Day 22: coffee

After being told my husband’s heart had stopped en route to the hospital and despite thirty minutes of trying to bring him back they simply couldn’t, I lost my mind. They wanted to bring me to what I call the “Death Room” where I could process it and be told what I needed to do. I wasn’t ready, I needed air. I went outside and began pacing and hyperventilating. I kept saying “Ican’tdothis Ican’tdothis Ican’tdothis Ican’tdothis Ican’tdothis Ican’tdothis Ican’tdothis Ican’tdothis” and they kept interrupting me saying “Yes, you can, yes, you can”. It felt like being preached a campaign slogan that was just as likely to come true as a politician’s promise. After calming down enough to agree to be taken to the Death Room, I sat on a couch that was neither soft nor hard, but certainly not comfortable. I remember the social worker telling me I needed to avoid caffeine because I wouldn’t be likely to be able to sleep for a while and if it went to long, I should anticipate hallucinations and may wish to see a doctor for a prescription. I thought it was crazy because all I wanted to do was be asleep so I had a chance to wake up from this nightmare. Little did I know, she was right about sleep.

I think, but cannot be sure, three days passed before I could sleep. And even then, it was only a couple hours. I had a brief hallucination at the funeral home while waiting to pick out an urn. A small, insect sized light ran up my arm and shot at my face. I looked a bit crazy when I recoiled back from the table and had to shamefully admit I was seeing things. Sleep still took a while to improve after that. I would pretty much have to get to the point of exhaustion and would pass out typing on my computer or in the middle of a conversation. Sleep has improved now. I wouldn’t say I’m setting an example for proper sleeping intervals, but no more hallucinations.

In light of this, I have stayed away from caffeine. But today, being Sunday, all I could think of was coffee. I don’t know why. Then suddenly I got a casual text from a friend saying he was drinking a cup coffee and relaxing so I told him that was a sign that today was the day I get myself some caffeine. He said he would wait for me to make mine and have another cup with me over text message. So that is what I did. It was such a simple, small gesture but it really made me feel almost normal for a little while.