I swore I wouldn’t let too much time go by between posts. Yet, here I am, a month later working on a new post. I guess the good news about that is I have been so busy, I haven’t had too much time to write. I have slowly gotten back in the groove of things since Neil went back to work full time. It has been a struggle, but as a mom of four and having a business to run, I don’t really have a choice to take the back seat anymore. Monday, the kids and I embarked on a day full of errands. 7 hours, 11 stores, 20 bags of groceries later and a few clothing changes for Nicky, we made it home in one piece. Not sure sure how I accomplished that, but I did. I only screamed once and somehow I was standing at the end of it. Doing all of this with 4 kids pre-surgery was tough, but jumping back into all of this with 4 kids and all that I have gone through after only 4 months is incredible and I will give myself credit and a pat on the back. With Christmas approaching and my Nutcracker coming up, I have slowly gotten out decorations and the only thing left to do is pick out the real tree at good ole Home Depot and decorate it. I know it’s not Thanksgiving yet. Dont judge me. The holiday spirit is something I desperately need right now. I have had some really good days mixed in with really bad ones. However, the bad days are starting to become less and less.
I am so happy to say that I have gained 12 pounds back now! I have 7 more to go before I am back to my pre-surgery weight. I knew once I was able to start eating again I would feel so much better. I experienced a difference after my first real day of eating. My energy was back and I didn’t feel so lethargic. It has also helped with my constant feeling of depression. My clothes are still a bit baggy and I need to rebuild all my muscle up again, but this is a great start. I am not yet recovered from the bowel resection and still experience stomach and bowel issues which sometimes keeps me from eating full meals. This is also a slow process and can take a year to feel better after.
Physical therapy has been going well. I still go twice a week. Right now we are working on flexibility in my legs and my right shoulder. Since growing 3 inches and having all muscles and tendons stretched to their max, I have had some difficulty standing up completely straight without the back brace, especially after being up for a few hours. My hip flexor and hamstrings are so tight you can actually feel how stiff they are just by touching my leg. In order for me to stand upright, these muscles and tendons need to be stretched. I also don’t have any core muscles to help keep me upright and cannot do much to activate them until my spine has fused and healed which will take at least a year to do. My shoulder is also turned inward and we have been working on rotating it back into its place. This has proven difficult with the way my rib cage is on my right side now. I am down to only using a cane when out walking and although my limp is still there, it has become less noticeable. I still cannot feel my left leg which is so weird when I am trying to move around but I am doing my best and making it work.
We celebrated my 4 month spine-aversary going on our first date night without the kids. It was so nice to spend a few hours with Neil alone and sit and reflect on all that we as a family have been through to get me to this point. It honestly still makes me cry thinking about everything that went wrong and to think of what I will still need to go through, but man does it make it easier to deal with having Neil by my side. We also realized how nice and important it is to get away just me the two of us to spend some quality time together. Don’t get me wrong, we love our 4 kids fiercely, but having a night or two away from our kids every once in a while is awesome. I don’t think we do it enough and now that Nicky is almost 2, I feel more at ease with going away here and there. Let’s face it, two date nights a year just won’t cut it for our sanity especially after the last 4 months of absolute crap.
I went to my first FULL week of work last week teaching ballet. It was costume and ticket week and was imperative I be there. After the first two days, my body was aching and sore all over. I am still not allowed to do any dancing but occasionally I will strike a pose or do a simple plié holding on to the mirror. I will catch myself trying to do certain movements not realizing immediately that I am doing it. It’s just instilled in my body and brain to move a certain way and when my leg or spine get in the way and prevent it, I have to stop and sit down. Does that make sense? Sometimes I leave work severely depressed about the fact that I can’t do certain things. I watch my students and I want to join them so badly. Even if and when my leg catches on to the rest of my body, I will still be very limited in what I can do. My entire trunk is completely stiff and straight. Sure I can pointe my foot and move my arms, but when I danced, I used my entire body. It feels very robotic trying to do anything in class. As a trained dancer, you feel every movement within your body as you dance. Every simple step has a sort of electricity to it that pours out movement after movement. I don’t have that right now and the only time I can feel it, is to daydream and imagine dancing in my head. I know this might sound stupid to most, but this has been my entire life up until this point and now I am trying to find my way to continue doing what I love knowing it will never been at the caliber I was once at.
Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I wanted to write how thankful I am for the family and friends who have rallied behind me and have supported me through my ups and downs on this roller coaster ride. When something like this happens to you, you realize what is most important.
Happy Thanksgiving! Now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to selfishly go take 30 minutes to myself and watch HBO’s Divorce. I just love Sarah Jessica Parker.
2 thoughts on “The Show must go on…”
April, you are an amazing woman. The strength you have found to overcome all the “hurdles” and “road blocks” you have encountered during this whole process is just incredible. The love and support that your family shares has been so evident through this journey. Neil has done a remarkable job as well to juggle all the “balls”, being a mother, father and devoted spouse all at the same time. Hope you have a wonderful holiday season and here is to positive happenings in the new year. Love to all, Kim
Just found time to read this April. I am so pleased with your progress and you and Neil should feel so proud of yourselves and your beautiful family. Your attitude is amazing!! I know you will keep fighting and moving forward. I am praying for a full and healthy recovery. You go girl!!! And I do know what an amazing extended family you have-thank God for all their support and love.