rough up in here

That’s what it is. Rough. I can’t really write now because the emotions are running a little too high, but I am feeling super lonely and super overwhelmed and super scared, so if you felt like sending up a prayer or a thought bubble or a long-distance smooch to us or the gods of better times, we wouldn’t object.

I do have a fracture, but the more serious thing is my Lisfranc dislocation, which requires surgery. Which I will hopefully have next week. And by “hopefully,” I mean I will hopefully get to the other side of this soon, and therefore not have it hanging over my head. And therefore not have to wait even longer to start the clock that can’t even begin to tick until after surgery. If all goes just right, we’re looking at the third week of September before I can start to put weight on my foot. But that’s if everything goes really well. And I’m not feeling super optimistic. I’m also terrified of general anesthesia. Not the pain, just the sedation. So I’m open to reassuring stories on that front.

This is all intimidating for about a million reasons, most of which have to do with my sweet boy. And I’m not ready to write about that stuff yet because, really, it just makes me ache. But there’s other stuff too. Like the fact that J and I have been through a lot already, and it’s hard right now to pull together, and that’s scary. And the (cherry sweet) possibility that she’s pregnant right now, which would be amazing and miraculous except that she would likely get sick, and I can’t get around, and it’s already a horror show to figure out how to get the litter (which lives in our basement) scooped and everything else done. And I’m bruised all over from the contortions I’m putting myself into to still be a mom and a contributing member of our household. And I heard once that women do better with more hats because when they feel that they’re failing at one of their hats, they can still feel good about themselves in terms of their other hats. But right now I’m mostly wearing the mom hat, and when you’re mostly wearing the mom hat and you can’t get your kid down the stairs, and your kid seems kind of scared of you, and really (for the first real time in his life) mostly just wants to be with his other parent? Well, let’s just say you don’t feel great about yourself. And I have almost never (since I was, like, nineteen) gone more than a day or two without a looooong walk because for me, walks = sanity. But now I’m facing months with only what I can handle on crutches or the knee-walker (which I’m a little too short for), and I can’t even think about that because it makes me feel like I’m suffocating.

So, mental space = precarious. But I put pretty stuff here too, right? So y’all don’t mind some of the ugly?

Seriously, thanks for being out there. We are blessed by your presence.

Grateful Nota Bene 1: My mom is coming up two full days a week right now (and three this week!), and she is doing an amazing job of taking care of all of us. We are crazy lucky to have her devotion. My poor mom after my surgery consult yesterday. It went pretty disastrously. I was fired. I see a new surgeon tomorrow. So, you can imagine. [Ungrateful caveat: In the whole practice, there’s not a single female surgeon, nor a surgeon of color. White men reign. How crushing. I’m happy to be moving on to a different practice.]

Grateful Nota Bene 2: We have a handful of wonderful friends who are writing and checking in and asking what they can do, and they fill us with love. Most of them, unfortunately, live far far away, but a few live here, and we are blessed to have all of them. It is hard hard hard at this point to ask for help because, really, we’ve asked for a lot. Even sending the e-mail or making the call at this point feels a little humiliating. But I know that we’re not alone. That there are a dozen people out there who would answer our 3am phone call and try not to even sound like they were sleeping. Not for nothing, that.



13 thoughts on “rough up in here

  1. Love, love and more love (and prayers, because that’s how we roll in this household) sent your way. This really stinks. Really really really stinks. I have fouler language for it, but I don’t put that on other people’s blogs… ;) It’s hard to accept help, but it is also really important. We need each other in this world. And I think that it teaches our kids an important lesson when we not only help others, but accept help gracefully when we need it. It’s okay to need more than what feels like your fair share of support. If folks are offering my guess is that it’s not actually more than your fair share after all…you likely do more for others than you realize. Your voice has been an incredible resource to me. If the only help I can offer at a distance is some good vibes I will do that gladly.

  2. I don’t know you, not really anyway, and you don’t know me. But my heart has been aching for you for a while, and this just seems like the shit cherry on a crap sundae and I’m sorry for that. I feel strangely comforted by the kindness of strangers sometimes, so I thought I’d offer it to you. Just to say I am so fucking sorry that the universe deals out such blows. And its good that you can find some sweetness in some piece of this but also, you know, fuckit if you can’t right now too. I’m cheering for you, for your whole family.

  3. We don’t know each other, but I am a deeply appreciative follower of your story. I’m so sorry for the pain and fear and frustration you are going through. I wanted to comment, because I can very much relate to your overwhelming fear of general anesthesia. Having had to go under for emergency eye surgery a few years ago, for what ended up being four hours, I know just how scary it feels. I am a pretty sensitive person and it was hard for me, especially because the whole notion of being so vulnerable/close to death makes me freak out/experience PTSD symptoms from childhood trauma. However, here are some things I found immeasurably helpful: take Arnica for days before and after the surgery (I don’t generally take homeopathics, but this shit seriously works and reduces bruising/swelling and helps you mend more easily); take the pain meds when needed(!)–being in pain will only make you more panicky and irrational and fearful, (your sweet boy and wife will be less traumatized by seeing you drugged than in terrible pain); have some kind of bodywork done after the surgery– for me, it was acupuncture that finally brought me back into my body (totally dissociated), but whatever works for you: massage, osteopathy, cranio-sacral.
    Obviously, this is just based on my experience, and I don’t know you, but for what it’s worth, I hope it helps.

    Big hugs. This will pass. You will get through this. One day, one breath at a time.

