The next day, we were able to take everyone swimming. Same story. I started out feeling better, but a slight movement of my head sent everything spinning, and I spent the rest of the time just lightly playing with our youngest on the shallow steps.
Scary and sad, scary and sad are just the rhythms of the day. Especially as I wait for real answers.
And I can look out into the world and see people still living-living normally. And it hurts that it feels so far away now.
Chronic illness is a barrier. It's an intruder, a rapist, a thief. Mixed into that, growing up in dysfunction sends you the message that you really are only as good as the stuff you can do for other people.
Waiting for this next round of tests, one of which will be done without access to my arrhythmia medication, I've kind of uncovered some feelings of depression. I'd had some signs for a long time, since my last miscarriage a little over three years ago. I stopped being able to enjoy doing things I'd felt I was decent at or had any meaning to me. Eventually, I was unable to create anything not motivated by a grade. I'm still fighting that.
I stopped taking care of my hair, except in small bouts, and just wore it up in a mess of dreadlocks. Often overcome by pain or fatigue, I don't cook the way I could before. I don't want to make art, I don't want to write. My safety net is that having kids forces you to be out in the world, and that does help, but it feels impossible more often than it ever used to before as you struggle to sleep, to move around, to eat, to prepare. And so few seem to understand.
But you keep fighting. Fighting while waiting. And trying to figure out what sort of balance you need to set in your life for as long as you have to live it.
One thing for certain is that I, finally, need to take care of myself.