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"
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.
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.