Nine Lives

I almost died again.

I have spent the past few months in a constant state of stress and anxiety. I have been worried about work, not doing enough hours on shift, appearing ill. I have lost sleep over Dot’s health, her blood tests, paediatric appointments, her frequent infections. I have spent hours thinking about money and lack thereof, bills, car tyres, house repairs.

And then I almost died again.

It sounds so incredibly naive, but I had forgotten what it feels like. I’ve only experienced it a handful of times, that moment death arrives.

I am out of immediate danger, though by no means recovered, from this particular crisis. However my primary thrombotic disorder is showing clear signs of activation. And I find myself feeling lost and small and petrified. Crises have a way of sharpening our focus, of making us shed tears, false skin and masks. But when they pass the reality is that most of us, most of the time, rush to forget and re-enter…normalcy.

I almost died again. And the only thing I cared about was whether my mother knew Dot likes rich digestive biscuits in the morning instead of light ones, that she likes me to read her Maisy’s Bedtime book when she’s in the bath, that the only way she’ll eat fish sticks is if she helps cook them, that she likes mangoes and bananas and hates oranges, how she wears the apple pyjamas when it’s cold out and needs the white fluffy teddy bear to cuddle at night. And for my mother, that she needs to be surrounded by people who love her and my child even when she seems strong and serious and unyielding. She may nearly be a force of nature, but she’s been through a lot. And so has my daughter.

I don’t know what I’ll do with all this. I have no idea where this leaves me or indeed my family. What I do know is that I almost died again. And even for someone with nine lives, that brings the total to a lot of ‘almosts’…


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