Wednesday, April 23, 2008

OPQRS - Part V

S is for Superwoman on Steroids

Let's go back to the beginning of this story. I admit to already feeling a little testy when I walked into the house at 10pm, only to be greeted with "dad, wants YOU." (Picture if you will, the old military poster. You know the one with the scary looking Uncle Sam glaring and pointing a finger at "YOU," suggesting that it's your, and yours alone, loyalty and service he wants.). Then to come face to toilet with a bowl that looked like someone had been playing with cherry Koolaid ... well, let's just say, I didn't say, "oh look, we're having a party!"

Perhaps I went into the night's events with a tiny little chip on my shoulder. Why me? I wondered. Why now? Well, Merry ME, because it's your job ... that's why!!!

Feeling like you just want to go to bed and sleep til Christmas, is the reason, I believe, that God invented adrenaline. There are just some times, when a person needs to be jolted into action. A cattle prod might have the same affect, but let's face it, where's the cattle prod when you need it? When a mom, or a wife, or a daughter is called into action, it is the adrenaline pumping through her veins that makes every inch of her being forget about fleeing and, instead, willing to take on a grizzly bear if need be to protect and fix the one she loves.

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, epinephrine (adrenaline) is a hormone secreted by the adrenal medulla that is released into the bloodstream in response to physical or mental stress, as from fear or injury. It initiates many bodily responses, including the stimulation of heart action and an increase in blood pressure, metabolic rate, and blood glucose concentration. I'm no scientist. I can't tell you about my blood pressure, glucose level or metabolic rates.

I can tell you, however, that this body that was ready for sleep, snapped to attention and was wide awake til after 5am. My eyes and ears were alert to the graphic sights and sounds of a trauma center. Usually mild mannered, I was ready to fight for my dad, the woman across the hall and even hospital staff who was obviously overworked and understaffed. When dad looked like he was snoozing the thought "Anyone here need their arm rubbed? Here, let me help ..." actually went through my mind. I became superwoman. Strong. Invincible. A little crabby, but all powerful nonetheless.

The trouble with all stimulating drugs is that after the high wears off, or in my case, the possibility of danger (and imminent death - the very real yet unmentioned dread) was eliminated, the body literally wants to hibernate. Well, eat first, then sleep. And sleep some more. And sleep some more. I think it took three days to actually feel rested. Three days of still getting up and going through the day's normal routine of cooking, cleaning and doing. Long days that felt like I was wearing cement combat boots. Every step was an effort. Chores got done. Niceties were long forgotten.

Sometime on the third day when I had my menfolk cowered in a corner wondering where the dragon flames coming from my nose and mouth would strike next, I realized that another after effect of the hormone rush, is just plain nastiness. Maybe that has something to do with glucose levels and metabolism, or maybe it's just the flip side of my Super persona. Superwoman turns into SuperBitch before actually returning to Merry ME. I don't know the answer to this, but I think it's good to know and be prepared for next time. Sadly there will be a next time, it is the nature of caring for a man who is 91 years old (give or take a couple of weeks!)

And there you have it. A few days late but I think I'm caught up.
Hoping there's never again an opportunity to write about penises.
Merry ME

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