Reunions and revelations, unions and departures. In two days I enjoyed a great SF movie with friends and made a connection with one casual friend who is -- unknown to me prior to this-- also a fantasy writer. I spent time with my brother and learned things from him that both lightened me and revealed hurts of the past that I never knew about. Even though he's a grown man, he is still my little brother and I want to protect him from pain. I helped honor and send off a new family on its maiden voyage, and I brought together my own family this weekend.
Some times, like this, I am overwhelmed by the hope and the hurt. It is more than I know what to do with.
Yesterday I strode unwittingly into the clearing at the end of my path.
I'd been feeling sick since the day before and already called in sick for work. I thought I had the flu or a bad cold. After all our guests were gone I lay in the living room, unable to rest or sleep, but too fatigued to do anything but try. I sat up and, flexing my leg, my calf cramped into a charlie horse. Lauri tried to massage it out. I suddenly felt intensely thirsty and asked one of the girls for water. Then nausea engulfed me. I lay down on my belly, willing myself not to vomit.
Then I left.
I'm told that my eyes rolled back into my head and I knocked over the glass of water Chelsea brought for me. Delany was the first to see me shuddering and my eyes rolled up and she thought I was joking. That's not funny, daddy. Stop it. She said. I am told. Three to four minutes passed, in which I stopped breathing.
My sense came back in a swirl of disorientation: the world, first dark but full of voices, then as if through a fish-eye lens. The sensation of not breathing, or constriction along with the desire to rise, to struggle, to extricate myself from whatever condition I'd wandered into: that part was terrible. My bladder had emptied, and the physical sensation lent to an overwhelming sense of wrongness.
I started breathing again, and I could hear Delany crying and Chelsea and Lauri talking to each other and to me.
The paramedics came and took my vitals and blood sugar everything looked fine. They wanted to take me to the hospital, but I refused. We don't have insurance. Lauri and my father-in-law, who'd arrived at some point, both were angry about this, but I assented to her driving me, and we went to Denton Regional.
Fast forward, and in the course of talking with my mom and dad, the doctor, 4k later in medical tests, I know this: the doctor said the description is exactly that of gran mal seizure. I have had these periodically since I was 8 and everytime that I am taken to the hospital there is nothing wrong with me. At the rate they have come in the past, I may not have another until we reach the roaring '2o's. Weird. I still fill off, and I'm taking a couple days off to be safe. I'm supposed to go to the doctor for release to drive but I can't do that until payday. Luckily, we are carpooling, so we can take care and abide by that order until I do go in.
So, I needed, still need I'm sure, to process this. I want to write about it without seeming dramatic, and maybe that's not possible. There is this frustration at feeling that my body, my embodiment in the physical world has betrayed me. I worry at it happening again. I wanted Lauri to know most of all that I fought to come back. Beyond the terror of not being able to breath, I did not feel fear in this experience. But I am not yet done.
Chelsea comforted Delany during this, Listen, you can hear daddy talking to mommy, right? His life is not in danger. That's vebatim what this 16yo kid said to her 8yo sis. And today she broke down at school and called for us to come get her.
I am not yet done.
Daddy, Delany asked me today, what if it happens again? I don't think it will, not for a long time at least, but if it does we'll get through it. In their own ways, my girls and Lauri all expressed their fear of death to me. The fear of us losing each other. I believe in honesty, in regard to the natural fact of death. We die. It is what it is. I am not afraid of death. When it is my time to walk for the last time into that clearing at the end of my path I will do so with eyes clear and heart ready.
But for now: I'm not going anywhere, is my answer.
Namo Myoho Renge Kyo
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