Archive for 2019

Convalescent Note:
Getting Better, Slowly
9 January 2019

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

As threatened, I re-read Nora Webster. Then I re-read The Blackwater Lightship, which I was surprised to discover that I’d read in 2014. Now I’m in the early chapters of The Heather Blazing, but, fond as I am of this novel, I may have set it aside. I re-read it in 2014 as well, but the incident seems much more familiar than did that of Blackwater Lightship. I feel that I’ve spent enough time in Enniscorthy. 

Nora Webster was nothing like the quiet charming book that I recalled. Each of the many episodes seemed fraught — doubtless because I wasn’t feeling well. The antibiotic has done a great job on the wound, but it has also made me weak and somewhat inane. I try to avoid sources of anxiety, but literature is not at present an escape from care. Reading about the illness that overtakes Nora after she tries to paint her back-room ceiling was harrowing, and when Maurice, her dead husband, appeared to her in her bedroom — it’s the climax of the story, I think, but I’d somehow forgotten it — I was almost as unsettled as if something of the kind had happened to me.

On the housekeeping front, aside from the pile-up of dust — not yet really noticeable — nothing is in worse shape than it was before the fever struck. I went to Schaller & Weber and to Fairway on Monday — without incident. I took a cane with me for two reasons. One, I have been in bed for two weeks, and sometimes feel unsteady on my feet. Two, canes signal disability, and offer a modest protective advantage in the scrum of the busy intersection that I have to cross twice to get to Fairway. (In the pinball chaos of Fairway itself, the shopping cart provided plenty of stability and caddied my cane nicely.) I bought almost everything that I was looking for, and everything that we needed. But I was exhausted when I got home, carrying only two shopping bags — the rest were delivered — that the doorman took from me as I was walking toward the entry of the building, without asking. He carried them to the elevator — most helpful.

Yesterday, I went down to pick up last week’s wash-and-fold. I dragged the laundry bag upstairs like a child, something that I’d started doing before I got sick. When I had put the clean laundry away, I filled the bag with the contents of the hamper, as well as the bedlinens. (We celebrated my birthday on Sunday by changing the sheets). I dragged the laundry bag back down to the concierge. Along the way, I ran into our very helpful mail carrier. She had noticed the mail was piling up in the box, but also that she wasn’t seeing me. I explained my situation and added that Kathleen cannot open the mailbox eveen with my key, something that we’ll have to report to the building when I feel better. Changing the sheets, shopping at Fairway, and dragging the laundry up- and downstairs each left me as exhausted as if I’d built one of the Pyramids. That’s how it goes with Cipro. 

Tomorrow, I see the wound specialist at Lenox Hill to whom my internist is sending me. I’m apprehensive about meeting with a new doctor in a new location, but Kathleen will be with me (not only for moral support, but to fill out the forms — my handwriting is unreadable), Once that’s behind me, I expect to be something like cheerful.

More anon.

New Year Note:
Illness
3 January 2019

Thursday, January 3rd, 2019

I have been very unwell, with an infected foot, and I am not entirely out the woods yet. But for the first time since before Christmas, I feel comfortable enough to post an entry. I wish all Daily Blague readers a very Happy New Year. 

How long it will take to get back to normal, I can’t say. This morning, I was just able to do a load of laundry. After more than ten days in bed, I was exhausted throughout the whole process. But I rallied. This afternoon, Ray Soleil helped me clear out the refrigerator. (As always, he did all the work.) I hope I didn’t overdo it, but it’s nice to see that the apartment is a little less dingy.

I’ve done a good deal of reading, as you may imagine, but almost everything has depressed me. One book, William Tryon’s novel, Elizabeth Alone, was almost unbearable. The fraught plot — four women in a women’s hospital, reflecting on their lives while recuperating from operations — was tough enough, but the side-stories about the men in their lives, each one as searing and intense as the best of Tryon’s short stories, made for an extremely concentrated atmosphere of trouble. In the bag that I kept packed in case I had to go to the Emergency Room (dread thought), I stowed a copy of Colm Tóibín’s Nora Webster, one of my favorite novels, and one that combines tranquility with great interest. If I don’t simply fall asleep, I’ll start re-reading it this evening. 

That’s enough for now.