That Impossible First Step

I will admit, I had one hell of a time getting out for my walk this evening. I had been feeling like death all day, dizzy and lethargic despite having blood sugars what most endocrinologists would classify as normal. But not having gone out last night, I knew that getting out tonight was a necessity, even if I only went for a mile.

While I was out, I did a lot of thinking. The air was comfortable and had the lovely smell of the woods before a summer rainstorm. Without a doubt, that is my favourite smell on earth, earth and fallen leaves absorbing the humidity and in return giving out the smell of new life coming from the end of another. I thought a lot about what I was facing, what I am going to be in for during the next few months. I have to admit, I’m scared. I’m scared half out of my mind. I’m scared of the side effects. I’m scared of not being able to care for Baby Imp on my own. I’m scared that I won’t be able to finish my education. 

I’m scared of what the future brings.

But despite my fears and desire to just say “fuck it” and turn around and go back to bed, I am still putting my foot forward. Just like I did tonight with my walk, I am going out and doing something that I know is going to hurt, that I know is going to suck, knowing that it has to be done and once it is I will feel better.

And you know what? Once I finished the walk, panting and coughing due to the immense amount of chest congestion I have, I realised that I do feel better. After a shower and a dollop of lotion, I felt even more so. I feel like I accomplished something, I feel pretty and I smell like a beautiful day (quite literally, since my lotion of choice is Beautiful Day by Bath and Body Works).

I almost feel healthy.

Despite not really wanting to, despite feeling awful, I still took that impossible first step out the door and went on that walk. It was hard, it hurt doing it, but I was able to enjoy the smells and sights along the way. And when I came back, I found that I truly felt better than I did when I started. I know this is how it is going to be with IVIG. I know it’s going to hurt, I know it’s going to make me feel crappy, but I know that I will eventually start to feel better than I do now.

And this is a walk worth going on.

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Insomnia

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:

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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.