Still Grieving and Tired…

I am grieving.

It is not easy to control the pain, especially during the weekend, when I expect the phone to ring and hear Thelma’s voice.

And since I am not well it hits me even harder.

And many have forgotten my pain, as if it had been temporary. Fortunately, there are still some who continue to comfort me, to call or write and ask how I am doing.  But mostly it is Facebook “friends” – they are virtual friends, people I don’t know personally, but who seem to understand how I feel, and whose words cause me to feel better. They even send me songs! And they are quite a few.  I am lucky to have them, as well as some “real” friends.

Thelma and I shared many things –  daughters who are still friends; recipes; our time together at the University of Illinois; but especially books.  When Thelma had her hip replacement recently, I introduced her to Deborah Crombie, and sent her all 13 Crombie’s books.  She loved them.  So, when she got sick, I managed to send her Crombie’s latest one, No Mark Upon Her, signed.  Then, Lee Child’s The Affair came out on the 27th of September, and I sent it to her that very same day.  She had introduced him to me.  I don’t think she managed to finish it…  It is very, very sad…

I am getting worse, not better, and nobody knows why.  I will have more blood tests on Thursday, and then next week see Dr Sivieri to discuss them.

More of the same, always.  Tests. Wait.  Change the dosage.   Add or drop more supplements. More tests. Wait again.  Check adrenal function once more… a true merry-go-round.  That’s probably why I am dizzy too… 😦

Thank goodness for Kindle books (I have over 300 now – as I am in bed mostly I cannot read heavy books), and the “squeeze box” with almost 100 pieces – from tango to folklore to opera to jazz to country to classic – I love it!   I can also listen to the radio from all over the world!  A great gadget, which I can use when I am in bed with headphones (which is most of the time)!

I have not been out of the house in two or three weeks.  I don’t even remember.  But I think it was one medication that made me worse, in addition to the still incorrect dosage of thyroid supplements. The weather seems to be fine now, after so much rain and unbelievable thunderstorms.  But I cannot stand too much light, so I prefer it when it is cloudy — if I go out.

Guido continues to cook and do the grocery shopping. Where can we find decent organic fruit?  It is almost impossible, and that’s what we like best!  We had to throw away figs, plums, and even oranges today, and could not find organic strawberries or organic Fuji apples at Balducci’s!!!

There is always a bright side – the silver lining, and this time it applies to another dear friend, Elli Dumont, who is recovering quite well.  What they did, and how they did it can only happen in France!  If she allows me, I’ll write about it soon.

It seems that I need to have a major illness to get results… What a drag!!! And now I need to stop and lie down again. The story of my life for these past two years and three months.      I do hope to be better when Rosana comes in November for Guido’s 80th birthday, so we can celebrate it!


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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5 Responses to Still Grieving and Tired…

  1. Pat says:


    I am so sorry that you have lost your dear friend, Thelma. Losing such a close, cherished friend is profoundly painful, I know. And no doubt that, for many months to come, you will expect the phone to ring, and to hear Thelma’s voice once again.

    You’re a really remarkable and resourceful woman, Martha, holding it together, coping and finding comfort in your books, films, music, food, and attentive friends and family. During your illness and all the months of utter frustration, you’ve remained intellectually and emotionally engaged, despite having to live on your little ‘island’ in Potomac, MD. And we all know how much you dearly want to get off the ‘island.’ It must feel relentless.

    Vi mando un abbraccio forte durante un tempo che e’ molto dificile e triste.


  2. martisima says:

    Thank you so very much, dear Pat, for your very comforting words!!!

    Indeed, living in this little “island” is taking its toll. I can’t even go out and walk — there are no sidewalks!

    I wish I were more resourceful, really. I am at a loss about what to do. I am even trying to see if I can find another doctor who can help more. Our pcp is no help, and the alternative doctor is good but he has lots of patients, even though he does not participate in any insurance…

    It is indeed a tempo molto dificile e triste…

    Grazie again!!!!!

  3. Elli Dumont says:

    Martha, Of course you can share my success story on your blog. My double kidney transplant has gone well and I feel as if I had won the lottery. I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time and I got wonderful care. Kidneys do not come with a warranty, but I hope that these will last for a very long time. Health care in France is free for residents. Since I am not a full-time resident, I pay for my health insurance (social security), but at a quite reasonable cost. Then, almost all care is free and that includes transportation to and from medical appointments… e.g., for a long term disease like kidney failure. The French health care system does have its problems, mainly financial, but it works very well!

  4. Kathleen McLaughlin says:

    Dear Martha,

    I’m so sorry you lost your precious friend, Thelma. I haven’t lost a close friend yet, but then those of us who are sick are limited when it comes to a wide circle of friends. I have a childhood friend in Wisconsin, but the isolation I live in doesn’t afford me to venture far. I didn’t realize how important facebook would become to me. I’ve met so many fascinating people from all over the world who have transported me to their world, their culture. I’m so glad I’ve met you, and even though we’ve not met face-to-face, you feel like a kindred spirit. I’m isolated no longer.

    Your friend,


    • martisima says:

      I also feel the same way you do, dear Kat, and even more now that I have become a reader of your manuscript, Blood Clouds. It is a great book, and I hope you can see it published soon. I continue rereading it and have become part of it! All this thanks to Facebook, where we “met”!


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