Hello Again!

Dearest Readers,

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!

Dr Who tshirt

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:

funny faces

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.

workout eats

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.

jamberries

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!

xoxo, Cath

25 thoughts on “Hello Again!”

  1. Hiiii Cath!!!!

    I’m so so so happy that you are feeling good enough to wear a bra and do your nails! Yahoooo!

    I hate that you had to go through such a terrifically hard start to the new year — and having been there too, I so didn’t want you to have to go through it. But you did it and made it through and all those changes are really really good even though some of them are really hard to learn to live with (the fear of getting ill again and facing doctors who aren’ t as helpful as they need to be).

    Thank you for sharing how you feel too. I always found it so helpful to read stories from other people who have gone through something hard . there’s such a comfort in knowing that you aren’t alone in your hardship.

    Hope this week is full of beautiful things for you!

    LOVE

    Lar

    1. Seriously Lar, i don’t know if I could have done it without you! I’m grateful for the lessons I learned – I just wish there was an easier way to learn them!

      I hope your week if full of beautiful things too!

      xoxo, Cath

  2. I am SOOOO sorry you had to deal with the infection bs – i can totally understand how that would make you feel vulnerable and scared but also more grateful and empathetic towards people. i’m happy to hear you’re on the mend and hope that you continue to feel better each day. sending positive juju your way! xx Dabay

  3. I am so glad you’re feeling better! I went through a several month period (2 months almost housebound) due to post-flu idiopathic gastroparesis and I totally feel every point you laid out. Every single one. Much love to you and healing vibes as well. Unfortunately we’re all too mortal. xo

    1. Exactly! It’s so easy to feel immortal when you’re healthy and young and the complete opposite is true when you’re in pain and sick. I’m so sorry to hear that you went through so much pain! i remember reading about your stomach problems, but I didn’t realize it was for so long! So glad you’re healthy!!
      xoxo, Cath

  4. So glad to see this post and hear you’re feeling better!! I think the things you listed are super normal and part of the healing process. It’s ok to not trust doctors and be scared of hospitals and be mad that eating all that kale was for nothin’! (;))

    Seriously though – I think people often forget or possibly don’t know how traumatic diseases that you can’t ‘see’ can be. ‘

    On a selfish note, glad you’re back to blogging 🙂

    1. Heehee, thanks CurryLove! You’re the sweetest. And it’s very true, I look like I’m totally back and healthy, but I’m still mentally scarred. Definitely gonna get me some therapy to process everything!

      xoxo, Cath

  5. I AM SO VERY GLAD TO SEE YOU POSTING AGAIN! And I am beyond proud of you for sharing your endo journey with us all. I know firsthand how difficult that can be.but it really makes me happy to hear more and more people get the word out there about it.

    p.s. your nails look adorable 🙂

    1. Happy Endo Awareness Month! It does surprise me that so few people know what endometriosis is and others are embarrassed to talk about it. I will talk about it to anyone that listens 🙂

  6. Catherine,

    I’m so sorry that you had to go through that rough experience, but I am happy that you are recovering. The main thing in this that makes me worried and sad is that you no longer trust your body, but I think that this will pass. I’ve seen you and your sister dance, and both of you are beautiful natural movers. This can only arise out of trusting the natural instincts of your body. I know that this sense of my form and how it works and how it feels that I developed through dancing translates to other areas of my life. It guides me, and it helps to keep me healthy and in balance. Over time my body has changed, so I have to take time to tune into its new needs. I know that you have to go through this process of readjusting to your body, and you will because you will naturally seek that peace. In other words, it will get better. Plus, your body told you to go to the ER before the infection caused irreversible damage, so it is taking care of you, and your instincts are working.

    With regard to fearing hospitals and doctors, maybe you should develop good communication with your neighborhood pharmacist. This could be a way to tip toe your way back into trusting the medical field until you find a doctor with whom you truly trust. They are out there. Plus, chatting with a pharmacist is cheaper than a visiting a doctor’s office.

    Anyways, I wish you a wonderful recovery.

    -Rachel

    1. Rachel, thank you so much for this! I’m hoping that my distrust of my body is temporary. Also, I’ve been thinking that maybe getting back into dance will help me overcome some of that distrust. I think you’re so right about the importance and benefits of listening to your body especially as it changes and evolves.

      Getting to know a local pharmacist is a great idea. Definitely going to do that.

      Thank you!
      xoxo, Cath

  7. You have always deserved the prettiest of things, and now more than ever. Let’s just see what we can do about insuring that’s happening on a more consistent basis. Clean and pretty things coming your way.

  8. Very many huge hugs your way, Cath!!! You are such a strong and amazing woman! I am very glad to hear you are feeling a whole lot better and quickly on the mend! Dude, your nails look AMAZE and your goofy photo looks AMAZE. you are just AMAZE. period.

  9. Happy Belated Endometriosis Awareness Month! Or that’s everyday for some of us 😉

    So happy to see this post and that you’re feeling better.

    You both continue to inspire me! I finally opened up about my own Endo recently and not only started my own healing journey but now found more support 🙂
    Wishing you both a painfree day always!

    Hugs,
    Cheryl 🙂

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