After Juliette died, it was inconceivable that anything bad could ever happen to us again. I think this feeling began in fear but on a deeper level and I know how terrible this sounds, I believed Juliette’s death was a brutal inoculation that would protect those of us she left behind. We couldn’t suffer any more pain.
It being life and everything, of course that couldn’t last. Viewed coldly, when you walk the invisible tightrope of mortality and are made to watch the premature fall of someone you love, you can’t stay blind for long to the fragility of life and luck.
Right now, Elodie is ill. It isn’t life-threatening and she’s not ill so much as horribly, desperately tired. It’s been getting worse over the past six weeks. At first she would come back from school and fall asleep on the sofa, then be unable to find the energy to revise for her GCSEs. After a while she couldn’t even summon the energy to worry that she was falling behind.
At the moment she’s not able to do very much more most of the day than lie in bed or on the sofa, and has had to pull out of the remainder of her exams. This might sound like a dream for lots of teenagers, but not Elodie. Unlike her mother at the same age, she is hard-working and diligent and this lethargy is totally out of character. Apart from school, she’s had to stop dancing – the love of her life since the age of two. She was doing fourteen hours a week of classes until Easter. Now she hasn’t the physical strength for anything much at all.
The official diagnosis is post viral fatigue though she had a second round of blood tests yesterday to rule out any other problems. The consultant she saw told her he is fairly certain this is what she has and that at best she will recover in three months, but it might take as long as a year.
She’s sixteen, so this feels like the end of the world. No certain exam results that will take her to the sixth form college she’s chosen, the prospect of having to study for an extra year, no parties and certainly no dancing.
As her mother I feel so helpless, and angry too. I want to be able to fix her so she can get on with her life and although the circumstances are different, these feelings are painfully familiar. I am reaching inside myself to stay positive and for the strength I’m not convinced I can always muster. I know that what she has isn’t dangerous but I’m pissed off that she’s having to go through this, when in her few years she’s already had to cope with so much.
That’s all. Nothing profound to say. Tomorrow I’ll do more research on treatments that might help her fight back. I just wish it had picked me.