I tried to spilt one cortisone tablet into two this morning in order to take in a reduced dosage but the tablet crushed into tiny pieces. I trust it’s not a omen, a bad omen for the day ahead.
The day ahead makes me breathless, so much to do that even now settling down to write seems excessive. I have no time. I must clean out the kitchen in readiness for my third daughter’s birthday party tomorrow. I must wrap presents in readiness for my youngest daughter’s birthday dinner tonight.
Two daughters turn significant ages in the space of a week, one an eighteen year old at the end of her school life, the other a twenty five year old about to be admitted to practice as a lawyer. Both girls bright and capable, both eager to celebrate and be celebrated and only last week it was my turn.
Birthdays roll along. They are such indicators of the passage of time.
Foul tasting stuff cortisone. I just swallowed the crushed cortisone tablet and had to wash it down with a great gulp of tea and even now the bitter taste lingers at the back of my tongue. It’s hard to be rid of it.
Every so often I think about my thesis and whether someone is reading it and what they might think of it. Whether someone is rolling their eyes in disgust or whether someone else is getting pleasure out of it.
It’s a strange waiting time, not so bad at the moment because it is early in the wait. I imagine in a month or two or maybe more I will start to get anxious with the thought that any day now I will hear the news. But from here it seems too far away.
The sun streams into my writing room so fiercely that I can barely see the screen. Dust motes collect on the glass and even as I wipe them away new ones take their place.
When I am unsettled like this, when the lure of activity comes over me like a rash, all I want to do is get up and about and do all the jobs I have listed in my mind. I do not want to sit here at the computer typing words onto a screen. I do not want to engage with my thoughts. I am on the run, a cortisone induced run perhaps, though I think that may be fanciful.
I have kept the dosage to a minimum merely trying to avoid a recurrence of the dreadful rash that overtook me several weeks ago and appeared to be making a return only a few days ago.
It seems to have settled again as I wean myself off the cortisone.
You need to reduce the dose of cortisone gradually the doctor told me, in order to trick your body into believing that it needs to start producing its own again, otherwise it might shut up shop believing the rush will come from elsewhere.
That’s very much a layman’s way of describing a physiological process and the ways in which the introduction of chemicals can fool your body into believing it need not do its own work.
The phone rings and it’s my mother. Her accent thick over the line.
‘I want to talk to you,’ she says. She sounds breathless. ‘What did I forget? Oh yes, I think I forgot your birthday. I’m sorry. I forget everything.’
‘That’s okay,’ I say. ‘Don’t worry.’
‘You’re so good to me and then I forget your birthday.’
I try again to reassure my mother, to let her know I understand. ‘It’s hard to remember one day from the next.’
‘I’m alright,’ my mother says but her voice sounds broken. It’s just that it comes back to me all of a sudden.’
The conversation ends here after I promise to visit the next day.
‘You’re busy, I know’ my mother says. Now it’s her turn to understand.
My mother when she was beginning to develop a memory circa 1919.