Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Not Enough Hours in a Day

Being sick has to be the biggest time suck in the world. There's never enough time and energy to do everything that needs to be done. From the moment I open my eyes in the morning, I'm late. The alarm is set for 6:05 am and goes off for an hour. I usually wake up at 7:15. There doesn't seem to be anything I can do about that. My body says, "You need sleep more than you need to get up right now," and refuses to flip the switch. I stagger into the bathroom and deal with a good 15-20 minutes of unpleasantness. I clean up from that and then some days I stagger to the laundry room to check the status of whatever sat in the dryer over night. Usually it's not dry yet, so I give it another spin. Back to the bathroom, where I climb in the shower and wash the really important bits. A couple days a week I'll wave a razor in the general vicinity of my under arms. Then I'll sign and look down at all the hair on my legs that I once again won't be shaving. Out of the shower. Dry off. Brush teeth. Towel dry and brush hair. Maybe slap on a little moisturizer if my face is dry.

Next stop the living room. Pull the cell phone off the charger and stuff it in my purse. Make sure I have a full compliment of feminine protection, in case of unfortunate accidents. Make sure I have all my meds. Depending on how late I am at this point, or if the weather is doing something funky, I'll turn on the National news for a few minutes. Someone is grilling something or singing something. If the timing is right I might get to hear a bunch of tourists squeal and wave signs while one or two lucky ones get to tell about their mission trip from South Podunk. And then maybe some weather. All the while pulling on the least wrinkled of the clean clothes piled on top of my dining room table. Put my shoes on. Feed the cat. Hopefully remember to bring a plastic cup so I don't have to drink out of the mini paper ones. Save a tree. And a trip to the water dispenser.

If I'm really lucky there will be something easy to grab for breakfast at my desk. Lean Pocket breakfast pockets, maybe. But usually I ate the last one yesterday and there's nothing. So it's a peanut butter sandwich or a bowl of cold cereal. (Do you have any idea what a hassle it is to pack a bowl of cold cereal to go?) Check again to make sure I have my meds. Trip over the cat on the way out the door.

Arrive at work around 8:20. (Twenty minutes late.) Deal with a grumpy boss who claims to understand my condition but still is mad when I'm not there on the dot of 8. Try not to resent the hypocrisy when he leaves to run his son to sports camp/takes the afternoon off for a massage/takes an hour to get a hair cut/wanders out of the office with a vague "I'll be back" and returns twenty minutes later with a smoothie.

Drag myself through miles of mind numbing paperwork. Hope that I'll make it all the way to Friday before collapsing. Wonder how I'm going to make it to the grocery store after work. Wonder if I really have to. Convince myself that I can squeeze at least one more meal out of the stuff in the freezer and pantry. Stagger out the door at 5:01.

Get home and spend another 20 unpleasant minutes in the bathroom. Clean up again and raid the kitchen. There is nothing to eat. Manage a meal out of ramen noodles, cheese sticks, and a package of diced peaches just slightly past their due date. Put the dirty dishes in the sink. They'll keep 'til tomorrow. Or next week. Or whenever you feel good enough to scrape off the fuzz and throw them in the dishwasher. Vegetate on the couch. Knit a little. Talk to Mom on the phone. Try to pretend things are better than they are. Don't manage to fool her. Go read a book in the bathroom for a while. Final round of medicine for the night. Hope I can do it all tomorrow. After all, it was only Tuesday.