Jane Haddam’s WordPress weblog

2 Out of Time and Space

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This is Part 2 in a series. If you want to start at the beginning, scroll down.

It’s taken a few days to get to this, and that may happen again over time.

I have a regular routine, and now that I’m out of the hospital and physical rehab, I’m trying to stick to it. Routines work well for me. For a long time in my life, I was doing far too much in far too many pkaces. Without a routine, I wouldn’t have gotten it all done. I may not have survived it.

These days, the routine helps, but I keep running put of gas.

I try to start the day working on fiction. Then I go to the practical matters that this situation makes necessary. Powers of attorney. Copyright assignments. Paperwork having to do with the treatments my body might just be able to handle. Whatever.

The blog should be the third thing, but sometimes I get there and have no energy keft.

So instead of the blog, I eat lunch and cons out for a while.

But still.

In a way, my routine has a tinge of the surreal.

For decades now, that routine has been unvarying.

I make myself a 48 ounce cup of Stash Double Bergamot Earl Grey tea, two tea bags steeped for at least 15 minutes (sometimes 20).

Then I sit down and read for half an hour to an hour.

Then I apply myself to fiction.

Then I apply myself to other things—including, hopefully, this blog.

Then I break for lunch.

If I’m teaching—I’m not, this term—I may have to break before lunch, to go do that.

But there it is, my day, which starts at 6 on the days I’m not teaching and at 4:30 on the days I am.

One of the reasons I landed in the hospital a couple of weeks ago was that I became incapable of doing much of anything in this routine except drinking the tea, and even that I made it only halfway through.

For years now, I’ve been keeping a composition book listing all the books I’ve read, month by month and year by year.

Unless I’m reading something very long and complicated—a history of the Protestant Reformation was one—I average about 5 books a month.

In January of this year, I read one. It was a short genre mystery, and I forgot to write it down. Which means that at the moment, I can’t remember what it was.

In February and March, I read nothing.

I was a mess in so many ways, I won’t even try to list them.

I was sleeping most of the day. I had incredible pain in my legs, so bad that I couldn’t walk at all without help, and even then I screamed out loud every time I had to put weight on my kept leg.

Hell, forget putting weight on it. If I sat in a way that the leg dangled, where I couldn’t put my foot flat on the floor, that made me scream, too.

I couldn’t concentrate. On anything. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t eat much, and when I did eat everything tasted like sand.

But although the time in the hospital landed me with a terminal cancer diagnosis, it—and the weeks of physical rehab—cleared up or significantly ameliorated a lot of the subsidiary problems.

I am definitely in a debilitated state in some ways. I need a walker to get around the ground floor of my house, and the stairs are really difficult. And, as I said above, I tire out faster than I used to.

But the most obvious thing is that I actually feel pretty much normal. My routine is back. I just finished an 800+ page book on the American Revolution and its aftermath. The plot of this book I’m working on is—okay, I really like it. And food tastes great, and I want a lot of it.

I feel so normal, when I’m inside the schedule I often find myself forgetting the situation I’m in.

When I was so sick earlier in the year, a part of me thought that if I was dying, it might not be the worst idea.

God only knows I couldn’t have lived like that for very long.

But right now, I am living the way I’ve always lived, and I find myself increasingly unwilling to give it up.

Not that my will has much to do with it.


Written by janeh

April 21st, 2018 at 11:58 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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