Work in Progress

Maandelijks archief van augustus, 2016


A perfect time and reason to finally sit down and write. I’m sitting in the waiting area in the hospital. Ramon has started his physical therapy this morning, and I wanted to join him for some moral support.


When we got into the car, he took a deep breath. ‘ I’m nervous. I don’t know why.’ Then I really knew I made the right decision. He told me more than once that I really didn’t have to join him, because I would have to wait for an hour, let alone the drive to the hospital and back home again. That would cost me a quarter of a day of energy, at least. But I really wanted to join him. I always appreciated the time Ramon was able to join me at hospital visits, and now I could give a little of that in return.


So here I am, waiting for Ramon, and making good use of time.


The days go by in an instant, and still I haven’t done what I set out to do. Other things are of more importance to me now. Things like being there for Ramon when he needs me, joining him in his daily walks,

relax together in the park,




or on the beach,


tired kuzco


hoping to unwind him,


kuzco beach


And make him smile a bit…


hide and seek


Joining in his little adventures to seek out where his new boundaries lie, helping him cope when he has exceeded them.




Making sure the house stays nice and clean, and try to do everything by myself, unless he wants to join me. I also try to do things I like to do for myself. But most of the time, I am just too exhausted to actually work out something I planned to do. So when Ramon is asleep during the day, I sleep as well or crash on the couch watching my favorite TV show.


But with each day at a time, Ramon is getting better in getting to know and accepting his new self, and so do I, in letting go of tiny bits of worry at a time.


So for the last week, I finally did work out some of the things I wanted to do.




I started to paint, which I love. And I have created a nice brick wall in our fireplace. It was something I wanted ever since we made the fireplace, but never figured out exactly how I wanted it.


My body is still aching. The new meds aren’t working yet, which is very frustrating. I try to ignore the pain as best as I can, because it isn’t helping me keeping my back straight.  So I will have to kick my own ass, and take care of myself by dividing my energy carefully between taking care of Ramon and myself, and try to stick to my own boundaries.


We have been making the most of our time. We’ve done so many wonderful things in between the resting and processing what’s happened. And we have still some weeks ahead of us while he is recuperating at home.


With me finally getting the hang of not over doing the caring business ….

I love it!





I’m looking down at my hands. The blood is pumping through my veins. I stretch my fingers and then squeeze them into a fist as tight as I can. There is still some residue left between my fingers,  of the life energy I squeezed out of Ramon.  With a Hulkish strength I pressed him into a ball that I put in my motor jacket. That’s the only way I can keep him safe with me.

I start the engine with a few growls leaving the exhaustion pipes. I know I can do this, I have to!

With my jacket pulling tight on my arms, I put my screen down of my helmet, and take a deep breath, and while I exhale, I go.

I feel the pressure of the speed against my chest and my arms. The adrenaline makes me squeeze the bars even harder, and I push through the gears to go as fast as I could get.

As soon I reach the mist of the presence, I push the button that unlocks the swords, that now stick out to pierce through anything that comes in my way.


I ride into the mist of presence, and I won’t let it brake my guard. I am made for this! Nothing is going to take Ramon away from me.

Rootch, slash, kill, zap!!!

I reach for my pocket to feel if it still holds the energy ball. For a second I feel a smile on my lips, releasing the tension on my jaws.

But it’s only a second, because I have to pull it together to push through the pulling arms coming out of the mist. I want to reach the point of nothingness and everything. That’s where I can be whole and happy again.

My muscles are all tensioned up, and I breath heavily of all the slaying, while driving a 155 mile per hour.

I’ve reached my final destination, and hold the ball carefully in my hands. I walk to a small fall, and let the energy ball fill up with water to become its full size again. When it bubbled up, I recognize his beautiful face. I touch his face, and while my face is closing in on his to kiss him, I feel the tears running down my cheek.

And then I woke up.

Tears were rolling down my face, and I felt a little piece of stone wondering in my mouth. It was a piece of a tooth I most likely had broken in my sleep. I forgot to ware my mouthpiece when I went to bed.

Why should I, I can’t sleep for days now. Even the new bought slat and mattress we got from Ikea two days ago, didn’t even help me sleep any better.

