Friday, March 26, 2010
Things have been difficult to talk about. Like talking underwater or trying to talk during sleep. These are the metaphors that come to me over and over again. My mind is underwater; it's in a fish tank, water artificially blue and antiseptic. All I want to say, over and over again is I'm sorry. The refrain I cling to when I'm afraid. I'm sorry for being afraid. At night, narcotic waves of salt washing over me, the bed is a giant cradle rock rock rocking on jagged swirls. On the mri, there was a wash of black, blooming out of the vertebrae, like ink releases from a squid. See there -- how your nerve disappears? I nodded, not knowing what I was looking at but feeling it light up neon red and electric. The best cure is distraction -- distractions of love, making ready, celebration. This is what makes the body numb. The combination of champagne and vicodin and I'm saying things like you could cut me and I wouldn't feel it or care. And then there was a needle the length of my forearm (from finger tip to elbow) and the nudging in of the needle, and the x-ray pictures (I've never been so photographed) and then sitting up, the world yellowing and all the sounds swelling up and I've fainted sitting up. It's called vasovagal syncope. It's the oldest nerve in the body, I'm told. It bypasses the cerebral cortex and goes right to your gut. It felt like stepping off the side of a cliff -- yellow and silent-- and I'm in the paper hospital dress reaching my hand out into the air, unable to make a fist.