Sometimes I wonder how professional boxers do it: just stand there and get hit day after day. Punching, taking a punch, moving, dodging, weaving, and back again for another hit. That kind of cumulative beating has got to take a toll.
I suppose it's a matter of conditioning. You kinda just get used to it. Maybe you just don't notice anymore. Is that what tough is? Somehow I think that's just what numb is.
That's where I find myself today: cumulatively worn down. Physically and emotionally -- just too tired to react. For four weeks I've been both mother and father to the Nodlings while Mrs. Nod recovers from her surgery (only 8 more weeks to go!).
Then my youngest brother, Shoe, lands in the hospital with an apparent stroke. Sudden and unexplained: right-side paralysis, loss of speech, migraine headaches. The family has been up all night providing physical, emotional, and logistical support to his wife and baby and taking turns at Shoe's bedside. The MRI and brain scans came back clean, so no evidence of an aneurism, arterial dissection, or blot clots in the brain.
Now 24-hours later, he has regained movement and speech, but is still pretty groggy. Doctors still can't tell what's wrong with him, but they are doing a blizzard of tests to find out: seizure? meningitis? West Nile virus? leg blood clots? It's going to be a few days before we know anything.
Next, I went to the pharmacy to pick up a new prescription for Mrs. Nod, but they didn't receive it. Sorry, Charlie, no meds for you. On my way back, I noticed there was smoke coming out of my car hood. I pulled into a gas station only to find that I lost all my antifreeze (if the explosion of green, sweet-smelling liquid all over my engine block is any indication). Now my car is overheating and the thermostat is pegging in the red. I left it with the garage and hitched a ride home in order to relieve our babysitter for the night. Did I mention I already dropped a boatload of cash to get the van fixed up last week? No? I was doing much better at keeping my whining and moaning to myself last week.
I'm just ready for this week to end. I'm looking forward to a day where nothing much happens. Each day I close my eyes with the hope that tomorrow will be that day.