Sunday, 7 June 2015

And I get Life

I've just realised that I've not actually told the final part of my hospital story. Which isn't very kind of me...with all of you readers out there wondering what the hell is happening with me... am  I going to live a long life or a short one?

Well, the answer is a long one, (barring the 'hit by bus' scenario). I do not have a lung disease. No Rheumatoid Lung. No 'Atypical Asthma'. Nothing ongoing, which is a great relief.

What I do have is a pair of lungs that are gradually healing from being lacerated 3 times over the past 9 months. And the laceration came from the Macrodantin drug I took to control my UTIs. All of this is unpacked in the link to this previous blog.

It seems that only 1 person in 100 000 has this sort of reaction to Macrodantin. But the reaction is severe and life-threatening says my Pulminologist. That feeling I got that I only had a few minutes left when I left my kids alone at home and drove myself to hospital was spot on. That little psychic voice that told me to google the side effects of the drug was spot on. If I hadn't done that when I did it, or found the information when I found it, I wouldn't have made it to hospital. And my kids would have woken to find me dead in my bed in the morning. The oxygen that the hospital emergency room staff gave me literally saved my life!

Apparently the Macrodantin usually solves UTIs by making a cocktail of Formaldehyde in your bladder. It's a lethal concoction that quickly kills any bacteria in the bladder and is then expelled, not being absorbed by the body. But in very rare cases, mine in particular, for some reason the body makes the Formaldehyde in the lungs instead. That is a lethal thing - the formaldehyde sears all the breathing passageways (the incredible chest pain I felt), scars them, and makes it almost impossible for the lungs to function normally to extract oxygen from the air. Only the administration of pure oxygen will keep the person alive.

I'm pissed off that I was already communicating with my doctors the first time this happened to me that I thought the drugs had something to do with my condition. But the first Pulminologist was very set on his diagnosis of 'Atypical Asthma' linked to my extreme stress at the time that he was just not prepared to investigate my concerns. So I took the pill twice more, exposing myself to a lot more scarring, another hospitalization and two more life threatening moments before it was solved.

So all of this is completely unrelated to any of the Autoimmune issues I already have. It's just extra, on top of it all, that I have had to cope with this year. I feel pissed off that this has been thrown at me over and above everything else. Like why the fuck. Really?!

And at the same time I can feel the purpose in it. The incredible life changes I have effected because of the trauma of all of this. Because I have had to stop completely and look very long and hard at myself. And become more of the woman I need to be.

And I also feel more loneliness and bereftness through it all. Because to this moment I haven't been able to snuggle up in anybody's arms and cry about what happened to me. Someone who really really cares that I very nearly died twice this year. Someone who gives a shit that I'm still coming slowly back from that edge and fighting daily to reclaim my health. Reclaim my breath. Reclaim my body.

I'm glad I'm not dying. So fucking glad.

But I'm not over all this yet. Far from it.

Back to the Lonely

I haven't been able to write for quite a while. Just not been able to sit in front of this page and find the words to tell myself my story. I told myself it's because I'm healing. And because I'm healing I don't have the compulsive need to get stuck in each and every day to unpack the myriad of things that are trawling through my brain.  Maybe it's a bit of that. And maybe it's also because I can't really get myself to tell myself the same things over and over again. Healing doesn't seem to happen in a straight line. It's more of a spiral...circling around and around, revisiting issues over and over again, albeit from a slightly different vantage point each time around again. And even though I do know this to be true, it still feels like failure to me to be at the same issue and dragging myself through it all yet again.

I'm so so sad today. I feel quite bereft. I have had a glorious week at the World Economic Forum with my new bosses learning and circulating and hunting for new potential clients. I've done well, I think. But now the 'post party' exhaustion has set in. Not to mention the PMT blues, and suddenly my emotional resilience feels spent and I'm low.

Three weeks ago I reconnected with my CEO man. Haven't heard from him at all since February and before that, our 'almost hookup' in Barcelona which didn't come to be because I wasn't ready. Meeting up with him again was thrilling. I suddenly got all of those butterfly things one is sometimes lucky enough to feel with someone and I just had the strongest sense that this was the time. That we were about to find each other on a whole other level and explore a beautiful relationship together. I let myself fall in love with him a little, I think - my shrink spotted it immediately when I was telling her about him the other day. I felt ready for him. And felt him ready for me.

So I did two quite drastic things. First, I broke it off with the Tasmanian. I could feel I wasn't being fair to him - we are sexually quite compatible but not really burning to be together. It wasn't fair for me to be in any sort of relationship with him when I was actually thinking that a relationship with the CEO may become a real possibility some time soon. He was sad, but not bereft. He had to acknowledge my point that neither of us was making much of an effort to create skin time together, which meant we were probably more friends (without benefits, mostly).

