I’m sure you’re tired of hearing about my shoulder. I’m tired of thinking about it. Mrs. Lion has been writing about dealing with a grumpy, potentially-toddler lion. That’s how it must look from the outside. I remember what it was like when I was recovering from kidney stone removal. I was in considerable pain caused by a stent placed between my kidney and bladder. I was taking strong, narcotic drugs.
I felt helpless and frightened. The drug made me feel lightheaded and fuzzy. I didn’t feel safe wandering around. I remember being very thirsty. I wanted some cold water. I had no real sense of time. I just wanted a drink. Mrs. Lion was downstairs on her computer. I realized that I couldn’t call her — I could but my fuzzy mind didn’t know how — and I wanted a drink.
I was impatient and grumpy when she came upstairs. I suppose that’s what she considered toddler behavior. I wanted something and I wanted it now. It wasn’t easy to deal with me. I was miserable.
Obviously, there is a big gap between the patient and care giver. I’m not a good patient. I’m used to fending for myself. I’m genetically built to be independent. Did I tell you that I hate narcotic drugs? I loved the way the pain just disappeared, but hated my loss of coordination and ability to think clearly.
As I’ve mentioned in prior posts, I’m not a bit submissive by nature. I can’t mentally convert the experience of medical helplessness into a submissive adventure. At least I don’t think I can. But what if I could?
First the realities: I will be in a lot of pain, so clear thinking about my behavior is difficult-to-impossible. That means I need clear, workable rules to simplify Mrs. Lion’s extra work caring for me. In the first two or three weeks, the best I can do is try to control letting my frustration with the pain transfer to my treatment of Mrs. Lion. Ifis helping her, she can be a firm-and-loving nurse. She will need to help her.
The key, I think, is direction. If Mrs. Lion just reacts to me, we can slip into the same toddler mess we had before. But ifprovides direction and limits, I can probably follow them even in my drugged state.
The hardest thing about a 24/7 power exchange is exactly the same as it is when I am a patient: the feeling of frustration that follows feeling powerless. Add to that the fear I have of being unable to do even the simplest things and you have an unstable lion.
Mrs. Lion’s experience with her parents is a wonderful model of how things should be. Of course, they had many years living with their disabilities. They probably made all of their mistakes before my lioness was born. We have to start from scratch. It won’t be easy for her. I’m very worried about that.
I don’t mean to be cheesy, but I believe ourwill provide us with a framework that will support both of us during this difficult time. I’m not sure I will have the surgery. If I do, will trade in her paddle for a nurse’s uniform.