Today I was faced with my first “how many kids do you have?” question.
Our office is closed on Friday’s and I had come into work to ease myself into things and reorganize. We had a couple of big cases and the first one, my children weren’t brought up, somehow we bypassed that while discussing our pets. My first official day back to work is Monday, with a full work load all week.
My back was tight and my abdomen a little sensitive (I had a C-Section with Logan). There was an hour and a half until our next patient so I decided to go home and try to relax a bit. Now up until this point, I had been fine emotionally. Work felt, well normal.
On my drive home, I got to the corner right before my subdivision, and my stomach was in knots. I had this overwhelming sensation that I was forgetting something really important. More than a sensation, an ache. An ache that I was missing something. I drove the rest of the way home in a panic. When I got home, the UPS guy was dropping off a package, and we had a little giggle. I hadn’t eaten all morning so I chalked my “ache” up to not having eaten anything all day. So I ate lunch, and all the while I felt sick to my stomach, like I just needed to throw up. I got up and walked the house a couple times. Not really after anything, just not knowing what to do. I finally came into Logan’s room, realizing I had stepped in quicksand. I was walking down into my rabbit hole. I started looking at his Shutterfly Book #3 (contains Logan’s life from Day 1 to Day 11). I came across a picture that was the size of the whole page, he looked so touchable. I pulled the book close to my face, about halfway there I pulled it away, realizing that I would be greeted with a cold, rough surface. Not the soft, squishiness of his cheeks. Not the wrinkly skin, furry chest or smelly body. I started weeping, the dry, make no noise, stop breathing weeping. I began to feel everything I felt when Logan died. I missed my baby, I wanted my baby.
If you’ve never had an anxiety attack, let me clue you in to what you’re missing. Intense feelings of fear, doom, foreboding, and good; a sudden urgency to escape, run away, or get out; the fear that you may lose control of your thoughts and actions; dizziness; nausea and vomiting; a feeling like you might pass out; trembling or shakiness; weakness; difficulty breathing; pounding or racing hear; hot or cold flashes; chest pain; hands and feet my feel numb; you may be lightheaded or woozy; irrational thoughts, and a number of other physical, psychological, and emotional symptoms. Wow. I literally cannot think of a better way to explain this. 👏🏽
I finally calm down enough to go back to work. I turn off the radio in the car; I don’t say anything when I walk into work. I sorta paced for a few minutes before I could throw myself into something. I go in to set up my patients room, and I’m not even sure now how we got on the topic of children. “How many children do you have?” 😳 I was standing behind him, so he couldn’t see my face. It took my a few seconds to respond, not long enough for him to notice. As I heard myself saying “I have one boy,” all I could think about was Logan. Did I just disrespect my son’s memory? Will he forgive me? Will he understand what just happened? The conversation didn’t slow down enough for me to fall back into my rabbit hole.
I expected to have people give me condolences, but I never thought that I would have a patient who didn’t knew, so early. I have wrangled with this issue for awhile. Even during pregnancy, Josh and I would discuss what we would say to people who didn’t know. In my line of work, communication is huge. I’m the person the patient talks to usually the most. In the time I’ve been home, I haven’t had this discussion with myself again. I have been so caught up with all the other emotions and what to expect conversations, I completely forgot one of the most important ones to have. Do I tell people I have 2 children and prepare to go into a lengthy conversation, a short conversation resulting in me running and hiding in the lab, or just simply say I have 1 child. In hindsight, now that I’m looking back at the situation (because of course I’m sitting in Logan’s room, in our chair writing this) I wish I would’ve said 2. Logan is important, after all, isn’t that why I’m writing this blog? Isn’t that why we created the GoFundMe. Isn’t that why we have raised so much awareness on his behalf? How belittling for me to not mention him to the people in my everyday life. So I’ve decided to tell people I have 2 children, no matter what results after that.
But it’s important to say, we all play a role in life. Everyone is an actor or actress. We play the role we need to fit our situation. Whether we’re having a shitty day and we tell our patients we’re fantastic and smile and play along. Or your drowning in your rabbit hole and you grin through it, blink back your tears and say I’m okay. Really I am. Everybody has something they’re hiding behind. Not at every moment, but everybody has troubles in their life, and one way or another we find a role to help us through it.