Then I had a real conversation with Mark. The CEO is one of his close friends, and I didn't want to do anything that he might feel weird about. In fact I even asked him if it was OK to tell the CEO about him if we got that close. Because it would feel dishonest if I was with the CEO and Mark at the same time and the CEO didn't know about Mark. Mark said it would be cool. He thought that me and the CEO together would actually be great and kind of gave me his blessing to go ahead.

And after those two quite uncharacteristic things for me, I felt like I'd done the grownup things I needed to do to pave the way for a slow seduction with the CEO. And I was determined to take it slow. I felt like I should leave him the space to hunt me and land me, like somehow his masculinity would need that, and that if I was too forward and aggressive, that may put him off. So I coached myself about taking things slowly, about savouring the tentative seduction and the time of not knowing, and aching to be with him. Mark and I chatted a few days later and he just dropped a hint that the CEO had said that he really liked me (hahaaaa...a bit like first grade wing man games). I was SO excited when I heard that - just confirmation that I was on the right track. At last. I let my heart open more, making more space for him to come in.

I did send him a couple of text messages over that time. And started noticing a worrying pattern. He was responding to my messages, but in an uncharacteristically reserved way. Not pushing the flirty angle or reciprocating my energy. I kept telling myself this wasn't a problem That he had been reticent before. That this wasn't completely unusual for him. That he's probably quite busy.

I have spent the week in Cape Town. and was supposed to work there on the weekend too. But suddenly my weekend work plans were cancelled and I had a free weekend in my house alone. I decided to take the bull by the horns and invite him to join me and sent him a short WhatsApp invitation.  I was super nervous to send it. I realised I was putting myself out there quite seriously, and the stakes felt quite high. But I did it anyway.

He read it within the hour. And didn't respond. Shew. I thought he must be thinking about it. Or trying to move his weekend plans around to try to make it happen. Late that night still no response from him. And nothing the next morning when I woke up. I went through the whole next day on tenterhooks, wondering what response he was going to send, with my heart sinking a little more every time I checked and rechecked my phone to see whether he had responded yet. But nothing. And nothing the next day or the day after that. My heart began to sink. Had I misread it? Had I chased him away by being too forward with my invitation? Friday was approaching and a small piece of me was wondering if he was just going to jump on a plane and arrive in Cape Town and surprise me. I was frantic on Friday afternoon when my cellphone battery started running low - what if he landed and couldn't reach me to find out where my place is?!

But of course there was no surprise arrival. There was just nothing. After a long and hard working week, I finally went home in the dark to my empty house in Hout Bay and poured myself a very long glass of wine and drank it down as fast as I could. I would have to face this pain by myself again and I just didn't want to feel it all alone like that for long. Got drunk fast and hit the sack.

Only then did it occur to me to check him out on Facebook. Crazy. I'm usually all over that side of checking out my potential dates. I found him fast. And found a very inactive Facebook page. Except for a new entry on the 25th May. He had changed his status to "In a Relationship". And Facebook adds this little heart icon after those searing words, just to rub it in a bit more. As if the words weren't enough to burn deep into my heart!

Fuck. After being single for a long time, my CEO had stepped into a relationship exactly 2 weeks ago. Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. The glass of wine was not enough to numb the pain that came crashing through me in that moment. I could not believe that I had opened my very fragile heart yet again to a man not available to me. That I was going to hit yet another unrequited heartbreak wave.

There's a rule. Don't text drunk. NEVER TEXT DRUNK.

I texted.

"FK. Just saw your Facebook. You're in a relationship. I didn't know. Embarrassed. Sorry. Backing right off"
He read my message. Didn't respond. Fuck that hurt. An apology or some sort of explanation would have really been nice. I don't really know what he could have said, I suppose. I'm sure he was a bit embarrassed too - he had most definitely not told me about his relationship and had led me on a bit. Or had he? Had I just been projecting that from our previous time together? Did I make up our chemistry and attraction in my head? Did I imagine it because I wanted it to be true?

This all feels so terribly humiliating. Besides the heartache I'm also now seriously starting to doubt myself. Maybe I am actually just not the attractive and sexy woman I imagine myself to be. Maybe I actually don't have what it takes to attract the men that I think are in my league. Maybe I'm doing something that puts them off after a bit and actually all I'm good for are the Narcs and abusive assholes in this world who want me for the supply I can provide? I almost feel like asking Berlin or Mark for feedback about that, but I'm too afraid that they will tell me something I really don't want to know about myself. Something I can't change. Something that will rob me of my hope and confidence forever. What is wrong with me? Seriously. What is fucking wrong with me?

I have a meeting booked with him on Tuesday. Just the two of us. I am going to have to do something very grownup and professional to put us back on a strong business footing so we can get into the business relationship we are scoping out for ourselves. It's going to take a lot for me to 'man up' and just deal this straight. And see him while my heart is still feeling so fragile about him. Well, I managed with Berlin. I guess I'll manage again.


I wish I didn't have to fucking manage all the time.

I so so crave being held and loved.

Still not to be. Still not time.