Going crazy (the scenic route)

[mostly non-knitting content; be warned]

I'm feeling a bit thin. Bleh. I can't seem to focus on any of my projects. The argyle scarf is getting worked up fairly quickly only out of an internally-imposed obligation to finish it before Travis leaves for his next business trip to Australia in late May. He's over there right now and will not be back until the end of this month. They're just entering fall/winter weather, so I'm working hard. The dog bed has stalled after a finger-hurting rush to finally finish the tedious (but neat technique) of the applied I-Cord. All other projects (of which there are WAAAAAAAAAY too many) have been put on hold.

Been having really bad headaches that OTC pain killers do not resolve. Sinus decongestants are also powerless, it seems. Was informed that I have no neurological issues (thank God), so it is either tension headaches or "analgesic rebound headache." I was given neck stretches to do for the former and muscle relaxers to sparingly use in place of OTC pain killers for the next month to treat the latter. OMG...neck stretches are not doing anything that I can tell, and when I take a muscle relaxer, nothing happens. A similar thing happened when I was on oxycodone once. I took one and NOTHING. Didn't even get sleepy. I tried it three more nights with the same results before the doctor told me to give up. When I was getting treated for my chronic insomnia, I got put on Ambien at one point. It made me feel like I was on crack (or...at least what I think being on crack would feel like).

The worst bit of it is that I'm also waiting for my beloved Gramma to pass away. We discovered only recently that she has colon cancer. A few days after Valentine's Day, she celebrated her 98th birthday. It wasn't long after that, that they discovered something on her colon. Her CEA (Carcinoembryonic Antigen) level was at 500. In a normal person, it's only ever at 4 or 5. I went to visit her over my birthday. Her tumor is now the size of a grapefruit and although she's mostly always doped up on morphine shots AND a pain patch, she's more aware of what's happening than she was when I was there.

The trip to say good-bye was not nearly as painful as I'd expected...which isn't to say it WASN'T painful. I suppose the worst part was when she asked me who my wife was. I looked at my ring and told her I didn't have a wife. She asked "Who is your partner, then?" Knowing how she's always found my sexuality a very VERY depressing subject (she used to wake up at 2am bawling over it....), I knew she didn't mean what it sounded like she meant. I made a joke: "I don't have a partner in crime; I do all the crime myself." She laughed and said I'd better get a wife soon.

That's the last time I expect I'll ever have to hide who I am and who I love. I love that I was raised in an environment that helped keep me away from smoking and drugs...especially now that cancer's running in the family (another family member I didn't know died of colon cancer, and my dad was treated for aggressive prostate cancer). I love that they taught me how to be a gentleman and care for my fellow man. But I don't love that their religion and lack of broad-mindedness has prevented them all from really getting to know me. That's just how life goes, though, I suppose.

Meh. I needed some encouragement, and I know you all are good for it, knitting-related or not. Thank you for your camraderie...or however that's spelled.


superi's picture

I'm sorry to hear that things aren't going so well. You'll be in my thoughts! Just keep your head up and things will get better!



PhilNmtl's picture

Hey..... I am usually lurking more than writing but after reading your e-mail wasn't prepared to call it a night without responding. Sounds like life is pretty tough pull right now. I'm glad that you have the knitting to obsess about.

In the midst of it all, congrats for being willing to walk the last piece with your gramma. I'm convinced that bald truth isn't always all that that it is cracked up to be and that sometimes love requires holding a safe space for the other because there isn't enough time, or energy, or health, to work it all through. I continue to believe that into whatever space we pass after death that part of the healing is of the damage that our religious traditions have done. . . something about seeing through a glass darkly but then face to face . . . So in the midst of what has to be a painful denial of a part of yourself, bravo for loving her enough to make some tough choices and living the care that you were not only taught but live out.

I hope that her passage is gentle and that you are left with some fine memories of someone who has obviously held you with great care as well.

Asplund's picture

Sorry you're having a difficult time - lots of thoughts from this corner of the world!


albert's picture

No advice to offer, but sending you a prayer.

BrentCLW's picture

Love and compassion go out to you. I hope for healing of your pain and your heart, the loss of a loved one is never easy and the loss will be with you always. However, the loss does get easier to bear when you realize that their Presence in your life never goes away ever. The love shared and the lessons learned are your forever.

As for you "hiding who you are," I must agree with PhilNmtl, sometimes love requires us to make a sacrifice of ourselves to allow the loved one a space of peace. I had this same issue with my father. By the time, I was confortable and confident enough in myself and my sexuality, my father had terminal cancer. Thought I came out to others in the family, I could not bring myself to tell to my father, knowing that he would have all those parental feelings of "what did I do wrong". I didn't want my father passing with guilt or concern or anger or sorrow when we would not have the time we would need to work out those issues. So, I kept quite and let him pass in peace. Your doing the same for your grandmother is a final gift of love to her.

You'll be in my thoughts and pravers.

Brent Troth  Clearwater, Florida

Brent Troth  Raleigh, NC

MMario's picture

I think your Gramma was most concerned that you find someone to love and be loved by. To her that comes out as "wife".
Unfortunately - the love and concern people have for each other does not always express itself well.

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

crmartin's picture

Sorry to hear you're having a rough time. Sending lots of good wishes and purrs from the fur kids for a better tomorrow.



Frank's picture

Sounds like your brain and fingers are all cramped! When it rains it pores for sure. Two things I do when I feel that way are think of all that is going well to get some perspective and get some exercise to clear the mind and body out.

Last year I said good bye to my grandma. Who I was dating was always a subject avoided between us… talk about the white elephant in the living room. There was the time my mom brought her in the PFLAG contingent of the pride parade before she knew what was happening- all sorts of memories good and bad. You did the right thing though, you said good bye and did it with love.

ksmarguy's picture

In my thoughts as well, and remember this...you are a caring person and your grandma knows that. Also, when she gets to where she's going and get's filled in on all the otherworldly knowledge that we are not privy to down here on earth, she will know the real you and be happy for you since there is no sadness in the afterlife. Just a thought, it's one thing that helps me knowing that my grandpa is on the other side and he would not have approved in life, but now somehow I just know that he thinks it's ok that I found someone to love who loves me back with the ferocity that he loved my Grandma.

Take care and Blessed be.

Asbjörn's picture

Just always continue being that considerate, kind gentleman and you will be a testament to your grandmother. Your love of eachother voids any social/generational gap. I hope you soon find the light at the end of that proverbial tunnel. Best wishes.


Kerry's picture

Josh, sorry to hear that life is so hard on you at the moment. Big hugs.

scottly's picture

Josh, when my Dad died a good freind of mine said "What ever you are feeling now just remember that God wants you to be happy." I found that comforting, I hope you do too.


YugiDean's picture

Thank you all for the encouragements and thoughts/prayers/good vibes/etc... Invaluable! Thank you thank you and once again, thank you.

"Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread." --Richard Wright