I crave relaxation. I accept what I am not, which is relaxed, but I don’t like it. I have always looked at myself as a survivor. A gentle soul floating carelessly on the waves of life. Taking in, listening, and yet able to make decisions according to what the almighty God and myself feel to be right.
When that one day came last week and I ended up face down on the floor I was scared. When I felt my body quivering out of fear and heard my own heart beating hard against the floor, I knew something was wrong. I was in trouble.
As I forced myself to stand and walk to the kitchen where my blood pressure kit lay I felt each step I took my feet were covered in very thick cement. I took my blood pressure and I was only a few numbers a way from a dangerous stroke level.
I went back to the living room and fell to my knees. I wept in to my own arms as I knew that the constant state of being a caregiver had at this moment taken its tole on me. It was no accident that my best girlfriend appeared that same evening.
Although quite embarrassed at her being able to see me in this stage, I was also very thankful that it was her and not Al or someone who would think less of me.
It is odd how something so innocent can grab a hold of us. I don’t even work outside the home and yet the pressures inside my body were building ever so steadily, with no time clock present anywhere.
How can being the best sister I could be or loving someone so easily become out of hand? I didn’t have a boss hovering over me. I had no time frame of my own and yet the life of my brother, his very own illness, took on a mask of its own in my own body.
Why didn’t I see it? What made me think I was invincible? How could I not recognize it? I don’t have the answers. I can assume that I was so involved with Al that I didn’t recognize what was happening.
What I am thankful for is my friend being here. My rock is what I call her. With her guidance and understanding I dialed my doctor. I set the appointment. I allowed my pride to be lowered. I let her drive me to the office.
I have a real phobia with medications. It doesn’t matter if it is in liquid, pill, capsule, I fight taking anything. I know why I do it, I just haven’t figured out how to get past it. Years ago when I was first diagnosed with Diabetes, the doctors kept giving me too strong of medications.
I would be doing something, anything, and I would pass out. It didn’t take long for my mind to connect pills and passing out was a bad thing. Now, years later I still struggle, but can take something with the help of someone being with me when it is a brand new prescription. I wait for two hours. If nothing happens I know I am safe and can continue on with the taking of medications until the bottle is gone.
How silly is this? Am I not stronger than that? Aren’t I in control of my own life and old enough to make my decisions. How can something from over twenty years ago still live very much alive within me. I don’t understand, but I know fear of bad things takes over and I have not learned how to crush it down to return more to myself.
When we get involved with things to do in our lives we don’t take the time to relax in between. We are rushing here and there, sometimes going nowhere, and yet we are always in a hurry.
When did life become so mad? Where did it start, the feeling of having to hurry? When did we forget to stop and say thank-you for living this day, or look at the beautiful skies, or see the pretty flowers.
Life can be fabulous and then life can become blurred as we walk in our all too familiar paths each day. For me, I had to hit bottom. No matter how much I love my brother or want to do the best for him, I have to take the time to remember who I am.
I have to remember that I am important also. I need tending too. My heart, my soul, my body need rest too. Is this wrong to think of me when a soul is laying in that bed waiting to die?
I have begun to realize the answer to this is yes. It is imperative that we give our mind and body time to digest what we are seeing and feeling. We must nurture our bodies along with allowing peace to enter our souls.
We are humans only. I am no super woman because I feel love for others. I have to slow down. I have to let others pitch in. I have to lower my pride and allow others to sense my tiredness.
It has been a rough journey these past six years. I have watched my brother go from a strong giant to an infant laying in a bed. I have had to see him come to the point where he can do nothing for himself anymore. I feed him from a syringe. I allow myself to break down now. I cry the tears.
There is no good reason to hold back anything. Maybe Al needed to see me cry. Maybe it was one way I could show him how much I loved him. Although I have told him many times he has my permission to leave and go to heaven, I can say it now with a reality in my heart that he and I both, will be better in the end.