Tuesday, July 31, 2007

On Nausea and Normality

On Friday, thanks to Motrin or Vicodin or anesthesia hangover, or the demise of the anti-nausea patch placed behind his ear before surgery, J~'s nausea kicked in. On Saturday, he threw up more times than I could count. On Sunday, after two days without painkillers of any kind, he still hovered around the bathroom in that hunched-over abdomen-curled-in pose of debilitating stomach distress, but never knelt before the proverbial porcelain god. Sunday, he felt well enough to expand his diet of Pepsi and Saltine crackers to include cereal, sandwiches, and mango sorbet. And yesterday, we even went so far as take-out Thai food.

I've been too damned exhausted to cook, let alone clean, though there is some improvement, for me as well, today.

Speaking of me: I've had no bleeding whatsoever for the past ten days. Breast tenderness continues. As for nausea, actually, yes, there's been some of that, too. Not as severe as two weeks ago, but undeniable. (If nothing changes by next Monday, and J~ is up for the trip, I will try for another ultrasound).

On the phone the other day, my brother asked how things were going, and I admitted, not well. In an attempt to be helpful, he looked for the philosophical silver lining, saying, "this kind of thing might make you appreciate normal more."

"I was appreciating normal," I whined, not quite sure if this was true.

"I don't believe you," my brother ventured, and I realized, I didn't want or need to continue this conversation.

But it haunted me for hours.

My mind wheeled through the last year, the last two years, the pain of my divorce, the miracle of J~, of this sudden new home in the country, the struggles I've faced with step-parenting, with pregnancy.

And then it hit me: I didn't need to put a positive spin on what was happening in my life presently, or take on any obligation or determination to "appreciate" anything.

If there's anything I've learned in the last two years, it's this: There is no such thing as normal. If there is, then normal has to include this pregnancy roller coaster, watching impotently as your beloved suffers, and the sometimes painful uprooted feeling of my newly rooted life. More globally speaking, it has to include a state of war, of environmental crisis, of extreme financial disparity. It has to include everything, both beautiful and horrific, and every emotional response, including hanging up on someone who loves you and was only trying to help.

Ugh. Things get messy sometimes.


Anonymous said...

Although we have never before met, or even spoken, I am praying for you, your husband and your pregnancy nightly. I am praying that your husband heals healthily, that your baby be a fighter and make it to see this world, and that you are happy no matter what.

God Bless You. I will keep you in my prayers.

Amy said...


In a previous comment, I wrote that you and I may not share anything more than a first name in common but...anyway, make that 2 things in common now! I had a phone call "similar" to yours in my upside down world right now. I know that my life is not NEARLY as upsetting as yours but if your interested, check out my story too--I think you'll see the similarity too. I am still praying for you, BTW.
P.S. My call was from my MIL --my page won't mention THAT though! :-)

Ollie said...

"There is no such thing as normal." That is about as true as it gets. And in all honesty, positivity is one of those luxuries that I've never put much faith in. I let others around me partake in that, while I cope with things just going day to day thinking, "well... today didn't suck too bad." That's about as good as it gets.

I just hope that your coming days don't suck too bad. I will be thinking about you Monday.

Patty said...

In my opinion the word "normal" is one of the greatest oxy-morons ever spoken.

It isn't so much about what happens to you, but what you do about what happens to you, and you my dear are handling an extreamly rough patch of life with a great amount of dignity and grace. I wonder if in your situation I might not be curled up somewhere in a fetal position refusing to move? I applaud your strength, and say, "whine if you need to, all you need to."