it hurts but nothing bleedsHere’s the Cliffs Notes version: Having my baby seemed to set-off some super fun chain- reaction wherein my pancreas DUMPED insulin for no rhyme or reason.  It is still unclear if it was insulinomas, or something else.  I had to survive for a long time (whilst Mayo finished testing) by consuming sugar and anything I could randomly try to hold  down because my blood sugar would randomly plummet 100 points in an hour several times a day.  This caused cyclical throwing-up and horrible physical and psychological symptoms.  Suicidal ideation, sweating like a woman in menopause and feeling faint, and having soul-crushing anxiety were regular issues.

Fast-forward to partial (about half) pancreas removal and my body is still regulating itself and I have minor (they don’t feel minor but I know what major is) blood sugar issues.  I lived for so long feeling faint and incredibly sick that now when I get slightly warm I freak out.  Logically, I know I am much better.  Unfortunately,  I live in Arizona.   I live in Arizona and it is summertime.  I am scared shitless some days.

I know God has jokes (and lessons) because this summer is going to be one of those super-fun sink or swim experiences.  I have dealt with regular anxiety my whole life, but now I am like one of Pavlov’s dogs (except instead of salivating at the bell- I panic at the heat).  This is a whole new ballgame for me when it comes to anxiety because before I was in actual medical danger, and now I am just existing in the fallout of past medical danger.

Before I got sick, I never wondered about life AFTER the inspirational person beats cancer (or whatever disease or problem it happens to be).  I guess I assumed that the worst part is getting through the pain and terror and treatment.  I’m pretty sure I was fucking wrong.  The hardest part for me is figuring out who I am now and how to deal with the ghosts of major issues.  Knowing I am going to live and be alright is an amazing gift but it doesn’t erase all of the trauma.

I will never be who I was before all of this sickness, and I have’t completely lost myself either.  I am trying to figure out how to live my life on a daily basis now that all the huge sweeping drama is over and the curtains have closed on that chapter in my life.  I have faced big scary changes before.  I have faced trauma before.  I had never faced leaving behind a baby/toddler and the love of my life.  Now, I’m not as sick anymore.  Now, I’m just a PTSD-jumping-at-every-shadow scared girl trying to be a mom, a wife, a friend, and whoever the hell Kerry is now.