I spent about two hours today locked in thoughts centered around what happens if I don’t wake up. I checked with my mom about past surgery on my eyes. Did I have a reaction to the anesthesia in any way? No. Were there any other reasons to be concerned then? No.
Is fixing this diastasis of my symphysis pubis worth the risk? It is EXTREMELY unlikely that something tragic will happen and our quality of life right now is so drastically impaired that I believe in my heart that it is worth the risk. I have peace about that decision.
The scene from Nights in Rodanthe where Paul knocks on the door of the man who’s wife died on his operating table because of an anesthesia reaction played in my head as I imagined the pain my guys would feel. I don’t really think surgery will be an end. I think Friday will be the beginning of the healing my family needs. But I guess it wouldn’t be natural to face something like this without considering the possibility.
I thought about my grandma, who died from complications of a routine angioplasty. I thought about Dad, who died too young because he waited too long to care about the damage Diabetes was doing to his body. He had a heart test done one summer and asked me to come visit beforehand. I was there for the procedure and the next day we went walking along the Tennessee River. I understand now what he must have been feeling when he asked me to come.
I thought about my husband’s grandpa, who danced the “parent’s dance” with me at our wedding in my Dad’s stead, who right now is fighting cancer. I thought about my best friend since seventh grade who beat acute myeloid leukemia and about a good friend of her’s, diagnosed with the same cancer around the same time, who quickly walked on. Life is so fragile. And it truly is a gift.
I decided to spend my lunch break today easing my fear. I wrote a letter to each of my guys. They are in sealed envelopes I hope will never need to be opened. I cried a lot. More than I’ve cried for strictly emotional reasons since that Novemeber day my Dad walked on. But through the tears I realized how much I have learned in the last seven months.
I know my husband puts me before himself. This is the kind of love every human being deserves and I hope my son can find his own love as real and true as ours. My husband has a zest for life that makes me a better person. And he has a sense of humor that has pulled me out of some seriously dark moments. I may not always laugh out loud, but my spirit is recharged because of it.
If the unthinkable happened, his heart would be broken but he would find a way to live a good, happy life. And he would raise our son to be a man I would be proud of. I know that to be true with all of my heart. And in a way, it makes it easier to face what is ahead.
I know my son loves me. In his nearly seven-month-old way, he tells me so every day. His smile and that “You are my favorite person in the whole world and I’ve been waiting for you for eight hours” look on his face when we pick him up for daycare almost takes away the pang of having to leave him there in the morning. His personality is becoming more recognizable everyday. He is a blend of his father and me and I am so eager to see how he will make his mark on the world.
Elizabeth Stone was right when she said: “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” I imagined what it would be like for him to grow up without his mom. And I thought about how he has my eyes. Would that be enough for him to feel a connection to someone he wouldn’t remember?
I believe in my heart I will wake up on Friday knowing that we are lucky to share each day. Each one will be a chance for me to get better and a chance for my family to go on an adventure, laugh and enjoy each other’s company.
At our university’s convocation today, the president told the Class of 2016:”Your potential is limited only by how you choose to live, by your attitude. You have the sole responsibility for your success.” I really took that to heart. My surgeon said I will get better if I follow his instructions during recovery. If I make the right choices and give my body the opportunity to heal, it will. And if I keep the right attitude, with the continued support of my husband and smiles from my son, we will get to live the life we had always imagined.