- Whenever I made a dinner I wondered who would cook for Jeremy if I wasn't here to do it.
- Every time I ran I pushed myself hard, realizing I wouldn't be able to run at all during my recovery.
- I cherished every bedtime snuggle because I had to battle irrational thoughts about how my kids just wouldn't be able to function if I weren't present to complete the bedtime ritual with them every single night of their lives.
I thought about all the things I am proud of: my education, my career, my insane devotion to cats, the perfect little family of four, my volunteer efforts, the travels, the passionate conversations, other secrets I won't share here...and I realized, IT WASN'T ENOUGH. None of it was epic enough. I vacillated between being fatalistic and thinking about my own funeral and feeling an intense will to survive and work harder to make my life meaningful.
Of course it's normal to have existential struggles when you are facing significant medical issues, but normalizing it doesn't make it any easier to deal with. I think I had my first (and only) actual panic attack during this time. It was mid-September and I was making dinner. I was putting away dishes and had two boiling pots on the stove and the radio on. Ava was asking me questions about her homework and Alex was buzzing around the kitchen one hundred miles an hour, as he typically does. While putting a glass in the cabinet I heard my uncle honk outside (he always announces his arrival this way). Alex ran out the door with no coat on and I yelled after him to get back in the house, which he ignored. Immediately after that I jammed my finger on the hardware on the cabinet. I hit it in this odd way and it made the skin of my finger split. I knew immediately that I wasn't injured badly and didn't need stitches. Nonetheless,the sight of the blood pumping out made me feel ill. I am usually never squeamish like this, but I felt instantly nausea as my heart pounded quickly and I had trouble getting enough air to breathe. I suddenly felt like I was in this terrifying vacuum and I would never recover. Ava came to look it over -and ever the calm chickadee that she is-said, "you better grab a band-aid" before promptly returning to her room. I sat down at the kitchen table and tried to get my breathing back under control. I kept thinking, for eff's sake, Mindi, you are a counselor, get it together!!! Jeremy came home from work and certainly thought I had gone off the deep end when he pulled into the drive and saw Alex outside, unsupervised. When he came in the kitchen and saw me sitting at the table he knew something was definitely wrong. As he usually does, he made me feel like
it's completely acceptable to act wack-a-doodle-doo.
|Pucker up, Jebby|
|Jer was so annoyed with my kissy pictures|
|We heart Durty Gurt's|
|Isn't this sign the coolest?|