Y’all! This morning marks seven days of exhausting emotional and physical effort that I absolutely, positively did not anticipate.
This time last week I was looking forward to being at home where I could finish up (way ahead, mind you!) prepping for the soon arrival of my grandjoys for a long visit.
I had nearly finished some major cleaning out and rearranging and figured I’d fiddle around the edges and do the exciting and much more rewarding tasks of gathering craft materials, organizing delicious snack recipes and rounding up fun bath time toys when I got an unexpected phone call.
My very dear friend (more like a sister) fell in her kitchen and broke her back (not her spinal cord, thank the Lord!).
Suddenly everything else was on hold, emergency protocol prevailed and I was swept up in a whirlwind of ambulance transports, emergency rooms and coordinating communication among friends and family members who couldn’t join us in the tiny cubicle while we waited for a doctor to diagnose her condition and determine her treatment.
[By the way, if you haven’t been in an emergency room lately can I just tell you they are overwhelmed, overrun and understaffed. Through no fault of their own, nurses and doctors are working with fewer resources and greater demands than ever before. So (as my Emergency RN daughter says), “Don’t do stupid things!”.]
It took multiple imaging scans and consults to determine that my friend would have to be admitted to the hospital at least for a few days but there were no available rooms. So the waiting continued.
By early Thursday morning she had a room and we began a new round of consultations and physical therapy to figure out the best way forward.
While she was there, I was back and forth.
Driving through rain and city traffic (not my favorite) an hour there and an hour back from my rural home was a real challenge. Getting up and dragging my behind out of bed while my autoimmune disease was acting up was another. Carrying bags and my friend’s prosthetic leg two and a half blocks downtown with my wonky and very painful wrist was yet one more. And can I admit I absolutely HATE face masks???
Let’s just say, it’s been an adventure.
I’m once again reminded of the fact that I have far less reserve than I had before Dominic died.
Even though I’m stronger and better able to carry the load of grief and handle his absence I still experience a constant and unrelenting level of stress that means I simply do not have the ability to absorb extra demands on my emotions or physical strength like I used to.
And I am also reminded that people think because it’s been eight and a half years that I’m “back to normal”. They see me smiling, laughing, walking in the world like everyone else and assume it’s no big deal to take on additional responsibility.
But it is.
It is still very MUCH a big deal.
I can’t Spend the Same Energy Twice.
I’m not sharing to garner sympathy. I’m sharing because I hope that if you have also had a rough week you won’t feel so alone.
It’s OK to admit we don’t have the same energy or resources we once had.
It’s OK to ask for help.
It’s OK to not be OK.