This week was my 6 month anniversary since my pulmonary embolism. Yet, I didn’t even realize it until Thursday night….and THEN the party began!!! I saw some old friends I hadn’t seen in quite some time. With being one who talks and socializes a lot, I have only a very few close friends and family that REALLY know me or that I even let in emotionally. That being said, it was still a bit bewildering to me that no one had commented about it. It hadn’t even been remembered, not even my me until two days after. Surprisingly, it was my Mom that reminded me of it. With my legs propped up as high possible, it was the pillow they were on that was the trigger. It had been hers. It was with her through nearly all the times she suffered through her blood clots. This pillow is nearly as old as I am and it was one of the first things I acquired after she passed. It was only fitting that I should give it a home with me where it would be used in the fashion it was accustomed to. Now, if only this pillow could talk……..
That’s when it happened….the first guest to show up to my party was Mr. Self Pity himself….strutted on in like he owned the place!! ‘Well HELLO BABE….Missed me?’ Every bit of strength I had at that point eroded. I wept…just like the girl I am, I wept!! Thoughts of the last six months flooded my brain. Then the memories of previous experiences when the recovery was so much quicker, easier, and kinder. The set back from the week before with legs swollen the size of tree trunks and them only being about half that size now hadn’t helped matters any either. Mentally, I can leap off tall buildings, fly to the moon and back, but physically, I can barely walk across the room some days, my legs don’t hurt although carrying around the extra weight does tire me out quickly, and I can’t do everything I usually do during the summer. I’m just HERE!! And WHY?!?!?
The Agony of “De-Feet”
Next to show up was Self Loathing….oh, he’s a sly one…Looking down at my legs, I hated them for failing me. I hate how they look. I hate that I can’t motor them some days and others they are stinging, flaming, itching attachments that I are EXASPERATING!! Just when I think I’ve made it back to ‘normal’, my body reacts and just laughs like I’ve lost my mind..and when it happens, I nearly do.
Then came ANGER!!! I’m angry that I’m not back to the ME I was before all this happened. I’m angry that I have to rely on others at times to do simple things that I should be able to do for myself. I’m angry at having to learn how to deal and cope with yet another facet of this STUPID disease. I’m angry that it’s taken from me. I’M ANGRY!!!!! I’m allowed to be and I have a right to be, but I also know that it’s ok, but to brush myself off and I’ll get back up only to gimp down this path of recovery until I reach the finish line.
This weekend though has brought me another perspective on this experience. I have SUPPORT!! Although it may not come in the packages you thought it would, it DOES eventually show up and I’m grateful for it. In the last two months alone, I have had the privilege of meeting some of the most amazing, wonderful, and MIRACULOUS women that it is MY honor to know. Some are bloggers, some are healthcare workers, some are students, but we are ALL survivors!!! If it hadn’t been for long texts, chats, comments, and photos that took place some very long nights, I don’t know that I would have been as open and sharing as I am now. Actually, that’s not true, I KNOW I wouldn’t be. It’s because of them that I took a thought of becoming more open with sharing and support that it grew from a thought, to a blog, and within the last three weeks, both Facebook and Twitter have been graced with my presence.
This path I’m on isn’t as easy or rebounding as it’s been previously, but it has brought me friends that understand, commiserate, and get angry with me because they know. It’s brought caregivers a glimpse into our world of being caregivers to them by saying “I’m Fine”, ‘It’s Ok”, and more so that THEY don’t give up parts of themselves for us. Only to be the recipients of our gross temperaments once we do have that frustrated breakdown where everything and everyone is the enemy. It’s also brought me education in the form of our commonality and our differences when it comes to our clotting disorders. We are a very UNIQUE and SPECIFIC group of blood odd-balls all looking for the same thing….a cure….
To my friends and my followers…you amaze me every day and bring me such joy with your comments…It’s not MY strength that gets me through, it’s the strength that YOU give to me.
Shadows of Life
As I am sitting here going over the posts, stats, and comments of this blog over the past week, I am not only flattered and touched, but inspired again.
