First, let me say that I lost a beloved family member this week. My aunt, Ruth Pasternack, was 89 and had numerous health problems in the last few years, but about 40 years ago, she survived a cerebral hemorrhage, so I always thought of her as indestructible. She was my father's sister and very close to him. Today, my dad said he is very sad because she was the only person he could confide in. He will miss his oldest sister [he has four, and he is not as close to the other three].
Machines....oy, we can't live with them, and we can't live without them. Kind of like men.....or women, depending on your desires. Except I can live without a man; I can't live without my machines. My lifeline -- my internet -- totally went away two weeks ago. The closest appointment they had was a whole week later. Don't tell Time Warner, but I found a way to get on some of my neighbors' networks, for a few minutes at a time, anyway. Finally a week later, the cable guy came, made a "minor adjustment" to my router, and I'm fine. I don't think anyone particularly missed me and that was a bit disturbing. But, I'm back in business. My cable remote had also decided to die last week, and Time Warner promised to send one in the mail. But we asked the cable guy when he came, if there was anything he could do, and luckily he was able to bring me a brand-new replacement from his truck. Now I have issues with my bi-pap ventilator and I have to deal with phone calls to the respiratory company tomorrow. Thank goodness for relay calling, but it does take a long time.
I had my first Botox injections in my legs and about now is when the effects are supposed to be peaking. It seems to be going well because the aides don't have to stretch my feet as much as before, to get them in the braces. And, for the first time in years, my feet look like feet again, instead of big shapeless lumps. I might even sometimes try to wear regular shoes. The problem is that I am still not seated properly in this wheelchair and I can't put my feet on the footrests without turning them on their sides, and my knees are splayed out. The bad news is that the whole process for the new wheelchair has been halted due to insurance issues.
As for my book, I am furiously writing and rewriting, paying close attention to tone and attitude. I want to keep it as light as possible. And it seems that every day I am changing my focus and my title and chapter titles. I have two other books going on in my head which are more fictional, so I want to get this first book done. My aides are giving me more privacy these days. I am finding myself in a sort of de facto solitude -- not self-imposed, just that people who used to visit are not coming anymore, and those who still visit are coming a lot less -- and it's serving me with more time to write and do things that I really need peace and quiet to do. It's not what I would have liked, and it made for a lonely summer, but I've used it to my advantage. I've taken to being grateful that I am still here, and still able to type.
Until 2004, I was an independent and active woman -- a former airline sales exec and then a high school educator. Then my body kept betraying me. I was finally diagnosed with ALS/Lou Gehrig's Disease -- confined to a wheelchair and unable to speak. With life at a slower pace, I learned to live a more conscious and mindful life -- buying, eating and other choices. I listen instead of talking, and I observe instead of running and rushing.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
I Lost a Dear Aunt, Botox, Machines [again], Book [still]
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