A Little Druggy Today, A Little Traumatic

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 7.236% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

So yesterday was a nice, bold return to work and progress until the evening struck.  Then I cried for three hours straight.
I’m battling a lot of emotions right now, because that ventilator was the scariest thing that’s ever happened to me, and the feelings of isolation and powerlessness are still hitting in weird ways. I woke up, completely helpless, with no one I knew around me to comfort me, and that’s a loneliness I didn’t know I could experience.  I’d always thought Gini would be there for me, and she was in that technical sense, but in reality I was in druggy blackness, manhandled by paramedics, and with no one to explain what was happening.
That’s backfiring in weird ways.  I’m terrified all the time now that Gini will leave if I’m not brave enough.  If I cry.  If I need her help for just one more thing.  And she won’t, I think,  but there’s that animal terror of coming to, paralyzed, confused, choking, and then I just want to cling to someone and never let them go.  And the lid slipped a bit on that last night and it was literally three hours of tears, including a low-grade sobbing throughout a family viewing of Hotel Impossible, which is really not a show that produces mourning.
Any reference to any character being alone now will cause sniffles, including shows like King of the Hill.  (The Bill Dauterive episodes are weepfests.)  I’m just sort of feeling terrified like this whole life I’m living now is a sham, and any moment they’ll pull the curtain away and I’ll be back in bed.  I double-dosed on Ativan last night and still was trembling until I fell asleep.
I’m told this is normal. Depression and disruption come in the wake of these things. Still, I hate crying so much that I wish it was anything else; I feel weak enough without my body betraying me again. My reaction to crying is sexist, and programmed, and completely stupid, but my own tears make me feel genderless and weak and pitiable.
I have an appointment with my therapist later this week.  Today, I’m staring at code, trying to make sense of it through a brain-haze of last night’s double-dosage, and the variables are just dropping out of my mind.  Things will improve.  But I don’t want that moment of blackness to become an axiom of my life, because I’ve got enough bad things embedded in my memory and I don’t need a trigger pull that huge this late in life.
But that waking up was the greatest terror I’ve ever felt.  Not knowing what was happening.  Not knowing where anyone was.  Not knowing how to get help, or how to get my body to respond.  And that trauma has saturated my psyche in ways that are subtle and hard to track down.  They’re fine threads woven through my mind that I only notice when something plucks at them.
I’ll be fine. I’m doing what I always do: documenting.  Maybe others have been through this and they won’t feel quite as alone or weird when they see it.  Maybe I’m the freak, and it’s just a personal quirk.  Either way, I lay it at your feet, and expose myself, and hopefully this cold wind whipping through will carry something away from me.

2 Comments

  1. JFargo
    Feb 12, 2013

    Love you, Ferrett.

  2. Shauna Roberts
    Feb 12, 2013

    You know how when you’re in the hospital the people getting wheeled by are treated like objects? Questions are addressed to a family member or nurse, never the patients? The patients’ eyes are glazed over and they look subhuman? And you promise yourself you’ll never be one of those people, that you’ll stay engaged with the world and your treatment and answer your own questions?
    I’ve discovered that in some cases, it’s better to be the zombie-patient. It’s better to separate myself into two parts, the person and the patient, and let the patient endure the humiliation, pain, fear, and paperwork, while I the person stay whole and apart from the crap that wears down and eventually can destroy the soul.
    Ferrett, it sounds as if it would be useful to compartmentalize some of your experience into something experienced by an “other” or by “Ferrettpatient,” who could perhaps reside in one of your toes because he’s such a small part of you. Once you become two, you can comfort Ferrettpatient, reassure him he’s not alone, and forgive him. You can allow him to be weak and lonely and scared because he’s only a tiny part of you, while the main Ferrett, the real Ferrett, is brave and strong.
    (You have not been a reader of my blog in the past, but I’m going to give it a makeover soon. It will become partly or mainly a blog about my past and future struggle to be a writer while dealing with many permanent chronic illnesses that require most of my time, waking and asleep, to deal with. You may find my new-and-improved blog to sometimes be useful while you recuperate.)

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