Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Go to the Mattresses

One of my favorite movies is 'You've Got Mail!' starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. I love it so much I watch it at least twice a year and listen to the soundtrack in my car.

Throughout this delightful movie are references to 'The Godfather' which is not one of my favorite movies. I have seen it twice but it just doesn't resonate within so I have not memorized many lines until 'You've Got Mail!' came along. I guess I'm a secondary 'Godfather' observer, understanding that movie through the eyes of characters in another movie. No matter. Meg Ryan's character, Kathleen Kelly, brought new meaning to the phrase 'go to the mattresses!'

Every day of my life is about struggles and choices. Most of my struggles are physical, but a lot of them are relational and emotional. No longer am I allowed the simplicity of waking to a normal day filled with normal activities. Each day I find myself going to the mattresses.

What am I fighting? My own body is my greatest enemy, filled with who knows what from exposure to tick-borne organisms. My main exposure was the summer of 2006 when I had the classic bullseye rash and Lyme symptoms. Looking back, however, I realize that I had been infected much earlier with something that began to erode my health.

So each morning I get out of bed filled with pain. I drag myself to the kitchen where I work through the fog, make coffee and take my meds and supplements. If I could choose one supplement and no others were available it would be fish oil. Without my two daily doses of fish oil I am in excruciating pain and become useless. With the fish oil I push through, often add a single dose of Ibuprofen for the day, and get my boys up and off to school. I then indulge in the joy of my life, walking the many trails and roadways in Connecticut.

To get to that walk I feel as though I must 'go to the mattresses!' I have to fight how I feel, fight the horrible brain fog, fight the impression that I am wasting gas by driving to these beautiful places (because I am not earning any money I am not worth the expense -- talk about sick), fight the desire to give up and go back to the couch languishing away. Fight, fight, fight!!! I am Kathleen Kelly fighting and "daring to believe that I can have a different life."

Never, never give up!


  1. My husband has Hepatitis C (got it in a blood transfusion in the mid 1980s in Manhattan, lucky it wasn't HIV but it was just as much a death sentence at the time). He suffers incredible fatigue and body aches from the disease, and has to push himself to do any little thing. It's so awful, I witness and can only imagine. I think about those times I'm just so achey and deeply exhausted I don't think I could get up to feed myself, and know that's his regular state. And yet you and he do get up and live life.

    I guess we all have something, at least one thing, our private burden that makes living incredibly hard.

    Marc is about to go on a new treatment that has awful awful side-effects itself, but it has to be taken with interferon, which is as shattering as chemo. Suicide is not an uncommon "side-effect" of interferon. He's supposed to stay on it for a year, and maybe it'll cure him. Awful.

    I'm glad you go out for your walks anyway.

  2. LD, I hope Marc is completely cured. That is amazing that there is a cure for Hep C, even if it is brutal.

  3. Kathleen Kelly 'won' the most important thing in the end, Love and a new way to see herself. So, 'go to the mattresses' and win this one, too.