This morning, while the husband had gone to the grocery store on the URC bike to get the few things we need to supplement the dinners here, I spent a half hour singing.
With Kate Wolf, on Green Eyes.
And with Gordon Lightfoot, Sundown.
The first I had never sung; the second, I remember singing so many times back when it was new, I was in college and grad school, and had joined the Columbia Record Club, and had several of his records.
It is easy to let things slip when under a pandemic
I didn’t realize how long it had been since I sang.
Apparently, going to church on Sundays, plus starting an hour-long, twice a month folk-singing group here at URC had been enough to keep my vocal chords in working order, even tired. Each time, after an hour, I had used my voice, and it seemed okay and I was happy with the quality of the sound, happy enough not to give it another thought.
Well, it has been months since I did that kind of regular singing (forgive me, Carol, singing teacher, for not singing every day).
And when I tried to sing about a week ago, it was as if someone had stolen my vocal chords and left someone else’s unused ones in their place.
It was scary. The singing voice was almost paralyzed, and nowhere near what I had come to depend on whenever I wanted it.
So there’s one more thing I have to maintain consciously
The list is getting very long.
Every day, before I can get to sleep, I have to put all my joints through my little stretching and range of motion exercises – or I twitch so badly sleep is impossible. Literally. For hours. Lying there in bed, twitching as if hit by a cattle prod every 5-10 seconds. And now I also have to get up and eat something so my stomach will let me go to sleep.
None of this body stuff used to be my responsibility (except weight: as I’ve said many times before, I do not understand why I should have anything conscious to do with maintaining the right body weight – I don’t have to remember to breathe or make my heart beat!).
I’ve given up complaining – it doesn’t help. When I realize I’m twitching because I didn’t do my exercises, I force myself to lie there – and do them.
When I realize what has woken me up at 3am is that my blood sugar is crashing, I get up, eat a half cup of cottage cheese, and then, while my brain’s blood is diverted to digestion, quickly lie down and get back to sleep.
The demands of the body are nonnegotiable
And a pain in the neck.
But I develop another heuristic, another shortcut for dealing with the new problem, pay attention for a few days or weeks, and put it on the list of ‘things that must be done.’
And I fear when someone else must take care of me, because they’re not going to have the ability to do the necessary actions the instant I need them, and I’m going to spend a lot of my time uncomfortable and not able to do a thing about it.
What a life!
One more consequence of the lovely gift we’ve all been given is to watch it go away.
How to deal?
ME/CFS? Aging? Luck of the Irish? Who knows.
I try to let it take as little of my time and life as possible.
Not complainin’, just sayin’.
And I do whatever I need to keep writing.
While watching the appalling stuff burbling out in our society that has long been suppressed. And trying not to cry.
What is on your list? What are you in charge of that you never had to worry about before?
Thanks to Stencil for the ability to create graphics that are more interesting than the words I throw into them.