Here’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.