Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Riding the rails

I used to love roller coasters. The exhilarating climb, the heart pounding curves, the thrill of rapid descent, the loopty-loops made my head spin. Last time I rode one was about ten years ago and I thought that would be my last.

Life's roller coaster has me planted in the front seat again, and I am on a bumpy ride. It is not a thrill seeker's paradise. My best friend of 43 years is headed for a nursing home. She has dementia from brain cancer. Radiation scar tissue caused a stroke in '04. Her short term memory is gone, and life has been difficult for all involved. My heart is breaking for her, but my positive thinking has me convinced that this could be a good thing. She will have social interaction there. She was always a talker- never met a stranger type person. The doctor's at Mass General (where she has been for a week due to a fall and bad test results during her annual check up) told her husband the tests all came back negative, with abnormal brain function, and they have nothing to compare her to because she has survived twenty-two years and no one with her type of tumor has survived more than a few years. She is in rapid decline. My emotions are on a roller coaster, thrilled, afraid, sad, happy. I wish there weren't so many miles between us.

All aboard! Half the family and several friends are seated behind me with their own issues. I hate those early morning and middle of the night phone calls.

This morning at 3:10 a.m. I was rattled out of bed by an eartquake. Yikes! What a ride I've been on.


Cathy C. Hall said...

On your friend: Sometimes, we can't understand, we can only love. You seem to have that down pat, Linda. :-)

On your birthday: Hope you ate, drank and were merry...for it was all free!

On coming undone: In GA, we call those things "no-seeums" (really, they're gnats. But sometimes, I think people are swatting at floaters, too.)

And now, you can put a fork in the "catching up with Linda" pie 'cause I'm done!

Sioux Roslawski said...

I love the idea that you're on a train, with others behind you. (We're never alone with our troubles or our craziness...)

I've got a ticket, too, on that crazy /trouble train. (Can you hear Ozzie Osborne--spelling?--singing in the background?)

Bookie said...

Sorry for your news, Linda. I think as we age ourselves, the capacity for dealing with the rough rides changes. We have seen more so we know ALL the possible outcomes, the scenes are harder to push to the back of our minds with opitimism even though we still try.

Chatty Crone said...

You certainly have been on a ride - going down - the good thing is what goes down must come up - eventually.

I know this has to really hurt - my best friend died a year ago - it changes you.

I will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers.

Barb Hodges said...

Linda, that is quite a testimony about friendship. Wow, 43 years-so wonderful. I know your heart aches for her.

Julia Williams said...

I'm very sorry about your dear friend but perhaps you are right and some good will come out of the situation.

On a side note, I have always loved roller coasters. I even used to belong to a club called American Coaster Enthusiasts, and racked up rides on about 115 different coasters across America. I haven't ridden one in a few years but I still love the classic wooden coasters and hope to get on one again soon. I sure hope I never feel "too old" for roller coasters.

Tammy said...

She's been in my prayers for some time now, but 22 years she's had this? No kidding? Wow. That's one long ride. Best to all of you. I got rattled out of bed at 3:10, too!

Pat Wahler said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. Dementia is less tough on the patient than on those around her, so my heart goes out to her family and friends.