It’s been almost five years since my ruptured brain aneurysm. The anniversary date is fast approaching.
There’s that saying that goes, “if you don’t make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness.” This was true of me five years ago.
My triplets were babies. My frail son was constantly in and out of the hospital. He was oxygen dependent, steroid dependent, fed via a feeding tube, constantly vomiting, and home bound to avoid infections. Home bound except for the plethora of doctors appointments, and new diagnoses that I never saw coming. Bilateral cataracts? In a baby? What the fuck?
He had in home speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy, along with nursing visits to monitor his weight and his growth. While taking care of him, I had two other babies and a slightly older son. Four babies in diapers at one time. What the fuck?
I was also working part time. I hadn’t yet lost the baby weight. I was getting just short bursts of sleep every night for the better part of a year.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked, “how did you survive that?” And my answer is always the same: “I very nearly didn’t. I don’t know how or why I did.”
The aneurysm ruptured after taking my son to get X-rays. And then I was the patient for a good 4-5 months. Even then, I went back to work more quickly than I should have. As soon as my double vision resolved, I was back at work.
I should have taken more time. I should have focused more energy on myself. I should have prioritized self care. I should have slept as much as I could. I should have taken better care of myself.
Now, I suffer from frequent headaches, fatigue, depression, insomnia, and PTSD.
Most days, I have no appetite. I’m down to almost 100 pounds. It’s like the appetite center of my brain broke when I had the stroke. You can joke that you’d like to have this problem, but I assure you, you wouldn’t like it.
When I had my stroke, I was close to 160, which also wasn’t ideal as I’m only 5’2. But, I had very recently had four babies in a short amount of time.
I long for the day when I find joy and ease again; when I find my appetite again; when my kids are a little more functional and independent.
For now, I’m holding on by the thinnest of threads. Sleep is my favorite part of the day, especially when it comes without a struggle.
I think it always will be my favorite part of the day.