We All Have Challenges

I wake up groggily from a nap, and bolt upright, running to the bathroom. I’m gonna throw up. No I’m not, yes I am, no I’m not. I’m hot, burning up. I’m never hot. I always have ten pounds of clothes on. People in the office are always making fun of me, saying I’m ready for a blizzard. I grab a paper towel, and soak it with cold water. Dab my face with it. A knock comes at the door. “Are you okay?” he asks, and I answer that yes, I’m fine.

I felt like this last weekend. I thought it was food poisoning, but I never threw up. The feeling just stayed with me, for days. I had to call out of work one day because I didn’t think I would survive.

As I lean up against the wall in the bathroom, my first thought is that I’m pregnant, though I know, for sure, that I am definitely not.

I told my doctor that I had been having trouble eating for months. That I had no appetite. That’s not true, but it was the easiest way to explain it. I’m hungry, but when I start eating, I feel sick. I suddenly feel full, after only a few bites. You would think that I’ve lost a lot of weight, but I haven’t. He weighed me in at 146 pounds, more than I’ve ever weighed in my life.

I come out of the bathroom, and he sees me with the wet paper towel, for the second weekend in a row.

“Are you feeling sick again?”

“Yeah.”

“Do you want to just stay home tonight?”

There’s a brewery close to his house. We love porters, and they have a limited German chocolate stout this weekend. We were planning to check it out for weeks, since we saw them advertising it. If we don’t go tonight, we’ll probably miss it.

“No. I know you wanted to go.”

“It’s okay. We could just stay in.”

“I don’t want to ruin your night.”

“You’re not. We have Supernatural.”

He’s a gift from the heavens. He always knows what to say, and when to say it. He’s caring, loving, protective, and understanding. I’m the luckiest woman ever.

The doctor told me that we can try changing my medication. But I know what that means. I’ve spent years trying this and that, suffering through a multitude of side effects: blurry vision, sleepiness, inability to function. Most of them don’t even work. The others, they make me feel like a zombie. If I didn’t have to work and could sleep most of the day, that would be okay, but that is just not the case. I have things I want to do, a life I want to live, and I can’t do that if I’m sleeping for 14 hours a day.

Besides wanting to throw up half the time, I’m doing really well. I work full time, I have opportunities on the horizon. I’m genuinely happy. The medication I take, along with therapy, has helped me achieve that. I can’t give that up.

It does make you wonder though. Why living with schizophrenia has to be so hard. You can either suffer the symptoms – delusions, paranoia, hallucinations, depression – or you can suffer the side effects of the medication. You would think, with advances in medical technology, that they would have come up with something by now. But I guess that goes with everything. Cancer, AIDS, morning sickness. There are a lot of horrible medical issues out there that go without a cure. You just gotta learn to count your blessings until something better comes along. And it will, I think, as long as we keep being open about what we go through and how difficult it can be. The powers at be will be forced to listen eventually, and it will get better. We have to believe that.

In the meantime, we just need to keep doing what we’re doing. Thriving, despite the challenges we run into. Everyone has their shit. It’s how you deal with it that matters.

And to all my friends and readers who have loyally listened to me bitch and complain about these issues, offering their hugs, love, recommendations, and well wishes, I appreciate you always. Living this life with you in it has been a blessing that I never could have imagined, but will always cherish. Thank you.


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