This post was difficult to write and describes one of the darkest moments of my life. If it wasn't for my husband I doubt I would be sitting here today sharing these words with you.
Hot metal spikes stab deep into my cheek bone with the force of a pneumatic drill. Meat hooks tear at my flesh and the weight of the large rotting carcass they carry suddenly overpowers me. My whole world is turned upside down as though Quentin Tarantino and Roald Dahl have cast me in a sinister version of 'The Twits'.
In this altered state of reality everything appears normal but is anything but. Badly furnished doctors’ offices become the norm where the ticking of the clock is always too loud and time takes on the appearance of a bad car wreck. The waiting is almost as unbearable as the pain.
While my house begins to resemble a small pharmacy, and the list of side effects I experience reads like a bad novel, I acknowledge that now is not the time to be an anomaly.
Blood work and tests, CT scans and MRI's, surgery and acupuncture . . . . . nothing alleviates the pain and I feel the blackness closing in, trapping me in some kind of living hell.
Days turn into weeks, weeks roll into months and the sofa becomes my life raft. I cling to it desperately . . . . . sleep my only respite.
For over a year his grip remained strong. Even as my fingers weakened and I began to lose all hope his determination never faltered . . . holding on . . . holding the two of us, knowing that if he could keep going we'd find a way through.
Misdiagnosis after misdiagnosis eventually led them to a label . . . . 'Atypical Facial Neuralgia' also commonly referred to as the 'Suicide Disease'. Not that giving it a name helped.
Every direction I took I faced yet another road block and the blackness continued to close in. Not the comforting black of a night sky but a thick dark all consuming black that wrapped its gnarly fingers around me, choking the air from my lungs and plunging me into depths I'd only ever heard about in hushed whispers.
The person I was no longer existed. No thoughts. No feelings. Just excruciating pain and whether I had the strength to make it through one more minute.
With no obvious way through I wanted out and so I began to let go . . . to release my grip. First one finger, then another but I could hear something in the distance. It was a voice. It was his voice telling me "you are strong”, "you are the brave".
I was slipping, slipping, slipping. My fingernails bloody and broken from trying to claw my way back . . . my muscles tired and weak from the long fight. Every fiber of my being wanted to let go but that voice was like a niggle that I just couldn't shake.
Then up ahead I saw a flash of light. Not in the aaaaaah, singing angels kind of way but more a twinkle of light that you know deep down holds the promise of hope. Moving towards it I held my hand to my eyes, shielding them from the sudden brightness and there he was saying "you are strong", "you are bravest person I know". What he didn't realize was that it was his own strength and his own bravery that saved me.
Cross-posted over at Jason's blog 'Love Letters & Suicide Notes'.