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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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I have a few more art supplies coming from Amazon.com which will give my heart another reason to beat happily.

I don't look happy in the photo bc I'm not. I was at the beginning of whatever my body is doing right now. I'm hacking and spitting up, vomiting and utterly miserable feeling. That's how my body feels but when I get a visitor I perk right up and chat and laugh like my old self.

I'm getting better settled in, getting used to such a small space for my own. At first I wanted to go back to the nursing home but not now. I just freaked out at the newness of it all. ...continue reading "Looking and Moving Forward"

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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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Altenheim nursing home June 2018

That's joy on my face. Walking brings joy to my face. I did 125 feet today. Another goal met was to begin giving myself the Arixtra blood thinner shot, which I take once daily.

Next week we will work on stamina issues. I'll begin learning to balance myself climbing the stairs. I'm going to need to practice the stairs because when I leave here I'm going to stay with friends who have a room for me upstairs. I won't brave them alone. Hopefully nursing staff will be in place so that CNA's can assist with getting up and down. Yup, the stairs are a bit worrying but I've got a bit to figure it out. I may scoot on my bum while on the stairs. We'll see. The good news is, even though I don't yet have an apartment, I do have a safe, clean place to stay. ...continue reading "Victory Laps and Wobbly Steps"

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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"

I wasn't nearly as afraid when I was in the thick of it. I knew what was stacked against me. I understood the odds were not in my favor yet I didn't constantly think about dying. I knew I wanted to live. Once I realized I may lose as much as both legs I tried to figure out how to live with it. Even at the time when I couldn't move at all and I couldn't feel from the waste down, I still tried to manage in my head how to live that way. If for some reason I didn't regain feeling and movement, I never once thought being bedbound was a reason to die.  ...continue reading "A Thousand Miles"

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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"

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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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