I’m tired. I’ve said this already, too many times in fact. I’m sick of saying it, of feeling it as much as you are of reading it I’m sure. I keep waiting for this time where I’ll feel awake, ready, where I won’t feel bone tired like I’m dragging myself from place to place. Like I won’t fall over in a heap.
This past weekend my sister went to the ER for stomach pain, on Monday she came home after having laparoscopic appendectomy, and since you probably know the meaning of the second word you’ll know she had her appendix removed. I found out at five in the morning on Sunday when she called me to let me know the diagnosis and he upcoming surgery. I didn’t really process what was happening and she didn’t really either. I tried to focus on the positives with her on the phone: that while this was her first time being admitted into the hospital in seven years it wasn’t for her autoimmune disease and that an appendectomy isn’t the most uncommon surgery in the world. For once a health-related incident was semi-normal and common for our family.
All I knew is part of me wanted to laugh, to joke when I knew this wasn’t something to joke about. “That’s 2020 for you, time to lose an appendix.” I know it’s a coping mechanism, I guess that means something if I recognize coping mechanisms, I just don’t know when I started using it. Was it when my sister first got sick? Was it when my mom got sick again? After she died? All of the above? It doesn’t really matter when, what matters is now and that that is how I cope. I try to laugh, try to make jokes and make it seem not as bad as it is, like maybe I can laugh and convince myself the same way.
Ha ha ha.
I also talk too much, and if you know me then you’ll know that’s something I never do. But when I don’t want to acknowledge how I’m feeling, when I don’t want to answer questions that make my throat clogged I talk and talk and talk even though I don’t know what I’m saying, even though my brain is in a hospital room, in a mausoleum, the words flood out and I don’t know what I’m saying.
I’m tired. Which is selfish and unfair to say because my sister is more tired after her surgery, in more pain. The day she came home she was crying about how unfair it was, to have to feel this much pain and have two surgeries by the time she’s twenty-six. And it isn’t fair and I told her that. But acknowledging that something is unfair doesn’t make it better, neither does pretending it isn’t though.
My chest hurt for a few days after all this, today is the first day it doesn’t feel all knotted up. My shoulders are still tense though, my jaw clenched and my teeth like to grind together when I don’t pay attention to them. There’s a scream at the bottom of my throat waiting to surface. I’ve tried drowning it, but it won’t budge.
So what now?
Nothing, which is the simplest and most honest answer. You accept the bad thing has happened and moved on. Already my sister is starting to move around more, smile more, already the pain has stopped being so bad. If she can keep moving forward I should be able too.
But it’s hard too, watching the people you love suffer seemingly all the time. Wanting to take away that pain and knowing you can’t, knowing that there are some things you are powerless to stop, things that you have to watch and suffer watching them.
I know all this, but it doesn’t make it any easier.