I Was Useless on Move In Day at My Kids’ Colleges

Yes… I’ll be the first to admit it. My health was deteriorating slowly beginning in 2003. Well, that’s when I first noticed it.

In 2005 I was vomiting practically every day. I was so tired and weak I don’t know how I was able to hold down a full-time job. I’d throw up in the bathroom at work. No one knew it though. More times than I’d care to remember, I would pull my car over to the side of the road on my way to work or home and throw up.  In the fall of 2005 my twins headed off to separate colleges. I was barely able to help them on each of their move in days. I couldn’t carry much because I didn’t have the strength. Making the trek from the car, across the campus, and up the stairs to their rooms was impossible for me to do. I had to keep stopping to take a rest. I was more of a hindrance than anything else. Finally, I sat in the dorm room and watched everyone else move stuff in. Here they were, my daughter in August and my son in September, so nervous about moving off to a different state, making new friends, and doing well in their studies. I didn’t want them to have to worry about me.

In my mind I kept thinking that my family and friends didn’t know how sick I was. On the phone one night with my mother I told her that maybe I did have cancer and the doctors weren’t telling me. I realize that was a silly notion. Of course they would tell me. If they knew.

Due to the constant vomiting, I lost 40 pounds. A woman I worked with asked me what my secret was for losing so much weight because she wanted to do it too. She had to be kidding. My clothes were just hanging off of me. I felt like hell and was desperately trying to keep food down. I decided to just eat soft things like, jello, pudding, soup, and scrambled eggs. Well, that didn’t help. I threw that up too. And most of it contained gluten.

As I mentioned in a previous post, my hematologist ordered 8-week iron intravenous treatments for me several times during the year due to my severe anemia. One particular evening I had finished my eighth week of treatments but I wasn’t feeling any boost of energy at all from this last round.  I was barely able to drive myself home. I would close my eyes at red lights to rest because I was always so, so tired. When I arrived home I literally crawled in to the living room and lay there. My husband was already home from work and preparing dinner in the kitchen. I announced from the floor that I was home. He looked down at me and asked if I was all right. No… I’m not kidding you. He really asked me that. You see – when people view you as a strong person they assume you never need help. I’ve been through some tough times in my life and managed to survive it all somehow. So, I picked myself up off the floor, told him how tired I was and plopped down in a kitchen chair. I really didn’t even want to eat because I already knew within half an hour I’d be throwing it all back up.

When my kids came home from college for Thanksgiving break, I could tell by the looks on their faces when they saw me that I looked really bad. I was physically and emotionally drained. I’d like to end this post today on a happy note but I can’t. Things got much, much worse.

Until next time…