I have to first off say that I am a bit overwhelmed by all of you, the love and support and encouragement......ack. You make me cry.
There aren't enough words to thank you all properly.
Soon I will do a giveaway to celebrate making it through all this.
I am being "good", staying PUT for the most part, resting, and letting my body get over this last assault. Nurse Roy is on the job.
But I do feel amazingly WELL, a big surprise to me. I expected, as did my family, that I would be knocked just about flat with a THIRD surgery in 14 months. But not so. Not at all. In fact, if anything, I feel better than I have felt in two years. Hallelujah, and amen.
Even good enough to take Roy for short walks by the river.
I am also conflicted, and while it is hard to talk about, you know that I will, because it is real, and it is happening. I think that my current situation has made me as vulnerable and emotional as I ever want to be.
On one hand, I miss talking to my mother, terribly. On the other hand, the relief of not having to care take another human being is immense. So I walk around my house, seeing her everywhere, hearing her voice, and yet being soothed by the quiet and peacefulness that is so different from before.
I know it's ok, it's normal. How could I NOT be conflicted??? My mother was not only a job to take care of with her many needs, she was emotionally difficult for the last year of her life.
Suddenly now, there is no blaring TV 12 hours a day, I do not have to shop for her, cook for her, schedule appointments for her, bathe her, do her laundry, take her to doctor visits, wake in the night to her call, rush home to check on her. Then again, several times a day I start to turn to go tell her something, show her a baby picture, forgetting that she is not there. gulp.
I don't regret taking care of her. I am glad that she was here and not in the nursing home until the very end.
I am also happy to be free of that responsibility.
So the feelings of relief and sadness are swirling around my head, and most of the time, I just sit back and let it happen, because I don't know what else to do. I keep telling myself that I did the best I could do. It helps.
Here's what I do know.
I had my first daughter in 1968, my second in 1974, my third in 1981. So you see that I had a small child for a LONG time. I barely would get one in kindergarten, and I would have another newborn.
My youngest daughter left for college in 1999. My mother left her home to move to mine in 2000.
So, the reality is that I have been responsible in a huge way for someone else since I was 21 years old. FORTY FIVE YEARS.
It's my turn.
I don't want to sound selfish. I loved my mother so much.
But it's still my turn.
I don't want much more than to just be happy. I want to enjoy my family, my friends, my studio.
I want to be able to be present in my own life, without the constant pain.
I may get what I wish for, I may not.
The spinal fusion doctor that assisted my neurosurgeon, said this: "If we were as smart as we think we are, you wouldn't have been here three times."
Then he went on to say that they have never seen this before, this crazy overgrowth of bone in a cervical spinal fusion, they don't know what to do about it, they are doing the best they can come up with, and hoping for the best outcome.
Ah, me too.
In the meantime, every day I text my daughter for my daily dose of sweetness. This is the one she sent me today.
Baby Dale. Or should I say Princess Dale?