April 25, 2017: The Opposite of Gloriously Boring

Just a few weeks ago, in the beginning of April, I wrote about days that blended into each other because nothing much happened. Gloriously boring I said. Well, the end of April also blends together for a reason that sits on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Nothing was boring. Every moment was charged with nervous energy and when I look back on those days, that’s all I remember, that pervasive sense of spinning out of control while needing to keep going.

But I wanted so desperately to stop spinning and slow down, and on the morning of April 25, 2017, Matt woke up and he seemed, slightly, almost, maybe a little better. He was still struggling with speech, writing, and reading, and he wasn’t exactly clear headed or witty, but he was functioning more than he had the day before and that was something; that was enough, actually. Which is funny to say because, a week earlier, I’d been panicked about these same symptoms.

When yesterday’s horror becomes today’s step in the right direction, you lose sight of which direction you’re going in. It didn’t matter, though. We grabbed whatever lifeline was thrown at us and were just happy to be going.

It seemed, at this point, as if Duke had been right in telling me to give the steroid time to work. Patience (a virtue I do not possess) had been the key all along. Matt went to work; he didn’t make it the whole day, and don’t worry, he didn’t drive, but he made it to some part (amazing brain). I took G to a playdate and H to t-ball after school. I sent a text to a friend that night and said I think we hit our lowest point and will only be on the upswing now.

Thinking back and knowing what I know is coming tomorrow and the next day, it could almost seem cruel to have let ourselves be tricked and buoyed by hope for even a few short hours. Because when we fell again, we had further to drop, we landed harder. If we hadn’t let our guard down, let ourselves believe things were getting better, maybe the next days wouldn’t have crushed us in the way they did.

I’ll never know, because we did breathe a sigh of relief when we woke up to less symptoms on April 25, 2017, and we did let ourselves believe that the worst was over. Because we had to. That’s how we survived the hard days: each time, we told ourselves the worst was over, we plucked out the moments that only skimmed the surface of rock bottom and held onto them, hoping this time we’d found the lifeline that could lead us back.


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