The Thick of It

My brain must be in an interesting place these days because once again I am stuck with an old kids’ song playing on a loop as I navigate this surgery recovery. Today marks One Week (another song reference) since surgery and in some ways, I am most grateful to be here at this point in the healing. Some of you may know this, but Ben likes to say, “Aren’t you glad we aren’t leaving right now?” on all of our road trips (as a way of reminding me and the kids that at least we’ve come this far/are this close to our destination and not just pulling out of the driveway), and yes, I am thrilled that today is not surgery day as was originally scheduled. Thank goodness I am a week in, but at the same time, I can’t stop singing “Into the Thick of It” from The Backyardigans because oh my gosh, It is quite thick right now.

As far as pain goes, I am doing OK. I’m still tingly but have been assured by multiple sources (medical and friends) that that is quite normal and is most likely a result of inflammation and nerve endings firing/repairing, so I guess I can be patient-ish with that. My mouth is still sore, and I learned from another friend who is surgery-familiar that it could be from the instrumentation put in my mouth for surgery; whatever the cause, good gravy, it is taking a long time to heal. Beyond the obvious physical impacts, though, there’s just a lot about this two-weeks of the Rhino Horn that makes life tricky.

Perhaps I should explain that yesterday was a Tuesday on many levels. I mean, it was also Valentine’s Day, so that’s fun I guess, but it also means my children got extra sugared up which is a challenge when I can’t sneak downstairs to get a moment of quiet which is what I tend to do with the laundry; as much as keeping up with laundry for seven is hard, I don’t mind that I can (normally) get a few moments of peace as I put in or change over a load of wash when I need a second to collect myself. But right now I can’t even leave the main floor of my house because I still don’t want to try to navigate stairs on crutches and my bandage is SO dang heavy. My left hip and leg are so tired of trying to hover it when I get around and for some reason, my ribs and side body still haven’t acclimated to the crutches, meaning I feel sore every time I do get up and go somewhere. Then, in weird balancing moments yesterday, I managed to crash my bandage into a side table and later put my foot down to keep myself from falling over which is a big no-no, all of which left me feeling so defeated and Tuesday-ish.

Pause Moment: I realize this is a whiney post and part of me thinks I should apologize for that, but it is also just real and that’s always been the goal of this space. I think it is fair to say that mobility surgery has humbled me and challenged me, and even while I think recovery is going fine, it still doesn’t mean this is a walk/hobble in the park.

While I remain grateful that we “aren’t leaving right now,” the kids’ school scheduled has been an extra element in my recovery schedule because for some reason (parent teacher conference payback time, which is totally justified and good), they had last Friday and Monday off from school, so instead of having quiet days to nap and ice and just be, we had to figure out what the heck to do with five busy kids for two extra days. Thankfully family came through on Friday and over the weekend, and then on Monday, friends were gracious enough to let me invite ALL of my children to their various homes while Ben was at work that afternoon. But now, because this is February in Nebraska, we’re facing a Winter Storm Whatever (for the life of me, I can never remember the difference between watches and warnings, nor which one was issued) that means we could have enough snow to keep the kids home from school AGAIN tomorrow. You know I love them more than life, but you must also know how that many extra days when I am confined to the living room and kitchen mean my introvert is suffering. Since all of them are occupied at the moment with school or Grandma, I am soaking up every second of quiet I can get before the literal and metaphorical storms come.

Rest assured, not all is lost and bright sides of this weird two weeks very much exist. In addition to the aforementioned help, we’ve been graced with beautiful meals for the family and for me. I’ve had friends stop by and visit while I elevate/ice my leg and I’ve had S.O.S. laundry helpers swing by, too. I binged season three of one of my favorite shows (Emily in Paris) and started the second book (Four Aunties and a Wedding) in a series I greatly enjoy. And I have even graduated from eating on the couch to getting to the island for some meals (and yes, the children still fight over who gets to sit by me even when I take up all this room with the horn and an extra stool).

I know this too shall pass and really, it’s not that bad. But it is strange and hard and messy, and that needs sharing, too. Thanks, as per usual, for being here for it all.


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