I Have None

I’m in Europe, on family business. My mother came to New York City to help Adrian with Martin, and I departed JFK, bound for Heathrow and then Germany.

Saturday, before I left, Martin was symptomatic. I won’t go into the symptoms. By now you know them.

Getting a few days’ distance from Martin usually does me well, in terms of perspective and rejuvenation. Nevertheless, leaving him is heart-wrenching, and I want everything to be perfect. I want him to be having the best day ever, so that I can think, Everything’s under control. I can be away.

Saturday I left thinking, Everything’s a disaster. I have no right to leave when he needs me here. Probably I’m just going to make things worse.

Please don’t look for a point to this post. I have none.

Without Martin

Readers, it’s been a week. For the first time since I started this blog, I let more than three days pass without a post.

I apologize.

I blame Christmas preparations—I didn’t accomplish even half a standard Christmas, but that’s a subject for a later post—, forging through dense briefing schedules in two separate litigations, sitting up at night as Martin’s had trouble sleeping, and preparing for the trip.

Yes! The trip! This is the big one, Adrian’s sixth-anniversary gift to me, and eight days without my Martin. My mother is staying in our apartment with Martin. We’ve gone backwards and forwards over his daily supplementation schedule, dietary restrictions, wants, and needs. I’ve filled the freezer with pre-prepared meals and organic meats. With the approval of Martin’s HANDLE therapist, he gets these eight days off from HANDLE exercises. And all week Samara’s been helping Martin learn this mantra: “Mommy and Daddy are coming back. Mommy and Daddy always come back.” As a result, he was okay when we left this afternoon. I said, “Daddy and I are going on an airplane and will come back next week. You’re staying with Grandma.” Martin replied, “Mommy is coming back another day. Mommy always comes back.”

I’m worried, of course. Not that my mother won’t accomplish Martin’s diet and supplements to the T. Not that my mother and Samara and even my visiting brother won’t be doting on him. I’m worried that he will be distressed without us, and more especially, that we could lose recovery momentum. These past few weeks have brought so much progress. I’ll have a hard time forgiving myself if our absence interrupts that, or prompts a set-back.

(“I’m not worried about permanent damage,” Adrian assured me yesterday. “I’m really not.”)

It didn’t help that, just before Adrian and I headed out, Martin seemed, as my mother put it, “a little spacey today.”

Nevertheless, I made it out the door, teary-eyed. I’m typing this on the airplane. We’re bound for Israel, landing in Tel Aviv and continuing by car to Eilat, then to Jerusalem, sandwiching a day trip to Petra in Jordan. This was all supposed to be a surprise, but some weeks ago I forced Adrian to reveal the itinerary. Not knowing our destination was just shoveling anxiety onto my already gigantic pile of hesitation about leaving Martin. It’s only the second time, since we radicalized his treatment, that I’ve been away more than a night. The first was a four-day trip to Germany for a family emergency, during which Samara moved into the apartment and helped Adrian manage the routine.

So there you have it. This blogger is on her way to the Holy Land and will have a week to contemplate the course we’re on with Martin. I’m determined to post daily, both to take advantage of the time away and to make amends for the recent posting dearth.

An eight-day travel journey, meant as a break from a years-long recovery journey.

Here we go.