| I've avoided facing you, my old friend. If I don't write it down, that means I never thought it, right? I know if I do write it down, it's something I'll remember. I don't want to remember the thoughts I've been having.
I have been going through this cycle in-my-head type thing that I can't control. From time to time, I think what my life will be like when Mom is gone.
I came close to dealing with the emotional part. I couldn't. That will happen when it happens, and God will care for me so that I don't make a fool of myself, or "lose it" in some fashion.
In the meantime, Mom, the former model who always moved with such grace, has developed a hitch in her getalong. That's what all the old folks always used to call it. She hadn't mentioned having a problem walking during our chats on the phone.
Last night I assumed she was walking funny because she'd sat in the chair so long, and her foot was asleep. She was still walking that way this morning. She can go, but not at full speed. She says she doesn't feel guilty using the handicapped sticker, and parking in good spaces.
I'm not sure where this leg ailment came from. She told me that she wouldn't be doing any more "house projects." That's her way of saying she overdid it, doing some sort of housework. She finds it hard not to overdo it these days. I don't generally have that problem. I'm just plain lazy.
Two or three days ago Mom told me that Regal, her little Chow, had a bad limp. The dog couldn't put her weight on her back leg. The day before, when I'd gone over to visit, Regal was the most playful I'd ever seen her be in the house. I'd taken her a "Chris Moose" toy, and she started running in large circles and growling. She'd run up to me while I was sitting in the floor, and she'd grab my wrist in her mouth, and growl, and let go, and run off, and do it again. She didn't leave a mark on me at all. She put her mouth around my wrist, like people holding hands, only very quickly. I guess I'm the only one in the old puppy's life she can run and play with anymore. Mom said Regal was still running in the yard that night. The next morning she was limping, and Mom said Regal had probably sprained a leg.
Even Mom remarked, "Isn't it strange that Regal and I have the same ailment?"
Today Mom was walking a little better, and Regal was almost up to par.
If she's got a bum leg, she's got a bum leg. But that won't be good for going out to eat on Christmas. When you go to a buffet, there's walking involved.
I wonder if I should offer her Jim's cane to use. I wonder if she'd use it to help her walk, or I wonder if she'd be insulted that I thought she needed a cane to walk. These are the cycles I'm falling into. . . should I? Shouldn't I?
What I really ought to do is set up her bathtub to use the Conair bubble mat I have, ands put the metal hand grabber on the side of the tub. A bubble with Epson salts would do her a world of good. Except she takes a shower, and what if she fell getting out of the tub?
Another mind cycle whips its racy fury into my brain. It's not really "racey" like bipolar symptoms. Besides, I never get manic in the winter. What I don't need is to start falling off the deep end now. I've been almost three years without symptoms. That's proof that miracles happen every day (or I was misdiagnosed as manic-depressive).
I guess everybody's got some kind of hitch in their getalong. It's just that with most people, it doesn't show.
Author's post script: As of 01/30/03 I can see this as a compulsive behavior associated with the beginnings of a hypomanic state--requiring an adjustment in medication to maintain the stats quo. Dr. Sam and I are working on it, and my appointments with him are more frequent now. I can never see the symptoms until after the fact.