Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Chiropractors and Cribbage

For the past 3 days, I've been in so much pain.

My neck is crook.

It hurts to even blow my nose. I can't drive because I can't check traffic to the right of me.

Yesterday I got an emergency appointment to see a chiropractor and he told me to have 24 hour bed rest, roll a towel and place it under my neck, use ice packs (which give me headaches but do seem to be helping) and do some gentle exercises (which hurt excruciatingly).

When you live alone with 2 dogs, 24 hour bed rest isn't that viable an option. My baba is not here to take care of me like he always did so well.

Today it feels as though I am waiting for Cliff to come and rescue me. I honestly feel like I am losing my mind. It's not healthy for me to be off work ... I CANNOT cope with all this thinking time. So I am returning to work tomorrow regardless, even if I have to take a cab.

Being ill, in pain, hurt or just incapacitated simply magnifies everything. Every time I wake up I howl with the agony of him not being here. And can't blow my nose ... not a pretty picture.

I think I know why my neck is crook. It's the tension ... the tension never leaves my body like it used to when he was here. He made everything ok. Even while I sleep I am tense. I know because my legs and arms ache when I awake. I've got tooth damage where I have ground my teeth at night.

Someone suggested that I get regular massages. Nice idea - makes sense even.

But I can't.

Because I know that someone touching me, soothing me, that human contact - skin on skin - will release the demons. It may all come out and I can't risk that ... for fear that the horror will really dawn on me.

I'm not ready. My mind has reached its own limit. I cannot bear the thought of someone else touching me. It scares me.

I fear I may never come back.

My body feels like it is failing slowly. I've had high blood pressure. I have no energy. My immune system is totally dependant on taking a Berocca a day. I've never been so ill as I have been this year. The year when I needed my health more than ever ... so that I can work.

Because work provides me with a focus other than misery. I just want to be at work.

Of course, I also want my life back. Interestingly, I would take one other option ... to be back at school with my old friends. I want to feel happy and safe. I want him back. I still don't want to be here, but I'm not going to act upon those feelings. I'm no longer afraid of death ... but I hold this childlike view that if I ended this struggle, I could be sent to a place different to where he is. FOR. ETERNITY. Then I'd be in a worse place than I am now. Not worth the risk. I want it to happen TO me, preferably in pain-free circumstances. I might not be frightened of dying, but I still have a healthy fear of pain.

So, as that's not going to happen till it's "my time", I just wish I could be spared this latest ailment. I feel like screaming: HOW. MUCH. MORE. DO. I. NEED. TO. FUCKING. TAKE?

I know I can't have him back, I'm not even asking for that.

All I'm asking is the ability to get back to work. Because I can't do another day of this.


Today, as I sleep fitfully, I opened my eyes and they focused on a box. The box was made by someone taking a carpentry/woodworking course many years ago. The box holds many of our games, including another wooden box - which unfolds into a cribbage board. I bought Cliff his own cribbage board (for his birthday when we were first together) because he used to play cards (and cribbage) quite a lot. He taught me, although I can't remember the rules now. I remember the first two games I won, and it was years before I realized that he let me win. This memory caused a jolt of pain to course through my body. I really didn't want to cry because it hurts my neck, but couldn't stop the tears. The next second I have this technicolour image in my mind - of the grey dicky-bow that he wore when we married. WTF? More images ... more pain. I love him more than I love life.

I know that I was so privileged to be loved by him. He really was ... is ... a special magical man. Fearless. Larger than life. Even though my counsellor tells me that those bereaved in healthy happy relationships fare better than those who do not ... I still disagree. He's harder to miss. I'm sure it would be easier if he had been a bastard. But the truth is I wouldn't have it any other way. He was my North Star, my world, my confidant, my best friend, my lover, my husband, my everything. He was all I ever wanted and needed. And now he's gone. It won't be long till a year has passed. HOW. CAN. THIS. BE? How can my world, so safe and secure be gone, just like that? How can this be real? I cannot believe it. I cannot accept it.

Every second of this pain is worth the 15 years we were together. But I would do anything, ANYTHING just for a taste of him again. This is surreal.
I talked to myself in a mirror earlier, god only knows why ... and I said, "Would he even recognize you now?" He would because we are soulmates, but I have changed beyond recognition to myself. I feel like I am failing him. I wish for 5 minutes with him, just to be reassured. I think I could do this then.

More snot.

He always scared away my imaginary monsters. He always healed me.

