What If

I jolt out of a nightmare, overcome by terror. What if it’ll come true? What if I have another bleed? What if I suffer a garnd-mal seizure mid flight. What if a debilitating headache strikes me on the way, only to continue into the next three days, or even through the entire trip? What if the ensuing exhausting keeps me abed over much of the visit? What if I end up in the emergency room far away from home. Or worse, subjected to a prolonged hospital stay there?

High altitudes are not angioma-friendly. There is plenty anecdotal evidence that they can bring on bleeds. (Shortly before my acute brain bleeds, I’d been traveling through the highlands of Guatemala.) Many cavernous angioma patients are afraid of flying. I takes flights across the U.S. a couple of times a year, without fear. But before flights across the ocean, I experience nightmares. They usually start a couple of nights before departure.

Last night, I woke up from one of those nightmares. It took a good hour to slow down my heart rate sufficiently to get back to sleep.

I still have a fortnight to go. Why so far in advance of my departure? I feel my heart rate pick up. Will the nightmares plague me every night for the next two weeks? I must be well rested before the trip. Otherwise I will be in bad shape over my visit. Will the nightmares come true this time? Surely not. But what if they do?

And what if they do? I won’t change my plans.

If it happens, it happens. I have no remaining angiomas in the brain-stem. The others probably won’t affect me as badly as the two that were removed.

I won’t bring my life to a halt because of the angiomas.

My heart rate returns to normal, as does my breathing.