Tuesday, June 23, 2009

health, health, and more health...

...or the lack thereof.
this month has seen more immediate medical needs than i care to see in a year. two weeks ago, i had to get a root canal- asap! yes, i have been putting off some dental work for over a couple years, but i had been managing pain control relatively well and then all of a sudden i could no longer manage it and i was tending to it practically on a minute by minute basis. i guess one tooth in particular just couldn't withstand anymore, so started coaxing my family to help me out with dental expenses, transportation, and that sort of thing. finally, i got an appointment and like magic the worst of it was over, however i am still suffering as a result of putting it off for so long (bone inflammation is slow to recuperate).
last friday saw a completely unexpected health matter. i spent the night at the emergency room to learn i had a kidney stone. i was in pain like i had never felt before and i cant remember the last time i was so ill. fortunately i don't have an infection, but it took forever til i was able to supply a specimen for analysis. i was fairly dehydrated although their charts didn't indicate it. i might add i am glad i didn't have to coax people into helping me with this situation. as it was i had suffered for hours before my mother got home from work. fortunately the hospital they took me to was pretty awesome (as far as that sort of thing is concerned) and i hope that if i have an emergency again that i am fortunate enough to go there.
now i have to take new meds, see new doctors, juggle appointments, and recuperate as best as possible. unfortunately i hadn't planned on any of this, but this is one of life's curve balls. i just have to learn to accept it and move on to the best of my ability.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

dealing with dead relatives...

Sometimes you know them, sometimes you don't, sometimes you love them, and then again sometimes you don't. Most of my relatives are buried in the same place. Yesterday was the one year anniversary of my grandmother's death. It seemed all of a sudden to be too fresh for everyone. It's left me with plenty to chew on since.

My grandfather decided he didn't want to go after all. I think several thought motivated his last minute change of heart. I think my uncle was a little reluctant to go and had lowered expectations as a result. My mother went and had a dramatic reaction that I once again wasn't expecting from her. It was all very non sequitur from my point of view.

I wasn't satisfied with the end of the funeral last year. We were rudely ushered away several times. The tomb stone wasn't ready, The coffin was wrong. My grandmother had been prepared poorly in advance. I wanted to leave a parting gift- a mere token offering, which I couldn't do because nothing was ready and we had to leave. At least I got to do that much this year.

This year, I also took photos of all the grave markers. Both sets of my maternal great grandparents are buried in the same place as is a great uncle and my grandmother. My grandfather will be laid to rest here as well, when his time comes. Setting out some incense and taking a moment to have a few thoughts at each marker was enough for me. Things could have been better. Grass had not yet grown in the time that had passed since my grandmother's burial. I think we were all disconcerted by this fact, but my mother was particularly affected by this. All of her past feelings came rushing back to her. My uncle, who was seeking some sort of final closure, didn't find what he was searching for, either. The stone for her place didn't look right to me; I felt there were aesthetic errors. It also looked way too fresh and clean for my preference. Perhaps "fresh" is an apt word to describe how each of us had unhappily come to terms with the day's excursion. I think everything was just a little too fresh for everyone.

Then we went on to another cemetery where another great uncle of mine has been placed to rest. (I do not say "laid" as he was cremated and no longer had a whole body to lay.) His resting place is beautiful, peaceful, and serene. There is a wonderful calming scent that is both earthy and sweet. My uncle remarked that it smelled like his grandparent's house as a child. There is no stone present but rather a plate in the ground and my great uncle's ashes are in an urn placed under the plate. I think visiting his place last may have been a good way to end the day. I think it calmed everyone down and made them think of better things. Again I took some photos and left more incense.

It was a tiring day and we finished by reconvening at my grandfather's apartment and had dinner together. It stormed badly, just like it did last year and at about the same time as well. It seemed too close for comfort- like it was more than mere coincidence. Who knows? I felt tired and ill because I had exceeded the limits of my current sleeping pattern and I had been more active than I am accustomed to, not to mention I was feeling very motion sick as a result of all the driving around and sitting in the back seat. Not being in a car much anymore has made it worse, but particularly not being the driver is what makes me prone to feel ill like that every time. After a certain point all I wanted to do was get home, but it seemed like time still had to drag on another hour or two.

In conclusion, I think my uncle will eventually develop a sense of closure, but it probably won't transpire as he expects. I think my mother may never really get over my grandmother's death; I think it was just way too traumatic for her. She retains every thing with its corresponding emotion intact. Unfortunately, this causes her prolonged suffering when it comes to negativity in her life. I think my grandfather may never see her/their grave again. There is a chance we won't see it again either until he passes away and then after that I have no idea. Maybe no one will go to visit again. It took my grandmother's death to go this year and last year. Last time I was there was possibly more than two decades ago. With my plans to eventually leave the country, I should try for at least one more time. And with that thought in my head, I am left once again with the thought of how I might die, and what I wish to be done with my body and estate upon my death. Such thoughts are rather sobering...