Sunday, 1 June 2008

It never rains...

…but it pours!

On everyone. Sooner or later, able-bodied, disabled, at some point the skys will open and down it will come: the torrential downpour. Unceasing.

Or so it seems, when the trouble starts!

I don’t know if it’s stopped now. There appears to be a break in the clouds and I can’t hear that silent hum of the liquid shroud between Heaven and earth. If I open the curtains – which I won’t, it takes too much energy! – I might see the birds skipping around gathering worms; I might notice a puddle evaporating in the mid-day sun.

But I’m wet and cold. Sodden from too many things going wrong, one after another, too long. And I’m exhausted. It’s going to take a while – and a lot of good things happening (?!) – to put even a glimmer of hope back into my milieu. I won’t look for morsels yet!


The next thing to dampen my, already flagging, spirits (after Tom’s departure and last speaking to you) was that my lap-top died!

Can you imagine? First my son and virtual carer deserts me for healthier pastures, and then my virtual friends (you!) just vanish from my black-box cyber-world. Suddenly. As if slamming doors in my face. It was horrible. And, but for the Good Lord above and dear, little Lucy, I’d have felt totally bereft. Agh!

And then followed at least three weeks of me (a technologically incompetent MSer) trying to learn as much as I needed (but lots more!) about how computers work, especially lap-tops, and what made the Internet tick.

Oh hell, it drained me. Talk about stressful! (I expect a few of you know what I’m talking about!)

But I got there. I got there – by myself. With only a little bit of physical help – when he was here and I could get him to – from Tom.

And I’m proud of myself – thank you, God! – because Tom would have had me saving up for a new lap-top, but I already had an old IBM ThinkPad in the other room (now Lucy’s bedroom) which I hadn’t used as it wasn’t wireless-friendly without an ethernet cable. Well, I loved that ThimkPad, even in the days I only used Word. So I thought about it. And I Googled (with a bit of fiddling and patience I could, for short periods, use the now-defunct one). And, I spoke to the BT Yahoo technicians in India and heard about RAMs and memory and Yahoo Toolbar, etc.. And, sure enough, there it was, I’d found the answer: use an ethernet cable with a load more RAMs!… More Googling (research!) and after a nice man in America showed me (video!) how to install more memory, and where to get it, became my life-line – and saved me! Suddenly it was all systems go – again.

Well nearly. There were all the loose ends – like passwords to be re-set and millions of Windows updates to go in and Yahoo Toolbar and Bookmarks to break-down about. I’d become obsessed (while, at the same time, quite knowledgeable – comparitively!) but it was done. Now I just had to stop being nervous of it going wrong again, thaw out and REST!

Ah-ha but the downpour was relentless.

All the time (not helped by stress, of course) my MS symptoms were worsening. My legs were (are) in agony and I was being left alone far more than I had been before Tom went. He still came/comes to help, morning and evening. And he stays nearly half the nights of the week. But: what was/am I going to do about “care”? Who was/is going to look after me/Lucy? These questions won’t go away and are giving me, nearly, sleepless nights, causing some panic breathing problems and driving me mad! How can you make a decision you don’t want to make? I just keep on prevaricating, keep on rebelling and, by the grace of God – so far – keep on keeping on.

And looking for distractions!

[Oh, and I suppose I should mention here, that a woman from a live-in care agency did come somewhere amidst all that mayhem to do an assessment. But, just like my MS nurse, all she kept saying was: “You’re very thin.” To which I’m supposed to say what? “You’re very fat!” “I’m sorry if it makes you uncomfortable (the latter has used the “painfully” adverb). In the event, I gave my usual, annoyed, retort: “So?” And proceeded to explain I was also: very strong (!); very well apart from MS (never get colds, etc.!); only going to use herbs, anyway, if I did have cancer or something; easier to pick up if I fall, and, most of all, not bothered! It was awful. I don’t want to talk about it. And, so far (social worker had one more week’s holiday and I haven’t done anything) no one has followed anything up. Basta! (‘Enough!’ in Italian. I probably don’t need to tell you that any more - I’m always using it!)]

Distractions (and who can blame me?)…

I wanted to write but wasn’t quite ready (I thought) to take on Blogger. My head was full of technical stuff, and even though I could see I could really get into it, empathised with the enthusiasm of Bill Gates, Google and co., I knew it could also make me insane. That certainly wouldn’t be my “bag”! No, I was put here to write. I went to forums.

But two things happened there over the next couple of weeks: 1) I wrote too much, especially in Writers’ Forum, which I realised later should have been here (although I love that place and have been very grateful to them for existing), and 2) I fell in love!

No. Not really. Well, yes. But…

Oh, I can see what happened. Tom had gone, no other family members (well, dear Blob tries!) were getting in touch; friends I might have had I hadn’t encouraged so were long ago invisible, and I was feeling unloved and uncared for. (It’s a dichotomy – and an irony: I have always wanted to be alone to write but now that the MS is bad… Oh dear!). Anyway, so along comes Fred (fictional name!) from Texas (on the Catholic social networking site) and woos me with five days and nights of constant messages, emotigrams and poems, so that in the end I almost wondered if a relationship was possible.

Me! Who’d chosen to be celibate and remain so, in 1986! Ridiculous.

Plus, I was so busy returning his correspondence (he seemed to expect it, even though I’d explained about the MS and fatigue) I was neglecting everything else. It had to stop. So I stopped it – on the fifth day.

But, oh boy, I missed that warm, sunny feeling for a while afterwards!

And here I am.

But, oh wait, one more thing: Important. I nearly forgot. Something else that went wrong and froze me in my tracks. You remember the ‘fun’ piece I said I was writing ages ago? Well, it was about a castle. A particular castle. And I needed permission to show photographs and print URLs. And I didn’t get it. Hah! Well, what a surprise!

So, please forgive me, I’m going to put it in anyway, with those things taken out and a painting by Tom! It’s still fun to me but you can ignore it if you like. Probably best to do so.

Right, I think I’ve caught up now – I’ve missed you guys.

Oh no. One sad note: Len, the man next door I wrote about, died. A couple of weeks after that post. Of a stroke. Bless him. I’m glad his worries are over and he’ll be with his dear wife again. May he rest in peace.


Virginia Phillips said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Virginia Phillips said...

A lovely comment from LISA EMRICH which, sadly, I deleted by accident when "moderating".

Virginia, you truly are an amazingly strong person. I'm sorry that you do not have a larger support system and consistent caregivers. But hurray for you for getting the 2nd computer up and running. Good thing.

LISA can be found at:

Virginia Phillips said...

Thank you for this comment, Lisa. It means a lot.

Love, Virginia


No need to thank me. You have such strength and cleverness which is to be admired. This week's theme for the Carnival is Independence. Would you consider contributing something? I'd think you could offer something unique to other readers who might stumble upon it. Think about it.