Rainy Days

We walked to the store to buy ingredients for a South African desert Chris suddenly had a craving for. It was a big deal, walking to the store. It’s a few blocks away and so much can happen in a few blocks. I have been working pretty hard to strengthen weak muscles and stabilize unstable joints because I’m not ready to give up on walking. I love walking. Life is risk and I get hurt turning over in bed and standing up, walking a few blocks is not going to instigate the apocalypse.

It takes a while to get ready. We pack the emergency bag that’s tiny for short trips – inhaler, epi-pen, lip gloss, torch, keys, wallet, tape, drug pouch, glasses case. As we lock the door Chris says ‘I can come get the car if I need to’. It’s his way of saying that it’ll be okay, don’t worry, this is suppose to be fun. It’s a very wet but mildly warm day, my favourite kind and my shoes make splashing noises in puddles. Chris gives me that look that makes me want to quote ‘Don’t look at me with that tone of voice’ but then I kept him up until after midnight learning Spanish from an audio book and so I let it go. So does he. I splash more water dragging him through yet another puddle and as the rain intensifies I put my hood up with a grin and he knows I’m thinking his wet hair will go well with the wet shoes and jeans.

We no longer live in the country side and walking isn’t as pretty but it’s also much more convenient. Surfaces are flat, roads are pothole free and there are pavements, what luxury. Suburbia in Wiltshire isn’t exactly pretty, but it tries to be in a very fake and what I imagine other people thought traditional way and so it’s not exactly horrendous either. I no longer have high aspirations. I’m content to be comfortable. It’s a lovely walk. Nothing dramatic happens, nothing hurts so much that Chris has to fetch the car and although the 5-minute walk takes an awfully long time and carry me home completely and utterly exhausted, it’s still one of the nicest things I’ve done in a while.

Wednesday’s concussion has left me a little absent, vacant, quiet and extremely tired and making desert after that walk seem like a very big job. But the recipe is in a language Chris doesn’t understand and so I read off ingredients and hand out instructions whilst he does all the work. Twenty minutes in the oven and it’s not setting as it should and seems to be going all weirdly crispy over the top. Forty minutes later and its raw and starting to burn. Chris throws in the towel and chooses another recipe that seems easier to manage. Inbetween translating a new set of instructions and trying to keep an eye on both desert-in-the-oven turning to crisp and desert-in-the-frying-pan threatening to set off the fire alarm, I rush to turn on my PC to find the cheap international call number that I keep meaning to actually write down. I call my mum in South Africa and Chris gloats whilst she confirms that yes, indeed, I left out the flour. He has been pointing this out for hours. But no, wait, she left out writing down that it needed flour and me with undoubting trust just followed her written instructions to the letter. Maybe I should be less trusting with the blind faith and all.

Combination of long (for me) walk and cooking (well supervising the cooking) results in me falling asleep on the couch without touching said desert. It’s a good upside of a concussion, it makes me sleepy. After 9 hours sleep last night, I napped for an hour or two late morning, two hours in the afternoon as well as two in the evening and even after having slept 14 hours out of the last 24, I can barely keep my eyes open now. We have tea in the garden whilst letting the cat roam free to eat grass and I almost fall asleep on Chris’ shoulder. Inside seems like a better place to fall asleep and I browse through my to-check-daily sites whilst Chris potters about getting ready for bed. Bath time follows and a new safety net has been added.

“I’d like to take a bath before bed”, I say.
“Which way is up?”, Chris says.
“Very funny”, I mutter and glare.
Chris doesn’t budge. I point to the ceiling and roll my eyes.
“I’ll run you a bath”, Chris says.

It’s been one of those sad yet happy days. My pain levels have spiked and gotten stuck at the leaving me breathless with tear-filled eyes point and I know that there’s nothing I can do about it. It makes me miss comforting things and people that aren’t there. But I’m adult enough to know that need and want aren’t relevant emotions. I can make do with what I have. Chris goes to sleep and despite feeling tired and sleepy, I know that the 14-hours sleep of today was restless and interrupted and I will now fall asleep and hurt and so I delay. Pain permeates my dreams and even asleep I cannot escape. I dream of slipping bones and head injuries and loss and pain so strong it makes me cry in my sleep before it wakes me up to the realization that it’s not a bad dream, it does actually hurt that much. Today has been a good day as days go, but even the best days are never as good as they ought to be.

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2 Comments

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  1. Sometimes I think we should take the shoulds and oughts out of our vocabulary. A good day is a good day, and an accomplishment is an accomplishment.

  2. Definitely Carol. I don’t think it’s quite as simple as Scott Hamilton’s much used quote of “the only disability in life is a bad attitude”, but I certainly find that the biggest limitations are created by dwelling on shoulds and oughts rather than embracing the good that’s right there.

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