Domestic Abuse, Friday Reflections, Uncategorized

Friday Reflections…Exhaustion…And How To Cope In A World Of Stress


Dearest Readers:

Today is Friday…a day of looking forward to the weekend. As for me, it is another day of exhaustion.

Why? Allow me to explain…Undoubtedly, this week has pushed me to the limit, starting with Tuesday. Early Tuesday morning, my husband and I had to be at Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center. Hubby was scheduled for an eye lift. We arrived on time. Checked in at the kiosk and waited…like everyone does for their name to be called for prep. The waiting area was packed! Hubby was scheduled to arrive at 9:00 am. We were early. Parking was an issue, so we used the valet for parking. After check-in, hubby waited impatiently for his name to be called. The procedure was scheduled for 11 am. And so, we waited…and waited…and WAITED!

I don’t recall the time when his name was called, although by the time, I made a few friends, chatting with the ladies in attendance, checking my phone for e-mails, calls and of course, dearly beloved(???) Facebook.

About two hours after the procedure began, the doctors spoke with me, letting me know the surgery was successful and he might have a bit of bruising. The bruising arrived later! After he was cleared for dismissal, we gathered our things and left. On the way home, Phil’s eyes began gushing a ‘bit of fluid…’ AKA — BLOOD!

When he got home, I encouraged him to rest, relax, keep his head back and let the ice pack ease his discomfort. By now, the fluid is streaming down his face. I checked the list of instructions from the hospital, dialed the number for an emergency…having much difficulty getting through. About 15 minutes later, with his face streaked with blood, we were told to get back to the hospital at E-R. Phil did not wish to go back. I stood firm. “This isn’t open for negotiations…Get in the car.”

Reluctantly, he followed me, telling me I was “really being bossy!”

Perhaps! I suppose I don’t deal with a grown man behaving like a two-year-old! Upon arrival, Phil was rushed back to E-R…the doctors and nurses settled him in bed and the eye doctor was called. The eye clinic closes at 4:30. Fortunately, the doctors were still at the eye clinic, so they rushed down. I must compliment Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, their staff and volunteers…what a difference they are from another time and visit where I wanted to claw the eyes of a nurse out…but I am not a violent person. [Incidentally, that experience is posted on my blog, if you care to read it.] I believe in diplomacy…or “killing with kindness…” Never did I have to invite my Julia Sugarbaker style to kick in. Everyone at the hospital was kind, courteous and helpful to us. Never did I have to request anything. Such a difference! Maybe the hospital, along with the VA, is getting their act together now. Thank you, Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center…I do believe Ralph H. Johnson would be proud of you!

The complication with the bleeding was a result of Phil taking his blood thinners a few days before surgery. After the doctor cleared the blood and got it to stop, his eyes were severely swollen and as black as midnight. He reminded me of a raccoon…or someone who was in a violent fight — and lost. Everyone who has seen Phil has joked about me finally getting my revenge with him and beating the H— out of him. Rest assured…I am not a violent person. Even though I grew up in a family of domestic violence and severe child abuse…where shouting, beating, cursing and knocking each other around was almost a daily ritual, I have never been a violent person. Even when my youngest sister slapped me, I simply wiped my face and walked away. I refuse to become another domestic violence statistic. Whenever I am mistreated, I crawl inside myself, a tactic I learned as a child, and I walk away…so the black eyes are simply a result of surgery.

Phil has been at home the remainder of this week. I must say, having to take care of him, making certain he applies the ointment, rests…applies the ice pack…and doesn’t bend down…has been quite a chore. Tuesday evening I was too exhausted to open my mail. Now, I have four days of mail stacked high. I haven’t opened any of it. Most of it will be shredded, including the never-ending catalogs I did not request. The usual clutter of mail many of us get…so no doubt, my starving shredder will be stuffed with the junk mail I will shred. I do recall getting a catalog from Montgomery Ward’s…didn’t they go out of business years ago?

Sleep has been a major issue for me this week. Monday night — no sleep. Too afraid of what I might have to face on Tuesday, especially since Phil is a heart patient, having the tendency to do what he wants and not what the doctor advises. Tuesday night, I carried my cell phone to the bedroom — something I NEVER do, in the event Phil needed me. His doctor advised him to sleep in the recliner, so I placed his cell phone on the table next to the recliner, with instructions to phone me if he needed me. On Wednesday — now sleep deprived for two if not three days — I was a total B—-! Compared to Julia Sugarbaker, I was truly the wicked witch of the Southeast! Not a Southern Belle…not a Steel Magnolia…just an exhausted, raving B—-! I was so physically exhausted that I wanted to run away from myself.

Wednesday afternoon I managed to go grocery shopping. Since I am doing Weight Watchers, I needed fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, almond milk and bread. How I prayed that no one would get in my way! While driving home, I had a serious discussion with myself, realizing that I was so grouchy — actually BITCHY — because of fear. The last time Phil had a procedure at the VA Hospital, he had a problem with his breathing. I suppose I have learned to keep these fears within myself while recognizing I needed to relax and say a prayer to God, thanking Him for keeping Phil safe. I suppose the gushing blood from his eyes horrified me. He absolutely looked like a monster from a horror movie. I needed to breathe…inhale…exhale…relax…and SLEEP!

Wednesday night I managed to sleep – finally. Thursday morning I awoke at 9:15 — too late to attend a Weight Watchers meeting. Refreshed, but still a bit tired I decided I needed to exercise. I worked out on the treadmill for 31 minutes, aerobics for 35 minutes. Much to my surprise, I felt amazing after my workout!

Today is Friday. A day to reflect. No doubt I haven’t lost weight this week, but on a positive note, I’ve discovered ways to make one of the “two B’s in my name,” recover and relax. I must remember to appreciate the little things in life. The warmth of sunshine. A warm lick from my precious, beloved animals…and mostly, I must appreciate that my husband came through the procedure with only a mild complication that the staff at Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center worked quickly and extremely professional to resolve.

Now, I must get on the treadmill…afterwards, I will tackle the mountain of laundry I must fold after doing laundry yesterday…and I must attack that stack of mail. My shredder will be so full and happy as it gobbles the stack of unwanted mail.

Hopefully, next week will be a better week…more relaxed and quiet…with a weight loss!

My Friday Reflections…I hope your week was much better!

14 thoughts on “Friday Reflections…Exhaustion…And How To Cope In A World Of Stress”

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