It' s been a tough week.
Last Saturday night I attended a spaghetti dinner at my church that was an awful experience and an eyeopener to how much has really changed since a year or three ago. Back then, I knew everyone at church. And everyone knew me. I was involved in church leadership...on committees...DOING stuff. Now, I attend church once every couple of weeks...sit in my blue recliner in the corner of the front row...and immediately leave following the service...fighting tears of pain.
So I went to this dinner thinking how nice it would be to get out and to be with old friends.
I found friends have moved on. Other people have moved in. People who don't know me from Adam...I sat down at a table...which was avoided by most people. One of my friends who drives me to some appointments sat down there finally...with her husband...and one other lady who has remained a loyal friend, although I rarely see or speak to her these days...sat down with me too.
After about fifteen minutes I felt the familiar pain increase ...as certainly as Old Faithful builds pressure and finally spurts. Finally, I couldn't take the sharp ache and headed for the blue recliner... In the far, unoccupied part of the room, I sat alone...for maybe a half hour. And then heard the sounds of dessert...They faded into unintelligible exclamations of gustatory delight as people filled their plates and their mouths with the delectables. Finally I decided that if I wanted anything, I should go up and get something. So I tried to get out of the recliner..reaching an arm down to pull on the level which would lower the foot rest...and found that my shoulder joint was too painful and too precarious to be able to pull on the lever...and I couldn't free myself. Nor could I turn my head or body around enough to summon anyone's help. So I struggled in futility...and waited...finally a man wandered my way...and his eyebrows raised in amusement as he assessed my plight. Thankfully, he was merciful enough to free me....
Anyway. the whole time was lonely, and painful.
Then on the way home my ride wanted to know if they should pick me up for church in the AM...by this time it was approaching ten o'clock....WAY past my bedtime. I knew that I'd missed my sleep window...and also that pain had escalated much to much to be able to sleep anyway. So I told them I would have to let them know in the morning when I saw how I felt. This led to comments that despite their back pain (they have a bulging disk) they are able to attend all the services ...Remarks of this kind continued all the way home. I SO much wanted to put them into my body...for just five minutes.
Then that night Sara died and I saw it as soon as it was posted. Sunday was an equal hell...NO it was worse...I cried throughout the whole worship time...feeling devastated by losses. Depression sucked at my like the leech it is in a way that it hasn't for years.
And since then it seems like moment by moment...pain has escalated....until it is now North of Unbearable. New joints add their voice to the mix of destroyed and damaged ones...daily. My spine is increasingly stiff...I've noted that it seems to be fusing in a bent over position...as much as I long to straighten and stretch it out...I cannot. Lovely.
Yesterday the arm surgeon gave me a tentative date for the first shoulder surgery...November 8th at the very latest...hopefully there will be a cancellation and I can go sooner. Following that surgery will be my elbow replacement and then my other shoulder and then we can finally pay some attention to the aching knees. But really why am i going through all of this...when daily my spine degenerates and the spinal cord gets more and more compressed?
I see a definite advancing (or declining) toward a time when things will change markedly in my life. I see a time when I too, lie like Sara did for the last year of her life....bedridden and crippled by this merciless and inexorable disease. Until that day when Jesus finally beckons me and says, "ENOUGH" and I leave this world for the next.It seems to me that it would be so wonderful to have someone to talk to about this. The only people who will listen and not get upset at my thoughts is those elderly friends of mine who are themselves, inches from heaven.
I really wish I could afford a therapist and had a way to get to one. It would be so nice to really be able to think these thoughts aloud...to release the rising pressure of words....