Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Resting Angels

This is definitely a stream of conscious entry…

Today I went to see my general physician for the last time in the forseeable future because after tomorrow I no longer have health insurance. That makes my heart panic some but somehow it’s a little easier with the last MRI having been decent and the next one wasn’t going to be scheduled for a while anyway. No return trip to Duke, no more neuropsychological rehab appointments, no more “any” scheduled appointments after them being so regular for a while. My doctors and I have always had some medical deals about marathons and events and pushing the body while they are monitoring  thoroughly… well, today we made one more despite the last MRI and all my vital signs being solid. No more pushing the body beyond the reasonable when my current commitments are done. This lasts while I’m not being monitored so maybe that brain power 5k will be the forced retirement… Of course, I could go against medical advice but being incapacitated or at risk while not monitoring puts, as the doctor so humanely pointed out because of being a parent, more than one person at risk and that’s a gamble I can’t take. And of course I’ll keep exercising but it may need to be more moderated. I went from there and did a marathon, making sure to come in well under 2 hours, on a bicycle.

18 months, married, divorced; healthy, cancerous; underinsured, better insured, uninsured; preparing early for retirement, wondering about bankruptcy; employed, unemployed. I talked to another cancer patient today who was wondering how my job hunt was going… which I’ve started and decided above all things I want to work with people part of it, it was something I always loved. Single fatherhood also has some loneliness, mostly around 8:30 after I get her to bed (if you’ve ever wondered why I spend so much time on facebook what do you do if you don’t want much TV and the house is quiet but interact in the way still left).  The friend works in human resources googled me, saying that employers often do that on the sly and too many of the pop ups are about me having cancer and helping out with this Livestrong cause, or that Hawtober event. She thinks that too many emp­­­­­loyers would find a more “employable” candidate because of it. Another friend, noticing my new  hair cut asked why I don’t I grow my hair out so if I get any interviews the scar isn’t visible… Neither of those things had occurred to me.  I am not sure I can honestly say I fault them for that though it stings a little.

I went to visit another friend at the hospital today with Kiana. He was having heart issues but as they tried to reset it, oddly enough what he was more afraid of death was that they’d warned him the procedure could cause­ a stroke and permanent brain damage…  I am very grateful he’s fine. He is a guy like me who does tons of stuff and he sat there sad that this may all mean that he has to give something up. He said he’s not sure he could do it; I told him that he should be careful because if he doesn’t do it, something may give on it’s own. I’ve been to the hospital for 3 different people in the last week, all unexpected. Everytime their significant other was there. My family thought it was odd that my ex didn’t show up to my medical appointments with my aunt Cecy, I don’t care what my husband would say, I’d be there. I reprimanded my brother for renting a hotel a couple of blocks from the hospital at Duke when I had found him a free place to stay 30 minutes away. Retrospect and perspective and how both I and other family members handled this… has both some enlightening and saddening moments. Another visitor at one of those visits talked about how his dad had a wiring that would trigger the ambulance to come. He kept a stack of twenties in his wallet and a couple of times when he should have been in the hospital he left it catching a cab AMA, against medical advice because if he was dying that night he wanted it to be next to his mother who due to her own medical issues was restricted to home. I cried at that story and the guy who never carries cash stuck a $20 in his pocket, not really sure why. As we sat and talked some more, it turned out his wife had died of brain cancer…

Tomorrow a friend has asked to sit down with me to figure out how to communicate with their family about the fact that she has stage 3 cancer. Someone whose relationship is falling apart wanted to pick apart my brain about what I did wrong.  I’ve always visited and talked to friends in the hospital but it wasn’t until I’d been on that bed that I understood why we have both the words sympathetic and empathetic. At some level, empathy  due to all this, is helpful but it also sucks.

Someone pointed out that I write too much about the person I was married to to be over it. I am not over it, no one gets over a 14 year relationship in 1 year unless there is truly something wrong with their brain.. I’m just trying to keep going but how loudly I shout that I am closed to the idea of being with someone new maybe my own life’s version of “methinks thou protests too much.”

A friend I was having a meal with grabbed my phone and said you can tell a lot about people by the songs they listen to the most. I actually wouldn’t have guessed any of these because most of them aren’t running songs… The top 10 in my Itunes playlist:
10. Lonely No More
9. That’s a Woman
8. Ballad of San Francisco
7. Cinderella
6. A Brand New Day
5. Life on the Moon
4. Feeling Good
3. Quiero
2. Our Love is Easy (this is where my mind does a David Letterman moment)
1. Waiting on Angel

They are all great songs and frankly I’d rather you google them then me but I was fascinated by Cinderella as I downloaded it less than 3 months ago which means I’ve listened to it on average about twice a day. And number 1 and 2 were downloaded less than six months and it’s been listened to also on average a little less than twice a day. I don’t listen to songs that religiously but sometimes to deal with emotions I’ll put songs on auto repeat to focus or to unwind or both simultaneously… One of the people from work sent me a message about how they miss hearing me sing the same song over and over. Most of the others have been on there since 2009.

But the lyrics to the Ben Harper’s Waiting on Angel, the one I’ve listened to the most  (and would not have guessed that was number 1) shows my “subconscious:”

Waiting on an angel
one to carry me home
hope you come to see me soon
cause I don't want to go alone
I don't wanna go alone

So speak kind to a stranger
cause you'll never know
it just might be an angel come
knockin' at your door
knockin' at your door

And I'm waiting on an angel
and I know it won't be long
to find myself in a resting place
in my angel's arms

My wife was there right before the biopsy, crying as she held my hand. At the surgery, she was awfully disconnected and the brothers staying down the street (while she was half an hour away) picked up on it, that she was not being warm to them or me and there were no tears that day.

Number 10 on that list I don’t want to be lonely no more which at some level is true… but I’m so exhausted, I am not sure if I believe in angels. But if there is one, today is one of those days I could use a resting place in her arms. 

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