The New Regular

Anneliese Fox
3 min readMar 6

Because there’s no such thing as normal.

Cactus Orchid, neither a cactus, nor an orchid. Photo by author

I am embarking on the first day, of the first full week of the new regular. Part of getting to this point in the journey was the recognition that ‘normal’ is not a state that truly exists. In fact, I am coming to the conclusion that it is nothing more than a flawed mythology.

How have I come to this realization?

Week one: Hubby spends his days in the recliner. He hasn’t the energy to do more than that.

Week two: Hubby spends in the hospital. Will he need emergency dialysis or will a good flushing get things working better? Nope, dialysis it is.

Weeks three and four: Spending five hours a day at the dialysis center learning how home (peritoneal) dialysis is going to work.

Week five: Transitioning from doing dialysis at the center to doing it at home. (And figuring out where and how to store a pallet worth of sugar water and medical supplies.)

And so here we are at the beginning of week six with only a short trip to the dialysis center for bloodwork and a quick checkup and wondering when (it’s been five days of home dialysis, now) it will be possible to sleep through the night with the cycler (that’s what they call the machine that cycles sugar water in and out of the patient’s belly) doing its thing.

Now don’t get me wrong. Medical science is wondrous. I’d likely have been a widow a long time ago without it.

But this isn’t about medical science, or even peritoneal dialysis, which is, frankly, amazing. It’s about defining things as Normal.

When I think of normal, I think of a bell curve. A bell curve happens when someone (could be a scientist) collects a lot of data points regarding a certain question and plots all the answers on a chart.

My amazing bell curve. Image by author

Maybe the question is something like: What is your current temperature? Or, How many geese are at the lake today? Or, When are the busiest times on the highway? When enough data is collected: enough people report their temperature, we’ve counted the geese on the lake every day for five years, we’ve…

Anneliese Fox

Writer of speculative fiction, programmer, artist in wood and clay, owner of Fox Computer Systems. My almost weekly blog follows what interests me at the moment