I'm streaming from nose and eyes. Started last night and it's been almost non-stop ever since, over 24 hours already. Emotional, I know. 'Grief and other complications,' I told my friend Marian in a text. (The complication being the going wrong of what had seemed like a delightful new friendship — the other person easily hurt, and me unable to give her as much time and attention as she desired. Upsetting!)
Meanwhile I've been uncomfortably sick. It makes me feel childish and sorry for myself. I want my Mum to come and take care of me, or Bill (second husband) or most of all Andrew — the people who did so in the past — but they are all dead. When I am well, I am quite clear that I can take care of myself. When I'm sick, I want to crawl into bed and be a little girl again and have someone look after me. And because this isn't going to happen, I bawl like a baby.
And all the while I am actually looking after myself, of course. That's the trouble, though — that it's me who has to do it for myself. That's what makes me bawl. I have these moments where I feel that I've completely dropped my bundle — and yet I haven't actually dropped it at all, because I simply can't afford to. I HAVE to keep going. I have to look after myself because there's no-one else available. And so I do, alongside the complaining.
Even when Andrew was in hospital last year and I had flu, I looked after myself without whingeing about it: it was so important to get well. I just got on with it, did what it took. Now there's not such an urgent reason, so I can afford to indulge in childishness; or I think I can. Not rational really, but there you go. Not only did I look after me very well last year, but him too. When he had a cold or anything, I babied him when that's what he wanted or needed, helped him be strong and (relatively) independent when that was required. You'd think I could look after me just as well, wouldn't you? Doesn't seem to work that way.
At that point I decided to re-read my posts for June last year at the 'Shifting Fog' blog in which I recorded Andrew's illness and decline. I thought maybe I could be having an extended anniversary reaction. Whew, could I what! I had forgotten already just how difficult a time that was, horrific for both of us. Obviously my subconscious is well aware.
At that time Andrew was prescribed some new medications which didn't suit him. I did manage to get them switched to things with fewer nasty side-effects, but it took some doing. Meanwhile his dementia temporarily increased and he appeared to have some small strokes (maybe he did, though it's hard to know, as the observable effects didn't last). I can't bear to recount the details; it was all so very stressful. If anyone wants to read it and be harrowed, click on the blog link above, but I'll excuse you if you pass on that.
I have put myself to bed now, with hot water bottles and a cup of cocoa. The cats have come in from outside through their cat door, and both are lounging on the bed with me and purring. It's nice.