Starting last weekend, I had this annoying sensation in my throat, off and on, like there was something stuck. Or, rather, when you swallow something without enough water and you get the lingering feeling like something won’t quite go down.
I’d drink water, clear my throat and really not much helped. Then I realized it was right at the base of my throat — right around my trach scar — and that we were in mid-January. Which is when I got Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
Shortly after this revelation, the sensation stopped. So I’m not sure if my body was just reminding me, or if it had something to do with the fact that I had the revelation on January 18th. (Once I counted backward, that was the day my symptoms began in earnest.)
Yesterday, driving to Friday Night Magic, I observed that my soft palate was numb. Well, not numb, per se. The medical text will tell you that GBS causes numbness, and this is a misnomer. Think of how a foot feels when it falls asleep — normal sensations are muted and nothing feels quite like it’s supposed to. That’s how it felt in the back of my mouth.
And then I realized it was January 21st — the day I went into the hospital. Happy anniversary to me.
While I understand I underwent an extremely traumatic experience, part of me marvels at the fact that, 13 years later, my body still freaks out right on time. I guess it’s better at keeping track of days than I am, because I had to go back over some of my mom’s notes to find out the dates.
Point is, last night kind of sucked. I was jumpier than normal. Loud noises startled me more than they usually do — and I already have a heightened startle response thanks to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
In some ways, it’s oddly comforting that my body remembers. My trach scar is nearly closed. (Apparently, if we’d been massaging it, the thing wouldn’t have stuck to the base and created a belly-button looking thing. But after 3 months in the hospital, you’re really in no shape to take in tidbits like that.) And my other scars have long since healed. Some days, it feels like there’s no visible reminder that I was so very sick. Nothing I can point to that will help people have any inkling of what I went through.
In fact, in just 6 more years, my life will be equally divisible between pre- and post-GBS existence. Beyond bizarre and, for some reason, kind of upsetting, like I’m surrendering to something (though I couldn’t tell you what).
So, I guess, at least my body remembers, even when my conscious mind doesn’t keep track. Somehow it’s comforting to know that at least part of me is aware of the event that essentially shattered my life. Granted, I rebuilt it, but it was piece by piece And, in the right light, you can still see the seams.
This may sound glum, but I’m actually doing okay, if a little teary as I write this. Tim and I are going to a Magic event (surprise, surprise) that should be engaging: a timed, deck-building based on the 6 packs you’re given, after which you try to beat people with the cobbled-together thing.
So things aren’t terrible. Just a little melancholy in spots. But also looking toward the future — even if it’s only later today. One thing at a time, ya know?