Posted by: Kate | April 7, 2010

To Whine or Not to Whine…

…that does seem to be the question around here, doesn’t it?  I do a lot of bouncing between seriously unhappy, cautiously content, and flagrantly whiny.

Which is just about as correct as it can get, because that’s how I feel in real life, too.  Switching around, sometimes  feeling like I have some semblance of control over which mood I’ll wear today and other times just rolled up into a big ball of angst or mellow or whatever and sent bouncing through my day that way.

I don’t like it when I whine.  I don’t like how I sound, I don’t like how powerless I feel when I get into that mode.  It’s just not an aspect of my personality that I’m fond or proud of, but I haven’t figured out how to oust it.  I’ve thought about it a lot, actually, and I’ve come to the conclusion that whining, for me, is an auditory representation of anxiety.  When I’m feeling especially worried or confused or powerless, my anxiety starts to rise, and when those things aren’t resolved – say, by clear communication, just as a for-instance – I become whiny.  Thus last night’s post, flailing about for any sort of communication because this is starting to feel like a case of moving through a maze and doing pretty well, and then stalling with five feet to go and not being able to figure out how to get out.

Which is all a little bit silly, because I don’t have any idea why I was able to move so well through the first 99% of the maze.  When I was still in the coma, my mother and Willem were told to expect me to be there, just in the ICU alone, for at least three months, with another month or so on the general medical floor and then perhaps a month in rehab… late summer, maybe, I might be thinking about going home.  You have to understand – and this is TMI and disturbing imagery, but I think it’s important to give a little context here – that even up to about a week ago, the VAC dressing on my right right covered an open wound… not open to the outside world, but literally a hole in my body, such that you could stand there and look directly into my abdominal cavity.  There was no back to this wound; it was open that way, toward the body.  Really.  And the other wound, the one just under my belly button, started off with a sponge (which is what the VAC basically is, a big sponge covered by lots of tape with some tubes that go in and out of a vacuum-type machine, constantly running to pull ick out of my body and return little bits of something-or-other that is supposed to train the area to heal better), anyway the sponge was about a foot tall by perhaps 9″ wide: from about an inch below my breasts to just above my pubic bone, and several inches to either side.

There is just no earthly reason why I should have wounds like that — which, by the way, they closed up a big portion of the huge wound with staples once it healed enough to do so, when I was still in the ICU, and now what remains there is a sponge of perhaps 2″ x 3″… for the side wound, the sponge is slightly bigger, and it closed itself off on the inside sometime in the past two weeks — and, a month later, be walking the halls unassisted and grumbling about my red blood cell count because that’s the most serious of all of my problems.

So, no more  expectations.  I blew all of the negative ones out of the water by being this close to discharge, this fast, and now I need to brush aside the positive ones because all they’re doing is creating new disappointments when I can’t follow through with a trip home.  I will get home, and I continue to fervently hope that will be in time for Emily’s birthday (4/17)… but we’ll take it a day at a time and make no promises to anyone involved.

And I will try my very best not to get whiny too often, and not to stay there when I do.

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Responses

  1. I think you have the right to be whiny now and again. I know for sure that I would be in your situation.

  2. Girlfriend, if anyone has earned the right to whine a little bit – or constantly – it’s you. I’m just catching up on my online stuff (fb, message board, blog-reading) and I am SO SORRY to hear about the delay. You’re keeping it in perspective, that’s for sure, but being disappointed in your changing discharge date doesn’t make you any less grateful for your overall recovery. I just want you to be HOME. With your babies. That’s all.

  3. Honey if anyone has a reason to complain you do! Mostly because of everything else you have been through, that instant menopause is a witch, and I would challenge anyone to go through it without complaining. Because it is not the most fun rollercoaster ride in the amusement park. If anyone witches because you are complaining, witch slap them! Hugs and love!

  4. Lady, if that was whining yesterday, then you are the most dignified whiner I’ve ever (not actually) met. I thought yesterday was just telling it like it was. I know how disappointed I was yesterday that you weren’t going home after all, and I’m obviously not living it like you are. So whine, vent, whatever, as much as you need to, and we’ll be here to listen for as long as you need us!

  5. Whine away. I’m not going anywhere.

  6. After what you’ve been through we are happy to hear you whine. As long as it’s you doing it we will listen all day!

  7. What an incredible process. You have the BEST body. It’s amazing to read about your wounds, and to think they are healing so fast. You could see into your private insides never before exposed to the light! So cool. But I’m glad you can’t anymore. Give your body a gentle pat for being such an efficient creation!

  8. I left this page open and went to make dinner and forgot it was on – so when you see that someone from Portland was sitting on your page for hours, that was me. :/

    I love that you are so close to discharge, and I feel a lot of frustration that you got so close then got set back a little bit… but I promise I won’t whine in your comments anymore, either. YOU, on the other hand, should feel free to get as by-god whiny as you want to. Healing is serious business.

    (((((HUGS)))))

  9. You’re not whining, you’re venting. And… I just pulled out a ruler to get another idea of how long a foot actually is (I grew up metric). Duuuuude! That’s… enormous. To go from a foot-long deep open wound to 2-3 square inches in a month and a bit is amazing. That’s some serious healing power. You’re like Wolverine from the X-Men!

    I know you’re not as well as you wish you were. I won’t evey try to tell you to be patient. I’ll just say “hang in there” and congratulate you on not hitting anybody with a bed pan, walker, or other handy medical implement. This is a sign of great restraint on your part.


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