Monday I lost my job. After six and half years of dedication, I was stunned. But I guess it’s a sign of the times. A lot of people have been losing their jobs.
Now when I walk downtown, I no longer need to bring my digital camera and little notebook tucked in my pocket ready to jot down notes and take photos and video in case there is a story in the making. To think that I went back to work within days of getting out of the hospital after my accident and that I actually went to the Loews Hotel party celebrating the Extreme Home Makeover wearing my Miami J neck collar brace and doing interviews just so I could post something on the website the next day. (Now that is dedication for you.) Now I no longer need to be on the lookout for promising writers who will pen interesting articles for very little financial renumeration. I no longer need to fret and worry about impending deadlines.
I can just relax, spend more time with my family, take a deep breath, and think about what I really want to do next. That’s a good thing.
Every so often before I start to blog, I look at the dashboard that measures which posts are the most widely viewed in a particular day or a particular week and I am amazed that certain posts such as Earth Day Musings are consistently popular. Is it the words that draw the audience? Dancing the Night Away is another consistently popular post. How I wish I could dance the night away, but not this week or the next. Maybe by Thanksgiving? I’m right at that point in the healing process where people tell me, “You are starting to look like yourself.” This can be a dangerous time because I start doing something physically that I really should not do such as start to unload the dishwasher and then a little voice tells me, “No! You are not to bend or to lift!” I feel badly that my husband gets stuck with all those chores and instead I turn my focus to writing another article. (I’m getting lots of writing done) But I also get restless to move around, need to move around, because sitting too long wearing the TCO is painful. Outside, although I obviously can’t weed and am never at my best a diligent weeder, some fall flowers are doing well in our present moist and humid environment. I have some blooming roses and some hearty mums that were potted in the spring and are about to bloom again. How nice. Plus the Firethorn has red berries and looks happy after looking parched during the heat of the summer. It is almost the middle of the week. The end of Tuesday. How I wish I was getting ready to go to my Zumba (latin dance aerobics) class but instead, when my husband comes home we’ll take a walk around the neighborhood and I will admire all that is green.
It’s almost October, and you know what that means…almost time for Halloween and maybe time to start thinking about this year’s costume if you plan to go partying. IF I am still stuck inside my clamshell ie Total Contact Orthosis Jacket (TCO) I can easily be 1) a Viking Queen clad in an armored vest 2) A muscle bound store mannekin or 3) a bionic woman. I’d just as soon not be any of those things since I feel closely akin to one of those creature as it is and would deign to be something else, someone who is free of encumbrances. Last year we had lots of fun not only dressing up, but checking out everyone else’s costumes.
What are some of the timely topics and people in the news? Obviously all those political candidates… vying for the presidential nomination, and then there are the disasters— floods, hurricanes, and an earthquake. The national debt? An ipad. The newest royal couple. It’s fun to imagine.
Scary is another way to go because ghosts, goblins, witches, vampires and the like never go out of style. So I suppose I could even use the TCO to be a version of Frankenstein. (Can you tell I really am starting to hate the thing?) In case you don’t know what a TCO looks like, I’m including a photo because it is quite scary in its way.
But before we arrive at Halloween, there is an entire month of Chesapeake Beer Madness and the kick-off party is this Friday night. It’s an awesome event, enabling you to taste a variety of local craft brews and prepare you for the upcoming weeks of beer tasting and online voting on the Whatsupmag.com website. Money raised from this event will be donated to charity through the auspices of the What’s Up? Foundation. For more information about the party and the foundation go to http://www.whatsupmag.com/
Yesterday afternoon I learned that instead of having three avulsion fractures in my spine, I only have two! The one the hospital had initially diagnosed in the cervical area, is just a calcification not a fracture! So now I no longer have to tell anyone I broke my neck.The big goal I’m aiming for is to lose the accursed cervical collar which makes me feel like I am the White Queen chess piece in the early movie version of Through the Looking Glass. At the very least I will get a refit on the collar so that it more closely fits my slender neck. Currently I am wearing, and have been wearing for over two weeks the “One size fits all” version. I’m getting “extension x-rays” today, to further evaluate the situation.
Meanwhile, life marches on and I continue to take my walks with Peter, respond to the vast quantities of emails that arrive in my box, write articles, and do a little editing. What I still cannot do is: lift, bend, reach or even comfortably stir the soup heating on the stove… which is all extremely frustrating. Who would of thought I would miss the opportunity to do dishes! But then who likes looking at dirty dishes?
