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January 12, 2010

Life Outside My Bubble

by on January 12, 2010. Filed under Thoughts


It is difficult to communicate some things. Georgia understands. She understands at a depth like no other person. She understands this: I’m wearing out in ways other than my physical body.

As you get older your memory begins to fail. This is happening to both of us. Sometimes it is funny to us but I think most of the time it is frustrating to us. My capability to organize my thoughts and even to pull out the correct words from my brain may be related to short-term memory, or to the meds that I take (which affect neural pathways), but there are other things happening to me in addition to these afflictions.

Probably due to the constant onslaught of pain signals to my brain it seems to me that my brain’s “bandwidth” is far more narrow than is common for most people. I can almost feel what it is like to be autistic or with other social disorders. I can’t seem to process information input as fast as I once was could. I overload. I get stressed. I shut down.

It has become a fearful challenge for me to attend any large gathering especially if anything is expected of me. I do it anyway in order to be part of life–specifically to be a part of family, sharing my life with my wife hopefully to be a blessing to her and to my children. I go to church and can act normally but what is really going on is an increasing overload. I have missed large parts of every message for months now because this overload, stress, and pain. The overload causes me to really shut down, to go to sleep, right in the middle of our church service.

Even in small gatherings there is a significant “acting” that happens. You could call it “rising to the occasion”. I force myself to be a part of what is happening. It is like running to get the newspaper on a cold, wintery day in bare feet. You can force yourself to do it but only for a precise, limited time–just enough to get to the sidewalk and back. That’s it; that’s all you can handle. In the same way I do whatever is expected of me. I go to my doctor and then go home to crash. I play with my grandchild, something I love to do, but then I’m spent. Nothing left except to sleep. Sleep–that’s how I reset for the next thing.

My entire life outside my cocoon is like what I have described. Unless I’m in my 80 degree Fahrenheit room, feet elevated and wrapped in blankets, I’m stressed. Even our morning family Bible study, which I love, is difficult. I’m outside my “bubble” of comfort. We try to make it suitable outside my room, feet elevated, “shields up” (I wear a thermal hat or hoodie), a blanket wrapped around my feet and legs, and one of those parabolic heaters aimed at me. It is still stressful. I take a nap after Bible study.

My reluctance to pain affects my personal life in other ways. It is difficult for me to brush my teeth so I neglect to do it as often as I should. There are numerous other ways that I don’t take good care of myself. This, sadly, causes my wife to become stressed. She wants to take care of me but I “don’t want to put her out”. She wants me to take care of myself but I don’t want to put myself into a world of pain. So many things that should happen don’t happen.

I don’t see any solution in my future except the complete healing that I will have when I’m in Heaven. Until then I will function at the best level that I can. Every morning I will force myself to be a part of this world of pain that I must endure in order to be a part of this life of love that surrounds me. God is good.

Thanks for listening. Time for a nap.
In Christ,

All journal entries are copyright by Ed Rodatus - all rights reserved.
(Except the entries in the "joni" category. All the "joni" posts are from the Joni and Friends daily email devotional.)

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