Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Doppleganger Days

My doppleganger returned. I don't even know who she is, but she looks just like me, sounds just like me and she gets inside my head. However, she is the furthest from the "real me" than I can ever imagine.

She is sick. Not just with a cold or a stomach ache or something that can be worked around - she is bedridden. She is imprisoned by pain and her only journeys from the bed are to the bathroom.

She doesn't eat. She can not write or read or watch TV or even participate in normal conversations. Every time she arrives I am caught completely off guard.

I fight her, but she has allies within. She has somehow won my body over and I must lay in defeat as my system turns against itself. I wonder if she has never left and I only dreamed of moments of humanity, of personal connections, of health, of anything that could be perceived as progress. I wait and cry and pray that she'll leave, but have no idea how to show her the exit.

I hate her. But I can't. She is me. I am sick. I have two chronic diseases, one of them is a rare disease, and this is what life is like. Like everyone, I have good days and bad days. The only difference is that my good days are not as fantastic as a healthy person's and my bad days are so much more extreme.

My doppleganger threatens to stay for a while on this trip (this is day 3 where I find myself typing my story on the notepad in my iPhone while still laying in bed) and thoughts of hospitals have danced in my head since her arrival. But what will the professionals say? "It must be a flare up," or when I remind them of my rare condition, they'll all freeze, "Perhaps you should see your specialist."

Perhaps, if I could get out of bed I would see someone, but what can be done once a diagnosis has been made? "Yes, Nicole, you are sick. We actually told you that already. That's why you see us so frequently."

Alas, I will find my way back. I will find pseudo-healthy me again, I hope. I will be pain free for hours on end! I will be confident enough to take a shower while home alone! I will make dinner for my husband and feed the dogs! The world will stop spinning. The intestines will stop twisting. And my brain will become uncrushed.

But most of all, the doppleganger will leave my eyes alone. She can hurt me and torture me on these visits she makes, but if she dares to threaten my vision again a war will be waged at the conclusion of which I know only one of us shall remain standing.

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