How to Tame a Shrew

I’m back in the low point of the Chronic Fatigue cycle, which means that any control I normally have over certain aspects of brain function vanishes. As does brain function itself, for that matter, apart from the bare essentials. The heart beats, the lungs breathe, the blood circulates, but conscious thought and deed can be, um, rather impaired sometimes.

Over the previous couple of days, the disassociation of the brain cells made for a few laughs. You know, tripping over/scrambling words, which isn’t normally my habit at all. Or mucking up simple tasks like setting oven temperature and timer on the stove. A mere matter of pushing a few buttons, but remembering the order in which to push them yesterday was a problem. To the point of completely knocking out the clock and a few other pre-set functions. Easily remedied by a functioning brain, though, and rather amusing after the fact. Then I couldn’t remember a recipe, which I’ve made a zillion times. Which necessitated getting out the book, handing it to Richard, and having him read it out to me step by step as I went along. Which he proceeded to embellish in a rather impressive imitation of Michael Palin’s priest in The Holy Grail. “Thou shalt add two teaspoons of baking powder. Never three. Nor will one suffice, lest the leavened muffins not rise Heavenward with much haste .” You had to be there, but it really was funny. Even if it was at my expense.

Today was a day when I seriously should have stayed in bed, though. I think that I was meant to take the hint when I just couldn’t wake up. Normally throwing off the blankets is enough to raise the level of alertness in a hurry, but not today. Regardless of the sudden chill, I rolled over and dropped back into a deep sleep instantly. Next time I sat up, but evidently I must have flopped back down again, as I had my next conscious thought an hour later. Then I got up and started to get dressed. But, next thing I knew, it was two hours later, and I was lying on top of a heap of blankets, wearing a combination of pyjamas and day clothes. At which point I gave up and crawled back under the blankets for another couple of hours. But finally, early this afternoon I gave myself a mighty shake, got upright, and stayed there … sort of. I came downstairs to make a cup of strong coffee to try to clear the head before Richard got home from work. Some of which I wore, thanks to being even more uncoordinated than usual. Right, off to the great outdoors to see if some fresh, frigid air would clear the cobwebs. Nope, standing out there didn’t do it. So I grabbed the snow shovel, thinking that some vigourous physical activity would wake me up. Luckily I grabbed the one with the entirely plastic blade, rather than the one with the steel-edged blade. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

Next up was trying to make supper, and that’s where I really ran into trouble. The meat was still a bit frozen, so I grabbed my trusty paring knife to pry pieces apart. Except it wasn’t my trusty, had it for 20 years, paring knife. That one got tossed out with the potato peels the last time I had brain shutdown, and had been replaced by one with a heavier, sharper blade and much pointier, much sharper tip. Which I forgot. If the old one had slipped it would have just bounced off my skin. But this one slipped and went straight into the side of my finger. However, in my groggy state, it took a bit of time to register the event. The finger had also gone numb instantly from the trauma, so there was no pain clue. I saw the blood spurt halfway across the kitchen, but didn’t really understand what had happened. Now I know how my dad finished unloading a truckload of wheat, after mangling his hand in the grain auger. He said at the time that he had no idea of what he had done. Which always seemed so implausible, but now I understand. He, too, was in a fog, thanks to being ill at the time. A storm was coming, and the neighbour who rented some of our land and used some of our granaries needed help to get the grain under cover before the storm hit. So, being Dad, he had to go and help, wobbly as he was, and paid a big price for doing things that he shouldn’t have been doing in that state. Like father, like daughter, maybe? No comparison between the injuries, of course, but, like him with the wheat, I just cleaned up the blood spatter, and turned back to the task at hand, totally oblivious to the state of my finger. But the others weren’t oblivious. Far from it.

However, fortunately, it turned out to be much ado about very little. Yes, I have a nice stab wound and the finger has gone pretty shades of blue and black from the impact and trauma. But it’s a wound that just needed some cleaning up and a bandage. Nothing that won’t heal reasonably quickly, without doctor intervention. The injury is on my non-dominant hand, for a change, so I won’t have to use the finger much until it heals. I must have nicked a small blood vessel to cause the dramatic spurt, but it stopped bleeding very quickly with application of pressure. Oh, and it didn’t stay numb for long. Which woke me up out of my stupor quite nicely, thank you.

But the good news is that the little mishap got me out of making supper. Phone was employed and a nice little man showed up at the door with a meal … which I could eat without utensils. They weren’t taking any chances, you see. They watched me like hawks for the rest of the evening, too, not even allowing me to go to my desk and pick up a pen, just in case. I’ve never stabbed myself with a pen thus far, but I suppose that there’s always a first time for everything.

Anyway, it takes a lot to tame the shrew, but this ought to do the trick for a couple of days. Should I awaken in an equally groggy state tomorrow, I’m not moving from the safety of my bed. Really, I’m not.


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