Saturday, April 16, 2016

The body remembers when the mind forgets


I've been having hideous anxiety for the past two weeks, and I couldn't figure out what was causing it. There didn't seem to be anything going on in my life that would trigger the kind of "anxiety so bad I think I'm having a heart attack" that I have been experiencing.

Then this memory came up in Facebook's memory app, and I posted it with commentary to my FB page:
And it occurred to me that I've never publicly told the story of the weeks between Jay's discharge from NIH and our return home. So here goes:

At the time Jay was discharged, he was having severe eating problems. The chemo used in the trial to knock his immune system down left him with unending nausea, which caused him to throw up most of what he ate, which led to him being completely deconditioned to eating.

It was in this condition that he was discharged from NIH, although he'd had at least one day of good meals and good sleep, so the consensus was that he would be OK. I disagreed with this decision, but it was made nonetheless.

We spent some time with Jay's dad and (step)mom after Jay's discharge and before they returned to Portland. It was a meal-to-meal struggle with Jay, but it was good to have help.

At one point between discharge on March 26 and our return to Portland on April 16, he and I traveled to the Maryland shore for a week. Hence the picture of the beach at the top of this post.

For that week, I was solely responsible for keeping him alive. I was terrified. We were four hours away from his doctors if anything had happened. We were in a resort town during the off-season, with unknown resources to take care of him in an emergency.

The recent two weeks of abject anxiety I've been having are an echo of that terror, written into my body even when my mind had utterly forgotten.

Things were a little better when we got back to Bethesda, although there was something in the house where we were staying that set Jay's cough off, so we had to move back to the hotel we'd been staying in originally.

I was so grateful when Jay's dad came back to Rockville, and then even more so when we got back to Portland and back to our support system.

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