Wednesday, April 15, 2009

To the bone.

Raw. Stripped bare. That is how I feel. That is what I am.

It's not actually all that bleak. It's not at all a new feeling. It's a place I land somewhat regularly, a place life spits me out to. In essence, this happens.

It's been building for weeks, or rather it's been wearing away for as long, or maybe longer. Work stress took its toll on my body, which has been staging various major and minor revolts. My relationship is still rocky, to be sure, which puts just a bit more of an edge on everything. And there are other factors, but we're getting to that. This week the whole of it has come to a head in several different ways.

On Monday, I had a small breakdown when Jonathan was not responding to me on i.m. It turned out that he was not responding to me because he wasn't actually logged in; some glitch in the system was showing him present when he was not. But my reaction showed me just how fragile I am at the moment, and just how easy it is to send me spinning out of control when it comes to the idea of him being upset with me or ignoring me. My threshold there is effectively zero - which is bad particularly because he himself is having a very stressful time and cannot always perfectly meet my needs. Shockingly enough, try as he might he too is human. Go figure.

You've heard about Tuesday, so I won't go into it. You've also been hearing about the workload in general, which isn't budging in the least, so I won't go into that either.

I've mentioned that the migraines have come back, but I haven't really explained. The story is that I've been on Topamax, a drug taken to prevent migraines, for close to two years now. That happened because I was getting bad ones three to four times a week - and that's really not a situation that allows a person to keep working or even getting out of bed every day. I tried Imitrex and something else similar and had horrible reactions, so Topamax it was.

Well, I've been on a very low dose - 50 mg - and thus far it's worked very well... until the past month or two. They're starting to creep in again, to the point where at least once or twice a week, I'm dizzy, disoriented, having difficulty concentrating, nauseous, light-sensitive, and even getting to the point of full blown head pain. Again, just not a situation conducive to functioning. So I called my doctor and, huge surprise, he's decided that we need to up the dosage of my medication.

I'm only going up to 100 mg, which is still a low dose for this drug. But to say I'm not happy about it is an understatement. It's an anti-convulsant, and no one understands why it helps migraines. That doesn't give me warm fuzzy feelings. I don't like fucking with my nervous system, and I don't like taking drugs that function through mysterious pathways. But what's my other option? To be blindsided on any given day by a condition that renders me various shades of useless. Great choice, huh?

So that's Huge Stressor #2, #1 of course being the ever-present / newly worsening work situation. I'll go ahead and vote "I'm effing moving!" as #3. And #4? Well that one just came today.

And it involves the fam.

I know you're shocked.

So I'm at work, in the midst of another 10 hour day, and I get this message from my mom. (On my work phone. You know. Because that's appropriate.) She explains to me that "that thing" my dad has been afraid of at his job actually is happening, contrary to the information he received a week or two ago that it was not happening, and could I just call sometime this week and make him feel better about it? Because, you know, as the child it's obviously my responsibility to comfort my parent in his time of strife. Never mind that my own life is such a goddamn train wreck that I'm crying hysterically every night.

But this is our dynamic. From the earliest times we can remember, my sister and I have taken a parenting role to those two adults that birthed us - far more often, really, than such support has flowed the other way. "Don't tell your father - it might upset him" and "be strong for your mother" were practically our family mottoes the entire time I was growing up. When I was little, I actually thought I was being bad when I got sick. Who was strong for us? For a long time, no one. Eventually, and with immense pain, we learned to be strong for ourselves, and then later, for each other. We're still waiting to see if mom and pop are ever going to pitch in, but let's just say that, well into our thirties, we're not holding our breath.

So that's my life right now. Wake up too early after not enough sleep, arrive at work to an empty dark office and an absurd workload to try to get some things done before The Noise starts, deal all day with an office full of people who resent my need for quiet and simply my presence in what they see as "their" space, add two tasks to my list for every one that I get to cross off, wonder if the day will bring a migraine or bad indigestion or the crazy tinglings of peripheral neuropathy, feel guilty for not being my parents' rock of love and support, and then go home and try to pack.

I've reached that dry, sarcastic, bitter point where everything is just a dark unfunny joke. Scotch and cigarettes are a good companion to this mood, and I truly wish I still drank or smoked.


There is no other word.


melissa bastian. said...

Dear "Peter Jackson",

BURN IN HELL. No, I will NOT "buy Imitrex". If you were a PERSON and not a SPAMMER you would have READ this post and realized that Imitrex makes me feel like I'm going to die.


Tamarinara said...

Imitrex makes me feel like im going to die too i get all feeling like im going fall off the earth and i have to hold on to shit and i cant see straight. its terrrrible.

melissa bastian. said...

Yeah, it seems to go one way or the other - either it's the miracle cure or it makes the migraine three times as bad - which is really the equivalent of making you think your brain is going to liquefy itself and leak out of your brain. I, sadly, am in the latter category.

Genevieve said...

Shit, dude. Gimme a call or something. We'll comiserate.

melissa bastian. said...

Thanks Gen. It's not so doom and gloom as I make it out to be... this is just my place to spill it all and wallow. Woo blogging! We do of course need to talk; I'm just having trouble finding any time do do anything right now... like eat, or shower, or sleep... This weekend we're going to do our best to get a lot of moving done. Maybe I'll try to pin you down sometime next week?