Until now. And boy, was I dreaming!!!

And boy, did I look like an as kicking, all super powered up, hot chick in character as the Ghost Rider.

But while I dried my tears, and spit out the piece of tooth, I turned over to watch Ramon.

A sigh of relieve made my chest relax. Yes, he was still breathing.

Why am I acting so silly, it was just a dream! And while I stared at the ceiling with my mouthpiece in place, trying to fall asleep again, it hit me.

I realized why I couldn’t sleep all these days. Even I seem to have lost trust in Ramon’s body. Not only is Ramon having a hard time dealing with his body failing, but I seem to as well. More than I thought anyway, because apparently I was scared to fall asleep, making sure he would still breath.

Glad with this new inside on my currant sleeping disorder, I tucked closer to Ramon. We are going to have a great day later on. Making detailed pictures of cows, as study for my new painting, while driving through the countryside. Yay!!!

So no strange and stupid dreams again, just sleep…




Everything is gonna be alright….

Fun stuff ahead!!






puppy love


Months gone by, with not a single spark of inspiration to draw or paint, or come up with ideas for new stories…

Until two days ago.

My fingers started to itch. I wanted this happy feeling work down on paper. I haven’t felt it this strong in so long. I just had to draw.

My sister went on a holiday, and from time to time, she send me updates of their wonderful time together. They were on a camping trip, and my niece and nephew had a great time. Playing, swimming, making new friends….. and having a first-time, kind of, puppy-love.

Oh my God! I couldn’t believe my eyes… My smile went up from ear to ear.

‘Love is in the air, hahahaha!!’ my sister wrote underneath the photo. It was a picture of my little (well…not so little anymore it seems….) nephew, with a little girl leaning on his shoulder, all cuddled up, watching Dante’s master-skills no doubt, while playing on a tablet.

Sure, I noticed those awfully, out of proportion, long legs, with feet that once were tiny little sponges with tiny Rice Crispies on them, and now are becoming more and more like personal rescue boats, before….

But somehow he stays that cute little three year old boy, whom made his aunty, the most happy and proud girl, to walk with his little hand in mine, through the Enchanted Forest in the Efteling.

Yes…. I know….

Wakey-wakey… it’s daybreaky! (say with extra drama, in a low voice with your hands covering your mouth)

( I did, anyway….)

Because this is an announcement call to myself. Stop acting like a typical grown-up, that stopped somewhere in time, and gets shocked every time you see your nephew or niece, that they did move on in time. Before I know it, I will start squeezing their cheeks, to feel if their the real ones, just like my grandmother did when I was little.

So, no cheek squeezing here!

I promise….

But I will keep being in awe, to see his life evolving through every stage. Just as I was, when I saw this picture. I am so thankful my sister wanted to share this special moment with me. Because this makes me smile big time!

Especially, because he or Kuzco always seem to be the ones, to get me out of my creators block.




I was little miss eager beaver this morning. I woke up as if I had been run down by a truck, but I was happy, and was looking forward to the coming day. I wanted to do many things, but first I had to do something I rather dreaded. But even thát didn’t mind, because the weather was great!

I finished my delicious hot bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon and honey. Something I even look forward to, when I go to sleep the night before. Probably due to some stress, it didn’t hold it for long. But I always hold on to the thought, that something will always hold, however small.

I went for a walk with Kuzco, and then it happened.

Kuzco did a poopoo. A rather large one, which made me cheerfully happy, because then I would feel less guilty when I can’t immediately go for a second run, when I would return from my undertaking.

I praised my puppy high in the sky, while trying to rub the two sheets apart from the plastic poop-bag. After some agonizing seconds, I succeeded, and bended over to scoop.


A seizure knocked me down.

Thank God, I didn’t fall into my puppy’s brand new, home-build castle, but I did landed with my head on a wooden cube you can sit on. One, on which Kuzzie tried his utmost best to poop against.

A short pain hit my eye, but my seizure was more extensive, so the pain subsided almost immediately. When I stood up after collapsing, I went on with my route. Just took a couple of deep breaths, rubbed the little spot I fell on, and felt a reasonable seize of lump growing on my eye.

