Sunday, September 13, 2020

Accepting, Embracing What Is

This year, I’ve posted sporadically and done a poor job of visiting your blogs and leaving comments. That haphazardness is due to Meniere’s Disease. 

The specialist who diagnosed Meniere’s in 2006 said I had a “truly bad case” that was both “progressive and intractable.” This year’s vision problems have resolved themselves as I follow the routine of 30-minute-focus/20-minute-close-eyes. That’s easily doable; what Meniere’s does to my mind isn’t easy. 


For me, this year has been the worse for Meniere’s since 2009. From early March on, I’ve had almost daily headaches that are like migraines in intensity, but without the light sensitivity. On those days, I want to bang my head against the wall so as to knock myself out. The headaches drain me, so, if the next day is headache-free, I have no energy to do anything except listen to a book. 


The headaches make me stutter when I talk; I can’t think straight. My brain becomes “foggy.” That is, I can’t prioritize, make decisions, or make sense of what is being said to me. 


Beyond the brain fog, Meniere’s brings wooziness, dizziness, insomnia, and an imbalance that has me bopping against the hall walls and falling against the computer screen or furniture. (My mailbox is across the street, and I weave back and forth getting to it. I suspect the neighbors think I’m a secret tippler!) 


This year, I’ve so enjoyed listening to audio books about the American Revolution. As our democracy is being fractured, these books help me put the present time into perspective. However, my last post, which was about my reading, took me 5 ½ hours to complete because of the brain fog and the vision routine.


Leaving comments when I read your postings also takes time. Time for the words to come and to make sense. When I proofread the comments before clicking, I discover words missing, meaning gone. So, writing comments whether on your blogs or mine is both time-consuming and frustrating. 


For most of my life, I’ve had a routine: school, convent, work, retirement. Even with my vision, routine reigns: 10 times a day I put drops in my eyes. And I now have the vision routine of 30 on/20 off. When I don’t stick to a routine, I accomplish little. When that happens, I feel frustrated; disappointed in myself. In 84 years, I haven’t been able to outgrow this incessant drive to achieve.


A psychiatrist once said to me, “Dee, be gracious to yourself.” I’ve said that to others, but the truth is, I find it hard—I’m driven to produce. (If only I could work on my childhood memoir, I’d explain how that happened!) This past Wednesday, however, some concerned friends encouraged me to accept that I must let go of routine. I need not only to accept that truth, but to embrace it and find good in what is. By doing so, I’ll banish the debilitating feelings of disappointment and frustration and, yes, guilt that hound me. 


I’m sharing this with you simply to let you know that when I can visit your blogs, I will do so because I so want to keep up with those of you who have become virtual friends. You matter to me. As the weeks and months pass, I’ll visit when the day feels right and I’m making sense. When a day is especially good, I hope to post my ongoing response to the audio books. Just know that you aren’t forgotten, that I will always feel deep gratitude for your support.



PS: I’ve read, reread, edited, and searched for words for this posting for five hours. I’m going to stop now. Please excuse any mistakes.