Wednesday, April 9, 2008

At a loss

That should be the title of this blog. This time I'm just at a loss for words. I just...I'm just so overwhelmed by how...horrible this all is. And I want to reach out and support those who are also suffering, but I just...can't. And I hate that. I can't even put words together for more than one comment a day. And even my comments are self-centered and...I don't know. Please know I'm out there and I'm reading.

I'm so moved by the pain and guilt and anger and frustration and exhaustion and fear and, well, yes, even some of the beauty that's out there. In the 'verse. And in the verse.

Everywhere I look there are babies. Someone else in the department who gave birth in February came in for a meeting with her infant. The people across the street. Down the street. I can't get away from it.

I just sat down and sorted through all the bills from the local hospital (MHMH) and the local medical center and the radiology and the er doctors. Haven't even gotten the bills from the big city hospital (UC) yet for the initial visit and the delivery. I almost typed birth. What the hell is wrong with me. Silly me.

All the visits for fluids, the trips to the er for fluids, all the prenatal testing -- my portion, my copay is about $1500. That's not counting the day my water broke and the time spent at MHMH getting examined and "treated" and ultrasounded and screwed around with and d&c'ed. Not counting the costs at UC, it's about $11,000, before insurance. Can't wait to get the co-pay on that. And the bills from UC. And really, what's the rush. It's only been 14 weeks.

If I had decent life insurance I would say I'm better off dead, since at least my bills could get paid. As it is our student loans are as much as a cheap house out here. More than a mortgage for just one of our totals.

It looks like I'm going to do a medical withdrawal for this semester. There's just too much work to make up, too much I missed out on while I was puking and/or crying my eyes out. It doesn't look like I'll have to refund my assistantship, or my stipend or my tuition waiver. I'm more behind now. Keeping us here longer. I will probably take the summer off from school, but how am I going to bring in any money? I contacted an old employer, my supervisor for one of my assistantships to see if he had "heard of any openings" for the summer. We'll see. Right now, there are very few jobs I can see myself doing, but my old job is one. I was happy there. Happy enough. The good will and lower intensity of work would probably be good for me.

Even though I know it's probably the right thing, the withdrawal makes me feel like a failure. Something else I can't complete. Can't get through. Even though I know I can't, and for good reason. My chair asked me first about going part time in the fall, then how would it be to take the year off and then come back? Christ. Everyone had great hopes for me. I did, too. How many more people can I let down, can I prove wrong?

Goddammit.

*****
I have a more human post coming, less mopey. Right now I'm just wanting to curl up in a ball. But I have to go to class. So I can say I attended today. So I can cry in front of my classmates. Or maybe I'll just get that out of the way and cry now. If I show up with red eyes and pale, blotchy skin they'll be extra sweet to me. I can hide in the back.

It amazes me how much this continues to suck. It's like I'm stuck in an alternate reality, carrying this huge, sharp weight around my neck. Sometimes I forget it's there, but not for long. And the bruises it leaves, the welts, are never going to heal.

11 comments:

CLC said...

I feel you pain STE. It does suck and it's hard to do anything, even comment on a blog. I guess that's why it's called grief "work". Only we didn't apply for this job, but now it's our whole life. You can't beat yourself up about withdrawing, we can only handle so much. Be gentle to yourself.

Tash said...

Great alternate blog title, btw. CLC's right: it's work, and it simply bites. You get stuck. It weighs you down. You don't want to do anything, or go anywhere. It's perfectly miserable and horrible.

But please, please, please know that you're not alone.

Busted said...

Not to be redundant - but of course we all know how you feel. Don't worry about supporting others. And yes, I also feel my comments to others are self-absorbed, always "I" feel this too - I'm doing it right now! Sometimes that's the best way to show support though. To show that other person that they aren't alone, they aren't crazy, that what they're feeling is normal.

luna said...

I get where you're at right now, and it truly sucks. the loss and grief is hard enough. the uncertainty of the future almost unbearable.

but I'm also weighed down by all the financial crap on top of everything else. I've paid thousands in co-pays for every surgery, my loans are a small fortune, and we spent our down-payment for a home on failed fertility treatments, leaving us with virtually nothing to either adopt or buy a house... and I still miss my angel boy, two years later...

anyway, that is a long way of saying I know, it sucks, and I'm sorry. I hope your break brings you some peace and time to heal... ~luna

Antigone said...

I was taking a couple graduate engineering classes this semester and dropped. Big dreams and all. My plan was to go to law school next year and get into IP law. F*ck. Sorry for the language but f*ck f*ck f*ck.

See, you're not self centered. I am. Instead of telling you everything's going to be okay or blah blah something else supportive I start talking about how my life sucks too.

Maybe at least it lets you know that you're not alone. I think that helps. As much as anything can help when your life and dreams fall apart in quick succession.

Okay I promise next comment will be positive and cheerful. Better yet, it'll be full of hopeful spunk.

Antigone said...

Okay I just sat here for 15 minutes and tried to muster some spunk with no success.

I guess I'm emotionally constipated with depression.

Newt said...

Yeah, that's a whole lot of suck piling on top of you. Please don't feel like a failure. I think getting through the day has to be your job for a while. There's nothing else to do.

Getting a Ph.D. is emotionally draining and sort of miserable under the best of circumstances (I went through under the best of circumstances, and still had midnight panic attacks I'd never had before or since). If you have to take a break, it just means you're human.

Take care, STE.

c. said...

If I say I'm sorry will it just come across as pointless and done? Because I am. Not because you are having to deal with this shit aftermath, but because you lost your babies AND you have to deal with the shit aftermath.

It's the withdrawing I have the most struggles with. Wanting to withdraw, knowing it's not in my best interest, but doing it anyway. I mean, who gives a f*ck, right? Everything else just seems so unimportant now. Everything.

niobe said...

You can only do what you can. I know I felt like a failure (still do, for that matter), because I can't bring myself -- even after all this time -- to talk to or see my SIL, the one with the baby the same age as my twins would have been.

I felt exactly the way you've expressed it in this post -- that I was letting everyone down, that I wasn't able to do what I was supposed to do.

nancy said...

You just go ahead and let these emotions take its course. If you ask me, these types or the most "human" as you put it. ~hugs~ to you and I hope the light at the end of this current tunnel comes into view soon.

passingwindows said...

I'm just going to say what others have said. I've felt everything you talk about here. I also felt like I was letting everyone down, like I was just one big failure. It's normal. Just be as nice to yourself as you can. And yes, I see pregnant women and babies everywhere. There was even a pregnant woman working in the gardening shop I went to, for goodness sake!