Hmmmm, I must have hit it harder than I thought….

When I dropped Kuzco off, I took a quick look in the mirror before I went off again.


quail egg bump


WOW!!! A pretty bump shaped like a little quail egg, was resting on my eyelid.

No time, no time!

Had to hurry to do the thing I had to do, or else I would be late.

When I came home, my eye lost its egg-shaped bump, and replaced it to an overall swollen eye, holding all the colors of the rainbow. I look like Edith Piaf in color on my left side, and tired little ol me on the right.


edith piaf eye


But that didn’t stop me to enjoy the rest of the day. I had so many things planned. I need to do things not to get lost into the negative. I wanted to at least check off two of the things. With the most imported and fun one; trying to walk to the park with Ramon and Kuzco, and have a little picnic. The weather was still very nice. I would be a shame not to enjoy it.




And he did it! Just like yesterday, Ramon walked all the way to the park and back again, without a single yawn. We had a lovely time. Strange, how long it felt since the last time we had a picnic in the park. It has only been two weeks since his heart attack, but sometimes it feels like it has been ages ago. And other times, it feels just like yesterday.

I am so proud of him! Each day he is making progress. It surely will take a long time, until he is fully confident with his body again, but the steps he is making, are good ones.

I hope we can enjoy yet another lovely day in the sun tomorrow. I can really get used to moments like these.


Yesterday was my 37th birthday, and I’ve started my new year in the most horrible way, by focusing on the negative…


Even though it was a lovely day, I just couldn’t get the happy birthday feeling sink in. And that bugged me. Everybody did their best to make me feel like a birthday girl, but it only reached the surface. It just goes to show, that nobody can make you happy, unless you make yourself happy.


Ever since my chronical illness, I’ve looked differently at my birthdays. I have always hated it. I felt like it was a day filled with false sincerity. They bring you gifts, and in return you must make sure of their every need, and fulfill their expectations, for them to party with the other guests to be happy you exist. And in the meantime while you should be happy this is your day, the only thing you end up doing, is pleasing others.


But, like I said, since my chronical illness, I’ve see things differently. When the 13th of August arrives, I really am happy and filled with joy. Not because I’m so happy of my existence, but of all my hard work to simply survive. Not only physically, but mentally as well. The fact I made it yet another year to enjoy life and make it the best one for me, to look back to.


But I couldn’t reach that feeling this time. And I felt it days before, simmering deep in my veins. Utter sadness. And of what???


I tried to pull myself out of it, to get the birthday garlands and balloons from the attic, the night before. It always makes me smile, when there are cheerful, bright colored garlands and balloons hanging in the air. But when I sat on the floor, and opened the box with the neatly folded garlands, I stared and hesitated. ‘Why should I bother. I can’t get up a step ladder, or inflate the balloons, and Ramon can’t help me because he’s recovering.’


So I put them back.


I gave in to my lack of energy by not baking an apple-pie. Why should I, the people that will be coming to visit, will decline anyway, plus I can’t eat it.


I wanted to spare Ramon as much as I could, because deep in my heart, he is the most important person, I really want to spend my birthday with. So the people that came by to congratulate me, made me nervous it would exhaust Ramon too much, in which I would not be able to do something nice with Ramon.


Blèh…..How shamefully selfish of me!


And the funny part is, now I think of it, Ramon probably was so adamant to ask people over, so I would feel like a birthday girl, because he wasn’t able to do anything, like he normally does. And went beyond his limitations, to be part of the celebration with the people closest to me, just for me.


So all these wonderful people, went out of their way to make me feel happy, and I only felt guilty for not being happy. When the day was almost at its end, I was exhausted. Ramon was sleeping, and I snuggled on the couch, buried deep into a blanket to watch a movie. I felt self-pity. I even was angry at the weather, for the lack of sunshine, which made Ramon’s brilliant idea to celebrate my party outside, to reserve energy, obsolete.


Oh, how I wanted it to rain…..


I hated my negative thoughts. And while I was barely watching the movie, I wanted to reverse the negative feelings. This isn’t anything like me!


And I succeeded.


It was a lovely day!


