It is actually no surprise that the events of the last few years have just magnified my ability to fear and worry. When my neurologist told me to go to the ER last week, tears just poured from my eyes. The kids were about to walk in the door from school. She said "we will both just sleep better tonight for you to go get a CT and make sure you aren't hemorrhaging." I could barely talk. Maggie walks through the door and immediately notices that I am not alright. She begins to cry too when I tell her that I just need to go to the hospital to get my head checked--that I have another strange headache the doctor wants me to get checked out. She turns 8 this weekend. She seems so much older and mature all of a sudden as she says, "Mommy, sometimes when you go the hospital they don't let you come home." Her words were like a knife in my heart. All this time, I have been so impressed by her resilience. Her ability to continue to go on with her life like everything is okay. But it was in this moment that I realized--she gets this--she understands that I've been sick and can get sick again.
The drive to the ER was like deja vu. The walk to the doors seemed so similar to a year ago. They immediately ran stroke protocol on me--what month is it? who's the President? where are you? close your eyes and raise your arms in front of you. I know all these questions by heart now. They ask them a lot after a brain injury. As we sat in the waiting room, my head pounding, all I could think was the worst case scenario. Do I have a brain tumor? When will I stop being able to talk or feel my limbs? Greg reminded me that I was okay. We are just here to get it checked. Breathe.
Six hours later with a dose of some pain meds in my IV and a normal CT scan, we came home. As the days went on, my strange headache seemed to get worse. The fear rising with each pound of my head. My google searches looked like this....Greg texted me a picture of this from work and told me to stop googling!
It's hard to be so scared. I never wanted to know what this type of fear felt like, and last week I lived it each and every moment. I took everything the doctor told me to take and nothing took the pain away. Finally after a dose of steroids I started at the end of last week, my headache finally started to ease. Another collective sigh of relief. Fear is so crippling. I know this won't be the last time I feel this way, but for today, I am grateful for a little less of it than last week.