Reading, Dreaming, Weeping, Bitching … Two Years A.S. (After Surgery)

TWO years have passed; two summers, with the length
Of two long winters! and still I lie in bed with no relief in sight.
The day is come when I do still repose
Here, in this dark room, and view … nothing at all!  (Sorry, William Wordsworth – your original poem is one of my favorites!  I hope I didn’t ruin it…)

This is how I spend my days – reading, mostly.  And I have to thank all the writers I have discovered, thanks to Facebook., although I was familiar with some of them. They have helped me more than they know – Donna Leon, MaryJane Maffini, Vicki Delany, Laura Lippman, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Tana French, Louise Penny, Dorothy MacIntosh, Pamela Callow, Rebecca Cantrell, Hallie Ephron, Henning Mankell, Stieg Larsson, Lorraine/LI Barlett/ Lorna Barrett, and so many others I cannot remember now.  But one in particular needs special mention: Deborah Crombie. When she found out I was sick (through Facebook, naturally) she sent me the following message: “…  I’m attaching my version of a ‘feel better soon’ card. It’s a little short story that my publisher may put up on Amazon as a lead-in to the new book.  It takes place between the end of Necessary as Blood and the beginning of No Mark Upon Her. It’s a little truffle–or trifle–of a piece, but I had great fun writing it, and hope you enjoy.   Big hugs. Debs”

The story, “The Piano” is a gem, not a truffle or trifle at all.  And it really made me extremely happy!  Here is a well known writer who doesn’t know me at all, and she gives me a veritable treasure, something that really cheered me up.  And today I got in the mail from the UK her latest book, No Mark Upon Her, which will be released in the U.S. in February 2012!  I guess it will be an “all nighter” for me.  😉

Then, there is dreaming.  As I lie in bed, when I am not reading or sleeping, I tend to do this a lot.  And I travel. To Italy (especially Lake Como and Garda), to Paris (with Elli and JP), to Buenos Aires… It helps a lot at times when I am about to despair.

Weeping is a constant these days. I DO try very hard to get up and out, and it makes me very frustrated that I cannot do it. My body is not responding. It says: ERROR 404 CANNOT BE FOUND.  TRY AGAIN LATER… And I hope it happens later, when all the supplements and meds I am taking kick in … maybe…….

Valeria and Creg are coming for my birthday in September. Since they don’t have much time off, they are taking the “red eye” from San Francisco on Thursday the 8th (leaving at 11:00PM and getting here on Friday at 7:00AM), and then they leave on Monday late at night.  I understand, and I am glad they can make it at all.  SF is too far from us, and we have to move there soon, as I keep saying.  Those days there will be no more weeping.  Valeria will also help me with cooking and shopping.  Guido is OK, but he only goes to Balducci’s and the Bethesda Co-Op. I need to get to Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s too!  I get weekly deliveries from Safeway and Giant (Peapod), but there is always something either out of stock (salad? bananas? yes!) or wrong. Today I got cherries, but they were not organic, as they claimed, and it said they weighed 1.5 lbs.  Not true. They were only one pound!  When I called to complain, they said that they cannot label each cherry (?!).  I explained that the package did not say that they were organic. They will refund my money. But – that’s not the point!  I don’t want cherries with pesticides, and I felt like having them! Did they think I would not notice? (You may want to read more about them and other foods here: )

This is why I do a lot of bitching.  Guido tells me I do it more than usual, but it is natural, given that I have to depend on others to get me what I want and need. although lately most “helpers” have disappeared…  I like golden mangoes, and twice already Guido has brought papayas instead, claiming it said “mangoes –one example.  I also get very upset that all our hosta in the back yard is gone. That is, the leaves are gone and there is nothing but bare stalks! I didn’t like it because it was “eating up” the rest of the plants, but I didn’t want it gone like that, only the leaves!  We caught the culprits: two deer, who come every day to have a snack. There is almost nothing left now, but a few minutes ago we had to chase the two away. There is a piece of the fence missing, and it needs to be replaced (for $800.00!). Finally, I got Guido to sign the contract today to have it done. Am I right to bitch about this?  Yes!  I don’t want deer so close to us! I wonder how they got in, since the gap is quite small.

