Thursday, October 26, 2006

Needs. Desires. Impulses.

Back when Kendrie was going through her leukemia treatment, I posted a lot about the frustration I used to feel regarding her behavior. Tantrums, whining, pouting, power struggles, etc. We wondered how much of it was due to steroids, how much was due to her frustration and lack of control over her life and what was happening, and how much was normal, bratty 4-yr old behavior? I always felt somewhat guilty for being aggravated and/or irritated with a little kid with cancer …. Why don’t I just yell at some blind people while I’m at it, or steal money from the Salvation Army buckets this Christmas? But despite my guilt, I somehow still managed to express my dissatisfaction to all of you in this journal. A lot. And then some more. And then probably some more after that.

Once again, I find myself feeling irritated with someone who has cancer. Someone named, oh, I don’t know …. let’s call him "finger quotes" Blaine "finger quotes." See, despite the fact "Blaine" has cancer and **still** feels like total dog-shit from the radiation …. that he had ….. FIVE MONTHS AGO …. and he can’t seem to catch a break to save his life, and is in bed as I type this with what appears to be either the flu, or a freaky late-term reaction to the vancomycin which was probably stored in his fat cells last year after his antiobiotic-resistant staph infection and now that he’s lost twenty pounds since radiation, the vancomycin has probably been released back into his system, just like those LSD hippie flashbacks from the 70’s, making him sick as a dog …….. well, despite all that, I find myself getting frustrated with him and with the situation.

I am a woman. I have needs. Desires. Impulses.

Do you understand what I’m saying?

More bluntly,

I have a need to get a good night’s rest every night.

My desire is for at least six or seven solid, relaxing, un-interrupted hours of sleep.

My impulse is to beat to a bloody pulp anyone who interferes with that.

"Blaine" still cannot sleep more than a few hours at a time or the pain from the dry, irradiated areas of his mouth is unbearable. So he stays up late at night watching tv, depriving himself of sleep, to the point of exhaustion, because he says the pain is not worth the sleep.

Also, he sets his alarm for 5am every morning, whether he is going to work or not. Day in, day out, Saturdays, Sundays, it doesn’t matter. He can’t stand to sleep any later than that. So, the alarm goes off at 5am. Which would be fine, if he heard it when it went off. But he’s so sleep-deprived that it doesn’t even phase him, so I wind up having to reach over and shake his arm several times, “politely” (finger quotes again) telling him to turn it off. You can just imagine how polite I am.

Then, I’ll have to wake him again every few minutes because he still hasn’t reached over to turn off the alarm, which, to make matters worse, he normally has set to some incredibly annoying talk radio show, because waking up to the bleating of pompous political zealots is TOTALLY how I like to start my day. Why don’t I just jump into an ice-cold shower and then eat some nails for breakfast, to really get the day started off right?

Or even better, some nights he has gotten out of bed in the middle of the night to take pain medication and isn’t even in the room when the alarm goes off; he’s usually fallen back asleep on the living room sofa. I can’t reach the alarm clock from my side of the bed, thanks to The Child Who Shall Not Be Named and her maddening habit of wandering into our room in the middle of the night and collapsing dead-center on our mattress, arms and legs akimbo.

So I have to get out of bed on my side and walk around the king-size mattress in the dark, usually tripping over the dog on the way, to turn off the freakin’ alarm clock. Then, of course, because bladder control is one of the first things to go once you turn 40, I’ll stumble into the bathroom to potty, and then get back in bed. Where, having been blessed/cursed with the sonic hearing of a bat, I will lie awake for an hour, listening to extremely irritating noises like the coffee dripping in our coffeemaker, Kellen snoring in his bedroom, every car entering and leaving our neighborhood, the wind chimes on our back porch, the whispers of the crickets mating outside our bedroom window, the hum of my neighbor’s computer three doors down, people arguing across town, and grass growing in Kentucky. I. HEAR. IT. ALL.

Blaine will take his pain meds, then sit on the sofa and turn on the tv, which throws an annoying glare into our bedroom, so I’ll have to get up and shut the bedroom door, to avoid both the glare and the noise of the tv. He’s actually a very considerate person, so I’m not sure why it’s so hard for him to remember to shut the flipping door when he leaves the bedroom, but for some reason it is.

And I will lay there, stewing and mulling over how annoyed I am to be awake, since *MY* alarm isn’t set to go off until 6:00, knowing full well that I won’t be able to go back to sleep because at this point Kendrie has her foot in my back and her elbow across my windpipe, or is stealing my pillow, or totally hogging the bed and I’m banished to the far six inches of the mattress. Until the point where I want to get out of bed, storm into the living room, and shout at him, “Can you not just sleep like a NORMAL person?!?!?!’

But of course I don’t. Because none of this is his fault. Instead, I come here to the internet and bitch and vent to the rest of you, who are kind enough to pretend you care. You’ve also been kind enough to inquire how he’s doing in the guestbook, so I’ll tell you about what he’s got coming up in the next journal entry. Let’s just say, in the extremely short picture, besides having to live with his shrew of a wife, is that his outpatient surgery scheduled tomorrow to get tubes put in his ears, because not only can he not sleep, but he’s also as deaf as our geriatric dog, has been postponed thanks to the stomach flu. And Kellen caught the bug from him today, also.

Hello, Life? Kick us when we’re down, please.

But for now, I have a *need* to go find one of those satin eye masks to wear to bed. I *desire* ear muffs attached. And the *impulse* to wear full-body protective armor since Lord knows Kendrie and her flailing limbs will wind up in bed with me again tonight.


PS. Please, please make time in your schedule to donate blood between now and the holidays. Especially those of you living in Georgia and surrounding areas. I was donating this morning and the technician commented that as of 10am today, the entire state of Georgia only had eight hours worth of O negative on the shelves. And all I could think was I sure hope if I have a car accident today and need blood, it happens before dinnertime. The supply situation is always short during the holidays. So please donate if you can. Cancer patients, accident victims, surgery, illness .... please make a difference, and thanks in advance!

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