4.11.2008

In it.

I'm stuck. I'm in it. I must be. I'm blogging from my office at UD - which I don't do.

I think it's the time of year. It's a little bit paralyzing.

I'm sleeping a lot. An awful lot. I can't seem to sink my teeth into anything work-wise. I'm napping every chance I get. Still feel tired. Not really patient - with Bax or PJ. Yesterday I realized that my heart was beating so hard and fast that I almost felt a subtle sense of rage in my bones. I wanted to break something. Not fun.


Why now? Well - let's see... April 11, 2008... two years ago where were we? In hell. Total hell. I don't need to write about it again. See for yourself in the archives of this blog from April 2006.

But that was two fucking years ago... why am I still in it?

When I let my mind wander, you know where it goes? Directly to the hospital. The sights, the smells, the anticipation of what I'd find as I rode the elevator up to the NICU to see Mike. The stupid little gestures to make him feel better - putting up photos, bringing him strawberries or Dr. Pepper. For what? For me more than for him.

This time of year is certainly a trigger.

Also, my uncle and his girlfriend were just here this week for an otherwise lovely visit... But the last time I saw them was my graduation from Annenberg in May 2006. What a emotional minefield that was.


Don't know if I ever posted my graduation speech, but here it is. I'm not going to watch it, but you can:

http://media.asc.upenn.edu/media/graduation2006/grad2006_07.html


So, there's all that shit. Plus one of my most amazing and talented students is working his way through the rocky and impossible process of coming to terms with the suicide of his friend/roommate that happened two weeks ago. It saddens me so much to think of someone so young, bright, and happy dealing with such grave and insensible events, that I can't make heads or tails of it.

Then there's the process of moving ahead in my relationship with this wonderful man who is most certainly becoming a father to Baxter - all the while, making efforts to respect the memory of Michael - and maintain ties to his family. Trying to be a good daughter-in-law to Lonia... making sure that she knows that in spite of my moving forward with PJ, she will ALWAYS be Baxter's grandmother and will always have a place in our lives.

And then there's the tree. Mike's tree. Jalena posted a comment asking how his tree is doing. The truth is I don't know. I can't tell if it survived the winter or not. And if it died, I think I'll be on bedrest for a week or so. I already asked PJ if he'd be there to catch me if I learn that Mike's tree died over the winter. He keeps assuring me that it's not dead, just taking a while to show its buds.

Who the fuck knows.

This morning, though, Dr. Diana called. At a very welcome time. She's in Florida in the hospital. Her husband, Richard, had his gall bladder removed and she's waiting for them to get him settled in recovery.

She said that this time in the hospital makes her think of me - and mike - and how awful it must have been to do this job as patient advocate day in and day out for so long. Managing medications, talking to nurses, getting people on the same page, getting people to understand that YOU actually know what the fuck is going on - often better than the docs.

She also said that when she pulled into the hospital parking lot, she had a panic attack. A short one. But a real one. Sparked from the realization that she hadn't been in a hospital since Mike.

So, I'm not crazy. It's real. This physiological response that creeps in and takes over. It's real.

So, here we are. Again. In it. I usually am quite good. I usually feel that my feet are firmly on the ground. I feel appreciative for a wonderful son, and a phenomenal partner who makes me laugh and keeps me feeling alive.

But the unpredictability of that time period from March through July (particularly when our lives turned upside down in Mid-April) just haunts me sometimes. It's like PTSD. The sights, the smells, the sounds. My heart races and I want to throw up. I want to run away. I want to go to sleep. It's fucking awful.

But I survived it when it was actually happening, so I'll trudge my through it yet again.

Thanks for listening. Now off to teach.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sending you LOTS of BIG HUGS!!!

This too shall pass....

Anonymous said...

You are doing an incredible job. Just incredible. And you need to know this: all of us who were 'there' and in and out of the hospital really have a small understanding of what you are going through. Guess what? These repressed emotions are surfacing in some of 'us', also. I know not to what extent in each, but I know to some extent.

My advice: In this very unique situation, the resurgence of our human emotions is very normal and VERY healthy. We have to face them, then let them rest while we made a new life for each of us. Oh, 'the anxiety' and feeling will come back from time to time, each time with a little more self assurance that each of 'us' and 'you' gave it y/our ALL. And, you had better believe that WE DID!!!!!!!

So, hang in there and find joy in PJ and Bax. It will happen.

Oddles of love

Anonymous said...

A few us us have talked and you would NOT believe what a aub conscious impact Mike has had on us on a daily basis. I see humor and laugh a lot more.

How about YOU out there?

Could someone else comment on this?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the clip. It was wonderful, tears and all. Maybe not how you would have had it in a perfect world, but so much more human. There is a fine line between comedy and tragedy as you know. And didnt anyone there own a tissue?(LOL). Kept waitng for one to appear and they just sat there!!
Keep this safe. Baxter wont remember being there and he should view this someday.
Jalena

P. S. I forget its warmer here quicker than there and things bloom and leaf earlier. Have my fingers crossed that the tree will blossom out with buds any day now.

Anonymous said...

It's ok to be in it. Give in to the sadness. Surrender.

You will rise again, Danna.

Love,
Marianne

Heide said...

Here is your friend, the most non-green thumb-er out there, to tell you that the Crape Myrtle tree does not bloom until LATE LATE summer. When buying it, I remember the guy at the nursery pounding it into my head, making sure I did not freak out in the spring and wonder if the tree died. The tree is fine. It will bloom when all the other trees look boring.

Perhaps you have a touch of PTSD, my dear Danna? Dunno if that helps you asses your "in it" situation, but I hope it does. What you went thru and WITNESSED, especially in those last few weeks, was traumatic and will stay with you. Its not how you want to remember Mike, I know. I do know that you are becoming an expert in keeping all the wonderful memories you have alive and I hope one day they will cancel out the bad ones.

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