Post Christmas Fallout

Christmas is over and it went well.  Colt was delighted with his gifts (he’s always so thankful and sweet), he did an awesome job at that Christmas Concert and he spent his time feeling proud, loving us up and fiddling with all of his new stuff.  Since we have no one to buy for other than him, we tend to spoil him at Christmas a bit.  I mean, why the hell not right?  He’s not spoiled, doesn’t carry that sense of entitlement that so many people these days carry and he works so hard all year long.  He deserves a pile of gifts, carefully chosen just for him.  I love watching him tear into them….it was great.

D liked the stuff I got him which was almost entirely stuff for the kitchen save one Jamie Oliver cook book that he’s not been able to put down since Christmas morning.  He was so pleased with that one he almost cried when he opened it.  Lol..was such fun.

D, along with the massage stuff he got to help me with, gave me a stocking full of make up and nail polish…just little things that he knows I like.  He said he wanted to make me feel young and pretty…told me to show off what I’ve got going for me 🙂  It was sweet.  We haven’t exchanged presents for years.  One thing he got for Colt to give me was a lovely pair of amber earrings.  I’ve been collecting amber jewelry for a while now…it’s said to help with joint pain.  I got my rings earlier this year and the pain in my hands has improved; he was hoping the earrings would help my neck/jaw/head.  I’ll know soon enough!  Plus, they are beautiful teardrops with a lovely honey colour.  Love em.  Then…Oh the romance nearly bowled me over.  He comes out with this tiny box from my favourite mid-expensive jewelry store.  They sell sterling silver gorgeousness at decent prices (where my earrings came from too!).  Inside the tiny box was a delicate silver bracelet with a tiny inscription on a little silver oval…I read the inscription…confused.  It looked like coordinates (geographical) and as I looked up at him, puzzled, he told me that the coordinates marked the place where we first kissed.  *melts*  Seriously!!  He  found the coordinates exactly where we were standing when he first reached out with his hand and stroked my cheek as he moved in for the kill; soft lips…so sweet.  I didnt’ even know what to say besides “I love you!”  That seemed to be the response he’d hoped for.

So that was the happy, and it was very happy 🙂  We enjoyed little sips of our delicious bottle of 21-year-old single malt scotch and played with Colt and his new army of transformers and dinky cars.  I actually found a new Lite Bright which was too cool.  It’s a flat screen now (remember those huge things…giant monitor with a huge light inside?) and it runs off batteries.  He was enthralled for a while, making pictures in the dark, calling us to join him in the blacked out bathroom every few minutes to see his picture glow.

Then the flip side.  Me, my head, my body and my dreams pretty much ate the rest of my time off away.

I’ve been really sore since the week before Christmas.  I figured the stress was causing tension etc so I kind of ignored it, thinking the rest from work would do me good and I’d be able to get right back at it today.  The stress levelled off but the pain stayed.  I’m getting about two hours of relief from the meds now and then the pain stacks up until I can’t handle it anymore and I start to throw up or need to lie down (the second I lie down I fall asleep).

Being in the house was not good for me.  I could feel myself starting to isolate nearly right away.  I didn’t turn my computer on once this last week…which is unheard of in my house.  I didn’t play any games, didn’t blog, didn’t even open my email.  Well, that was mostly because I was sleeping most of the week, I guess.  I thought I’d make myself get up and out of the house for a short while each day, if possible, so on the day after Christmas (stupidest day of the year to go to a shopping mall in Canada) I went out with D and Colt to hunt down a good deal on a new coat for the boy.  I knew it was going to be busy, I mean, I worked in retail for a long time and never had trouble until after the PTSD hit.  By then, I was long gone from that career.

We pulled into the parking lot and it was sheer madness for as far as I could see.  People were racing each other to open spots, were honking and angry…no one wanted to let anyone move for fear they’d miss the chance to park.  Within ten minutes I was feeling tendrils of panic snake around my chest.

“I don’t think I can do this”  I said, rather suddenly.

“Do what?  Come on Grainne!  You’ve made us come all the way here so we can turn around and leave?”

He didn’t seem to be picking up on my panic.  Eventually, he listened to me (once I was doubled over and dripping sweat, nearly fainting, nearly throwing up) and we left the mall and drove home.  When we got there I immediately went inside, threw up, crawled onto my couch and passed out for 16 hours.  Then the nightmares started but I’ll write them in their place, not here.  They were horrible, as usual.  D spent hours sitting by me, waking me up when I was screaming.  He made a little video of me screaming in my sleep (sounded more like ‘mooing’ lol  I guess my mouth wasn’t working very well).  I quite hated seeing it but I knew what I was dreaming of while I watched my face contort and twist in pain.  Wasn’t fun.  And then I’d wake to real pain.

