Trigger: 2019 It’s About Time

(I wrote this over Christmas break but never shared… late, but here it is anyways :) )

Trigger.

Finger’s always there… cocked, ready.

Pull!

Clay shatters… grey like my brain. Hits the target, sprays, explodes. 

But there aren’t any clay pigeons. 2018 brought live targets…

Christmas, then night one in the hospital. No electrodes, no leeds, no glue rubbing raw my scalp. But an IV, oxygen, and chest monitors… My husband. His turn. Again. 

He can’t breathe, gasping for air; I hold mine in, grasping for answers. CT scans, EKGs, blood tests. Nope, not a panic attack. Not stress. This is something entirely different. 

The stabbing pain, the shortness of breath, the anvil on your chest- clots. Two huge ones, left lung, right lung. Oh, and a third.

What do you know about Pulmonary Embolisms? 

What??? I know my husband can’t breathe. I know two weeks ago he dislocated his knee and tore his ACL. Then he spent Christmas Eve and Christmas puking, and this morning he drove himself to the ER. I know he had cancer earlier this year. I know he’s tired of hospitals. I know he’s nursed me through countless nights. I know our son picks up on everything and acts out when this happens. I know I’m not strong enough to manage it all myself. And I know I’ve had enough.

But this? I know nothing.

I know each breath sounds like the end of a sit up with an “huh” sound. I know he’s crumbling. I know the man who holds this family together is finally allowing himself to cry. I know he’s had a year he doesn’t deserve. And I know he’s tired. 

But this? We know nothing. 

2018- what a learning curve. And while I sit here holding his hand, I don’t want to take a deep breath. I try everything I can to fight it; to not do in front of him what he can’t do for himself.

Why? Nobody knows. 

And so we wait. And night. Him in a bed, me on a cot, nothing to do but stare at each other…

I’d take his pain in a heartbeat. I’d trade places with him any day. I can’t bear to see him so defeated… The man who always smiles, who pushes through, he’s stopped. Crashed. 

The doctor- it could be his cancer from earlier this year, it could be the leg injury. We don’t know.

Always “we don’t know.” I want an answer. One of us needs a reason. Don’t give me “we don’t know.” I’m tired of that bullshit. We live “I don’t know” with epilepsy every day. Give me soooooomething. 

Then he passes out. Red alarms, flat notes of noise punctuated by the length of monotonous sound. Slumped forward, chin to chest, arms dangling. Where is he? Oxygen plummets, blood pressure 70/32. Slap his face, wake him up, start to breathe, beg please. 

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

Our 2018- just breathe. Please. 

Hands everywhere, a flurry of bodies, and he does. He’s back… the steady beeps resume. Machines purr. The pounding of nurses running replaced by thankful sighs and murmurs retreating.

This? I know nothing. 

I’ve never seen him broken. 

Him in a bed, me in a cot. Nothing to do but stare at each other.

Trigger.

Finger’s always there… cocked, ready.

Pull!

Clay shatters… grey like my brain. Hits the target, sprays, explodes. 

And I seize. Too much weight. Not my job, it’s his. Always his. That’s how we work, keep going. Function. 

Staccato whispers: “Megan, go home.” (Wheeze.) “Can’t have you seizing. I’m fine.” (Gasp.) He closes his eyes, opens them, “Please.” 

Why do I have to leave him?… He’s never left me. Never walked out while I was terrified. But I know he’s right. I’m no use like this. I need sleep. I can’t be two people at once… how do I? I’m angry. I’m exhausted. Tired of putting on a happy face. I want to be here for my husband, but I can’t. I’m so f*cking angry. And empty. Epilepsy, cancer, this. 

I know nothing… And I go.

Home, phone rings. Gasps. Need another CT scan, limb sonograms. What the hell? Why when I’m not there???? Wwwhhhhyyyy??? 

Seize, seize, seize. 

Breathe breathe breathe, Megan. He won’t tell you anything if he knows. 

My eyes roll back as I try to hold the phone… hearing his strangled whisper… I jerk, shatter. Pray I maintain consciousness for his ignorance. 

The phone rolls on my pillow and my head knocks against it. Seizing, seizing. No words. We listen to each other breathe. Or try. Both begging for air. And give up.

Goodnight. 

 

—————————————-

We got to come home day four. And now it’s New Year’s eve. I’m ready to bury 2018. Not because it hasn’t taught us more about ourselves, more about the two of us as a couple, and more about what we each individually can handle, but because I can’t bear to see my husband suffering. I guess I’ve grown accustomed to having a chronic illness and it’s just a part of my daily life. But I know he makes it easier. And when he doesn’t work, we don’t work.

We are lucky. We fought cancer this year, and won. We have always fought epilepsy, and even though it’s still here, we’ve won. And now, we will fight this, together. We are so blessed to have each other, our son, our parents and an incredible group of friends… 

I share this because it makes me feel better, not to complain. In fact, having sat in hospital rooms now for extended periods of time, I always think about the incredible parents I know who have done that for their children, spouses, loved ones with epilepsy. And those who have battled other diseases and do it for their family members. And those who have chronic illnesses and deal with them day in and day out. I don’t believe things happen for a reason… I think they just happen. But I do believe Brian and I are truly blessed. No matter what we battle together, we do it just that – together. And we could not be more grateful for the love of those who surround us. We are so not worthy… and that’s what we’ve realized with each trial this year.

So, to 2018, I say adios. You are over and done. In 2019, we will have surgery and tests, and uncertainty as a result, but that’s it. Nothing more. I’m tired, but never too tired to fight, for I, we, have been given too much to fight for.

To you and yours in 2019 with all the love we have,

The Davis Family 

One thought on “Trigger: 2019 It’s About Time

Add yours

  1. Your posts always humble me to my core…. I’m so in awe of the internal stength you both possess. 2019 will be a better year- bring some consistent peace, full of happy moments you both deserve! Love you guys!

    Like

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