Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Crab Molts Its Shell

I found a spider crab shell on the beach last week. Purplish pink with the horn-like protuberances seen in the video above, it was too weird (and too large--bicycle helmet sized) to pocket. I poked it with a stick and flipped it over. Alas, it was not a shell that had been molted, but a casket for the remains of a creature who perished. Not picking it up was a wise decision. Even after the waves cleaned it out, I didn't want it in my arms.

I feel like I'm molting. Dashing around to distract myself while there are bigger things happening as the second anniversary of Dan's death approaches. Yesterday it was as if I stepped out of bed and into chasm, dropping down into a place airless and dark. I lay on the couch and dozed, too stupefied to read or muster the good sense to go out for a walk, meditate, or do anything.

Today it felt as if the sun was pouring in despite the May-gray skies here, yet there are more dealings with the dead. Another beneficiary form to fill out as we close my mother's last bank account.  And her supplementary insurance continues to send emails (despite my emails announcing her death and the attaching of a jpeg of her death certificate.) They're asking for her to sign the cancellation form, asking if she'd agree to serve on some patient  panel and fill out questionnaires about how they're doing.  While I'd like to impersonate her and participate with scathing commentary, I don't have the heart for it  right now. Darn. I know an opportunity for a heck of a good time when I see one, right?

From the New Yorker

Meanwhile, I continue to tend to my health. Beset with swollen knees, fingers, and hands and in pain since I returned from final visit with my mother in Iowa in March, blood tests show no Lyme disease, no autoimmune diseases. I have paid my thousand dollar bill and have letters from my primary care physician and a rheumatologist proclaiming the good news. A week ago I took my swollen self to a Functional Medicine doctor. Of course he told me to change my diet. No dairy. No gluten. ( I used to be a gluten free vegetarian, but converted back to being a regular omnivore about a year ago.) My cynical self didn't want to believe that I needed to give up dairy and gluten, (I mean, c'mon, it seems like such a knee-jerk alternative thing) but my desperate self was, well, desperate. After two days the swelling in my knees and fingers was pretty much gone. My right hand is still deciding whether or not to go with the miracle. But maybe it's lagging behind because it actually poured the milk and put the toast in the toaster.

And back to the molting--my caregiver skin is nearly shed. Another form/email or two and I am something new. The ex-wife skin, while only able to be gotten rid of when either or both The Someone and myself meet the same fate as the crab I found on the beach, feels like there's been  at least some exfoliation or a nip and a tuck. July holds its own treacherous anniversary. This year it will be nine years since my marriage ended with a three-sentence conversation. I lost my husband, my family, my house, my town. Three decades of personal history became a fraud. Half my life felt like a hallucination.

But I'm all right now. Quite wonderful, in fact. A new person, alive and well. There is that chasm.  But I think I can remember to climb out.


Elizabeth said...

Such a short yet powerful post with breathtaking imagery. You rock, Denise, even as you molt and hover over the chasm.

I am so glad that changing your diet alleviated your symptoms. Don't forget that CBD products are anti-inflammatory and help people with symptoms similar to yours. :)

Not Blank said...

It is also 9 years since I became an ex-wife. Before then, it took him 9 months to leave. Once gone, 2 weeks later he wanted to come back just two weeks later. The last time he tried to contact me was 5 years ago, when he sent flowers for my 60th birthday. I promptly gave them to the closest nursing home.
All things to tell my doctor, when she wonders why 'we' can't get my blood pressure down below 150/100...

Ms. Moon said...

That video was almost too painful to watch. How confusing, how painful, how ITCHY it must be to escape one body to live in another.
May the miracle of healing continue. In all ways. Although we do not change our bodies or our lives as quickly as the spider crab, it is still painful and confusing and itchy.
And anniversaries are the worst at reminding us of all of that. Or is best?