Maybe I don't want to tell this story.

I shiver intensely in my home office in spite of the portable heater blasting at my side and my sweatshirt hood up.  But I’m not cold.  

I have the beginnings of heartburn and a headache.  But I’m not sick.

I’m about to click “open”  on the computer folder marked 6500.  It looks pretty harmless - it’s just the files we exported years ago from our ancient Power PC.  But I know what’s in there.

When it opens, I stare at the screen and put my hands in my lap for a few minutes.  There it is - what I was looking for.  I click on the folder marked BOOK.

I shake so uncontrollably now it hurts my shoulders. 

These are the files I see:

Chapter 2: Why I was who I was

Chapter 3: Matt’s early years

Chapter 4: Changes begin

Chapter 5: Dr. W

Dr. W.  I know her full name like it was yesterday.   And where is chapter 1? 

Chapter 6: Lorenzo’s Oil

Oh my God - Lorenzo’s Oil. 

Chapter 7: Drawing nearer

Chapter 8: First neurologist

Chapter 8.5:  First neurologist follow-up

Chapter 9: First psychiatrist, second neurologist

Maybe I can’t do this.  Maybe I can’t tell this story after all.  Maybe I don’t want to.

Chapter 10: 2nd psychiatrist

Chapter 11: MRI day

Chapter 12:  Post-diagnosis, pre-surgery

Chapter 13:  Children’s hospital

What about everything that happened after?  Don’t I have a Chapter 14?  Where’s the rest of the story?

It’s been so long since I cried about this, but I cry now.  I don’t know where to start - what to open first.  I sit and stare at the screen for awhile again.  I’m afraid to go deeper.

Finally, I pick a file, click, and get this message:

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC could not open 'chap 2 - Why I was who I was' because it is either not a supported file type or because the file has been damaged (for example, it was sent as an email attachment and wasn't correctly decoded).

Oh shit.  F***!  Are you kidding me?  All this time, and I might have to start from scratch?

I try a few more files, but they all produce the same message.  I hope Michael can figure it out, otherwise I’m screwed.  But a small part of me is relieved for the moment.  I took the plunge without having to pierce the murky waters today.  Maybe it’s a good place to stop, go make some tea, think about something else. 

As I head downstairs, I give thanks that Matt is alive and healthy, a grown young man now.   Every time I see him is Thanksgiving Day - I can wrap my arms around him, marvel at his intelligence, laugh at his wit, rejoice in the mundane details of his life.  

He got through it.

So will I.