I've had a most interesting couple of weeks and if what doesn't kill you makes you stronger...I am The Bionic Woman. If I hadn't experienced this all myself, I wouldn't have believed it but you can check all my facts, this ALL actually happened to me.
First, I've been falling a lot lately. Recently I fell in the street and I went to the hospital. I hurt my shoulder but not badly. BUT...the docs were wondering why I had been falling ( and have been suffering from a few other neuro
deficits) so they admitted me and ran tests. Long story short...I have Multiple Sclerosis. Keep in mind that the MS follows gall bladder surgery, female surgery, brain surgery, parathyroid cancer at the same time my husband of twenty years had an affair, he then became violent with me and left. Also, I had a stroke close to 2 years ago. I've had numerous spinal injections for a bad back. I think I'm leaving something out but you get the idea. All of this happened in the past 10 years give or take a year.
Add that to the the fact that my car died, and I have to walk everywhere and THAT is a recipe for disaster. My main symptom from the MS right NOW (the symptoms seem to change every so often) is a problem with my equilibrium so I keep falling down. And as I said, the last time it was in the street.
I'm trying to set the stage for you so that you can appreciate the adventuresome qualities of what I'm going through. At one point I was crying (a LOT and HARD!) That didn't do a damn bit of good. On Monday morning it occurred to me that it was actually sort of funny. Then I got giddy and and I still am smack dab in the middle of a stir crazy/half giddy mood that I actually like.
OK...when I was diagnosed with the MS, I had to stop nursing with patient care. I can only work in management where I can't do too much damage. After I stopped work, my roommate moved out unexpectedly with no notice and, of course, owing me money. Then I received a $558 electric bill which I paid (I had to). Anyway, that all set me up for a downward spiral thing.
I fell again and went to the hospital. They did all sorts of tests and stuff related to the injured shoulder and the MS. I hated every minute of it. But, if I had known what was waiting for me at home, I would have stayed in the hospital. I found myself in the dark because my electricity is off. I didn't realize that it had been so long, time is messed up when you're hospitalized or paralyzed with fear.
So, I did what anyone else would have done. I tried to call for help. This is where it gets funny. The only phone that I have that works without electricity is a 50 year old rotary phone with a broken ringer. Obviously I can't hear the phone ring. Everybody that I called to request assistance from REQUIRED either a button or leaving a message. I could leave a message but I couldn't hear them calling me back. Even 211, the United Way's emergency
help number will hang up on you abruptly if you don't push a button. And it's rather rude about it...it says, "Good-bye!" as if to say, "You ARE the weakest link."
I would have even tried to walk for help (against doctor's orders) but it has been raining almost constantly for the past week. I have gotten out a couple of times, to get to the grocery store and things like that. Ever since my car died I've been walking a LOT. I don't really mind, it's not really bad except for the part where I keep falling in the street or on the side of the road. Also, I take my dog and he sometimes trips me accidentally. BUT...when I do
fall, he won't leave my side...PERIOD. That dog has been the best friend I've ever had. I don't care if he isn't a human...he is the most loyal companion I have EVER had, bar NONE!
So, I've been trying to get the lights on for over a week. I must say, living in the dark doesn't have to be a totally negative experience. I've actually gotten a LOT of reading under my belt recently. And I don't mean lightweight stuff. I've been reading some serious political books and enjoying
them! I'm averaging about one 300 page book within every 24 hours...the kind with small print. Ordinarily books like that would take me a week or two to read. So, the reading is a good thing. And...it keeps my mind off of my hideous problems.
Another positive thing about having no power, the refrigerator. Within a couple of days everything in the fridge goes bad. That doesn't really sound positive but it's a blessing in disguise because it's a great
time to clean the freezer and fridge out. If you throw everything away, you can easily clean the emptiness. Cool, huh?
Oh, and I can't leave out the value of a newspaper. The only news that you get with no electricity is what you read in the paper and what people tell you. I could call people on the rotary phone, they just couldn't call me back or a machine wanted me to push a button. Very few, maybe 3% of the phone numbers that I called, would eventually get you to a human if you waited long enough. The problem with those folks is that they aren't really blessed with the ability to think "outside the box". Even after I spent 5 minutes or so explaining my plight, (remember the food went bad over a week ago!) the ding dong phone people would give me someones
voice mail or another useless number. But if the phone people didn't have a number to give me, they had no clue what to do and said so. After a while I began asking them if I should just wait until I feel like I'm going to pass out and call 911. I hate to say this, but there are a LOT of stupid people answering phones all around the country!
I'm sure I'll get myself out of this situation, it isn't fatal and I've survived other bad stuff, obviously. After brain surgery, cancer and Multiple Sclerosis...living in the dark is small potatoes.
The list of negative things about having no power is quite long, as you can probably imagine. I couldn't cook, not even in the microwave. The food all went bad and started to smell but as I said, I seized the opportunity to scrub the fridge. Of course there was no TV but I don't watch much of that anyway so I didn't really mind, the books were fine. Oh, and I had that antique phone thing going on so I couldn't hear it ring and I had no buttons. I was picturing the news flash, "Grandmother found dead in her home next to rotary phone and a list of numbers she called for help but because of no buttons, woman is now dead"That'd
show 'em. With no power, there's lots of time to clean the house but I can't take a shower because I hate to stand under cold water so I just take sponge baths with cold water...it's a bit better. Washing my hair under cold running water is a BITCH, by the way.
Right now it isn't raining so I walked up to the library to use their computer. I thought that maybe I could find some help this way. So far I haven't but I'm not done looking. It's OK, I have plenty of time, it took an hour to walk here and it'll probably take at least that long to get home so I'm going to hang out here for a while. If I accomplish nothing else, at least I can get some more books.
Over the past weekend, I actually hated waking up every morning. I went to bed as soon as it got dark so I would wake up while it was still dark and then I would sit there until there was enough sun light to make phone calls or walk somewhere without getting soaking wet.
Anyway, I realize that suicidal ideations
are a bad, selfish and lazy thing to have so I took my Prozac last Sunday. I only had 2 left so I took one Sunday and then another one on Monday. I realized that my state of mind was much better so I HAD to refill that prescription. My daughter wired me the money to pay for it. She had that much, but she didn't have nearly enough to pay the electric bill. So, I've had my Prozac and I've actually been in a pretty upbeat mood this week. Of course, I'm still sitting in the dark, but c' est la vie. As long as I can still smile and I don't run out of books, I'm good. Of course my dog helps a LOT as well. Oh, and I've lost a LOT of weight! Of course the food went bad but I've been so nervous that I couldn't really eat if I wanted to. I've had a couple PB&J's over the past 10 days, but that's pretty much it.
So...that's what's new with me...how about yourself?