Pain is a funny thing. You don’t really think about how it works till you are in it. I wrote so much during his diagnosis and treatment of TN, but so much of what I wrote I have forgotten. I imagine it is like when you have a baby or go through something traumatic and your brain has to filter it all out to live with it. If we held onto that pain it is quite likely we could die.
The pain I feel as I write is an emotional pain. The pain of seeing my husband like this and the joy and pain of seeing myself cope and manage. Sometimes I watch my movements and responses to those moments and I beam with pride and then other times I just want to kick myself in the teeth.
Nothing has made me a more stronger person than loving my husband “in sickness and in health” because I did and have done just that the way I was meant to in marriage. But the part that that statement leaves out is what that kind of love does to you and for you. It ravages you and inside and out exposing along its way your insides making you weak and vulnerable. For people like me who struggle being seen as weak and vulnerable that is probably one of my life’s most difficult tasks.
If ever my husband doubted or needed proof of my life; it would be my holding true to that in sickness and health line that has held our bond together making it stronger than ever.
I held his hand. They asked more about his appointment with the new neurologist. Kyle tried to talk to us, but couldn’t get it out. But finally he uttered the words, trigeminal neuralgia, and collapsed from the pain of saying the words. It was the first time I had ever heard those words and by the looks of the physicians and nurses in the room it was their first, too. At this point they said there just wasn’t much they could do and prescribed him strong pain meds, steroids and told us to contact his neurologist the following day and prepared discharge papers. My world was shook because for the last four years I had thought my husband has struggled with TMJ and now we are looking at something completely different.
I did the last thing I should do as I waited for the check out papers in that hospital room and with my husband’s hand in my mine. I googled it on my phone. What I read scared the shit out of me and he knew it would because even though he couldn’t talk he sat there and cried and whispered quietly, “I am sorry.” I did what I have done 100x since then and since TN has entered our life. I pulled myself up, dusted myself off and told him, “It is going to be okay. It has too.” I was strong for the both of us. And the drive home from the hospital was quiet one.
We made it home around 2:30am or so and we both crawled into bed. He was so drugged up I was sure if anything he would get some rest. I was also positive I wouldn’t. I lay in bed with him and I watched as shock after shock came. I didn’t really know they were shocks at the time. All I knew is that every couple of minutes he would twitch and stretch his body and face. A twitch and stretch that would come to instill feelings of fear in me that last still today. He tossed and turned. I woke up him up to take more meds every four hours for fear of not doing so would mean more pain than he was already in which is laughable now given that no amount of standard pain med can help trigeminal neuralgia sufferers.
I woke up the next morning to see my sweet husband leaning over the counter in a defeated stance with a pill bottle in front of him. What I saw in that moment was like the night before. A rare moment of weakness where the moment demands I take care of him because he always takes care of me. I came behind him and wrapped my arms around him and as I did this I saw his tears splash on to the counter and he said, “I don’t want to do this anymore.” He was broken. His will and spirit were absolutely shattered. He turned around and crumbled into my arms. I said, “You can do this. We will do this together.”