This is the middle day of the prednisone treatment. I am still drinking plenty of water and eating my candy, but the sinking sensation does begin to bleed in.
I begin to soak in the smells of the alcohol swabs, the feel of the elastic they wrap around my arm, my knowledge of where they keep the blood kit, the fact that I know where the good bathroom is.
The familiarity of it all soaks in. I was scared of needles when I was a young girl. Sitting in this chair, I realize that I barely notice when they have to dig around in my arms with the needles while they search for my veins.
I think about how I got to this place. I do get sad at times and that is alright.
My last day of infusions is coupled with an MRI in the office downstairs. This is great because I am almost done and I have saved time by having back-to-back appointments.
This is tricky because I have been drinking so much water. The water is doing its job at keeping the cramping at bay and helping with the needles, but it’s going to be a problem when I am forced to be still in a magnetic tube for an hour.
“Will I need to pee?” I wonder to myself. “Yes, I will definitely have to pee. If I go right before, it might be tolerable. I just have to be sure that the nurse puts in a port today because I can’t have them searching for 40 minutes again this time. They were so annoyed when they had to stop the machine mid-scan just so I could go to the bathroom.”
I think to myself, “I can’t wait till I am done with all of this and I can get back to pretending that I don’t have a disease.”
I am tired. I look in the mirror to see that my skin has broken out and my body is swollen from all of those lovely MS steroids. I don’t even look like me at all.
I have a headache. My vision gets blurry. I want to eat everything in the house. The steroids are even beginning to affect my mood.
This is my hardest day. All of my responsibilities are behind me. I have done everything I have to do to heal. My body and mind are always tired at this point and it is incredibly hard to see beauty in the world when I am feeling this way.
This day is the most important day for me to have the emotional support of the people who love me. It is essential that I let them care for me on this day.
Life gets terrifying, at this point, if I am alone. I have to recognize that this feeling will pass. Therefore, it is okay to lean on those I love a bit.
I don’t want to dump my problems onto them, but I have to realize these people want to love me. They want to care for me and show me affection.
It is okay to let them right now because my survival depends on allowing them in. It is important that I am open with them in letting them know how they can help.
Every Day After, Until the Next Time
This is where the healing begins. Every morning, another step. Every day, another feeling. Every evening, another night to sleep through.
Little by little, day by day, I find my path. Some scars remain, both physically and mentally. My body seems to heal more quickly than my soul.