Today is not a good day. I found out last night that my cousin had a horrible asthma attack and is currently in the ICU on a ventilator. Apparently he's responsive (whatever that means) but as he was without oxygen for 3 or 4 minutes, there are concerns about brain damage. He's only a few years older than I am. How is this fair?
We used to be close when we were younger but I haven't seen him in about 5 years at this point. And sadly, my first thought when my mom told me was, "At least it wasn't the drugs." He's had his own struggles and maybe that's why we grew apart. Neither of us had the emotional energy to support one another anymore.
I just feel so bad. He's never had a chance, not like I did and do. Beyond the terrible asthma that he's had since he was a kid, my aunt and his father (what do you call your cousin's father if he's not married to your aunt?) fucked his life up totally and completely. Actually, I don't think fucked up even begins to cover it. I don't believe there's a word in the English language for how screwed up it is when your mother makes you go to 7 different high schools and your deadbeat doctor father gets you hooked on prescription pain pills. Compared to this I've led a charmed life, anorexia and all. I know you really can't compare suffering but still. It makes me think about how silly my stupid little food issues really are. My parents would have done anything they had to to get me better and still would if they needed to. I really am lucky.
Needless to say my mom is freaked out. Understandable, seeing that this is her nephew. And I think it hits a little too close to home for her. Not the asthma thing exactly, although me and my brother both do have mild asthma, but more the fact that at various points in our lives either of us could have been the ones being rushed to the ICU. Me from the anorexia and my brother from the depression. She told me on the phone this morning that she's really proud of me for working on my body image and my food issues. I didn't know what to say. I am trying to work on these things (buying full fat ice cream, wearing clothes that I bought but am afraid to wear) but I'm also struggling, a lot. She said I'm an inspiration to her and I just feel like a fraud and a failure. But I can't stand to make her worry anymore than she already is by telling her the truth.
Additionally, I don't think I'll be telling my mom anytime soon that when I saw a video from the Domodedovo Airport bombing in Moscow on Monday, that I recognized the smoke-filled area where bodies lay scattered. It's where the boyfriend and I hung out for 20 minutes while waiting for our ride after we arrived in Moscow in October. My heart is sick for everyone affected there as well.
And in the midst of all this, on the train to work this morning, my boyfriend told me that he thinks it's inappropriate for him to visit my grandfather at his nursing home with me since the man doesn't know him and won't remember him. Not surprisingly this ended with me in tears on the train. This came up because my mom has been anxious for me to visit my grandfather as I've only seen him a couple times in the past few years and he'll be 90 this year. And his nursing home is near the hospital where my cousin is so if we were going to see my cousin this weekend it would make sense to do both. I agreed with my boyfriend in that it would make sense for him to stay out of the room if we can see my cousin since they've never met but, while my grandfather is senile, he's not desperately ill, at the moment. I told my boyfriend that I consider him part of my family and I want him there and he just kept arguing that this wasn't about me, that my grandfather doesn't think of him as part of the family. Personally, I don't know that my boyfriend actually considers himself part of the family so I kind of feel like that's where this is coming from. Which hurts since I agreed, for him, to wait on this marriage thing but assumed that we'd be at least acting like we were planning to get married while we waited. And by agreeing to wait to get married until my boyfriend finishes grad school I made it likely that my grandfather (my last living grandparent) will not be attending. No, I'm not close to the man but still, seriously. So I'm pretty upset about this as well.
I just feel so out of it right now. Physically I'm at work and am going through the motions but mentally and emotionally I'm really just floating. Luckily I'm doing an experiment I've done thousands of time. If I didn't know the protocol by heart there's no way I wouldn't completely screw it up. I also can't eat. I just feel so sick. I've had a few apricots and a cup of coffee with some skim milk today. I'm positive I'd feel better if I ate but I just... can't. Hunger is really the farthest thing from my mind. More than anything I just want to curl up in bed and cry about all of this but I can't. I have to get through work and then patch things up with the boyfriend and then force some food down my throat and just hope that tomorrow is better.
I really don't know that anyone is reading this (let alone managed to make it through this long post) and that's okay but if you are and did, keep my cousin in your thoughts, okay?