Once again I wake in the early hours without any bearings, the small shaft of light coming through the blinds spinning. In my left ear, the hatefully familiar deep hammering noise. I shout out a string of curses, the worst that come to mind, while I stumble and crawl to the bathroom along the walls and on the floor, before the contents of my stomach rush up. I wash my face, blow my nose and as instructed, take note the blood clots shooting out from my sinuses. My knees buckle and I let myself fall.
Hours later, tamed by dramamine and the resignation provided by too many years of chronic illness, I am watching my GP's receptionist print out another sick cert.
It is my understanding of things in general that we all carry at least one demon around with us. They are tricky, demons, never showing their real face. And no, they are not obvious and have nothing to do with fear or loss or something that happened long ago.
The demon I carry around occasionally taps out secret messages, knocking inside my sinuses and inner ears, my brain. I have long given up deciphering. It's all code, acts of pure self defence, reminding me that he's still around, that he'll never leave. But then again, he'd be lost without me. So there. And for now, my demon comes with a sick cert.
This year's first.
Tuesday went in a blur.
On Wednesday, I had what my daughter would call a
small massive melt down. I usually have one by day three anyway. By now, we are pretty blase about it. This time, I extended my repertoire in that I shouted and called R names. He shrugged it off and made tea. Secretly, I was hoping for him to at least lose some of his cool. But he never does.
By Thursday, I was back to coping mechanisms and managed to persuade a hotel manager to forgo the cancellation fees because, bullshit. Also, we are not going to attend my father's 90th birthday party this weekend, which is a relief in more ways I can express.
Today, Friday, I am fed up and scared and I wish for - oh I forget, nothing, everything, whatever.
A few days into the new year, I cut the big toe of my right leg walking on this glorious, sunny beach after a swim in the Pacific ocean. I had run into the waves holding my daughter's hand. We were giddy like teenagers on the run. Her baby, a few weeks old, was well out of sight and earshot behind the dunes, looked after by the men. And briefly, she was my little girl again as we were diving through the surf, laughing, shouting with happiness.
The next day I had to show the red toe and my by then throbbing leg to a doctor, and I started a 5-day course of antibiotics. The toe got better, I forgot about it.
What's this?, my GP said on Monday. This antibiotic is not authorized for use in Europe. Could be the cause of this flare up, tsk tsk etc. (But do I care?)