Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Just Write ~ *cough*


Here it is again. The cough. It started sporadically throughout the day, but progressed to more frequent as night time set in. My heart sank. I knew it was coming. Another bout of sickness. Another bout of cough's. Another scared me, wondering if the last quick breath she takes in will be her last.

I worry by nature. Always have. And night time has always been worst for me, for as long as I can remember. The loneliness. The stillness. The dark. but mostly, the loneliness. Like the entire world is asleep. No one to rescue me. And now, no one to rescue her.

She falls asleep to the symphony of her own coughs, the whole house does. But the cough doesn't bother her. And last night, it didn't even wake her up.But she coughs, and breaths in, a fast, loud breath, this happens 2-3-4 times in a row. She sleeps through it. No signs of breathing difficulty. No signs of distress. Just the cough...the breath....the cough......the breath. Then sleep. This happens all night. Sometimes longer stretches between her few coughs, sometimes not.

I go over in my mind the doubts we had with the doctors who claimed a number of different things going on with her. By the time she was over her two month on and off bouts of this in the spring of this year, we still had no idea what the cause was. And no idea, who, if anything we were doing was making it better.

The night rolls on. The house is dark. I try to sleep. But every cough. Every breath sends me running to her room, with the same result each and every time. She's fine. She's sleeping. She's coughing. She's breathing.

I on the other hand continue to deteriorate. The deliriousness of the night gets to me. I start to feel light-headed, but heavy hearted. I feel exhaustion and an amount of fear that is reserved for the scariest of moments. My hands tremble. I feel hot and a tingle prickled feeling covers my body. I breath faster. My chest is tight. I am certain it is the onset of a panic attack. One that never develops to fruition, but sits just at the cusp, waiting for its cue.

I pace the floor between her room and mine. I finally make a bed on the floor of her room, but find this makes me even more tense and anxious than the pacing.

I wake my husband. My hard-working, never-gets-enough-sleep, commutes-1.5 hours-to-work-just-ONE-way husband. I beg him to listen to my woes. He does. He assures me she is fine. I worry that he is just saying that to shut me up. I make him get up and listen to her. He isn't worried still. I can't understand why he doesn't worry more. It doesn't make sense to me.

I try to remember everything the dr's have said. I try to find solace in the descriptions of breathing troubles i find when i google, knowing that if she had trouble breathing, I certainly would know it. And she wouldn't be sleeping. I worry that I am missing an important sign. I worry I am not smart enough to see an important sign. I doubt myself as a mother. As a human.

I scoop up her 2 year old, 40 pound body and bring her to our room. I beg my husband to sleep in our bed with her for a bit, so i can go and try to sleep on the couch downstairs. At this point I am beyond exhausted, physically and mentally. It is only just a few minutes before midnight. I try again to snuggle into the cushy couch, with my favorite quilt. I know we have the air-condiitoning on, but I turn on the fireplace. The hum of the fan, the soft glow it emits across the room, the shadows that dance on the ceiling from each flame. I still can't sleep. I quickly realize I am going to vomit. My nervous head and tummy always gets the best of me, always. My head sits in a toilet for what feels like 20 minutes. I find myself drifting to sleep with my head resting on the toilet seat.

How did it come to this? I am on an anti-anxiety medication. This shouldn't be happening. I need a therapist. But honestly, we cannot afford one. We struggle as it is.

I still hear her periodically cough throughout the night, from the distance of the floor above me. Before I know it, my husband is standing over me, in his work clothes, ready to leave. My heart drops. My lungs grow tight, yet again. I know he needs to leave. I know I need to go back upstairs. I know the morning will come, and I will look back upon the night and feel an utmost shame for my thoughts, my behavior. I will know we will get over this, no matter how long or how bad it gets.

I know it will happen all over again the next night. It will build up and I will become the unstable mother I was a few months back when this was going on.

When I wake up, I think to myself, this was probably the worst birthday ever.


Linking up to Just Write ~ a free-style writing exercise of epic proportions. This couldn't have come at a better time.


Jo said...

I'm in tears. I know that anxiety so very well. So much love to you.

One Crafty Mother said...

I know this fear so well, too. Holding you in my heart today.


Anonymous said...

Why would you share this with the world? Do you need validation for your unstable behavior from others? Clearly you need to grow up.

Mommy Instincts said...

Jo & Ellie, thank you, I appreciate your kind words. I appreciate them so very much.

Mommy Instincts said...

And to Anonymous, you obviously lead the perfect life. We should all strive to be more like you.....or not.

Galit Breen said...

My heart hurts for you.

I read your words- really read them.

I just wanted you to know that you were heard- like old friends drinking tea by the fire, with the air conditioner on. :)

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Oh, I'm so sorry the coughs are back. Hope tonight is good for you.


Heather EO said...

Thank you for being vulnerable. For sharing your struggle. We all do need to share that with the world in any way that helps our hearts. It always helps someone else, too.

Thank you for joining me, and I hope for peaceful nights for you.