In sharing my son’s story, it was quite the decision. There were many things to consider. The first being in how would he respond. The second was would anyone be interested. On both, I was proven incorrect.
My son did respond, but not exactly the
way I expected. It was a totally positive one. I had expected to defend, in some degree, my reasons about why I had. I was prepared to do just this on receiving his first call after posting. I had everything ready. None of it was needed. For that, I say thank you ♡.
As for my second concern, I must honestly and wholeheartedly say I’m flabbergasted and sincerely flattered!!!
For these posts to not only be a series and so personal, yet posted during the middle of the week, I am amazed and humbled by what the stats have proven it to be an unfounded and near grossly ridiculous.
I would be terribly remiss in not thanking you – the reader – in taking your time which there is so little of in our busy hectic day-to-day schedules for reading and taking this journey. It is because of you that I share. Support and understanding during a difficult, life changing experience is all anyone can ask for and on receiving it, a great relief. There are no masks here. This is real. This is life. Thank you.
In the chapel at St. John's hospital, this candle lit for my son burned his entire stay.
Sunday, June 5, 2011 ~ Once again the phone rings and rings. ..and again with the voice mail.. again. ..I leave no message. Ok, this is no longer the norm. He should’ve called back or picked up by now. Numerous tries to contact my son had come to no avail. The only update I’d received was from the friend he was staying with in the form of a Facebook message. That just didn’t cut it anymore. Although quite the detailed update, something wasn’t right that he should be sleeping this much. Concern, worry, and fear were the emotions of the day. Yet, I kept thinking to myself, he’s grown, he’s fine, quit hovering!
I spent a wasted night in the bed that night as I tossed, turned, and worried. Sleep escaped me.
Monday, June 6, 2011 ~ I check the phone again as I get up and ready for work. Still no calls! The commute seems like a long one without The Kid to talk to. On arriving at my destination, I alert any of my co-workers that know my son’s voice, to let me know IMMEDIATELY if he should call, no matter where or what! Which of course lead to questions followed by brief descriptions of what was going on.
“I told them over and over I wasnot drinking! They didn’t believe me. Sure, you could smell alcohol. I just came from a BAR!!” The voice on the other end of this call was miffed, to say the least. The frustration at not being believed was tangible. This was one irritated, frustrated, and nearly (should I say it?) pissed off 22 year-old.
” I told them! And they just kept ignoring me……
My son came to see me for my big weekend. Its the first time I’d seen him since I was hospitalized due to travel restrictions and his busy schedule in his last semester of university, not to mention his three jobs, studying, etc. Needless to say, I am one happy Momma! ♡♥
Bittersweet…that has been the best word to describe Mother’s Day, for me, since 1999 and again in 2007. A double edged sword that tears at my heart. Mother’s Day was double special for my Mom and I as I was born on Mother’s Day. Although it doesn’t fall specifically each year, it doesn’t lessen the pain. When it does fall on this particular weekend, let alone the day itself, these are the hardest. Memories won’t be dammed. They flood in both tidal waves and trickling springs. Then, in 2007, we lost my mother-in-law to cancer. She wasn’t just my husband’s mother, but mine as well. She referred often that I was the daughter she had always hoped and never thought she’d ever have. As she was woman of few words, I was deeply honored and knew I was blessed.
Blessings can arrive when you least expect them, and NEVER the way or when you want them, yet those are the ones that are the most special and. are most often the ones that we are ignorant of and turn away from.
My stepmom, Linda, is just such a blessing to me. She didn’t run on meeting two adult, grieving, defensive daughters who were anything but polite in the beginning. Although, at times, I’m sure she wishes she had. O:-)
So, again, bittersweet is the word as I wish the best stepmom a girl could have a Happy Mother’s Day. Thank you for everything you do and put up with. I love you! ♡♥♡♥♡♥
In remembrance of Judith A. Dizmon-Amerson (1947-1999)
A 30+ year (Antithrombin III) survivor who showed me every day in normal, everyday life what a true survivor looks like. She is strong when weak. She is courage when terrified. She is confidence when unsteady.
She is a SURVIVOR!!!
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