I'm working hard to keep my emotions on the surface; not to bury them or tamp them down, but to cry when I want to cry, to be angry when I'm feeling anger. And I am angry--I've been dealt a pretty rotten hand, and all I can do is play it out as best as I can. I always figured on living to be pretty old. At least I got a better deal than my mom, who died at a shockingly young fifty-six--looking forward to retirement and travel after working hard all her life, and she never got to enjoy any of that. I've had a much better life than she had, and I should be grateful for that. I've gotten to travel all over the world; I'm even famous in my big fish in a very small pond kind of way.

When Kathy was here yesterday she said she'd have someone from hospice call to check in on me. I'm not sure if anyone would have called, but in the early afternoon I called and spoke with a nurse named Lisa, who asked me a few questions about how I'm feeling and said she would stop in to see me tomorrow morning. I've been coughing up blood-tinged mucus all day, which always scares me a little, even though I've been doing it on and off for years.

Sitting here in bed it's easy to feel that I could get up if I wanted to; that I could do various things around the house. It's only when I get out of bed that I realize just how weak I am. I'd love to take a shower--it would feel so good to wash my hair and be clean all over, but it also seems like it would take more energy than I have right now.

Sometimes it's tempting to think about going to stay in the hospice house, with its twenty-four hour staffing, but it's not realistic at the $200 a day out of pocket cost (that's the part that's not covered by insurance). I just don't have enough money for that. And I couldn't have the cats with me. There's something about being at home that, with all its inconveniences and difficulties, is better than any institutional setting, and the hospice house, no matter how nice it is, is still an institution.

It's supposed to snow again tomorrow. Will it ever be spring? At least the days are getting longer.


  1. Hello, Judi,

    As always, you are honest and open and generous and smart and so interesting. I wish that you were not having to go through this, but as always, you are inspiring to me in the way you are dealing with the good and the bad, moment to moment.

    Sending you warmth and strength.


    Paula J. Caplan

  2. When I first picked up this blog I didn't know I was reading the blog of a Big Fish! I have the impression that Judi was a popular and accomplished person! How cool! I'm learning a TON and there are many many facets of the experience that I find notable. I can't put this down!