Here in NJ, we are bracing for a blizzard. However, I am about to bundle up and head outdoors to clear off my car so I can go to my psychiatrist's office in Philadelphia. This last weekend was... rough, to say the least. I didn't eat for a day and a half, and the only reason I got out of bed was to go to acupuncture, to work at the library or because Ken cajoled me to shower. He also cleaned the house, did the laundry, and made me a grilled cheese sandwich, so clearly, I married the world's best man. I cried a lot. I didn't sleep well at night. I slept a lot during the day. I could barely focus on the terrible horror movies I was trying to watch on Netflix, let alone on my material for the next exam. It was bad.
However, I did at least have the wherewithal to move my appointment up with my doctor, because the last thing I need is to have my depression spiral out of control and land me in the hospital. I have not felt this bad in... a long time. I feel like things will never be okay ever again. And for whatever reason, my body has decided that now is the appropriate time for the major cramping and excessive bleeding, so every minute I'm being reminded of what's happening. It's painful in every way imaginable.
There is one, tiny, silver lining to all of this, and it's the fact that I have been shown over and over again how good people can be.
I'm thankful for my husband, without whom I would probably still be in bed, unshowered, unfed, and generally non-functional. He is keeping me afloat.
I am thankful for my doctor, Dr. T, for her kind bedside manner, her clinical expertise, and her empathy.
I am thankful for my friends. They've texted, called and left messages, cried with me, and offered to come over or get me out of the house. They've understood when I don't want to talk, and that if I do want to talk, that I might just cry. They make me laugh, they are sensitive, they are kind. They remind me that I am not alone, and that even though they might not have been through this, they can help me through it now.
I am thankful for my med school
friends family. I may only have met them 5 months ago, but the way they have responded to this has been amazing. Everyone is offering to help me study, even though they are all starting a new block and could be wrapped up in their own lives.
I am thankful for my rheumatologist, who called to see how I was doing and to tell me that there are some tests that can be run to see if I have antibodies that can increase the risk of miscarriage. He said that he doesn't think it has anything to do with my connective tissue disease, but that if I want to have the testing done that it would be fine. He shared that his own wife has miscarried, and that it was intensely difficult. He told me that it is probably a lot harder on me right now than it is for my Ken, and to forgive him if he seems to not be as sad. He now has two beautiful daughters, and said that someday, I will have beautiful children, too. He was so kind and gentle with his words, and showed genuine concern even though my miscarriage has little to nothing to do with his treatment of my autoimmune disease.
I am thankful for my brother, who took the time to talk to me while he was at his a capella reunion retreat, and for Ken's sister, who drove down from NY to spend the weekend with us.
I am thankful for my therapist and my psychiatrist, who fit me into their schedule and who made themselves available by phone and email.
I am thankful for the internet, for it has allowed me to "meet" so many women who have provided me with strength and support through this time. It has also allowed me to find articles (like this one, especially) and prayers that have brought me great comfort. To be connected is a wonderful thing, sometimes.
I will leave you with one of those prayers. As for me, I am operating on the "one breath at a time is an acceptable plan" idea.
"Seeing our days are determined, the number of our months are with You, You set limits that we cannot pass. "
– After Job 14:5
God, we are weary and grieved. We were anticipating the birth of a child, but the promise of life was ended too soon. Our arms yearned to cradle new life, our mouths to sing soft lullabies. Our hearts ache from the emptiness and the silence. We are saddened and we are angry. We weep and we mourn. Weep with us, God, Creator of Life, for the life that could not be.
Source of healing, help us to find healing among those who care for us and those for whom we care. Shelter us under wings of love and help us to stand up again for life even as we mourn our loss.
Barukh Attah Adonai, zokher y'tzurav l'chayim b'rachamim.
Blessed are You, Eternal our God, whose compassion renews us unto life.
- Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasson