A Hodge-podge and Hello
It’s been so long. Too long. But, such is life at times. I remind myself that this living I’ve been doing will fuel my writing wells and, I hope, my words will runneth over.
In the meantime, a brief catch-up is in order.
1. The Surgery
My eyes, laden with anesthesia, tried to open. Beeps sounded and shoes padded on sterile floors.
“What is your pain level, on a scale of one to ten? Ten being the worst.” I heard her before I saw her.
“Eight.” I tried to form the word, but it stuck somewhere in my voice box.
“What?”, her question stitched through her brows. She leaned in closer.
“Eight.” The word finally picked itself up from the gravely underbelly of my throat and escaped.
“I’ll get you something.”
Through the haze of pain meds, I tried to listen as they explained. An orange-sized cyst. An ovary removed.
Endometrial implants abolished.
We left the hospital and Hubby drove me home. I sat in pain; slow and hesitant, scared.
Days passed and heavy sleep carried me away.
Good news pierced the haze and pain: the citrus cyst is benign. I drift back to sleep with gratitude resting comfortably around my heart.
I’ve lived with endometriosis for 20 years and let me tell you, she’s a bitch. She nags with pain, ruins plans and throws throbbing tantrums regularly. This surgery was my last effort (the third in a series) to avoid having a complete hysterectomy which would put me into medical menopause.
More good news: I am feeling better every day. My days are much more normal than they were for the last eight months. During my recovery, my children showered me with remarkable love and tenderness. Emotions jumped like jacks from their eyes: are you ok? was that hug too hard? when will you be regular mom again?
Love. Frustration. Understanding.
My friends wrapped my family and me in Good Samaritan help. They delivered delicious meals to warm our bellies and special gifts to brighten our days. We basked in their love like a puppy rolling in the autumn sun. Because of my rock-star hubby, children and friends, I quietly healed and gave over to the slow cadence my body desired. I devoured books (how did I ever not read Tracey Chevailier before? The Girl With the Pearl Earring and The Last Runaway are exquisite). I retreated into the safety of my bedroom, wrapped in rumpled, cotton sheets, slowly returning to me.
The bad news: I still have pain. I am still not supposed to run or do push-ups (incredibly frustrating). Amongst the pain, I allowed the ever-hungry guilt monster swallow me up, dousing me with shame for allowing the pain to trump all else. I’d been in lay-down-in-bed pain on and off since December and by the time June’s surgery arrived, we were six months deep, sloshing around in my limited patience and harsh tones.
People say kids are resilient. I hope they’re right. My wish is that time’s edge will soften my worrisome grip, as well as my children’s memory of this stretch of discomfort. I also hold hope that through the shit storm, I’ve given them a realistic, ring-side seat to life and that yes, sometimes it really isn’t fair and sometimes it really isn’t easy. And that you keep on keeping on in spite of it all.
And it gets easier. And that I, too, will absorb this lesson. Life.
2. The Move
Ahhh, the scent of cardboard and the distinct sound of packing tape stretching to close a box full of your life. There’s nothing like a move to add spice and fun to your days.
Denise, where’s the thingamagigger?
I sure don’t know!
Mom, do I have any clean underwear?
Where’s my iPod?
Your guess is as good as mine!
Mom, where’s Orange Dog?
AHHHH! For the Love of All That Is Holy, I forgot to put a Do Not Pack sticker on him!!!!
Hey, Denise, can 17 people come over and complete 25 different moving tasks simultaneously, and all ask you varied questions to which you don’t have the answers!
We packed our bags, our house, our life, and said goodbye to the East Coast and hello, once again, to the Midwest.
Familiar rhythms now surround me. The moving-in process will take time. We’ve landed safely in our temporary housing where we’ll live cozily and happily until we take possession our home in a month. Both Abby and Henry started at their new schools yesterday. New buildings, new faces, new systems, new everything. Thank goodness they are resilient.
So much change. Because, yes, this is life: goodbyes, pain, hellos, challenges, questions, uncertainty.
So much beauty. Because, yes, this is life: the solid goodness of friends, the support of family, a September, late afternoon sun shining warmly across my back, and the grace in my humbled acceptance of its multiple truths.