November 02, 2006

Continuing Monday's Saga

I realize that everyone thinks I feel more important than I am, and that these feelings are foolish and misguided. However, they are what they are -- I am not important in a good way so much as I am a contaminant, people are wary of me, don't want me around, and rightly so -- and as such the feelings paralyze me. That being said, I will continue because I said I would.

Finally, finally, Joe finished and we picked up our trays, dumped their contents and headed back down the dreaded elevator, full of another cohort of mind readers, to the Sleep Disorders Center.

Luckily, we didn't have to wait very long for the interview, during which Joe did his usual sermonizing, instead of letting them ask questions; he never learns! 8D And during which I almost fell asleep due to the excessive warmth of the room and the hour -- 11am is when I usually get sleepy -- and the necessity for sitting still, not moving or talking. I could have answered all the sleep questions Joe said No to with a resounding Yes. But then I have a known sleep disorder and they are evaluating Joe for an ALS-induced sleep apnea. During this time, they once referred to me as Joe's wife, so I got to correct that assumption, at least with them, which took some pressure off me.Then we still had to walk out of the Sleep Center and pass through the construction area with its loud temporary flooring and the lobby with its linoleum and marble, and at last, get to the car but eventually we were on our way back home. Hallelujah!

Once back in my apartment, though, I had no time to remain there safe and alone as I had to quickly leave to go shopping, ugh, my least favorite thing to do. I was running out of food and needed to go to Stop and Shop before Physical Therapy. So I wrote out my "couldn't go anywhere without it" list and drove myself to the store for another onslaught of paranoia, the same turmoil experienced while shopping for groceries I described back in April.

This time two things in particular occured in the store that upset me, despite the precautions of my list and my usual Mrs Wagner-with-the-four-hungry-children persona; one was that someone stopped me from shopping in the health food aisle by sneering while I was looking at the soy yogurt. When I heard that, I simply dropped the cup I was reading the label of and raced away from the area altogether, knowing I wasn't welcome to shop there. The other thing was that I had to talk out loud both to myself and to Them in order to get through, which earned me several long looks and a wide berth from at least one other shopper. Who was I talking to? Well, as I said, partly just to me: just telling myself where to go, what to do, what rights I had and so forth. But partly to them, telling them to leave me alone, to stop following me, to...Oh, what does it matter? When I say "to them" I mean to Them, that is, not to anyone iin specific, just to anyone and everyone, because of an indefinable overwhelming sense that They are bothering me, keeping me under surveillance, making Rules, and deliberately trapping me in the aisles with their phantom overflowing carts...

When I finally made it out of there with my week's worth of groceries, I had to go immediately to PT, where because it is, I believe, newly opened, I was the only client there for the 3pm hour. Though I feel conspicuous, it is not too bad as I am almost always all alone there, but for the physical therapist, and he doesn't have to do very much for me anymore as I have learned all the exercises. So he just tells me which ones to do when and I do them. That doesn't make me paranoid in and of itself, only the fact that I keep thinking, Should I have come, or should I just stay home, even though I know my shoulder won't get better if I am left to do this myself. Should I quit? Am I a waste of time? Is that what he is talking to the receptionist about now? That she shouldn't schedule me for any more appointments? And then I decide to cancell all subsequent ones, anything but continue to be tormented by this incessant train of thought.

But I don't want my shoulder to stay frozen or less than fully mobile and I don't know that I will do any of the exercises on my own without PT to motivate me. After all I do precious few things that rrequire discipline unless I'm passionately driven to do them, in which case they don't require disciplilne! And exercise of any sort is not one of them. Do I settle for a frozen shoulder with possibly recurrent tendonopathy or do I return to PT despite the internal repercussions? I haven't yet committed myself either way.

Finally I got home and carried eight bags of groceries up to the 12th floor on my own (yes, there is an elevator) almost without incident, though I felt like people werre staring into my bags and commenting, "How can she afford grapes on SSI?" and "Brussels sprouts? That's disgusting..." Something from everyone. No one can keep her eyes or thoughts to herself but has to judge, judge, judge! I was possibly the most relieved person in the building when I could finally close and lock my door on everyone that evening, and simply relax and be by myself. (Sorry, Eemie reminds me to tell you all that she was with me the entire time, ministering to my every need with a lick and a purr.)

Posted by pamwagg at November 2, 2006 02:36 AM


Oh PLEASE, do not apologize!!! I know everyone comes from a kind place and doesn't want me to feel bad about myself, and that is enough. I'm the one who owes an apology for whinging and moaning and feeling sorry for myself...So consider it done here. And ALL of us, stop it now. We don't have the space for constant recriminations. You speak your mind and I'll speak mine and no more apologizing for honesty. OKAY?

Love to you all,


Posted by: Me at November 3, 2006 11:09 AM

I'm sorry, too, Pam. Please pardon me.


Posted by: Cynthia at November 2, 2006 06:31 PM

Dear Pam,

I apologize if I came across as being insensitive to your feelings. I don't ever want to hurt you or make light of what you feel.

I guess I don't really know how it feels when you feel people stare at you. I'm sorry Pam.


Posted by: Yaya at November 2, 2006 10:07 AM

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