I was shaking from head to toe. I couldn't think. I was naked, in the shower with a nurses aid standing beside me. A black woman was touching me! I might as well have been a child with my mother in the shower, that's why I was shaking. It didn't matter that the CNA was there to help and it doesn't matter that this happened several days ago. It's still heavy on my mind, still makes me shake. ...continue reading "Surviving Triggers"
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
- I think it's super cool that Dr L is treating the amputation site with medical honey.
- 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.
- I had a lavender and hemp foot soak on the left foot. It was great.
- I can reach down to my feet and put on my own socks. I only put a sock on the left for now.
- 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!
- 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.
Bears on the bed
Tea by the window
My room has changed again. I'm back in the rehab area instead of the nursing home or long-term care section. I was here when I first arrived and it's good to be back.
I am not good with change but this here was needed because I was getting depressed in the other area. I struggled to keep depression low and from consuming me. Over here on the rehab side is much better. I hope things continue to look up.
I'm going to be in the hospital for a few days. Despite being on blood thinners my body has still created a blood clot behind my knee. There's an abnormality in the left lung but I'm not sure what that means, if anything at all.
When the doctor gave me all the information and options, I burst into tears!
I've been told to be strong. I've been told to have faith and courage and not to give up hope. I've been told I can take this... again... That I may not want to do it again but I can take it, I can manage more. I cried some more then thought, I'll try.
I'll try to tap into that girl inside, the fearless one, the head first, won't quit girl. Right now I'm angry and tired. I just want to go home, my home. I don't want to fight for every breath. I don't want this pain anymore and I want my dang on toes back. But what I need and want are different. I need a jackhammer to get to the part of me that can keep going at this pace and level of pain.
In all honesty, I may fall apart but I don't know how to give up.
The part of me that can keep the pace isn't far away. Perhaps she's letting me get out tears so we have more room for fight.
Update: The plan is not surgery but to up the dose of my shot a little bit and add an asprin. No surgery! I should only be here a few days. Also, I have the same group of doctors from the big surgery two months ago. They're still following me.
I'm relieved. They feel the clot is small enough that surgery is not needed.
I take life for granted until I go head first into a moment that tangles with sobriety. My eyes are wide open to how fragile people are and how they too live life blinded, until they absolutely have to see.
I've got another blood clot situation. My fear is that it'll threaten the left leg.
The other day I was tucked in bed when it hit me - I miss popcorn. I miss homemade, buttery, kernel corn. I miss fruit drinks on movie night. What I really miss is life as I knew it. I miss the chaotic apartment, the art, the high and driven spirit that set goals, and wanted to live as more than a survivor. The more I let myself think about what I miss, the further away I got from acceptance of this new life and its possibilities.
I'm not emotionally strong enough to look back and think about what I miss. I have to focus forward. I have to work on accepting or letting go according to my abilities. It's hard to focus that much though. It's hard not to panic and scream, IT'S NOT FAIR! I know it's not fair. I absolutely know it but to sit in that right now isn't going to help anything. It won't help me focus on the things that are within my control. I need to focus on options and care plans not each piece of life I miss. If I do that I'll rob myself of much needed energy. I need all my energy because Lord knows I'm tired.
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.
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.
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.
There are a few issues with phone calls, texting and emails. I also struggle to get Sundrip or any other web site to load. I'm working on the problems so I can correspond again.
The surgery was completed but we're having difficulty with the wound vac.
I'm ok. I just need rest.