April 27, 2021 – The Space Between

I am sitting in a space that feels rather uncomfortable at the moment. I am uncertain of my health, of my future, of what is yet to be. There is no doubt in my mind that there are countless others sitting in this same space; there are too many unknowns to believe otherwise. I wish to flee and yet I fear what I may encounter or whether fleeing will even solve anything because as you probably know, no matter how far or fast you run, those things that you’re fleeing from will most assuredly follow. I’m not even sure what I’m feeling (aside from disconnected or possibly dread). I received my second dose of the vaccine last week and feel good that I have that out of the way. And I’ve made arrangements to travel (in about three weeks) by plane or car (depending on the outcome of my antibody test) to visit my son as well as my husband’s family who live several states away. But I don’t want to go.

I cannot put my finger on why exactly, but it’s the last thing I want to do right now. Whether it was the info on the postcard that the nurse handed me after I received my vaccine (that contributed to my dread), or my lack of confidence in the efficacy of the vaccine itself, I have no idea. The postcard included a list of what I should and should not do following being administered the vaccine and one thing it was very clear about was travel. In fact, it indicated ‘delay travel’ in bold. I’m feeling so incredibly torn. The idea of going on a trip in a matter of weeks leaves me feeling overwhelmed, burdened, and anxious. It’s not necessary by any means. It can wait. But for some reason, my husband wants to go and get it ‘over with’. I don’t understand the hurry. As much as I wish to ‘flee’, winding up back at my in-laws’ isn’t what I had in mind as a place to escape to. It feels like a prison inside their home.

Because of my mother-in-law’s advanced dementia and her continued attempts at running away, my father-in-law has to lock the doors from the inside. Each time I wish to leave, I have to track down the ‘keeper of the key’ or ‘key master’. It’s a tragic situation and not one that I want to immerse myself in at the moment. If I were of some use it’d be different, but none of my offers to help are ever called upon so I tend to sit there like a bump on a log (feeling incredibly useless). There’s little incentive in taking a trip somewhere when the time away is comprised mostly of sitting in someone’s basement and watching TV. There’s also the matter of my son working full time and going to school. How much time will he even be able to spend with us? When he’s not working, he’s going to be up to his neck in homework. I don’t know that it’s fair to him or us to expect him to spend what little time he has trying to fit in a visit.

I did talk to my husband tonight and asked if he’d consider leaving a little later, possibly in June (or never). If we go during the first part of June, my son will be on break from school and we’ll have more opportunities to get together. He’ll also be less stressed because he won’t have papers to write or tests to take. The situation at my in-laws’ will be no different but there’s not much I can do about that. I do know my father-in-law could really use my husband’s support right now. My husband talked to him over the weekend and his dad actually broke down in tears. He’s been trying to take care of his wife (my husband’s stepmom) for the past 3 years and he’s worn out. I think he’s finally realized that her day-to-day care is more than he can handle and that it’s time to make the hard decision of placing her in assisted living or memory care.

When she still had all her mental faculties she was hard to handle, but she’s much worse now. I’ve never met anyone as ornery and defiant as her. She is also incredibly strong physically and if you try to ‘make’ her do anything she doesn’t want to do, she’ll give you a run for your money. How he has managed to look after her for as long as he has, is quite extraordinary. It has definitely taken a toll on my father-in-law’s health. When I saw him last year, he had aged a great deal in a short amount of time. In addition to my other concerns, there’s my own health to consider. After my doctor adjusted my meds, initially I felt much better. I actually scrubbed out the shower with Scrubbing Bubbles followed by Comet cleanser (taking turns with a scrub brush and a sponge and applying lots of ‘elbow grease’). Apart from immediately after my husband finished installing it, the shower has never been as clean or sparkled as brightly!

I actually felt good for about the first 4-5 days after adjusting my meds. I had energy I haven’t had in months and my body was feeling quite good. However, ever since I had the second dose of the vaccine, I feel like climbing back on the couch again and watching a bunch of TV. As expected, I’m experiencing some aches and pains but they don’t concern me much. In time, they’ll subside (I hope). What troubles me the most is the return of my low blood pressure, the main source of my health issues. The doctor thought increasing my steroids (Prednisone) would help, and it did (at first). However, when I checked it today, it was back down in the low range (even lower than before). When my blood pressure is low, I suffer from lightheadedness, poor vision, lethargy, and I have trouble concentrating. In other words, I feel like sh*t. When I feel this way, the mere idea of having to leave the house makes me shudder.

You want to know what else makes me feel like sh*t? Reading back everything I just wrote. I’ve been going on and on, complaining about how much I’m dreading the ‘opportunity to travel’ among other things. Waa, waa, waa. I sound like a big, whiny baby, especially after watching the news and seeing what other people are going through. Night after night, the news coverage is primarily about police brutality or the latest shooting involving a police officer and an unarmed black man or woman, parents murdering their children, or it’s about all of the devastation resulting from Covid. I had no idea how bad it was in India until I watched the news tonight. My friends in India, my heart breaks for you. I cannot begin to imagine what you must be going through! I hope that the nations band together and provide you with the supplies you need in order to help your citizens recover. There is no reason why you should have to fight this on your own.

Watching the news is extremely depressing but it’s also enlightening. It helps me to recognize how very blessed I am. I haven’t lost anyone close as a result of Covid and I am grateful for that. I discussed earlier my concerns about my health, my future, and of what is yet to be but none of us really know, do we? We seem to know so little about ourselves, each other, and our planet (and the impact each has on the other). What we do know is that a common enemy often brings people together and if anything ‘good’ can be said about Covid, that’s the only thing I can give it credit for. I just hope this madness doesn’t last much longer. I’ve been told it could impact us for another 2-5 years. I sure hope that’s not the case. We humans are resilient but everyone has their breaking point. Anyway, that’s about all I’ve got for tonight. Sorry it wasn’t very cheerful or uplifting but that’s where my head’s at. I do hope all is well in your world.

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