It’s been too long! So sorry for the radio silence. I’ve spent the past two weeks trying to get my life back to some type of normalcy. Thank you so, so, so, so much for all the wonderful words of support and kindness! I wish I could better express how much it meant (and continues to mean) to me.
Last month’s surgery and post-op infection threw me for an emotional and physical loop that I’m still coming to terms with. Long story short, I had invasive surgery for my endometriosis (Lar had the same procedure done last year), spent 10 days trying to recover and started to feel worse, ended up going to the ER and staying at the hospital for three more days due to a post-op abscess, which was followed by 14 days of incredibly strong antibiotics that made me feel worse than ever.I finished the antibiotics two weeks ago and am almost fully recovered – woohoo!
All last month I didn’t shower much, definitely didn’t wear make-up, didn’t wear a bra, and lived in sweats and large t-shirts. So even though the photo below isn’t glamorous, it makes me happy because I took it on the first day (about 1.5 weeks ago) that I was energetic enough up to apply make-up, put on a fitted shirt (and bra), and wear jeans. If that’s not something to celebrate – I don’t know what is!
I don’t want to sound overly dramatic – because I know so many people have been through so much worse than what I experienced – but suffering for 30 days straight completely changed me. Some changes are expected:
- I’m even more grateful than ever for my friends and family. It sounds so trite, but I would have not have made it through without all of the love and support I received.
- I’m much more empathetic towards anyone who is suffering or in pain. I’ve always been a sympathetic person (or at least I like to think so), but now I feel like I have a much better understanding of what people are going through when they’re unwell.
- I admire people who are able to live with chronic pain – whether or not they complain about it nonstop or have a stiff upper lip and never mention it.
- I’m terrified of hospitals now and have even less trust in doctors.
- I don’t trust my body anymore. I’m worried that if I ever need surgery again, I’ll get an infection again – or something worse.
Some changes are totally unexpected:
- In some ways I’m not as scared about things. Stuff that would stress me out before – like having to drop out of grad school for a semester or working on a presentation for my job – don’t seem as overwhelming because I’ve lived through a scarier and much more painful experience and everything else doesn’t seem like a big deal.
- In other ways I’m more terrified about things – especially health-related things. I freak out if I start feeling slightly unwell. I’m scared that if I get even a minor cold I’ll somehow end up back at the hospital. I feel much more vulnerable.
- I’m kind of mad that eating healthy and exercise didn’t prevent my infection. I know that sounds like the dumbest statement ever, but I really subconsciously thought that because I was a healthy person going into the surgery and I followed the doctors post-surgery orders (breathing exercises, frequent short walks, sticking to a strict medication schedule etc.) that I would have a pretty quick recovery. So wrong!
- Even given the above statement, I’m more motivated than ever to take better care of myself – eat more veggies, exercise even more and drink less. So although I’m mad that good eating and exercise didn’t magically prevent me from getting sick, I still have faith in them.
- After feeling so crappy for so long, I now want to surround myself with pretty things more than ever. That’s not to say I want to go on a shopping spree for new clothes and house goods (although I kind of do), but it’s really more about taking care of the things I already have and keeping/making them nice.
I know some of these feelings will dissipate with time – and maybe some therapy – but those are my feelings now. I know Lar can completely relate and maybe that’s one of the silver linings from this horrific experience. I feel closer to Lar now than ever before – even though we’re still thousands of miles apart – because we’ve had similar experiences (although her’s was much worse than mine).
Another silver lining: getting joy out of things that I used to take for granted. Like:
Skyping, Facetiming and What’s App-ing with Lar. We send each other goofy photos of ourselves randomly throughout the day:
I’m also so grateful to eat food again – and not just crackers and toast and apple sauce! Although I won’t be eating tons of meals at Waffle House in the future (not the healthiest place to eat), it was so lovely to tuck into some raisin toast, cheesy eggs, and hash browns this past weekend. Also, having the energy to workout is a wonderful feeling – that’s my post workout face below.
You know how I mentioned wanting to surround myself with pretty things? Well, one of the ways that has manifested is through my nails. As soon as I started feeling better, I put on a set of Jamberries that my friend had sent me, and it totally brightened my day. Seriously, nail decals do it for me – especially because it’s so much cheaper than a salon mani.
I’ll start posting more frequently again. I just need to get my act together and start taking photos with something other than my iPhone 4S. It’s a dinosaur and the camera doesn’t want to focus on anything. Also, at some point soon I’ll start wearing some bloggable outfits, but right now I’m just excited that I can wear jeans again.
Love you all!