Lately, up has been down so much of the time, it’s hard for me to figure out where I am. I’ve had several very scary low bloodsugars that I can’t seem to find a reasonable explanation for.
I’m not being melodramatic. Really.
“You don’t love me.”
“Yes, I do love you very much. Do you need to test your bloodsugar?”
“No, I know you don’t love me.”
“You’re being irrational. Now test your bloodsugar, please. Please.”
“Turn off the light. I want to go to sleep. You don’t love me.”
“OK, if you test your bloodsugar, I’ll shut the light off and we can go to sleep.”
“Fine. I’ll test. But I know you don’t love me.”
And up is definitely down.
The world is swirly and strange and my eyes can’t really focus on much of anything. But I feel like my mind is with me and for some reason I’m convinced the love of my life doesn’t love me at all.
Dr. House is on TV and the storyline is very sad, even if it doesn’t make sense. I realize that I’ve got tears streaming down my cheeks. And that I’m choking up little sobs as I wordlessly poke my finger and let the blood pull into the meter.
22. That can’t be right. 22? I test again. 21.
And now the quiet little sobs are great, noisy heaving sobs and I’m screaming,“God damn it. I don’t want to do this anymore. I just don’t. I hate this disease. I hate it. I hate it and it’s just not fair.”
Our cat is yowling too – loud, desperate cries as she circles around me, looking up at me, rubbing against me. And her desperation just makes me more upset.
There is a glass of juice in my hand now. And a gentle hand on my back, and the most soothing voice I’ve ever known, speaking softly, “Drink the juice. I know it’s not fair. Drink the juice.”
My tears are drenching my face, the collar of my pajamas, my throat aches as I sip down the juice. My fists are clenched like vice grips –tight and white. “I don’t want to do this anymore. I hate this. I hate it.”
“What can I do for you?”
“Nothing, there is nothing you can do. I just want a normal body. Can you help me with that?”
“Please finish the juice, babe.”
I suck down the last of it. Trying to bring down back down and push up back up.
Dr. House is trying to avoid humanity – the plot makes a little sense – and it’s still very sad. The world is coming back into focus. The cat is calmer now, sitting anxiously between us now, but not crying anymore.
The last hour of my life seems like a dream – something I’ve lived but not in real life. Something tentative and strange.
The whole thing makes me so sad, because I know that for my partner – without whom my life would be nothing – has lived it in real live color, in a world where up is up and down is down and the person he loves is broken and flawed and sometimes so angry and sad.
I cry myself to sleep.
The next day, we talk about it, Bob and me. He tells me he wishes he had caught it sooner. I tell him I’m so sorry for what I’d said. He assures me he knows that I didn’t mean it, couldn’t mean it. I tell him I hope he really believes that. Deep down, I trust that he does. I realize, again, how lucky I am to have someone so strong, so kind, so right.
Up is almost always up when I’m with Bob. And down is almost always down. And when things are upside down, his is one of the few voices that anchor me here – that keep me from slipping back and away – that snap me out of the sometimes vicious dream-like states that out of range bloodsugars visit upon me.
Often when I think of Bob I think of Ella Fitzgerald’s voice singing “Someone who’ll watch over me.” Because I know he will.
Ours is not a classic love story – it’s got some dings. Maybe even a dent or two. But that’s OK, because we’re not exactly classic love story kind of people, are we? Besides, strange love is so much more interesting.
Much strange, slightly dented love to you on this Valentine’s Day, my dear Bob.