Friday, March 16, 2012

Done and done

Once in a while a co-worker will insist they told me something and I pull a complete blank, have absolutely no memory of what they said, which causes my heart to leap with panic and my brain to latch onto a diagnosis of Alzheimer's.  Then the co-worker says, Oops, my bad, I told that to so-and-so.  Jeeze, don't DO that!

Yesterday was my last session of physical therapy - yay!  It was very helpful, as it should be when each session took TWO hours.  The protocol involved manual manipulations (aka torture) by the therapist herself, plus exercise, plus the delivery of cortisone to the joints being treated by means of iontophoresis (I think that's right - it involved electrodes), plus electrical stimulation of the muscles (more electrodes), plus heat packs.  I still have issues, am not 100% yet, but any further improvement to strength and flexibility will be incremental and can be accomplished on my own.  I am tired of going, tired of the time commitment, and tired of hearing the same stories over and over again from my unfortunately chatty therapist.

Still struggling with insomnia.  I've become accustomed to the Ambien and use that a couple of times a week.  Other nights I use valerian and melatonin.  When I find myself jerking awake from dreaming about work, I reframe that problem by telling myself, It's okay to dream about work.  Maybe you need to dream about work, which has turned out to be surprisingly effective.  And I try to quiet the middle-of-the-night monkey mind by saying, Think about that in the daytime, not at night.

Last night that last bit was not very effective because today will probably be Fern's final trip to the vet.  She acts okay, but there is a lot of discharge from her mouth, some of it blood-tinged.  She still tries to clean herself, and her fur gets matted from the discharge.  She pulls out the mats she can reach, so her once beautiful coat is a mess.  Eating and drinking have been difficult for her, resulting in weight loss.  But now she has stopped eating altogether, despite my efforts with a variety of cat and human foods.  It is time.  Unfortunately, Fern will not go gently into that good night.  She will try to hide from me when I go to put her in the travel crate, she will cry on the drive to the vet, she will huddle against me on the exam table.  She will break my aching heart.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Little road trip

My SO and I drove down to Indy last night to listen to the Wood Brothers.  (I did not take these videos.)

I would describe their music as southern rock with folk/blues/gospel influences.  Besides Oliver on guitar and Chris on bass fiddle, they had a percussion guy (Jano Rix) who for some songs thumped a guitar modified to be played percussively.  It looked like he had a mini-tambourine on one drum stick, too.

We would have stayed for the whole show, but 1) there was a warmup act (Seth Walker), so by the time the Wood Brothers hit the stage, it was already past our bedtime, and 2) there was no place to sit.  The few chairs set up were reserved for people we presume won tickets from the sponsoring radio station.  The crowd varied in age, with a preponderance of twenty-somethings who drank beer, danced perilously close to our feet, frequently thumbed their phones and took photos of themselves and each other (I photo bombed at least one picture), and talked, talked, talked.  While we greatly enjoyed the music, we might be getting too old for the other shit.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Falling apart

I hope this blog does not turn into a litany of complaints, but it does feel like I am just falling apart these days. The latest evidence is a crumbling filling. While that was easily fixed, it feels like one more sign post on the road to decrepitude.

When I read non-fiction, I find myself focusing on single topics for a period of time. For a while, it was horse books, then dog books, then books on menopause, autism, Alzheimers. Now I am in the midst of books on aging. I recently read Blue Night by Joan Didion, in which she quotes from In the Fullness of Time: 32 Women on Life after Fifty. Both books are full of loss and somewhat depressing - is this what we have to look forward to?

It does not help that my pets are aging, too. Fern was recently diagnosed with tongue cancer, a particularly aggressive squamous cell type for which nothing can be done. She is still able to eat and drink, and does not appear to be in any pain. Recent trips to the vet have left her more suspicious than usual of my motives when I pass, so she avoids me unless I am prone. Not ordinarily a snuggler, she now seeks my warmth when I am laying under an afghan on the couch. Sometimes I catch her staring at me with great intensity, like she knows.