Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The frustration and of impatience: I wanna be better nowwwwwwwww!

Part 7 and most recent of my C&Ped updates from my GoFundMe page detailing my decompression surgery--and how I want to be better NOW. NOWWWWWWWW.  (Still stinkin' true.)
Well! Three weeks post op as of yesterday. And, also as of yesterday, I am officially medically retired and no longer an employee of Baldwin Park Unified School District. I'm a retired teacher. 

Now, I am back home to life and its vibrant chaos, and I find I am struggling with a tremendous impatience (Who, ME?). I am now on the other side of this much-anticipated surgery after an *excruciatingly* long year of referrals, doctors, tests, results, confusion, and research pushed and ultimately strained my determined, obstinate nature to its limits. 

Now, it is done, and remains inarguably the right thing to have done, but...now what? 

I wait, and I rest, two things at which I have always been plain terrible. 

As the travel and surgical dates neared, I became fearful of this time period--this time when I'd be briefly feeling worse than even before surgery--as my body recovered. I came home unable to drive, nonetheless grocery shop, take the boys to school (or pick them up), fiddle around the barn (nonetheless go for a trail ride or take Firefly for a drive), cook, sweep the floor, do laundry. What little independence I still clung to as my health slowly slipped backwards was gone, and though my logical side knew and knows it is temporary, it has proven a bit more psychologically traumatic than I anticipated. I know I will continue to get better--how *much* remains the great mystery--but in the interim, I wait. 

For the record (and I see no shame or stigma in saying this), I started seeing a psychologist about three months ago. She has been a tremendous guide, helping me identify and contend with the many beasts beckoned by such severe, involuntary, life-altering change in so many (she suggests, all) aspects of my life, while also helping me recenter and think and deal with just today. Not tomorrow or six months from now or two years from now, just...today. 

I am fortunate to have *immediate* positive results from this surgery, easing this struggle. The years-present hand tremors have disappeared since the day after the surgery, and the skull-crushing headaches that were becoming more and more frequent also remain absent. Once or twice, a bit of laughter that normally triggered hours to days-long pain seemed to start up one of the headaches; there was this familiar pulling, slightly pressured feeling. The pain hovered at about a 4, but then instead of building, and building, and building over the next few hours before locking me in agony for up to three days, they faded in under an hour. They just...went away. 

I cling to that when my patience to BE ALL BETTER NOW is stamping its foot loudly, though admittedly oftentimes the impatience is louder than my logical counterarguments. I have been gently, lovingly reminded by so many of you that I have had major surgery; parts of my brain and skull were permanently removed, fercryinoutloud, and I was in the hospital for five days. My mind may be fresh, but my body endured a massive trauma (however planned and masterfully administered). That I'm weak, wobbly, and easily exhausted is to be expected and even embraced. (Ugh, just typing that makes me bristle.) 

So, I take a deep breath, and I contend with today. I thank my friends for rides, meals, help with the horses, help with the boys. I rest when my body demands--mainly because its demands are REALLY loud right now and impossible to ignore. I also cry when I need to, wipe my face, rest in Brian's arms, cuddle with my boys, and sing along to music that lifts my soul, no matter what the music critic in me says about the artist or the song. 

This is only three weeks post op, and it will be a full year--49 more weeks--before I see the full benefit. The only way to get there is one day at a time. 

And today, I had the strength and clarity of thought to write this. Tomorrow? Well, tomorrow is not today. I'll deal with it, live it, when it comes. 

Much love, appreciation, and gratitude to and for all of you.

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