I have been imagining more and more lately what it will be like to be in a wheelchair for 12 weeks.
Will I be able to do things for myself? Will I feel safe alone? Will I still find ways to be the kind of wife and mother I want to be? Will it be like the first day my husband went back to work after my son’s birth?
My husband is a sports information director – think of it as public relations for university athletics. In basic terms that means from September to May he works 40 hours a week plus home games. When his teams are away he spends a few hours in the evening writing, tweeting and posting a game story, results and statistics.
Our son was born during basketball season. My husband returned to work for a few hours at a time when the little guy was in the hospital with high bilirubin. He was improving and not in any real danger so my husband did what he thought he had to do.
The first time he left both of us home by ourselves he did what he had to do. He set up the DVD player with my favorite movie and brought a box of snacks to our bed for me. Clif bars, water, Cuties and almonds, water to drink, a book plus a wash rag, everything I would need to change the little guy.
He would be home at lunchtime to check on us.
For four hours I sipped the water and hoped I wouldn’t have to pee until he got home. I wondered if that’s what a dog feels like when its human leaves for work in the morning. I was comfortable with my 10-step leaning system to get myself to the toilet. But what if I got up and this time I fell? Or I was on the toilet and something happened to the little guy? I will full of anxiety. It turned out fine. We both lived through it, obviously.
I am sure that even if being in a wheelchair for all those weeks makes me feel anxious, even helpless and incredibly dependent, it will strengthen me in many ways, too.
They say “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” If that’s true I am getting stronger by the day.
All the running around we did today has worn me out. We went to breakfast with friends, to the hospital to see grandpa, to the house to meet with the real estate agent and a prospective renter, to a home improvement store and back to my mother-in-law’s house. I have been laying in bed for the last hour to try to relax. Even with my pain medication, the burning and ache are extremely intense right now. I keep checking the time to see if it is safe to take more. (Not for two more hours.) How did I manage all those months without any pain medication at all?
I am exhausted. My stamina is decreasing. So is my willingness to keep pushing. That’s the hardest thing for me. I can feel my spirt getting weaker. I am hoping that I will wake up from surgery with a new sense of what is possible. I hope that feeling stable again will give me the boost I need to get myself to the finish line.
I am tired and there is so much going on right now. But it’s raining today and for that I am grateful.