Saturday, March 11, 2006

The Last Couple Days

Venita hasn’t been away from the house the last couple days because despite being on Xanax, her anxiety is physically overwhelming. Things like being doubled over with shooting pains in her stomach. It surprised her when it started Thursday night because she thought she had resolved her emotional anxiety by speaking to the OR RN supervisor earlier in the week. Something of a mind/body disconnect.

Her eating is lousy. Her green tea drinking is good (thanks Cindy).

Today Venita figured that the only way to get her mind off her problems, without going too far away from the house, was to do the spring cleanup of the yard. One of Delaware’s native hardwood trees is the Sweet Gum. Their seedpods are unaffectionately known as “monkey balls.” Those pods are unpleasant yard trash, like golf balls with iron spikes. Can’t believe the Internet site linked above suggests germinating these trash trees.

Each mature tree must produce 3 thousand seedpods, and they come down all year, although principally in the winter months. Therefore, not only do we have a big fall cleanup for the leaves, we also have a big spring cleanup for the monkey balls.

So Venita headed out, rake and trash can in hand, about 10 this morning. Around 12, Venita’s neighbor Nancy came over and said she would be over later to help, but that she couldn’t work in the sun. She said another neighbor Mary would come too. By mid afternoon there were 4 women (neighbor Lynn pitched in too) and Mary’s stepson all raking and hauling monkey balls up the hill. They finished well before dark, but pretty exhausted, with just a couple hours cleanup left for Venita for tomorrow.

Dr. Boob wanted Venita off cigarettes at least 2 weeks pre-mast to improve her circulation for the reconstructive surgery. Two weeks wasn’t going to happen with everything else, but Venita last smoked 24 hours ago, giving her a good chance of giving Dr. Boob half of what he wanted. Venita keeps having these “what is it I was looking for?” moments, and realizes that it’s a subconscious urge. Good thing there are no cigarettes in the house and Venita hasn’t felt well enough to drive out to get some. And no, this is not intended as an attempt to stop smoking; Venita’s just trying to get through the surgery with as many good outcomes as possible. If it turns into something more, that’s great, but that’s not her objective.


Alice said...

I hope spring cleanup kept your mind occupied for a few hours anyway. If the anxiety is still bad take more xanax. Sometime I've had to take 20mg valium. I know the amounts are different but if the mg you are taking isn't enough than increase. You should'nt be suffereing, that's what the meds are for. Glad you gave Dr. Boob half of what he wants anyway. Thinking about you everyday.


{Steve Rapaport} said...

Thinking, as Alice is, about you and your monkey balls.

Any substances that people mention that speed healing/recovery (that grapefruit thing, Vitamin C and E, etc.) are going on your packing list for Jim! Jim, pack grapefruits and vitamins!


{Steve Rapaport} said...

P.S. Steve wonders if writing about himself in the third person might be somehow related to mind-body disconnects. Steve isn't sure :)

Ellen said...

I know you love to garden, Venita, and it can be so good for you (exercise, distractions, satisfaction in getting those monkey balls put in their place).

We only have a few sweet gum trees, but they are prolific. Our nemesis would be red maple seedlings. Those babies pop up everywhere. Pulling up 2 inch seedlings after a good rain is very satisfying.

Spring is in the air here. The native woodland flowers are popping up: bloodroot, hepatica, trillium, trout lilies .... How does nature craft such delicate things?

I hope you remember that just as the outdoors goes through this rejuvenation process, so will you one day. We are fortunate to live in such medically advanced times. Certainly, the information about it all is overwhelming, but better than knowing nothing and not being able to treat it.

We're all pulling for you and think of you every day.