Students returned to campus today. It’s very exciting day, full of energy and promise for the year and the future of the students who have come to spread their wings and become themselves. I was able to tell a bit of the story this morning.
On our lunch break, my husband and I picked out our new washer and dryer. They cost a pretty penny, but it will be so convenient. Sometimes I’m surprised we stuck with the cloth diapers given all of this chaos. Now, the diapers will be a breeze. Our lovely new appliances will be delivered a week from today, hours after we get our new keys. They pay for themselves in about three years. Meanwhile, I will do a mental happy dance until I can do a physical one every time I start a load just because there will be no more going to the store just for quarters!
Both of those everyday activities were finished before 1:30 p.m. Both had to be done and didn’t require a lot of effort. At least not what I used to think of as effort. Now, I know better. Getting those two things done meant walking and standing for about two and a half hours.
Walking. With the walker, at my ridiculiously slow pace.
Standing. Still, leaning on the walker and visiting with students and their families or looking at the appliances.
By the time we pulled up in front of our building I was dreading getting out of the car. If I get out of the car I have to go up the stairs. All 27 of them. I HATE THOSE STAIRS! I had to bite my lip to hold onto the tears. One foot in front of the other. When the stairs are behind me I will rest, I told myself. I can do it. I have to do it.
To me, this is anguish. It is awful to be back in the place I was six months ago. The only real difference is this time I can’t hear my pelvis making those horrific sounds. For the first three or four weeks, each time I took a step I could hear a gnashing sound. It was as if my body was screaming out in pain independent of my cognitive self. It felt like the bones were moving up and down individually, not in partnership as they once had. They truly were separated.
In time, the binder put me back together enough that I couldn’t hear my body screaming anymore. Sometimes I have the occasional click in my hips now, most often if I’ve been sitting for more than 40 minutes and then get up to do something. And I still feel like there is a gaping hole, or a loose piece of me that could be taken out, right at the front of my pubic bone.
I wonder sometimes what an early x-ray would have shown. As I understand it, a gap of 7 mm is considered the maximum normal for a pregnant woman. And a woman in that condition would likely be experiencing Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction or pelvic girdle pain. (Normal for a non-pregnant woman is 3-4 mm.)
Practically speaking, it doesn’t matter what my Diastasis Symphysis Pubis measured at on Day 1. What matters is I’m getting worse, not better. And there is a way to fix it with surgery and I get to have that surgery. And I don’t have to travel very far and I’ll get to have my family and friends with me during recovery. I am a lucky woman.
I am weary now. But I will get better.
- To my mom: I’m sorry I didn’t understand what it felt like to have nothing left, no choice but to rest and wait to recharge.
- To my husband: I’m sorry this is so hard. I’m sorry that you had to watch me struggle up the stairs. But I’m glad you were there and I wouldn’t want anyone else by my side right now.
- To my son: I am so grateful you are too young to make memories of this trying time. I hope you only see the person this is making me become. This is turning me into a mom who appreciates things you may find strange: Picking you up off the floor, holding you up in the air and one day hiking with you, running, teaching you to skip, even reaching something on a shelf for you.