A big hats off goes to my husband, who has now had to dress me in the morning, in addition to himself. (And he is really not a morning person.) And who now has to do ALL the housekeeping. He has always done his fair share but he really has had to step up to the plate, dealing with the present situation. And thank you universe for all the positive prayers and wishes which are helping me to heal.
One of the highlights of my day, yesterday was getting my hair washed by stylist friend Anna at Regis in Annapolis. I can’t take a shower or a bath… only sponge baths. Just think how much water I’m so not wasting these days. Instead of having the pleasure of warm water beating down on my aching shoulders or luxuriating in a hot steamy bubble bath, I make do with warm water, soap, and a wash cloth. So some warm water being sprayed down on my head, even for a few minutes is ecstasy. So much for small pleasures.
The good news is that this is the third day I have walked with my husband Peter down to City Dock Cafe (winner of the Best Coffee award given by What’s Up? Annapolis for over 5 years running). Today we noticed that the Seven Eleven on the corner of Lafayette and West Street is now open for business. If I’m not up to walking all the way downtown now, we can walk there! However I am not a big fan of slurpees and I don’t know that their coffee is that good, however as our neighbor Joyce across the street has pointed out, “Now we have a nearby place to pick up a quart of milk… how convenient.”
THh bad news for me is that the pain continues in a major way, making sleeping at night elusive. I keep trying different techniques to cope with the pain when I wake up and last night I tried something new. We set up the laptop computer in the room where I am sleeping, my daughter Alex’s room. Our upcoming Book Club Selection is Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov and I purchased a used CD of the book. (It is hard for me to stay in a comfortable position to hold a book and turn pages for any appreciable length of time) So when I woke up at 3:00 a.m. I lay flat in bed listening to Jeremy Irons reading the first installment and at least I had something other than pain to focus on until finally sleep returned) I wouldn’t normally recommend Lolita — the story told through the eyes of a pedophile obsessed with a certain pre-adolescent girl– as bedtime reading, but I do need to read it for next month’s discussion.
My book club has been very good to me— lots of encouragement, gourmet dinners (spouses helping too), transportation— what a special group of women, everyone of whom has had to face their own daunting challenges through the years. I’d write a book about them but I think the subject has been done more than once which means there are a lot of wonderful book clubs out there providing enduring and supportive friendship and inspiration. So blog reader, if you thought book clubs were just a group of folks meeting to discuss a book, think again… many times they can evolve into a lot more.
Today I reached another milestone, or maybe the correct description would be walked to another milestone. I walked, with my husband Peter of course, all the way downtown to City Dock Cafe for morning coffee. We left the house about 6:30 a.m. There weren’t too many people out. I noticed on our return that the new Seven Eleven, on the corner of Lafayette and West Street, is not yet open— although they appear very close to opening their doors, once they complete the resurfacing of the parking lot. It was good to be out in the morning air before it starts to get too hot. The birds are chirping away and everything looks very green.
Unfortunately I am still short on sleep. (I think I got a total of four hours last night.) We may need to put a chair, one that I can get up and out of, so not a soft chair, in my daughter’s room where I currently sleep so every time I wake up I can sit and listen to music or read a book. I’m sleeping in Alex’s room because her bed is easier to get up and out of than the Queen size four poster in our bedroom. Her bed is also on wheels, making it easy to maneuver when Peter does daily maintenance on the TCO (Total Contact Orthosis Jacket). Laying on Alex’s bed, looking around her room and admiring all her artwork I feel very close to Alex even though she is far away at college. Alex has created all kinds of collages using fashion magazine clippings, plus there are her paintings, photographs, and postcards. Even though she took two very full suitcases of clothing, her closet and bureau is still full of other stuff I can borrow— we just about wear the same size now. The problem is my fashion choices are extremely limited. I need to wear pants or skirts with an elastic band that can expand up and over the TCO. No pretty little slim dresses for me! They will have to wait. But when I get restless, I can look inside her closet and imagine when I will be healed and when I’ll next see Alex. I hope she will have a good year!
Thank you thank you everyone for your positive prayers and wishes for my speedy recovery. And thank you for all the beautiful flowers– I’m beginning to run out of display space. To my friends near and far, I don’t have a lot of news to report except that I am still taking short early morning walks with my escort Peter and trying to get a little bit of magazine work done while also trying to mend and heal.