The Nightmare Called Fear

I am scared to go to sleep.

My thoughts chase me, take me down, consume me. I run, but they catch up. They tear me down, rip me to shreds, leave me on a dark alleyway, lit only by a single streetlamp. Enveloped in fog, I lay on the pavement, in a puddle of blood, as I take labourious breaths.

My thoughts kill me.

I can only run so far, so fast before they catch up to me. And they jump on me, digging their claws into my flesh.


Is it the thoughts that I fear, or is it the fear that I am thinking? Am I really scared of my thoughts, or is my fear of something else what causes the thoughts in the first place? What came first, the fear or the thoughts?

Either way, I’m tired. I’m exhausted. But I’m scared to go to sleep. I’m scared that when I close my eyes, I will be chased again. I’m scared my thoughts will send me down the rabbit hole, spinning, falling, down and down.

My genes surround me in this hole.

The strands of DNA wrap themselves around me, tighter, tighter, until my fingertips turn blue. Breathing is difficult. The strand of genetic code surrounds me, tightly wrapped up by an enormous black widow spider. The DNA is her web, her silk, and I am now rendered immobile by the smooth strand of nucleotides.

My genes kill me.

The death is inevitable, for what else can follow life? But it’s caused by the mistakes in the blueprint, the accidental substitutions, deletions and additions that have added up to a broken building. There is no concrete that can fix it, no spackle can repair these walls. It is the house that I’m forced to live in, this broken building, with its crumbling foundation and shattered windows.

One day, this house will fall down.

Because exhaustion has taken over. I pray that my thoughts don’t chase me tonite.



I’ve always had problems sleeping when Lord Imp was away for work. Even before the events of this past week, there was always just something about his presence in my bed that has made it so that I fell asleep so much easier. Now, however, I am home alone with nothing but my thoughts to keep me company through this unseasonably cold night.

And my thoughts aren’t exactly comforting.

I put on a brave face for Lord Imp. I do it because I know he’s scared half out of his mind. He’s scared because of the amount of uncertainty there is surrounding this issue – and uncertainty makes the man so uneasy it is unbelievable. Bless his heart, he has to fix everything, whether it’s a piece of broken pipe or his wife. But unfortunately, this is something he can’t fix.

When I called him to tell him what the doctor said, all I heard was “What? How?” How did this happen? What happens next? How do we fix this? What can we do? He was 60 miles away at the time, and I could still hear the panic in his voice and see it on his face despite the distance. Meanwhile, I’m the one here who has just been told that their immunoglobulin levels have come back at zero, and I’m as cool as a cucumber. The questions of how and why in my house get met with quite different reactions between Lord Imp and I, especially when it’s on a subject that Lord Imp knows nothing about. As a matter of fact, the first 48 or so hours can be summed up as such:


I will admit though that in the past couple of days, I’ve found myself asking a third question: What? As in, what now? What happens next?

Another big question on my mind: will I be able to keep going? Will I be able to continue with my life as I had planned it, finishing up my BS and going for the PhD? Will I be well enough to keep pushing through all the labs writing, time in the lab, late-nite study sessions and drooling over petri dishes?

I have been having an awfully difficult time finding anecdotal evidence on what I am up against. I feel weird saying I want anecdotal evidence, and the scientist in me feels like I’m committing adultery against juried, peer reviewed sources in doing so. But publications aren’t going to tell me what going through IVIG is like. They’re not going to tell me how I’m going to feel during and after the process. They’re not going to tell me if I’m going to be able to take care of a demanding 4-month-old on my own while plugging through an 8-week course on cultural anthropology.

They all tell me that I’m going to live. What they don’t tell me is will I be able to have a life.

And that is what keeps me up at night.