The Fear. I hate The Fear. I have The Fear now and I don’t know what to do about it. More accurately, I don’t know what to do about what’s causing The Fear. So, as famous people take to Twitter, I’m taking to Tumblr in a bid to make sense of it all in my head. You can have a read, if you like.
MW is in hospital. She was taken in on Friday with a temperature of 39.8, rapid breathing, and a lot of confusion. The district nurse who saw her said she’d be better off in hospital where she could be given IV antibiotics. Tests showed another UTI, and two patches of what appeared, to the doctor, like cellulitis (which is new to MW). I’ve seen her in some states thanks to MS but this seems different. She seems more distant, more disorientated. As I’ve written before, MW has shown signs of dementia-like cognitive impairment – memory lapses, confusion, and so on. I know that infections will exacerbate any pre-existing cognitive impairing. It’s just that she seems so frail along with it. I was feeding her a bun and a drink tonight and had to remind her to swallow. She didn’t seem to know that I was trying to give her some food/drink, even though she’d agreed to have them. I don’t know what part of this is due to the infection (presumably reversible with medication and care), what is caused by the MS (more damaging and potentially more permanent), or whether it’s a mixture of the two (and will that part caused by the temporary infection become a more permanent part of her MS). Frustration leads to attempted rationalisation of what’s going on, which leads to The Fear.
MW was asking about her Mum coming to visit her, so I explained why she couldn’t. We live at the opposite end of the country from her parents, but it’s mostly due to her Dad being ill and that her Mum cares for him. This is not news to MW but tonight she seemed to get quite upset by it, which is very unlike her. She normally understands the situation surrounding her Dad, yet it was as though she’d forgotten all about it. I told her that her Dad’s very ill, which seemed to upset her. I tried as best I could to put a positive slant on things, telling her that they’re doing their best and that they’re winning but she still looked quite teary. I was telling her that she was winning too and that we’d get her right, and back home – trying to instil a spark of determination in her – which seemed to work. In truth, I was trying to blink back my own tears.
Which brings me to The Fear. I have the fear of losing her. Not just in the sense of her not being the same person as she once was – mentally, I mean. But also losing her physically, really losing her. Dying. A feeling not helped by the nurses performing ECGs on her due to a raised heart rate. With it being Easter, and staffing levels being low, there was no doctor around tonight to ask for an opinion or to ask to expand on their reasoning behind the tests. The nurses are asked to do the tests, not to evaluate the results and explain them to an anxious husband. I came away from the hospital at end of visiting time feeling very uneasy.
So, I’m lying here at gone 2 a.m., watching fuck-knows-what on TV, trying to make sense of it all (getting more frustrated by the minute that I can’t contact the MS specialist nurse for another 36 hours at the earliest – thanks a bunch, Easter), and trying to keep The Fear away. I know where The Fear leads if unchecked – panic attacks, anxiety, deep depression. And I really have The Fear of The Fear.