Massage Tales

The Hardest Day

10 a.m. appointment:  Woman my own age, recently cut short a trip abroad because of intense abdominal pain.  Doctors at another medical facility recommended hospice.  She says to me, “I know I’m not going to live a long time, but I think I have at least a little while left.”  Just wants to relax her shoulders, which have crept up to her ears as she tries to power through continued pain. 

1p.m. appointment:  New client, 10 years younger than me, and “cuter than speckled puppies.”  Loves to be active and is frustrated by the illness that keeps her hobbled.  Cries a little during the appointment, talking about her lost muscle tone.  I tell her –because it is the truth — that she has better muscle tone than many “healthy” people I see.  She acknowledges but seems not to believe what I say.  There is something in her eyes as she leaves that I can’t quite identify.  As I drive home, I realize.  It was terror. 

Later, updated news from home:  Grandmother (recovering from heart attack in the hospital) has damage to over 50% of her heart.  For a 90-year-old woman, this is not unexpected.  I call her and we talk.  She tells me my sibling is the favored child, but she feels okay saying that to me because I  “knew it already.”

Finally, time to put the day to bed: enough food to eat, a warm place to sleep, and a partner to tell all this to. 


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