Thursday night I saw my psychologist over the disaster that was Tuesday. First I had her listen to the distraught voice recording I made that night. I told her about my son’s recurring gastroenteritis. He’s suffered from migraines with vomiting since he was a toddler, has gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and gets gastroenteritis regularly during the winter and spring months.
I talked about how the illness and death of Melissa Nemeth brought forth defended feelings of grief over the loss of my brother-in-law to lung cancer. My psychologist asked me if I’m afraid of losing my son. I responded I don’t think so. Then I described how Melissa’s small intestines had to be removed, and she died waiting for a small intestine transplant from UCLA. At that point, I broke down sobbing, “Oh, my God!” Yes, that was exactly what I was afraid of. My son is still sick. After all these years. After seeing so many doctors. Still sick. Still vomiting far too much for any boy. Still in pain with debilitating migraines in spite of medication. Melissa’s death realized my worst fear – that I might lose my son.
On May 5th I’m taking my son to a pediatric neurologist (again), and to a pediatric gastroenterologist on June 1st. Both specialists are affiliated with Children’s Hospital. Hopefully they’ll have some answers. Please, this time, pray for my son. He I love most of all.
I am ambivalent about posting these dog photos. Although I love my dogs, I am still suffering from PTSD from an incident in which I could not control them, and they viciously attacked a greyhound who had just been attacked by another standard poodle the previous week. I took full responsibility for the attack and paid the poor dog’s veterinary bill. Still, I fear walking Thumper (the big guy). He’s too big and I cannot control him.
Interesting metaphor just occurred to me, piggybacking an interpretation offered by my psychologist Friday when I described my fear of violent and agitated men (specifically, agitated and violent seriously mentally ill men). She asked if I may fear that part of me that rages, that goes to that red zone where my rational mind cannot control my behavior. Yes. Yes, I do fear that part of me, and regret the damage done to those I love when I rage.
In group yesterday afternoon, my psychiatrist recommended genetic testing for hereditary cancer syndromes (of which there are 50). He advocated doing so to guide future medical care, rather than living in denial or in fear. I am not at risk, but my son and husband may be. They are private, as is my large extended family. My husband is one of eight children. Three of his four brothers either currently have or have had cancer. Those are not good odds. One brother recently went from stage 2B to stage 4 quite rapidly.
Please pray for my brother-in-laws, especially the one facing stage 4. Please pray for my husband, my son, and for all my in-laws and loved ones touched by cancer. Whether or not you are the praying sort, please join me in telling cancer exactly how we feel about what it does to those we love: F*CK YOU, CANCER!!!
Slowing it down, breaking it down into manageable bite-size tasks. Put off job search for now. Became overwhelmed. Feared hypomania, mixed episodes, and eventual hospitalization. Fear job taking over, not being able to set limits, boundaries. My permeable self, the self that enables me to empathize, is too soft. Not able to say No or Later or When I Can Get to It. Not able to delegate. Take on too much. Feel sucked in. And, then I leave, flee, escape. Cocoon myself at home. Hide.
Adolescent client once said my heart is too soft.
For now, I start going to my psychiatrist’s group therapy sessions. Signed up for a writing workshop, afraid of overstimulation; still, not sure what I can do, how much I can do and remain stable. Signed up for Zumba Gold class once a week. Daily take care of husband and son. Dogs looking at me for attention, following me around, sleeping at my feet. In the master bed now, writing, using computer and Google calendar to organize my life.