If you spend time mucking about on rivers, creeks, and other flowing water sometimes an odd phenomena appears. When beavers are the cause, a dam forms and a shallow pond perfect for stomping and playing develops; in the timberlands. after winter storms, fallen trees can form dangerous pileups called logjams as if giants abandoned their pickup stick game; on a smaller magical scale are the tiny islands of debris that seem to hang suspended in mid current. Caught on slenderest reed or lip of a mostly submerged rock, the smallest leaf is snared and then a slightly larger stick as well. Before long an island of bits of nature's castoff form a floating island. As a child it was delightful to artfully loosen one piece at a time to see what would break the entire mass shooting down the creek: nature's pickup stick game.
Much like one of these islands of debris, I am snared and stuck in one place. A swirl of stuff has developed around my hospital bed that both supports me and keeps me locked in one place. Everything rolls past me; people come and go; and I am still here.
It is just so so mind numbingly boring. And, when I am given a project or something to do this damnable illness reminds me of why I am sitting here. One aspect of this latest exacerbation that scares me to death is how much my cognition seems to be affected. I have hours and hours with nothing I have to do. But the simplest phone errands and paper management become tangled spaghetti in my brain. Am I really the same woman who used to administer a physics research group? Yesterday the hubster needed me to call about a bill. First I had to have a helper write down the particulars because I couldn't seem to get it straight. Then not 10 minutes later, she gently asked me if I was going to call. I had no memory that he had called. Just a blank spot in my morning movie.
People pop in bearing gifts and hugs, wreathed in smiles. They seem almost like alien creatures smelling of rain and sunshine with stories of their busy-ness. The company is oh so welcome and the generosity is a blessing beyond words. At the same time, finding commonality between our disparate worlds is hard. I try not to scream or laugh hysterically when people ask me if I am enjoying the winter sunshine. I have only been outside a handful of times since Dec. 22nd and can't reach the blinds to look outside if my light sensitive brain didn't make me live like a cave troll.
Here, trapped in my island of flotsam and jetsam, while the world sails by in a colorful whirling parade, I watch in envy and awe. At this stage, a couple months post major MS gobsmack, I am making the deeply painful adjustment to a new normal. No denying that I am greatly improved since that first scary head flopping leg dangling ambulance ride. Truth is I can't reliably sit up, can't transfer myself, can't be independent. I should be looking for the pony in all of this, but right now all I am up for is hanging in for another 24 hours of watching the parade go by.