My legs are bent at an unnatural angle, sticking out into the hallway. My left arm is going numb under the weight of my body. I've been lying here for what feels like an eternity but I'm sure has only been several minutes. From the waist up, I almost made it. My head, neck, and torso crossed the threshold of our bedroom door right before my body gave out and thudded on the floor–a complete loss of strength, void of any semblance of energy, the loss of the ability to even lift a finger. Roger is home, but he's in the bathroom, where I was minutes before, and I don't have enough strength to take a breath and whisper his name. He wouldn't hear it anyway, with sudden-onset fatigue and crashes, my daily headache and trigeminal nerve facial pain are worse than normal, along with a newly surfaced symptom of severe air hunger, and to add to it all, I'm having multiple healing crises*.
*herxheimer/die-off reactions: my treatments are killing bugs left and right, my body reminding me it can't function properly–it can't even flush out foreign substances because I have gene mutations that inhibit my ability to detox and get the dead bugs, and the toxins they release as they fight for their lives before dying, out of my body.
I can't hold my eyes open (but even still, sleep will not come–fatigue is a fickle friend) and I've started thinking I'm already in bed, that I made it on my own, that I'm choosing to lie here in the comfort of my own warm bed, that I crawled there with no problem, that maybe I even walked there, and that Roger didn't have to do a dead lift with my dead weight body.
The sound of the toilet flushing a mere few feet away brings me back to the present. Those thoughts aren't reality. This is reality. I'm still lying on the floor, legs in the hallway outside the bedroom doorway, upper body inside, possibly with only one arm–due to the lack of sensation of feeling brought on by bearing the weight of my body, I'm not sure my left arm still exists.
I'm sure the latter most comment would elicit laughter from my family, given the fact that while treating these infections, my body is simultaneously resisting the fight to get back to a weight that is healthy enough to be properly nourished, a requirement for full body healing, but the topic of nutrition and weight is far too heavy a topic to think about right now. I hear the sink water running, being turned off, and the excruciatingly high-pitched squeak of the hand towel holder.
Oh thank goodness, Roger is about to come out of the bathroom and then he can lift and carry me to the bed. I wish he didn't have to do this in his nice work clothes. Today, a blue and gold plaid button down with a small WVU logo, the Mountaineers play tonight. So do the Cats, but it's not looking likely I'll be able to watch my boys in blue tonight. I love Kentucky basketball. Love is not nearly an intense enough word, but neither are words like passion, enamored, fanatical. No, not even fanatical can convey the level of dedication I have to the Big Blue Nation. One reason I'm so sick today is probably because there's a game tonight. It's also because I'm fighting and killing many different pathogens and my body can't detox them out properly, but honest to goodness, I feel sick the entire day, every day we have a game, let's call it "sympathy anxiety/nerves/excitement" all rolled into one. Maybe it's good I likely won't be able to--nope, can't finish that sentence. It's never good to miss watching a Kentucky basketball game. I can't believe I even said that much. I can't believe the thought entered my mind.
I hear the bathroom door open behind me and the two steps it takes Roger to reach me as I lie on the hardwood floor send pain signals reverberating through my whole body. There are downsides to having hardwood floors and a thin bedroom rug. They look nice, but they hurt, and when you are unable to walk, they hurt even more. I try to take a breath to tell Roger my body just gave out, but the air hunger makes my breath small and shallow, so the words are faint and my mouth is veiled by my right pajama sleeve.
Thankfully this isn't a first time occurrence, so he knows what to do (without freaking out). Thankfully it is the first time it's happened in a while. Thankfully I have a husband who is able to maneuver my limp, unable to help, body into a sitting position and then into his arms, and with one hard push with his legs to stand, he carries me the few remaining feet to our bed, lies me down gently, helps me straighten my legs, and pulls the covers back over my body. We both know these episodes usually pass on their own, just in their own time. We both hope this time is the same. Roger didn't say it aloud, but since I'm hoping so, I know he is. I can tell when he is overwhelmed and feeling helpless, frustrated, and worn, as anyone would given the situation, despite his convincing efforts to express otherwise. I guess that's one reason we're compatible–we 'get' each other, oftentimes without words being spoken.
And I love him more than I love Kentucky basketball.
(Don't tell anyone I said that.)
(The above excerpt was (obviously) written a few hours after the episode happened, but is written in present tense in an effort to capture the reality of those moments--I'm thinking of including this and a series of similar "snapshots" as part of a book I'll be writing as soon I'm as able, but that's to be determined)