29 October 2011

Julia had such a hard morning yesterday. She was beside herself trying not to scratch the scabs on her right arm. She did a lot of self loathing talk. She wanted to hurt her arm to get rid of the feelings. She was ever so persnickety and uncooperative and just plain grumpy. She did not want to be distracted from her discomfort and she wanted to make everyone around her as miserable as she was. And the everyone included a new therapist who was being introduced to her with Comella, our senior therapist, overseeing the session.

I was inpatient for her to settle down because I had the bed to strip, bedding to wash, and our make shift kitchen to cover in plastic for Ed’s last day of sanding. The house was dusty, irregardless of the layers of plastic that Ed and I have laid down and tacked up. And I had only had a few hours of sleep and was sporting an intense headache.

This was not a good way to start the day.

But the arm that was bothering Julia so much was here right, her drawing hand, her coloring hand. How could such a talented and lovely hand/arm be abandoned? I held her for awhile and told her so. I finally insisted that she and the therapists take the dog for a walk, getting her out of the house. She protested -- such a throwback to her behavior a few years ago but finally went out and walked. She calmed down by the time they got back. I had the bedding in the washer and the plastic pinned and covering by that time as well.

If what I’ve/we’ve been trying to do is to bring Julia’s awareness to the specific discomfort of her sores and scabs, we succeeded yesterday. Maybe it was very necessary for her to feel such discomfort, but not the general discomfort, be it physical or otherwise, that has so often plagued her. Discomfort specific to its type and location. And that what she experienced yesterday. Not necessarily fun to live through, but possibly necessary to fully experience. She is getting better about complaining about the itch instead of losing herself in scratching.

But not time to send up fireworks. I am still using plenty of bandaids and wraps every day, and we still are set on the school consequences starting on Monday.

I too needed some transformation yesterday. The morning headache only resolved when I took a short nap during the time our second therapist was working with Julia. And I got up from that nap, finished the wash, and went to the Y to work out for a little while before our evening started. My mood was adjusted.

Julia and I went to dinner at Mary and Robert’s house. Mary and I made dinner -- oh, what a treat! Dinner was fresh, nothing had been preserved or frozen or cooked in great batches. And it was delicious. Food for the body and soul. It is striking that I can travel for three weeks and really not miss my kitchen at all, but here at home, I expect to use it. And it is not the complicated meals that I miss, but scrambled eggs, baked salmon, and sauteed string beans.

My feeling of deprivation is so elitist. I probably have a better kitchen right now, with my toaster over, microwave, electric tea pot and rice maker, plus frig, than most of the world’s population. My internal complaints about washing dishes in the bathroom sink or needing to go out my front door and around to the side door to get to my laundry don’t taken into account that the water is clean and delivered inside the house. And above all, the circumstances are temporary, of my own choosing, and the preamble to an improved work and living space.

And towards that end, Ed finished the sanding and cleaning up. He primed and first coated the ceiling and walls, and brought one cabinet into the kitchen for me to look at the colors together. And I really like it. No pop or zing. This is going to be a pretty mellow space and I like it.

So, Julia and I ended the day with dinner with our dear ones, and coming home to less plastic and a yellow cabinet in the green kitchen. And a blessed long sleep in my wonderful bed.

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