Life and bandages

I scraped the knuckle of my right index finger on my washing machine lid. The lip is sharper than it should be. After a sharp sting, I looked at my finger and saw my blood well from a cut. I went into immediate action by cleaning the small wound. Turned out I scraped the top skin off the knuckle. The wound looked worse than it was.

I wrapped the finger with antibiotic cream and a bandage and the sting disappeared. This morning there is a slight shiny covering over the small wound.

It still stings a little as I type and I move the finger so the covering stays flexible.

Today I was thinking about the Las Vegas shooter and his motivations. Every day we get new revelations of the man and what he did. Even though it is horrifying at how many people died and hurt, it still could have been worse.

I send my condolences to those who lost loved ones in this tragedy. I have lost someone close to me. The feeling of loss never goes away. It does grow distant as the years go by. It will take more than a bandage to overcome the grief. In my case I did some counseling to make my life a little better and to see the good in this world.

You’ll find that the colors will get brighter after a while and that you won’t be asking the birds anymore “why they are singing” because they shouldn’t be singing when someone who was your whole world is dead. No bandage will fix such a loss.

The rest of us are speculating on why the shooter did what he did. Please forgive us. We are being human. It is our way to take chaos and to make it into something we can understand. When we saw those pictures of people running and saw the confusion of 20,000 people looking for a way out of a killing field, we were shocked. We wanted to find a reason. It wouldn’t make it any better, of course. It’s just our minds do not accept chaos.

So forgive our conspiracy theories and our speculations. We are trying to find meaning in this madness.

I am not claiming your pain. I won’t claim your pain. I already know pain. When you can think more clearly after your grief subsides and you want to know what happened, we will have it for you.

It is too early to know yet. I know that you scream “why?” in the night. I know because I lost someone too–not to a maniac’s bullet, but to cancer.

Some wounds take much longer to heal than a small scrape.


A candle for health

Last week my nephrologist started to prepare me for dialysis. She said that I needed to be ready when my kidneys failed. The kidneys had lasted a very long time. They had started to slide.

Part of the preparation for dialysis would be to have a stent made. Apparently it takes one month to get the appointment for the stent, and then it takes three months for the stent to mature so it can be used.

In the beginning days of my disease, (you can find the book here), the doctor put a heart catheter into my neck. My late-hubby held my hand, while the nurse put a shot in my neck, and then the doctor slit my throat and pushed in the plastic tubing.

I don’t want to go through that again. First it was scary. Second it hurt. Third my neck rubbed raw from the tubing after over four weeks of use. My late-hubby told me he didn’t want to go through it again either. He watched the entire procedure and almost fainted. It wasn’t because of the blood, (there was very little). It was because they were cutting into his wife– me– and he was watching.

Last week I did negotiate with the nephrologist. If my kidneys didn’t stabilize, then she would order the stent in September. I know most of you know this from a post on Facebook. When I came home that day, after the news, I cried. The well-wishes and prayers were a blessing to my aching soul.

It felt like I was starting down this road again. Two years ago it was with my late hubby, and now it is the same road I started in 2003.

So I am eating more cabbage and less protein. I got rid of corn syrup, processed products, and sodas almost a decade ago. I added turmeric and more omega 3s. I am more diligent at drinking large quantities of water. Still it feels like there isn’t much I can do to stop the slide this time. There are no drastic changes to make to my eating and drinking habits. I will NOT give up coffee.

The only real change I can make is to meditate. It helps to put my mind in the present moment and not into the future of pain, kidney failure, and dialysis. Yes, I am noticing more pain. Yes, my muscles are less forgiving than they have ever been. And yes, I am cramping more.

But all of these symptoms can be caused by taking chemo. I can even blame my age.

Today I asked for health and lit a candle. For a moment my brain quit thinking and I felt peace.