Saturday, February 26, 2011

"What Can I Do?"

Those are the words that are so hard for every codependent person to learn, but they are so important. Because into every life a little rain must fall. We each have to figure it out and put up our own umbrella - or get out of the rain.

Yesterday was a little rough. I found myself thinking about dropping my classes and picking up later, or just dropping one. I don't know if I'd have any financial aid penalties, but I'm so tired. (And it isn't just me at school. This is a rough semester all the way around, and everyone is complaining.)

I've been battling another UTI - I've lost track of how many that makes since October - and nothing is in balance. Not my body, not work, not school. My urologist wants to run a test insertion of a neuro-stiumulator that she thinks could help restore some function to my errant bladder, but it would mean that I have to have a device implanted deep into the pelvis, through my lower back, connected to an external device for two weeks. If that worked, then I would have a more permanent stimulator implanted (like a pacemaker for my bladder) under the skin. But since Kim is trying to recover from a wound, a surgical incision that did not heal properly, I don't know that I'm ready to deal with this. She's very supportive of me doing this,

The nanny quit, too, not that she was worth two cents. All I ever saw her do was piss and moan, trying to renegotiate her hours, and sit watching movies and talking on the phone while she was supposed to be watching the boys. So Kim and I have combined forces to try to keep up with the clean-up and care associated with raising a young family, as well as managing everything else on our plates. Kim went back to work yesterday for the first time in about two weeks. She seems to be feeling so much better, but they really threw her a curve yesterday. She left for work at 3 pm (for a 2-hour drive to a clinic across the Bay Bridge in high winds) and she got home just after 4 am. I was very glad to see her and to know she was safe. It took awhile before she was sufficiently sleepy and relaxed after such a shift--we saw the first rays of the sunrise together--but she's sleeping soundly this morning.

While she was letting her body unfold and relax, after she related her "interesting patient" story of the shift, I told her about my day.

The boys put on a show while I finished my work day. We had some dinner together. We had a power outage from the high winds, during which I told the boys stories and played Simon Says with Tommy. During one of those stories, Justin put sunglasses on the cat (see photo above), and we all giggled like crazy! But later, there were difficult moments. Somehow the toothpaste ended up in the toilet, and after I threw that out, one of the flossers ended up in the toilet. Tommy and I had to have a talk about not putting inappropriate things in the toilet. Bedtime was otherwise uneventful, but I was exhausted.

I worked a little on schoolwork until my body rebelled. My neck and shoulders said, "ENOUGH with the computer already!" I gave in and soaked in a hot bath, nearly falling asleep in there; however, I kept hearing noises from the dogs (not my bulldogs, Kim's rescues [2 labs and a black-mouthed mountain cur]). I made my way back downstairs around 11, and I found a bag of trash strewn from one end of the kitchen to the other. While I cleaned it up, I felt like I was going to have a little meltdown. I was tired beyond tired, stressed beyond stressed, but I cleaned it up and went to bed. When I heard from Kim at 2:15 that she was still stuck at work (they have a policy in the clinic that no matter what time a patient shows up, if a doctor is still "in house", they will see that patient), I knew that today would be likewise difficult. I have a lot of schoolwork to do and she will be sleeping until she gets ready for her shift tonight.

So... When I was finished downloading about my day, she said, very simply, "What can I do?"

She didn't try to fix the situation or fix me. She just wanted to know how she could help. I immediately relaxed. I said, "If you have a part-time sitter I can hire for weekend days like this, I'll gladly pay her." I thought about hiring Sean, but he sat with them yesterday while we went to the doctor and ran to the grocery store. I don't want him to feel like a sitter; I want him to feel like a big brother.

She knows someone, so though it may be difficult to get her this weekend, there is a possible solution. No need to freak out. Just solve it. I'm glad to be with someone who is good in a crisis!

She ruffled my hair and said, "So why on earth were you crazy enough to sign up for this?" (meaning this life with her). I told her, "I signed up to be with you. The rest of it is just part of it. Nothing we can't handle given an adjustment period."

After all, it's been a very long time since I had a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old in the house. The year was 1990, and it was the year I took my first big job in the computer industry. What followed was many years of craziness, pagers going off in the middle of the night--requiring a drive in to the base, and lots of business travel. I know the kind of stress she's under, because I lived it, too, though in a different industry. I got to deal with people in labs saying they didn't know how a cup of urine got spilled into a computer. She gets to deal with people who come in at 2 am for something that either could have waited until the next morning or happened hours before. Different jobs, same idiots.

I can't tell you how grateful I am to be with her, even through the adjustment period. She is amazing, and the blessings I get to share in with her far outweigh the stress of trash strewn by a dog or toothpaste in the toilet.

I am grateful that when the rain comes, she won't automatically try to pull me under her umbrella. She'll simply ask, "What can I do?" and will truly listen.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Peace - D


Mental P Mama said...

That is quite the adjustment...and I am happy for you.

HEATHER said...

God bless honey! One thing that might help the two rescue dogs is crating them at night and when you can't watch them. Don't think of it as cruel because the dogs will view the crate as their den and enjoy it. Google it and do a little research but it really will help and lessen the stress of cleaning up after they destroy something.

Shubhajit said...

If the heart is pure, bad time wont last long. In other way, bad moments never really permeate the mind.

I hope you are well, and well, i am again entertained with this simple and fluid write-up.

Daryl said...

Listening is maybe the most important part of a good relationship ... so happy for you all!

Syd said...

I am glad that you are adjusting to your new home and new family.