Yes, I am tired. Tired of passing for normal, but feeling my body get weaker and weaker as COPD takes its toll.
Today, I packed the dog up, loaded all her accessories into the car, and then nearly lost it when I wasn’t strong enough to break down her kennel and carry it to the car. The kennel that I purchased six (6) short weeks ago, and struggled to set up, was bullying me and destroying my illusion of self-sufficiency as I struggled to break it down and fold it up into something I could carry out to my car for easy transport.
This M#$!~r F%#?§r was NOT going to defeat me. I would get it collapsed and folded down into the same small footprint it had when I brought it home from the pet store.
Next, I needed to do the same thing for the folding gate.
Mother F%&#er !
It wasn’t arthritis bringing me to the edge of frustration today, but ineptitude.
Try as I might, I didn’t have the stamina to manhandle the crate or the pet yard easily. I can lift both without becoming winded, so I know the weight of each is less than 35 lbs. While I’d guess that each item’s weight is about 18 to 20 pounds, I can’t find the actual specs anyplace to figure out how low my ability to pick things up and move them has fallen.
After taking all morning to medicate the dog’s eyes, feed the dog, walk the dog, and pack up its stuff to move it and the dog to the other friend’s home, I was in desperate need of a nap.
But, being the stubborn person I am, there was no time for a nap as I had to get the dog delivered on time, as well as get to the bank, and hit the post office before I had any hope of calling it a day.
Once at the bank, I was upset to realize that I wasn’t thinking clearly and ended up with $400 in $5 bills. Even the bank teller’s challenge to clarify didn’t prompt me enough to realize that my $50 amounts were going to be in $5’s.
Rather than bother anyone in fixing my error, I took out another $200 plus cashed the checks I had for deposit, in order to get my desired $50’s. Granted, it’s only an extra $200 to take with me, and I will absolutely use the $5’s for valet tips, the chambermaid and other daily incidentals. The point is, though, that extreme tiredness reared its ugly head, and my lack of clarity in thinking is getting this trip off on a bad foot and is getting on my last nerve.
Knowing at this point that I was not safe to drive, I napped in the bank parking lot for about 20 minutes, AND picked up some caramel M&Ms to help me get through the rest of my errands and safely drive the 30 miles home.
Once safely home, though, I’m still exhausted, but now have my second wind and cannot sleep as the candy is still coursing through my veins. Even if all I want to do is catch about an hour so that I can get back up with some energy to complete my day and all the things I have left to accomplish before I get on the plane tomorrow.
The rage at being weak fills me in moments of peace and quiet, as I try and keep up with what I “should” be able to do, but which my increasingly tired body proves I can no longer do.
Did I tell you I hate the whole, “Buck up, tough it out” school of thought, too?
I see so many of us with such varied abilities or levels of COPD disability hanging on, fighting the stigma of being less able, so I know this is parr for the course.
Plus, all those motivational catchphrases about “Winners never quit” drive me nuts as my body continues to wind down. While I’m a big fan of “believing yourself well”, I also wonder if my belief systems and stubborn resolve falter, will I simply fade away?
I know I’m blessed my disabilities aren’t keeping me hooked to an oxygen tank and simply sitting in a chair. Yet. But it’s the “yet” factor that gets on my last nerve.
One of my neighbors, Ray, just had knee surgery this week. His foot is swelling up, and the doc wants him to stay off of it. But, Ray being Ray, and a stubborn cuss like me, keeps moving. His image of himself as a strong man, a husband and caregiver, a man married for over 50 years to his Alzheimer’s stricken wife, Annabelle, won’t let him rest even after surgery.
Damnit, we have things we want to do ! Yes, we’re both stubborn, and so far I can’t see either one of us going quietly into that long goodnight.
I just hate watching my abilities evaporate, and hope the current stamina setback isn’t my new normal.