You didn’t think I was going to do a Christmas post, did you?
I am combining this post for both the Excitable Gurelle ~ The Queen of Bipolar and Losing it (in SO many ways) because my life encompasses both and you all mean so much to me. You listen to me bitch and cry and moan about such trivial bullshit…sometimes even about the big shit.
This has been a banner year…The Year of The Tumor.
(It’s NOT a tumah!)
January of 2013 my body began to flail and swing against my will. The movement disorder was so wild and so pronounced I would be tired and out of breath within minutes. The tics were non-stop and my will was tested until I broke down crying one day. They finally gave me Klonopin in low doses which gave me some relief from the tics. I was removed from certain medications which slowed some of the ticcing.
I stopped worrying about my weight, my food, my exercise, or my looks. I gained A LOT of the weight back and then some.
In March my beautiful grandson was born. He is perfect in every single way. L.J. is a joy, a miracle of glory and light.
Six weeks later a large benign tumor was found in the center of my daughter in laws liver. She went through a five-hour surgery to have it removed and then a long recovery process with my son, her mother and fathers help. She, and they, and my son are tough as nails, hard working class Catholics from North East Philly. Don’t fuck with them. They can carry a load, out work anyone, out drink anyone, out pray anyone, out fight anyone and carry a familys’ troubles on their backs ’til their knees buckle and do it all with a tip of a beer mug, a laugh, a joke, a hug and a clap on your shoulder. They will kick your ass just as fast if you fuck with their family or friends who are like family.
I began to see a neurologist as I began to also start the wheels in progress to have my lap band removed and a vertical sleeve gastrectomy procedure was done.
I began to get depressed in the late spring. I was having trouble as a mother, unable to come to terms with my inability to fix, control or protect and shield my children from certain things in their lives. I felt impotent. I couldn’t solve the pain of E. and the worries of S.’s. I couldn’t be there to help S.P. and J. I couldn’t even get my own health questions, after years, answered.
Then there was my relationship. I was on rocky ground. Being intuitive, I felt things but was not given permission to talk about them and being a pussy, wouldn’t pursue the topics regardless. In turn, The Magnification of Solitude came into play and everything began to seem greater and more powerful and thus became greater and more powerful to me. The Great Machine was in motion and The Dance began between the partners.
I was hospitalized in August and it wasn’t just me who was damaged. My S.P., my J., my S. My E, my S.A…all were deeply wounded and carried an immense weight, not just myself. They championed on, they muscled through, they were pack mules, carrying more and more emotional burdens than most could handle and yet not buckling under the weight. I still don’t know just how they did it.
In September an MRI was taken of my brain to try to diagnose the ticcing per the neurologist request. The insurance company fought the MRI with contrast, an MRI without contrast, even a CT scan…then suddenly relented and allowed at least an MRI without contrast. In October the results showed many benign tumors from Tuberous Sclerosis in various areas of my brain. At least six in my ventricles and two or more in the gray matter. Because the MRI is without contrast we can’t really tell but it’s a good baseline at least. They do not operate, give medication or do any procedures on these tumors unless they interfere with bodily functions such as breathing etc. We can add these to the polyps I get in my intestines, ovaries, and the tumors in my kidneys for a full picture so far.†
On November first, we put our dog, Bare Bear, down due to a tumor on his prostate.
There are more tumors involved in the family but it isn’t the time to discuss them.
The Year of The Tumor.
How can anything good come from this, how can any lesson of Christmas tidings and joy be brought or birthed from this year?
I lost my belief. I don’t mean, I faltered. I mean I was bereft of any spiritual belief. I felt nothing existed. No higher power of any kind. I was completely atheistic for the first time. It was barren, cold and devoid of any life. It felt rational, without hope and without any possibility of being let down, either. It was not an anger at God, it was the complete absence of a belief in one. It was the lack of a God or god or Divinity of any kind.
There was no anger at a God.
There was no resentment at a God.
There were no feeling of being let down by God.
A blanket of space and stars stared back at me and it didn’t shimmer or shine and I turned away from it like a dull diamond.
You get the picture. I was always crying. I was trying to figure out just what the fuck I had eaten or when I had been radioactively jolted or whatever the fuck happened to make my body such a shit hole.
Why me and how come this world sucked so fucking badly and how come my poor family had to get the shitty end of my stick? Everything sucked. Everything was tedious. Everything was ugly. Why keep trying? God. It was such a drag to get up every morning and drive E. to car pool and drag my fat ass back home.
Then one morning as I drove my fat ass, oozing full of self-pity, back home and was about to come upon the horse farm right before my cul de sac development, the most wondrous site made me pull over and just sit.
It was 7:16a and the corral at the farm was filled with mist like a swimming pool gets filled with water, none of it seeping out to the road or adjacent areas. In the corral, four horses, a sorrel, a golden tan, a gray and a black were “swimming’ in the mist up to their chest, just walking about the corral slowly, almost ghost-like. Just their shoulders, neck, and head showing, like gentle swimmers of clouds. It was one of the most beautiful and peaceful sights I’ve ever seen. At that moment, I knew that The Universe was the ultimate creator…there was this all-consuming being and it came to us in many forms.
I was struck dumb.
Two thousand years ago another family was given a burden so much more heavy than mine. They carried it and their knees did not buckle and their bonds as a family grew tighter and they wrapped their arms tightly, firmly and lovingly around the world eventually.
That baby, like the baby who started my year, was the harbinger of hope, of great and joyous tiding.
Luke 2:10-14 (KJV)
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
I love you all and I wish for you glad tidings, a warm coat, a strong roof, sweet food, a gentle heart to love you and soft lips to say your name gently.
† December 8, 2016 Addendum: Much more is known about the extent of the presentation of TSC in my body as well as the use of Everolimus for certain aspects of TSC. As I continue to re-publish past posts at this site, catching up will be easier.