Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Out of Alignment

It finally seems to be spring, I’m so happy to be warm, but thus far my spring has been a tiny bit more fraught than I’d expected. I’ve been so focused on cancer and healthy eating, myriad medical appointments, and all that, I forgot that I have a bad back. That three years ago, I had to be hauled, hallucinating in pain, out of my own bed by a throng of paramedics with dirty shoes, having torn two discs in my back innocuously lifting a printer. Apparently, it’s best not to lift anything heavy in the morning, seriously, I forget technically why, but it’s true. I was amazed how quickly I healed, going from crippled to just fine in 6-8 weeks with proper rehab. I’ve had a few minor reinjuries since then, because I forget about it and lift something too heavy or do so improperly, forgetting to stay aligned, but it’s not been a big deal. My back is the last thing on my mind, so as I was grilling dinner a couple of weeks ago, I was weed diving, wrestling with bittersweet root and those pesky weed maple’s, and I was definitely not aligned. Didn’t need the paramedics, but am back at the spine center twice a week and being very careful to heal and not reinjure, so I’m watching the weeds grow taller than my flowers while I stand by helplessly. I don’t like being helpless and it’s amazing how a back injury affects morale, it just makes me feel so breakable and frail, so stiff and unbendable. I like to feel bendable.

I am obsessed with decluttering and purging my perennially cluttered house, I can feel the mess in the basement and hovering over me in the attic. Despite countless bags of trash leaving the premises, even more bags going to Big Sisters, 6 packed shopping bags of books going to a fine place that redistributes them, the house is as cluttered as ever. You’d think I like clutter or don’t notice it, but I do notice it and I don’t like it, I just seem powerless over it. I’ve been purging the boys drawers and closets and have reached my own. Yesterday I filled a bag with some of my favorite, tried and true summer dresses, they all have pleats up top, breast pleats that upon trying on, hung sadly, empty, lonely, and as strapping on a false pair seems way too alien I packed them up for goodwill, no need to leave them, pretending they'll fit again. It’s not like believing you’ll lose the weight and those jeans will fit, no delusion possible. I was going to give some to friends I thought would like them, but then I realized they’d be no ordinary hand-me-downs and maybe we’d all be best served by them going anonymously to Big Sisters. There is a shop/gallery in my neighborhood that’s been taunting me with the perfect dress, right smack in the window. It’s made from a fabric I love, it’s a 1950ish atomic-type pattern with a wide collar {my favorite and hard to find}, big shiny buttons down the front and fits me perfectly, except for the damned darts. I love t his dress so much I asked them to contact the maker in N.Y. to see if they’d make one for me sans darts, but alas, no, they couldn’t. Every day I see that dress and it breaks my heart each and every time. In truth, I can’t really afford it and don’t particularly have anywhere special to wear it, but it’s just so perfect and beautiful and me in every way, or the way I was which I forget is not the way I am, in age, as well.

I know it’s really important to stay at an optimal body weight and not gain after treatment and yet I’ve gained 15 lbs. since then, and in between green smoothies and gulping handfuls of supplements, I’m mindlessly eating junk food, sugar, sugar, my life-long nemesis. I resolve to stop now, there I’ve said it and that will make it so. No more malted milk balls, brownie sundaes despite how happy my kids are when I make them or chocolate cake, I’ll have to find another pick-me-up. Do you hear that self?... it stops now.

Life’s been hectic, I’ve gotten myself in over my head with a fundraising effort for tall one’s football team. Not getting the promised help, and participation expected when I was asked to do this and for weeks have turned into the crazy lady selling raffle tickets on street corners, while my son is out and about, or bailing on me because his allergies are acting up. I’m tired of toting around raffle tickets and going to fundraising meetings on my only free evening. Last night the boy asked me if I can pick him up from a 3-day, not inexpensive, football scouting camp at Boston College, in June {ill-advised, as school is still in session}, drive him back to Providence for the Senior graduation ceremony and then straight back to Boston College. I couldn’t even respond, my brain started spinning and feeling incoherent, I just laid my head on the table whimpering and then said “no, no I really, really can’t... spend eight hours driving back and forth to Boston in one day because you want to keep your perfect streak of never missing out on anything you want to do. It’s my own fault, saying no hasn't been my specialty. Then we had to discuss the next week after that, when I’ll have to pick him up from Camp Counselor Training Week to take him back to school for his last final and then back to camp again, add the two together and my eyeballs were rolling around in their sockets unable to focus. What’s wrong with this picture? Modern life, and I consider ours fairly unscheduled... is insane. And yes, I partially blame you Providence Public School System for not doing a better job scheduling... too many days off and so we end way too late.

Little Boy’s been home sick all week, that strange, kinda sick, then not sick, then kind of. Can’t ignore the coming and going low grade fever and intermittent cough, but then he seems fine, and then not, and each day I think he’ll go back to school, but then not and I’m cancelling one appointment after the next in this, that was to be my catch-up-on-everything week.

I just had to break the news to him that his dad was picking him up today and as it does of late, it made him angry, made him collapse in a heap. I don’t know what’s going on with those two and I don’t know how to fix it. Then I realize it’s not mine to fix although this is my child, and so I am inherently involved. It is my problem, but not my problem, boundaries are difficult. I know that it is in his best interest to have a good relationship with his father, and I know his father loves him and means well, but those two just don’t get each other on some level that seems to be escalating. Or maybe it’s his delayed reaction to the cancer, doesn’t want to be apart from me. He used to be fine going to his dad’s as long as it wasn’t too much, our schedule is wed. nights and every other weekend which starts late morning saturday, so doable, right? He was fine with this, he left willingly and cheerfully, but the past couple of months he reacts worse and worse to news of the “schedule”. Now he’s taking it out on me, he gets angry, my chipper little love bug says I don’t care about him and hides under a blanket wailing “everything is terrible” which breaks my heart. Yeah, I know, he’s manipulating me, but it still hurts, hurts me to the core, it makes me nauseous, but I don’t give in, I can’t, a deal is a deal and his father should have time with him, and, uh, I need to get out of the freaking house every once in a while and it really is only once in a while.

So it’s spring, but thus far not feeling very springy. Things will flip on a dime, I know it. I think I’m as burnt out on the school year, the sports year, as the kids are. Well tall one’s not burnt out on the sports, he’s planning for playoffs, I’m planning for over. Ready for summer, ready for a new routine. Ready to stop having thoughts like -- stop wasting your time being stressed, this could be your last spring, you never know... back to cancer, so insidious, it’s always there, I really feel like my body is free of cancer, but it’s there like a ghost, haunting every thought. I want to go back to the beach, I want to go back on vacation.

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