Monday, November 28, 2011

Keeping it Real

How am I really? Har. I have a benign brain tumor. No really, I’m currently not on any medication other than Benadryl and vitamins. I’m trying to tamp down the allergic reactions I normally have with the Benadryl, and I’m trying to support myself nutritionally and with an added boost. My face, I am apparently actually vain about it, has shrunken down to its normal cheery roundness. I no longer have strange aches and pains in my legs. I no longer have a web-like red rash all over my body.

That said, I’m tired. I am unable to tolerate very much disruption these days. My kids were home with me this weekend, and I failed as an organizing principle and entertainment wizard. I foisted responsibilities and gave up perfectly good opportunities to share experiences in favor of lying in bed and staring at the ceiling. I let my mom take them out of the house on Sunday and did not volunteer to join in. This is not my normal mode of operation. This is the antithesis of me. The only consolation I have about this is that maybe this is not the new normal. Maybe this is something that will pass, but I don’t know when or how.

That not knowing is pretty frustrating. This morning I had a dream of entering a hospital that was no less intense than a Hollywood contract negotiation. There were a million documents to sign and agree to, and in the dream there were twin lawyers who wanted to know just what the extent of my expectations for recovery were, and were not interested in agreeing to my bright prognosis. They wanted to create a hedge fund that would diversify the estimates for success. They offered me ample evidence to second guess my intentions. Luckily, the hospital was decorated with my grandfather’s paintings, paintings I’d never seen before and I took that as the single most important piece of information pointing to a good omen.

These days I feel as if I’m in a battle with a super-human Amanda who is used to working on so many different levels it isn’t funny to lowly little ol’ me, who has aptitude, but only for single-minded tasks. I am aware that I am in a holding pattern here and running out of fuel while this battle rages. Super-human Amanda is the one who is frustrated by the delays and the reactions and the exclusion from normal activity. Little ol’ me is biding time, being deceptively non-chalant about what can be done and what has to be dropped as if this is a thing I’m really good at -- choosing priorities.

When I don’t choose fast enough the result is nearly immediate. I end up with a headache to beat the band. I end up unable to get myself to sleep. I end up having the blood boil at the surface of my skin, turning me a Barbie hue that only recedes with bed rest. This is forcing me to be much more ruthless in my non-chalance about commitments and plans. This forces me to encourage my kids’ independence more forcefully than ever (my son noted that my temper is a lot shorter - but what he doesn’t realize is that I’m desperate to know that they’ll be okay no matter what unfolds).

Tomorrow I hope I will get a new lease on life from an allergist. I’m hoping that he’ll be better than any other allergist I’ve ever seen, and will come up with an answer about the anti-seizure medication conundrum. I’m hoping that he won’t lower my expectations for full recovery, or hedge his bets with shrugs and concerned looks like my neurologist. In short, I’m hoping for a minor miracle with the bigger miracles to be formed just around the corner of time.

That’s how I am today.

1 comment:

MarcusP said...

Oh, Amanda, I am so sorry to hear this! All good thought possible coming your way, and please let me know if there's anything we can do...