Ramon was still at my side to be able to celebrate my hard work. My parents made me feel like their precious little girl again, by waking me up with the biggest smile, singing the Happy Birthday song loud and clear over the phone. My sister gave me the most beautiful verse, telling me who and what I am to her. My mother in law remembered me, and my brother- and sister-in law made me feel like a superhero. Not to mention all the family and friends whom made me feel so loved. I got overwhelmed with the amount of gifts I received, to bring me closer in making my wish to visit an exhibition of Beatrice Potter held in de V&A museum in London, become more and more real.


And there it was….


Tiny little sparks of happiness, and small dashes of pride of my accomplishments over the past year.


And then it started to rain.


My eyes teared up. I got what I wished for.


And it was the best moment of my day. The realization why I felt the way I did, reversing the negative feeling, let all the love I received, seep into my veins, hearing Ramon snoring on the background, and have the rain make the finishing touch to a perfect snuggle time. I crafted a Beatrice Potter treasure box to store my donations, making it just as special, as it made me feel receiving it. And to compensate for the lack of bright and colorful garlands and balloons, I sprinkled bright colorful sprinkles on anything that could be sprinkled.


happy birthday


And just moments before the day ended, I really felt like a birthday girl.




I drag myself forward. It feels like my eyelids are scraping the floor when I walk.

Yesterday I went to the hospital to meet, again, a new appointed doctor, and to talk about my test result and the next following steps. I’m not quite sure if I like my new doctor. I’m getting so tired of doctors who don’t read up on the history before entering the conversation. This one didn’t even look at all. I had to point out that his colleague, whom I spoke to last week, was the one who send me to him. Last week I finally felt like I was taken serious, and heard. I left the hospital feeling much chipper, even though my body was still in pain. She even made it possible, I got this appointment so soon with this new doctor. So he could help me as quick as possible, seeing there already had passed three months with the same complaints, increasing each week.

But I was sadly disappointed with what seems to be the stereotype amongst doctors. Uninterested, dominant speaker leaving little room for asking questions, and keeping you dumb in not telling the specifics of the outcome. Just; ‘It all looks good. Still within the parameters.’ Trying my best to explain my medical history in stenography, he finally took a better look at things. So there will be a follow up. Over a little than three months from now, I will have an endoscopy. So I just will have to be a little more patient…..


I drove home in my mobility scooter, in the pouring rain. These were definitely not Mother nature’s tears of joy, but of sadness. I could feel the difference, as the raindrops were cold and hard. Instead of light and warm, as a summers rain ought to feel.

I started crying while I drove. I didn’t quite know why I cried. I eventually got what I wanted, so I should be happy. But I couldn’t care less. It was raining anyway, so nobody would see my tears in-between.

Boy, was I wrong. A rough, old, face marked by sun and salt of the sea looking fisherman, addressed me at the ferry. And he immediately made me smile. We talked during the cross-over. When we arrived at IJmuiden, I felt happy again. I am always amazed by what seems like coincidences, but is exactly the thing you need at that moment of time and place.

So when I came home, and cuddled Ramon, I could feel I could hold my breath a little while longer, without growing desperate, and bloody-minded.

When we woke up this morning, Ramon decided he too wanted to try to extend his limits. He wanted to go for a longer walk.

All the way to Amsterdam……


We would go by bus, and then walk to the artist store, to buy the canvas we didn’t buy two weeks ago in Haarlem. I thought it was a little too enthusiastic to try after only walking 1 mile at most the last few days. But, I know you have to find your own way and boundaries, to move forward. So, we went. It almost felt like going to a party. I was nervous, exited, proud and in love. Here we were, the best dynamic duo ever….at it again! And we did it. We were pooped when we got home, but we did it!  I have ordered a canvas, and we drank a cup of coffee at a nice little coffee bar to celebrate.

The happier days are coming again, I can feel it!




It’s been a crazy couple of days.

Ramon came home on Thursday. Everything went better than expected, and he would recuperate much faster if he were at home. So before lunch he called me to come pick him up. He already packed his bag, and sat there waiting on the side of his hospital bed, Apping me every 5 minutes, ‘Are you there yet- are you there yet- are you there yet?’

