Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Luxurious Problems

When you’re middle-aged and trying to figure out how to deal with your hair, that’s a good problem to have. Since the surgery, my sleeping habits have changed, and in consequence, my hair is completely different in the morning than it has been across my life. Side sleeping has been out since surgery, because the left side of my head at first had the staples and then was hypersensitive, and it was too painful to be on the right shoulder. Now, forming new sleeping habits--in my own bed, with Michael there, in my own house, safe and sound and all that accompanies it, not to mention having my faculties mostly intact--falls clearly into the problems that are luxuries, right along figuring out a whole new way to cope with bed hair. Not to mention being grateful for HAVING the hair that is giving me such fits every morning.

There are other good problems in this transitional period, some of which I’ve written about before: figuring out what my work identity is, for example, when to get work done, I must do so much of it at home. Despite some seriously anti-social tendencies, at root, I’m a pretty interactive creature at work and like being part of a team and having colleagues. Patterns of decades were lost when I recreated my work life some years back, and the rhythm that had emerged was a good one. Now, I’m re-imagining productive work all over again. This, too, is a good problem to have, I recognize, as I HAVE work, and it’s work that I like. I get this. Still, it’s complicated and confusing. There are days when I just want to give up. Perspective is all, especially recognizing how fortunate I am to have these issues with which to grapple.

I told someone that I counted my blessings for having $150,000 of medical treatment with no serious financial penalty, and he told me about the worries their family had had when their daughter--terminally ill with cancer--had surpassed $2 million in medical care and their fears that their insurance might be capped there. (It turned out to have a $5M cap.) There was a fast reality check.

This list could go on for quite a while. Even assessing the length of my list of trivial worries (in the scheme of things) feels self-indulgent and bad. Of course, my whole outlook is a little self-critical right now, given how badly overbooked this month is, which is all my fault. My outlook is even greyer today as the three-blood-draws-over-an-hour-following-the-stimulus shot didn’t go so well this morning. We’re hoping for results soon and that the results mean that we can mess with my brain chemistry to jump start my pituitary gland and hypothalamus in ways that will improve daily life. Stay tuned.

P.S. We got the videos from my father's memorial service posted on YouTube; Kearney's talk was great and I managed mine in a way that was honest and still appropriate to the occasion. Email me if you want a link to it.

1 comment:

  1. Just saying hi (and hoping to see you later today). I do think the "three-blood-draws-over-an-hour-following-the-stimulus shot," while meant literally by you about your interaction with our modern health system, is a great metaphor for how we all feel about the current economic crisis and Congress's actions to deal with it. :-) I would very much like to take a look at the videos, so when you get the chance to send an email link, that will be much appreciated.

    Together in sisterly bedhead solidarity--Laura