1/28/2009

We're Getting Better (Kinda, Sorta...)



The nasty bug I reported in the last post, which has been bothering both Hilde and me for going on two weeks now, finally seems to be getting to its last stages. After another doctor's appointment Tuesday afternoon, I was able to finally get to CostCo for the shopping that's been piling up while I've been stuck at home. Even a couple of days ago, I would have felt completely wiped out by the time I got home and probably would have had to go back to bed. After the shopping, I felt tired and had a light sweat worked up, but I was still able to function, at least half-assedly. So I should be back to work on Thursday.

Hilde is still having trouble with her hearing, and the doctor has added a major decongestant (both of us are currently taking pills of a size I would ordinarily expect to see only in a large-animal veterinarian's office) to what she was already taking, to try and break the sinus passages loose. There seems to be a little improvement so far, hopefully to be followed by more.

The partial-deafness has been particularly alarming because there does seem to be some correlation between long-term arthritis and deafness, and a certain amount of fear that the pressure from the congestion might have done lasting damage to the inner ear mechanisms. If there's not significant improvement in another week, Hilde may be seeing an ear/nose/throat specialist at our local Mayo Clinic.

For my own personal part, the possibility of Hilde losing part of her hearing is... oh, what's the word?... terrifying. Since I've always tended to speak in varying degrees of Mumble (as I've aged, I've gone from Modern Mumble to Middle Mumble to, nowadays, Olde Mumble), I've always had to repeat myself frequently. But the recent developments mean I've been having to SHOUT! a lot when I've been trying to talk to Hilde. This sets off a mental script in my head that goes something like: "AIEEEEE! I"M SHOUTING AT MY WIFE! AIEEEE! BAD HUSBAND! BAD HUSBAND! AIEEEEEE!!"

And... for the last forty years, the rheumatoid arthritis has been bashing her with a baseball bat, over and over and over and over again. The thought that, now, it might be moving on from bashing knees, elbows, hips, feet, spine and virtually every other joint there is, and start bashing her in the head... that's really hard to accept.

There's a movie from the early 1970's, PETE 'N' TILLIE, starring Carol Burnett and Walter Matthau, based on Peter DeVries' novella "Witches' Milk". Pete and Tillie are two people who get married in middle-age. They manage to have a child, the only child they'll be able to have... and the young boy develops leukemia. There's a scene in the movie where Matthau is horseplaying with the young boy in the living room, just like everything is normal, just like everything is alright. Burnett watches them for several moments, then stands and leaves the room... and leaves the house... and goes into the backyard. Where she looks up into the sky and talks to God. And what she ends up saying to God is: "I spit on you! I spit on you!"

I've been thinking about that scene. I've been thinking about that scene a lot, the last few weeks.

Best case scenario: Hilde's ears clear up, and her hearing goes back to normal. (And there does seem to be some improvement, between the antibiotics and and antihistamines.) But I've always had a tendency to catastrophization, to seeing the worst possible outcome. Sometimes this can be a good thing, because expecting the worst means I can take steps to try and avoid it. But there are some situations where I don't have any control over what's coming... and that makes me nervous (where "nervous" includes scared, depressed, and angry).

2 comments:

Will Shetterly said...

I dunno what to say to that, except I hope for the best, and if you end up having to yell so Hilde can hear, everyone will know that's love. But that thought is extremely premature. One of the advantages of being in the baby boom is the study of hearing advances enormously.

Simply hoping now!

mjlayman said...

I didn't know there was a correlation between arthritis and hearing-loss. I hope Hilde isn't having that correlation and gets her hearing back, but if you have to yell, then you do.