He

He thought he could steal my soul

One kiss could suck the life

from my bones.

He underestimated my fight,

my flight, my strength.

He thought he could kill my

spirit. Break my bones.

He can never conquer me. 

Health Update

I saw my surgeon today.

My plan was to be assertive, brutally honest, tell him that I was fed up with all of this waiting around for the sun to shine again. I wanted to pick a date, I wanted to make a plan for future options if certain things hadn’t happened by that date. After the usual hearing test and eavesdropping on unsuspecting people in the waiting room I was called back. My surgeon is wonderful, gentle, kind, wildly smart, and funny. He shakes our hands and we laugh about how many people (surgeon, mom, dad, boyfriend, and I) are crammed in the small room. I tell him that things are still hard. I tell him that as my physical symptoms begin to improve, my mental symptoms get worse. Don’t cry I tell myself. You are done crying over this. Warrior. Fighter. Nope, here come the broken words, the lump in my throat, the tears well and pour over my eyelids. My nose is running and all I can do is try to get out words that make sense. I regress to the scared child, wanting to flee from the room. I don’t want to hear this. I can’t do this anymore, he wants me to give it more time. He wants to preserve my hearing. Hearing is one of the five senses we have – of course he would want to preserve this. I don’t want it, I don’t care. I will take my life over my hearing any day. I have settled that with myself. I keep my head down, I try to tell myself to stop crying, lift your head up, let him see the suffering, let it bleed out of your eyes, show him you are a warrior, show him you are not backing down from this disease. Show him that no matter how far is beats you down, you push yourself up. I don’t look up, I can’t, because I am breaking. He wants to see me in a few months and we will continue to look at my progress. He wants me to get my ear cleaned, he wants me to get the Epley maneuver. I can’t do these things right now. I can barely keep from falling on the floor. Doesn’t he see how bad I am suffering? When will I have paid my dues? I know he cares for me. He isn’t leaving me behind and forgetting about me, he tells me so and I believe him.

He leaves the room. I stand and say I want to go home. Home. Where I can kick my feet, have a tantrum, yell at God. I try to look at my parents. I see the pain in their eyes, Matt’s arms are around me, I feel my legs go shaky. I wanted to leave with a plan, a concrete plan. We leave the room, take the ride down the elevator and sit on a bench. I am sitting between my parents and feel so much love from them. My suffering, my joy, is theirs and theirs is mine. We are all knit from the same cloth – we are such a strong family. They are such support. We talk. We talk about what will happen in the next few months. I am seeing a therapist. My coping skills are abysmal. I can barely write these days. My mind races and then at moments it is empty. Matt mentions the guilt I feel. I know this cuts my mom’s heart. I hate that this has to effect her, Matt has tears in his eyes, I have to cover mine. My mom is stroking my back, my dad tells me not to worry, they reassure me they want to support me. Rationally I know this is true. 

Suddenly it isn’t sadness that floods my veins, it is anger. Blinding. I am so angry at this disease. Nothing is certain. My family is so strong, they tell me I am the strong one, it is moments like this morning that I realize why people think I am strong – because my mother, my father, Matt, they are heroes, they stand through the storm and never weather. 

It is time to go home. My mom holds my hand as we leave. Always, always a mother first. We get to the car and she hugs me. I hug my dad, I linger longer than normal. That hug reminds me that home and safety are in his arms. He was the first man I loved. 

We are going to give this thing more time. We are going to try the Epley, we are going to see if therapy helps. I remain hopeful, not because I want to, but because it is simply what I have to do to get through this. With no hope there is no reason to push on. Take one look at the eyes of my parents, Matt, and I am ever reminded of how important it is that I get better. 

And I will.