This morning I was fluttering around my kitchen, throwing raw eggs and sugar into the four and a half pounds of pureed carrots that I’d steamed and crushed. I make my grandmother’s carrot soufflé every thanksgiving (and Christmas). I spilled half a bowl of melted margarine on my counter and then wiped it up with a rag and haphazardly threw it on top of the laundry basket in the hallway.
An hour later, dusted in powdered sugar and orange mush I leaned back into my living room couch, absently casting my eyes towards the front door—where Happy was happily chomping away on the buttered rag—and I was like—well, that’s happening.
Some battles you can’t win. Some battles you can’t even get off the couch for.
I cracked open another bottle of Ensure—my life line for the past few days as every solid food I attempt to eat puts me into paralyzing stomach cramps and tried to rest for a few minutes.
In terms of my symptoms—it has been a trying week.
Last night on the way to dinner with R.J’s family I was shaking so badly in the car that I didn’t know what to do with myself. Every nerve in my body was on fire and even moving my eyeballs from one streetlight to the next felt like moving a dumbbell. It was a late night for me anyways and by the time we got to the restaurant I had to sit in the car for a few minutes just to temper the anxiety and vertigo.
I just feel like I’m crumbling apart and I’m physically trying to keep all my messed up, misfiring, dysfunctional pieces together with one hand. And it’s not working out too hot. And I’m wondering how close I am to completely falling apart—and it’s really a bad time and I really want to keep it together. I’ve been looking forward to this week for so long and it’s here and it’s in my grasp.
But fighting my symptoms isn’t working. It’s like trying to prop yourself up with toothpicks. Once you get to a certain point you can’t actually keep going without a serious meltdown. Which happened somewhere in between that car ride to the restaurant and wiping the orange-sugar mush off my kitchen cabinets this morning.
The plan was to spend the day with R.J’s dad and brothers who are in town for the week—then head to R.J’s mom’s house for Thanksgiving Dinner #1 and then to my mom’s house for Dinner #2 and then to SuperTarget for Black Friday. But that didn’t happen.
I made the decision to skip dinner with R.J’s family and spend the afternoon trying to recoup in bed. When I woke up around 4:30 I still didn’t feel like I could drive and had my sister come and pick me up to take me to our parent’s house for dinner. (Which for me was some bread and gravy.)
I know I was in zombie mode tonight too—and even though I had fun with my family it was a struggle to stay present. I was also feeling really guilty about bailing on R.J and his family. I will always want his family to love me—and to know that I love them just like they were blood. Ditching holiday dinners and quietly “getting through” meals doesn’t really communicate that. And trying to introduce yourself to new people when your disease is demanding facetime is aggravating and really, really discouraging when you’re sending off such mixed signals that are entirely motivated by your desperate, overwhelming need to not be in blinding pain.
It’s a mouthful.
This week is really not who I am at all.
But for as much as I bitch and moan and worry–this holiday is really about gratitude (and latkes, depending on which holiday you think I’m talking about.)
And so here are some things I’m grateul for this week
1. That my parents spent the last six months basically ripping their house apart and reconstructing it for our engagement party.
2. That my sister is in town and I get to hang out with her.
3. That R.J is my rock and Bear is my pillow.
4. That I finally got to meet the other side of R.J’s family and it wasn’t immediately after getting off a plane where I would have been dazed and confused and twitching.
5. That work has been..plentiful and rewarding this month. And I don’t have to worry about paying my bills come the end of the month.
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