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04/12/2003

She used to seem so sane

I spent a lot of last night convinced — for no good reason — that I was going to die. I wasn't really prepared for the horrible cramping the methotrexate would cause, and I was sure it was a precursor to the "sharp, stabbing pain" all the Web sites promise upon a rupture.

My anxiety level wasn't exactly flatlining to begin with. My doctor called this morning to check in, and I think I must have sounded suspicious when he identified himself, because he hastened to assure me that he didn't have any bad news.

"You can't really blame me for being afraid another shoe's going to drop," I told him. Last night when I was panicking about the pain, I realized that I really have come to expect bad things to happen. I've been on the freaky side of the odds the whole way, really, and it's hard to believe anything will change. One patient in 20 will still need surgery after the methotrexate; with my track record, I wouldn't bet against it. I've already packed my goddamn toothbrush.

I asked him how long we'd have to wait after the resolution of the ectopic to do another cycle, if we'd need to wait longer to recover. "You mean for your sanity?" he asked, not getting it.

Sanity? Long gone. I'd have thought he'd know that; surely I'm crazy even to be considering another cycle. Last night was iron-clad proof that I've lost it entirely.

I sat quietly in the kitchen while Paul made dinner, not helping because I was sure I'd felt light-headed. I told him I hoped I didn't progress into dizziness, then wondered anxiously whether light-headedness and dizziness were the same thing.

I obsessed aloud for a full 10 minutes about where the tips of my shoulder are — one symptom of a ruptured tube is "pain in the shoulder tips," but how could I know whether I had it if I couldn't figure out what the hell a shoulder tip was? Paul's wise approach: "Are your shoulders hurting at all?"

"No," I admitted sulkily.

"Then you probably don't have to worry about shoulder tip pain."

Damn him.

It took me a very long time to go to sleep because I was afraid I wouldn't wake up, that my tube would rupture in the night and I'd bleed to death without being awakened by the pain. I cried for a little while as Paul snored beside me, thinking about how sad it would be for him to find me lying lifeless in our bed.

How embarrassing when I woke up the next morning not dead after all.

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