I posted this previously and quickly took it off because I had decided that I was not ready to share this until I knew the outcome. Now knowing, I think it is important to show something that was and is a true struggle for me personally during this deployment. When I removed the post, it removed the comments that were made quickly after posting. A couple were from similar situations. Please share again if you are so inclined!
"I think you need to see a different doctor." He said, "He isn't doing enough."
He was doing plenty but I couldn't tell him that. I had just told him we were doing a couple rounds of different drugs. Without thinking, I had rubbed my forehead with the webcam on and he knew my head hurt. It was an automatic reaction to the pain - I did it so often now.
"We are just going to try a few different medications before taking the next step," I typed as I had countless times before.
"It's time to take the next step NOW, Megan. Something is wrong," he typed, and his face looked horribly worried.
How right he was - but I didn't want to tell him. We had been fighting about me going to a doctor long before he left. Constant headaches, memory problems, losing my balance for no reason. I hadn't had time then, but I had made time now. And I could have made time, but it didn't seem like that big a deal at the time. Just stress - lack of sleep.
"You need to take care of yourself, too!" He was getting upset - thinking the doctor wasn't being proactive enough. But I did NOT want to tell him. He had too much to worry about. But this was racking his brain just as much - worrying about whether or not I would do what I needed to, if the neurologist would. I had already had two tests - one okay, one inconclusive. I didn't want him to worry about what was happening next but he was really having trouble handling my, and the doctor's, perceived inaction.
He just kept typing - trying to get his point across as much as one can with instant messaging. I was exhausted and needed to get up really early. He wouldn't understand me wanting to get offline - it wasn't like me to say I was too tired to talk. But I was - my body was so drained. But I knew I wouldn't sleep - whether I told him or didn't tell him. I had to make the decision. So I did, and I don't know if it was the right one.
"I have three tests tomorrow. Two MRI's and an MRA."
He didn't type anything. I waited.
"What are they looking for?" he finally wrote.
He knew what they were looking for. What else would they be looking for? But I didn't want to say it - but he wouldn't either. I had come clean now - there was no reason to lie. The very first doctor who decided to run tests told me what all my symptoms pointed to and that he was surprised that the initial test didn't show one. I wasn't going to be able to sleep now so I typed it. And my body nearly convulsed as I did. I hated my decision the instant it was made.
I didn't want to look at his image from the webcam - or mine. I just looked at the word. It was the first time I had actually typed it - seen it. And I knew how real the possibility was - but it was so different to see it.
I was ashamed of my weakness - of telling him something I never wanted him to know. I had promised myself to hold onto the reality - to do everything to protect him from the unknown facing our family. But, at the same time, to lie to my husband was something that was becoming harder and harder. To keep information was one thing - but to directly lie was different. It twisted me inside. It made me feel sick. But knowing that he now knew made me feel more ill.
He was angry - angry that I had not told him. My husband, for the many of you who don't know him, does not get angry - ever. I had to show him from my viewpoint - help him to understand why I had not told him. It took a long time, but he listened, and I listened, and we understood each other. We were both right and we were both wrong. And nothing can be taken back. Time does not stop.
"You are my rock, baby. The root of this family," he typed when he had calmed down. "I need to know when you are not okay."
His words broke me and healed me. My heart felt I had done the right thing, my broken brain was not agreeing. He would carry this now. And he has so much to carry.
C is a strong man - he is my rock. Two years ago, when we faced the reality of possibly losing our first son during childbirth, he was nothing but support in the chaos. He is a calm person, level headed, and takes things in extremely well. I do not know how he manages. He can carry this. I do not know if I can carry the guilt of knowing that. I know I can - I know I will be given the strength - but there will be nothing easy about it. I still don't know if it was the right decision or the wrong one. There may not be a black or white here and that is when things are so difficult. When it is so hard to know what to do and what will become of what you have done. A weight has been lifted from my shoulders but a new weight has been placed there and I will struggle with that.
I do not have the answer we are both waiting for yet - I hope to in a day or two. And I hope when I do know - he will get the message sooner rather than later. I pray to have the strength to make the right decision if a decision must be made.
I feel like I have failed in a battle in which I could never succeed. To understand the dance of giving and holding back information is something I hope to master with time - when I am a seasoned Army Wife. The growing pains of a new wife are difficult - and this is the first time I have felt them so deeply. Today is a weak day for me - we are all allowed to have them - but it doesn't make it easier when they come. This is a learning process, and like I said before, there is no remote, there is no pause. We have to take what comes and decide what to do with it and live with the decision we make - whatever it is - and move forward.
The real world does not stop. And we cannot carry everything on our own - our soldiers are still our partners - our better halves. I do not know if I am wrong for handing him this to hold with him or not. I do not feel right or wrong - just incredibly conflicted. We still have a responsibility to our families - to protect them. And I hope that that is what I have done.
"A soldier doesn't fight because he hates what is in front of him. A soldier fights because he loves what he left behind." - unknown
"God is our refuge and strength. He will protect us and make us strong" (ps 46:1). For those who will fly today, for those who are there now, and for those who will soon join the fight, Lord, shield them from all evil, strengthen their hearts, and bring them home safely.