I Am a Middle-Aged Drama Queen

arrowAnyone who walks away with seven stitches and a near perfect arrow-shaped scar should have a good story to tell, right? Attacked by my recliner doesn’t seem to qualify, though. But that’s what happened. Really, I wouldn’t make up something so lame.

I blame the prednisone, of course. It’s made my skin so thin and papery that staring at it too hard can cause a tear. That’s why a simple scratch that should have left a red mark at most resulted in a 3-inch gash topped by a chevron-shaped skin flap.  I didn’t even know I’d injured myself until I saw blood dripping on the carpet. One look at the wound and I knew I needed stitches.

Luckily, we have a wonderful urgent care just five minutes from the house. Proximity is key not just for convenience — it also means if my portables run low, my husband can dash home for a quick fill. The doc was fast with his patch job, though, so we managed the outing on what I had with me. Still, the whole incident was full of drama — drama that we are all growing quite tired of.

Bum lungs and bad-ass meds keep me teetering out here on the brink. A little stumble becomes a broken ankle and surgery. The sniffles morph into pneumonia. An extra half slice of pizza leads to an evening of difficult breathing followed by 20 minutes of roller coaster sats and projectile coughing at bedtime. Drama Queen is not my style and it’s a role I inhabit reluctantly. But maybe that’s the lesson here. Let the drama flow through me and over me without letting it define me.

Unfortunately, no matter how Zen I become about it all, everything that happens to me affects my family, too.  If I need to go to the ER/urgent care/doctor, someone has to drop everything and take me. If a tube becomes unplugged, someone has to untangle the snarl and reconnect it. If my tank runs dry, someone has to fill a new one for me. Caregiving is emotionally, mentally and physically draining work — especially for those who take care of patients like me, dancing on the edge.  I have the easy part: breathing, hoping, waiting. But my family? They’re the ones who deserve medals, parades and their own feast days.

 

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