Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wheat & Grandpa's Heartbeat

  For those of you who have shed not few tears over my absence from my blog, I can explain!
  It's all wheats fault.

  Starting in the end of January I was having frequent problems sleeping. It's always taken me a bit to fall asleep, 45 minutes to an hour of rolling around and contemplating inane things has been the norm for as long as I can remember, I've always thought that was normal. But in January it started taking longer and longer until my already typically short nights were cut shorter and shorter. During the month of February I thought I was losing my ever lovin mind, as falling asleep before midnight was impossible and staying asleep was beyond my reach. Even when my alarm clock would go off as soon as 330a, I'd find myself wide awake at 2a. Eventually I started to give up and would watch Project Runway reruns instead of laying in bed and cursing whatever it was that was keeping me from sleep.
   By the beginning of March I was a complete basket case, able to dissolve into tears at a moments notice for no reason at all. (There's a funny smell in the dishwasher, I can't find my left shoe, I only have half a tank of gas. TEARS would ensue!! Obvious nutcase status.) I wouldn't take naps during the day, in the hopes that extreme exhaustion would rock me into sleep but it never did.
  I would like to note that during all of this hysteria and moodiness, general exhaustion and frequent huffs and puffs, my better half said not a negative word towards me. His only comments were that he just wanted me to be happy and yes of course he would go downstairs for the tenth time in ten minutes to grab something I needed for some reason (CRAZY LADY!).
   Finally I went and saw Dr. Milbrandt, whose incredible medical genius my father-in-law refers to as "voodoo" and told him what was going on. It basically took this hero of mine five minutes of conversation to figure out what was going on inside my crazy body, tell me what to take, what to eat, what not to eat, and send me on my merry way. Within two days of following his instructions (basically consuming certain natural supplements at specific times and keeping a fair distance between myself and wheat) I was sleeping like a baby.
  I cannot even explain what long term sleep deprivation does to the mind but after a few nights sleep it was like I woke up in an entire new world (and I owed my long-patienced husband some R&R, not that he would ever admit I was a complete freak for weeks on end but I certainly will on his behalf). I am so grateful for Dr. Milbrandt I nearly kissed him on the cheek when I saw him today (I didn't, but I felt like it).
  I know there's this "glutein free" train that it seems like everyone and their mother in laws are on, and I can't say for certain that its the lack of wheat in my life alone that has cured me but what I do know is that I sleep, and I have energy I haven't had in a long time so....I'm going to be on this train for the foreseeable future. Yippee!

  As some of you know, my grandpa was rushed into a quadruple bypass on Tuesday. We found out after he got out of surgery, which I suppose saved us some anxiety but mostly made me angry. I'll gloss over those details for the sake of the internet being full of curious eyes.
  He was supposed to be taken off of the ventilator Wednesday morning, but he wasn't doing well enough to be, which is when the anxiety for me really set in. He was eventually taken off the ventilator later in the evening and being able to hold his hand and see him open his eyes a few times was both a relief and a stab in the chest.
  The last time I was gathered around a hospital bed, I was holding his wife's hand, my hero, my piano teacher, the woman I was named after, my several hour chat at the kitchen table buddy, my biggest fan, my wonderful wonderful grandma. It wasn't six days later, after the doctors declared her "in recovery" that she suddenly passed, going from laughing and counting $20s ("When you're sick, I guess people think you need money!") to meeting the Lord. Her hand was in my dress pocket when she died. She was "in recovery."
  All that came back to me when I was holding grandpa's hand, and as is typical, while everyone else was attempting small talk about things I couldn't care less about, I'm crying. (I realize this blog post really makes me sound like a habitual tear releaser but I had my reasons.) I don't do well seeing people I love hooked up to machines, their skin yellow, their trouble breathing, every inch of them screaming fragility, mortality. All I wanted to do was set the record straight in case I wasn't given another chance to, but some inane babble kept me from doing so so I merely stroked his clammy hand and cried until I started being the one unable to breathe and I had to exit. The ladies at the nurses station were completely unphased by my show of misery and were swift to extract an entire box of tissues from a nearby closet and supply me with it (I must've really looked a mess to have appeared to need an entire box).
  So far today, Grandpa has sat up and even taken a few steps, kept some spoonfuls of soup down, and is "resting well." But no offense medical professionals who also said my grandma was doing well, I still feel very little comfort. He's still in ICU (which I'm actually thankful for, that's the best place for him to be) and he's like....ancient.
   The peace we all can have is that he is in the Lord's hands, and if my grandma was sure to teach me anything it was that death, for a believer, is never a bad thing. I know he is not afraid, and he's also a fighter. All of us White's are just stubborn. Whether we get him here for longer, or he goes to be with the Lord, it is well.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Back to the roots:

It's been six years since I've seriously written (can a 17 year old seriously write?). I can tell you the day and hour and the minute I decided I was done for. And every attempt I've made since then has been the recycled cloth bag Whole Foods sells you: you buy it but you can never use it and then you remember you didn't really want it anyway but it's always the same, you forget to bring it with you to the store. My "Documents" folder is a wasteland of the same unfinished prototypes, and has been that way for so long I forgot what it's like to want to write, for fear it would resemble all of its dead brothers and sisters.
       I allowed someone to convince me that I have nothing to say.
So yesterday I was going thru my documents folder, attempting a file cleanup, and I stumbled across....well, I didn't know what it was. It was just a page, and since I didn't remember writing it I assumed it was a short story I had to read for a class and I read it and I really liked it, so I read it again. Then, because it's what I do, I started editing it. I thought, this story should not be in the third person, so I changed it to first. And I upgraded some outdated adjectives and I swapped passive for active and I left some plotline in the negative and it wasn't til I was almost done that I remembered why I wrote this (incredibly sad story). Reading what I wrote, and being so distanced from the writing of it, felt like reading a story someone else wrote. I wrote something I would like to read. I haven't done that in a very, very long time.
    All that being said, people, the important ones in my life, are constantly begging me to write and I'm constantly begging myself not to (unless you count this blog, which I don't, it's word vomit) because I'm afraid it will be the same old same old wasteland of unfinished files and zombie prototypes haunting me, but here's to hoping I'm wrong.

  When I did write, and write all the time, and was proud of what I wrote, I flat refused to write without the right music. There was many a time that I spent solid hours of "writing" time just fishing for the right music to listen to, and in my head that was just as important to what I was writing as words themselves.

As I wrote feverishly yesterday these are the songs I had on repeat:

Wye Oak--Civilian
Hand Covers Bruise--Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
Ever (Foreign Flag)--Team Sleep

And the albums I had on loop:

Anything Dex Romweber Duo
Roy Orbison!
Billie Holiday

So maybe I'll finally write again. Or maybe I'll get swallowed up again. To be seen.