One woman's journey and dawning realization of the slow destruction of her spirit while trapped in the jaws of disability.

Disability is at first an affliction of the body, then a state of mind and finally a shackle upon the spirit.

Lydia M N Crabtree, 2012

Friday, October 26, 2012

Revelations 5: Pie in the Face

I have a friend who hates banana cream pie. She rates her bad days in accordance to how many banana cream pies she feels like she has had flung at her face. I like the imagery even though I love banana cream pie.

If I was using her Pie in the Face scale, today is like a four pie day.

Which leads to another Revelation:

That mask is pretty, too bad it doesn’t let anyone understand what’s really going on.

I woke nauseous.  It felt like I had been beaten in my sleep. I was running a fever. My back was killing me. I had had anxiety dreams most of the night and couldn’t delineate between waking terror and sleeping terror. I had actually dreamed about trying to NOT throw up.

I jumped in the shower to bath with a Eucalyptus bath that I found at Publix that is great for fever reduction, aches and pains.

After that I took my nausea medication which I am not particular fond of but find it preferable to actually throwing up.

I then sat down to take care of some family business, notify Tony that today was going to be a particularly bad day and not to expect much out of me (dinner or house work). I wanted to play my cello today but my fingers are already swollen today so I am going to skip that.

It is this type of day that kept me hiding. I didn’t want anyone to see or know that it was bad like this. That in this moment the only solace I can find is my Alice and mindless TV.

When we ask people, “How do you feel  today?” Social convention tells us that the question isn’t one that we really want an answer to. I love my mother-in-law and she can go on for hours just answering that particular question. I don’t want to be like that, and, yet, no information is disastrous to anyone who isn’t living near enough to see me on a four pie day.

Also, for the chronically ill, a four pie day doesn’t stop life from happening. There are still small things that need to be done to make the family life move forward. It doesn’t mean that I am not thinking about writing or wanting to write even if I can’t. Pie in my face isn’t the only thing happening even on a Ten Pie in the Face Day.

Yet, when people deal with me that is the only question. “How do you feel today?” It is a bit redundant to ask the chronically ill how they feel.

I think maybe better questions would be, “What are you into today?”

“Anything interesting happening around you?”

“Have any plans this week or weekend?”

My husband has been asking his mother these questions and getting more information and more enjoyable discussions out of her. For the chronically ill, we would like to say to someone, “Today is a Four Pie in the Face Day and…..”

So, what are you into today? Anything interesting happening around you? Do you have plans this weekend?


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