Thursday, April 01, 2010

Giving myself a sticker

It's been a long week. I don't actually know why it's been a long week (and I am getting so sick of saying "I don't know why", since it's how I feel about everything lately), but I am just plum worn down.

Some of it is physical, I'm sure... I'm sifting my way through a particularly bad cycle in my FM pain, due, in part at least, to the unending wetness and yo-yo like weather we've been experiencing here in Massachusetts (Wettest. March. Ever. Literally.).

Some of it's the exhaustion of yet another horrid and unexplainable stretch of total insomnia - as compared to the light-dosing/completely unrefreshing sleep I've been living off of for the past 10 years or so, bouts of total insomnia = days with no sleep at all. At ALL. Nights of repeatedly listening to the Harry Potter books on raggedy cassette tapes (Shut up: they were free), and getting the lovely voice of Jim Dale stuck in my head. (To the point that I sometimes imagine him doing a lilting British narration of my life, and somehow managing to make it seem interesting. "The bread was moldy, and, with a shiver and averted eyes, NTE briskly opened the cupboard and tossed it into the bin. 'No luck on sandwiches today, lovey,' she called, 'How about a nice crock of soup instead?'")

Some of it's emotional - trying to get used to the idea of my Face Surgery (that's what we're calling it here... capital letters required); still being computer-less; having a to-do list that's about 3/4 of a mile long; knowing that 5 of my closest college friends & a cousin-in-law are all pregnant right now, and I am not; failing yet another drug trial, the one that Zack was convinced was going to work; knowing we've been living here for a year (well, not me, I'm about 4 months behind because of My Summer With Grandmother {again, caps required}, but we've been out of the old house for a year anyways), and I am still about 1/5 unpacked: My clothes are in drawers and my books are on the shelves, everything else, all 30 years of my stuff, are still stored in boxes, waiting for me to shuffle through them.

Let's just say that I'm feeling a little behind the 8-ball lately, like I just can't catch up, and am barely able to do anything right.

But today, today I struck gold.

Today I had a moment so right that I wanted to sing, dance, clap, cheer, and give myself a sticker.

If you've been reading here for any length of time, you probably get the gist that Lil Girl is a wonderful, crafty, extremely bright, and terribly stubborn child. Self-willed will most likely be her major in college, and she will graduate with honors with that degree, even though the college doesn't offer "self-determination" as a legitimate option for degrees, because she will just wear down the administrators until they give it to her.

Stubborn as the day is long, that's our Lil Girl. (She also comes by it naturally, as our family tends to run a little towards the mule-side, but that's another post for another day.)

For today's post, you should also know that Lil Girl is sick. She's not a miserable kind of sick, but she's got an ear infection, and a cough, and she's been battling this off and on for at least 5 months. (I'm hoping her immune system is just reacting to her new school environment, and that she inherited her mama's genes there, because ours run to crappy.)

Anyways, to finish setting the scene: Sick, Stubborn Lil Girl. Who doesn't like to be told what to eat or drink on her best day. And now has to take a Rx medicine twice a day. To show how well this process has been going, I offer two examples:

Example A: My brother calls me two nights ago, Lil Girl is wailing in the background, and he says that after 25 minutes of fighting with her to take the medicine, (which included him trying to force her to take it physically), he is giving up. I try - completely in vain - to wave some sort of long-distance magic wand to help everybody calm down, but she winds up going to bed exhausted, crying, and medicine-less, and he very curtly tells me he's "done." I spent a good three hours fuming, post-phone call, wondering what the hell I was supposed to have been able to do from so far away.

Example B: When she arrived at our house this morning, Mum asked her if she had gel in her hair, because it was kind of crunchy (and because, if her mom is doing her hair while she gets ready for work, sometime Lil Girl insists on the full treatment as well). Her mother states that no, it's actually medicine that Lil Girl spit out this morning, but there was no time left to wash her hair.

So, if I tell you that Lil Girl took her medicine for me tonight, before she went home, with only a piece of hard candy (for post-medicine taste changing) and a one song of her choice soundtrack as encouragement, you will, perhaps understand why I wanted to commemorate the occasion with a post.

It's not such a huge thing, really, and it probably had a lot more to do with her than with me (if she had been in a different mood, I have no doubt there would have been a Very different outcome), but there was no fighting, no cajoling, & no controlling (on my part); no tears, no whining, & no feeling powerless (on hers). It was just a simple "This is what we have to do," and then it was done.

And, just for a moment, I felt as if I'd saved the world. Just because one Lil Girl swallowed two teaspoons of medicine without a fuss, I managed to feel just a second's worth of that "I can actually do this" feeling.

And I'll take every second's worth of that that I can get, wherever it comes from.

1 comment:

Sue Jackson said...

Oh, man, do I remember those days!! My younger son hated taking medicine, too. That is a tough situation! Good for you for getting through it so easily with her!! That is the key, by the way...a calm, this-is-what-we-have-to-do attitude.

I loved the part about the hair gel medicine!

And Jim Dale is AMAZING narrating the Harry Potter books - some of the best audio books EVER (and we listen to a lot of them).

So sorry about the sleep problems, though. Did you know the CFS sleep dysfunction can be corrected with medication? I'm not talking about sedatives, like Ambien (though I sometimes need that, too), but medications that actually correct the hormonal imbalance that's causing the sleep problems. My older son and I both take them and sleep soundly and normally now. It makes such a difference! Here's my blog post about it: