Thursday, January 25, 2018

Lives being dismantled: No Man's Land

I'm somewhere in no-man's-land.

At this very moment, my brothers are at my parent's house, dismantling it piece by piece. Donations to the synagogue, sales of furniture on Craig's list, heaps upon heaps of papers for recycling and the shredder. I am getting daily pictures and updates of what's going out the door now. (many of the pictures come with funny snarky comments about said items... family jokes about things, definitely often cracks me up!)
The place is a huge mess, as it would be, dismantling 44 years of lives in a house. There is a big dumpster in the driveway, and a "For Sale" sign on the property.

But I'm not there. I said to my brother how intense this all is. He said for him it's cathartic. But for me, I think because I'm not doing it, it's intense. All those family meals at the kitchen table and chairs... empty kitchen now. Beds, couches, chairs, chests-of-drawers... empty and gone. My brothers are working really hard. Even if I didn't have the kids to take care of here, I wouldn't be of much use there, I'm still in constant pain. They knew I couldn't come. But I'm missing out on a very important passage of my history. I saw piles of my father's reasearch- what he prided his whole life on, tied and going to the recycler.

Hand written notes on his experiments, piles and piles of them. We're talking from the early 70's here, guys. It's all journalled and on Google if you know what to look for. But his life's work... it's sad. My mom's knick-knacks which she loved, gone, donated to the synagogue tag sale. What's left is their legacy... me & my brothers and our children. And our memories.

Dad used huge Madagascar hissing cockroaches for this one.
I once brought one in a jar to first grade for show-and-tell.
meth lab, anyone?

Dad's mail and dogtag from when he was in the army-
mandatory draft for the Korean war. He did research
on mosquito repellants for the government. Got himself a patent, too!

But this is very hard for me. Not that I want any of it here, what I wanted I already took. It's not about things, it's about-- well-- dismantling their lives. And me mourning their loss. In the end, they are buried in their graves, and there is a big dumpster in the driveway. It's just how life goes, I know. Our kids will be doing that with our stuff too, some day. But this is hard.

Wanna buy a beautiful 4-bedroom house on the north shore of Long Island?

Anyway, I'm also in no-man's-land regarding physical pain, as if the emotional pain of mourning my parents wasn't quite enough to round me out. I'm still suffering, pretty much the same. I am now learning about different diets, and how my digestive tract may need some help. Of course, I'd need to cook a lot of things for myself if I was going to do any of these diets, and since I can't be onmy feet very long, it's not so realistic, but I'm trying. Dr. S is suggesting I do a Candida diet. Candida is a fungus that can take over the digestive system and can be damaging when found in high quantities. Dr. S is going with the fact of my bad reaction to the oral antibiotics I took this summer for the staph-infection-from-hell on my skin graft. The antibiotics totally ripped up my stomach, but didn't actually take away the infection.

I'd like to do a Candida blood test, if there is such a thing. I asked my GP about it, haven't heard back yet.

My stomach hasn't been doing well at all this past month. I mean along with the mechanical pain that I have with standing and walking, I mean digestively-speaking, not good. Too much bloating and "the runs", very uncomfortable. Appetite waning as well.

You know, with no diagnosis, and intractible pain, it feels like no-man's land. I'm not here, and not there. I feel confused so much of the time as to what I should or should not be doing. Should I just breathe with the pain and do Tai Chi? No, that hurts too much. But is the pain damaging me? We don't know what it's from, so how do I know what is OK?

Yesterday Shifra really really wanted to go shopping with me. She asked me if we could bring the wheelchair (we rented one many months ago) so I wouldn't be in pain, and she'd push me around the mall, and we'd shop together. I HATE the wheelchair for many reasons, but I realized this was something she needed. She needed me with her, she doesn't like shopping alone, and she needed to know I was not in pain. We were out for two and a half hours, and I was in a lot of pain by the end, even with the wheelchair, but I did it, for her.

But when we got home, I was in bad shape. My stomach was in so much pain. She and Azriel fended for themselves for dinner, and I took an early retirement. I actually was sewing- mending Dov's pants that he asked me to fix- but I was sitting in a big soft chair, and watching a movie aslo.

I'm in general very low spirits. Mourning, in constant pain, trying to be there for my kids and husband. Mourning. There is a lot of mourning to be done.

This phase will pass, though. I believe that I will be out of pain one day. I think I believe that. I am writing it in order to believe it.

I chose not to go to Dr. Davidson in the end. What I know about nerve blocks is that it's not so great for the body's natural healing. I decided not to go that route, although having an injection block the pain at this point is tantilizingly appealing. I'll wait this out a bit more with treatments with Dr. S, and see where that goes. Sometimes I have some improvement after a treatment. But it doesn't last. I'll see him again this Sunday in Modi'in.

Like I said, no-man's land. Not here, not there. But there I am.

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