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November 16, 2000
a year ago
two years ago

Strange Sorrows

Such strange sorrows.

I actually got kind of happy during the day. Some of it was just the acceptance that it was okay to feel lousy. Some of it was getting my morning massage, though that had its own weird points. Some of it was hearing from Dr. Biller that, yes, it really sounded like there was nothing more to be done and having some data from her that made it pretty clear that we'd know when Fezzik would be done. The symptoms we'd been dreading in many ways, the no eating, no energy, not wanting to do anything and she said we'd be sure when there were a string of bad days in a row. It's that weird mix of some relief at some certainties, even when the certainties are bad.

The massage was mildly weird as I'd been noticing that my right hand was feeling numb some mornings, especially when I slept on my right side. It's swelling. Plus the old carpal tunnel problems, and I was getting nerve pressure every night, especially when the hand was still and warm for hours. That wasn't good, and it was very startling to go into Michele's and have her say, "Oh, yes, your right hand is visibly more swollen than your left." Then to hold my hands up next to each other and, sure enough, it was significantly more swollen. Ugh.

She worked everything over, though. It was good to have some of these things worked out thoroughly, especially since I didn't realize I had a bunch of stress in my neck and shoulders.

Work itself got better, in a lot of ways. Boss Bill and I tackled my depression and actually got me a list of tasks that I can make instant progress on which should do my moods good. Then, last minute, just as John and I were leaving, he came to me with a crash in the last release that had to be fixed yesterday. I had already blown away all my old development environment and gotten into the new one so that I could work with all the new stuff. So I started the long part of rebuilding my old debug environment and John and I went home. I'll have to be in early tomorrow to get that done.

John and I went to the grocery store on the way back home as Safeway has this crazy thing where you can get a 16 pound or under turkey for four dollars and a 16 pound or over turkey for five dollars. So we got ourselves a twenty pound turkey. We can always eat it and we like turkey and it's not like it would go to waste. We also got grapefruit, a yam for me to roast, and some random other stuff and then went home.

Fezzik trundled in, a little wobbly, from his bed outside the front door and lay in the middle of the kitchen while I messed around with dinner. John was feeling depressed and so played some Ape Escape while I did my own kind of escape with cooking. I made meatballs and spaghetti and doing the meatballs myself with some beef I stole from Fezzik's new load of ground beef. Parsley, marsala, bread crumbs from the sourdough bread, milk, parmesan, and some chopped onions all went in to the mix. I even slipped Fezzik a few balls of raw hamburger as, even after he'd eaten, he still seemed as hungry as a dog. It was nice that he was so hungry. I got most of the sauce and meatballs together and stuck the spaghetti in to boil and washed my hands thoroughly and then sat down by Fezzik to pet him.

While he'd been watching me while I cooked, he'd been looking very tired and a little sad, and I think I might have looked at him so often he was looking just a little guilty. I'm not sure for what. But I got to sit next to him and pet him and then I realized why his face had looked a little odd while he was lying down. The lymph nodes at his throat were huge. Mumps huge. Nearly huge-jawbreaker sized huge and when he was resting his throat and chin on the floor the nodes were actually distending his face a little. It was insane how much they'd changed in just a day. Poor kid. I just started crying. He snuggled his chin up on my leg so that his throat didn't have to touch the floor and I petted him a lot, scritched him around the swollen bits and just cried and cried and cried.

He didn't seem to mind, not really. He was still alert when food was around, still did his best to get up when he wanted to get up. That kinda made me cry more, as he was obviously a little discomforted by all the swelling, but not in any pain, still, and still trying and still wanting things and doing things.

John found out I was crying, turned off the game and came over and felt the nodes and then cried with me.

Of course that's when the buzzer for the spaghetti went off. I then told John that Fezzik liked the hamburger raw, and that got him to giggle a little, even with the tears, and he took a handful and fed that to Fezzik, who snapped it up eagerly and looked for more, which got us both to smile a bit.

So I'm like really, truly, utterly glad we'll be here this weekend. It's looking a hell of a lot faster than we'd originally thought it would be. Not unexpected, but it's still startling to be given such a wake-up call as to how quickly he might go.

We ate dinner and I snuck bites of garlic bread to Fezzik, who laid himself behind my chair so he could get easy access. We hugged Fezzik a lot and watched TV with him lying next to the sofa so he could get petted and he looked very, very content. I thought a lot. It's not like I'm going to stay up nights just to have more time with him, any more than I'm likely to skip work tomorrow. It was a very conscious thing on my part that I will spend the time with him that I can, but if I can't, I'm not going to feel guilty about it.

So at 9:30, I took a bath, and soaked my aching muscles and felt my fingers tingle a lot. My shoulders had a really awful time and weren't coming undone even with the massage and the bath. I'm going to have to move from doing this all by hand back to doing at least some of this by dictation, but that does mean time in the evening away from Fezzik. Life, I guess. It amused me that the crash I had to find in the morning wasn't even a blip on the anxiety radar. I guess that it just doesn't worry me nearly as much as other things. Likely a useful thing for the future.

When John came to sleep, Fezzik followed him into the room and curled up in our bedroom and went to sleep for a while. Eventually he did wake up and start to lick his nose and stuff, but he didn't go outside when we asked him if he wanted to. I slept pretty fitfully while he was awake and finally he made a little whimper, and when I got up to open the door, he got up as well and stumbled out into the cold night air. It sounded really bad for a little bit, but later, I think when the cold got his swelling down a little, he started moving better again and I heard him walking the porch, doing the stairs and lying on his bed by the front door, no problem.

Maybe that's why it's been so unseasonably cold these last few weeks and for the weeks to come. The cold actually makes Fezzik feel better, and reality, life, or God, if you like, is giving him the relief in the face of all the other things he goes through.

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