I have been through a lot in the past two to three years. However, if you were to ask me how I am, I would probably tell you I am fine, or perhaps shrug and tell you I have a headache, but “When don’t I?”.
You see, as I have grown older I have begun to lose my voice. I don’t talk about the really scary stuff, the really hard stuff. I don’t share the stories behind my nightmares or the reasons I cry in the shower. I showcase the positive and when it comes to the negative I hide in my cave and lick my wounds.
I don’t talk about it because I am already tired of dealing with it. I am tired of having the feelings surrounding it, much less sharing them. Sometimes, the situations are just too big for me to handle my own reactions to them, much less another’s. Further, when I have shared my feelings, it has seemed as though the person I am talking to needs more comfort regarding my affliction than I. Rare is the person who simply says “That really sucks” and offers me a hug.
I love that my friends and family all love me enough to offer help and to offer suggestions regarding alternative medicine or particular treatments. I understand how hard it is to sit idly by while someone you love is going through something, anything, hard. Because I understand, I used to diligently follow up on each and every referral and suggestion, trying everything my collective loved ones thought might help.
Now I don’t.
I don’t have the energy.
I can’t live a normal life right now. Some days it is still impossible to really leave the darkness of my room. Hold music irritates my headaches, as does the sound of overly chipper receptionists. The thought of explaining my medical history to yet another medical professional makes me want to cry. The pages and pages of patient history I have to fill out is daunting in the extreme.
Then there’s the fact that all these doctor’s are just guessing. “Here, try these samples and see if something works” is the most common thing I have heard. I know they are as flummoxed as I am. There is no tumor, no allergy, no obvious thing causing my condition. All they can do is try. All I can do is let them try.
Last night I ended up in the ER because two of the samples I had been given were similar enough to cause an overdose. I hadn’t been warned to avoid taking them within 24 hours of each other and I didn’t read the entire pamphlet until I started feeling unable to stay awake. When I did read it I freaked. Not only was I not supposed to take the second medication within 24 hours of the first, but I also had a much higher likelihood of having a heart attack on this medication because post menopausal women aren’t supposed to take it.
Well shit, I am post menopausal, I thought.
So I went to the ER. I got to jump the line due to pressure in my throat and a possible allergic reaction to medication. I got an EKG, I got an I.V., I got to play in the hospital room with my son while they watched me to insure I wasn’t going to die on them.
Today I woke up with another horrible headache. I couldn’t drive my kids to school or pick them up. I couldn’t work well. Tasks that should take a few minutes took forever.
If you asked me how I am feeling today I would tell you.
I feel hopeless. I don’t know what to do.