Zoe has started doing this thing where she walks up to me, arms crossed, and says slowly, “Well, well, well.” I don’t where she got it from, but everytime she does it, I stop whatever I’m doing. I get befuddled and between laughs, I say, “I don’t know if I like you saying that. Especially like that.”
As I sat down to start this post, her well-cubed phrase popped in my head. I think because it feels appropriate. Like you, yes, you, the reader of this here blog could- should- be saying it to me. Nice and slow, with arms crossed. Well. Well. Well. After rarely posting over the past couple of months, I’m putting this up. Kind of out of nowhere. Kind of like, “Well, well, well, she returns.”
It’s been a hell of a year for me, and I mean that in a literal sense. After nearly dying in February, and repeatedly appealing Horizon’s denial of coverage through March and April, I started feeling mentally frayed. Not totally ripped or torn, but frayed. Then towards the end of May, my dad had a massive stroke. On the 18th. He was leaving a church service honoring my stepmom, and he fainted, awoke and began vomiting. He tried to play it off, but family and friends insisted he go to the ER. That push saved his life. He wound up at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick (after getting quickly transferred from the Rahway campus where I was at in February). That hospital is in the news right now because the actor Tracy Morgan in the ICU there after Saturday’s horrific car accident.
My dad is still there, also in the ICU, having been kept in a medically induced coma since he got there. They’ve lowered the sedation levels as he’s made slow but steady improvement, so he can hear us. He also has opened his eyes, moved his hands, arms, fingers, legs and feet. It’s been rough. He has had pneumonia and now has a shunt placed in his brain to prevent pressure from building, which can be fatal. He’s been intubated, so he can’t speak or even close his mouth. They’ll be doing a tracheotomy very soon, though, which means he will be able to undergo speech therapy and eat. We are all cautiously optimistic- the doctors say the damage to his brain was minimal and his heart is in excellent condition. With a lot of OT/PT and time (think months), Daddy should be able to make a full recovery. Please keep him- and our family- in prayer.
My mom has recently begun medication for what appears to be early onset dementia. She knows who we are, and where she is, and all the stuff that every TV show ever makes people with dementia always immediately forget. The medication seems to be working. Working so well, in fact, that she has remembered how depressed and anxious she normally is, and has begun calling me and Joe several times a day. Don’t think I’m being a smartbutt with that last sentence, either. I’ve written, not extensively, how my mom has struggled with mental illness for most of her life. Joscelyne always feared she was “crazy like mom”– so much so that she was ashamed when doctors diagnosed her as having Bipolar Disorder in the last months of her life. Others girls worry about inheriting their moms’ saggy boobs. We worried about that our minds would sag so low they’d break.
So both my parents, not even age 65, are in poor health. I recently told one of my BFFs about my mom and she responded with an F-bomb. I couldn’t blame her. In three years I’ve seen both my parents nearly die and in medically induced comas, my health spiral to the point I resigned my job, I began a series of medical treatments that have not been able to improve my overall health, merely (barely) maintain it, my younger sister died, I nearly died from complications from treatment, and the one therapy that may put me in remission is not covered by my insurance company. Oh, and Social Security Disability denied my claim repeatedly, so next month I’m going to court for it.
Believe me, I totally get why my girl would respond with the expletive.
And still… I keep thinking of my (not so little) Zoe’s “Well, well, well.”
Well, things have been awful. Like varying circles of Dante’s Inferno-type awful.
Well, I’m feeling like a modern day, female Job in Jersey.
Well… I’m still here.
Well, well, well.
So, gentle Readers, while going through my recent spate of madness, I stopped blogging. And slowly, I stopped painting, too. I started reading. I’ve gone through about four books in the past five or six weeks. And watching movies, documentaries, television shows (I polished off the new season of Orange Is The New Black yesterday; as my friend Rodney put it, I was Netflix binging like a “bawse”).
I think I’ve felt so pulled and emptied by life, I just needed to stop. I couldn’t, of course. So I stopped writing, drawing and painting. Stopped creating or pulling out of myself. I needed to just take in. So I did. I am. I just started… wait for it… Sherlock. After two years of Joe’s incessant sherlocking, I finally watched the first episode yesterday. And you know what? I like it. Really like it. I am three episodes in, and I can already see why Joe became an evangelist for it. So yeah.
Anyway, I hope this explains my lack of posts lately. Since it’s been five years of blogging, I guess some sporadic absences can be overlooked. Sometimes, you just have to go the well and get refreshed. Sometimes, that well takes the form of Ipad apps like iBooks and Netflix. And really, that’s just good and well.