What a strange couple of weeks it has been.
I have done so much thinking and reflecting, my brain positively hurts.
As I mentioned in my last blog... When you're blatantly reminded of your mortality, it puts things into perspective. Or maybe not puts them into perspective.. Maybe, just puts them all in your face in a giant, jumbled, emotional mess.

I will probably complain off and on (maybe a lot) in this blog, so if you don't want to listen (read), I suggest you close this browser.

Today is my boy's last home basketball game. Last home game as an eighth grader, here in this little school that has been such a huge part of our lives since kindergarten. Tomorrow he has a rescheduled away game, but today is the last one at home. They will honor the eighth graders and the moms at today's game. I will most likely cry. I am in hopes that I won't be the only mother shedding tears.
This morning I told him how happy I was that he made the A team this year, and how happy I was that he stuck with it, even through his frustration.  I told him he was a much better ball player than he gives himself credit for. And how happy I was for him that he was able to create these tighter bonds with all of his friends, develop his skills, be part of such a wonderful team, and just have this experience in general.  He was like- Umm, ok Mom, thanks. Hopefully he heard it, at least a little bit. If not today, then he will hear it someday. I am so proud of him. For this, and for so much more.
The one drawback to living in a choice of high school town, is that all of these boys will now part ways. Some will coincidentally stay together if they choose the same school, but many will part. It is so very sad. These boys have been so close for so many years...
And... FRIGGIN HIGH SCHOOL?????? How exactly did this happen??? When did my youngest, my baby, become high school age?
Time, please slow down. I'm getting older. My boy is getting older. Everything is changing...

He really is the one true bright spot in my life. Of course, so is my daughter, but it's different. She's moved out and grown up, she is a little adult now. I don't  know how or when the hell that happened, either. And I worry about her so. More so now than when she was at home. But she makes me proud every day, too.
But the boy, he's still at home.
He is a mama's boy, and for that I am probably responsible.  I hope he grows "tougher" in time. I hope he gains confidence, loses his naivety, grows a thicker skin... He is so soft. And that is one of his most redeeming qualities. But the world is a cruel place, and "soft" people feel the pains of it so much more deeply... I should know. It is a constant and painful struggle, being a skeptic and soft, being hopeful and hopeless, feeling so much and yet so little, all at the same time.
I have raised "soft" children. I don't know if that's a good thing or bad.
But anyway..
My boy. He's still at home. And he's all I really have now. I am afraid I suck the life out of him, daily. Like some kind of psychic vampire.
Norman Bates's mother.

Him, and work.
Those are the things I have. The things that occupy my mind, my time, and give me purpose.
Thank god for work. Although I've missed quite a bit of it lately, due to basketball games or doctor's appointments. It is nice to hear the complaints of my customers that I'm not there. Someone noticed my absence, at least.
Which brings me to the next thing I've thought a lot about..

When I'm gone, who will notice?
My family, of course. The very few friends I have. But who else? ... No one.
And that is how it is with everyone, not just me. A handful of people will recognize your absence. But that's it. Life goes on, the world keeps turning. I suppose all we can hope for is to affect at least those few people, in such a profound way, that we live a little longer even after we're gone. Because, the world keeps turning.
Sometimes I find myself looking back on my blogs, or on my facebook posts, and saying to myself- Why do you bother, Crista? Because, no one really cares. Every person out there is fighting their own battle, is preoccupied with their own lives. And no one really gives a shit, my love.
No, I'm not asking for attention. I don't need it. I've lived a life without it. I'm just saying that these are the things I've been thinking about lately. These, and much, much more.

Like that Saturday night, almost two weeks ago. When I thought I had had a stroke, or heart attack. When I was so deathly scared to fall asleep. So scared, period. I thought- I am here alone. No one will know if I've died. No one will be here to save me, to call 911, or to just be here while I take my last breath. And the next day, lying in the bed in the emergency department, thinking- Why is no one here with me? Yes, my mother and my daughter were in the waiting room (because I didn't want them coming back there with me). And during my ultrasound and CT scan, mother and daughter were around for those as well, primarily because they wanted to be. But still, I wondered- why am I going through this alone? And again during my stress test. And during all these doctor's visits. And today, for my MRI/MRA... And so on, and so on, and so on...
Alone is something I am getting used to. Well, maybe not. Not really. Ok, not at all.

The MRI will show the imagery of my brain, and the MRA is to specifically look at the blood vessels. I must admit, I'm a bit stressed out about it. Maybe more than a bit...
An elevated d-dimer, indicating a clot somewhere, with no contributing factors that would otherwise cause an elevated result (such as liver disease, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, pregnancy, malignancies, etc), no clots in the legs or lungs... This is the last ditch effort. The big gun. This is what I have been pushing for all along, based on my symptoms that weekend and beyond (left handed numbness, right sided vision impairment, the varying confusion, the constant light-headedness, the headaches)...
If my imaging doesn't show anything, then I remain a medical mystery. And THAT is fucking FINE by me. I don't want it to show anything. Please let it look normal. No lesions, no clots, no nothing. Please let it show nothing. Please, Universe, please let it show nothing. Other than the fact that I have a brain.

And, if the imagery today shows nothing abnormal, then what? Who friggin knows.
My PCP suggested that at that point we focus on smoking cessation (that's causing the cystic changes in my lung), address my headaches, and evaluate my mental health... WHAT?!? BUT, I'M NOT CRAZY!
Ok, maybe I am, just a little bit. But not crazy, like, paranoia/hypochondriac crazy. Crazy like, mood disorder crazy. That's not new news. I've been on a few different mood stabilizers, all with varying effects. I've been on one of the top five drugs for bipolar disorder. But that made me feel flat, and so after about 6 months, I weaned myself off them and went on my merry way. And so far, my "disorder" hasn't negatively impacted my life. I manage just fine.
I can't use Chantix (the stop smoking drug) because of it's really weird effects on people with "mood disorders" (hell, Bipolar, guess we can call it what it is, but I hate the stigma). I know, I tried it once. I went nuts. It was terrible. Waking nightmares (to the point of hallucinations), instability in my mood (way worse than usual), irritation, anger, mania. It was so very pleasant.
I'll start with the gum, I guess. I need to at least cut back. I can't go cold turkey. I just know I can't. I don't want to. But maybe I can at least supplement. Smoke less. Cut down. Wean off.

Well, guess I'd better go get ready for my appointment.

I think maybe I'll make myself an imaginary partner. That way, I won't complain about being alone all the time. What should I name him? Or maybe it'll be a her? Or maybe, it'll be a dog. God knows, dogs are more loyal than people. Dogs love you more than most people do. Maybe it'll be a friggin dog.
Ok, maybe I am a bit crazy.

Be well.