The question is this. Am I strong enough? Can I heal myself?
Highway, Highway - Joe Cocker
The circle turns and the seasons change
Dogs grow old and in the summer it still rains
But I never thought you and I would ever be apart
Babies cry at their mothers breast
And Sunday morning is still a day to be blessed
But what can I tell my broken heart
Highway, Highway
Where you go I don't know
Maybe closer to my dreams, maybe far away
Take me today
Highway, Highway
Give me wings to fly
It's gonna be hard letting go of you
And living separate lives
The stars aren't diamonds and the moons not blue
There's no gold at the end of the rainbow
There's no dream to hold on to, without you
The only thing that's real is this lonely road tonight
Maybe a change would be good for me
Who knows where this road might lead
Highway, Highway
Where you go I don't know
Maybe closer to my dreams, maybe far away
Take me today
Highway, Highway
Give me wings to fly
It's gonna be hard letting go of you
And living separate lives
It's gonna be hard letting go of you
And living separate lives


  1. Yes you are and yes you can. But you aren't alone because we're here to listen, to understand and to cheer you on. I'm sorry that you're having to deal with all this physical and emotional pain on your own physically. I know when we're not feeling well we're more vulnerable to being completely overwhelmed by our reality. Please keep breathing and drinking water so you can get through this latest deep trough on your ocean of grief.

    I understand the fear of having someone else touch you. For me it's a nauseating thought. But this past summer I was feeling overwhelmed by the physical stress that was accumulating in my body. Austin used to always give me neck and back rubs to relieve my stress and my body was accumulating it. The tought of being touched by someone was horrifying but I knew I needed some help or I was going to fall apart physically. So I agreed to go for a massage, to a place that I trusted, to a female massage therapist who a friend had been to and who knew what I was dealing with. And while the massage was difficult at first, it really did help relieve some major stress from my body. So if you can find a place and person who you trust, a massage once in a while may help you with the accumulation of stress in your body. Cliff still loves you and wants you to find a way to relieve your stress. He wants you to be happy and comfortable and not consumed by stress. I hope you find what works for you soon.

    And when you and I finally meet, maybe we can play a game of crib. It's a favorite family game in our house which we haven't played in a while, like all the other games. Maybe I dig out one of our crib boards today....

    Hugs and love to you,

  2. aw, Boo. i wish i had a magic wand. but all the magic died with my Dragon. aren't we all a horrible mix of terror, pain, and grief? i cried when i read what you wrote. i feel the same. do i have words for you? no, how can i when i share all your fears. our men were hard, rough, confident, totally capable and they took care of us. how can we take care of ourselves when not seeing them brings us to our knees?

    do not even think of "going there" sooner than is your destiny. Cliff would be so pissed. (hey, i typed a curse word. my Dragon would be proud.) he loves the life in you. keep it together and howl at fate. scream at it, but don't end it. he's waiting for you.

    if the chiropractor doesn't help, go to a doc and get muscle relaxants. if it weren't for tylenol PM i'd never sleep. as for your grief counselor telling you that the surviving partner of a great marriage has better chances of faring better, i think she forgot to say that that's in the long, long run. first you have to get through the first 10 years alone and figure out how to breathe.

    you've hit my frayed nerves with your lamentations. i wish you had your Cliff and i had my Dragon. it's been a long terrible day alone here with the last of Hurricane Ida passing through. crappy rain, 40 mph winds. i'm sewing and sewing and wishing i knew the answer to all my questions and had a crystal ball for all my fears for the future. i wish i knew if my Dragon is going to be the first person i see when i close my eyes here and open them "there." aw, we all need to meet up at someone's house and drink and talk and then crash where we are sitting and hope we don't dream.

    hang on Boo. i'm here. you have friends if you want them. try a doc. maybe drugs to help relax the muscles. i bought a tape of tai chi exercises to reduce stress and tension. it's okay. i'm waiting on the big change in my sleeping. it's still too early to tell.

    i'm thinking of you as always and wishing you peace.

  3. thanks Debbie, I actually have a very close friend who is a masseuse and reflexologist ... I just need to get my courage up you know? I know you are right!

    I'm rubbish at cards ... truth be told, I just revelled in being with him, playing cards or not :-)


  4. womanNshadows, I'm sorry my post made you cry :-( - don't worry, I'm not intimating that I'm going to do anything reckless, far from it ... but I can't help but wish it would happen to me, almost clinically, painlessly - ha.

    It is hard, and I know it's harder than usual because I don't feel good and I'm in pain. Tomorrow I can start the fight again.

    Love to you too xxxx

  5. Echoing everything said above and sending some healing vibes your way. Be careful though...they may be covered with my rash! :D


  6. hahaha LOL, I am back at work again. Still in pain, but much happier amongst people xxx

  7. Sending you golden healing light and much love - it is so true that the physical pain or illness intensifies the emotional grief crap - massage really helped me a lot in the early days of my grief journey, it got some of the poisons out of my system. Just holding you - xoxo from one of your sisters in sorrow. You are not alone dear one.

  8. Suzann, thanks so much, I wish you peace and healing too ... I know that you are in pain too x