Team Maxie

Monday, November 7, 2011

Beth ran an amazing marathon.  She wore her Team Maxie gear, complete with photo buttons of Max.  She lost one of the buttons at the beginning of the race, turned around, picked it up, and then ran the rest of the race holding the button so that people could see his beautiful face.  She said people were cheering for Team Maxie and I love to know that all day people were yelling his name, even if they didn't know what they were yelling it for.  Ted, Gigi, Sadie, Papa L and I drove into Manhattan from CT to watch the race.  Unfortunately, things did not go as I had planned for my own participation in cheering Beth on.  I am not sure how exactly it started or what set me off.  I don't think it was one thing, rather a culmination of weeks of anxiety around this day approaching.  November 6th was Max's due date and I so spent 8 months with that date in my head before Max arrived a month early.  Going into Manhattan, knowing that it was a day of great accomplishment for Beth and representing such sorrow for us all, sitting in the backseat next to my niece's car seat, listening to her chat to herself so sweetly, so much saddness to be in NY for the reason of memorializing my son....I just don't know.  I felt like I couldn't get any air.  I was watching the scenery whiz by through my peripheral vision.  All of a sudden I began to hyperventilate.  My father in law had to pull off the highway.  He pulled into a coffee shop parking lot, where I open my car door, rolled out the side and onto a gravely dirt driveway.  My hands curled into themselves, my face froze, my legs and feet cramped, and I felt a terrible pain in my chest.  I thought I was having a stroke.  Ted came by my side, not knowing what was happening either.  I felt very very scared and at the same time, I wondered if I would be reunited with Max soon.  Finally I moved my mouth enough to ask Ted to call 911, which he did.  The paramedics came and must have immediately recognized my symptoms and asked a few questions about my physical state before asking if there was anything else going on.  I answered that my son had died three months ago.  He told me I was having a panic attack and told me to breathe through it.  I concentrated on my breath and slowly my hands began to uncurl and my face un-seized but my chest was still tight and my heart was pounding as I lay there in the dirt.  After 20 minutes or so (maybe more), we all got back in the car and continued our drive to Manhattan.  My breathing remained laboured and loud for the next few hours.  I could not walk or talk easily.  I could hardly stand.  I could not go cheer on Beth.  Ted, Sadie and my in-laws walked from my friend Carmen's apartment on the Upper West Side to 5th Ave and 100th Street.  Carmen and I stayed in the apartment and tried to follow Beth on the internet (if you got the IMG app for iphone, it probably didn't work for you.  It seemed to not work for many).  Whenever I have talked about a major anxiety attack in the past, I didn't know what I was talking about.  Those experiences were just paralyzing fear, with sweats and a pounding chest.  This was a complete physical shut down.  It scared the daylights out of me.  I am still gripped with fear that it could happen again, and it sounds like it probably will.  It came on with no warning.  If I had been driving, I would be dead.
After my family met up with Beth at the finish line and they all walked all the way back up to Carmens.  Beth walked all the way back uptown AFTER running a marathon!  This girl has crazy energy.  After she showered and changed, we all went downtown to Toad Hall, Beth's old culinary school haunt, where many friends and family members were waiting.  I felt a surge of emotion wash over me.  My friend Joslyn grabbed my hand and brought me to the back of the bar where she held me and we cried while trying to get it together.  Slowly, one by one, various friends of Ted's approached to offer support and love.  Ted and company watched the second half of the Giants game at the bar.  Beth ordered TONS of delicious Israeli food for everyone to eat.  I made it out until about 10 pm.  Beth and Ted stayed out a few more hours until the last friend (Shepro) left.  Beth's marathon was a success!  She raised over $11,000 for Maxie's Forest, which is nothing short of completely amazing.  While I was not able to cheer on the sidelines, I have been cheering for her with my whole start since this journey began.  I am so proud of her accomplishment.  She is amazing.

We still have t-shirts for sell.  Contact Ted if you are interested in buying one: teddyleviss@gmail.com.
Thank you for your support of Team Maxie, Maxie's Forest and Beth's run.  We love and appreciate you.

3 comments:

Bianca said...

Oh sweetie, this world is asking you to face so much more than most ever have to live with and feel. It takes my breath away thinking about your pain and your loss and you having to be on this earth without your beautiful son. And I wish I could breathe for you when it is too hard or somehow soften your reality when it is just too sharp. Know that I will be by your side as a friend forever and I am holding on to so much hope for your future.

Jenny Romanowski said...

Bianca couldn't have said it better! So much hope love and prayers for your future!

Kim said...

Just know Abby, panic attacks come up out of nowhere. When you feel that lack of breath, shaking, feeling like you are about to die, TRY to remember it is only a panic attack. Once you realize what is happening, it lessens it's force. Trust me. Been there. You are a strong, amazing lady and a panic attack is par for the course. If you have a hard time with them, feel free to contact me. I have dealt with it unsucessfully and now sucessfully for years. I know the feeling, it is incredibly scary. Just REMEMBER what it is, if it hits again. I would hate for you to have to try to figure them out (panic or just need to worry that it is going to happen again) at this time in your life.

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