I woke up in midair, not really sure what was going on until I hit the floor. I had, for the first time in years, fallen out of bed. It was so dark in my room, and I had actually cleaned up a whole bunch of stuff yesterday, so the floor itself felt unfamiliar. I was scared and started calling for Jeff.
"I'm sleeping," he muttered in reply. In fairness to Jeff, it was three in the morning.
So I sat on the floor crying for a few minutes, then stood up and made my way to the kitchen to get an Ativan. I used to have nightmares and/or insomnia every night, but the doctors have worked really hard with me, and taking two Ativans and Prazosin (also known as Mini-press), a medicine used to treat PTSD, has been invaluable. I rarely have nightmares, and I fall asleep and sleep like a rock most of the time.
I knew what had set this off, though, not that it helped, particularly at three in the morning.
**SPOILER: WHAT FOLLOWS IS PRETTY DISGUSTING ... I WON'T BE OFFENDED IF YOU STOP READING NOW**
My rape was particularly violent. Well, that's kind of a misnomer; all rapes are violent. I'm going to rephrase that to say that my rape was particularly bloody.
I was sodomized for almost an hour, and the blood was extreme. It was everywhere.
During a surgery that I told everyone was a hemorrhoidectomy (this was before I could talk about the rape to anyone), my anus was repaired. Prior to that, it bled all the time (my ex-husband either didn't notice or didn't care or was too drunk to do either).
I've been having a rough week medically, between mastitis and terrible abdominal pain and fluid in my lung leading to a pneumonia. I haven't been able to do my daily walking, which has historically helped a lot. It's been a change having Ari home (her last day was last Thursday) along with Gabby, and even though I adore them both and love and prioritize my kids more than anything, trying to keep both a ten-year-old and a 6-month-old entertained and happy is a challenge.
Anyway, what they give you for pain at the hospital through an IV is either morphine (good) or dilaudid (better) in terms of helping with pain. And then they give you Vicodin (which they are calling Norco now, or else I'm missing something??) to take at home.
If I had a predilection for drug abuse, I'm sure I'd be dead by now. As it is, I only take pain medication when I'm in extreme pain.
There's a reason for this, you see. (If you're in the medical profession, you can probably see this one coming)
Narcotics have the potential to constipate the hell out of you. And if you're constipated, if pooping is hard for you but you keep trying, something lets go at some point, and there is blood. So you get scared and take colace and magnesia and drink fluids by the gallon, and the whole time you can just feel nothing moving. At all.
And you dread the day it's going to happen, because the colon might be large, but it is finite.
Well, it started to happen for me last night when I got home from my first meeting at work since Gabrielle was born. So I went into the bathroom with my phone because, you know, Candy Crush, and I took some ibuprofen in preparation, and then I decided to just sit and go with it.
It didn't take long to start.
It also didn't take long to feel the blood pouring out, which brought me right back to that night, and I was suddenly having a flashback to the day after the rape, when I had my first bowel movement. I lost all track of time and space and where I was; instead, I truly felt that I was in my college student apartment in Plymouth, alone and scared and chain-smoking sitting on the toilet then ashing into the sink, praying for death, which had to be better than this.
When I finally came back to myself, I was still in the bathroom of my house. When I wiped, the blood was extreme, and so was the pain. Clearly I had torn something again (this happens every couple of months, but not usually to this level).
I put a pad on my underwear and brushed my teeth and went back out to my family.
"You were in there a long time," Jeff commented. I just looked at him. "Are you okay?"
I shook my head, then went into the kitchen to get my two Ativans and one Prazosin; I was ready for bed, even if it wasn't even eight o'clock yet. I walked past Jeff in a daze, and he kept asking what was wrong. I finally said, "I had a flashback."
"Oh no," he said, following me (which drives me crazy, but it's hard to be mean to someone trying to help you). I got into bed, pulled up the covers, and turned the TV on. It was "Family Feud", which is great for not thinking about anything while you fall asleep.
In a few minutes, Jeff came in. He touched my shoulder, and I jerked away, then apologized. He asked if I wanted to talk about it, then he touched me again. I shook my head no, then, when he asked if I just wanted to be alone, I nodded. I felt badly; Jeff is very good to me, very patient, and even though things have been tough lately, he's been trying not to let it impact me overmuch.
He left to watch TV with Ari, then I fell asleep before "Family Feud" was even over.
Until, of course, I woke up tumbling out of bed screaming sixteen-year-old pain out of my mouth.
I was able to fall asleep again, but it wasn't good sleep. I'd set my alarm because I had a doctor's appointment that I really didn't want to go to (I hate seeing a primary care doctor when I'm seeing all these many and varied specialists). All she did was ask what the Gastro people were saying, and I refused to let her touch my abdomen because it actually wasn't in agony for a change and I didn't want her poking and prodding to bring back pain. I suggested she read what the Gastro wrote.
She instead wrote that I refused to let her do her job and was argumentative. She told me she thought I was depressed. I considered responding, "Depressed is the least of it, honey. If you dreamed what I dreamed last night, sweetheart, you would not be sitting her calmly passing judgment on someone."
So I wasted $15 I couldn't afford for a complete waste of a doctor's appointment.
I had plans with one of my friends, but I only have three good tires on my car, and I'm not comfortable driving to the seacoast that way. He told me to put the spare on. The spare is a temporary fix, and I do not the $150 to get a new tire mounted and balanced. I'm pretty sure he's furious with me now.
And so the problem, I suppose, comes back to money. If you have any to spare (and I just want to say that I have always donated money when I could), please look at the button to the right of this page and consider. I am out of work for another two months, and I'd rather not go start giving out $50 blowjobs at the alley behind Mike's Pub and Grub. Getting money for my writing, even if I'm begging for it, is much more palatable.
And it's not like I want anything extravagant; I just want to be able to drive my car, to make co-pays for appointments that are NOT a waste of time, to get to my mother's, to maybe get a couple of new shirts that aren't stained with breastmilk in awkward locations.
Jeff will take care of the girls financially, but it's very awkward between the two of us right now as I know he's not exactly swimming in it, either.
Anyway, if anyone is wondering why I'm in a bad mood today, that is why.
I just hope tomorrow will be better.