(a day in the life)
Will I ever sleep in my bed again?
Will I ever wake with my wife?
Will my hands stop their curling into bird claws?
Is there a chance for a near normal life?
I ask these questions in fear and in hope,
while unwanted changes arrive.
My breath is run by a breathing machine.
Is a wall plug what keeps me alive?
I think of my dog and my wife home alone
and our deck where we’d sit in the sun.
She’d have wine, I’d have juice with the sun going down,
in our loveseat, just swinging for fun.
The simple things that are missing right now
like, to stand alone and not fall,
or not needing two hands while brushing my teeth,
or unzipping my fly at the call.
I want a sunburn on my back and my butt
and to be able to sleep on my side.
This hospital bed and gravity both,
want to help take my soul for a ride.
This hose in my throat rides down my chest
where it takes a right turn at my waist.
Every thing that I do has to remember this,
or I pay when I’m moving in haste.
My wheelchair’s OK, but the brakes are in back
so coming and going gets tough,
especially since I have to call for support
so my oxygen tank has enough.
A babys’ first breath is a true miracle,
young lungs free to grab the new air;
but without this machine my lungs might collapse
since to breathe by myself is so rare.
We’re working to strenghen my lungs with my walks,
for my arms, adding pushups as well.
All this time this malaise never stops in it’s work
so at times I gain insights to hell.
To get up out of bed and just cross the room
without the hose and the chair
is a dream and a wish every minute I breathe
and I know, yes, life sometime’s not fair.
A walk up my road with my dog on a leash
toward my home I built wih my friends,
past tall Redwood stands and Bay Laurel groves,
the dog checking each fern in the glen…
A memory now, that I cherish each time
I think of the way I walk now:
the walker, the wheelchair, the vent on five wheels —
sorta feels like I’m pushing a plow.
The work that I do is called therapy,
designed to get better, get well!
Progress is a theory that proves true sometimes,
but at others, seems no one can tell.
At times I get caught in my thoughts of my work
left undone at my home on the ridge,
knowing now that I’m not the one for the job;
so failure becomes one more bridge.
Fixing things was the pleasure I got, when it worked,
and our home has many such chores.
Raingutters, deck trim, roof leaks and new paint —
just a few, and of course there are more.
All this falls to my wife who already works
more hours than God gave a week.
So I reach out to friends who are willing enough,
but where’s the time that gets spent as we speak.
My room has a door to a courtyard outside
made of glass that allows the wheelchair
passage enough for escape to outdoors.
How I treasure the gift of fresh air!