Friday, July 21, 2017

Three Weeks of Hell, Health and Recovery

So here we are. 3 weeks of recovery done after my surgery to repair a deviated septum and remove my tonsils/adenoids. I’m finally eating again. Thinking about exercising. Probably sick of ice cream, coconut water and green smoothies. Still marveling over my breathing being so much better and clearer through my nose. It went by fast and I’m just at a loss for how it all happened. How do you describe something that humbled you, silenced you, tested you mentally and physically, reduced me to a baby then built me back up different.

I mean. On Day 3, I’m crying because I want to touch my dog. Just for a sense of normalcy. That’s how taxing this whole thing was. Taking the meds was painful at first and I was happy when I got stronger meds once my nose healed on Day 6. It flipped everything up to where normal stuff like walking upright, sleeping, eating, drinking and SWALLOWING was a chore. I cried because of the pain that hurt like a lingering sore throat. And even when I resumed eating this week, it still wasn't easy at first because my body had to get used to it.

And yet, here I am. Stronger. Better. Seeing exactly what the doctor said. July went by fast as I prayed and hoped it would. From waking up early on June 30 and wondering how this would go to waking up July 21 fully okay, thinking about driving to see people and getting back into a routine.

There’s a lot of things I learned from this and I could list them all except that’d be a separate post in itself. Two things stood out however - one, my faith was tested and I had to rely on God getting me through this. At times, to cope, I tried to pray for somebody else going through much worse. Like Gatorade Player of the Year Taylor Dockins awaiting a liver transplant, one of the toughest young ladies I've met in some time. Or dear friends facing cancer or anything else. They inspired me and I believe God put them on my heart to remind that in my suffering, remember others as well.

Early on, I listened to gospel at night to help me sleep and Aretha Franklin’s Amazing Grace as well.  I listened to hip hop instrumentals as well to try and distract me from the pain. I know that was God putting that message in my head to lean on Him and just know I needed him deeper to get by. I read Scriptures to gain trust. So when I say my faith got stronger a bit - I know it.

The second thing is encouragement vs. empathy. Many people tried to encourage me through this process meaning well but I knew that their words felt tough knowing I didn’t need a push. I needed comfort. Especially that first week. I think we humans have a tendency to try and cheer people up because we think that’s what they need but sometimes, we need to show empathy and feel what people need. I didn’t want to be told how great this vacation would be when I couldn’t enjoy the first week. I didn’t want people to stifle me being honest about how difficult this was. I wanted people who saw my pain and tried to comfort and listen to it.

But I’m not mad because how often have I done it? And how much of it is people trying to be nice? It’s a natural reaction and I think I learned that when people are crying out for whatever reason, empathy calls us to be there with them vs trying to walk them out of the valley. It’s like running - you want to keep pushing and running but when your body is crying out in a good way, you need to address it before you do worse damage. So I appreciated the love but I know that some of it wasn’t helpful at the time - and I’m not mad. I just understand the human psyche better.

With it all. I really appreciate my Mom so much more. She walked this road closer with me than anybody and had to sacrifice her time with round the clock meds every four hours and much more. I became a baby once again and she took so much care of me that I had to accept it as her love going to another depth. I can’t express how much I love her but she’s just the greatest mom ever.

So yeah. 21 days went by just like that. Am I looking forward to going back to work Monday? Not really because I liked this vacation but also yes at the same time because I want that normal routine again. I want to try and be healthier after this weight loss as well get used to this facial hair for a while. Not many people get a fresh start and I’m taking this as one. As I inhale this sweet breath through my nose, I won't forget the three weeks that got me here.

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