Friday, November 20, 2009

Things to Confess

Okay, so I have some things to tell y'all that I haven't shared for various reasons.

Most of which entail large embarrassment on my part.

The first is that, well, my car inspection sticker has expired. It, um, expired in June. I know! I KNOW! But I just can't seem to remember about it until I'm in the car on my way to an appointment. (This is also why I still have a Texas Drivers License. Shhh.)

Now, let's talk about my hair. About six months ago or so, my hair began falling out at an alarming rate. Handfuls every time I showered. I had my thyroid checked and my medication levels were just fine so I assumed I was just...molting. So NOW, I have all this new growth on my head and on really humid days, like today, I look like this:


So, the last thing I have to confess today is something I just realized was embarrassing to me. I'd been wanting to write about it and I just couldn't bring myself to and suddenly it occurred to me that what I'm feeling is embarrassment. Which, GAH, is such a stupid response that I'm just going to tell y'all and be done with it. When we went to Disney, I needed one of those motorized scooter things to get around. Because of my foot. After the first half day at the Magic Kingdom, it was really clear that I couldn't keep up with my family and walk all over. (Plus, it was a reminder of how that kind of pain can erase all the good in your life with one step. I earned my new Grumpy jacket.)

Anyway, I have no idea why this is embarrassing to me. Clearly, I have issues that go far beyond my usual issues. Every time I've sat down to write about this, I've managed to find something that simply HAD to be done --like making my FaceBook language default English-PIRATE. (It's so amusing that I spent one whole day playing with it.) Or scrubbing my grout or something.

It was embarrassing to me at the moment, too. I found myself blinking back tears for the first hour or so. People kept giving me encouraging smiles --it was painful. (Well, except for the New Yorkers and they'd just walk right in front of me, mistakenly confident in my ability to handle the darn thing.) Babies would stare at me from their strollers as if to say, "Dude, what're YOU in for?" I was sort of deathly afraid that people would think I was using the scooter because I was so fat that my bones couldn't hold me.

I just... I just felt like everyone was staring at me.

(I'm, um, kind of crying a little as I write this.)

I think... I think maybe it's hitting me that the reality of living with a chronic mobility condition (no matter how much better it has gotten with these orthotics! Yea for orthotics! I heart you so!) is that I have to admit to not being able to do everything that normal (oh, just hush, you know what I mean) forty-four-year-old women can do. That's embarrassing to me.

And I'm embarrassed that I'm embarrassed because I worked for YEARS on behalf of people with disabilities. It turns out I'm just another unmarried marriage counselor, I guess. Or a racist civil rights worker. Or someone who works for an animal shelter whose dog is a pedigreed pure-bred. You get the picture: Hypocrisy R Us.

(Of course, after I'd been in the scooter for about a day, I really did start getting all, "Hello, where ARE my accommodations?" Disney World is amazingly accommodating to people with mobility issues but in, say, Norway (Epcot) there were some issues with the Maelstrom... just sayin'.)


At any rate, those are my confessions. I have one more about my NanoWriMo book but I'm going to wait until tomorrow to talk about that one. I can only bare my soul so much in one day.

18 comments:

Kathy said...

Aw honey. You know what? I would have felt exactly like you did/do. I'm finding this whole middle age thing so difficult. The truth is we can't do all the things we used to do but there are some things that we can do so much better now, than we could 20 years ago. Like raising our kids and loving our spouses.
My mom said it best last weekend (she was visiting and is almost 72) "getting old sucks".

Lynn said...

See, you're looking at the negatives.... You gotta look at the positives!! You get to go in a FASTER line for all the rides! You get extra special treatment from the staff at Disney. Plus you really needed that chair. Nothing wrong with that. It saved your foot for normal wear and tear and Disney is so NOT normal wear and tear on the body!!!

Hope you feel better purging your conscience. and I agree with Kathy's response from her mom. Getting old sucks! But its better than the alternative.

Miriam said...

Barb, I love you so. I just recognize the heck out of this almost unname-able emotion. It's the horror, for me, of losing my ridiculous fierce independence. Or the outward appearance of needing help. Sheesh. How'd we get by being so superhuman? I bet you'd NEVER in a MILLION YEARS think ill of another person in a motorized scooter or similarly differently able. HAH. Similarly differently. Clearly I need to go back to bed.

I feel your pain, sister. And I still think you're superwoman.

Hannah said...

No no, don't apologize. I can totally imagine how that must have felt. My father has had ALS (Lou Gehrig's) for an unusually long time (7.5 years) and I remember the transition from using a cane to the motorized scooter being a huge ... obstacle? milestone? Can't think of the right word, but I just mean that it was a mental leap for him and all of us. I know your situation isn't quite the same, but there's still that feeling of having to surrender to at least the *appearance* of being handicapped, and that's tough.
But glad you had a good time with the kids!

Marion Gropen said...

It's really hard to accept that you have limits, isn't it? And that you're not that thoughtlessly fit and healthy teenager who still lives in the back of your head.

On the other hand, you're not the idiot we all were back then, either. And I suspect you're a much better companion and parent now than you ever could have been then. And part of that is a consequence of hitting those boundaries.

Life gives and it takes. The trick is learning to love the one, while accepting the other. Tell me when you figure that one out, 'cause I'm still working on it!

Ei said...

You are right, you have awesome readers.

And...me too. I didn't realize until very recently how hard I was fighting being my own age. Sigh.

Becca said...

hug.

Tiny Tyrant said...

Aw sweetie. You're not a hypocrit. You were in denial and that's okay. It's part of the process.

I still hover between anger and denial with acceptance of a hearing problem I've had for 30 years!

You're as normal as you need to be and we all love you.

DK said...

Dude. You just rock. The end. Even with your bum foot and silly carpet-eating dog and I do not believe you actually look like an ostrich. And I heart ya.

You shoulda run those New Yorkers over. Teach 'em to mess with you...

Susan said...

I just think it is great that they have the carts and accomodations for people. Think how it was in the past.

You got to go and enjoy Disney World with your family - hurrah!

Mrs.Q said...

Big, bug hugs. And maybe a glass of wine?

Suburban Correspondent said...

It's always different when it's yourself. No one wants to be the person needing help.

So, the foot is better, but only sometimes? I thought the doctor had figured out what was wrong and how to fix it? That is such a bummer.

Thank goodness you don't need to walk around to knit.

forrest said...

Love the Ostrich picture...or is that an EMU?

==Forrest

Sherry Sea from Austin said...

Well, despite feeling embarrassed, you still crack me up.

Georgi said...

I am sorry that using the scooter (or whatever they call them) embarrassed you. But wasn't it wonderful that you could go to Disney World with your family and have fun? That way when you got home you were able to clean up after your wonderful dog lolol.

kim said...

Aw... I'm sure your hair does NOT look like that picture at all. I'm sorry you had to go through all of this, but I am also quite certain that you handled it with great aplomb. It's not fun, I'm sure, always having to be the plucky one. Hugs. xx

Karen ~ said...

I'm an RN. I am embarrased because I have high blood pressure.

There's no logic. It just is.

Oh - and hair fall-out is a normal, 6-12 months after the fact reaction to stress. It'll come back. Maybe different than before. But it's OK.

I really do have to get to NY to meet you.

Bullwinkle said...

awww - there is nothing easy about admitting limitations. (I can do anything and everything!)

But my dad refuses to use the damn scooter (and does nothing because of it) - so hugs and congratulations and rock on.

What's next?