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26. 394.


So. It's been however many days. 394. Another anniversary for something that's irretrievably gone.

In 1981, at 2:45, on the 14th of February, Penny and I were married.
Yesterday, at 2:45, I blacked out. I was at work, at Michael's place. I woke up 15 minutes later with a confused sense of trying to figure out where I was. I finished what I could at work, left at 4:00, had found something that seemed to be a lead on the current hard thing (finding the actual unique index that this database uses, instead of the collection of other keys) and felt confident that I could do what I needed to.

I do want to stop this narcoleptic trick of becoming unconscious at the memorial hour of crucial events. It's not pleasant at all, struggling to get back into my body and get it to move again, and if I'm dreaming anything, it's too short to form memory chains to retrieve it.

Michael had tried to go to lunch with Nancy; he would pick her up at 1pm after work, but she had a training class and then wasn't where she normally was, so they never managed it. Good thing I didn't go along, though they had both asked me before.

I got to New Seasons and got the other half of what I was going to eat for dinner: a nice stinky cheese and a roasted garlic mini-baguette. For some reason they had only the vampire-repelling kind.

I also got a purple rose. I took it over to the church, trimmed it, and put it into the spot in the memorial garden where Penny's ashes were buried. I even took a couple pictures, but I don't think they'll be very good. I'm trying to upload them... OK, it doesn't suck. I'll make one into an icon.


Anyway. The last few years we would splurge and have either crab, or a rib steak, on our anniversary. I got a rib steak, like last year, and like last year, I ended up overcooking it so it was well done, but it was still very tasty, even with that. I do not want to make it an annual ritual to ruin a good steak.

About the time I was eating dinner, Ken Dorsch (rector at St. Barts) called me. He had forgotten what this was the anniversary of - her death, or our wedding anniversary. I told him it was our wedding anniversary. He asked how I'm doing, and I told him the pleasant fib, that I was doing OK. That's what I say to people who ask because they want to express concern but cannot really help.

The truth is? I'm desperately lonely for my best friend. I'm helplessly angry that I cannot share new things with her, and the lack of touch is excruciating. My cats try to help with that, but they get jealous of one another and fight. I miss her constantly, like having a toothache that doesn't ever quite go away. Every time I watch a movie, or hear a song we shared, or hear a song that reminds me of her, every time I read a book we both loved, every time I see a reference to her, I'm likely to be hit by a sudden, acute, twisting sort of pain running from my stomach to my head; my eyes will blur a bit. Perversely, while I can hold the tears back, my salivary glands overcompensate and I'm suddenly in need of a drool bucket, and it can keep me from talking. My voice, if I try to talk about it, is suddenly hollow and shakey. When I let my mind wander, I hear music sometimes, and it'll stick, wedged into my brain between ear and discernment. Another stupid narcoleptic trick - dreaming while awake - if I let go, the music is almost like real, but I can't do that with her voice.

How am I doing?
I'm low-energy, my blood sugars are outrageous, especially in the morning, I am in miserable shape aerobically, and my skin is not acting like skin any more; it's flaking and I get wierd lumps of fluid (not like acne) that burst if I scratch them, and then leave bloody scabby spots. My calves are no longer correctly returning fluid to the rest of my body and my left ankle is always a bit puffy, and when my feet are puffy, the skin is brittle and tends to get cuts and things, or the weird stupid ingrown hairs I've always had, become infected. This leg drainage thing, plus the fact that I'm seeing vivid purple under my fingernails, has me concerned about my blood pressure and heart health. Of course.
I'm sleeping six or so hours a night, but waking at 7-ish every morning whether or not it's a long enough rest. Sometimes, I go back to sleep for an hour or so. Not enough sleep. It would help if the bed weren't broken, or if I would make the effort to find out what's broken, but I haven't yet.

I've lost weight, now down to 277 from 295 last summer, but I'm not convinced that I'm healthier, and I'll have to lose more than this to get my blood sugars to stop being insane. If the doctor (who I should see, and will eventually get around to scheduling this) decides that I need to go on insulin, which he might, then I will be at major risk of GAINING weight. I am going to refuse to go on insulin for more than a month at a time, if I end up on it; if they want me to use the stuff they have to prove that I don't have enough, and frankly, I will not hesitate to inform the doctor that one of the causes of Penny's cancer was insulin, and that I have no interest in becoming another data point. But nevertheless...
I have no energy, even when I have four times the blood sugar reading I should have when I wake up, and three times at night when I go to bed. I'm not eating too much, though I am eating too much at once.

Other than Michael and Nancy, because I work in an office in Michael's place, I don't seem to be talking much to my local friends. This bothers me a lot, but I don't have the, what, initiative, to fix it at the moment.
I got all of them together for a potluck on the 12th of January, and it was great, then, but we are all busy, and we just didn't get back together yet.

It takes me forever to get going in the morning. Not because I'm not awake; I am. Often, I'm reading email, or the news online, or doing research or something, but because I cannot find the willpower to focus and get going, I don't, and I've been getting to work later than I like. I don't have the energy to do more than the handful of things I've declared that I will do. Therefore, the dishes go unwashed for days, the kitchen un-cleaned, the christmas presents that I've carefully assembled and which have been ready to go for a week or so, still aren't sent. I can still get them out in the season of Advent, though, if I try. I have four days.

So, how am I doing?


It's that time of late-winter, pre-spring here, where the weather is perfect for me. Or it was. I'm cold, now, because no Penny to share heat with, but still, I had the sliding patio door and the bedroom window open tonight, I'm sitting here in shirtsleeves and I'm a bit cold, but not too cold. This was our favorite weather. Once she was no longer in Redding, no longer in California, Penny stopped being able to handle the disgusting heat. I never could; I had too many Medford summer over-heating events. Cool, or cold, is my friend even when I have a chill, because I can just wrap a blanket around me.

At night, lately, I've been turning the radio on quietly because it keeps my dreams from turning nightmarish.

And, this movie, like a crossbow bolt through the heart, got me tonight. It's a Sundance Film Festival winner. One Rat Short.