Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Yesterday was a little strange and disconnected. My calendar was packed, and I remarked that a greased eel couldn't find its way in. But it wasn't just crowded, it was odd. It began early in the morning when I went to get xrays, and the technician hit on me. He was busy telling me that I was in great shape, asked if I'd been a dancer (hmmm) and then made sure to speak loudly when he was telling a fellow tech that he couldn't meet the kind of women he was interested in, and complained that the ones he was meeting weren't together enough, articulate enough, classy enough. It may have been vanity that made me feel he was talking to and about me, but coming on the heels of the dancer comment it seemed that way. And of course you're not at your most confident when you're dressed in a hospital gown and subject to someone else's direction and expertise.

From there the day went apace. I was entirely focused throughout my meetings, calls and exchanges, as though nothing were wrong or looming. But it was in between meetings -- the tiny interstices of time -- when I felt something, though it was vague and diffuse. I had a strange feeling as I went from office to conference room to office -- it felt like the disorientation that heralds the arrival of migraine. It passed when the next meeting or piece of work actually began.

And today was fine and far less strange. A 3/4 day filled with meetings and calls, but no disorientation between them. That strange state yesterday -- almost a fugue state -- reminded me of what a professor once said about Joyce's Finnegan's Wake: he said the novel described the space between nightmares. But there was no Joycean quality about today. Neither Finnegan's Wake nor Ulysses.

I'm home now, the kids are home, and Nick's on his way back too. The kids are hovering a bit, their anxiety showing. My reaction to that is to be supercharged earth mom, all reassurances and ease. And the more normal I act the more normal they act. But deep in my bones I feel their anxiety -- not my anxiety about me but their anxiety about me. I wish I could completely neutralize that but I can't, so I'll be satisfied just mitigating it. We're chatting about this and that, regular stuff.

"In the room the people come and go, talking of Michelangelo." TS Eliot, the Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock

The point of this afternoon and evening is to maintain the fiction that today is a regular day. No histrionics, no sad faces, nothing. I've got laundry going and the dishwasher running.

Holly's frolicking in the yard. I retract -- she's not frolicking. That word implies carefree capers, bounding and leaping. She's much more focused than that, inspecting the grass for bugs (she rolls in slug slime and taunts ants before she kills them.) She's hard at what qualifies for work in a Jack Russell puppy. Nick said she killed a bird this morning, and we're still processing that. Liv said she's like a serial killer, in that she murders and shows no remorse. Nick said that what she showed was surprise and confusion; the bird didn't (or couldn't) fly, and before he knew what was happening there was a burst of feathers flying. Everyone needs a hobby.

I'm actually much more sanguine today than I have been in a few weeks. I'm ready, and I feel so calm I'm almost (but not quite) serene.

Update: just got my surgery time. 7:30 a.m., but I'm due there at 6. We'll arise at 4:30, leave at 5:30. So even for me an early start. Onerous but better than the alternative.

I won't be bringing my laptop to the hospital, so no blogging until I'm home (and maybe not for the first few days.) I'll try to keep straight anything that happens of interest so I can chronicle it when I'm back home.


  1. Wendy,

    I hope everything went well and your back pain will soon come to an end.

  2. Thanks so much! Should be back to myself soon.




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