Wednesday, September 1, 2010
dropped the fork reaching for more kleenex
My own bed should be a cushion of safety, something I lacked while in the hospital. It holds my favorite blanket and my pillow (the pillow I know is missing in my stack when the sheets get changed and it is put on Scott's side, the pillow that gives me sweet dreams, it holds my husband who I wouldn't be me without, it holds a quilt given to me by a breast cancer survivor, a quilt she took with her to each chemo cycle. It holds me while I shake with fear, anxiety and the nighttime panic that occasionally sneaks into bed and makes itself at home, stripping me of the comfort and safety....tonight it decided to make a grand entrance.
I have said before that nights are the hardest, it is not always the case but when it rains, it pours. I sit up in bed next to my husband who is sleeping through my tears, the TV on, my bedside light glowing in his face while he habitually covers it with a pillow, me eating mac and cheese in bed and spilling some milk on the floor and my saying "fuck" loudly when I dropped the fork reaching for more kleenex. He would sit and cry with me in a heartbeat if he woke up, or if I chose to wake him up. I find his mere presence comforting and for god sakes he needs his sleep. He no longer has to worry about his wife in the hospital, the least I can do is let him have sweet dreams and a full nights sleep.
I have been hyper-emotional today as is, I really should have seen tonight coming and combated it with meds earlier, but at this point the attempt would be futile. And honestly it would have to be a horse size pill and I think you can only by those in Mexico and I am not up to the trip.
It's amazing how it sneaks up on me. I just lay in bed, relaxed and ready to fall asleep......and I wait, and wait some more. I then feel the anxiety begin to work its way up my body, my legs tingle and then my heart beats faster in anticipation--my stomach tightens and begin to get that choked up feeling right before you cry in my throat........then a tear rolls down my cheek, followed by another and another until it is a steady stream down both cheeks onto my favorite blanket and they are soaked up by my pillow that has stolen those sweet dreams from me for the night. My arms and legs tingle and I lose the feeling in my right hand (as a result from surgery it happens occasionally, but always when my body tightens with anxiety). It feels as though I am waiting for something bad to happen--a heightened since of awareness, like watching a horror movie and you know the killer is on the other side of the door---you are just waiting to jump and throw your popcorn in the air. I hold my breath, breathe deep, try in through mouth out through nose, everything in my bag of tricks---but I remain primed, waiting for the killer coming through the door...
I think that writing about it will maybe help, write the burden out, it gets lifted, I drift to off to sleep--insomnia gets put away, packaged up for another night with a nice little bow. It helps because the tears slow down because if they don't I can't see through my steamed up glasses to type. I work on deep breathing to keep from hyperventilating and try conscious relaxation except my body works itself into such a knot even at my most meditative state I couldn't untie it with all the breathing and visualization in the world.
So I wait for exhaustion to set in. I ran lots of errands today with Scott, more walking than I have done in the past 5 days in the hospital and with bone pain on top of it. I know it will come....it becomes a waiting game--exhaustion vs panic...place your bets. So I close my laptop and hope the money I put on heavy eyelids and sweet dreams pays off...double or nothing.
"...when night fell, everything changed. The nightmares of childhood could not compete with the horrors of those nights when survival seemed only a very slim possibility. With everyone in our household sound asleep and not a sound to be heard anywhere, I would bolt upright in bed, my heart pounding, envisioning things I feared would come to pass. I would start to tremble all over, pull the blankets tighter around me, and lie there shivering and sobbing for what seemed like hours."