I am not sure where to begin with this one. It’s been quite a week.
I was having back pain and it hurt to breathe so I assumed that I pulled something. I went to our local ER and that turned into an ambulance ride to a different hospital and that turned into being in the hospital for three days. I had a pulmonary embolism. Before you gasp and hurt yourself, this was not my first PE. In fact, I have had many, many blood clots find their way into my lungs. I’m not sure how I’m still here but I’m grateful that is the case.
The thing that is different about this time is that I was on medication to prevent blood clots. Yet here I was in the hospital with another PE. My blood clotting condition had gone to new heights, not in a good way. Three things owned my worry at that point:
- Doug. I had left for a quick errand and now I would not be home for days. I called his tribe and they took over. His meals were made, he got walks, he got play time and I got lots of video proof that my boy was just fine. This was perhaps the best of all the medicine.
- That I was suddenly not safe. That I could clot and/or perhaps die at any minute. This feeling has not gone away yet. Its heavy and scary and I’m still working on this one.
- That there was a clot at all. After you have situations like this, the event itself is less scary. I knew it would be painful, I knew it would be some time of not feeling well but it occurred, I survived, and the doctors were taking care of it. This is not me making light of anything, it’s just a reality that I live with.
I came home to a well fed and very loved Doug. My not feeling well pretty much went unnoticed by him, he still wanted to jump on me and ride my back and eat my hair. In some ways, although more painful than usual, it helps to have a dog that is of the everything is normal and great, let’s go!.
A few days later, on Thanksgiving, I got a migraine, because why wouldn’t I. Then decided to decorate the Christmas tree and had to come face-to-face with all my Jakey decorations. One year ago I had to deal with Melvin’s ornaments and now dealing with Jake’s made pulling both of their decorations out of the box sting so much more. I wanted Jake to be here. I wanted him on the couch as I decorated the tree. He wasn’t supposed to die. So I cried and I got overwhelmed because the week had been hard enough and well to be honest, because I felt sorry for myself and I gave in that it was ok to feel defeated. Now, the tree is up. The boy’s decorations are on there. I survived a blood clot, a migraine and another painful grief moment. This week had to let go of me eventually. Then I looked at the calendar.
Yesterday was Jake’s gotcha day. I miss him more than I am afraid to die.
Here is the thing though, being scared and overwhelmed and sad, those are human emotions and I am going to feel those things because, well because last time I checked I am still human. But they aren’t who I am. I can’t stay there because I believe in joy. I’m committed to joy. When the boys died I promised them that I would carry on. When I feel afraid, my first instinct is to wonder when or how I can feel brave again. When I feel beaten down I think, I’m still here, get up. When I think of Jake and Melvin, I know it’s ok to be sad, but I desperately want to feel warmth during thoughts of them both. Joy takes work. Sometimes chasing joy is the last thing I want to do and often I have no energy to even try but then I realize, it’s the only way. Joy haunts me. When I look at the tree now, those ornaments that brought tears, bring smiles, because Melvin and Jake were here, they were right here with me and I had precious time with them and I also had a ridiculous amount of ornaments made with their names on them and that alone is both crazy and funny. I also think, poor Doug has no ornaments. YET!
I had written Jake’s last gotcha letter before the health events. I will finish that up and post it tomorrow. Everyday I will celebrate quietly that he came to me. He was here. That there was and always will be, great Jakey love.
And I’ll leave you with this. On the tree decorating day, after the hospital stay and the migraine and all the ornament ugly crying. I sat on the couch exhausted and Doug started jumping on me and I said out loud but calmly, I need Melvin. Five minutes later Doug allowed me to lay down and he snuggled with me on the couch as I cried and I napped, for the rest of the day.