Thursday, January 29, 2009

Where to begin?

Tonight I found myself edgy. Irritable. Stomach cramps sent me running to the bathroom, and then my chest started heaving. I couldn't breathe, wanted to call someone but didn't want to talk. Better still, I didn't know what I'd say when they picked up. I paced my house like a caged animal, not knowing which rooms I'd be walking into or why. Tears streaming down my face and fighting the urge to scream, only because I knew it would wake the children. For the life of me, I didn't know why.

Then it hit me. Hard.

Only and already, a year ago, we took Joseph to the hospital as he struggled to breathe. Watched as they worked on him. Watched and held him as he got a spinal tap and didn't flinch.

It's not that I was unaware of this date looming, though it wasn't a day I had any intentions of observing. I wanted it to fade into the calendar.

I was completely aware of the timing on Tuesday, when I found myself headed to the emergency room with Joseph. My daughter had opened the gate at the top of the stairs to get something from the playroom, and for the first time I'd failed to hear her open the gate - and she'd failed to close it. Joseph fell down our stairs, landing face first on our stone entryway.

My SIL lives between our house and the hospital, so she watched Em as I was in the ER with Joseph. It was just him and me, and that was the only thing allowing me to hold it together. As soon as we were entering the ER, a wave of panic hit. The flashbacks I have anyway were intensified, and they came wave after wave after wave instead of just a few images. I felt like I was drowning, but I had to hold it together for him and I did.

But tonight, my husband is at band practice. The kids are both fine, asleep and we are just past that time of night when it is polite to call. There are people I could call and they would understand, one in particular, but I can't dial the phone. I just can't. I know part of it is because even as bad as this is, I don't want to fully surrender to it. I don't want to feel all over again the fear and the worry and the panic. It's hell, and I just keep reminding myself that it's over. No matter how bad the memories are, they are memories. It isn't happening now. It just feels that way.

Tonight comes down to timing. Not just a date on the calendar, or the coincidence that practice night fell on this night as it did a year ago....that Emily was sleeping and I was trying to rouse Joseph for a feeding.. after he'd gone from seeming fine to seeming lethargic to skipping breaths in such a short, short time. I know that part of why I'm having this breakdown is because I can. There's nobody awake in the house but me, so I don't have to look brave or sane, for that matter. I don't have to pretend to be okay.

At one point I thought I'd set a counseling appointment for this week, but then life got busy and I didn't make it a priority. I should have. I'll probably still call tomorrow to see about next week.

In the meantime, at least typing it out has helped calm me a bit. I still think it's a bit freaky that I forgot long enough to actually wonder WHY I was flipping out. It's almost funny.



Claire said...

You could have called me.

Set up that appointment. Don't do what my husband did and let it go for 10 years. It isn't worth it.

Love you honey.

suzanne cabrera said...

Mandy---You have one of the most beautiful and honest blogs I've ever visited. Thank you for sharing these details of your life...