Saturday, September 24th 2016 – 12:51 am
She has no heart on her sleeve
where I feel one should be
Yet never stuck in her throat
or locked under key
Her alone I capture
and dare to name Free
so she’ll slay such savage
that I might become me
I flip over to my left and my maybe mostly asleep Amy mimics me. Her hairs flips up and out and over and down. They softly spread and silently settle onto my pillow and my skinny arm. I leave them there. I love them there. Every time. But like the grass of the field, like every one of our twenty seven years together, I know they will quickly disappear. Soon enough. I hold my breath.
“Good Lord. If I had only known your father would be nonstop health problems for twenty seven years, I never would have said yes to him!” my lovely spouse said. Out loud. To our completely unsurprised daughter.
“And that that that that that… that right there is how how how you almost weren’t born,” I stutter to my firstborn.
“I just didn’t tell your your your mother about all my shit. I’m an idiot, but I’m not stupid.”
I wobble my head in the general direction of my still lovely spouse and I try to assure and comfort her. “Look. Remember you sssssssaid said said… you said I keep making you sssssound too saintly and perfect on my website. Well then… wwwwe… we will will will… we will fix that when I write my next post.”
I barely get an eyebrow raise, but it is enough to make me smile. Her eyebrow goes up more.
“Hold onto your walker or your cane, your choice. Go slow. Just do whatever you have to do to not fall. I’m not able to catch you,” the new doctor warned me this morning.
I know you can’t catch me. That’s why Amy is here, dummy
After I nail my Frankenstein impression, the shiny new neurologist sits me again upon my walker and she grills me even further. We both know I don’t have much time. No, not that kind of time. Well, maybe. Who knows. But we know I only have precious minutes to explain ugly years. And then the doctor has to run away to the next room. I was never fast enough to catch my thousand almost-not-useless doctors in time. I’ve also tried, but have never quite captured time itself… in time. But this doctor hesitates for just a moment and suddenly sees me.
It is surprisingly easy to look someone in the eyes. Just stop looking through them. Stop silencing them. Quit rushing off to every other see-through person in your hurried story. Maybe you’re not the main character, after all.
The doctor’s face softens. I steady my shaking head and try to look at her.
“I’ve watched you closely for the last forty five minutes. I know this is real and you’re not malingering,” she says.
Mal… maling… what the ffff… what even is… what is even… that sounds like a mortal sin or something
Thoughts are now such labor. My mind mumbles more than my mouth.
“But how can it account for my my my my my my my mmmmyyyyyy months of memory loss and my my my… my… goddammit…” I so articulately ask her.
She assures me, “It could account for much or all of it. The seizures and speech problems. And it could all be connected. The addictive personality from the youngest age. Your decades of nerve pain. Your recent diagnosis of PTSD from years of abuse. Your quitting drinking after such an excessive amount for many years. And your… Mr. Shene… even all your blackouts.”
Do I trust the sleek white coats more than the holy blackedout robes? All those thoughts and prayers and labs and guesses. The hell memory and Hail Mary passes.
“Think of it as if it were the software of your brain that is corrupt, not the hardware,” she almost explains.
Oh God, what if this is Safe Mode?
I’m sweating from the isometric hell I put myself through every moment I am in public. I was already at my lightest in thirty years when I came in one month ago. Today, I was another fifteen pounds lighter. I am in single digit body fat and suppose I finally look amazing, aside from looking fucking awful. At least I can say that I also feel terrible.
My mind overheats yet again. I bluescreen and reboot reboot reboot.
After hours of stuttering and seizing, I’m finally sitting and stewing motionless on the sofa with my spouse. Care of medical cannabis, I can carefully articulate. The stuttering stops. I even approach forming intelligent points to go with my words this time. Earlier this morning, the neurologist said aside from the marked loss and dark spots over the last three months, my long term memory is remarkable. She called me an “historian”.
Great. I’ll add that moniker to my newly nonexistent business cards.
“She’s wrong, you know,” I tell my wife. “Even if she is right, she’ll be wrong. It’s so sad. I kinda feel bad for her. It’s not her fault, but she doesn’t have a chance. I am a black hole for medical competency. I’ve never had a doctor that didn’t immediately become a dumbass and a mumbling moron once they tried to figure out anything with my health. Twenty years now.”
“What about the one that took the lump out of your chest last year and said it probably wouldn’t be cancer and they were right?” Amy asks me. A little too smugly. “Just saying.”
I raise an eyebrow. She doesn’t even look.
We already spent hours reading together about functional neurological symptom disorder and conversion disorder. The still shiny neurologist tries to encourage us that this is still very serious, but it could be more hopeful than another neurodegenerative disease. She warns us that it does not discount other possible physiological contributors that we simply have not uncovered yet.
They only run tests for what can be treated. That leaves a lot of leftovers and straw grasping. We can barely hope she is not simply giving up and copping out.
“Don’t be mad at her when she is wrong and they have to name a new dis…”
“Stop it,” Amy says softly. “Just… just shush. I have to believe they might be right for once. I just have to be able to hope in something right now.”