IC Journey

Sometimes I Just Want to Say I Don’t Give a Damn

Posted in Uncategorized by LJ Johnson on April 25, 2010

Sadly, that, too, would be a lie. But I am SO tired of caring. I am so tired of putting everyone else first and trying to be a good friend, good partner, good mother, good sister, good Christian (oops, should have put that first), good pet owner, good chicken owner (why oh why oh WHY did I ever do that?). Sadly, the truth is I love everything. My whole heart just wonders and takes joy at the individuality of every single creation, even trees, flowers, grass. Okay, thistles and poison ivy, I kind of have issues with those, and maybe mosquitoes. Nobody is perfect.

Sometimes, though, I get so darn TIRED. Not a physical tired where a nap would make do, but just a sick and tired of dragging myself through giving every ounce I have, spending days on end drinking less than a quart of water so I can meet everyone’s basic needs while FAILING to be who they really need me to be because I give them every bit I am capable of. I get to a point where climbing into the nearest quiet and safe place, curling into a protected ball and placing a “Please, leave me alone, let me breathe and give me peace” sign is all that I yearn for. I don’t WANT to have you wake up ten minutes after the pain medication kicks in and I can fall back to sleep and then make a big deal over how your nose is runny and it’s morning and you’re hungry. You cooked for yourself and four kids for twenty years, and if that’s too much effort, there are leftovers and cereal. Do you REALLY need to have scrambled eggs with onion and peppers, drowned in melted cheddar cheese for breakfast today, too?

After a while the thirst gets to you. In a weird way it is background noise – always there. I guess it’s kind of like anorexics and food. The nice thing about IC is you don’t actually fantasize about water. You fantasize about Pepsi, or grapefruit soda (loved that stuff), or a nice big glass of orange juice or cranberry juice. Luckily, that makes water not all that appetizing, so usually you can still maintain the self-control. Until, of course, you take a drink. Then reflex takes over, and you’d better hope you only have a half-liter bottle in your hands or it’s game over for the next two hours.

When you are required repeatedly to do things that require more of your focus and time, and regular hydration interrupts you three to four times an hour (and also starts you into retention, which causes a constant need to go feeling and an inability to empty), you quit drinking. Otherwise you couldn’t cope. If, say, your family has shopping trips planned for four or five hours of Saturday, followed by a birthday party, followed by five hours of activity for church Sunday and say another trip to the store for the running you didn’t finish Saturday, and Monday requires yet ANOTHER errand, and Tuesday requires a trip to the doctor’s office to pick up the prescriptions that can’t be refilled by phone AND a trip to purchase the final decided item (we’re shopping for a new water heater) from all the running SATURDAY, your body goes into its own rebellion, because it is as aware as you are that it means days on end of lack of hydration, muscle spasms and other lovely fun.

Though all of this is a conscious decision, in its way, in its maladaptive coping mechanism (the only other way is a foley catheter, and I’m just about desperate enough to, but not sure how the resulting bladder spasms would affect ability to travel and walk), it is one you end up resenting, especially the more frequently you choose it. Part of you, every time you abuse your body just to cope, feels increasingly unimportant, uncared for and taken for granted. When the person beside you in the car is contentedly sipping his 44-ounce beverage, and the kid in the back seat is guzzling his 20-ounce Mountain Dew and you just allowed yourself enough water to swallow the next dose of pain medication, took two deep breaths and put the cap back on because it’s a half hour until the next bathroom, it starts to hurt.

If there are any other stressors on top of it – promises not kept, feelings hurt, anything else, it is the HARDEST thing in the world to maintain the “I love you and will choose to love you and be the best person I can, because that is part of this journey and the way God is testing and improving my character” attitude that you KNOW you should have. Instead you become increasingly cranky, especially as you miss your normal time to do a bladder instillation and rest when you’ve already had two periods of less than three hours sleep each (probably less than five hours total, if that) overnight and been manipulated into making someone’s favorite breakfast, yet again, and once again had them find something wrong with it (this time it was the flavor of the tea, I believe).

Starting your day that way really limits grace in a fallen creature, and sadly, no matter how much I try, in the end, it is what I am. Tomorrow, if I’ve recovered enough of my attitude, I will have to ask forgiveness and try again. And pray, I guess, that God grants me the forgiveness and grace to love my family regardless of the dirty laundry they leave on the floor, the lack of thank-yous for meals prepared, and the complete expectation that I should always be available. They’re only human, too.

Please, God… erase these lists from my heart and make me a better person. I am promised that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Thank you.


One Response

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  1. Friend for Life said, on April 25, 2010 at 2:34 am

    No matter how bad it gets… know that I will always be here, there and everywhere for you. Our friendship has lasted 9 years so far.. I don’t see it ending any time soon.
    Love in God for all things through him are possible.

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