  4. Lots of good thoughts your way. I am glad to hear that you’re switching practices- and don’t hesitate to do it again if they don’t make you comfortable. I had my appendix out two years ago and was also very frightened. While the urgency of the situation didn’t give me much time for choices, I lucked out with an awesome ER doctor, and it put me much more at ease. Make sure you are putting yourself in good hands, and you’ll have nothing to worry about.

    Can you decorate your crutches or your cast/boot so that Bram might find it more appealing?

  5. You have my sympathy, your situation really sucks. Sending you lots of cyber (((HUGS))) and good wishes. Maybe something good will come out of this eventually, as difficult as it is to consider that possibility now.

  6. Y’all have done so much for so many. I encourage you to ask for more help than you think you deserve. It may just be the silver lining to all of this – that you discover you are loved more than you can possibly comprehend. (P.s. if I lived closer, I’d gladly change the litter for you – or whatever)
    One of my favorite quotes: “I know God won’t give me more than I can handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.” – Mother Teresa

    Love, love, love y’all……….

  7. I’m so very sorry that all this stuff is happening for you at once. Be rest assured that I’m sending you all the good karma that I can muster. General anaesthesia can be a little bit scary (in your head) but according to my doctor it’s 20 times safer than pregnancy and birth and given what you’ve both been through in that department it should be a breeze.

  8. Oh, hon. From our recovery space to yours, much love from my mom and me. The anesthetic is also the scariest part for her. Will pass along any thoughts/advice on that front after today. Also: amen for moms, you know? What a great one you’ve got there.

  9. So much love to you, R. You are in our thoughts and hearts at all times. At. All. Times. Just call us.

    Also, there *are* other hats you wear and will wear, though they may be harder to see just right at this moment, and certainly aren’t what you’d choose. You’re a daughter, a wife, a writer, a friend, and a patient – an informed, empowered consumer of the product of Western medicine. And those are just the ones that immediately come to mind… You can SO do this! You’ll make it through if not unscathed, unscarred and unruffled, at least all the more interesting and stronger for it. We love you.

  10. My heart breaks to read this.

    All I can think of to say is this, I remember being in the deepest depression during our adoption process. This was the lowest time for me during our adoption process and my grandmother past away and Carla’s mom had back surgery and we had to find a way to help out with her brother and, and, and. I was devastated and felt like I was drowning.

    During that time, I remember finding a post of yours. You were in a really good place and you wrote that during the bad times, everything seems bad and so you were going to make sure that during the good times you would also be certain to recognize and acknowledge all of the good things that were happening. Somehow, that lifted my whole heart.

    I felt like okay, this was my bad time. And sometime, hopefully soon, I was going to find my good time and we were going to be surrounded with as much good as we were currently surrounded by bad. This was temporary. This was so bad and awful and miserable and it was NOT my life. It was a moment and it was going to pass and one day it was going to make me so so so much more appreciative of the good stuff. Your post did that for me. You changed the way I was able to see my struggles.

    I am not saying that you should be feeling ANYTHING other than what you are feeling. I just wanted you to know that your good time is coming. It is somewhere out there. You helped me to see that and I just wanted to remind you of that.

    So many good thoughts your way.

  11. I’m so sorry it’s rough. Yes it’s unfair and total BS that this happened to you now, at this particular time of year! :(

    My wife has had two surgeries since we’ve been together, both surprisingly terrifying. She had her gallbladder out (preceded by 2 trips to the ER, one of which she ended up admitted and very very sick) and last year she had her appendix out. She was totally freaked out by the anaesthetic, but it actually went incredibly smoothly. They ask you to count backwards from 10, and she doesn’t remember anything past 8, and then waking up in the recovery room. She had a very funny anaesthesiologist, which she said helped to ease the tension. I’m an RN (I used to work on a surgical unit), so I fully understood HOW sick she was, but it didn’t help the tremendous anxiety I had when she went into surgery both times, for procedures that are common, quick and are done by surgeons who do them ALL OF THE TIME. But everything went just fine.

    And take your pain meds, even if it’s just plain tylenol and ibuprofen (you can take both at the same time, since they are different drugs, and take them regularly). Being in pain is awful, being sleepy is less awful (but still crappy).

    Will keep you and the fambly in my thoughts!!

  12. I’ve had three surgeries (two out-patient and one in-patient) and the biggest thing I can recommend if you’re anxious about the anesthesia is to talk to your pre-op nurses and anesthesiologist beforehand. I did not feel weird or super strange with anesthesia, but I had pretty bad nausea and vomiting. I was very frank with my anesthesiologist, and I was given sea-sickness pills and a patch before I even got the anesthesia with my last surgery.

    Everyone is different, so I can only share my personal experience for a bit of perspective. I found that the IV drug Zophran did not work as well for anti-emetic as the Vistaril shot (and you may be totally different and not need anything at all). Vistaril knocks me out for a few hours but is total magic about eliminating nausea. I am deathly allergic to Droperidol and Compazine and can’t take those for nausea.

    I don’t know if you’ll experience nausea (my mom certainly breezed through it like the champ she is), but if you want something more homeopathic, have J bring you some ginger chews or something to alleviate the upset stomach. Charcoal pills also help me when I have pretty bad nausea.

    But really, I could be saying this for nothing! My mom breezes through anesthesia like a total champ, and my friend who just had brain surgery did too. Since your surgery is for your foot and not connected to respiratory/digestive tracts (as all mine were), I doubt anesthesia will hit you so hard. I keep you all in my thoughts and hope it goes well!

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