Things here at Casa Recup are moving along, albeit slowly. I’m having deja-vu with my caregiver responsibilities. This time I’m the strong, healthy one leading around the foggy-headed, washed out, tummy-sensitive spouse. It’s amazing how anesthesia affects people differently. Craig is finding it hard to concentrate but nothing like what I was suffering last year (remember when I thought I was taking one of those online quizzes and found that I’d actually signed up for a dating service?) Yeah, he’s not that bad, thank goodness.
Yesterday the both of us were a bit disheartened because for a brief time, Craig’s mystery pain came back. It was so bad, he had to go back to bed for the rest of the morning. I immediately went into panic mode and without even thinking about it began looking around in the kitchen for something – anything sweet. I knew what I was doing and consciously made the decision to focus on what I was going to find instead of how it would make me feel afterward. It’s amazing how determined one can get when she sets her mind to something. If I had that kind of intense focus on other parts of my life I’d probably be rich.
What is it about stress and food, specifically? I’m reading other blogs where my cohorts are having the same issues: things get tough and all they want to do is comfort that fear, that loss of control, like I do - with food. What is it about our brain wiring that makes us head straight for the pantry when we know that it isn’t healthy for us to do so? For me, that part of my brain just shuts off and I have tunnel vision until I achieve what I’ve set out to do: push that fear down with food until that uncomfortable feeling in my gut is all have left to think about. I didn’t binge eat, but I did have the beginnings of a pretty good stomachache by the time I was done. Mission…accomplished? I’ve gotta find a different way. On the bright side, I am able to manage these thoughts when I’m having run off the ordinary every day stress. It’s the kind of stress that shakes my world which causes me to seek out that sugar and carb abyss.
It wasn’t until later that evening that I started thinking back about my own surgery last year. I remembered something that I brought to Craig’s attention.
As I was being wheeled back into my room after having had my hysterectomy I recall having the worst menstrual cramps of my life. My first thought: What the hell?! Didn’t I just have my gut opened up and worked on so that I never had to suffer this pain again? What is happening?
I relayed this memory to Craig and assured him that of course he will be having pain in the area that’s been causing him grief for nearly two months. He just had surgery in that very spot and it’s going to take time to heal; we simply can’t make judgments this soon in his recovery. Yes, it is unfortunate and unfair that we have more waiting to do, but this is the way things are and we just have to be patient. What other choice do we have?
I am so grateful that whenever I’m going through a personal crisis, there is usually something good happening to balance it out.
When I was going through my first divorce, I became friends with Craig.
When Patty died last year and I had my surgery, my art business was born.
This year, as Craig and I deal with his health issues, surgeries and the unknown, my art career is beginning to move slowly forward. I have been selling consistently at the gallery in Indianapolis (thanks in part, to a few very loyal collectors) and I was asked to provide nine framed prints of some previous work for an animal hospital that just opened this past week in my town. In fact, they officially opened in their new building the day of Craig’s surgery. So, while I’ve been caring for Craig I’ve also been getting work together to take to the hospital before their Open House next week.
One would think I’d have no time to fool with unhealthy eating habits but hey, at least I’ve got a few surprises left to share, huh?
Not having had time to paint, I’ve been taking lots of photos in my yard which is buzzing with activity. Here’s a couple that have made me really happy this week:
Poppies are my absolute favorite flowers; I’ve always wanted to paint them but was determined that they came from my own yard. I haven’t painted flowers in a long time so you might be looking at my next painting.
My peonies are up as well, so of course I had to include Shaylee, my favorite fairy that watches over my creek every summer. I’ve used her in a couple of paintings, one of which was claimed by one of my favorite people last year – Teresa from Spirit Grooves. Photographing this sweet wonder along with my flowers and the many birds that stop by to cheer us up is enough to get me through the rough patches, and I really do feel blessed in my life. This is just a hiccup, and I need to figure out more appropriate ways to deal with the challenges life brings. I think as always, awareness is the first step.