For the most part, I’m over most of my anger and sadness at the turn my life took a year ago.
Over a week ago, I encountered a situation that put me in a bit of a funk though. One that is hard to explain. Over the course of the last five years or so, I haven’t driven a lot, mostly because I haven’t wanted to drive. And except for a few rare occasions, the option has always been there… I have a car, if I want to run somewhere I can.
So, more than a week ago, we went up to the campground. Took the dogs. It was nice. This summer has been brutally hot already, even by Missouri standards. It’s not just the glaring sun, it’s the ungodly humidity that comes with living in Missouri. Those crappy jokes that it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity have a basis in reality when you live in the Plains region of the US like I do and even during a drought, we can have days with 80% humidity, which is just wrong on so many levels.
With my gallbladder deciding it hates me, I have a very limited amount of items I can eat. One of them is bacon, which is odd, but whatever, microwave bacon is best and has become a staple in my life. We took a package of microwave bacon to the campground.
Husband gets up early and goes fishing with his dad and his brother. He needs this. The dogs and I stay at the camper, keeping Lola from melting into a puddle is harder than one thinks because she loves being outdoors. I make jokes that Lola lets me know when it’s too hot for man or beast outside as it was this day… She wanted in the camper and then she spent the day stretched out on a leather lounger that is in the camper. The leather is cool to the touch and there’s an air conditioning vent right over it.
I have my SUV. I microwave a package of bacon that the dogs get to eat because there was not a happy medium for cooking it. I realize that the camper microwave probably isn’t an 1100 watt unit, it’s probably a 700 watt microwave and the instructions say to cook for 2 1/2 minutes in an 1100 watt microwave and microwaves lower than that are not recommended. Awesome. I try one more time and the dogs are incredibly happy about the sudden surplus of bacon they are getting, even if it is a little blackened in spots.
Houston, we have a problem… There is nothing else in the camper that I can eat for lunch except a couple small bags of chips. I open one and eat it. But chips by themselves isn’t really a meal. I grab the car keys and it hits me… There’s a town 8 miles in either direction or a little cafe like place about a mile from me… I could get food in any of these three places, but my husband is still fishing… and that is a problem. It would be less painful to walk the mile to get food than to drive it. But it’s 99 degrees outside and sometimes even with pain medication I have a limp. Much like driving, I’m not sure my hip would hold out for the mile walk down a washboard gravel road to the blacktop and the food place.
For the first time I realize that even with a car and a valid driver’s license with no restrictions except one about driving on migraine medications which has been on there since I was 21… I am stuck there. Which put me in a bit of a funk that I have had trouble recovering from.
It was less about driving and more about freedom. Sometimes the walk into the stupid grocery store is brutal. I had three modes of transportation (we have a golf cart that could be driven to the food place), car, golf cart, and legs and because of my hip, none of them were options to go get me food. At first my brain screamed at me, just take the damn car and suffer through the drive…
It’s not just the mile drive there and mile drive back though. It’s also the emergency room visit that I know is going to follow it, because even a mile drive will put me into what they call a crisis. Crisis pain isn’t stopped by mild pain killers. My hip goes from feeling like it’s broken to feeling like the bone has been pulverized inside my skin and then the pain medication I carry around with me, doesn’t work… It’s not strong enough for a crisis. And I am 80 miles from home. The closest hospital is 20 miles away. 20 miles further from home. 20 miles further from doctors that know my medical history. 20 miles… And only god knew how long before the guys would come back from fishing so I could even go to a hospital… My pain gets high enough that I’ve been known to pass out or become delirious.
What happens if I drive that mile and it takes six more hours for them to come back? Will I be conscious for the return? Will my dogs have clawed the walls down in a panic because I have passed out? Will my blood pressure sky rocket and start a monster nose bleed and migraine that I can’t treat? Or will they come back and my pain will be so high I won’t be able to tell them what is wrong? Or stand up unassisted? These are all reactions to pain I have had in the last year. Along with getting dizzy and losing my balance and falling, making things much worse. It’s not just a mile… It might as well be the restaurant at the end of the universe and require me to have a space ship equipped for time travel.
So I ate a couple bags of chips, which did not make my gallbladder happy and stayed at the camper, trying not to feel anything about the situation. Eventually me and my unhappy gallbladder curled up in bed to take an afternoon nap. Lola who is very intuitive about pain, curled up with me, careful to not touch my bad hip despite putting her head on my mid-section where my gallbladder ached. And when I woke up a few hours later, Lola was still there with her head on my upper abdomen. She isn’t a dog that likes to cuddle… however she is protective and she does those things to keep Kelly who doesn’t seem to have a clue about pain, from brutalizing me, because Kelly will run from down the hall and Superman jump onto me, usually onto my bad hip, my right hip, the same side as my gallbladder damn it…