Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Simplicity of the Circus

When you go to the circus, a lot of the experience is about simple things. Popcorn, hotdogs, bleachers, greasepaint, animals, double-jointed people. Not a whole lot of special effects. Now, I admit, it has been years (actually decades) since I've been to the circus, so much may have changed. When you are dealing with illness, sometimes the simplest things take on new significance. I can hear you saying now, 'Why on earth is there a picture of pillow's posted?' I know I would be. After a full week of trial and error with pillow placement for my mom, we finally hit the jackpot yesterday! The perfect configuration. So I didn't want a little thing like changing the sheets to mess it up. In this day and age of technology, I decided to grab my phone and snap a picture of it so my sieve-like mind wouldn't have to work double-time to remember the arrangement. Ah, technology...

Mom and I are learning patience together. She remains weak and has been frustrated by her body's inability to maintain any level of strength. I remind her that this did not happen overnight and her strength will not return overnight. She's not even receiving treatment yet. I hug her and kiss her and tell her we will walk this path together. It is bizarre because despite having the same disease, I am full of energy and strength and feel healthier than I've felt in years. Anxious as I am to start my treatment, I'm even more so about her starting something, anything now! We have another week until her appointment with the oncologist and it is hard to see her in this state. Everyday I look at her, my patience is tested.

The other day I had just washed mom's hair and I was thinking as I dried it that every job I've ever had has prepared me for caring for her. Now, I've had a LOT of jobs. I worked in a hair salon, worked as a 'duster' and gift wrapper, was a make-up artist, a temp, worked in the movie industry, was a barista, worked in sales, marketing, and many aspects of nursing. In the last week, I've used skills I learned from every single one of these jobs. I mentioned this to my moms best friend who asked how dusting expensive 'chachkies' at Fast Buck Freddies (yes, that was the name of the store!) helped prepare me for this. I told her, that arranging medical equipment, 'Get Well' cards and the like in an aesthetically pleasing albeit functional way is of the utmost importance to a healing environment! But I think that hours upon hours of dusting incredibly expensive and fragile 'chachkies' put me off dusting for life. Mom calls my refusal to dust my one fatal flaw. Sorry mom, gotta focus on the simple things. Like pillows.

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