“When I am painting I have a general notion as to what I am about. I can control the flow of paint: there is no accident.” Jackson Pollock
Well, I am not without accidents in my painting ever…even in my current project of painting the rooms of the house. I may not be able to control much else in my life right now, but CAN choose what color to paint my walls. And I CAN set my alarm early very morning in order to get the job one. In that way, I find a kind of empowerment. So far, we’ve got the living room, the hallway, and Maki’s room done. As I’m not an early riser by nature, I am grateful for coffee and the fact that they don’t actually end up looking like one of Pollock’s paintings.
Control, its just an illusion anyway. Anyone with kids can tell you that! But we also all tend to chase it. My friend Sandy pointed this out to me, when she saw me covered with drips of paint at a morning exercise class: I’m throwing myself into this house painting project because there is little else I get to choose at the moment. I guess I also get to choose whether to go to my pilates class. And get up early. She is right, most other things in my life are out of my hands. I’m getting used to it. In fact, there is a great freedom in realizing I have little control over anything; but some days are harder than others.
It has been a pretty rough week. I won’t go into detail, but for the record, I’ve been feeling angry about a lot of things. I realize this is part of the typical grieving process, so I’m letting it happen. Still, I’m surprised at how strong it can feel out of the blue and the mental targets I’ve been finding. Thankfully, I haven’t been getting mad at Vernon or the kids, so my mind is finding places on the outskirts of my life to focus this energy on. Things and people I have even less control over. Maybe its time to start kickboxing again and give all this energy a healthy place to go. Yelling into the ocean gives some relief. So does writing.
It’s also been a rough week for Vernon. As I mentioned on Sunday, he didn’t look as well as he had been, and yesterday, he seemed much worse. He speech was slurred and disconnected as if he was still dreaming. His right arm was protracted and tight, as it used to be back in the early days of waking, and when I tried to hold his hand, he squeezed it hard in frustration and tried to shake me off. I asked the nurses to run some tests to see if there might be another infection. It was more than a hunch, as we’ve seen this before…but its been awhile, and this was a really bad reaction. I was so sad about his arm, most of all…the way it was tightly tucked into his body brought me right back to that Mission Hospital room with a painful shock. I had to leave his side for the day because I didn’t want to cry there.
Today I discovered that indeed he does have a Urinary Tract Infection, so they will be treating this with antibiotic for the next seven days. It’s a bit of a timing blow as I had hoped to get him transferred (yes, still working on that) as early as this week. In the meantime, I got a call today from Rancho Los Amigos (remember them?) Acute Rehab Hospital. This is the place we had all hoped he would be able to go for a short time of intense rehab, because they have such a great reputation for their work with Brain Injuries. I had hoped that with a change in Vernon’s insurance, they would be willing to accept him. I spoke with the admissions lady on the phone for some time, she asked me lots of questions and then told me she’d see what she could do. Eventually she called back and regretfully informed me that Vernon was just too complicated a case. It had been too long since the accident and with his inability to handle that much physical therapy this far down the line, he would never be a match for their program. It was a blow, but at least we were given a clear answer.
So…here we are. I want change, but I don’t get it on my terms. So I’ll keep painting the house and writing my blog. I CAN do that.