Anger is not an emotion I want to focus on. Living with pent up anger is clinically, not to mention emotionally, unhealthy. Sometimes though, life really takes it upon itself to try and illicit as much fury from me as it possibly can. You know the old adage of “When life gives you lemons, Make Lemonade”? What do you do when life takes your lemons?
As the story goes, April 1, 2014 began this terrible ride that Tash is on. The whole journey started out steady but as time grew on, it became more and more unstable with each passing day. I don’t mean to sound like I’m a scratched record that keeps skipping back to the same spot over and over again but sometimes it’s unavoidable.
My wife was happy. She was vibrant. There was a love for life and the adventures each new day brought. She had the ability to run and play with the kids at the park. We had started going on regular date nights now that the kids were a bit older. We would take 45 – 60 minute walks every day after I got home from work which eventually turned to runs. Anyone that knows her knows just how dynamite of a cook she is. I have several pictures of her trying to figure out a recipe or put together meals, etc. These are some of my favorite thoughts of her pre-sickness.
Hell, there are little things that I think about often that are small in nature, but big in heart to me. Like riding down the road with the windows down, her hair whimsically dancing in the wind. I remember her turning up songs she liked that would come on through Spotify; turning the knob ever so subtly to adjust the levels. The little nuanced moments are snapshots in time.
The tone of her voice echoing from the other room when I would call out to her to ask a question. The larger than life smile when I would walk into the house after getting home from work. The way her nose scrunches when she is razzing me while we were joking around.
All of that has been replaced. Life has decided, at least for this time, to take that away from her. I’m not even talking about me here. These are things that made up her personality. This is her life imprint. It has been replaced with painful winces and unpredictable (and often times, disrupted) sleep patterns. The sounds of Christmas, Country, Rock and Hip Hop coming through the speakers have been replaced with silence due to elevated head pain.
Being that we haven’t reached our 40’s yet, I don’t have to tell you (but I will anyway) that instead of walking/running along side me, she should not need assistance to walk from the bedroom door to the bathroom to make sure she is stable. She shouldn’t have to keep her head shaved because of the intense pain caused by having hair of any length. Watching as her hands constrict and contort instead of having her hands on a keyboard, fingers firing away as she works on her many story ideas she has.
Solidarity In Silence
Chronic illness is no joke. Silent illnesses are no joke. So many people live with these different diseases. Lyme Disease, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Depression, BiPolar Disorder… the list goes on and on. The fact that people fighting daily with the same struggles I’ve mentioned in this post are told by physicians, friends and even family that “it’s all in your head. Just think positive” or “You’re not praying hard enough”… they have no idea. It’s like the notion is that the people suffering through all of this want to feel like this.
Perhaps this post is a long overdue venting session for me. There is no reason for this. There is no reason for her to have to fight on a daily basis. Fight for what? Not for peace of mind. She doesn’t fight to be able to go to Dutch Bros for coffee or to go to do outside activities. No; she fights to go from waking time… to get to bed time. Imagine living a life where you just count down the hours, minutes and seconds to get from the moment you wake, just to go back to sleep. I know through first hand conversations with people fighting chronic and silent illnesses that she is not alone in this fight.
Life? Throw Me Some Lemons!
It’s a weird notion asking for life to send you “normal” day to day drama. Wanting, yearning for a flat tire. Experiencing the frustration of thinking you have carton of milk in the fridge for your cereal in the morning only to find that someone has drank it all and didn’t let you know to get more. These annoyances that potentially can derail a normal persons day are the types of problems that we would trade off for in a heartbeat. Granted, those scenarios are frustrating in their own right but in the grand scheme of things, it is the preferred “annoyance” for us. Again, it’s weird that I’m asking life to send us “problems”. But with the caveat that we can return whatever it is that’s causing her illness.
You Took All Of The Lemons!
Instead of trading, Life appears to have bypassed giving us lemons and left us completely without. Life took our Lemons. But it also took her fruit bowl. And yes I will say it. It’s not fair. Honestly, I don’t know if I would have the same stamina that Tash has had through all of this. Though, I will say that while the lemons and fruit bowl may be gone, leaving her with nothing but pain… She still remains the strongest person I know.
Next week, we venture to OHSU. What they will be running tests for aren’t Lyme related (more the byproducts of her symptoms… I’m looking at YOU Pulmonary Embolism), but they will be attacking some of her worse symptoms. I feel that she has been on the quest for the One Ring, and our family is the fellowship. We have walked side by side with this magnificent woman throughout her journey. And I know her journey isn’t done. We may face more obstacles. There may be harder trials. But the power that this woman has… her inability to quit is the stuff of wonder. And while Life may have robbed her of her lemons…
She has a different recipe waiting… and it’s going to be better than any lemonade anyone can concoct. That’s for damn sure.
Who needs lemons, anyway?
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