Friends and relatives have commiserated with me on my short tenure in education by blog comment, email, or telephone call. One said that it was too bad I quit, as I was writing important blogs on education today, and one can’t report on a war without being in the trenches!
I am recovering. I spent the three days following my exit exhausted, with such an upset stomach that I had a hard time forcing down food. Yes, I have lost more weight. And at my age, it doesn’t look good. (A bit of fat to stretch out the wrinkles looks better.) But despite all that and the geometry nightmares, I looked up PTSD and I don’t have it:
Following a traumatic event, almost everyone experiences at least some of the symptoms of PTSD. When your sense of safety and trust are shattered, it’s normal to feel crazy, disconnected, or numb. It’s very common to have bad dreams, feel fearful or unfeeling, and find it difficult to stop thinking about what happened. These are normal reactions to abnormal events. For most people, however, these symptoms are short-lived. They may last for several days or even weeks, but they gradually lift. But if you have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the symptoms don’t decrease. You don’t feel a little better each day. In fact, you may start to feel worse.
Friday night a friend came to dinner and we sat on the patio watching an incredible lightening show. Almost as good as fireworks. She brought her dog for the outing, and a javelina sat outside the fence driving the dog crazy. Little rain.
Saturday night was a tremendous storm, enough to actually soak the ground. A similar downpour is happening as I type.
A coyote strolled down my driveway this morning. A flicker slammed into my living room window, but I placed her, still groggy, in a tree, away from my curious cat (who had merely sniffed her, dazed on the ground) and later she was gone. I hope that meant that she flew away, albeit with a headache.
Today I’ve just had bad news. The spa repairman said that I need a new pump – $500 plus installation and taxes. But I must fix everything in the house if I want to put it up for sale in November, when the Snow Birds start appearing.
A cousin called to tell me that her brother would have surgery tomorrow for his malignant brain tumor. (He and his wife visited me last spring.) Her older sister, whose husband died last year, is dealing with her blindness from macular degeneration, a hereditary curse in my father’s family.
A friend with whom I exercise at the Y is recovering from a stroke, and had to cancel a trip to visit her daughter in Hawaii. Another friend fell while out walking and broke her elbow.
Then this afternoon I saw the oncologist regarding the basal cell carcinoma on my nose, quite a large spot. (Of course, this pales in comparison to my cousins’ ills. This is just an aggravation.) I will be going in for radiation every day, Monday through Friday, for 20 to 30 doses! (They have to do small doses as it’s the face.) My nose will be incredibly red, makeup is not allowed (for four to six weeks!) but the redness will turn to tan. (!) I essentially don’t have any insurance to pay for this, as I’m not on Medicare yet, but I now have lots of time to have it done.
Plus, as the new machine has not been fully installed at the office ten minutes from my house, I’ll have to take their shuttle to the Green Valley office every day. It’s that or drive to the NW Hospital daily. I’d rather they buy the gas, but we’ll see how inconvenient it is, as I’ll have to wait with a few other patients using the van. Have read three books in the past week (The Glass Castle, the story of the author’s childhood with bright but vagrant parents, on the NY Times Nonfiction Best Seller list for 234 weeks, a short scifi, and a humorous Evelyn Waugh); guess I’ll be reading more.
Ah, the pleasures of aging.