Insomniac Ramblings

The past twelve days are like a mist to me. I am emerging, but swirls clutch my ankle still, and I can neither penetrate the fog behind nor the darkness ahead.

Five days and four nights in a sterile, cold hospital surrounded by very old women, rushing doctors and bullying nurses. In between a CT scan, new pain medications, a chest x-ray, endless blood tests, hunger, bright lights, a nightmare 50-minute, claustrophobic MRI scan, loneliness, waiting and pain I lay and thought for hours on end about death, and growing old.

Home at last, the smells of real life assaulting my sterilised nostrils, without anti-nausea medication coming through an IV line and a nurse plying me with blood pressure tests and pain medication every two hours, I stumbled. Life was edging back and I didn’t have mechanisms to deal with it any more.

I am emerging, crawling forward, slowly. I have weaned myself off medication. I can stand upright for extended and increasing periods of time. I can shower – oh! how I missed being able to shower, and brush my teeth, that first week – and eat meals sitting with my family. The doctors found very little, and in the absence of tumours or anything more sinister, have left a discharge note of ‘most likely atypical migraine’, which sounds so banal, leaving me doubtful and wondering what to expect of the future.

I don’t feel able to express this experience, or my emotions, or my overwhelming sorrow that threatens again and again to drown me. It isn’t specific, and it leaks out in thoughts of old heart wounds, missing loved ones, hopeless, pointless wishes that I could have had a daughter, and my desperate need to comfort my little boys, who aren’t well. Nothing, in the instant of my child crying, is more important to me than to soothe and comfort, and remember my mother cradling me just so. Love, doubtless, begets love; her endless caring is entirely instinctive within me. I miss her all the time.

14 thoughts on “Insomniac Ramblings

  1. Creeping out of your nightmare still, my love… amazing how hospitals, which are supposed to nurture you better, cannot provide what your home and family can. But the demands of home are also back with your little boys needing you. I hope you can balance your needs with theirs appropriately.
    x E

  2. I dropped by to leave you a note as you hadn’t posted for a while, and found you’d just posted this (not yet arrived in my email box). Such a horrible, nightmarish experience you’ve had. I feel for you so, and this brought tears to my eyes. Such horrible times you are having. I do so hope you gradually begin to feel stronger emotionally and physically and heal a little each day.

    1. Thank you for the thought, and noticing my absence, as well as for your note. I look forward to catching up on any posts from you during my time offline, perhaps over the weekend. Healing is always a slow, and never entirely linear process, but yes, I am certainly heading in the right direction now, and trying to be more accepting of the slow pace…

  3. I hope you get through this time of difficulty, just know it is not the end or even near it. Even if there are no straight forward answers there is much to be grateful for. Your family is there for you as you are for them. I have faith that you will get through this. Be strong…

  4. Hi Laurel,
    What an awful experience you’ve had with this unknown illness. I’m sending positive visions of your full recovery. I hope this was indeed an “atypical migraine” that never returns.
    As for your “Insomniac Ramblings” — your writing remains simply beautiful.
    Hugs, Ruth

    1. Thanks Ruth! I am hoping each day that recovery is just over the horizon, and counting down to a much-needed holiday (only 7 days to go)… Maybe holiday sun will bring healing too. I haven’t left a comment yet but delighted in your latest post, and still want to find the time to explore more of your older ones.

  5. I’m catching up on some of your postings. I empathize with you. Two years ago I also had a nightmare week in the hospital, and that’s no exaggeration. I, too, am blogging about some of my recent experiences in one of my two blogs. Is blogging helping with your healing? I’m also learning many tools to address both physical and emotional pain. It certainly isn’t easy and I feel for you.

    1. Sorry I have been so slow to reply! I will catch up on your blogs properly soon! Yes I think blogging did help a little, though I haven’t felt able to access the part of me that writes very much… I hoping it will return soon…

  6. My heart hurts as I read through this post. The feeling of uncertainty and lack of a clear diagnosis so scary.
    Having loved one to support and love you through it must have helped a great deal.
    I feel for you and hear you.

    1. Little did I know at the time that there will still many month of pain, misdiagnosis and uncertainty (and hospitals!) ahead before a correct diagnosis and treatment finally appeared, but yes, certainly love and support were there everything step of the way, thank goodness.

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