I’ve begun a trial of steroids in my eyes again, after a period without them. One has to be careful about how long one administers prednisone, because it increases the pressure in the eyes. After, again, another really bad stretch, I am feeling pretty desperate. The amniotic membranes only provided a bandaid, and after that wore off, the pain, stinging, dryness, and grittiness returned with a vengeance. Cloudiness, aching, light sensitivity, and extreme mattering also have returned. At night, I have to coax them open in the dark. It’s almost as if my eyelids lock closed. The prednisone seems to help, if only a little. I am going through Genteal at an alarming rate. I had it down to one bottle a week, but that’s not the case now.
I don’t want anyone’s pity or for you to feel sad. I do want to apologize to anyone who I may have disappointed because I can’t hang out, or go to meetings, or even just take a long walk. This has limited me in so many ways; my ability to look at a computer screen, to focus on the television, to see my phone. I, the lover of books, cannot read, because we tend to blink less when we concentrate on reading and that dries them out even faster. I pray for decent days so I can read a few more pages of the latest Stephen King book, which, in the past, would have been devoured in a weekend. A pile of brand-new books sits, spines uncracked, waiting for the day I can open them.
Exercise is difficult, because the sweat is like battery acid in my eyes. My “new” glasses are not a perfect prescription, because my eyes are too bad to actually write an effective one for them. The heat bothers them; the cold does, too. There is really no happy medium. There are simply days of mediocrity where I breathe a sigh of relief because I managed to do something constructive.
And there are many more bad days, where I sit in darkness, my mind my only avenue of recreational activity. That is not a good thing when you’re also diagnosed with Severe Moderate Depressive Disorder. I always kinda chuckle at the “severe moderate” characterization, because it feels like so much ridiculousness. How can “moderate” still be “severe”? I know, it’s all in the way it’s interpreted. I have a really bad case of only a medium-to-dark color blues, not the darkest blues that are nearly black. I only feel like killing myself a moderate amount of the time, instead of every, single day. Maybe the futility of this life crosses my mind three times a week instead of seven. You feel me?
The point is, it’s dangerous for a person like me to be forced in to sedentariness. The blues get progressively darker as I contemplate all the things I need to worry about: not currently working because I haven’t yet found something either accepting of my limitations as a person with impaired vision and spinal stenosis, or economically sound enough to do from home. Not being able to follow through on my writing commitments (like here, in this blog) because I simply can’t stare at a screen for long. There are bills that need to be paid, property taxes and such, and at the moment, eating and keeping caught up are proving to be an “either-or” exercise. When I’m really in the low, I don’t want to eat, so at least that cuts that bill down. I’m eternally grateful to my genetic makeup for this; I don’t “eat my feelings” like some; I’d have been dead years ago from morbid obesity if I was that type.
I worry about my family and their individual problems and rail against my limitations, because I could help them if I could “do” more. I’m the mom/wife/sibling who can only listen and advise, not fix dire situations. For that, I feel like the worst and biggest failure of them all. That torpedoes my mood, along with triggering my panic disorder, which interferes with sleep, productivity, and the ability to see past my own fears.
I’m not a person who can be forced out of her comfort zone; being my life coach would be the worst job on earth, right up there with working in the Trump Administration. If I don’t want to do it; if I am afraid, or paralyzed by my own darkest thoughts, I’m not going to budge. That’s survival mode for me, so if I say I am not doing the thing, don’t think you can coax me into doing the thing. YOU do the thing. Leave me out of it.
Right now, all the things seem beyond my reach. It is difficult to think about the future when you’re questioning the point of it all. Don’t get me wrong; I feel very, very fortunate and I attempt to channel that at least once a day, for my own sake. It’s just that I don’t think the drugs are working quite as well as they should; perhaps there is simply too much on my internal plate for them to blanket their chemical security over. In any event, I’m sure that, on my next doctor visit, my doctor will internally groan. “Not this again.” She seems to be a very focused, empathetic, caring person; at the last appointment, she enveloped me in a hug, and my “please don’t touch me EVER” resolve just melted and I allowed it. Maybe she really can help me. It’s just that there is so much, too much, and it feels like a crushing weight on my body. I see myself as walking, slumped in half, under the weight of my own life. I used to be able to channel it into movement, writing, doing…..perhaps running away, but it worked. I watched the Robin Williams documentary last night. You can read about it here. I know why I felt a kinship with him; he was the exact same. He had to move. He had to escape the dullness of not being distracted. I want to focus, to obsess over something, so it captures my brain and forces it to go into another room, where there is light. I want to drink, because it numbs me and I sleep. I want to medicate, because that is the great escape. None are the answer, the right answer, or the wise one. I lack the motivation to actually do any of them, and the means with which to facilitate, anyway. Being poor can actually be a good thing in this case.
Today, though, I choose to focus on things that make me pleased. Not happy; pleased.
The two, fat chicken breasts that I am going to stuff and bake for the husband and I for dinner.
Sleeping kittens on my bed, purring away contentedly.
The sunshine and lack of humidity.
The sight of my husband, wielding first a big, gas-powered weed whacker and then a saw as he does yard work and cuts saplings and wild shrubbery down along our property line. The sight of him, working, doing “man things” gives me a sense of great contentedness. He has the best forearms I have ever seen.
The mint green nail polish I am going to put on my toenails which will accentuate the tan lines made by my flip flops.
For today, this has to be, and will be, enough.
We soldier on.