It’s been a week since my life blew up, quite literally, inside my body. I haven’t left the house unless you count walking out into the backyard. I haven’t put on a bra or driven a car or slept without waking with a pain in my abdomen or some distant memory of the trauma of last Monday. I don’t have much of an appetite but I make myself eat so I can take my pain medicine. They gave me Oxycodone which I hate. It made me have the angry sads and coming off of it was unpleasant. I’m still very sore in my belly so I take my high dose ibuprofen and take it easy as I can. I cry at random- at a touching scene on the TV, when I walk by what would be the baby’s room, when the delivery guy brought flowers from a friend, when I do too much and get winded. I’m going a little stir crazy and missing out on the most beautiful Seattle weather but the thought of returning to work or being social or even going to the store paralyzes me.
I do not yet have a new normal.
Everything feels overwhelming to me and I care very little for the bullshit of life. There is so much of it and there is nothing like a traumatic emergency surgery and loss of pregnancy to shake the snow globe of perspective. I am waiting for things to settle so I can see clearer. Right now I feel panicky and I try not to let my mind drift there, to the dark place of what ifs and worst case scenarios. There are too many maybes and I’m too tired to play them all out. They do nothing to help me exist in this new reality. We’re trying to just take it day by day, sometimes hour by hour, until we have our follow-up appointment next Wednesday where we will bring all our questions about what’s next.
It’s funny what you think is your worst thing. As a kid, my dad dying was my worst thing. Then I got cancer and thought, wow, this is definitely The Worst. And then I had a ruptured ectopic pregnancy which jeopardizes our chances for having a baby and I’ve got a new Worst Thing. There will always be trouble coming, won’t there? Seven months ago I was worried what my first pap smear results would be after my cervical cancer surgeries. That was our big hurdle then. And we waited and worried and hoped and wondered and tried to heal as we do now. What I said back then rings true again today:
I have never been more acutely aware that the great lesson of my life is patience. To lean into the waiting and the wanting and the wondering. To trust the process and let hope buoy me when I feel myself spiraling into what ifs and worry.
I have no idea what’s next. Do we ever? I used to think all my plans and lists would keep me safe. My coping mechanisms that served me all those years are laughable to me now. Oh honey, I want to tell my younger self, there is no such thing as safety. Life is a tightrope and you can spend your life building a net without ever getting up on the wire. Or you can take it step by delicate step, balancing, falling, and getting back up again and again. But you can’t look down. Only out and up because, sweet girl, the views are spectacular.
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” – Helen Keller