Once I left the office, I fell into a mental black hole so deep that I could barely focus. Why was I so upset? All I know is that I walked down the street and barely noticed anyone or anything. It was around then that I realized how cold it was, so I got some coffee. This was obviously before the “everything tastes and smells terrible, especially coffee,” phase began. The longer I stood on that line, the more exhausted I felt. The two nights without my medicine had found me and decided to punish me. I walked a few more blocks until I physically felt that I was about to fall onto the sidewalk. That snapped me back to reality. I was in a neighborhood I didn’t know and a long way from home. Hailing a cab turned out to be one of the best things I could have done. The gentleman that pulled up clearly saw how upset I was. The next thing I knew, he was out of the car, helping me into the backseat. When I gave him my destination, he told me that he grew up in the area and knew exactly where we were going. He chatted with me the whole way home. He told me about his job: the customers that were nice, those who fought with him and how all he wanted was to go safely home every night to his family. He has a wife and two young sons. The stories he told me about driving a cab would scare anyone. There was a lull in our conversation as we passed the Freedom Tower and 9/11 memorial. But then he laughed and said that he was so glad he found me when he did, that it seemed we both needed cheering up. There was something in that moment that made me aware that my poker face needs improvement. In any case, I thanked God for that diversion. I wish him well.
Once I got home, I took the increased dose of my medication and was basically knocked out. My husband woke me when he arrived home from work. I do not remember most of that night. I felt groggy and could barely put words together. Later on, he said it was like the time I’d had three wisdom teeth removed at once. The aftermath of heavy anesthesia. It wasn’t a good night.
The next day was Friday. I slept a lot. I remember being in pain. My back felt exactly as it had after my spine surgery in 2009. Imagine having your back broken. Now imagine being made to walk around the recovery room a few hours post-op. Yup, that’s the level of pain we’re talking about. I was hot and then cold. Standing up was next to impossible, I barely accomplished sitting up. But my husband made sure I was hydrated and taking all of my meds. At some point, my husband called the doctor and asked about my condition. He wasn’t sure if it was withdrawal or if this was me adjusting to new doses of my meds. They said we should plan a trip to the ER for confirmation if it would reassure us. Since the idea of leaving my bed, let alone the apartment, was absolutely abhorrent, we decided to wait it out. Besides, any trip to the ER would inevitably involve waiting around for hours, probably in a cold waiting room. That was not an ideal scenario, especially for someone with RSD.
Thank God for my husband. If he hadn’t been as vigilant and loving as he always is, I cannot even imagine how those seven days would have been. Shout out to all of the caregivers. You do things you never planned on, willingly, and keep us going. We had no idea that we’d be living “in sickness and in health” – hard core – for the better part of our union.
This brings us to the week of the proposed replacement surgery. Plans changed. Being without morphine brought layers of hell I’d only read about, but a mental clarity I wasn’t aware was missing.
I’ll leave it there for now.
To be continued……..
Peace & painlessness.