29 April 2012

as if

The night before last. The volcano erupted. A little bit. 
Some time back, one of these experts examining bits of me while I - foolishly - opened my soul and with it all my hopes, one of these healthy medical experts told me in his expert voice that he would be inclined to compare heavy vertigo of sudden onset to an epileptic fit. Not that he ever experienced vertigo himself.
Not that it really matters.
The night before last I woke up suddenly from a very deep sleep and the darkness around me was turning. This is such a unique sensation, like falling through space. As if I'd know what that feels like, anyway. Flat out on my bed. At first, I curiously watched the little strips of light from the street lamps that are coming in through the blinds move rapidly across the ceiling and speeding faster and faster whenever I turned my head this way and that.
As I tried to sit up, a heavy wave of nausea washed over me from somewhere behind the bed and I carefully groped my way along the bedroom wall to the bathroom and back. Stupidly noting the time, 4:03, as if it was something crucial.
Eventually, of course, panic seized me. Shit, shit, shit, I whispered holding onto R's sleeping body. 
Just then the dawn chorus set in and obviously, I started to fret about my hearing, which was perfectly ok. And I decided to listen to all this birdsong as if it was the last time. Which is very melodramatic because the top notch expert had told me that with my drug regimen deafness was highly unlikely now.
When I decided to get up some hours later, the world was at rest again. My head was throbbing and the familiar pressure noises were hissing inside my head. Felt as if I had just crossed from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead in a winter storm, which I have done in the past more than once, each time expecting to die from sea sickness. And yesterday was such a lovely day, summer, lilac flowering everywhere, R brought fresh green asparagus and the first local strawberries back from the farmer's market. I sat in the deck chair watching him pot the geraniums and the fuchsia and replace some of the raspberries, the cat curled up on the hot stones under the little olive tree and in the evening after dinner on the patio we watched the bats flying low. 
And the phone rang to tell us that a little baby boy was born into the family in Ireland, one of the kids I still see in my mind's eye forever running along the beach. climbing garden walls and pinching grandad's flowers, now a young father. 
Today my muscles are aching as if I'd climbed a mountain. Muscles in my neck and face are slowly relaxing. I no longer have to hold onto the walls. Keeping my fingers crossed.


  1. Sending love. It is my perception that you, not the medical doctors, are the expert here in regard to your illness. You are so very alive -- a good teacher for those of us who haven't had this particular experience of baffling illness but who will certainly face illness at one time or another, if we haven't already.

    Sweet news about the little baby boy born in Ireland to the young man who ran on the beach as a boy.

    There is a lilt, a resilience, in the imagery from your memory, both immediate and past. Thank you for your presence.

  2. Sabine- Hugs, and, well, this was just wonderful. (Not so the vertigo or nausea--which I fight from time to time). Melodrama and all. So human. So beautiful.

  3. oh lord what a voyage. thankyou for telling us about it

  4. I was with you, as you described it so deeply. Our human frailty, And a new baby.

    A powerful piece of writing.

  5. Sending you a hug! Your attendance to details even in times of distress indicates your heroic nature.