Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Superwoman No More

In a conversation with some other women who have had significant health challenges, I heard myself saying, “It is so hard to wrap your consciousness around the fact that your body is not the same.”
They agreed: “No one prepared us for this.”
“This” could be one or more of any events or illnesses: cancer, car wrecks, chronic illness of any kind, falls, breaks, loss of hearing, sight, smell, taste, or cognitive ability; and whatever else I have forgotten or don’t know about that belongs on this list.
For me it has been various accidents, with mononucleosis piled on top. I cannot rely on my body to do what I once took for granted.
For example, move all these boxes of stuff so I can put up the Christmas tree? At one time that was the work of a moment. Not any more, brothers and sisters. Now it’s a matter of figuring out if I can catch my sons or my husband long enough to do the heavy lifting and shifting. If not, the thing does not get moved, and the little project does not get done.
When I do manage to get something done, I have to rest up afterwards. Crap. Insult added to injury, and then I’m too tired to sustain the insult, and need a nap.
Actually, the naps are great, but there was a time when I would not stop for anything, especially not a nap, which appears to be “doing nothing,” and horrors, we can’t have that, superwoman doing nothing.
Superwoman is beginning to realize that her high flyin’ days are over. They got left behind somewhere – for me, in that car wreck, in various falls and broken bones, and in the mononucleosis that left me with no energy.
It wasn’t until today, when I was talking about how when things happen to your body it takes forever for your conscious mind to catch up, that I realized that my mind still hasn’t caught up. I’m not sure if my mind has even started to admit that there’s anything different than it used to be.
It’s pretty frustrating to stand and look at work you used to do easily and confront the new reality that you can’t do it. It bodes well for anyone who plans on coming to the garage sale I’m going to have one of these days, though. I’m leaning in a lot of ways, but mainly I’m leaning towards getting rid of anything that’s in my way, and that’s practically everything.
Superwoman needs a nap now.

No comments: