I have never had wind like this ever before in my life. It even woke me up last night, well it was the only thing happening when I woke, and I am more than sure that it’s the first time I have been woken by violent flatulence ever. I can’t even think what is behind it, as I haven’t eaten anything out of the ordinary. Right now, well it doesn’t matter. Adam is at work, so I am totally on my own, free to let rip whenever my body chooses, which is frequent, continual and loud. It doesn’t matter how long I have been married, or that it is one of the most natural things our bodies does, it’s still embarrassing, even edging on the taboo and I always try hard to hide it. We modern day humans really are the oddest creatures that ever lived. When it comes to anything lavatorial, or a little bit yucky, we pretend that we as an individual, have nothing what so ever to do with it. We happily quite publically shovel food into ourselves, but when it comes to it exiting us, in either direction, suddenly, it’s something only others do, not us.
If you have been reading for a couple of years, you will know that there is nothing that I can’t and don’t write about. That, after all, is one of the points of my blog, to put down every single detail of what my health is doing to me, and that’s not always pretty. I know that Adam always reads my posts, and I am pleased that he does, but I still feel this huge embarrassment if he is actually involved in, or present when things go wrong. Even though I have written about it, talking about it doesn’t get any easier. I’ve been forced into that situation when we attend the hospital, but somehow, I have developed this fourth dimension situation. If a doctor is in the room, I can talk, if they’re not, I can’t. I know that it makes little sense, but I quite honestly can’t get past it, no matter how I try. I don’t know how, but it is something that I am going to have to get past, as otherwise, the future is going to be really difficult for us both.
Adam has only been attending my hospital appointment with me since I have been housebound. He used to offer to come with me, but I always said no. I said no, only because I feared what would be spoken about, what embarrassing details I would be forced into admitting with him in the room. Then Suddenly, I couldn’t manage without him, I needed him with me, everything about those appointments was too much to handle alone. At first, he would sit there silent, there as my support but never interfering. Slowly he found his voice, chipping in with the things I forgot, but it didn’t take long for him to start asking questions all of his own. That was the day I was diagnosed with my COPD, there was a lot to take in and his brain was much needed, as always, mine was somewhat missing. We spoke freely that day, as they were conversations about life and death, not about all that lay before.
When people think of conditions like MS, Parkinson’s, Arthritis, in fact, almost any chronic condition, they don’t think about incontinence and possible vomiting. I know they aren’t always directly connected to every condition as symptoms, but if there is any impairment to mobility, they can become very much part of them. It doesn’t matter if it is an accident due to just not making it to the loo in time, or if it is due to muscle dysfunction, the result is the same. As I know already, the embarrassment is exactly the same as well. I never foresaw a time when my wonderful husband was going to be mopping up my pee off the floor, having to wash clothing and bedding that had a distinct aroma, but he has. As my health diminishes, this is going to happen more and more and there is nothing either of us, can do about it, but still, I can’t talk freely about any of it with him. Of course, Adam knows that I have a problem talking, he has tried to turn it into off the cuff conversation, but I always wriggle free and changed the subject.
Without a doubt, it all goes back to our potty training days. We were schooled into knowing what is right and what is wrong, in my case, I was also schooled into not talking about it. Just as I was taught not to pass wind from either direction without leaving the room first and being clear of other people. Parents have a lot to answer for. Losing control mentally or physically isn’t something they didn’t prepare us for. There are no rules when it comes to being ill, and that makes it even tougher to deal with. That’s one of the cruelties of health, we grow up thinking we know how to be an adult, only to have our health destroy us and turn us back into children. Just like children, when things go wrong, we look for the person who can make it right, just to find they’re not there. In many ways, the day you are diagnosed, is a bit like being born again, you know nothing, but your life has suddenly been switched into reverse. Before you know it, you’re no longer that capable adult, you are a child, edging on being a baby.
For me, I know the day will come when I’ll be wearing a nappy and there will be a potty in the bedroom. I know that, yet I still can’t talk about it. I just need to look in a mirror and I can see I am no longer the perfect me, that I once saw in there, and Adam fell in love with, and married. He doesn’t need a mirror, he sees me daily, but still, I want to keep up the pretense, that I’m as perfect as I once was. It may be a pretense, but it’s part of my sanity, it’s part of my way of getting through what is so far from fabrication. At each stage my health has taken me to, I have found a way of managing it, of polishing it and making it, at least, look pretty in my imaginary perfection. But I’m here, and I can’t find the balm that will make this subject attractive. Part of me says we can muddle through, make the best of it, but I also know that isn’t the true answer. After all, I write it all down, he can read it, can’t he? Well, that might have worked to this point, but I realised something the other day that had somehow escaped me, talking, is about respect, not talking, is nothing but disrespect.
I have avoided so much because of misplaced embarrassment and because talking, makes it even more real. I have always respected Adam and I apologise for getting this so wrong. He is the love of my life and now, out of choice, he is my carer and because of both, I have to learn to talk as freely as I write about everything.In this relationship, embarrassment is a misplaced emotion but so strong, that it’s hard to remove. So give me just a little more time and forgive me when I scurry away with my head down.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 01/04/2014 – Ageing is a fact
If life were simple I guess that I wouldn’t be writing any of this, there is one thing for sure and that is there are surprises around every corner just waiting to make you sit up and think. I woke up last night around 4 am, I had that really painful spasm around my chest again, breathing had become more a process of gasping and I could feel almost my entire body was filled with pins and needles, with my pulse thumping in my ear and my right side. As I lay there bringing my breathing under control and waiting for my body to level off in it’s pain, I suddenly remembered that the exact same thing had also happened the night before. When I woke up yesterday…..