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Someone to Watch Over Me
Someone to Watch Over Me

I asked you to do the surgery. You said you could or a colleague but I trusted my life in your hands. It felt like there was so much at stake, more to lose than body parts. I can't explain how afraid I was that I'd throw a blood clot or bleed to death. I was so scared I kept calling to my mother!

I had a dream about her last night. She was a helpless infant in my arms. I rolled around in my wheelchair with her head on my shoulder. I made sure she was safe and warm. Safe. ...continue reading "Not Cut and Dry"

I'm not brave. I'm not. I'm not rolling with the punches, I'm just getting punched. As I said, I've walked through the fire and I'm all burned up. I'm skinny, starving for a moment of real rest, of relief. ...continue reading "The Brave Face"

Stone and Shadows
Stone and Shadows

I see "the surgeon" tomorrow, the one who amputated my toes. I wonder what kind of person it takes to look at a foot rotted black, take a saw and hack off a body part to be thrown away? What allows his mind to go there and his hands to follow? Though beyond repair, black as night, shriveled to nothing and dry, they were still mine.

My heart knows 100% that this surgeon was one who helped save my life, mine and many others. He is loved and honored, rightfully put on a pedestal. He has taken people with slim odds and brought them back from the brink. In my heart I see him that way, but behind my eyes I see the man who methodically removed part of me and threw me away.

Faith Austin

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12 painful stairs to a tiny room. Each step felt like I couldn't cry any more than I did one step earlier. I made it up the stairs and laid on the air mattress with a slow leak and asked myself, "is it worth it?" can't I just stop taking meds and let nature take its course in a matter of days? Then the real me took a breath! I was reminded that this is very temporary. I'm with friends who, though of humble means truly love me. And honestly, I'd rather be here than in a nursing home with workers who like me but who don't do half of what they should. ...continue reading "A difficult start"

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Fact: With healing comes pain. And I'm in a lot of pain. It makes me angry and irritable. I'm tired of it.

I am healing. The surgery incision is closing naturally and looks clean. Despite pains that shoot through it, it's healthy and progressing well.

I'm irritable and sensitive. ...continue reading "Pain and Healing"

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July 8th I'll be discharged from the nursing home whether I have an apartment or not. Here's a shot of me holding my bears.

I worry about my lack of stamina and how it will prevent me from getting basic needs met. I'm not whole, not ready to be discharged to care for myself. How will I shower? I don't have the stamina for these things. ...continue reading "On fear and focus"

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I need a blog entry so I've decided to interview myself. The questions and answers are off the top of my head. I'll do 5 questions.

Question: Faith, what have you done this week to improve your quality of life?

Answer: Wow. That's tough. Off the top of my head I'd say I have worked on better accepting the amputation this week. I've been doing some encouraging reading and feel a little more hopeful about things.

Question: What have you done in the past week as an act of self kindness?

Answer: I've let go of my mistakes. When mistakes have been made I've quieted the cruel, crushing voice in my head that shames me. The nicest thing I can do for me is to speak to myself kindly.

Question: What do you think about Dr L, the surgeon?

Answer: I find him intriguing but he makes me nervous. I can't tell if he's angry. I have a need to please him and follow instructions for my foot 'just so'. I don't want to disappoint him. I always forget what he looks like until I see him. There's a great deal of trust in him concerning my foot. There's a need to put up a wall between me and him. I'd say I'm all over the map with him. The man cut off my toes, I assure you my feelings are complex.

Question: Are you going to date again, do you have someone in mind?

Answer: Yes. I've been thinking about dating again. There's no one in mind at the moment.

Question: Why do you want to date?

Answer: I want the fairy tale. I want to get old with someone. I want to sit on the porch and watch the birds, read together, have tea together and be happy. I want to be past youthfulness, past childbearing years and more settled in who I am. I want him to be past the crazy years, working through midlife crisis and settled in who he is. I hope I can find him.

After answering these questions there's one thing that stands out, I'm future oriented. I think a lot about what I want and how I want to feel. Also, I think a lot. Lol

Things I'm grateful for this week 

  1. I think it's super cool that Dr L is treating the amputation site with medical honey.
  2. I've been moved to the rehab section of the nursing center which is much more lively and very much what I need to stay on the healing path.
  3. I had a lavender and hemp foot soak on the left foot. It was great.
  4. I can reach down to my feet and put on my own socks. I only put a sock on the left for now.
  5. I am back to transferring myself from the wheelchair to the restroom on my own. I'm back to being able to get dressed on my own. It feels good!
  6. The nurse finally gave me a razor to shave my mustache. I was 2 whiskers away from changing my name to Steve. Thank goodness for razors.

Faith

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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

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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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