Until age 33, I never had a before/after, defining moment in my life. I was actually ok with that. I was appreciative of the fact that nothing had stirred me up so hard that I was wondering if I would recover from it. I thought maybe being appreciative would protect me from one of those moments. I don’t mean to be dramatic (I know, you’re chuckling because I’m a dramatic person), but now I know, at age 33, what some of you have known for some time. I know that there are things you go through in life that you never fully recover from. It was kind of shocking! What?! These bodies that we get, they age…and every now and then, something might happen to this body that is irrevocable. I didn’t expect it this early! I suspected that it had happened as soon as things began going downhill in November, and the doctor that messed up (badly) on my neck procedure tried to hide that he was going pale while explaining that, in short, he didn’t really know why my neck muscles wouldn’t hold my head up anymore. And then when I was admitted to the neuroscience floor for emergency surgery, I couldn’t figure out how this was still my life. What on earth?
Guys, this year has kind of sucked. I know people wanted to tell me that I would recover and be all better soon, but in my gut, I knew something was just so not right. I just recently sat on the couch and told my friend about why January was so dark for me. I was immobilized because of the surgery, but no doctor had ever understood (or explained to me) the muscle injury, and that scared me, and I knew I wouldn’t be the same. It was terrifying to be in that much pain and never know how I would heal. I would cry and cry and cry when my son and husband were gone and then try to pull it together when they were home from school and work. I tried so hard to do some of the things that brought normalcy to my life because that was what brought us all sanity.
I was so embittered that it was stalling our adoption process. I had almost completed our home study that fall, only to now have to prove that I was capable of caring for a child to our social worker (which I wasn’t, for quite some time back then). You can know something is in God’s hands, and still be sad about it’s timing.
But time has moved on and so have we. 7 months of physical therapy has helped me regain so much strength in my neck, but I’m still surprised at the weakness that is left. The muscle spasms still overwhelm me sometimes and the neck and head pain, unfortunately, are present in many of my days. They don’t define, me though. What would life be without perspective? I can take each day as it comes because there is still much more to be happy about that there is to be sad about.
This all came flooding back because I sat in choir on Sunday night and we sang our first Christmas song. I was surprised to find myself sobbing buckets about 3 lines in. Like, ugly cry. Christmas has always been my absolute favorite. But last year, I couldn’t hold up my head for Christmas and for most of it, I was so drugged, I don’t even remember it. Friends decorated my tree and fed my family, and just took care of us, so that things would seem slightly normal for my child. And while singing, I remembered that a mere 10 days after this:
I don’t even remember it. I just remember that I did it and I wanted to so bad because it made me feel normal. No wonder my husband thought I was crazy. I’m not really looking forward to facing Christmas again, and remembering all of that sadness. Isn’t it funny how music and smells can bring back memories? I resent that this tarnished Christmas some. So, I suppose we will have to work extra hard this year to gain it back. I will start with pulling those decorations out of boxes myself, with my precious family. God willing, with no one ailing on the couch. Please, Lord!
So, here’s to starting a brand new fall and winter season! Hopefully one that is drastically different from last year!