Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Life and Death

It looks like I'm going to live.

I woke up this morning realizing that I had slept more than 8 hours without having to rush to the bathroom. This was a great step forward.

Yesterday was probably one of the most embarrassing days of my life. I discovered, to my chagrin, that if I had the sense I was going to need to go to the bathroom, it was already too late. I can't count the number of changes of clothes I went through during the day. I just started leaving clean clothes in the bathroom.

So we canceled my birthday dinner with Ned and Marta and, after the horrible day-long bathroom experience, I also canceled my birthday lunch and shopping excursion with my mother as well.

Ellen and Shelly called mid-day to wish me a happy birthday and said they knew several people who had this. "Did you have the headache too?" they asked. Yes, I'd forgotten about the headache. It was kind of overshadowed by everything else, but apparently that was all part of the thing too. I haven't had so much aspirin in years. I also worship at the altar of Imodium.

But this morning I woke up and felt almost normal. I wasn't hungry, surprisingly, even though I hadn't eaten anything, really, in 2-1/2 days. But I was very dizzy, so I took a cracker and that seemed to wake up the taste buds. All of a sudden I was starving. The oatmeal seems to be staying down.

So let's hope this thing has finally run its course. They say it is "highly contagious," but so far Walt seems to be OK. If he's going to get sick he only has a day or two to do it in, since I leave here on Thursday for my trip to Santa Barbara. I already had a call from Amtrak letting me know that there will be no dining car on the train, but that I can buy food in the lounge car.

Despite the fact that I've been running the "Bissell's Last Day" video for a few days now, Bissell is still here. He did not find a home yet again this week and he is just tickled to death that I'm sick because it means he has a lap available to him 24 hrs a day. He probably uses it 20 hrs a day. This is the world's perfect lap dog!

And the other thing that has happened in the last couple of days is that my Aunt Barb finally passed away, quietly, in a coma. Her son didn't make it home from Arizona in time to be with her, but the rest of her family was able to spend time with her before she died.

I am so glad that she was able to recognize Kathy before she died. It was a fleeting moment, but it was like a gift to Kathy, who has borne the brunt of the responsibility for managing Barb's care all these years, by virtue of being the one who is here (her two siblings live out of state).

My mother says everyone is being very solicitous of her but she doesn't really feel much except relief because the Barb we all knew really died several years ago and now she is finally at peace. My mother stopped visiting her the day that Barb no longer recognized her any more.

The funeral will be on Saturday, but that is the day of our granddaughter's baby shower and I will be in Santa Barbara, and everyone agrees that I should be with the living. Barb and my aunt Marge, Peach's mother, were the two aunts I was the closest to and it's sad that all of the siblings are gone and my mother is the sole survivor.

In 1999, Barb completed her "Ten Little Indians," which tells the saga of the family as far as it went to that point. I finished it for her. You can read it here.

Bye, Barb...

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

You're having quite a week. Glad to hear you're feeling better. Sorry to hear of your Aunt's passing. Safe travels on your trip...