This is how I “celebrated” the second anniversary of my thyroid surgery:  Reading, Dreaming, Weeping, Bitching… Now you know, and I hope you understand.  I have not been up to writing anything here until I realized some may want to know what is going on.

On to the third chapter of No Mark Upon Her.  I’ll read it slowly, as I want to savor it. I was going to reread the previous 13 books first, but I got the latest one faster than I thought.  When I am done, I’ll reread all 14!  Thanks, Debs!


About martisima

After over 50 years of teaching literature to undergraduate and graduate students, I feel I have earned my retirement (it happened when I was 72, five years ago). I do miss the classroom, however, but not the meetings and all other requirements of the profession. I love teaching, and wish I could still do it. But now I read for pleasure, and watch films, and listen to all kinds of music (no TV, though). I love to travel, and hope I can resume doing it soon. I need to get over my health issues caused by thyroid surgery three years ago!
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8 Responses to Reading, Dreaming, Weeping, Bitching … Two Years A.S. (After Surgery)

  1. Leopoldo says:

    No comprendo bien como te sientes en relacion a la medicina “moderna”; pero para mi que la evolucion va de mal a peor! Tal vez lleguen a la robotizacion total y alli veremos si mejora el trato (lo que no creo) o al menos rebajan los costos! Con un paciente de CLL en casa y la espada de Damocles (que nadie puede asegurarte 100% de que es cierto lo que te pronostican) sobre tu cabeza por veinticuatro meses (sin ningun remedio ni consejo ni cambie su forma de vida: NADA). Lo unico que te piden es : hagase los analisis cada seis meses y asi vemos como progresa la enfermedad! “Tal vez en Enero del 2012 habra progresado lo suficiente como para que la tomemeos en serio y le recetemos algun medicamento!” Asi estamos, esperando Enero a ver si la enfermedad (de la cual no conocen ni un 2%) progresa como para darte algo (de lo que no estan seguros de que haga efecto en el 100% de los casos)!
    La espada de Damocles sigue alli; y la vida ya no es la misma…

  2. Sorry you’ve been feeling bad for so long–but how nice of that writer to send you her story!

  3. Pat says:

    Como, yes.

    I’d write more, but I’m watching ‘On the Waterfront.’ Brando trumps blogging.

    Pat S.

  4. Vicki Delany says:

    Your bravery is so strong, Martha. I hope your body will be soon also. I’m also looking forward to the new one by Deborah Crombie. I have a big trip to a pretty unusual place coming up in November. It’s not 100% finalized yet, so I’m not going to say more, but i’ll remember to keep you posted when i’m there.

  5. Anna Amato says:

    It was wonderful of Vicki Delaney to post and Deborah Crombie to sending the book – I have been reading several of the authors you’ve recommended in between tax classes.
    I was thinking of you – often – and your name came up at Daniel Silva’s book signing last week. Jamie asked me to tell you that she was asking for you. I told her how wonderful you were when I had my foot surgery and that the candy was so appreciated. (She liked that) Slowest foot healing ever but nothing compared to your thyroid surgery. i haven’t made any phone calls, that outing was my big trip of the summer aside from a couple of not so happy trips to ‘viewings’.
    You’re an amazing woman and in my thoughts and prayers.
    By the way, if you’re bitching, you’re still here – so keep it up!

    • martisima says:

      Don’t worry, dear Anna — I am bitching all the time. It keeps me going, although Guido is not too happy about it. But, who cares?

      You are too kind, and I feel you overrate me. Good thing you could get out for the book signing! I wish I could get at least a haircut… It is tooooo long! And I may have to get all my teeth removed. Haven’t gone to the dentist for over a year. But at this point nothing matters much, especially in terms of my “appearance”!

      Thanks so much for your kind and warm and sincere words!!!

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