The Home Gym

This is my new haven:

A couple weeks ago I decided that the time was ripe to buy a treadmill. Nick had already seen to the purchase of a super-nice elliptical trainer earlier this year in deference to my knees, but after a nasty case of shin splints following a walk outdoors in April, I realized the need for some impact-exercise in my repertoire. Nick spent an entire Saturday organizing the area to be just what the doctor ordered for both of us.

My head is very full right now and I am feeling very overwhelmed. I have developed a thudding ache where I had all of my surgery in 2006/2007. I can’t escape it. My nerves are waking back up after a nice long rest…but I so dearly miss that numb spot right now. I suppose I am a little nervous that it could be something more, too.

I can’t get this dumb frog out of my throat. I “ahem” until my voice is raw but the crud just won’t leave. I have an appointment with Allergy in a couple weeks to see if my sinuses are the culprit. It has been a rotten allergy season for me anyway, but maybe something else is up. I am supposed to be off all antihistamines until my 6/11 appointment, so the next two weeks should be a peach.

I have been feeling dually stressed out with school and work, and mainly because work seems to be in a tizzy lately. I can handle the challenge of full time school, but not when I can’t empty my head from work at the end of the day. The home gym offers a nice alternative to sharing a pitcher of beer during happy hour.

There are many things I like about the basement. I like the coolness of the area, the separateness from the rest of the house, and the privacy. Oh Lord!—the privacy! SO much nicer than a gym! I always get ready for a workout being all wussy and all “it’s so cold!” but then I start going and I’m being steamed alive in my sweats. At the gym, I just had to live with it. Here? I strip. Mid-stride on the treadmill. It’s a talent.

I came up from kickboxing on Saturday in nothing but some sweaty underthings. Nick nearly swallowed his tongue before demanding to know what happened to my clothing. Maybe I’m a closet nudist? But then, that’s rather oxymoronic, isn’t it?

Down so long.

This year, as Mother’s Day approached, the hovering weight above my chest fell. Part of me feels like this is a regression, a depression that has reemerged after I worked so hard to build myself back up after Mom died. This year, I looked in the mirror one morning and it struck me: my mother is dead. I can never be a mother. This day will never mean anything at all to me; a bitterness and a deep hurt has surrounded me since. You can only pretend to be okay with everything for so long.

My memories blur and then grow agonizingly clear. I made myself “forget” two years ago. It seemed easier then, when the hurt was so recent, so real, and I wasn’t sure if I could survive without her. I suppose it is time to actually deal with this emptiness. This all comes at a moment when my brother has fallen to depression, sending a late night text message wondering if I still had the slide show we played during her visitation, and my father has signed up for a fresh round with grief counseling.

This year, instead of being a party pooper, I elected to stay home from all Mother’s Day festivities. My brother did the same…we are in the same boat of past and future reasons to celebrate—he tells me he never wants to be in any relationship at all because it hurts too much when people die. At the risk of sounding immature and whiny, this isn’t fair.

Normally I have my wits about me, my rhetoric down. “There’s a bigger plan; we’re too small to see.” I’ll recite something she once relayed to me…”The word ‘deserve’ should not have been invented. Who are we to decide?” But right now, it all all just seems so unfair.

Thursday afternoon, I decided that I needed to run away, even if only for a day. Nick helped me plan a quick trip to Chicago, and we spent yesterday exploring the city and catching Wicked at the Ford theatre.
Today, reality returns. I think Nick was quite surprised when, on the trip home, he asked if I wanted to stop and visit her grave today. I clamped my lips and shook my head; gigantic alligator tears leaked from beneath my sunglasses.

Last year, I decided that I have come to save up all of my mourning for Mother’s Day and her birthday, the two days that have always been about her. This year, I am not quite sure that just two days will be enough. I have been able to talk about her fondly, in humor and warmth…trying to relay just how awesome of a person she was. Lately, I have been unable to say anything. I am overcome with images. I see her pregnant, rubbing her belly and talking to me like she told me she did. I remember us cuddled in bed together, talking and giggling. I feel her hugging me.

And then I feel it all go away.

Problematic Kitty

Sophie went in for her follow up appointment on Saturday morning. Her bladder wasn’t full enough for the urinalysis when we arrived, so they pumped fluids into her and held her for a few hours. The vet walked up to us saying, “Good news, bad news…” She had no crystals in her urine—amazing after having too many to count (excess of 100) in the small sample they viewed a month ago. The prescription food has done its work…even though she hates it.

(But, as Nick points out…she eats it. She eats everything. She just keeps eating and eating…)

Bad news, the new urine sample was riddled with bacteria. We have to pill her with an antibiotic twice a day for two weeks and then go back for another follow up. She no longer has to take solely Prescription Diet S/D; instead, she has to take Prescription Diet C/D. But now she can have Pounce again. Still no pretzels.

I had been holding her stock of Fancy Feast Marinated Morsels hoping that one day we would get the green light to give them to her again. I asked the question point-blank on Saturday, and that one day will never come. Not worth the risk. That afternoon, I emptied her place in the cupboard, moving the cans to a paper bag to take to her cousins’ house. She was so excited to see me in that cupboard, fingering those cans. Nearly dancing with excitement, she stood on her back paws and braced herself on my leg. STUPID PH!