The Journey to Normal

So, there’s this Thing that happens when you start to get better after having been, oh, pretty sick from the flu, say.  You start to feel better, and you say, “Hey!  I’m better!”  and then a couple weeks later, you look back at that point and say to yourself, “Oh, boy, who was I kidding?  But, hey!  I’m really better now!”  And a couple weeks further along, you look back at that point, and shake your head, because, man, you didn’t know what better even was — and so on until you stop thinking about it and eventually, you’re back to 100 percent, or whatever passes for 100 percent in your country, and life goes on.

That’s kind of where I am, now. I’m definitely better than I was four weeks ago, on my radiation graduation day, and really better than three weeks ago, and noticeably better than even two weeks ago, but — still not 100 percent.  Maybe 80 percent.  Maybe not that much.

One of the most frustrating parts of this continuing journey is the hitting a Wall of exhaustion, when, just five minutes earlier, I was feeling just fine.  Really, it’s like 80 to zero in two heartbeats, and suddenly I’m tearing up because I can’t remember how to hard boil eggs.  Disconcerting.  My particular Wall seems to manifest in the afternoon, anywhere from ten minutes to three hours after the midday meal, so, naturally I’ve been trying to cram all the Stuff I feel I need to do in the hours before the midday meal. Which may or may not be exacerbating the situation, but we play with the tiles we’ve drawn.

In any case, I am not back to a place where I can write fiction yet (argh), but I can do other writing related things, like read page proofs, which is what I’ve been doing, slowly, with the proofs for the mass market edition of Accepting the Lance, which has been its own small journey into surrealism.

It’s not that I don’t remember the story — not exactly that.  I do remember the — the hanger points, which is to say, the scenes that had to be there in order for the story to continue in a forwarder direction.  What I don’t remember are things like Val Con having lunch with his daughter, or the Miri’s meeting with the snow removal crew, or any other of a bunch of the small scenes that give the story depth and Truth.

So, I’m about 87 pages short of a complete read of the proofs, and hope to finish them tomorrow.  Then, I’ll see what other trouble I can get into — in a good way, as the journey toward normal continues.

Everybody be safe.

9 thoughts on “The Journey to Normal”

  1. Sharon, I’m glad to hear you’re improving. I can only imagine the difficult journey in which you’re still participating, but you have my best hopes for continuing in the right direction.

    And you stay safe, too. And Steve.


  2. I’m glad for any improvement in your health and energy. It’s understandable that you would be frustrated with the leisurely pace of the improvements, but at least in retrospect you CAN see improvements. Is it possible to do some mindfulness/relaxation exercises as a few minutes of your day? That might be helpful. Please be as gentle to yourself as you would be to a friend who was going through a tough time. You have a lot of people in your corner rooting for you, myself included.

  3. Fibromyalgia and low blood sugar and several other conditions are like that. You’re going along fine, and boom! you’re exhausted, or dithery, or dissolving in tears over something simple.
    It’s hard to accept, especially if you were previously in good health, but eventually, you will learn coping strategies (in my case, family and close friends acting as spotters, because I can’t tell when I am about to crash).
    And in your case, you’re in recovery, so you should expect a gradual diminution of these issues. Best wishes for a rapid return to good health!

  4. I am very glad to hear that you are feeling better! And honestly, even happier to know that you are aware you are not yet back to 100%. That’s the hardest thing about getting better – to remember that it takes time.

    I know because in 8th grade, I missed 2 weeks of school because of the flu. I was sure I was better, and went back to school. For one single day. Then I missed another two weeks.

    So you just keep taking care of yourself. Probably not necessary to say – but you are valuable and loved by your readers.

  5. Asyouknowbob, Recovery happens in stages. Every recovery is different, even as an individual. Healing from surgery is different from getting over the flu or a sprained wrist. Having healed from more than a few different afflictions, I can tell you that Slow and Steady are wise words and even better practices. PACE yourself. You KNOW you cannot get it ALL done before you crash. So, try to avoid the crash; make it a graceful summersault and rise to a knee at the end of a short fall. You know how to do this. Don’t be so stubborn with yourself. Be kind. You got this.

  6. For what it’s worth and even though your doctor told you…what you’re going through mentally is absolutely normal. I’m only a few steps ahead of you and permanently hired on my brain is the sound of my voice crying to my daughter, ‘ I can’t under stand why I’m so emotional’ I can’t understand why I can’t remember things’. She reminded me that this had happened before the first time I beat cancer and it had all worked out fine. Hugs

  7. I’m glad you’re on the road to recoverey , and that you realise it’s going to take time. As others have said, be as kind to yourself about this as you would be to anyone else you cared about; when Steve was recovering from his heart surgery I would bet you weren’t hounding him to get over it faster!

    Does the holey recovery-brain memory mean you finally get to experience what a FINE story you wrote, as a reader like us, instead of as the critical author remembering writing it? That would be something!

  8. Glad you are feeling better, at least periodically, and sometimes just for a short time… This is frustrating, when you want to step out again, but can only do baby steps. It happens even with much smaller surgeries, ailments, so you’re not being a wimp.
    Let the Feline Overlords pamper you, distract you, make sure you’re getting the rest you need.
    And pass along to Steve how much we all appreciate the care he’s giving you, too.

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