Monday, May 26, 2014

An Update and It Ain't Great

Some readers of Sublime Mercies have expressed concern about me since I haven't posted anything new lately. 

I won't lie. Things have been tough.

People who read my blog tell me I'm "strong" and "amazing" and "brave." Not so much lately.

I love how Milo likes to reach out with his little paw and touch me and Beau.
My pain levels have been high, so most of my life has been about this view: my own knees propped up in bed, a television, a cat or two, maybe some discarded clothes I can neither wear, nor find the energy to put away.

That's been bad enough, but bad went to worse.

About a week ago, the pain killers I was taking started to make me sick. About the same time, I started having body memories and flashbacks to some of the most severe sexual abuse, which only made the nausea worse. Remembering disgusting things that had been done to me, I found it hard to eat. I always do when I'm upset.

Panic attacks followed. I normally have about one panic attack every several months. I had three or four in a week.

Meanwhile, poor Beau got more and more worried about me so his own anxiety levels have been high. There's been some bickering, it's true. He worries about me, I worry about him, we just worry worry worry. Stress grows.

Good things have happened around me but it's been hard to notice. Our rose bush/tree bloomed its first bloom and has since burst forth with probably 100 roses.


I had my head in a bucket.

And I was getting sicker. My stomach got so bad, it became distended and extremely painful. My doctor sent me to the Emergency Room late on Friday night, where I was poked and prodded and pushed and pummelled, and left with yet another set of livid track marks on my arm. The worst part was the CT scan. 

It was all very triggering. I've been poked and prodded and pushed and pummelled far too much in my life.

It didn't help that this particular ER was full of drug addicts either having a bad trip or trying to trick the doctors into giving them drugs. Some of the tales I could tell from that night are amusing -- but not right now, not yet.

At least all the tests came back saying what I had already suspected: I was just really sick but not with anything like appendicitis. 

So: back home to bed again.

My cat, Bobby, has been a great comfort. Cats like ill people. Ill people lie down a lot, and have heating pads, and that's cuddle heaven for a cat. He's been my constant "lie down" companion since Wednesday, when I got barfy. 

But I think it's more than that. The day after I'd been in the hospital, he followed me everywhere, not wanting me out of site or even out of touching range. I think he loves me.

Sunglasses and gold chain: Vintage; Pendant: from a Catholic tchotchkes store; Shirt and jeans: Reitmans. Shoes: Ecco
Needless to say, fashion and style have been out the door. It's been about what little comfort I can achieve.

Yes, sometimes this has included sunglasses -- because I've been crying, or in case I cry again.

Shirt: Reitman's; Earrings: Jessica
This is the most fashion-forward thing I've done in about two weeks: a little faux bob. It was cute, I guess. 


My hummingbird has been visiting a lot. That's been nice. She comes right to the feeder on my study window, with her tiny little heart beat and her funny little tongue. I do love her.

I'm not sure why I like birds so much, but I do. I guess they feel like a visitation from the realm of what the Romantic poets called the Sublime, and what others might call God. Birds, especially hummingbirds, are Sublime Mercies: a little bit of the divine getting through to this world, providing just a little relief in my suffering.

You know when I wear my little dove necklace a lot, that I'm really feeling weak and frightened and low. It's a way to remind myself that God is with me. I've needed that a lot lately. 

That's it: an update. It's been bad. I'm not always strong. 

I think I'm improving but it's still rough, physically and emotionally.

Here's hoping for better soon, if only enough of a reduction in pain that I can take myself for little walks of a few blocks again, like I could in ancient history -- a month and a half ago.


  1. Hey there C,

    Thanks for telling us how it is, again. Thanks for sharing yourself however you are, even if it's from a place of saying "whatever".

  2. Oh wow! I have thought I had pain problems. I realize that you are facing something I can only hope to avoid. And you are doing it with strength. I know you don't think so sometimes but the fact that you can look at it and name it and still blog about it is real strength. You are a woman. A hero.

    1. I like what you say about my ability to "name it." Being able to pin something down with language helps me a great deal and always has.

      I also like this: "You are a woman." In Yiddish, people say someone who is a good person is a mensch but it means man. Let's be women!

    2. "Mensch" means "person" - male and female. A woman can be a mensch.

    3. Oh Rokhl, I'm glad to know that! Leave it to you to correct my Yiddish. I sometimes want to be called a menschela. That appeals to me.

  3. It sucks that the physical pains always bring down our spirits too:( I hope and pray that you regain your strength soon. When I read that you worry about each other, it showed me how much you love and care for each other and I am very happy for that. Sending you both loads of love and hugs.. and best wishes for a better tomorrow.

  4. Sorry to hear you are having a hard time. Sending you positive energy.

  5. Thinking about you! The birds are wonderful, aren't they? I find that only when I'm very quiet ... just waking or deliberately seeking stillness am I able to hear them.
    Having difficult times here, too. Not like yours, but tough things happening. I've heard that the birds can take messages to the gods ... so I send good things to you via our feathered friends!

    1. Thanks.

      You would have heard the birds today, no matter how loud you were. There was a raven drama in the trees: young raven screaming to be fed, parent ravens telling it to learn to get its own food, crows dive bombing ravens, ravens complaining... It was a complete kerfuffle -- for hours!

  6. Thank God for cats and humming birds and noticing they are there while having your head in a bucket. You have a great gift to hang on to what is right in the world when your piece of it totally sucks. Thanks for the shout out from faith. ---- Rereading my first sentance, I got the kid's song, "Hole in the Bucket" as an earworm. Curses!

    1. "You have a great gift to hang on to what is right in the world when your piece of it totally sucks." What a lovely thing to say. Thanks.

      Yes, I did mention faith this time. I "outed" myself as someone who believes in God. I think you're the only one who noticed.

  7. Brave and strong and amazing... yes you really are!!!
    I´m far away sitting here in Germany, but I send the most beautiful thoughts and power and my best wishes to you. You are so cute.. you notice in all your pain all this "little" things happening around you.

    have a peaceful, painless, sunny and happy day dear
    Dana :)
    a hug

  8. So glad that birds and cats and roses and your beloved one are with you at your hard times. I wish all your pain go away... let it... just a little bit at a time... Love and hugs. Natasha