Brave Face

I’ve been putting on a brave face for almost two years. My immediate family (husband & kids) know, but the rest of the world has been kept at arm’s length. I don’t want to explain and I certainly don’t want to commiserate. I don’t want sympathy or advice.

I’m thankful for the good things that have happened and I don’t take them for granted. I focus on the good because that’s what gets me through each day.

But I am lost. A part of me died. My body has revolted on me with a combination of autoimmune diseases and the beginnings of menopause. I live each day to manage symptoms. I was succeeding and then one day a doctor changed my medication and it all spiraled out of control. Three months on a new dose and I sarted going downhill.

At first it was slow so I worked out more, ate cleaner, got more sleep. I kept getting worse. I DID EVERYTHING! I talked to experts. I managed stress with baths, massages, reflexology, spa treatments. NOTHING WORKED. 

Something else is going on and I can’t get a doctor to listen. Something is wrong and I’m afraid. I have begged for tests. They won’t run them. To do it out of pocket is cost prohibitive. I will keep demanding. Eventually I will find a doctor who will help. 

I had chest pains at work the other day. I don’t know if it was my heart or anxiety. I hid in the bathroom at the far end of the building. I fought off the tears, put on a brave face, and made my way back to my desk. 

I have good days and I cherish them. I am supported by my family. They love me. They take care of me. They protect me. My daughter makes dinner every night. My son helps with laundry. My hustand massages my neck and feet. He holds me and let’s me cry for as long as I needed. I cry a lot. His role is that of loving Dom, supportive husband, Pastor, and best friend. 

I keep thinking I have get my affairs in order. If something happens to me I need to make sure they can get through it all. It hit me hard yesterday as I started the new school year registration process. I made the lists for each kid and couldn’t help wondering if my husband could do it all…kids, school, household, work. He would rise to the occassion, I’m sure. 

I need to put together a master binder of all the passwords and user names. I had to create two new user names and passwords just yesterday so that brings the total up to 1000, at least it feels that way. Parent portals, payment portals, communication portals. Over-fucking-whelming-portals. It’s ridiculous.

It’s not even that I’m tired, it’s that I have pain and memory loss. My chest hurts, my head hurts, and there is muscle weakness. I got lost coming home about a month ago. I blanked and didn’t know where I was. Is that from repetition and zoning out or is it something deeper? 

I am the strongest and weakest person I know.

I’m done talking. Mask on.