Wednesday, March 21, 2007

What matters

When your life is in crisis, at what point are you allowed to pull the rip cord on your own downward spiral? Is it selfish to consider your own health in the face of your mother's life threatening illness? As you can imagine, it's become a point to ponder with me. Am I self-centered or self-aware?

It's clear I won't be sleeping so it's outside of my consideration. Between the stress of hospital days and seeing my mother's vulnerability for the first time in my life, I must also contend with my sister's couch that is just a few inches too short, the heater that's just a few degrees too cold and the three cat's that are three cats too many for uninterrupted slumber.
So in the triad of health - rest, exercise, nutrition - I'm already handicapped. But then, does my sleep really matter?

Then of course, my nutrition is McGyver style complete with tons and tons of Jerky. None of which I prepared myself with primitive tools and roadkill.
No, I went to 'Grainful', the only 'health food' store in town which, given my aversion to grains, was suspect from the start. But I did find jerky, bless their small town hearts. My urge, of course, is to overmedicate with comfort food but that serves no purpose so I've done the best I can to stay on track. But then, does my nutrition really matter?

If standing upright on occasion counts as exercise, I'm golden. Given the look I'd give a client if they answered any question that way, I'm assuming it doesn't. I brought my jump rope and I try to look for opportunities but until the biopsy results, I think I'll give myself a pass even though my body desperately misses it. But then, does my exercise really matter?

In truth, all of those things matter to my mother. She woke up and her big brown eyes focused on me. "You look pale. You haven't been sleeping," she said before she tucked her head back down and was pulled back into restless sleep by painkillers and fatigue. Eventually I'll remember that all of those things matter to me too, but right now it's one of the few things I can do for my mother.

Today she asked my sister and me if she's going to die. She seemed surprised by the idea and so did I. In truth she was going to die the day she was diagnosed with Diabetes but I'm grateful that in her lifetime she slept well, ate well, and exercised otherwise I would have lost her long ago. For the people who want me around, it's the least I can do for them and my mother, who loves me, and who taught me how.