It's not been a good day to say the least. In addition to firing someone I really liked, I jacked up my already jacked up foot. This is the same foot that I smashed in the door.
Well, I was using the pedicure tool suggested by the surgeon and accidentally ripped a two inch hole from the amputation site. I didn't feel it at all. I looked and I was bleeding. (sigh) I put some medical grade honey on it and a bandage and let it go. I don't know if I want to use this thing after this!
At the time I was quite emotionally devistated by it. I also thought I deserved to be hurt bc I fired someone who is hurting. There I was bleeding and thought, good, this is what happens to people like you! It took a second to get my head straight and realized just how triggering her situation has been. No, I don't deserve to hurt and neither does she. It was an accident, not a punishment! Not a sign that I'm a bad person.
It'll take a moment to wipe the visual of my CNA hurting herself. It wasn't a good thing to see. It'll take a little bit to accept my new normal of not getting the feeling back in that foot properly. I try not to let it get to me. I try to take it in stride ya know? But sometimes the realization of my physical condition hits me hard, like today.
So I'm going to to take a few deep breaths then do some art work. I will turn on some music and let this moment pass. No stuffing. No running but also, I refuse to just sit in it. I'm about to work it out the best I can, with art and tea.
I went to the grocery store. When I was getting back in the car I thought I was all the way in but my bad foot wasn't. I shut it in the door. That's a pain that's going to linger.
The problem is, I can't feel much other than pain in that foot so it's hard to tell where it is or what position it's in. I found out real fast that it was in the door! Now it's all red and inflamed and ugly looking. Not good at all. My nurse will be here to look at it.
In better foot health news, I've finally got my pedicure kit the surgeon suggested. This will help with skin thickness on the incision area as well as help the amputated area look nice overall.
I've said before, I'm conceited. I can't go around looking like anything at all. I'm not an anything - will - do, kind of girl. Nope. It matters to me that the amputation site is soft and smooth, so I am not ashamed to go without socks when friends are around.
This is the second time I've crushed the amputated foot in the door. I've got to make sure I know where all my body is at any given time. Lol. Oh me!
Content - Fear of dying. Suicide of brother. Domestic violence.
I was able to make it in to his office today for my session. In addition to having a bit of spring fever, I have a new Betta fish. She's the final fish for the apartment. When I first moved in I said I wanted 3 and that's what I now have. 😊
In session we talked about how there's still a bit of shock associated with the foot. I have quite a bit of phantom pain which feels like the toes are still there. At that time I don't do anything about it because for just a bit it feels like I've got two full feet again. I like the feeling so I don't try to ease the phantom pain.
We talked about how the 10th of this month I entered the hospital, for the major nightmare, one year ago. August will be the one year anniversary of leaving the hospital, with May 7th being the one year anniversary of the amputation. I have no plans to recognize or observe these anniversaries. They'll happen and I'll go on.
We talked about feeling more comfortable that I'm not going to fall over and die from a blood clot at any minute. I don't think about dying every single day like I did when I first got out of the hospital. That is a major change right there. I used to think, what's the point of starting a project when I'm just going to die?
We talked about stress w the CNAs. One keeps showing up suicidal which is a serious trigger for me. I had to tell her today to stop telling me about her issues and treating me like I'm her therapist. She told her doctor that I'm part of her support system. I told her I'm a client not a therapist and that I'm in therapy myself. I gave her resources for domestic violence and resources for therapy. I didn't think she'd take it but she did, and she acted on the resources. She's set up with rea support, support I am not qualified to give. Also, I'm the patient. She comes to my house to help me. She can't come crying for a full hour each morning, I talk her down and then we go on like everything is OK. It's not. I'm triggered. It's exhausting.
The other CNA had to go! I'm over it. I can't seem to forgive her for laughing hysterically at how a person w no toes walks. She laughed at me and mocked my walk. She said I look funny and laughed at me! I got past her sexual comments and my appearance but this went deep! I don't want to hobble next to someone who will laugh at me so cruely! So she's fired and rightly so.
Here at home we work on walking several times a week. This spring we'll get out of the park and walk. For now we do so in the excessively long hallway here at the apartment complex.
I didn't get to sleep until 9 this morning bc my pain levels were too high. I tossed and turned and laid here looking at the wall. Finally I slept and woke at 6pm. The entire day is over. I'm not discouraged by this today bc the bigger picture is this - I've got few immediate responsibilities which allows me to have the time to be sick. I'm grateful for the position I'm in that allows life to stop and let me recover. Today is a day of recovery.
Good stuff that happened this week:
I sold 2 dolls and an original art piece.
Warm dinners were made all week here at home. I loved it.
I had pancakes 2 times this week. 😊
Homemade hot chocolate during the cold snap was wonderful.
I've been able to avoid prolonged emotional triggers by processing them and letting them go.
I bought a tiny wheelchair to sit a doll in. A friend of mine is having heart surgery and I can't be there, so I'm sending a representative. Froggie will go for me.
Today my CNA referred to me as handicapped. I was offended! I thought, You're gonna tell me that bc I sit in a wheelchair I'm handicapped? After further thought I'm like, oh hang on, there's a little more to it than just being in a wheelchair. There are weeks when I can't get up. There are days when keeping my food down is a joke and coordinating thoughts is nothing but tiring. Yes, I have in home nurses and aides. There are quite a few limitations but in my mind I don't think of myself as handicapped. I think disabled, but not handicapped.
Honestly, the two words are about the same in definition. It's the stigma of handicapped that gets under my skin. There is no dignity w that word. It feels like a stripping of abilities and value. Saying I'm disabled only recognizes limitations but handicapped says to me that I have lost my ability to count in society.
