Dangerous Compassions


Yesterday I was sitting here on the bed.  I had accomplished taking a shower and was proud of myself.  I’ve always hated that shower because it’s small.  But I learned that the smallness was actually useful when I needed a rest and leaned against its walls for a while.

Also I was telling myself nice things, like that I was doing good and almost done.  There’s a lot to balance.  Energy level, weakness, dizziness, what’s going on with my hemoglobin and how oxygen moves, what’s going on with my lungs and what happens with oxygen there.  My swollen feet.  How tangled my hair is after not washing it for a week.  Not having any heat in our house, just space heaters.  Slipperiness of floors.

Anyway, did the shower.  Smelled like shampoo and hair still damp, half-naked.  Then I got a txt.  My friend was a little early. 

So I put on my dress, a new yellow dress, and it was windy.  I wanted to wear these leggings underneath, but it would have taken a while to get them on, so I didn’t.  But then I was feeling like the world could see my chonies when a gust of wind came, that moment we passed through the courtyard to Freedom House.  My legs felt really bare and soft, and the wind seemed to be finding my vulnerable places.

The little boy had made me a card.  It was red construction paper and said GET WELL on the front in weird huge print of a four year old.  Inside there were stickers clustered together.  And an H for his name.

I thanked him and almost cried and said it was beautiful.  I had never been the sick one who a kid brings a card to.  His pride at having done a good deed, my awkwardness, the ways we try to love each other. 

Wondering what the mom said, remembering when I was little and a grandparent was in the hospital and how scary that felt to me, the vagueness and is he going to die this time and needing to be gentle when he comes home.  Sensing the grandparent was different now but not really knowing what to do.

So we watched them eat their lunchables, fruits, and cheetos. We were offered crackers and refused.  I ate half an avocado that was on the table and some banana.  The space heater was on but didn’t seem to be doing anything.

They had brought groceries based on a list I wrote but didn’t let us pay them back, a gift, and I was moved by that too.

Later yesterday afternoon for a treat Ming and I went out to buy some tater tots at sonic, but I was really dizzy and got scared and was crying.  I was trying to figure out what was wrong to make me so dizzy.  I was trying to tell myself the only real problem would be if the ulcer was bleeding again, and it probably wasn’t that, so I probably was fine.  But the weird dizzy sleepy feeling was scaring me like I was going to pass out. 

So the outing wasn’t fun.  Ming was struggling with the ap to order the food, and I was panicking, squirmy, trying to comfort myself by looking at clouds, hearing the energetic sonic top 40 music.

Ming wanted to take my pulse to see if it was really high again.  I was like, if it’s really high again, what will we do?  Are we going to the hospital?  No way am I doing that, so what’s the point of taking my pulse.

The dizziness lasted 45 minutes or so and then I was fine.  Well, progress.

When we came home from the hospital, I would be sleeping in my bed at night and wake up not knowing where I was–where am I, where’s the bathroom.  But last night was the first night I would wake up knowing I was home.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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