Wednesday, October 09, 2013

The Other Shoe

Team Miner: 

Jeff is finally back in the hospital for the first of two rounds of methotrexate. For reasons I don't entirely understand, UCSF is unusually crowded right now and Jeff waited for almost a full week to get an available bed. 

I am tired of being beholden to hospital schedules, or the lack thereof. Jeff's been gone all of 2.5 hours and I already miss having him at home.  However, I also want him 100% well, so in a way I am glad to be here alone with the girls as he pushes through this to the end of treatment.

Getting strung along for the past six days regarding this hospital admission is the perfect illustration of something I've been musing about lately. This whole experience has put me on edge. I feel like I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop.  
Photo from the Berkeleyside Flickr page, by 2812 Photography
For example, it was difficult the past several days for me and for Jeff to enjoy our time at home together, because we were always anticipating a call from UCSF telling him to return to the hospital. It was also frustrating to know that for each day we waited for his admission, his overall length of treatment was growing ever longer, and getting pushed back further and further. And, of course, this "hospital tease" is yet another example of things generally being out of our control, which induces a not immoderate amount of anxiety in me.

Even outside of this context, the "other shoe" phenomenon is needling me. I often find myself in this thought pattern where if I take a moment to be grateful for something, my mind immediately looks back as if to say, "It could have been so much worse." As soon as I reflect on that, my mind races forward, and I think, "Well, you never know what will happen. It might get even worse than that." Then, I kind of guilt my way back to feeling thankful again, but it's a sort of paranoid gratitude.  A wobbly thankfulness with caveats and conditions: like, I'm thankful... for now.

The only way out of this that I can surmise, not that I am succeeding in this endeavor, is to actually rest in the present moment. To stop reaching back and forward at the same time.  To just stop.

And I will.  I'll stop here for now, and get some rest.  Good night.


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