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I stood twice then transfered to the toilet on my own. I needed help with getting back in the chair and getting my brief on. I transfered to bed on my own, exhausted, discouraged a bit. But it's early, right? It was only the 7th that I had surgery.

The CNA asked me if I would have to pay full price for a pedicure. We both laughed. ☺ The child is sick. Lol

I felt very "disabled". There I was stranded on the toilet stark naked except for the depends hanging low and left. Obviously I could take the victory in all this but I can see what all it took to wrestle w the hospital gown and lose the battle leaving me butt naked like a toddler on a potty chair. I got it in the right spot, and on time. What am I, two?

Every minute counts because every minute is energy to complete a task. If I miscalculate and overestimate, then I'm screwed. This is where humility comes in. Accept the limitation or pay the consequence.

Today I counted right. Today I can be irritated and I can laugh at myself.

When I realized I'd need help getting back in the chair I laughed at myself because I was stranded on the toilet. Go figure. I knew I could get back in the chair but I couldn't manage the brief, get dressed and wash my hands. So I pulled the "Help Me" call light and waited. I told her what I had energy for and what I needed help with. A few min later I was successfully back in bed.

It's an ordeal, a math lesson, a test of humility. It's a reminder of what can be taken for granted and of the times we have to let go.

Good things that happen this week
First and foremost, thank you for letting me survive the surgery. I was scared.
Thank you for all the friends that showed up.
Thank you for good sleep and times where I was able to cry and release grief.
Thank you for reminders to see the bigger picture, see beyond this moment and know that both now and the future matter.
Thank you for humor with friends and nursing staff. We had a hilarious time tasting guava fruit. It was fresh but not ripe, and very nasty but funny to see the facial expressions because of the tart taste.
Thanks for strong pain medication that keeps most of the really bad pain at bay.

Faith

Dr D and I talked at our regular time. I said I'm hungry but nothing sounds good. I said for several days I've not been myself. I yelled and cursed, complained and refused their assistance. I wanted to be left alone to sleep. The pain was out of control and I couldn't stand it. A few days have passed since the surgery and it's better but still bad, just not screaming, cussing bad.

Of course I'm afraid of the pain. I'm afraid to put my foot on the floor bc it hurts but I'm more afraid of losing progress. I read over entries and think about how strong I felt bc I could get in the wheelchair on my own or bc I was able to get dressed on my own. I don't want this surgery to make all that for nothing.

Healing from this one could take up to 12 weeks. Somewhere in this 12 weeks will my confidence be lost? Can I, one last time, overcome the fear and pain just to know what it feels like to dress myself again? Of course I can, but I want this to be the last time I relearn the basics. I want this to be the last time grueling pain rules the day and night. May I have that, please?

Dr D asked if I've been dissociating or switching. One little one pops out from time to time but usually I'm alone when she does. Ariel is quite young has zero desire to speak to anyone. She pops out because she catches a glimpse of our new teddy bear or tea or something pink. She's sad and upset about how much pain we're in but I don't know if she totally gets why we're in pain. I hope not bc she's just a kid and all this is adult size trauma.

It's coming on 7pm which means it's time to read and relax. Time for another cup of tea. There's always time for another cup of tea.

Jordan

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I was heavily drugged as the physical therapist rolled me down to hallway. I haven't been myself or close to it. I'm terrified of the pain and wonder what's going to happen to me. There's also a part of me that feels sure and doesn't question herself as much.

My environment doesn't feel as secure but it felt great to have a social worker pass by me and say, "Welcome back, Faith." that was thoughtful and came at the right time.

It's only been a few days but my confusion level after surgery is quite high. I can't get my words right or basic information right. I figure it'll return, hopefully sooner than later cause this feels terrible.

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The Lesson is an art story about the doctor telling me about my blood system. He explained that something about my DNA steers my blood wrong. Instead of living the normal 120-90 days, my blood lives 60-30 days then begins to break down.

When the doctor told me this I thought to myself, I have bad blood, that's what makes me a bad person. This is why my mother can't love me, I'm bad from the inside out. Yup, my head took me there. So how do I rewrite a very old message of being bad and bring my thoughts more in line with the times? I paint and talk to myself.

After some healthy ground techniques I pulled out my watercolors and began to paint symbols from the doctor's visit. I painted a symbolic DNA strand and several levels of blood development.

I really enjoy painting like this. I take something medical and paint how it affected me emotionally. I'm going to keep doing this. Painting is healing for me and it allows me to process realities easier.

I apologize for the quality of the photo. All of this is still being painted, photographed and blogged from bed.

Jordan

"The Lesson" by
Faith Magdalene Austin
Watercolor and ink
8.5 x 5.5
98lb paper

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I'm trying not to let it eat me up. I know it'll be difficult and emotionally painful, but I don't want it to rule me.

It's funny, I picture myself dancing again. I picture myself bending down to pick up moss, walking through grass down to the water line. I can see myself functioning w just part of my leg and foot but I don't know if I'll ever get over the loss. I don't think I'll cry everyday for years or anything, but I can't see me "getting over it". I think the pain of this loss will stay but that the depression associated with it will fade into the background. ...continue reading "On losing more"

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I will photograph myself walking and post the photo bc it's unbelievable when I say that I walked. I did though. I stood up with the walker and took 24 steps. The physical therapist asked how I felt and I said I had no words. I was emotional and speechless.

I wanted several of the PT's to see me walk. I waited for a few to come in the room and even had one called so she could come to the area. Ha! I felt like a kid on a bike who had to show off that she can balance and move forward. It was like I'd taken a passage from helpless kid who falls behind, to an independent teenager looking to feel her roots. Imagine the emotion and confidence I'll have to walk after surgery and when I get prosthetics and shoes. The first time I walk with them l'm sure I'll be speechless.

 

In line with medical goals I continue to take the wheelchair outside for activities such as looking at rocks and finding the perfect spot for a cup of tea.

I found a rock shaped like a heart. I painted a face on one and lettered HOPE on another.

Jordan

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It's been weeks since I required assistance getting in bed. It was a vulnerable, helpless feeling not being able to move. But now I can use the wheelchair so I have a measure of independence. Even if I'm in bed for the night, I want the wheelchair within my reach. My anxiety level goes really high if it's not bc I go right back to feeling helpless. I feel like a lump in the bed who can't do anything. ...continue reading "The Mighty Chair"

I've withdrawn from friends as I battle depression and discouragement. I'm easily irritated and annoyed. I'm anxious and generally uncomfortable and unhappy. However, I'm working hard to manage these feelings so I can stay on the road to recovery.

There isn't just one thing I can point to and say, This is the problem. It's the situation, the foot, lack of independence and feeling like I don't have control of my life. This is so big. I swear I just want to run from it all.

My last surgery needed is May 7th at 11am. Despite it being an amputation surgery, I won't be fully put under. They're going to use a nerve block and meds to relax me. Because things change so much, I'd rather just post the date and surgery, let it happen then talk about it more. Soooo, surgery May 7th w details to come. ...continue reading "Battling Fear"

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