Lying Down

Dear all.. I have lost the image upload capacity on my computer for the moment …

It has been hot here.

Like everywhere else.

I keep moving through my life

With my edges continually toasted

Just going from car to home.

MS hates heat and weakens me.

They used to diagnose MS by putting the person in a hot bath

And watching to see if they’d be adversely affected by heat.

A couple days ago I lost my balance and fell backward

Hitting my sweet head HARD on the tile floor.

A big flash of white light

And much blood.

I lay there and collected myself

As my dog scrunched her brow

Like a Sharpei.

I didn’t pass out.

But I couldn’t get up.

After about 10 minutes I tried scooting my way to my phone in the next room.

I had an out loud conversation with myself

To test my level of consciousness

And keep myself company, really.

“You can do this, Cath… only a few more feet.”

I knew I had to call 911

And I also knew my dog would try to eat the EMT people

As she protected me.

I called Olivia’s second mom and blessedly, she arrived to help

Before the hunky EMT men got there.

For someone who has never been to the hospital before

(Like me)

The whole gurney-thing

And flashing lights

And concerned, gawking neighbors

Was a bit much.

But I surrendered.

Actually, my injury was very minimal

And I left the hospital a few hours later with 4 staples in my head.

In retrospect,

I see that I have been under a good bit of stress

As I face the changing landscape of my financial state;

Trying to find a new home that suits me,

Becoming TOTALLY transparent with my family

As places previously kept hidden

Come to light by necessity.

And, on top of all that:


All of it made for a slightly out-of-body experience.

Things I’ve learned:

1. Get MEDIC-ALERT system in place so I feel safer (that thing you wear around your neck as a panic button) My sister researched this for me and actually CALLED the company and told them to expand their marketing niche to include others besides the ancient examples they currently use as models!

2. I am so loved and supported.

3. My dog needs a vacation from trying to protect me from every darn challenging thing..

4. I am resilient.


6. Pay homage to the gods of insurance who we turn our heads from but grab hold of when in need. (and ask them to please get their shit together).

7. The progressive loss of physical capability does not diminish who I am at the core of me.

8. Asking / needing help feels weird to me still but if I let it, it feels somehow like communion; an unexpected church.

9. The value I once put on extreme independence is shifting into something else which I don’t have a name for yet.

10. In order for me to have the capacity as I do now, to begin receiving support in a grace-full manner, it was entirely necessary for the cataclysmic ’emptying out’ I have been involved in for the past years.



7 Responses to “Lying Down”

  1. Donna on July 20th, 2011


    Sorry to hear this. Double ack about the staples in the head. I so hated those when I had them.

    Yes, us single folks don’t get the luxury of hanging on to our extreme independence — at least for very long or well or without it showing rather awkwardly despite how well we think we’re covering it.

    Am glad to hear of someone advocating for you and that you know you are loved. We forget that when we spend so much time alone, eh?

    Take good care,

  2. webster on July 21st, 2011

    I’m sorry about your fall and the resulting staples in your head. Losing our independence is hard, but here’s another way to think about asking for help: When someone help you it makes them feel good about themselves, as it should. so you are, in effect, giving them a gift. Be well.

  3. Elisa on July 22nd, 2011

    You are SO standing up!!!!

  4. Laura Hegfield on July 22nd, 2011

    “The progressive loss of physical capability does not diminish who I am at the core of me.” truer words have never been written (or uttered)

    You are not as alone as you might have thought for so long…there are people who love you, and others who most certainly will once you allow them in to help you…to enter your life with the lovingkindness they desire to give and you deserve to receive.


  5. Carol S. on July 24th, 2011

    Hi Cathy, tons of clarity in your list of 10 and you are so straight and tall inside. Saw an excerpt for a O’Keefe and Stieglitz book and thought of you and wanted to say hi. Sorry to hear of your fall, glad to hear of your “bouncing” back. Loved your 4th of July entry….favorite line of my morning….pooping willy-nilly as they set up for garden wedding. The imagery was priceless, and descriptive of what it takes for you to get peace. Here’s hoping for more rain for your area. It’s 100 degrees with humidity in Chicago, really not nice. This too shall pass.


  6. gerry harty on July 25th, 2011

    I can’t remember what wise person said it doesn’t matter how many times you fall…what counts is how many times you get up!!! And you got up girlfriend!!! I’m so glad the EMT’s were hunks.I had to call 911 once and an ambulance and fire engine showed up…10 of the most handsome guys i ever saw!!! I think one of the most important secrets to survival is retain some of your vanity and never lose your ability to appreciate a HUNK!!!….Stay cool….love,gerry

  7. Caitlin Anderson on August 3rd, 2011

    Oh Cathy. I miss your laugh and energy! Damn those tile floors!
    Like I’m saying, Damn the electric bike I fell off of! My bruises are lovely adornments to my calves and shins …

    My daughter Bridget said earlier this summer: “Mom, it’s great! Your job now is to be disabled!” Yes, my SSDI finally came through. And we get some support for Bridget as well. Sobering but helpful in many ways.

    Will come to see you when it cools down!

Leave a Reply