The last 44 days have been a whirlwind. I can’t believe so much time passed without the time to post. Until recently, the reality of what we had to tackle this summer truly escaped me.
I hadn’t counted on the intensity of a summer graduate-level course. I learned a great deal in the eight-week class but it was a challenge: Two books, lectures weekly and a 20+ page paper and presentation. The kicker was I presented on week six, so everything was done by then. The class finished this week. Exhale! (And smile because I earned every bit of that A!)
I didn’t account for the pressure of getting our former home on the market, either. We learned in May it would be vacated and made several trips to our former town to prepare it for sale. The crescendo came over seven days in early July. It took what felt like an enormous amount of work, and help from lots of family and friends. But I showed myself a thing or two. I was on a ladder. I was scrubbing on my hands and knees. I was carrying large bags of mulch, climbing retaining walls and sawing small trees. And I didn’t end up bedridden, covered in bruises or resorting to the pre-surgery modified stride. I was just a bit stiff. Who wouldn’t have been?
(The house, which I bought six years ago when I was certain I would end up a happy cat lady, has been on the market for nine days. On this one, the exhale will come when we no longer have the keys.)
The last thing I hadn’t considered to the extent I should have: My son is a TODDLER now, not a baby. Apparently, I forgot that means he toddles around and gets into everything. He climbs furniture. He desperately wants to go outside and play in the container garden with his shovel ALL THE TIME. There is nothing sweeter in the wide world than him on his tip toes, tapping the back door’s knob while saying “Outside! Outside! Outside!” He always wants one more story (thank goodness), or playtime with his dump truck, blocks or tools. And I feel like I’m making up for lost time, so I’m down on the floor with him as much as I can be and maybe a little quick to decide it doesn’t need to be bedtime just yet.
For the most part, things are going really well for me physically. There are days I get sore. There have been a few times this summer where the Little Guy has (unintentionally, of course) used my pelvis as a place to push off so he can get up, roll over or whatever. I’m getting better about shielding it consciously now. But the deeper ache that came with the rain in the spring hasn’t been a problem lately. I wake up stiff most days, but it doesn’t usually last very long (thank you, YOGA!) It is much more rare that the Biofreeze goes on before I get out of bed. And I am proud to say since I returned to the office after surgery, pain has never kept me home sick. (I worked Wednesdays at home for about half the time I was in the wheelchair after surgery, but I put in full days while laying in bed.)
My struggles now are in my head — bad dreams, trouble sleeping — especially falling back to sleep if a dream wakes me up, trouble making decisions for myself, difficulty relying on instinct as I once did and occasional bouts with intense sadness. (Last weekend, for example, the stroller sent me into a funk and nearly ruined Saturday. We picked it out on the presumption we would run with the Little Guy. I have yet to do that. And for some reason it represented everything I was upset about or felt cheated out of or whatever. My husband realized something was wrong before I did because of my body language and when he called me on it I got even more upset. He deserves a lot of praise for taking things like this in stride as best he can.) But I know what I need to work on and I’m doing my best to remember all the things I used to really like about me so I can be sure they aren’t left behind.
I’m coming up on 11-months post surgery and the Little Guy will be 18-months old on Monday. In some ways I am desperate for more progress and in others I am amazed at how much I am doing. I’ll write more about this dichotomy soon.
For the rest of the summer I will do my best to more regularly celebrate our family’s successes and what I am learning about pelvic girdle pain and specifically diastasis symphysis pubis, about yoga and its use as a treatment for chronic pain and about chronic post-traumatic stress disorder related to medical treatment.
Good wishes and strength to each of you. Thank you for your emails, cards and encouragement.