Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New Year's Eve 2009

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Calm in the Storm

Nine-fifty two pm, Tuesday, October 4th - the calm has finally arrived, I am grateful, I am thankful, I am relieved.  For approximately the last 34 hours, I have been bashed around, thrown around, stuck in a rip tide, struggled and grasping for the calm in a body that decided to become the storm.  And it isn't until this calm has arrived, that I can breathe in freely, and the static of arrhythmic noise has ceased, that I can fully appreciate how little control I had, against, the crashing waves of disharmony.  Dis-ease, that about sums it up.

I want to scream for the road map, an atlas, anyone have a compass - what did you yell for Julie,"vic's vapor rub, Robitussin"? those words came from my head because yours i couldn't forget, when i read them, i understood, not your war, i could never - but i deeply understood yelling for a life boat. Desperately wanting someone to give you the answers on how to solve this problem.  Find me the missing puzzle piece, direct me, I will follow.   So now is as good as any time to thank you, for without your courage in telling your story, I don't know if I would have begun to tell mine. Because it helps and if you can hear me, thank you.  Julie Forward DeMay, rest in peace.

Just tell me where to go, what to do, and I will follow.  I will take the panic attacks back, because even in those times of utter terror and loss of control, deep down, if I dug to the deepest places in me, I knew control was in letting go, and it would pass.  I could practice breathing techniques, behavioral techniques, and if all hell was breaking loose - that pretty baby blue 1mg pill.  But this, none of that works.  I am just a tiny sailboat, in an angry ocean , and I can't find my way back home.

It all started with a hunch ignored, b/c unfortunately the years of panic attacks as a young child taught me to ignore all the warnings, ignore the voice that said "that's scary", and so I learned to push through, and push through, ignore and ignore, and some how I not only managed to survive, I managed to thrive.  It was the coach that told you you weren't good enough, strong enough, tough enough, and you were the winner in spite of it.  But this, I don't know how to beat this, my strategies have failed, and tonight, when the calm came, I realized, I had very little to do with it.  So I must learn how to ride out a new storm.

The hunch was a bowl of chili, the chili that made my tongue feel a bit funny the day before.  But, I wanted to prove to myself that I was over-reacting, couldn't be - beef, tomatoes, kidney beans, celery, I think I can eat all of those things.  But, still, yesterday - forget about yesterday.  But kidney beans are related to peas, and you can't eat peas. Your fine, you had this same chili two weeks ago, but two weeks ago you took a Benadryl.  Or wait celery, celery is a cousin of carrots, and without thinking, an automatic response, you are spitting a small piece of celery out.  IGNORE THE CRAZY VOICE JUST EAT THE DAMN CHILI - but on bite two, that little voice, was no longer the coach pushing me to be the best, it was instinct telling me danger was real. Put down the spoon, and get ready for the storm.

So 34 hours later plus Benadryl plus Pulmacort plus Prednisone plus Zopenx times two and three and who can remember anymore because I am so drugged up, but the storm inside of me finally gave way. Plus the hydrotherapy, colorpuncture, homeopathics - i do not discriminate solutions.  Do I feel fantastic - that would be a negative, but do I feel relief - absolutely.  My throat is sore from clearing it and coughing.  My head feels like it is spinning from the drug cocktail that was needed to harness this relief.  But I am a bit scared, because there seem to be landmines everywhere - and just when I feel like I am making progress,  I am reminded of the strength of mother nature - and all i can seem to do is get out of the way.

This is chronic fatigue.  It comes in all shapes and all sizes, its a body that has short circuited, and your hope is in finding your own personal road map through the battle ground that your body has become.  And you wish that tomorrow when you wake up like groundhog's day all over again, perhaps there will be a pair of ruby slippers, waiting to take you back home to your life before...

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