Is it a lie if

Is it a life if you say you are OK when someone who loves you asks and you know there is nothing they could do to make you better?

I don’t think so. But I apologized to my father-in-law for telling the lie anyway.

We spent the day at an Omaha hospital, visiting my husband’s Grandpa and family who had gathered. Grandpa was in good spirits and except for the location if felt a lot like Sunday afternoon dinner to me, without the food. We got to meet our niece, who is nine days old! And we got to talk to Grandpa. We will see him again tomorrow, and next weekend when we come back to town to take care of house stuff.

I don’t know if it was the car ride catching up to me, sitting in unfamiliar chairs or if I’m just getting weaker, but today was tough. I try to hide the pain as much as I can everyday because having people dote on me won’t make me feel better and, I’m convinced, could make me weaker. I told a cousin today on Facebook: “I feel like if I don’t win the mental war I won’t get better.” It’s true. I believe I will be my own worst enemy on this road and if I don’t believe I can do it then I won’t make it. Pushing myself now, at least in my mind, is a way to steel myself for what will come in Phase 2.

Sitting in the hospital family lounge on the floor where Grandpa is being treated, my father-in-law noticed my hands over my face at one point and asked if I was alright. I said I was because it was easier. My husband’s family is full of Gold people (Anyone else a fan of The Outsiders? Or Robert Frost?) and their support has been uplifting.

My husband, the little guy and I left the hospital before 5 p.m. The plan was to meet his mom and step-dad, sister and her family for dinner at 6:30. As we left it was very painful to walk. Each time I picked my leg up that burning pain shot into that side of my groin. The ache was deep and persistent. And the burning at my symphysis was nearly the intensity level I felt back in January.

I stood at the threshold of the house, the walker half on the stoop and half inside, and I told him I didn’t think I could take another step. Tears began to fall down my cheeks. In his usual way – calm, a bit scared and extremely encouraging, he said yes, I could. I was going to lay down and rest. Did I want to rest on the couch or try to make it all the way to the bedroom? The bedroom would be best because the heating pad and pillows are there and I could try to sleep. He set down the little guy, still in his car seat so he could help however I needed.

I decided to walk without picking my feet up. (Both of my Grandpas would have laughed. They spent years telling me to pick up my feet so I wouldn’t make so much noise while walking with them in the Virginia woods. “If you want to see the turkeys (or deer, or fox), you have to be quiet.”) But it worked. The super tiny stride and dragging my feet across the floor while leaning on the walker got me to the twin bed in the room with purple walls. He walked behind me with his hands on my hips, just in case. And he asked me if I thought I should get a prescription for pain medicine to get me to surgery. He helped me get situated and told me to rest. He would wake me up to feed the little guy before they left for dinner and he would bring me back something yummy.

When they got back from dinner I apologized to my father-in-law for telling that fib and we all laughed. Laughter – and a strong, positive attitude – truly is the best medicine.

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