In the end I am left feeling drained and unsettled.  Panic attacks before actually experiencing a crowd are not good.  I know I will need to pull myself back a little for the next while…shop in smaller stores, targeted shopping trips where no browsing is required…shopping at off hours.  There are reasons I stopped going to crowded places…I don’t know why I let myself forget.

Of course, on the flip side of this I’m stuck feeling like I’m losing this game.  I cannot go to busy public places without panic.  I cannot go to quiet places without having to cope with the pain.  Already now, it’s creeping back in.  It seems that I have this two-hour window to get my day done.  Do I need more medication?  Likely, but I can’t do anything until my liver enzymes return to normal, if they ever do.  I don’t think I can quite do this forever.  Kind of depressing.

But then…there’s Colt.  Then there’s D and his loving efforts to make me feel better.  He took the whole picture and applied everything he could, even though he was unable to take my pain away.  He’s settled into understanding what I am experiencing and is determined to affect it in a positive way, regardless of how much or little something helps.  It’s amazing to feel that coming at you from another human being.  I don’t remember the last time I felt so loved with few conditions…no conditions really.  All I have to do is love him back and remember that I not only have my strength to tap, I have his as well.  The fact that he is giving that willingly blows my fucking mind.

Here is my reward for making it through so much.  D and Colt are an amazing little family and with them behind me (and me behind them) we make it…all together, we make it.  The rest is only superficial barriers.  I can live with pain without giving up when I have this love surrounding me.

There.  😀  Managed to end on a happy note!  Yayyy!  Screw you pain!  Love wins today.  xx


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About Grainne

My name is Grainne. This blog has been with me for years now and has served as a journal, a confessional, an outlet and a place for me to create and express my love of life. Thank you for stopping by and for becoming a part of this life long journey of mine. I appreciate every single one of you who takes the time to do so. :)

7 responses to “Post Christmas Fallout”

  1. paindepression says :

    I relate to every word you wrote! I too, stopped going anywhere crowded, I usually order online to avoid stores. I never go in stores except the grocery store after thanksgiving until the new year. All due to the panic. The panic always increases the already horrible pain I have to live with, but it also adds so much fear and terror too! Your Christmas sounded amazing! I envy you having such a loving and wonderful man in D…..

    • Grainne says :

      Thank you so much! D and I are on our second time around this particular dance floor 🙂 We have been in each other’s lives for nearly 20 years now. Things were very difficult when our little guy was born disabled…it completely tore us apart. This new chance… it’s so different from other times. I feel VERY lucky to be able to gather up all that experience and get a second run at this, with D.

      Trust me. I’m kinda blown away too. xx

  2. idena says :

    What a sweet and thoughtful gift he gave you! Bonus points for him!

    • Grainne says :

      I know right? Where the heck did this guy come from?! Lol! Can this possibly be the same man who didn’t bother to acknowledge my birthday for about ten years of our life? … Life changes so much day by day…always best to navigate as you go, I think. 😉

      Thanks xx

  3. ~meredith says :

    Awww… What a lovely post, Grainne. You know, I used to think I’m such a poop for not rising to the seasonal instabilities (like busy malls, woven into flashbacks and spiked with pain… but this year my wife and I did not do the season at a dead run, and we didn’t do appearances at every last gig… and I am so grateful. I think there comes a point when ‘staying in the whirl’ is more destructive than joyful, and this post reflects it, too. I’m so glad you had a happy day of gifts… it must be heaven for Colt to have low-key comfort and joy, too.

    Thanks for writing this post. Wishing you all the best, and Amber chandeliers and lamp shades and stones to wrap you in the light of wellness. Happy 2014.


    • Grainne says :

      Thanks so much Meredith! I’m glad you guys had a nice Holiday season too! It is so much better when you get to enjoy the time with the people you actually want to enjoy time with! 🙂

      Happy New Year to you and yours! I’m planning on making this a good one! xx

  4. Pete says :

    D got you a gorgeous gift and the inscription was so romantic. I’m really happy for the three of you. Grainne you deserve every good thing that comes to you!

    Love Pete xo

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