Sunday, April 1, 2012

My Own Personal Wall

My back, Saturday morning after training Quads.

At one point or another I have heard almost everyone I know say "I've hit the wall!" I don't recall ever saying that, nor have I ever felt that, until just the other day. 

You know when you go to work and they say things like "Don't bring your personal life to work, leave that at home" well that's not real is it? My personal life is part of me, and every single thing I do in life affects me and my work, my work in the gym, my work out of the gym.

Competing and preparing for a competition are emotionally and physically draining, no one knows who much is put into it, at least no one except the competitor and the people they live with.  

Emotions can drain you, the constant second guessing and feelings of defeat and inadequacies. 

The physical aspect has never been too much for me, I am fine with a great deal of activity and training, I rarely sit still and am happiest when constantly moving. 

But I am feeling pulled, I am overwhelmed and am having a hard time keeping all the balls in the air, my juggling skills are no longer as sharp as they used to be.

My friend, the one I have been caring for since January 4, is in her last days, she is very near the end of life. If you saw her you would actually think it is over already. It is all so much like when my mother died at home. The same morphine, the same Fentanyl patchAtivan, the smell of death lingers in the air.

People think Hospice takes care of the dying, they do not. While they are wonderful, caring and talented individuals, they do not move in and care for the dying, they make sure that someone ELSE cares for the dying. The nurse checks in with me every couple days, and she sees my friend and meets with me, we discuss changes to pain medication, and impending death.

It's hard, it's really hard. I am working full time, training twice a day, I have a family, I am on a diet and my friend needs care. I am the team mom for my son's lacrosse team, and while the organization doesn't take much since I have done it before, the silly things like parents who cannot deal with problems try my patience, when normally they wouldn't. I am short with them, "get a life, put it all into perspective" I think to myself. 

I go to bed at night as soon as I can, but I still have cardio to do, or training with Roy, or lunches to make, dinner must be eaten. I never feel I have enough sleep. My eyes have dark circles, people tell me I look tired, I need a day off. 

I do. I need a day off from life.

A couple days ago I hit my wall. Too much happened, I felt like I had no where to turn. The company I hired to be with my friend 24 hours a day told me they couldn't administer meds, who would do it every 2 hours? I needed to find someone else, I did it with my mom (my sister and I took turns), sleeping by her bed with a timer sounding every hour, getting up to give her morphine, but can I do this again? Can I do this and still train and compete? I don't see how I could. The nurse thinks she will die in the next couple days, but then they said that about my mom, and she hung on for three weeks!

I visit my friend and although she cannot speak, I tell her it is OK to let go now, it's OK to die now. Everything is taken care of, there are no worries. I think the dying need to be reassured, they need to know there is no unfinished business. 

It took me all day, but I found another care giver, the finance part still needs to be worked out, but the coordination took me all day, a day when I should have been working. Nurses, social workers, hospitals, my phone was working overtime; I was working overtime.

So many people say "How can you do this?"  "It's not your responsibility." "You are killing yourself." 

Yes, all of that is true, but I don't know how I can NOT do what I am doing. We all deserve to die with dignity and free of pain.

I have been so tired, you cannot imagine the drain unless you have been through it all. The other day I got up, and went to the gym, I went through the motions, but my heart was not in it, it felt as though it was an obligation, a duty. I climbed up on the stairmill and felt the tears stream down my face, I cannot go on, I cannot continue this. I want to quit. I should quit. I have to quit, I cannot survive this.

I could see this wall in front of my face, a huge, dark, brick, cold wall, crumbling around the edges, impossible to pass through. 

I stayed on the stairmill, and thought a bit. I thought that this too shall pass, and I cannot quit now because people are depending on me. I am depending on myself. I need to be strong, I need to show myself that I can do it, I have always been a survivor, a fighter.

I am ok now, but I will always remember that wall staring me in the face, and I will always know that I am stronger than any outside force. 

I'm not quitting, ever.