Maybe it's just me. Maybe I think too much. I just know the two words feel different when used.
In another shock, my other CNA asked me how I can be expected to have faith in God the same as a person not sitting in a wheelchair. (crickets) Dear CNAs, Y'all realize my life isn't over, right? You do realize there are people who have it worse?
Losing a body part is not the same as losing yourself. And despite depression or hating my life from time to time, I still have a bit of fire in me that won't allow me to give up! Sometimes I lose sight of things but mostly I remember that I have hope. I have a future!
My final thought is this. Sitting in a wheelchair hasn't weakened me, nor has it made me stronger. It just is. It's a page turned not an ending.
I feel uprooted. Everything is different. My home is great but I've not laid down roots here. Most of my possessions are new because the old got thrown out. The only photo of my father that I had was thrown away accidentally. It is gone forever and it hurts.
My dishes, terrariums, plants, shoes, bed, sheets, furniture, everything is different and new. My frogs are new, fish are new. No dog or cat anymore. Heck, my laptop and phone are even new. I realized I have few things that I am emotionally attached to because I've not had them long enough. It feels like everything has new roots, nothing is stable, consistent, long term, dependable.
I'm new. I've changed physically and emotionally. My eyes haven't stopped watering since the amputation. They water nearly non-stop.
I feel like I'm complaining but all I'm trying to say is that laying down new roots at 47 is difficult.
Art supplies are new. Again, these are observations not necessarily complaints. I love my new art supplies, especially the Winsor and Newton watercolors seen in the photos. Winsor Newton puts out a superior product that I totally love and yet there's a feeling of sadness because they don't have longer history with me. It would seem their only history with me is the hospitalization.
It hurts my heart to think that what all the new things have in common is trauma. So I've got to try and change that view to one more positive, something like this: All the new things are associated with SURVIVAL not near death. They are evidence of life, of a future, of deep, deep roots that helped me walk to this very day.
Thirteen years I walked past my therapist's Christmas Cactus and never thought to ask for a start until now.
The three spider plant starts from the surgeon are growing like weeds. They were so tiny when I got them.
I snagged a start from the hospital's bed of pathos. It's being rooted in the fish tank with the Betta fish I had when I was in the nursing home.
I wish all these plants could go in one planter but they have different requirements.
Spider plant, Christmas Cactus, Pathos, Dumbcane, large Peace Lilly. These are my memory plants.
Why on earth would I wish to remember one of the worst things I've ever been through? Because it has changed who I am. It's changed me for the better and the worse, with the hope of good coming out on top.
Today in therapy we talked about how I have a fear that I'm going to just drop dead. That my health isn't reliable and there's no sense in putting forth effort when I may throw a blood clot and die. I hope such morbid fears will subside in time. I'm counting on it. I'm counting on growing right along beside the green leaves that fill my apartment.
.........A visitor asked if I'm trying to make a paradise out of my home. The answer is yes.
Today is one of those days where I feel the weight of what happened in the hospital. I feel shocked, stunned, grieved. I can only describe it as a train wreck where I can still hear the sound of metal crumbling around me. What I feel today must be what I was feeling when I drew and painted in this image with the caption: There's more to do. I'm not strong enough.
We went over the image in therapy and talked about the butterflies included and how they symbolize transformation. Also significant is the green under the eyes which I used to stand for goals of growth and keeping focused on them. Despite that focus there's dissociation (figures in the tree) to fight as well as feelings of trauma and grief symbolized by the hanging figure between the eyes. Hanging on is my main focus. It's what's between my eyes. No matter what, just hang on. That's what I think the girl in the middle is doing.
I look at the color of the dress of the girl hanging on and realize it 'should be' a shade of red, however, it is orange paint that drips into red. In my art therapy pieces, orange symbolizes ambiguity, mixed emotions, indecision. Then of course there's the spiral in the throat. I started that about a year ago when it became very difficult for me to verbalize my feelings. As if through a hole in my neck, the words escaped me.
Recently I've felt like an idiot trying to talk, so I just didn't. I didn't email or write on this blog for a number of days (never a good thing for me). I just got quiet. Today I feel better equipped to put two words together but I also feel worn thin by it all.
Tomorrow is another much needed therapy session. Like every Monday, it's over the phone. However, I'll be going in to his office every other Friday to see him. In the Friday sessions, Michelle will get dedicated time where she'll talk about her own art and issues. The goal is for her to do some healing, too.
In the hospital I felt guilty for putting my friends through worry for me. I felt bad that they worried for five long months, especially around surgeries. When things would get harry I felt horrible for putting people through tears and worry.
In this art piece that expresses the guilt, I put hanging people on the shoulders of a figure standing behind a smaller faceless figure. Both figures have an amputated foot with darkened skin around the amputation site. The figure with the sunflower crown is holding a star in her left hand.
In the hospital I worried that the doctors would realize that they were putting forth a lot of effort for a nobody, and when they found out they'd stop caring for me. This piece expresses the issue of low self worth.
The painting shows a split face which is typical in my art anymore. It shows two faceless figures and a large sunflower at the bottom. Also of note is the yellow hair and orange face of the faceless figure with spike hair. Again, yellow symbolizes disgusting things and there were plenty of gross things in the hospital. For her hair to be yellow is very significant for me.
Both works were created after the amputation and are in watercolor and ink.
The painting above, where I express myself as No One is interesting to me since I had an alter named No One who always painted herself as faceless. That alter changed her name to Jordan and is interestingly enough, the main personality in the group. She is in affect, my face.
The No One painting is also the inspiration for art where there are two faces as opposed to just a split face. I've been doing that in art therapy a lot lately. Dr. D and I talked about that last Friday.