So, it’s raining outside. We had a few days where sunshine unfolded my garden but the drip drip drip outside today has driven Me inside and led to rumination. That, and my foot is PAINFUL today. So, i have holed up on my flowery chair with my foot up on another chair and a quilt wrapped round me. Younger is in the same room. He has commandeered my laptop and is currently demolishing NASA’s educational offerings at an alarming speed. On testing his knowledge (due to the speed at which he had completed the allotted sections) he has repeated the facts etc back to me almost verbatim. On further questioning, he has also shown he actually Understood the scientific points being made (remember, I did physics at university so i can tell a good bluff) . I have two choices for conclusion: either he’s a genius or NASAs offering is woefully easy. I genuinely don’t know the answer but as a proud mum, i favour the first.
Anyway, back to the point of this post. I feel pretty rubbish tbh. And so i too have a choice. Do i sit and think about the nerve related pains shooting up and down my toes, foot and leg, or do i try to override that by focussing on something else?? Well, I’m writing this so you know the answer.
The thing about long term illness, and pain in particular, is that it is like a multi marathon runner, trying to raise money for charity. They start off, surrounded by supporters and pacemaker runners. These cheer the runner along. They cajole when he falters. They help put the dressings on when he gets blisters. But as the run progresses they fall away, exhausted, bored, disillusioned, torn by other commitments. The truth is, no matter how dedicated the supporter, the multi marathon task is not their challenge. It is the burden of the fund raiser. It is their responsibility. So, eventually, it is only that runner who can face the task and complete it. He has to own it, be responsible for it and live it.
Pain and illness are the same. Friends and family, those who love us, those who care for us, can be incredibly generous, tender and patient BUT they cant live the experience. They cant ever really ‘get’ how hard it is to keep on Keeping on. I am getting better at communicating my needs but the flip side is i sometimes wonder if a short answer given because energy is precious can be misconstrued, if showing weakness loses me strength. I also find that telling others while helpful can also damage because they start to see the tedious nature of illness. I actually want to do more than moan some days. Some days i want to scream with frustration and break things. But hey, perhaps we all do.
I have no choice but to continue On this path. So i have to find ways of not only helping myself but, realistically, helping my companions. I want them to accompany me but I don’t want to kill them in the process and I don’t want them to resent me. The irony is not lost on me. The truth is that to have helpers i must help. But then, that seems fair to me. How? Well, that’s a whole different post