I stagger from the bed to the desk and let out a heavy sigh, pulling open the drawer and staring at the MRI scans for what must be the millionth time this week. I don’t really know what they mean just by looking but the doctor explained it pretty thoroughly. No brain should look like that.
I flip through a few of the earlier scans. The first image of my brain was taken a few weeks after our honeymoon; when I had my first seizure, when we first realised that something was wrong.
It is striking how different the two scans are. My grandma’s turning one hundred this week but she’s still in better shape than me.
I shiver slightly and don’t need to look down to know that my hand is trembling.
“Clara honey, are you ready?”
I start at Terry’s voice, drop the scans back into the drawer and shut it quickly before resuming my usual glum stare into the distance. I reach for a pencil so I can at least pretend to look busy but my hand droops and drops to my side instead. I let out a soft groan; all I want to do is to go back to bed but that’s not really an option.
I hear Terry’s footsteps approach our bedroom and feel his arms around me in a matter of seconds, anchoring me to him. I close my eyes briefly, trying to preserve the moment in my damaged mind. I doubt I have many moments like this left.
“Is it bad?” he asks.
“It’ll pass.” I sigh.
“I’ll take that as a yes.”
I sway slightly, feel his grip tighten and know what he’s going to say next.
“You know, we don’t have to go if you -”
“Yes we do.” I reply.
His arms loosen enough for me to gingerly turn and smile at him.
“How often does someone turn one hundred?” I remind.
Terry’s eyes are sad but he chuckles nonetheless. We’re going and there’s no question about it. The woman practically raised me. She was the one that he had to win over when we began dating.
“Just promise me you’ll say if you start feeling worse?”
“I promise.” I answer, my eyes closing briefly as he presses his lips to mine.
“Do you want the chair?” he asks, pulling away with a frown.
“I don’t need it yet.” I reply as he takes my hand.
“We’ll bring it just in case.”
Terry’s smiling as he gently draws me to him but he’s looking at me in that worried, calculating fashion of his. He knows that I’m drawing strength from his bodyweight a little too heavily. I’m hurting more than I let on but he also knows not to state the obvious by this point. I force a smile through gritted teeth.
“What are we waiting for? Let’s go.”