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How May I Serve?

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This week has not been easy, but then again how many of them have been recently?  Not many.  This parastomal hernia I have is getting worse.  It is so bad that despite taking Tylenol and Ibuprofen around the clock, I am in constant agony and I struggle to do things all the time.  I rarely have even a few minutes when I’m not in pain, and to Master this is shocking.  Things do hurt me, but I am very rarely in this level of pain ever.  This is worse than anything I have ever gone through.  I’m waking up in the night in pain in between doses of medicines and it’s just terrible.  We’re going to try to get me back in to see the surgeon again because I’m not even able to get from the house into the car without my walker.  I haven’t used my walker since I had my original surgery to have Gob put in.  That’s pretty bad to us.  We know I can’t get this repaired right now because of the Prednisone and because we need to be able to get the autoimmune disease under control first, but there must be something they can do about the pain in the meantime, especially as we are still waiting for approval on the belt.  ::Sigh::

One thing Master did was to rig the front room “sick kitty nest” setup to make it a bit easier for me to get up and down.  He took a hemp rope scrap that he sometimes uses on my wrists or ankles and he tied it to the metal on the bottom of the couch so that I could use it as an anchor to pull myself up using more of my arms instead of my core when I am getting up from the couch to use the bathroom or whatever.  I still do need to use my core, but it does take some pressure off and that’s a huge help.

Having a connective tissue disorder and always being at least a little bit “sickly” Master and me are no strangers to me being on bed rest or spending time in bed.  It doesn’t change that I am his slave or that he is my Master and it doesn’t change our dynamic.  It does make things harder on us both for various reasons, but we slip into and out of these “sick kitty” modes where things change a little.

Right now there is just so so much that I cannot do.  I was honestly much more capable fresh out of my last surgery than I am today as I am typing this (yes, even though I developed that nasty mucotaneous separation!).  Part of that could be that I had better pain management.  Part of that could be that I was just in a lot less pain even without the medicine… But this hernia?  It’s really, really awful.

I had to leave the house on Sunday for my Infusion and I was shocked by just how difficult it was.  We live in a really small house right now.  There are chairs in each room and I’m not walking too far because I spend most of my time lying down anyway.  By the time I got home I felt so much worse than before I left, but at least I wasn’t dizzy.  Fix one thing make another worse?

Back to serving.  I still serve.  Even when I’m stuck in bed, we have and always will find ways.  I am completely unable to leave the house for anything other than doctor visits, medical testing and Infusion right now, so Master picks up groceries and things on his own whenever he needs to leave the house for other reasons.  Whenever he comes home, I still always greet him.

“Welcome home, Master.”

“Thank you, Kitty.”

It may be from my sick bed, but it’s still important to him, and to us.

I cannot bend or twist at all.  I’ll still put Styx’s wet food in a dish on the counter for Master to put on the floor.  That way the work is 99% done, he just has to put it on the ground.  I guess a lot of people would just say “Well, I can’t bend, so I won’t feed the cat,” everything I do though is something Master does not have to do so I know I am helping him even in small ways.  I’ll put a pot on the stove and then put one cup of water in every time I pass by since I can’t lift the full pot right now.  I can unload the top rack of the dishwasher (terribly slowly, one thing at a time!), things like that.  It might seem like “Why bother” types of things to others, but to us they’re important.  It’s important to help in any way I can.  It’s important to be of use.

There are a lot of things that I am completely incapable of doing at all right now.  I’m trying not to focus on those because it’s too depressing especially considering the amount of time I am having to lay flat right now, which always bums me out.

Every time I get up to use to the bathroom, I try to do one thing whether it is to make him a cup of tea, or sit up and work on my blog until I can’t physically sit anymore, or sew until I can’t sit anymore, or put on thing in the washing machine, or match one pair of socks, or whatever.  It’s not perfect, but it does give me a bit more of a sense of not being completely useless.  No matter what is bothering me (broken bones, sublux, dislocation, hernia, recovering from surgery, whatever) I always feel useless when I’m trapped in bed.  Usually I console myself with the fact that it is okay to rest because resting is how you heal..  The difference here is that I will not heal from this until I get the surgery; so I feel even worse.  I’m trying to figure out how to live with this and how to serve with it.  There is always a way, even if it’s not always in the ways that you want.

The thing that is helping me cope is to remind myself that this is definitely not permanent.  It will get better.  I will get better.  It sucks a lot right now, but it is not how things will always be.

Something kind of strange, but kind of cool happened this week too.  When Master’s contract was abruptly ended a couple months ago we didn’t know why.  Well, turns out that Master’s old “Boss’ boss” came back to town (she had to eventually, right?) and it turns out it was dreaded “budget problems” again.  Well, Master got a ton of calls and emails from people he was working with at his last contract and they all wrote him references on LinkedIn and offered to be a reference etc.  Funny thing was, even the one guy there who was always being a dick to Master called him personally to offer to be a reference and express how much they missed having him!  That was kind of a boost!

Job wise we have some really hopeful news!  Master has another third interview coming up with a company that looks really really good.  The problem?  Ugh, I kind of have my hopes up for this one, and I’ve been promising myself that I wouldn’t do that!  GAH!  Thing is, they seem very interested and they seem to want to move fast on this if they do hire him.  It’s fairly local (only about a forty five minute drive) and they allow remote work on occasion if you have doctor visits or bad weather that day or whatever.  Want.  Salary and insurance seem to be in the right ranges too..  I promised myself until we got actual offer letters I wouldn’t get excited about any jobs, but I have to admit, this particular one is looking like it just might come through.  Not to get too excited.  Whoops.  Too late!