I could have called this “Dale’s Departure”, too, as this is more than a sex blog, but you decide what to call it yourself, after you finish reading, if you’ve decided to continue with this tale.
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The original chat I’m writing about first began in Dear Dr. Ruth. For those of you still interested in this chat, here’s the latest chapter where I pretend to be an expert on something that I’ve only dabbled in and researched on my own. (Photo credit is “Quantum Leap”, and an episode where Sam got cast as Dr. Ruth).
Sex and sexuality continues to be a huge taboo in the lives of healthy people, never mind folks who are disabled or dealing with a chronic illness. I am here to say that handicapped or chronically ill people are not neuters or androgynous folks for whom sex and intimacy have no value. We are not asexual children, for whom sexual activity has no interest as there are no hormones or memories of happier times driving us.
Everything works, even if it’s not in an appealing package or a body able to be supple and lithe and act on its urgings without effort.
What’s been really strange, though, is learning that my much younger cousin, as she’s entered her 40’s and following the passing of her Mother, is also going through a sexuality evolution very similar to what I experienced.
Even though we have different fathers (the brothers), I am left wondering if there is something damaged in our Paternal line that makes it easy to get between the ears of the women of our family.
Since she was raised Jewish, I know it’s not the Catholic guilt that I always blamed for myself. But, raised to be “ladies”. Raised at a time when sexual urges and women’s freedom to act on their own sexual interest was evolving, and also becoming sexually active in a time of fear for not knowing what caused HIV and AIDs, it’s strange to see my 10-15 years younger cousin going through many of the same personal quests that I went through following the death of our Moms.
Maybe we both have the same fear of being exposed and ridiculed for our decisions to be sexually active without the benefit of marriage. But, whatever it was that got packed in our personal baggage, we’ve both done or are doing our best to root out the existence of fear and derision from the voices in the back of our brains. That inner voice that never shuts up and always sees us as less than. Less than desirable. Less than capable. Less than intelligent. Whatever it is, I do find it funny that we two wallflowers ended up being cast as Dr. Ruth personalities in our very different lives. She’s speaking to the shy women to try and free them of their self-imposed bonds, and I am speaking to the handicapped women. Amazing what a small world it is.
At any rate, I digress.
I tend to do that when given free rein.
In this case, a few months have passed, and one of the COPDteam members tagged me in a private message to again discuss his concerns. In this case, Dr. Ruth is turning into a grief counselor and life coach.
(The picture which started this conversation was probably something like this shared on fb. I love http://www.VineyardColors.com for helping me address my ever present homesickness with beautiful images):
So, he reaches out to me (and, remember, I type a lot on the tablet, so please excuse my spelling and missed errors – I think you’ll get the gist of the conversation despite the typos. I’m still the blue ink typist):
(For anyone who wants to know what Hypoxia or Pulmonary Edema is, there will be a definition at the end. Basically, he wanted reassurance that he wouldn’t suffer when his time came).
Another aside – temperature variations will kill us fastest with COPD, and many folks are too proud to acknowledge that they may not be able to afford to care for themselves as it gets closer to the end. In my case, having learned from Dale’s situation, I have a temperature gauge in my house to verify what the actual indoor temperature is, and watch it like a hawk to make sure that my thrifty, Scot’s soul isn’t sabotaging my own health over my dislike of stale air plus worries that my money won’t stretch to heat my tin can home.
I think in some ways it’s a betrayal of the private messenger to repeat this conversation verbatim. However, since I’m hiding the names of the folks who are still alive and might object to something I’ve published being traced back to the correspondent, I’ve done what I could to recount a real-time concern while also hiding the identity of anyone involved.
Because these topics are so taboo to discuss, I want whoever goes through my blog to have the option to read what was going on in my life and my head, trash it all, or take it and make a book out of it which might help someone else in similar circumstances.
Once we’re no longer here, nothing much matters to the person that has left this earthly plane. There will be no one left who cares about me to embarrass by anything I’ve said or done or written.
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Almost forgot – here’s what it usually says on the death certificate when one of us passes, and why my teammate was inquiring into the ways that Dale or Mom might have suffered before they passed.
See? Even the definitions leave you shaking your head and not wanting to think of the reality behind the process of dying.