Sunday, March 24, 2013

C word

What we have here folks can officially go on record as the worst month of my adult life.

March is usually the BEST! MONTH! EVER! After all, I love the heck outta spring...with the flowers and the warmth and the hinting of summer! Then it is capped off with my BiRtHdAy :)

This March? This March... was awful.

It began with a topsy turvy work schedule - finding myself working the over night shift for a few days, then a day shift or two, then back to nights.

What an injustice that type of variation is to my hormones!!! I was tired all the time, weeping for no reason, starving/nauseous...and wrecked with insomnia. But it's only for a month, I told myself.

Then, my precious baby's grandma gave him a PEANUT BAR! YES SHE DID! Which, and maybe this isn't immediately intuitive to the world, contained PEANUTS (of which he is allergic).  So after about 2 hours of sleep I awoke to the frantic calls of a boy whose throat was swelling shut :(

The ER folks were awesome - and shot him full of epinephrine, steroids, antihistamines and a few breathing treatments...and eventually I could once again see his epiglottis.

This round of anaphylaxis was accompanied by a self-awareness in my son that has never occurred before. I think he has always been too young to understand the dire nature of his allergies...but this time? As a 12 year old young man? Well he understood.

He knew his throat was swollen shut. He knew he was on his way out of this world, and he was scared beyond anything that anyone should have to feel. Of course I began to research how to help him navigate his way out of the emotional damage he suffered...but mostly he just needed time, hugs, facts and unconditional love. The type of love that stands strong even though he was saying horrible things, and thinking horrible thoughts. A selfless love. Even though at my core I was destroyed thinking about what *could* have happened...I put him first. He said things out loud a mother never ever ever can stomach hearing...but he needed to have his time to freak out - and I was determined to hold on through the storm and hold him steady.

But life...(and March) pressed on.

During this catastrophe I noticed my significant other becoming more and more distant...I didn't know if it was because she felt sad for being so far away, or if maybe she was unaware as to how much I needed her...but she seemed busier than usual. So in the quiet moments after my little man was in bed, I ached for even an email,  reaching across the miles to let me know she was in my corner. I wondered if she maybe was repulsed by me since I was needy and sad. I am sure I wasn't easy to approach. Each day it got harder for me to be feel her loving me...and I had no idea how to pierce her defenses. I felt like she was losing interest in me and my insecurities were louder than her phone calls. I don't know if it was a fair conclusion or if my brain was playing tricks on me...but I decided out of self-preservation to let her be quiet. I figured I would bounce back to my normal self soon enough and she would once again sparkle when she thought of me....because at the time it felt like she was dreading to hear from me.

I was still working crazy mixed up hours, and got a few phone messages from my doctor. She had been treating a wart on my hand. Why on earth would a doctor call a patient about a stupid (albeit stubbornly-refusing-to-diet) wart?  Keep in mind that I was emotionally reeling from the day/night flip and the anaphylaxis, not to mention the acutely felt absence of my I didn't return the call.

It occurred to me that perhaps the doctor had some bad news...since I can't recall a doctor ever calling me seemed logical to my dark mind that OBVIOUSLY I had cancer. Hand cancer. Not that I had ever heard of such a thing...but leave it to me to get a rare and unique deadly thing.

And you wanna know what my first thought was? Not "oh shit I might die" or "please Lord not now when my son needs me most"...nooooooooo, my first thought was wondering what my sigO would do if I collapsed even further...I was sure that if she was turned off by how weak I was post-anaphylaxis then she would flat out leave my ass if I actually had fucking cancer. So I didn't return the doctor's calls. It seems crazy to admit...but it's true. I even had a dream that I had cancer...and that my lover broke up with me when I told her. For three days I was crazy after that dream. I tried not to let my over arching fear get on my girlfriend...but every time I did  connect with her I ended up sounding mean. Even though all I wanted was her by my side....I guess fear and hurt can sound mean :(

Then I got the stomach flu....oh and also my sig O did in fact end our relationship. See kids??? Some dreams DO come true. Ha. ha. ha. Not funny.

All the care I was taking to NOT appear like a needy, overly sensitive loser had been in vain..she hated me anyway. How it is that I cherish taking care of her so so so much....and she is completely turned off when I'm the one who is hysterical and ugly?????

The good thing about the stomach flu is that it allowed me to skip a few nights of the graveyard shift...and when I felt physically strong enough I returned to work. And a few days after that...I  called the doctor back.

They found cancerous cells in my biopsy (I hadn't even realized they had taken a biopsy the last time they treated my alleged wart). The doctor needed me to make as appointment as soon as possible. She wanted to cut out a chunk of my hand. I didn't ask too many questions...I was in shock. I don't even remember the name of what she said was growing in place of my skin and muscle.

I have always pictured Maslow's hierarchy of need to be a bar stool. Each of the three legs represents a pillar of *need*. If you have all your needs met, your soul can comfortably sit for eternity. Sure - one leg will become loose from time to time - but not to worry! You have two strong legs ready to take some of the weight! Well, I don't remember exactly what Maslow said about it (though I am pretty sure I am right about the barstool image), but let's say my needs have always been: health, love, and career. Using the bar stool analogy, you could say that mine has turned to silly putty. Or maybe jello. Or protoplasm. Pick a goo, any goo - You get the idea.

In one month I can honestly say the following: job=despise, health=unchecked worry of not only my only child but also myself, and as for love? Well my one special person has turned away from me.

So I am left sitting on the floor, trying to fashion at least a cushion from the goo left over from March's destruction.

Part of me thinks I should call my love, and tell her about the c-word. She doesn't know...

I think about calling her 100 times a day.

But if she is capable of hating me after my son's near death experience...then I figure she probably would still hate me with a cancerous limb. And the chance she would continue to ignore me, hate me, be repulsed by my weakness seems fairly high...I can't even put words to how low it would take me. But part of me thinks that if she realized what I was going through...if she could just see my perspective...her heart would remember me. Remember us.

One day not too long ago....after seeing my love in the middle of Georgia...we got separated accidentally. When we reconnected she was so so so super upset. She was crying and shouting and saying hurtful things she didn't mean because she had been so frightened. None of her words stuck to me...all I saw was my sweetest girl - upset by circumstances beyond her heart wrapped around hers and I held on.

I love remembering those moments with her. Obviously not the fact that she was upset...but knowing with all of me that I loved her so completely that she was beautiful even when she cried, and her words couldn't hurt me because I knew she was frantic and not herself.

There are 500 of those moments in my mind...

and here in my bed alone I wonder what it is about frantic and upset me that becomes the enemy of my true love.

Whatever that part of me is, I hate it.

But even though I am trainable...and I could learn to change my fear response...I suppose the definition of "the end" is when one person stops being wiling to try. And she has stopped.

So me and my gelatinous goo will get to work...trying to mold the best damn bar stool I can with the tools I have.

Literally. As I finished that last sentence a giant tree limb just smashed my roof. Lit. Er. Al. Ly.

At this point I don't even stop typing...I just sit here and wait for the rain to stop. I know it will.