My sister drove as fast as she could to come pick me up, and then rush over to the hospital, to pick Ramon up. My niece and nephew were just as excited and happy on the backseat, as I felt inside. But my exterior was numb, like I couldn’t show any emotion anymore, and my interior was yelling and screaming, singing and laughing of happiness, just like them.

When she dropped us off at home, I felt an anxiety coming up when we entered the staircase. ‘Will he make it all the way up? And what if he doesn’t? What if he gets another heart attack?’

Packed with 5 big balloons, a backpack, a bag filled with all his new medicine, and a bag filled with gifts and crafts of my nephew and niece, I barely fitted between the banisters. I hated the fact he still wanted me to walk in front of him, in case I would get a seizure and fall. I wanted to keep an eye on hím this time.

We made it up, and crashed on the couch together. My head hurt so much. This whole week I had taken more meds, and even so, I could feel the flow of every suppressed seizure wanting to crush my scull, at every peak. I snuggled against him, and we cried. I needed to do so many things, I can’t even remember now, but I felt I had to control the situation, and take care of Ramon. But I just couldn’t. And again I was so angry with myself.


ramon and kuzco


Ramon grabbed my hand, and led me to the bedroom. ‘I need to sleep, but so do you. Have you looked in the mirror yet? You look terrible. So come, I want to hold you. I missed that all week.’

I gave in. And it was the best nap I had in days. But the anxiety was still there. So was the need to be the perfect Florence Nightingale. In hindsight, this was doomed to cause for an emotional collision. It made me walk on eggshells, and wanted to participate every move, and ignore my own physical boundaries. Add the fact that Sinestro made sure we wouldn’t forget she was still there, making me want to take it all on me, so Ramon wouldn’t have to worry, were the perfect ingredients.

It resulted in me cry the ugly cry, a terrible case of hyperventilation, panic and anger. Because he went for a walk all by himself out of anger. And through every window I looked, I couldn’t find him. The only thing I could think of, was him having a heart attack and nobody would be there to help. And I would lose him for real this time. But on the other hand, I knew I had to let go. The doctor told us he is doing fine, and it would unlikely happen again. All his arteries looked beautiful. So he needs to continue his normal way of living, taking small steps at a time. But still…..

When we talked about it the next day, something happened. I never wanted to say it out loud. Because it was totally unfair, thinking these thoughts. But it was something he said, that made me confess my darkest feelings. I wasn’t only mad at my incapability, I was mad at myself for being mad at him! I was mad at him for almost leaving me with such an ease. How could he? We promised each other to leave simultaneously. I’m working my ass off to hold my promise, and he just left!

Almost that is….

How could I trust him he wouldn’t do the same thing again? I wanted to make sure I would keep him safe, by making an invisible box to put him in. I wanted to control my fear of losing him, by losing myself.

Then we both entered the ugly cry. ‘That’s why I said I’m sorry, when I first saw you after the operation. I felt the same way. I felt so guilty for making you put this through.’ He said with an ocean of tears.

I think the worst part of this whole ordeal, is the psychic part of it. We both will have to learn to trust his body, and let go of the fact he nearly died. Even though I still can’t get over the fact I told him I was angry at him, it felt like such a relieve. The anxiety that never seemed to left my side, is gone. I am erasing the invisible box I put him in. The feeling of wanting to protect him is still there, but he has to do it by himself. And I have to take care of mýself.

We are a team! And a very good one. And we continue to be so.

We can do this!




wonder woman


Day three.

I finally stopped crying. It was starting to get on my nerves. Without any control over that particular bodily function, I cried literally all day through. My eyelids were three times their original size.

Come on already!!!

But today it seemed to have dried out….no argue here what so ever. Because a very bad side effect of all those tears, are the cotton balls that filled my head. I even managed to lose my form I have to hand in together with a faeces specimen, for a next couple of tests for myself. I fold it inside the brochure I got for heart patients and their cardiac rehab. I was so absent minded yesterday, that I just couldn’t remember where I left it. And when it finally hit me, I got so angry at myself for not paying more attention, I cried even more. I had left it on the table at the coffee corner of the hospital. Thank heavens someone left it at the information desk, so they kept it safe for me to pick up when I would visit Ramon today.

