This week I hit the brick wall. Super Judi hit the brick wall hard and collapsed. And as I was lying in the hospital bed on Tuesday night…as they wheeled me to have a CAT scan of my brain and my stomach…I thought to myself…is this brick wall hard enough yet…is hitting the brick wall going to make me slow down…or do I need a steel wall to shut me down?
“If they admit me, please call the Atmostemp heater and air conditioner man and tell him that I won’t be home for the installation of my new heater and air conditioner tomorrow,” I told my friend R, as I waited for my test results in the emergency room.
“What..who do you want me to call?,” asked R. “Is the Atmostemp man the most important person right now?” (I was planning to have my new heater and air conditioner installed on Wednesday morning and I had delayed it a week…so I didn’t want all the air conditioner and heater units sitting outside my door. Of course, I should have said to call my kids first…and then my mother…and then my sister and sister-in-law…and of course, my office mates…I guess my 50 year old brain wasn’t working properly due to my intense tension headache and stomachache.)
Yes, this week my 50+ body came to a crescendo…I was flat on my back. Luckily, my CAT scan came up negative. “Rest and relaxation is what you need,” said the doctor…and some sleep. So to bed I went for two days. (Okay, I snuck out of bed and I went to pick up my prescriptions…then I went to the supermarket and bought a Chippity Doo Da Cake…I needed something to cheer me up.)
Let’s see what might have caused this crescendo…
– Perhaps it was the 2.5 hour ride in the pouring rain up to NYC to move my daughter last Sunday that caused my crescendo. And then the move itself…up and down the stairs in the pouring rain…and then the 3.5+ hour ride back home to NJ in the pouring rain. (I occasionally had brief thoughts of moving back to the city for my 50+ years, but all it took was a few hours sitting in front of a fire hydrant to dispense with such a crazy idea. I loved my life in NYC during my twenties…but walking up flights of apartment stairs is something I no longer desire. I laughed at the dichotomy of it all as I watched people walk by in the pouring rain while my daughter and son carried clothes and boxes to her apartment. So many young twentysomethings passed by without any umbrellas getting soaked through and through while they held tight to their packages of takeout food. And, right behind them came the elegant Upper East Siders with their huge umbrellas and luxurious mink coats…I bet they didn’t even realize it was raining…not a drop of water came within inches of their bodies. I still do and will always enjoy people watching in NYC. It is such fun!)
– Or perhaps it was the work-a-holic pace I’ve been keeping for the past 18 months that caused my crescendo. Hmm…hmm…hmm…maybe I haven’t stopped because I don’t want to face the realities of life without my husband. Now that I am approaching the year mark of grief I truly have to face the facts…slow down…slow down…slow down…and begin my life anew. (Where is that Chippity Doo Da Cake when I need it? I think I’ll have another slice. Maybe I’ll even dig into the Blueberry Pie that was left over from Thanksgiving.) I also have to stop trying to be mom and dad to my kids…I’ve been over-extending myself to try to take their pain away…and my own pain away…yet my body is full of tension from keeping it inside…is the year mark time to ‘let it out’…can I ‘let it out?’
– Or perhaps it is the 25 years of 24/7?
Running…running…running…being a career-driven woman…being a super mom…being a dedicated wife…a caring caregiver…and dutiful daughter…what other roles have I played these past 25 years? Now that I’m 50 it’s time to put ME at the top of the list…take the ‘I’ in Judi and make it a capital letter.
It’s Saturday, and after two days in bed (60% in bed, which is a huge accomplishment for me thanks to my new Ambien nights…and some strong muscle relaxers), I’m finally feeling a tad better.
Hopefully, there are no more crescendos for me. I did a little Boomer Beauty trip to Ulta today. I bought a Yoga tape, a bath pillow, and an eye mask. All set to de-stress. I think it’s time to follow my son’s advice, “Take the weekend off,” he urged. “Forget about your tension and all your work. For two days just relax.”
I love my son…he is such a wise man.
Judi, I feel like I know you from reading your blog for the last few months. Your son is wise and so are you. I like to say, “Rest is and active verb!” So remember you are doing something good for yourself when you rest.
The year my husband died was the sickest I’ve ever been. I went from colds to TMJ to insomnia to just being unbelievably run down. The stress and grief will not be denied. Take some time and do something truly relaxing for yourself (massage, watch your favorite funny movie) You not only deserve to pamper yourself – your body is telling you you need to pamper yourself.
Glad you’re feeling better. Hold that thought about slowing down and taking care of yourself. You’re worth it.
I have to tell you, Judi. I always look forward to seeing a new post from you in my RSS feed folder, but you scared the bejeezes out of me with this post. Don’t ever do that again!
I know things have been very rough for you lately, but I can tell from your posts that you are a strong woman, and I’m looking forward to you coming through this even stronger.
Take care of yourself, girl 🙂