Sitting Through the Storm

The word “happy” would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. – Carl Jung

I usually try to find a positive spin on my posts.  At least I try to find the rainbow at the end of the storm by the end of my blog entry.  A heads up that this post might not end that way.  Last week, I went on a vacation to visit my aunt and uncle in British Columbia.  I go every summer and it is my favorite place on earth.  I love being close to the water and love the vibe of the whole community.  My aunt and uncle are two of my favorite people and always make me feel so welcome.  None of the previous points were any different this year.  However, something else was very different.  That thing was me.

I am often aware from year to year that things get slightly harder than they were the year before.  This trip though, everything seemed so much harder.  Stairs were really hard for me to do.  Going up or down I had significant issues.  We went out one day on the Shushwap in my uncle’s boat, and it took me a long time to step into the boat and to get out.  The weather was really warm, as it always is when I go there, but my symptoms were triggered by the heat this time immensely.  I needed help from my family much more than I have in the past to do simple things.  It does not feel great to have your aunt, uncle and mother have to help you do the simplest of things.  Another struggle for me was my incredible fatigue on the trip.  I can normally keep up, until I get back home and then take a few days to recoup.  This time was different.  I had to lay down at least once every day to be able to function or my cognitive fog did not allow me to follow and carry on conversations.  Although I had a ton of fun visiting my family, it was a real slap in the face to me to notice how much my abilities have lessened.

If this change was noticeable to me, I can only assume that it was also noticeable to my family.  I don’t ever want to be a burden on other people.  It is always in the back of my mind that I am making things harder for the people I am around.  Several years ago, I went back to my hometown to visit my grandmother who was in the hospital.  I hadn’t seen her in a year or so.  When I walked into her hospital room, she started crying.  I asked her what was wrong and she said she had never seen me use a cane before.  In that past year, I had started to use my cane full-time.  I didn’t even think about it, but to my grandmother is was devastating.  I reassured her and told her I was fine and I just need to use the cane now to make sure I wasn’t going to fall.  I could tell she was still really upset by it.  This holiday brought that back.  I don’t want my family to worry about me or to think about how much worse things are getting for me.  It is always hard for me to see my mother helping me with things that I should be helping her with.  She comes over sometimes and will help me clean my windows or other chores that I feel like I should be helping her with, not the other way around.

I know my family loves me and how lucky I am to have them.  I also know they do not think I am just being lazy when they help me out and that they don’t mind helping me or making things easier for me.  However, I do mind.  I don’t like being unable to do things for myself and I don’t like that I cannot help my mom out around her house.  It makes me mad that I am 43 years old and have to use a cane to move around.  It makes me angry that I have to go lay down everyday when I am on holidays and can’t just push though it anymore.

In a few days I will start to get back to my old self.  I will look outside and see a rainbow.  However for right now, I just want to sit in the storm and cry about getting wet.

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