Some people step into a yoga studio to feel at peace. Others slip on their running shoes and hit the pavement to leave their world behind and feel the wind in their hair. I always feel calmest when I have a pen in hand or my keyboard beneath my fingertips…especially when I cannot figure things out or there is chaos in my head. Writing offers me a sense of clarity and often allows me to piece my thoughts together in a way I could not verbally or in my head. And writing to an audience? Well, that feeds the narcissistic writer in me…the one who cannot merely write within the confines of a personal journal.
I have had my bouts with health issues for a good while now it seems. The breaking point came this week when I suffered from the worst migraine and chest pains ever. When every single medication I had in my arsenal rendered useless to the dark clouds forming in my head. I had to get my daughter to soccer practice…I had to fix dinner. But all I could do was grip my head in pain. I figured this would be a night I needed to buckle down and bear it, one which would only offer me comfort when I was too exhausted to do anything but go to sleep. Unfortunately, this time was different. This time, there were no tears because the pain was overbearing any other emotion within me. But I knew my eyes were weary and frightened as I called my kids in to say how much I love them. That was all I could muster. All I could think in my head was, please, please someone help me!
I turned to Otis some time during the evening and every fiber in my independent, strong-willed self had vanished into someone who was exhausted and in pain and wanting relief so deserately it could not come soon enough. “I want this to stop. I am so tired.” And he looked at me and took my hand and squeezed it. It was all he could think to do and really all I needed at that moment.
The next day at home, I was still in pain. So I called my OBGYN ~ she would be the primary physician in my upcoming triad surgery. The nurse was stumped as to why I was calling about my migraine when in fact, I was calling about feeling bloated and unable to eat (probably an effect of all the painkillers I had been on). She told me to call my primary doctor and instead of saying I would call my neurologist instead, I started crying. Without forewarning, I felt helpless and I knew I was calling the wrong doctor…at this point, I had so many I did not know who to call for what. So I cried like a little girl lost in a huge store.
The next day, I waited patiently for my doctor at her office in the Surgery Center. Her blue eyes and unassuming smile were a warm welcome. Before, the sterility of hospitals and the questionable cleanliness of waiting room chairs were daunting and made me uncomfortable. I still take a deep sigh walking in but it is all more familiar to me. She sat with me and discussed my options, the risks of any procedure I decided on. What I love about her is she treats me like a person, not one of her many patients. She told me the next steps ~ that I would have three surgeons taking care of three parts of me all at once. What I had was a rare case and not one but three organs were effected. I am typically a fan of not fitting within a box or being that rare breed but this time, in this case, it did not feel special or much of a privilege.
In time, I will be okay. My operations should help my quality of life a great deal. As for my migraines , I think the operation may help them as well. Right now, it all feels overwhelming and exhausting. I am gaunt and frequently struggle to physically get out of bed. But I am desperate to feel peace….desperate to be happy and continue to make people happy. This post does not end with a lesson I’ve learned or something I want to pass on. This is not about me asking for sympathy or wanting anyone to worry. This is just me…being human. Being vulnerable, scared, reaching my hand out for help. But still smiling, mustering a laugh, and reaching out for a hug, all in the hopes that, yes, I will get all those things back in return. We have every day to reinvent ourselves. And if we don’t have enough energy for it, the least we can do is hope to do so the following day…and I do so with a smile because there is still so much to write about.