I feel like I cannot go to work or see people out in public. Over the last several days, every time I think of work or meetings that I have to go to, a burning sensation crawls up through my neck and behind my ears. Shortly after, the nausea starts. It is happening now just writing about it.
If I read for too long, the informations swarms behind my face, and I feel that I will drown in the too-muchness of it all. I turn to television, but it only seems to speak of heartbreak and violence with the occasional laugh track to tell us when the heartbreak or violence is funny. Food does not fill the holes it once did, and so I find myself craving hybrid foods that do not exist: fudge brownies that are like chocolate ice cream but do not hurt my teeth, donuts that are more like vegetarian spring rolls but still sweet, baklava that is more like mango chutney.
I like the things that I do outside of the house. There is no reason to be made so ill at the thought of them, but here I am, burning and nauseous. The same thing started happening to me late last January. I stayed at home for a week from work, battling my body's stress signals just to make it to the bathroom. Since then, I take a medication at a low dose, and it worked well until I had a total laparoscopic hysterectomy in early July. It has proved less and less effective as time goes on, and now I feel that I am almost back where I started in January.
This week, I am going to make an appointment with my doctor to discuss an increase in my medication. Until early last week, when asked how I was, my reply was the usual Fine, and yourself?. Only a week later, it hurts to be asked that question. It makes me reflect on myself, which I sincerely do not want to do right now. I want to sleep or watch television. I do not want to know how I am feeling. It only complicates what would otherwise be a perfectly good flatline.
This is the reality of my illness that I have avoided confronting. Medications are not always perfect. I am not always perfect. If a treatment does seem perfect at first, that does not mean that it will always be perfect. This is the nature of life and change, but I do not want to fit this illness into human reality like that. I want it to be a tidy package, like a chair or a stop sign. I want it to be one unchangeable thing that I can rearrange when necessary.
I prefer to look at myself through a false lens, one that sees me as someone recovering, but it is becoming clearer and clearer to me that that is not the case. I am not recovering. This thing, this illness, is a part of my life, and going back to my doctor to alter the dose of my medication is a big step for me in admitting this to myself. I usually throw up my hands and run away when treatment does not succeed the way I had hoped. By staying the course, I am saying Yes to something to which I do not want to say yes.
I do not want to say yes, and yet I must do it.
There should be a place
where all the undesireds are winnowed out,
and we are pared down to our best essentials,
like naked babies before their first poop,
wholes before they fall to their first chaos.
I do not want to say yes.