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Go Deep

April 3rd, 2012

Spring in Arizona

I didn’t sleep very well last night. I couldn’t go deep. This is a problem I’ve been having off and on ever since Don got sick, one with which I’m sure everyone who has ever been a caretaker is familiar. I’ve become hyper-vigilant. I’m always right on the surface, aware even in sleep of everything that is going on in the house. My mind won’t shut off. It’s exhausting.

It occurred to me during my mental ramblings that my life has become very small. Don’s illness has become the driving force behind my days. My world is confined to my house, various doctors offices and hospitals, my neighborhood groceries and pharmacies. My social circle has shrunk to medical professionals and the occasional kind friend with a casserole. And Don, 24/7. I seldom go out. Which means that I spend a lot of time going in. Fortunately, ‘in’ is a very big place.

As I lay awake, thinking about the concept of ‘going deep’ did cause me to spend some time pondering the mysteries of the universe. Physicists are on the hunt for the basic building block of reality, the smallest thing there is. The elementary particle. The Higgs boson. But for years I have had an intimation that creation is not just imponderably huge, without limit, out there, it is also imponderably ‘in there’, deep without limit. Just as there is no top, there is no bottom.

I recently read a review of a new book by Jonah Lehrer called Imagine. According to the reviewer, Lehrer propounds that daydreaming and otherwise allowing the mind to wander is the most effective way to tap your true creativity. If this is so, then I am the most effectively creative creature alive.

Don’s birthday was the 23rd. He was happy just to be having another birthday.  Our big celebration consisted of my buying him a piece of cake (I certainly did not make a cake).  We actually went to Changing Hands bookstore and he picked out a poetry book for his birthday. It was a nice outing.

When we last saw the surgeon on the 22nd, the doc thought Don might be ready for his ileostomy reversal surgery at the end of April. I can’t say I’m happily anticipating all that goes with his having another operation in a few weeks, but I’m looking forward to his being free of that horrible ileostomy bag.  An old friend of mine wrote me that she has an acquaintance who had a temporary ileostomy, and when the doctor told her it was time to get the reversal operation she said it was the first time in her life she had looked forward to surgery.* Don is pretty much the same way.

For a while he was gaining almost a pound a day, but his weight went down a pound or two a few days ago and has been holding steady at 123 since then.  He doesn’t seem to be able to put on more pounds no matter how much he eats, so we have good days and less good days.  At least he isn’t losing again. Don wants to get to at least 130 before he’ll feel ‘on the mend’ and confident that the doc will think he’s in good enough shape to do the reversal.  Last weekend we went to a meeting of the East Valley Ostomy Support Group, and it was quite helpful for Don’s psyche to talk to others who are having to live with ostomies of all varieties.  Seems his problems are not that unusual. Next doctor’s appointment is April 16.

In the meantime, spring is here in the Sonoran Desert (hence the photo, which is five years old but cheerful nonetheless). The weather is beautiful and the taxes are done. Things could be worse.
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*Yes, you, Carolyn D. Not that you’re old, heaven knows.

2 Responses to “Go Deep”

  1. Greg Thompson

    Hey Donis: Where are you guys at in the Sonoran Desert?

  2. Donis Casey

    I’m just south of the Phoenix area, Greg. Tempe.

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