Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Oh, Right. THAT’S How It Felt.

I was finishing my Gyrotonic workout on Monday, doing my Upper Body Opening of shrugs and yawning circles, and suddenly I felt like I was going to throw up. I didn't feel nausea, really. It wasn't like being carsick, or being too drunk, or having food poisoning. Instead, it was almost mechanical: my body now wants to purge. I stopped stretching, and stood up and went to the bathroom and had a couple cups of water, and cleaned up my apparatus and went home. My body did not purge, and in fact I felt mostly okay Monday night. On Tuesday morning I had the same feeling though, and eventually took a Compazine (trying to avoid the more effective but more constipating Zofran) and lay down on our guest bed for awhile, trying to release the upchuck need, without actually upchucking. While lying there, I thought about all the reasons why I could finally be revisiting last spring's symptoms, for real.

Option One is that I had just, Monday afternoon before Gyrotonic, gotten my MRI rescheduled (for 5 May, from 1 June), and so anxiety about that had pretty much infused my psyche, conscious and subconscious. I know I had told Dr Jason, a week or so before on the phone, that it wasn't going to stress me out, moving that appointment up, but it turns out I was lying. I blame the full-brain radiation for that lapse in morals.

Option Two is, of course, the possibility that the tumor pressing on the top of my spinal cord has, in fact, grown again.

Option Three is that my brain and body are simply revisiting, as a result of the craniosacral work I had done last Wednesday, the physical trauma of last spring—because it was trauma. Frequently with the subtle kind of bodywork that craniosacral is, old traumas, occasionally years old traumas, are briefly revisited as the body completely heals. A broken bone from 4th grade might ache again for 24 hours. A scar will itch and burn. And, perhaps, the mechanics of puking will recur, all on the path to full recovery.

I was actually pretty confident on Option Three this morning. When I went to bed last night, I felt weird enough that I wasn't sure I would feel comfortable driving out to Woodinville this morning, and I was prepared to take the $62.50 loss on a missed riding lesson. However, I woke up feeling well. I got out of the house slightly earlier than in recent days (necessary, because my instructor has kindly started my lesson late every week for about a month now), made it to the barn on time, and had my horse groomed and saddled and was in the arena warming up before my instructor came. The lesson was great. I felt strong—stronger than I have in probably 18 months or more—and my lesson ended because it was time to end, not because I was tired. In fact, my right hamstring started to twinge as I came around the arena, posting, for my last circuit, and I felt like I was starting to actually build new muscle—recovery is over!

But then in the car on the way home, after eating my other half of a PB&J (a little less sticky without the honey) and finishing my latte, I suddenly, on 405 right before the merge onto 520, felt the mechanical need to puke again. I didn't puke, but the sensation did make me anxious, and I've felt my old familiar disconnected self ever since. I took the dogs to Magnuson anyway and we had a good time (except when Hoover ran snarling at a Weimaraner and scared the bejeezus out of her—he seems to have twin nemeses: Corgis and Weimaraners), and I'm home now and I haven't thrown up. I actually feel a bit more normally nauseas right now. I don't know if that's a relief. At any rate, I'll have more information Tuesday next.


I should share that, a few days after meeting with Witch Doctor Dan and feeling absolutely great—relieved, well, present, emotionally normal—I had a talk with Dr Jason about things I'd experienced and emailed (before meeting with Dan) to Dr Specht's nurse. The nausea and the migraines didn't concern him; what concerned him was the pinched nerve I experienced at Easter supper (which hadn't concerned me—it was almost an afterthought that I had mentioned it at all). Anyway, since that conversation, which took place 18 April, I have again been experiencing anxiety/disconnectedness, all of which went away after seeing Dan. The main difference is that I have not been too terribly anxious about everything, like I was before; rather, I have been understandably anxious about very specific, ominously familiar, things.

It turns out that cancer recovery is not all fun and games.

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