I settled back into the hospital grade Lazy Boy and took in my surroundings. I looked out the window to the same river stone covered rooftop that I saw from the birthing center only 6 months ago. I was just on the other side of the building now; this time at least I could see blue sky and patches of the green tree line. All too familiar with the process of infusion this was my first time at my country hospitals Day IV unit.
It made the same effort towards comfort as the treatment center at The University of Pennsylvania where I brought my father for his Chemo 12 years ago. The only major difference was the cozy size of the room in which I now sat. Only four chairs instead of the countless rows of cubbies, tubes and stands at the large hospital...the drone of the hundred or so infusion boxes pumping away.
Now it was just me, just my tubes and droning and pumping.
The paralysing fear of a few weeks ago finally settled into bitter acceptance. While I have been plagued by problems in my right foot for years, the numbness on the bottom of my toes and in the arch of my foot was definitively new.
That is one of the things about MS. It keeps you guessing. New symptom or not new? Sick or not sick? When do you call for help?
For me the final straw was last Thursday when I realized that each time the tingles in my leg and foot subsided I had just lost a little bit more sensation. For me, I call when the fear of damage out weighs the fear of treatment.
Spouse and I were in a heated discussion about the complications of treatment. We were making the short list of the people who could maybe, possibly lend us a hand with the baby so I could get help. The phone rang and it was one of my best friends, my blanket girl (that is what I call my ladies, blanket girls) Uma. She was calling to say hello; rare that we get that chance in our busy lives.
My question was immediate, a teacher she was just starting her summer vacation.
Could she come?
The answer, as it always is with old trusted friends. Of course.
I was rattled with guilt when I hung up the phone. Her husbands birthday, gas prices, her second job...the things which people sacrifice for dear friends. For friends who are family.
I was distracted over the weekend with yet another trip to New Jersey. When we returned home my pending infusion of 'The Juice' (Solumedrol steroids) was all I could focus on. I whined until I made myself sick. I promised Spouse as we lay in bed Sunday night that in the morning I would 'Mom Up', I would suck it up and get it done.
The infusion was much smoother then I anticipated. The advantage of moving to a small town. I read my book uninterrupted and reacquainted myself with the cool sensation of the IV drip and the taste of dirty nickels flooding my senses.
That is a fun side effect of The Juice, your mouth and nose filled with spare change. Your skin crawling from the foreign substance flowing into your veins. The oncoming hot flashes and ravenous bouts of hunger.
The being wide awake at 4AM to blog about being wide awake at 4AM.
My guilt and fears are subsiding. Uma and Riley adore each other. Riley is taking to the bottle and the formula (just as long as it is 98.6 degrees...that one took a little while to figure out).
I have lingering bits of fear over loosing my milk, over my sweet little girl weaning herself this week. But I know now that there is nothing I can do. I have no choice, she needs me healthy more then she needs to breast feed. My heart broke a little when I nursed her for the last time before leaving for the hospital. She curled against my skin and I stroked her hair. She let out a deep satisfied sigh and she stroked me back.
I am exhausted. Terrible that my doctors tell me to rest all the while giving me a drug that makes it impossible. I am exhausted, but I am amped.
I will eat, I will pump and then I will go curl myself around a sleeping Spouse and wait for morning.
Another day of being away from my baby and in a plastic covered Lazy Boy. Another day of dirty nickels and a patch of green tree line.
I look forward to another day closer to life returning to normal and pretending that this week never happened.