Yesterday I finally realised that I could no longer cope. It's very hard to write that, and even harder to say. Today I went to the doctor. It wasn't an easy appointment and I took an entourage of J and L with me. I felt like a fool trying to explain how I felt. It would be so much easier to explain that I have a broken leg not chronic, all pervading, life altering anxiety. To say out loud that I carry a constant sense of dread, paralysing fear, sickening worrying. I'll give you an example.
That trip to the supermarket we all make - I analyse every single minute of it. From stepping out of the door and the potential that George could trip over the lip of the door to a car crash on the way, vomiting from travel sickness, stepping out into the path of a car in the car park. slipping on the wet floor by the entrance to the shop, knocking a display over so that it injures him or running off and being snatched by someone or becoming lost. Exhausting doesn't even begin to cover it. it's like running a mental marathon with added muscle tension. I make myself go though, I have to, for my own sake and that of both Jon and George. In the past when I was less relied upon, I just didnt, go I mean. There was one stage in Manchester where I didn't go for nine months. Not anywhere. True story.
Add into the mix something like ill health and all of this goes through the roof, into the clouds and out into space. Especially if it's George's health that's in question. Constant panic, constant checking - does he have a temperature? a rash? - my personal fear of meningitis is so big it is overwhelming to the point where when it appears in the press as it does from time to time I am completely overwhelmed by the worry. It overtakes me and I become a frozen, weeping, gazing into space void. I tried to at least allay some of this by having G vaccinated privately, only that didn't work out either. We took him for his first injection to a clinic in Manchester and the following day he developed a vivid photosensitive rash akin to scarlet fever. The actual level of panic was off the map. It being a new vaccine the side effect had never been seen or heard of before and no advice could be given apart from to watch and wait. Watch and wait? why not just sign me a one way ticket to doomsville. It lasted a week, a week of looking scarlet, an out of hours clinic, a hospital trip and a tearful visit to our own GP. The physician who gave the first jab of the vaccine was unable to give me any reassurance about giving the follow up - save for, and I quote, If it were my grandchild, I would want them to see a paediatrician for further investigation before giving the go ahead - and so, he didn't have it. No booster, not vaccinated. Some immunity, not full.
His current thing is coughing. It's been in residence since the turn of the year in various guises. It was bad during half term, it's become bad again. There's nothing I can physically do to stop him from constantly hacking and gasping, beyond Calpol and Vicks. The doctor says it's viral. Obviously, I'm waiting for it to be diagnosed as something sinister.
In the meantime, the worry rests somewhere around the arc of my shoulder blades - the actual tension manifesting as a pain like a hot knife, twisting and dragging through muscle and flesh.
Tomorrow is a new day and I start a new medication. Wish me luck.