Let’s talk about the three P’s, shall we? A quote that I’ve struggled to live by; although I’m learning I really don’t have a choice at the moment. Each day is like a horrible version of Groundhog’s Day with Bill Murray. Well…..that’s at least how it felt up until now. Be positive, patient and persistent. I will whole heartedly admit I am usually only one of those things. I have always been persistent. I was persistent training to become a ballerina, persistent growing my business and family, and I’ve gotten really good at becoming a persistent nagger at home with Neil and the kids. I’m sure my husband, Neil, will agree. I have never been one to back down from a challenge and I strive to be the best I can be. Through all the ups and downs on this never ending roller coaster, I have continued to get up and push myself harder each day to get back to my new normal even when I don’t want to.
Every day since surgery, I have felt like a zombie. I kept holding on to thinking that one day I won’t feel like this, I won’t be sick to my stomach barfing and there would be a day when I felt like I turned a corner with recovery. After three months of throwing up and feeling like crap I decided to just wean off every single thing the doctors had me on. This wasn’t easy. I went through some really tough days of withdrawal. My nerve pain in my left leg where I have feeling has returned. It sucks. However, and this is a big however, last week was the best week I have had thus far! I woke up feeling hungry for the first time in 3 1/2 months and I am finally able to eat!!! I gained 5 pounds back and have 15 more to go. Sure, after a long day, I feel tired and in pain and can’t bring myself to stand up, but I can finally eat!
Tuesday was by far the hardest day on my own I have had. Neil was called in to work and so the responsibility of getting Will to school and getting me to physical therapy rested on my shoulders. Emma was also sick and needed to be brought to the doctors. I got all 4 kids ready for school, drove Patterson Pass, dropped Will off to school while a friend watched Nicky in the car and drove over to PT. After PT, I drove Emma to her doctors appointment, brought Emma to the hospital for x-rays, went to Target for medicine and then picked up Will and went home. Once home, I got Nicky to climb into his crib and take a nap and made lunch for Will and Emma. We had already planned to go to the pumpkin patch prior to Neil getting called in to work and since the kids were so good for me that day, I figured I would just suck it up and go to the patch with them. I spent most of my time sitting at the picnic table and recording the kids fighting over who found the best pumpkin. After that I did come across a few people interested in asking me if I was in a car accident and why I had a brace on as well as the occasional stares. I have learned this is just part of life right now and hey, it gets some foot traffic to my blog. That day, my whole entire body was sore and by bedtime, I couldn’t move. It took 3 days for me to recover.
Saturday, I decided to make it to the studio and teach my older students technique and pointe classes. I have been so stressed about getting Nutcracker together. It was actually really good for me to force myself to go that day even though I didn’t feel 100% up to it. I was able to clean up and organize five or six dances and talk with some parents and students. They were so happy I was back in class and so was I. I will say watching some of barre and my students dancing did make me sad. I may never been able to do that again and that is a tough pill to swallow. However, I am going to try and put that thought out of my mind for the time being and focus on the positive week I have had. Out of muscle memory I did a small ballet step holding onto the mirror. I then realized what I had just done and looked up to see all of my students staring at me. It may have been a small movement, but I was able to put weight on my left leg while lifting my right (holding onto the mirror). That might not seem like much, but having suffered a spinal cord injury and not having any feeling or proprioception in my left leg, it was a huge moment!
Yesterday, I expressed my concern to my physical therapist over my right shoulder. This is a new issue that has come up since surgery. When straightening out my ribs and spine during surgery, it caused my right shoulder to rotate forward and has now been causing throbbing pain. It’s also not very “ballerina-like” to have a shoulder rolled inward. We worked on exercises to strengthen muscles around my shoulder and stretches to help rotate it back. My electrode tens machine finally came in the mail and we went over how I should use it. I also worked on a stationary bicycle for the first time in small intervals. I left feeling like jello.
I am nowhere near being back to 100% and I have a very long way to go, but this last week has shown me that there are some positives among all of the negatives and most importantly, I need to be patient. What’s going to be will be.
If you are new to my blog and want to read some older posts that help tell my story, please check out: Designer Camouflage, Today was an emotional day…., Making new friends…... These are some of my favorites. My husband also wrote while I was in the hospital. These actually made me cry and I just read them for the first time a few weeks ago. I love you Neil. April’s Surgery, Scared, Sigh of Relief and then…, The Unknown, Set Back #…, Slow and Painful, At Witts End, The Next Step, Literally.
Thanks so much for those who continue to help our family out. Even though I am home from the hospital and have started to make some more progress in my recovery, I still have a long journey ahead of me. I appreciate all of the well wishes and support. Your comments really do help me get through some of my worst days.
Now excuse me while I go clean poo out of the hands and feet of my 22 month old who decided to take some out of his diaper and tap dance in it while I finished writing this on the couch. #momproblems