I woke up early, again, but enjoyed the dark and gloomy, rainy morning. I made some coffee and a bowl of hot oatmeal with cinnamon, and hopped back in to bed, and enjoyed the serene time with my furry friends, and perfectly shaped pillows to fall back into, so I was completely fluffed by both animal and fabric.

Ramon WhatsApped me to bring shampoo and slippers, which meant he could walk around and shower by himself. I felt so happy. This was yet another big improvement. He was doing better.

I dove into his box of shoes, to find the ones he asked for. Normally I don’t like to search for shoes he can’t find, because he is just like a woman with shoes. He has way to many, and it always feels like years are passing by while plunging through all those shoes, to find the right ones, and preferably matching off course.

I didn’t quit know which ones he wanted, so I took three pairs with me. Can never go wrong with that.

When we arrived he looked good…..and so handsome. I pulled Wonder Woman out of my bag, and smiled at him. ‘She was complaining about her job. She was tired of her workspace. You weren’t around to give her a new place to guard.’ Ramon always put the Wonder Woman and Superman dolls he gave me, somewhere around the house. Almost each night before he goes to bed, he gives them a new place for me to find the next morning. ‘They have to protect all of the house you know!’ So now she can guard and protect Ramon in the hospital. And it immediately seemed to have a good impact, because with a little luck, he can come home tomorrow, somewhere around the end of the day.

I’m curious what lies before us in the following weeks. One thing is for sure…. He will be at home for least 4 weeks. And even though the reason why isn’t all that great, I am excited to have him around me for so long.

We do well together….






I’m staring at my fridge, watching all the great and wonderful things we did together. I feel the tears burning in my eyes. I never ever hoped it would ever come to this, but it did.

My rock, my hero, my everything, has been struck down.

With screaming sirens he’s been brought to the hospital because of an almost fatal heart attack.


I so much felt the urge to write when my sister brought me home. But now, my head is blank, empty, and my eyes keep watering up. I need to go to bed soon. It’s late in the evening. My head is exploding, but I don’t want to sleep. I didn’t even want to kiss him goodbye when he lay there on the hospital bed all wired up. I just wanted to curl up next to him.


This is the part I always feared. When the moment would come where the tables would be turned. Clearly it is much easier to fight pain, beat near death experiences, and all the other crappie things that goes along with being chronically ill. But I have never experienced it from another point of view. Until today. And I suck at it. I cannot bare seeing him like this. And I definitely cannot bare to lose him. I almost did. It scared the hell out of me. It makes me sad, and almost manic depressed thinking of losing him.


I hate it when I get lost in my fear. That’s against the Superhero-code. But the only thought that keeps coming back, almost in sync with the beating of my heart, like a theme in a song, ‘What would I do without him. Would I still be as strong as  I am now. Would I still want to go on if he would not be here anymore?’ Writing these words makes me enter the ugly cry and a terrible case of hyperventilation. I am only as strong as I am mainly because of him.


Excuse me a second…. I’m blubbering  all over my keyboard….


Okay, back…


I will try to get some sleep, I am so exhausted…

And my eyelids are so puffed up, I can barely see through them. I will blow my nose just one more time, and then I will focus on the positive side. He’s still here!


…I keep waking up crying….


The bed is so empty without him. I keep sniffing at his pillow, and checking the phone that I put on his pillow. The hospital hasn’t called, so he must be doing fine. Stop crying then for heaven sake!




….Can’t sleep anymore. I’m gonna make some tea, and start the day. I can’t wait to go see him, observe his mimic, his eyes, kiss him, and touch him, hold his hand. I will have to go to the doctor myself this afternoon to undergo some tests, which is two floors down, so maybe I could stay with him a little while longer than what’s allowed.


I’m so glad Kuzco is such a sweet little boy. He doesn’t leave my side, when I cry he snuggles close to me, lick my tears away, and pushes his little head against my chest when I start to hyperventilate again. It’s still early in the morning, so I think I will make a long walk through the park with Kuzco. There’s going to be a long day ahead of us, and he has to be a good boy watching over Ben, Jools and Bruce today.

It will be good for the both of us. Breath in, and breath out……


I can do this.


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Joyce Kleine – Work in Progress