January 16, 2009
Thawing, ME News, Vol. 2, Issue 3
I call it “thawing,” and it has nothing to do with winter.
It's the best term I could think of for my situation after reading an interesting, but not totally applicable, article titled, “Young, Fabulous, and Widowed.” Although it dealt mainly with young widows with young children, there were some interesting points made. The most important of which was this:
“Grief is like being frozen. You’re numb. The longer you’re numb, the more painful it will be when you start to defrost. [You] can’t stay frozen forever.”
So, in case you’re wondering what the changes are you’re seeing in me, I’m thawing.
I managed to stay frozen 2.3 years. I turned into what was referred to in the article as “a super widow.” I volunteered a lot, kept busy with classes, exercise, studies, symphonies, making cards and making garbage.
I think the thaw started, or the deep freeze ended, last October. I slowed down enough to look around, and I’m not too happy about where I’m at. Yeah, some things are different, and a little bit better. Minus 115 pounds, A1C of 6.1, no longer anemic, my hair is growing back. Losing another 40 pounds will complete that part of my lengthy list of physical goals.
I believe I’m making progress regarding what I have heard referred to as “widow’s mouth.” Apparently, it’s not that uncommon among long term caregivers of the seriously ill. Something has to give, and for most it seems to be taking care of ourselves. In my case, there was also anticipatory grief. I obviously succumbed to both, because by the time Jeff died, I had gained 150 pounds, become a septic diabetic, developed severe anemia, and was suffering from malnutrition. After a day of commuting 3 hours, working at my full time real job, trying to keep our retail store alive, and taking care of my husband, I would exhaustedly fall into bed without so much as brushing, never mind not flossing.
Working to restore my oral health is kind of like the final frontier of physical things that can be repaired.
Maybe, once that I’m over that hurdle, I can make some progress on feeling better emotionally.
I don’t know how long it will take me to completely thaw.
I'm just letting you know that the process has begun.
And it is painful.
reference: Health4Women, December 2008/ January February 2009
Posted by jaselin at January 16, 2009 12:47 PM