I want to start this blurb by saying thank you to the tiny sliver of a crescent moon that was beautifully perched over Mt Tam several weeks ago. One of my favorite sights, and my worried heart felt full and grateful as I watched the scene out my fancy hospital room picture window (Oakland Kaiser). I’d had heart palpitations the night before, and my heart wouldn’t calm down so the Kaiser advice nurse said I should head for the hospital, so I did, thanks to the chauffeuring from my kind and loving neighbor Beth (old lady advice — if you want to be admitted to the ER in a hurry, tell them you have chest pain). So into the hospital room I was rolled after a day in the ER, now in the reverse situation from my brother, as I’m usually rolling him in his wheelchair in his facility in San Rafael.
Tests and tests and blood draws and heart monitors and x-rays and nuclear machine scans later, it seems my heart is just fine. I went home the next day. In fact, all indications are I’m damn healthy for an old broad.
So my task is to compassionately care for myself and catch my breath. For a year I have looked out for my beloved, remaining sib Jim, caring for him and loving him and doing my best to provide him comfort. And my heart is yelling at me, Emily you’re pooped. You need to recharge. The staff and doctors said my body was reacting to stress, and my panic attack in the night, triggered by a nightmare, that made my heart flop around in my chest like a fish on a dock was likely sparked by family worries. Makes perfect sense.
So now I’m rebooting and learning to pace myself and take naps and watch movies and lie on the couch with my book and peer out my window at the delightful Barn Swallows, who are like winged rockets — they flutter over the exposed low-tide mud in the marina and collect the slippery stuff in their beaks and then race off to build their nests — so delicate and graceful and skilled. I ask them to fly my guilt away. But Jim’s in very capable hands. And he loves me and wants me to be well.
[About this painting. I am happy and delighted every day to be part of my floating home community. A lovely and kind neighbor got wind of my hospitalization and left these on my doorstep. Oh, and want to hear something completely cray-cray? While I was in the hospital my dock caught fire! My house was closest to the conflagration, which neighbors and the fire dept put out; a small outbuilding was destroyed. Super happy I missed THAT excitement.]