I knew it was not going to be all roses. Really. And Day 2 was not a flower I would care to keep. Most of my energy was used up on family matters, and I faced another day tired and worn out by 10 am.
But that was yesterday. And this is today.
Today, I woke smiling, glad morning had arrived. I like waking happy. It was something that use to happen most every day, and has been missing for the last 11 months. That is what two days of not working (or really, four days off in a row) does to me, apparently.
Today I began with big plans, again, and they quickly crumbled to dust.
Light floods into the living room. I watch as Mary walks out the door around 0900. I am ready to begin my daily exercise. Today, I plan to enjoy a 40 minute online yoga video (www.doyogawithme.com). I have a mat, block, and rope…cord…line…belt – that’s it, and a belt. The computer is connected to the tv, the video is primed. I take a moment and check in with myself. I close my eyes, take a breath, assess my energy level and headache level. And, because I am on leave, I listen to myself.
I turn off the tv, close my computer, roll back up my yoga mat, and lay down on the couch. I cover up with Mary’s grandma’s crocheted blanket, close my eyes, and fall asleep quickly. Apparently I am still fatigued from not getting enough sleep for the past two nights.
I wake up to a cat curled nearby, light still dancing through the room. I roll out of bed and check the time. 1245. Fuck. I have a 1300 appointment for Otis at the vet 30 minutes away. I call, reschedule for 1345, have some lunch, and pack Otis out to the car his appointment.
This is one thing that has improved even in the last month. I am handling Otis’ care myself. I make the appointments, give him the meds, have all the conversations with the vet, and make all the decisions. I do not need help with that anymore, thank the Goddess.
It still amuses me to go into the vet’s office and sit in the waiting room. When I went with Mary to take her cat Dusty to the same vet’s office in June or July of this year, I remember it as a torture chamber of noise and light. Now, it is just a waiting room with some fluorescent lights and other animals waiting to be seen.
During the appointment, the doctor and I determine Otis needs an antiviral to manage his chronic condition. That is not something the vet keeps on hand, but something that would need to be filled at a human pharmacy. I give her the name of my pharmacy and go to check out. She sends her assistant out with a written prescription and he starts to ring up the visit. He casually says “you will need to fill this at Costco”.
Such a casual comment. So innocently said. I feel myself filling with tension. “I do not have a Costco membership” I say, hoping to avoid this necessity. “It does not matter” he says. Shit. Shitshitshitshitshit. My head throbs, I am barely able to mumble a goodbye, let alone proper “happy holidays” “happy new years” farewells.
Costco. The epitome of crowds and noise and stimulation. The pinnacle of consumerism. One of the top ten places to avoid during holiday shopping season. I can do this. I can do this for Otis.
And I do.
I enter, arrive at the pharmacy, place the request to fill the prescription. 20 minutes. Okay. The lighting is not that bad. It is the middle of the day so it is busy but not horribly loud. They do not play holiday music in the background, thank goodness, so that torture does not have to be endured.
I wander, taking this opportunity to experience the controlled chaos that is Costco. I carefully do not focus as I look around – my eyes do not take in brands or names or details. I see colors and shapes or not much at all. This is a skill I have developed since my brain injury – to see and not see. To not see details while picking out the general patterns around me. Masses of people, long columns of an endless variety of items, piles of clothing. I focus on items selectively – several choices for glass storage containers, the book section, organic mac and cheese. The rest I make a point of not seeing, slightly unfocusing my eyes. My brain cannot handle so many options. I enjoy the various food sample tables to pass the time, and make a full circuit of the store in the 20 minutes allotted. I buzz through picking up the prescription, then out the door I am.
Operation Otis Medicine is a success. I take five minutes in the car to recover, so I can drive safely. Closing my eyes, breathing, giving my brain a chance to stop buzzing. Then home, and more rest.
Exercise and budgeting did not happen today, but guitar did, as did a telephone call with a dear woman I had lost contact with. Not actually a lot for a whole 24 hours, but enough. It has to be enough. It is what I have. It is what I can do. Goddess, please let it be enough for me.