Hanging on by a thread

To say I’ve been having a hard time would be an understatement. Don’t get me wrong, some days are better than others, however, for the most part, I feel terrible every day.  This whole situation has really worn me down not just physically but emotionally. Lately, a lot of crying has been happening. I used to think I was stronger than this. I literally feel like I am hanging on by a thread.

One of my nurses suggested we buy a scale to keep track of my weight since I didn’t seem to be gaining any weight. I had a feeling this would end up being a bad idea because now it puts me in a shitty mood first thing in the morning when I weigh myself. I lost 16 pounds and have gained 0 back at this point. I am disgusted looking at myself in the mirror. I won’t even let Neil turn on the bright lights in our bathroom because of how hideous and scary looking I am right now. It has consumed my thoughts every minute of every day. I’ve always had a high metabolism and a tough time gaining weight. As a teenager I absolutely hated it because I was bullied for it, but after having 4 kids and eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to, with extra sour cream, I realized how lucky I was. Now that my body is working overtime to heal, it’s burning more calories than normal and I feel like I am 14 all over again.  It doesn’t matter how many weight gainer shakes I drink, meals I eat, and  Ben and Jerry’s ice cream tubs I devour. I have yet to make any progress gaining weight. It doesn’t help that even with 2 anti nausea medications, I am constantly sick to my stomach  which affects how much I eat or even what I feel like eating. My taste buds are also screwed up due to the medications I take. I am extremely depressed with my weight and very sensitive when someone makes a comment about it. Neil continues to try and be the voice of reason and explain that this is a process that takes time. Obviously, I went through something pretty traumatic with complications left and right which makes recovery that much harder and that much longer.

Saturday, Neil basically yanked me out of bed and forced me to go to the park with him and the kids. I am exhausted an hour after I wake up in the morning and could probably sleep until noon if left alone which is something I have never been able to do. Will helped me get my pants on and Emma got my socks and shoes on. Although it’s the cutest thing watching them help me, inside I cry. It’s sad that my 3 year old and 7 year old have to help me get dressed. I knew that day would come eventually but I figured that would happen closer to being 80 years old not 33! I strapped on my brace, shoved the walker into the trunk and we made our way over to the park. I will admit, it’s definitely nice getting out of the house and lightly pushing Nicky on the swing was the highlight of my  day. The awkward stares I get from strangers make me feel so insecure and depressed. I get them EVERYWHERE I go. The physical therapist, who I met this past Thursday for my first out-patient session, said she recognized me from Target two days prior because of my brace and walker and admitted to staring at me and wondering what was wrong with me. I am sure 95% of the people that stare don’t do it to be mean but it still makes me feel sad. Do I need to have a t-shirt made or post a sign on my brace? Maybe a picture of my new titanium spine? I could call myself the Bionic Ballerina.

After we came home from the park, a bomb was dropped on us. Apparently, the state only pays a portion of Neil’s salary for 6 weeks, not the 12 we originally thought and planned for. If it were him that was “sick” they would pay 12 weeks. I have already had stress and anxiety thinking he was going back to work in 5 more weeks. Now  Neil needs to return much earlier than anticipated even though I am in no shape to take on the kids and myself without him here. I can’t, by law, even drive since I am still on heavy medications. Just for once it would be nice for things to go smoothly and easily for us.  Yeah, I have heard the expressions “Life isn’t easy” and “God only gives you what you can handle” but it really doesn’t help to hear that right now and I could not handle one more tiny pebble of shit on my full plate. Luckily, I have some amazing friends and family who are willing to help us out getting the girls to and from school and babysit the kids and I on the days Neil now needs to work.

I started to finally wean down my heavy medications last week. Ever since then, I have noticed that I get dizzy and have blurred vision for about 4-5 seconds immediately after standing up from a laying or sitting position every time. The last time I had this feeling was the week following my spinal surgery. I hope this doesn’t mean anything scary and I plan to email my surgeon. I haven’t noticed a big difference in pain since the lower dose patch was put on. Every  3 days, Neil takes my old patch off and replaces it with a new one. I feel like Steve Carell when he is getting his chest hair waxed screaming “Kelly Clarkson” every time Neil rips off the patch. You would think that type of pain wouldn’t phase me at this point.

The outing for today was to Babies-R-Us with my 3 boys. It’s crunch time now that Neil needs to go back to work early and we must get organized and plan ahead. Today, I picked out a rocking chair on clearance to put in the playroom at home. Since I can’t sit on the floor to play with the kids, the next best thing was a comfortable chair that I could sit in for a good amount of time while watching them. I am also looking forward to rocking Nicky and reading to him. The manager of the store even knocked some more off the price once she knew why we were looking for a chair.  Now if only my handicap placard would get here quickly. Is it sad that I am excited to get the mail each day looking for it? That will be a life changer.

8 weeks post op


The only way to get his hugs







6 thoughts on “Hanging on by a thread

  1. If only I could give you some of my metabolism to help you out. There’s no other description than to say this sucks. My heart goes out to you and Neil and I will continue to keep you in my prayers. Sending hugs…Danielle


  2. Hello April!

    Your back looks fantastic ! Do you breathe better now since you had the surgery?
    Is it possible for your helpers to cook at home? I have two cook books that helped me and my husband to recover. The first one is from a young man who suffered from extreme inflammation of the bowels. He was six foot two and weighed only 110 pounds when he started with a new way of eating. After 40 days, he weighed 140 pounds. After his recovery he studied nutrition and published a book: The Maker’s Diet.
    Personally this diet helped my family to stop getting sick every other week. We now have the normal cold maybe once to twice a year and we are healed in two to three days only. The diet helped me also to get my acne under control.
    I am using the second ( and third book) since my husband had a severe pancreatitis and a sick, worn out gall bladder . Recipes for IBS. And the 10 days sugarless diet. In one month my husband was able to recover from being an invalid who sleeps all day to a guy who climbed up the trail to the Eagle Lake on top of Emerald Bay faster than the rest of us. Please do tell me if you would like me to write a samples of the recipes .


  3. Sorry it has been so hard. People really don’t know what is wrong with you so they are staring probably thinking you had a car accident. I also hate when people say God doesn’t give you what you cant handle. ! My comment to that is that’s why people have nervous breakdowns instead!!! (not that I want you to have one). Your husband was right to make you get up and go to the park. Im sure this is depression definitely setting in from being in the house and not being able to do anything for yourself , plus the meds. Wish I lived closer because I would help. Im home all day and work at night. by the way you do look terrific and straight as an arrow.


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