Day 193. A Zero Day, Skipping Stones

This will be a short one, skipping topics like skipping stones across the surface of a pond.  It’s about yesterday and what it did to my body, about what I did for an art project, and what I need to do for homework.

Yesterday I had a to-do list of seven items.  I accomplished an amazing one-seventh of them when the Comcast man came and went.  As for the rest, well, I scratched through them in red pen: incomplete.

Here is why:  when I awoke, I wasn’t sure about how I felt.  In an iffy situation like that, I try to put makeup on and dress as though I am about to go somewhere, so that I will create a sense of momentum (and sometimes propel myself out of a funk).  I didn’t realize until after the Comcast guy had left that I had applied the eyebrow pencil a trifle dark.

Old Lady Eyebrows

People, this makeup mistake is a definitive crazy old lady marker.  There is no pussyfooting around it.  I looked in the mirror and laughed at myself.

Trouble was, I just felt all wrong.  My body was on fire.  To give a simple example, I wear soft, fleecy socks all the time around the house because they are warm and protect my feet, from which the fat pads the rest of you have, have disappeared (making walking on them feel…well, like walking on sharp bones).  Yesterday, though, the little nubbies on my regular soft socks felt like they were razors across my toes.  I kept telling myself to ignore it.  You know, like, “Hey, stupid.  You have too much time on your hands.  If you were driving railroad spikes someplace, your stupid foot pain would not come to mind.”  Trouble was, this stupid food pain was starting to feel like railroad spikes driven into my toes.  Finally, I had to dig through the various pairs I have to find the very newest and softest pair of soft socks on which the little nubs are still perfectly squishy.  That was only one part of my body that felt like it was being poked, prodded or twisted.  There were the ankles, the wrists, the knees, the hips….WTF?  I thought this was all going to resolve itself once the PT was over!

Since I was no good for the concentration involved in doing the kind of writing I am doing now, I found some Zentangles to work on.  I posted one last time; I worked on the one here most of the day yesterday, until my hands hurt so much I had to stop, and then I slept for a while.  Then I started again.  They are fun to do when I need to stay in bed because no paints are required, just a pencil, eraser, pen, and a ruler.

I tried meditating before working on my art, just as I am making sure to meditate before I write each time, so that I stay on task and feel the work flow out of me.  I’ve been trying to work on doing that, as something I have been discussing with my therapist.

My therapist, Dr. A., who specializes in working with people to deal with chronic pain and grave illness (rather than “how do you feel about your parents” kind of stuff) does cool things like help with meditation and things like that.

This week, though, he has me stumped.  He gave me an assignment to think about what I need to work on, in therapy. To him, that means what I need to improve, discuss, or problem solve as it relates to dealing with my illness or the situations around it.

I am drawing a complete blank.

It isn’t that I feel cured or resolved by any means.  I just feel a great blank when I try to think of the answer, because I often draw a great  blank when I try to think deeply. Now, I need to come up with something by Monday. Help a sistah out. What do you guys think?  I  thought it would be cool for my brilliant readers to opine (since I am so blind to my own situation).  This means you!

Have you been given similar therapeutic assignments? How has it worked for you? What am I missing?

18 thoughts on “Day 193. A Zero Day, Skipping Stones

    • Cured! That’s great news! And stoned? Haven’t you read my pain killer dosage list? (okay, that’s just a joke, those of you in the peanut gallery–😳once you take the meds every day, unfortunately they do not have that effect).

  1. How about having problems with assignments on the big picture? 😉

    Oh drill down, let’s see, how about when you wake up and feel iffy? Is getting up and getting ret to go the answer? Do you feel under achieved when the iffy turns to the opposite of jiffy? How do you deal with the pain you mentioned? The inexplicability, the wtf is going on, etc.
    That’s all i got for now sistah.
    You do rock, so don’t forget that.

  2. I actually agree with Margie’s tongue-in-cheek response: Maybe the fact that you’re drawing a complete blank is itself worthy of examining.
    Possible questions to work on with your therapist:
    What is it about thinking deeply that causes you to draw a blank? Is it an actual bank or something too big and/or unlit to see/define/name?

    As I re-read your blog post, another thought that occurs to me is that what you’re missing as you try to do the assignment is information that some part of you doesn’t want to deal with right now. And isn’t that what therapy is for (as least partially): giving us a safe, guided path, to get out of our own way?

  3. My query to the shrink (on the brutal side of questioning): Well, I’ve been given a nasty sentence of chronic illness and statistical early death – which, incidentally, sucks to the nth degree. So how on earth am I supposed to deal with closure, farewells of things/people I like and similar matters, while at the same time, continuing planning, looking for projects and things to do. In other words, since the medical discourse has pronounced me “dead woman walking:” how do I keep in mind that “I am not dead yet” (blessed Monty Phyton) without becoming psychotic in the process?

    • The answer is you don’t focus on the closure, farewells etc. unless it is your desire to have that be your focus. You focus on the planning projects etc. Easy for me to say.

      • hmmm… I think there has to be a way to focus on both things, otherwise, the ominous hangs above you like Damocles sword.

      • Well, I think that you’re right. I have to look ahead, look ahead, look ahead, but there’s this delicate balance, because (I think what Carlos is saying) we have a tendency in regular life to miss out on opportunities to spend time with people, or say the important things, or whatever because we ARE always looking ahead. So how do you know you’re doing the right thing all the time. It’s a lot of pressure…that feeling of “I’m dancing as fast as I can….” KWIM?

    • Yes, Carlos. I think you have the right idea–that has been our focus since the beginning. I appreciate that, though. And it is about making it work so that doesn’t feel like the Sword of Damocles is playing rock-a-bye-baby over my cradle…. xxo

  4. I have an idea….throw yourself a wake ahead of time and get it out of the way. (I know this sounds sick, but stay with me here…) you can write your own obit, pick your favorite outfit, put on way too much cakey makeup and lay perfectly still on your couch with flowers all around you that everyone will send. You can try to keep a straight face while everyone tells funny stories about you or breaks down or tells the family what a great job the undertaker did… She looks so natural… Then when that’s over, stop counting the days… Forgive that doctor for being so insensitive to throw that perfectly useless statistic out at you and tell your therapist you want to work on the answer to one question..what do I want? Just in this moment..what do I want? That’s a tough one for anyone to answer. Unfortunately by the time you start getting a clue about that it seems like you are too tired and old to go after it…Your illness has presented you with an urgency to get the bottom of this. Some people get clocked out before they know enough to ask the question… The world, such as it is, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, just for today, is still your oyster.

    I love you Heidi…looking forward to day number one of your new life.

    • That is brilliant!! I am cracking up!

      (Although I must admit, as you described the party, I thought, oh jeez, isn’t that what I do every 2nd Sunday..put on too much makeup and plant my ass on the couch and make everybody mill around me?)

      You’re a genius!!


  5. Okay, but if you are organizing the preemptive wake, can we all get matching t-shirts or something? And I would be careful with the amount of flowers… too many and I start sneezing. We should replace flowers for alcohol (of the scotch/gin variety – ok, maybe wine, too).

  6. Lots of alcohol, of course. Lots of testimonials, too. Heidi is allergic also so we may have to go with plastic on the flowers. Can’t have Heidi sneezing, she’ll scare the hell out of people when they come up to view the corpse! We need a casket. I heard Costco sells caskets… Maybe we can buy one and take it back after the party.

  7. Pingback: The day I nearly got kicked out of Yoga

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