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Thursday, 25 August 2011

Glimpses of Hope


Today was a good day. 

It started by me oversleeping.
My daughter managed to find a water bottle and dump in on the carpet. 
My box of ‘Frosted Wheats’ was empty and there was that not quite enough amount left in my second choice.  (my husband made me eggs on toast, though – bonus points for him!)
Little miss refused to give me a hug goodbye…first time she’s ever done that.
I missed an important deadline at work.
I didn’t start two other projects because of desparately trying to make said deadline.
Since my forgotten umbrella was at home, I got soaked on my way to lunch.
Our new (to us) car is giving us grief…just days after a service.
My husband is ill for the second time in a week.
I had to leave items in the middle of using self checkout to chase after (surprisingly speedy) daughter.
I finished a mountain of dishes, then discovered more on the table.

So, on the scale of greatness, this one wouldn’t score particularly high.  In fact, by some standards, it’s fair to say it was particularly shit.  However, to one who is in the process of recovery, today was a good day.  You see, on a bad day, just one of the above events would be enough to send me spiralling into the depths of despair. 

Monday, 22 August 2011

The Call


It’s 7:30am.  The phone rings and I answer.  It’s my Grandfather, sounding serious, asking for my Dad.  He’s outside shovelling snow so I take over and he goes into the phone.  Too much time passes and, even with my little kid’s shovel, I manage to finish before my Dad returns.  When I get inside mom and dad are sitting at the table looking serious.

This is the first time I hear the world death.   

Although that part is singed into my memory, I can’t remember who it was.  My memory seems to have repeated it as well.  In my head, this happened multiple times, but I know some calls came in the summer. I know I didn’t always answer the phone.  One thing is for certain. 

Calls before breakfast are never good news.  

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Healing


When I had reconstructive surgery on my knee, I woke up to find a machine gently bending and straightening my leg, starting rehabilitation as early as possible. When the time came to remove the brace, I was amazed that, despite regular physio appointments and strapping myself into that machine for eight hours a day, my leg was a mere shadow of what it used to be.  My calf muscle so lax I could practically wrap it around my shin.  When my physical therapist told me to walk the whole five feet between the door and the medical table, I laughed.  Then I tried.  My brain had forgotten how to work my leg all together.  I resembled a baby giraffe trying to figure out its lanky limbs. (with half the male soccer team there to witness it!  Arrgh!)

The surgery was just part one.  I was a world better than I’d been but it would be a long hard slog before I was fully recovered. If I walked too fast or up stairs, I limped.  If I walked too far, I was in agony.  With my body concentrating on rebuilding that part of my body, my immune system forgot how to work. I got raging headaches and had a constant run of sore throats.  I was dead tired all the time.  The pain killers made it hard to think straight but without them the pain made me throw up. I ran several miles a few days before the surgery so I thought I was taking baby steps when my first run was the block.  I was heaving with exhaustion before making it to the end of the street.

Dealing with postnatal depression has left me feeling like that sorry excuse for a leg with the flaccid calf muscle.  I’m longing to stretch my boundaries and be me again but I just can't seem to manage it.  I get ill easier as my body fights off this horrendous illness. Daily challenges that I could have dealt with easily now practically paralyze me.  My chest tightens and the anxiety creeps in with the tiniest bit of normal life stress.  I continue to live and try to heal in this world that really isn’t all that nice.  I search for things to keep me living from moment to moment as the healing process is so slow I rarely notice it.

I do know the worst of it is over.  Last summer was a battle I hope to never have to fight again.  I made it through but it has left me ill-equipped to deal with the world the way I once could.  

I’ve been assured I am doing all the right things and, if I keep doing them, I will get better with time.  Until then, they tell me the safety net is still firmly in place.  I can’t see the net but I’m doing my best to stay strong and believe them.  Each step makes me wonder if I’ll miss something and tumble back into that deep dark hole again.  I know I’ve got more tools to fight it this time but I don’t want to have to use them.

It would be nice if life would just back the fuck off for a while so I could get better but that’s not going to happen.  I’ve been assured I’m strong enough to do this battle while living with all the normal people but I am not always convinced myself.  I am learning to walk again and I stumble. A lot.

Somewhere in the midst of an emotional weekend, I subconsciously shut off my feelings and returned to the protective feeling of numbness.  It’s not a warm cosy feeling.  It is dark and cold.  Lonely and alienating.  I speak of illness, of death, of loved ones I've lost, like I’m talking about the weather. I want my emotions back.  They are the glimpse I have that I am getting better. 

Sometimes, after a long bought of illness, we get a little over zealous, head back to work just that one day too soon and end up back in bed again.

When I was convinced my knee was well and truly recovered, I did a flying leap and came down on a still much weaker leg. It gave out and within seconds my other knee was wrecked as well. 

Most of the time I feel like I have been forced back into the thick of it too early.  Those stupid demons lurk in the shadows, just waiting to capitalize on life’s latest hurdles. However, there is nothing to do but do my best and hope I can continue to handle it. 

So far so good but I could use a more visible safety net.  And perhaps a good cry. 

Friday, 12 August 2011

Listography - Things I'd Change About Myself

After several weeks of checking in and seeing others responses to the weekly listographys hosted by Kate Takes 5, I thought it was about time I join in too.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The Baby I Never Met


If things had gone a little differently, I’d likely be in the middle of preparations for a little one’s second birthday.  According to my math, the due date would have August 8th, though it was never confirmed for sure and I’m well aware that there can be weeks between the due date and the actual arrival.  I thought I’d convinced myself the date meant nothing.  Instead I have been overcome with grief and, instead of it being the normal kind that just makes me feel bad, a nice (un)healthy dose of guilt has come along with it. 

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Warrior Mom in Training


I just added a new badge to my site and I’m feeling a bit kick-ass about it.   

Here’s why:

A couple of weeks ago, I spent my Saturday morning exploring Postpartum Progress, a site that is quite new to me but it always reminds me that I’m not alone and, what’s more, each article I read leaves me feeling empowered and determined.