take a deep breath.

Life can change in a split second. Women find out they’re pregnant. Family members die. Someone gets attacked. You have a flood. A natural disaster. My life changed, even though I didn’t realise it at the time, when my husband had a car accident. It wasn’t too bad. He drove himself straight home. He was fine, walking, talking, like any other day. Until, he wasn’t. Excruciating headaches, memory loss, chest pain, dizziness, depression – all have become daily realities to us. All because someone just wasn’t paying attention and drove into my stationary husband at 60mph. We got the compensation, and life moves on, people move on, we have to move on. Struggling through every single day; him with his health issues, and me with the overwhelming emotions that run through me. Anger, guilt, apathy, guilt again… and doing it all with a smile on our face, making sure that no one really knows whats happening. Making sure the facade is perfectly in place, that no one ever chips in too deep. This is a personal matter right, it should stay discreet, right? How very typically British.

Yesterday my husband was taken into hospital because he couldn’t breathe. The day before this he had gone for investigative tests, including an echo (an ultrasound of his heart). He was told that his chest area had been bruised from this, and as part of his heart condition, over-night he had bad convulsions leading to an extensively bruised chest area. He’s now on bed rest for a few days.

I wish I could say this was something new. But for the past 2+ years this is something we have been dealing with on an increasingly more regular basis. Doctors appointments, various tests, various diagnosis – always the same answer: more medication, less action. The latest doctor thinks he has something called ‘dysautonomia’, presenting itself mainly through ‘vaso-vagal syncope’. To me, it just seems like another doctor guessing and just shoving fancy words around, filling Gianni’s head with hope. He’ll have some more tests, the doctors will shake their heads, will say “we just don’t know what to do for you.”, increase/change his medication and send him on his way. Job done.

For the past 2 years whenever someone asks me how I’m doing, my response, without fail, is “fine.” But last night, when I was crying myself to sleep and my brain was screaming “i just can’t cope.”, I had to come to realisation that I am not “fine.” No where close. And in an attempt to cope, to have an outlet I decided to start writing this. I laid there for an hour with all these ideas in my head. I would do this anonymously. I would create an online person, a cartoon, somewhere where I could write what I want and no one would ever know. But then I thought, why? Why should I feel like admitting I’m struggling, even if it is just on a blog that no one will ever read, be this huge secret thing that I’m ashamed of.

So this is my real name. And these are my real feelings. And maybe having this outlet will just help me continue to breathe.

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