Pain, the slain dragon (2)

A few weeks ago I faced my biggest challenge yet. The surgery that has changed my life in more ways than I could ever imagine.

It was one hell of a fight; sometimes the pain would be so severe all I could feel was my mind entering this black hole. At that point, there was no past or future, just pain. Only pain. It reached into every corner of my mind, turning off all the lights one by one. Just before I lost my mind and all the lights were gone, I found a way, some small crack in the darkness to fight back and be the master of my pain.

The days in the hospital were hard, tedious and extremely painful. I kept getting sick and vomited for days. It made me weak and unable to heal. My body was fighting to repair the damage done to its sacred self. My heart rate was very high for days, and so was my temperature. My body was craving nutrients, but I couldn’t keep anything down. I found out the painkillers were what made me sick, so I stopped taking them. During those days I found the corners of my mind. The edges I never needed to visit before. Although the pain was excruciating, I could feel my body recover. I managed to keep some food down. I was craving my whole foods plant-based diet. But couldn’t muster the strength to fight for it. The hospital did provide me with vegan meals, which I am very grateful for. But it just wasn’t the same. I craved my fruits and at the same time didn’t have the strength or energy to eat much.

After a while, the doctors found me a painkiller that didn’t make me sick. So the day before going home I could finally leave the four walls of my room to go for a walk around the hospital. It was so wonderful to take Aki, my service dog for a walk. He supported me every single minute I needed it. He never once complained although it must’ve been hard for him to spend day after day confined in such a small space. He helped me deal with the pain; he cheered me up when I needed it and brought me peace when I felt overwhelmed.

Discharged from the hospital, I spend some time with my parents. I needed to, I was in too much pain to be able to go home and take care of myself. I couldn’t even sit in my wheelchair for an hour. The first few days were great, having my mother take care of me like that. We all know the feeling when life sucks, and you’re sick and feeling sorry for yourself you crave motherlove. However, after a while, I was longing for my own personal space as well. I mean, I was feeling better every day, and the house was getting a little crowded since my sister was also staying there with her awesome son. I mean I love the little guy to pieces but I needed everything I had in me for my recovery and to then also have a two-year-old running around was just way too much. At some point, I could feel myself losing it a little bit, that is when I knew it was time for me to go home. I needed my own space. Unfortunately, I needed my mom to help me get settled back in, and she was swamped for a few days, so I had to wait. Waiting is not my strongest suit…

Those last few days of waiting were hard, I was mentally exhausted and very emotional because of the exhaustion. At night, when everyone was in bed, I would text with my best friend and just cry silently of exhaustion, unhappiness, and sadness. I reached my breaking point, and there was nothing else to do but hold on and hope life would get better soon.

So now I’m home. Been home for a few weeks now. It was and still is so good to be in my own home again. It does come with its own struggles, I mean I can’t wait for my recovery to go faster. I want my life back, I am so damn tired all the time it’s hard for me to even make food and eat it sometimes. But let’s be honest here, there are good days, and there are bad days. I do have some days where I almost feel like myself again. Like I can take on the world (read: finally get pregnant). But those are not most days. I still have a long road ahead. But I am grateful and determined to make the most of this extraordinary opportunity I have been given by this fantastic surgeon who has changed my life in more ways than I can count.

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