Monday, January 31, 2011

A Well-Rested Rianne!

Rianne has been doing well and had a good month of January. Her toughest challenge lately has been her fatigue at the end of a long day of work. Her spirits have been strong and her attitude has been great. She has a new outlook on her life and is very happy to still be here. Her Brain MRI came back clean and she has been smiling since she heard the results.
Lately, she has been very conscious of getting plenty of sleep. It is 8:00 in the evening and she’s sound asleep as I type sitting up in the bed next to her. I have actually grown very fond of the sound of her breathing while she sleeps. It is very comforting to me, as I seldom worry about her when she is resting well. The sound of her “light snoring” reassures me that her body is taking good care of itself!
A few nights ago, however, she woke in the middle of the night to use the bathroom – an hour later I found her asleep and sitting upright on the couch. I was startled to see her there on the couch, after what I thought was going to be a quick trip to the bathroom. She was sound asleep but instantly I went into a panic, wondering what will be next. I’ve heard horror stories of what Ambien makes people do while they are “asleep” and I worry about Rianne every time she gets out of bed in the night. I can only hope and pray that she never grabs the keys and hops into the van to go for a drive!
We’ve been spending our weeknights at home for the most part. We turn in early and the results are a well-rested Rianne the next morning. Her worst day is Monday, as she gets a new anxiety attack in the morning before she heads to work. It’s tough to explain, but my guess is that she stresses about the length of the week ahead of her and gets anxious about it. She pushes herself through it, arrives at work and eventually it goes away.
We are anticipating the arrival of spring and hope to get outside more often as the weather improves. On Saturday we went steelhead fishing and she admitted having difficulty trying to multi-task as she fished. The slick rocks beneath her feet, balancing against the current of the stream, casting without hanging up on streamside brush and listening to me giving instructions all took a toll on her. She lost her footing and fell hard as she attempted to ascend a steep gravel bank. Tears came to her eyes, as she became highly frustrated at herself. I held her and explained that I fall every hour as I fish and that the bank she climbed was very steep for any sure-footed climber. I should have known better, but didn't understand what I was putting her through - until she let the tears flow. Even then I didn't truly understand her frustrations until I imagined myself walking in her waders after an exhausting year of a life-changing experience. I often overlook potentially difficult situations that she may encounter without a second thought, yet Rianne continues to have moments where she struggles, even a few months after completion of her treatment.
She regained her confidence and we fished for a couple more hours and called it a day. Simply getting out in the fresh air has helped Rianne immensely.
We are excited about the New Year and hope to live each day as if it were our last, as we’ve learned how special each and every day really is! We hope that each and every one of you feels the same way and that your year becomes a great one!