November 3rd, 2005


Notes from the trip...

Rambling entry – written at different times…

Monday morning, very early
I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep. I was so tired going to bed that it was hard to imagine that I might wake feeling less pain and exhaustion, although exhaustion is not really the right word. Although I feel sick, sick with a cold that came on me yesterday, I don’t feel as tired now.Collapse )

home at last

I haven't even made it through all my email. In LV I stayed mostly at Mary's place, and because she's there only two months she does not have a phone line or cable internet - also, no computer yet - so I was not able to get online there often. On top of that, my email host decided to name spam differently so my filter no longer recognizes it and now it all lands in my inbox, making it really hard to get through. I will fix that soon, of course.

I got home last night, a little after eight. More on the trip later. More on the rest of the trip, that is.

This is why people have sick leave

I was not feeling well that last few days in LV, so I delayed leaving, figuring I'd enjoy Halloween with my daughters and grandson. I made it through Halloween, although tired, even going through a haunted house with Mary - both Elaine and Joey have no use for haunted houses and both Mary and I like them. I planned to go home Tuesday.

But that night, Monday night, I slept almost not at all. I developed diarrhea to go with the rest of my illness - stomach pains, sore throat, congestion, pain pain pain. Could not sleep, had to crawl out of bed several times during the night. By morning I was a wreck and felt so tired and weak that I knew i wasn't driving anywhere.

I spent Tuesday in bed. Mary and Elaine were both very solicitous, got me whatever I could use or might be able to use. I had no appetite and although I was dehydrated it was a real effort even to drink water. Fitfully I spent the day tossing and turning and occasionally managing to sleep. I took some Niquil that night and managed to sleep again, most of the night, and by yesterday morning I felt I could make it home I wasn't sure about my strength. I went out for breakfast with Elaine, delaying my departure, but I think the delay was good because the food increased my strength. I didn't have much, oatmeal and orange juice, but it mainly seemed to stay inside me and do some good. By the time I got on the road it was almost one o'clock. I feared I would be dizzy with exhaustion before the trip was over, but i wasn't. I made it home fine, stopping for bathroom breaks and even for a snack at the start of highway 166.

Now I am feeling a bit better. I think I'll be fine at work.


I am feeling quite a bit better today, although hardly tip-top. Two days ago I felt so weak that the idea of taking a shower was almost overwhelming. It amazed me how quickly a big strong person like me could suddenly be so weak. I suspect that the same thing happened to Michael, as he lay in his hospital bed, so weak that he could not cough. Did he realize it was weakness? Did he know he had no muscles left? Did he know that the bacteria had invaded his big body, so used to being able to move mountains, and made it so he could not lift his arms?

I wonder because I am not really sure. He resisted the physical therapists who tried to get him to work what he had left - until near the end, when he almost desperately asked for them, when it was too late. He asked me to slip him a drink of water, knowing it was against doctor's orders, because he was uncomfortable. I don't think he thought there could be serious complications. There almost were. He told his daughters that he would fight this, that he would survive - but he really wasn't used to fighting! That was all an illusion. When he previously got medicines to help counteract the effects of his kidney failure and low red blood cell count he took credit for what they did. He did nothing himself to help his condition, but only made it worse.

And yet he ended up in that bed so weak, so very weak, that his cheeks were caved in, he couldn't lift his head, it was hard to write anything and he certainly couldn't talk. It's terrible to feel so weak. I think of those who feel this weak day after day, for whom getting up and getting dressed is so huge an effort that it hardly seems worthwhile. Most of the rest of us really don't comprehend it, how it feels.