The past 4 days I have been living in the dark. Literally.
The days are getting really short in Oslo.
Going to bed around 8:30 AM and getting up around 4:00 PM means that I don’t even see the daylight. It is dark all around.
I usually leave work around 7:30 AM and it is so dark outside. I’m not complaining. I love nights. In the end, I am a night owl and enjoy myself a lot when it is dark. It just feels wrong when we fall into extremes. Scandinavia is the right place for light extremes.
Steinar is doing OK. In my personal opinion, he looks very healthy for someone who has been lying on a bed 99% of the time for the past 2 years. However, he has some problems with the stool. Since he does not move much, his intestines are not massaged at all. Therefore, it gets more and more difficult for him to poop. The last days he refused to eat properly (when I say ‘eat’ I’m talking about liquid food that is injected into his stomach). He’s been relying on energy drinks because they are about half the size of the normal ‘food’.
Hopefully, when I get back to work next week, his belly will be doing way better.
Apart from that, everything is good. He receives visitors regularly. Family and friends mostly, but I think that has a huge impact on his well being. I can’t imagine what it is like being in his shoe. Lying all they long without being able to move, watching people coming in, staying for a while, and leaving to their normal lives. It must be so tough. Hearing everything people say at a speed that is impossible to keep up with such limiting writing capacity. It makes me depressed to start digging into such thoughts.
So rather than focusing on ‘how it is like being in his shoe’, I try another approach. ‘I’m here to make his life more comfortable. To make him happier. To make him understand that his life is not any less worthy than anyone’s else.’ Therefore I joke a lot, I show him pictures of hot girls, I put some fruits or tea bags right under his nose so that he can feel the smell of those little things that we all take for granted every day of our lives. I massage his feet just before he sleeps and try my best to not hurry. In the end, isn’t it one of the few things that he can truly enjoy? A long and nice foot massage?
Sometimes, right before he closes his eyes, he looks into my own eyes and speaks a language that I don’t understand. His beautiful blue eyes screening mine silently… I always end up smiling, trying to transmit compassion, warmth and hope. It’s difficult to not say something when someone stares at you for a while. Being able to remain silent is also a skill that you develop over time. Nowadays I’m comfortable with these silent moments.
Once he is sleeping I take a moment to relax and reflect on what I see before my eyes. This is hard to say but I feel that this guy has changed my life perspective. More than an ALS patient, I see him as a good friend of mine. Perhaps the friend who has taught me the most without saying a single word. Isn’t that ironic?
I better stop talking about Steinar if I want to hold my tears.
After my long night shifts what I usually eat for breakfast is either an omelette with veggies or eggs with bread and cherry tomatoes. I usually fry my food in coconut oil. Then I’m good to go to bed and sleep like a baby. Especially when it is rainy and grey outside. There’s no better feeling than wrapping yourself in the blanket when the weather sucks.
Since the weather doesn’t invite anyone to leave the house I decided to buy something that will make my Autumn even cosier. Tea! I got a discount for buying 5 boxes. This is an expensive tea brand. I bought the ‘3 cinnamon’ flavour and it is simply delicious. I’ve never tasted such a great cinnamon tea. Based on that explosion of good flavour, I decided to give a try to other flavours and since there was a discount on the 5th box… There you go!
This season is a great time for me to tidy up at home, to get rid of things that I don’t need, to rethink my lifestyle, to reflect on what I would like to change about myself, to make emotional room to embrace new challenges and changes that are about to come. Autumn makes me realize that everything has an end. Moreover, some endings lead to new beginnings, and that’s how important it is to close some chapters in our life stories.
So don’t get discouraged by the melancholia that hits so many during this season. Avoid depression by staying healthy, smiling, and making every day worth living.
The Autumn is awesome!