Hangover Revisited

Abbie J. Taylor 010This post is by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

 

I just returned last night from a week in Florida with my brother and his family, where I had a wonderful time. Since I’m still unpacking and have a million other things to do, I decided to simply re-blog a post from last year about this time. You can read the original here.

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Hangover: A Source of Inspiration

 

Now that the holiday season has passed, some people’s thoughts turn to the effects of drinking too much on New Year’s Eve. Did you know that a hangover isn’t necessarily related to consuming a lot of booze? According to dictionary.com, a hangover can also be defined as “any aftermath of or lingering effect from a distressing experience.”

For six years, I cared for my late husband, who was totally blind and partially paralyzed by two strokes. People who have never been family caregivers don’t understand the trauma involved in such a role. Bill could do little for himself. I had to dress him, take him to the bathroom, and even help him with his computer. With children, you know they’ll eventually grow up and become independent, but when your spouse is no longer able to do for himself, your family caregiving obligations will only stop when he dies.

It has been three years since Bill’s passing. Because he could do little for himself, I couldn’t be away from home for more than a couple of hours at the most. Even now, on occasion, when I leave the house and am not home in a couple of hours, I become anxious and have to tell myself that Bill is in a better place where he can change the channel on the satellite radio and find another book to read, all on his own. He’s not waiting for me to come home and empty the urinal or get him out of bed so he can sit outside and listen to the Colorado Rockies being creamed by almost every team in the league.

I occasionally have trouble getting to sleep at night. I nod off and am jerked awake by a feeling of anxiety or restlessness. I tell myself that Bill is not calling me to get up and empty the urinal, that I can go to sleep and not be interrupted. I eventually do and usually sleep through the night.

I have developed sciatica in my right hip, probably as a result of lifting Bill from the bed to the wheelchair to the recliner to the commode, etc. It occasionally flares up after I’ve been exercising and becomes more prevalent during cold and humid conditions. Adville and ice packs are my best friends.

This type of hangover is not something that a Bloody Mary will cure. It will probably stay with me for the rest of my life. The good news is that it’s not as bad as a hangover you get from excessive imbibing.

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One year later, I’m sleeping better and have discovered that walking for about a half an hour a day, on the treadmill this time of year, keeps the sciatica at bay. I’m not as anxious as I was last year, so maybe this hangover is finally abating. I hope you enjoyed my blast from the past and that any hangover symptoms you may have suffered over the New Year’s holiday are gone.

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Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

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10 Responses to Hangover Revisited

  1. Neva Bodin says:

    Good post Abbie. Had not thought of a hangover in that way before. Kind of like PTSD maybe. Combined with grief in your case too. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nancy Jardine says:

    The kind of hangover you mean is almost like a lifestyle that becomes automatic and therefore isn’t easy to stop doing it. Like something you feel you still should be doing but actually don’t. I’m glad you had a lovely time with your brother.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post Abbie. I know you had your hands full caring for your husband but I also know you did it with love and care. I think it’s normal to think about it, even during your sleeping hours, when he comes to you. Thank you for sharing. Have a great 2017!

    Like

  4. Thanks to all who have commented so far. I had a great time in Florida, but now I’m back and hope to post new material next time.

    Like

  5. Wranglers says:

    It seems I am never in FL when you are. I love Florida, it was probably hard for you to return. I saw the fun photos you posted. You may never get over your suffering of over the loss of Bill. Thanks for sharing. Cher’ley

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mike Staton says:

    My ‘glory’ years were in Florida when I lived there from 1982 to 1989 — in Central Florida about 40 miles north of Orlando, a town called Leesburg. Close to Disneyworld, Cocoa Beach, Tampa. Saw around 10 shuttle launches — and several landings. I’m sure you’re having a wonderful time in the Sunshine State. Where I lived is a lot different than it was in the 1980s… the orange trees are gone.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Doris says:

    Sometimes we just have to take time for ourselves and let our words from the past speak for us. Doris

    Like

  8. You and Bill had a very special relationship, Abbie, and I’m so glad you’re able to write about it and share your experiences, encouragements, and insights with others through poetry, short stories, and blog posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. kathywaller says:

    Thanks for posting this, Abbie. Caregiving can be difficult even when it’s done with love. And, as you say, the hangover lasts longer than most people understand. I’m glad you’re doing better.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. S. J. Brown says:

    Thanks for sharing. I think you will find that in time you will learn more ways to prevent future hangovers.

    Liked by 1 person

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