Thought I’d post an update on my continued improvements and deep thoughts. I saw the doctor for my follow-up appointment yesterday, and he says I’m healing nicely. My stitches are out, and I’m going back to work Monday, with a little bit lighter schedule planned than normal.
My pain is pretty minimal, just taking two ibuprofen every 6 to 8 hours now. I’m still really low on energy, but I’m building back up. I started walking little bits on my treadmill a few days after I got home, to try to get some stamina. I go super slow, and I hold on to the rails, and I’m adding a tenth of a mile each day. I did a full mile today (in 27 minutes).
I went out for…Mexican food last night! It was AMAZING. I’m still eating small amounts, but I’m essentially eating all my “normal” foods. Sort of. I’m not wanting junk food much. I think because I’m eating so little, and my energy is so low, I feel like if I’m going to eat it, there should be nutritional value. This is not a bad development in my life, for sure.
I do wish I could get to the place where I’m not so aware of my digestion. Like I feel the food go down, and I’m aware of it hitting my stomach, and my tummy kind of rumbles and groans and just asserts itself every step of the way.
Anyway, I promised epiphanies, and I was pondering some on my treadmill just now, so I thought I’d share a few. One thing I found while lying half out of my mind in a hospital bed is that whatever has sustained you in life before, whatever has fed your soul, it can sustain you again if you let it.
I watched Grease three times during my illness, and it lifted my spirits every time. I have the whole movie memorized. I know every line, every gesture, every dance move, and I love it. I watched Grease Live after I returned home, and I learned that something you love so much in its original form can be updated and tweaked, and you might still love it.
I realized that The Bachelor is best enjoyed with a snarky friend and a beverage. If your beverage happens to be CT scan contrast fluid, so be it. It might be rather refreshing after 11 days of no food or drink.
I learned that music can heal me, and it can take me immediately to another time and place. Perhaps listening while you’re half out of your mind increases this phenomenon. I was so grateful that I’ve spent the last 10 years of my life cultivating an iPod playlist that encourages me, soothes me, energizes me, and lifts me up. I’d hear a song and be transported back to the beach during my junior high years, or my high school gym, or a country dance hall in the 90’s, or just back to that day a few months ago when I first walked four miles. I really had this sense of time not being linear. Like in this particular moment, I’m in a hospital bed miserable, but there is a place in time where I am two-stepping around a dance floor with my college sweetheart, and I could go there fairly easily.
I learned that art feeds my soul. While tied to that hospital bed by tubes and wires, I didn’t want to read. I didn’t want to watch television. I couldn’t stand to be on the internet, because it made me dizzy. But a friend brought me crayons and adult coloring sheets, and that was perfect. I enjoyed that so much. Just enough stimulation, but not too much. And guys, for reals, I tested it; my blood pressure was lower when I was coloring.
I also became super aware of people in my life who truly are there for me (and a few who are not). It might not be who you think it will be when you find yourself in that time of need. You might be surprised who really comes through and goes way above and beyond the call of duty.
I’m so grateful for the people who visited, texted, sent flowers, cared for my fur babies, brought me things, took care of my work, sat holding my hand, cleaned my house, washed my laundry, and didn’t eat in front of me all that time I couldn’t eat. So many of you offered, and even if I didn’t take you up on it, please know that I truly appreciate you. So many of you would have offered, if I’d told you I was sick. Please forgive me for not reaching out. I wasn’t in my right mind.
There’s more rumbling through my head, but maybe that’s enough for one evening.