Sunday, December 27, 2009

Ms. Muddle

"My dear, I am worried about you. It seems to me that you are in a muddle... Take an old man's word; there's nothing worse than a muddle in all the world. It is easy to face Death and Fate, and the things that sound so dreadful. It is on my muddles that I look back with horror--on the things that I might have avoided. We can help one another but little. I used to think I could teach young people the whole of life, but I know better now, and all my teaching of George has come down to this: beware of muddle."
(Mr. Emerson to Lucy Honeychurch in A Room With a View.)

I haven't been writing here much lately because, honestly, I'm in something of a muddle. I thought I'd sort things out, get through it, and be able to start writing sensible and thoughtful posts again, but it seems to be a fairly big muddle I'm in. The kind of muddle that is so deep that getting out of it changes who you are. So here, because you are all so sweet and deserve an explanation, are the basic issues I'm trying, inadequately, to sort out:

1. Lately, my husband has been more fatigued than is normal for him. Finally (after much hounding from me) he went for a check up. The doctor said that his liver function is somewhat compromised because of lack of circulation. Which means that, down the pike, we may be facing a liver transplant. When K. was first ill, we spent a lot of time in the transplant clinic, in waiting rooms full of transplant patients. Most of them were either desperately sick from organ rejection or bizarrely bloated from steroids. It's not a road I want to go down, but of course I will if I have to.

In three days we will have been married for twenty-five years. He is the pillar that holds up my sky, and all I want is another twenty-five years with him.

2. My mother is, it's clear to me, in the earliest stages of alzheimer's. She is still functioning pretty well, but I see that in the not-too-distant future she won't be able to live independently and will need to come an live with us. Which is as I want it to be, but it's a big change, the idea of caring for the parent who always cared for you.

3. My special-needs daughter is going through a seriously rough patch, crying and screaming a lot. She's gone through worse, and she always comes out of them, but it's exhausting when you're in the middle of it.

There I am in a nutshell (emphasis on the word nut). So if I'm writing less, calling less, visiting you and/or your blogs less, and am just generally not my usual peppy and voluble self, I hope you'll understand that it's not you. It's me and my muddle.


Dr. Monkey said...

I feel for you hon. I wish I could do more than just commiserate. Good luck with all your muddling.

Willym said...

Holding you very close in my heart.

laurent said...

Wishing you all the best and hoping for some brightness in your life. Congratulations on your 25 yr wedding anniversary.

L said...

I'd say you have quite a muddle, a muddle which has imposed itself on you, rather than by means of your own actions (like Mr. Emerson's).

Perhaps rather than a muddle, it is just a very heavy, dark, low-hanging cloud. Blinding, but still aloft, moving. One way or another (come hell or high water, screaming fits galore), this too shall pass. And, you know (I know you know)--I am young and silly and can't offer much, but I'd drop everything to help you guys.

Miss Janey said...

Wow. No wonder Miss Elizabeth hasn't been writing. She is carrying a lot right now. Miss J will keep good thoughts for her.

jason said...

Goodness...that's a lot to deal with at one *any* time. Make sure you're taking care of yourself.
Good energy being sent your way!

Elizabeth said...

Thanks all. I know I'll regain my balance at some point soon. Till then the good wishes and kind words are much appreciated.

sageweb said...

wow you are going through some tough stuff...Wish I was close to give you a big hug!!

Claire M. Johnson said...

Well, I'd say that "muddle" is understating it. News regarding Kirk is, naturally, horrible and I'm hoping they are loading him up on liver enhancing drugs. I hate to ask this, but if he gets a new liver, how are they going to increase the blood flow to the newish liver?

Your mother. Sigh. You need to talk with her about this and I know there are drugs out there and prolong the acuity levels of Alzheimer's victims and is she on these drugs?

Daughter in rage. Sigh. Is it the holidays, a break in her routine? When she's back in the school cycle, these tantrums might fade away. Hopefully?

Love you. And thank you for the cookbooks. I'm typing with one hand and carving melon cranes with the other. The other book is so touching in a way. I REMEMBER so many of these restaurants from when I was a kid. I don't think there's a single one left still in business, but looking back, I've been to a fair number of them!

And did I say I love you?

Elizabeth said...

Sage - Thanks dear.

Claire - I'm calling it a muddle because usually now, in my life, I more or less know how to handle - or at least how I want to handle - what life throws at me. But right now I'm just so overwhelmed that I'm simply putting one foot in front of the other and not looking beyond each day as it comes to me.... Now that the holiday is over though, I hope things will be less manic.

We kids requested that my mother go to a neurologist, and she's now on Arocet (drug to slow memory loss). So we'll see if that helps.

As for Kirk and how a new(ish) liver would work in his compromised body, I don't know....

I've been meaning to send you that old SF restaurant booklet for ages. Yes, the SF restaurant landscape has changed so much, even from the time when I first lived there.

And I love you right back dear. Wish we could go out for tea and have a good talk.

a thousand shades of twilight said...

So sorry to hear all of that - thinking of you!! Just to hear you say that you are overwhelmed breaks my heart. I just so wish you some peace and a worry-free time. I hope that you can muddle on through. And here's to another 25 years of the lovely Mr K!

mumbliss said...

Dear Elizabeth,
Me too. This has been an exceptionally hard year.
It is hard to talk about, or even think about it.
So. You and your beautiful family make me happy.
Happy New Year and all my love to you and K. Happy anniversary and, did I say I love you?

Anonymous said...

I have just read your blog about the muddle, and want to add to the heartfelt expressions of care and affection by your friends here.