Shoulder update

[[Facebook post, keeping it here, for the record]]

Shoulder update time: I want to express my abiding gratitude to those who have checked in on me, made food for our family, driven me around, delivered stuff, taken me to (and even *bought* me) lunch and so much more.

(photo by Libby Lee, at Bernheim Forest, visiting “The Giants.”)

Had my shoulder surgery three weeks ago this coming Friday. By all accounts it was a great success, and I continue to “do as I’m told,” and be an exemplary patient. This mostly means wearing this Ultra-Sling III® (yes, that’s what it’s called — like a fancy network router or high-end golf club) nearly 24/7. WHICH I DO.

Physically, the most aggravating (a word that I use often of late) thing has been sleeping alone downstairs in a recliner. Honestly, it’s depressing. I’ve managed to successfully sleep in our bed three times recently, and hope for more of that, but it remains a crap shoot (shout out to anybody reading this who has trouble sleeping — it suuucks, and I sympathize), because my beloved Lucy needs her rest, especially since she’s handling things that are traditionally mine to do (like taking LL to school every morning).

My biggest struggle by far has been mental health. This has not been a surprise, but *predicting it* doesn’t change the fact of it. Being at home so much, in this weird compromised state is quite simply DEPRESSING. And my heart goes out to anybody reading this who suffers similarly. I’ve gotten to the Y twice which is a great help — I never guessed I’d come to think of my Y friends as family— and I’ve accepted most every offer of “getting out” that has come my way. (Wanna invite me to lunch? My answer will be “SURE!”) I’ve also gone for walks when possible. In fact, sitting close to the window drinking a flight of Mescal at Corto Lima (wait — wasn’t I walking to the Lexington Public Library?!) last week turned into quite the social occasion, when more people than I would have guessed spotted me and stopped in to say “hi.” (Note to self: do that AGAIN.)

So that’s the update. As I’ve said before, I wasn’t raised to “air my dirty laundry,” but over the years, thanks to therapy, meditation, and medication, I’ve learned that I’m healthier if I sit in some vulnerability. If this post helps you in anyway with your own, then that’s enough for me; I’ve learned that if I hold out my hand, more often than not, people will take it.

It feels good, and I’m pretty glad about that. <3

Txt to Lauren on her 36th bday

SUPER sorry to miss calling on your 36th (impossible, btw) bday! I thought about it from 7am until 10pm, and Lucy and I discussed it multiple times! We just got derailed in this weird space that my shoulder rehab is creating. HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I love you and am so proud of you. I’m glad we’re friends. I treasure your perspective, your lion’s heart, your tenacity. I treasure your self-doubt, your failings, your humanity. You make the world a better place every day in so many ways that you probably don’t even notice. And you’re a dedicated champ mom, even though in your dark places, you deeply doubt that. You believe in yourself in ways that you probably don’t even realize. You’re your own worst critic — a classic family trait. (stop that) 

I love you so much.

Day before surgery

Pretty emotional this morning, as I find myself saying “see you later, for a while…” and seemingly tying up loose ends with more people and jobs and situations, in preparation for tomorrow’s surgery and the weeks/months of recovery that spool out seemingly so far beyond.

It’s upsetting to think that I’m walking away from a variety of regular activities for a kind of unknown period of time and that I may not see regularly- seen people or do regularly-done things for… I don’t know how long. It’s upsetting to me.

And yet, I say “walking away” which suggests that I’m doing this on purpose or somehow being irresponsible. My biggest fear right now seems to be “you have not prepared enough. You are dropping so many balls.”

By taking care of myself?

Surely that’s an incorrect understanding of the situation. But I have been taught my whole life to be independent and self-sufficient. I cannot think of anything harder than being “taken care of” in such a complete and far-reaching way as I fear I am about to be. Even worse: to NEED to be. 

Of course, there is nothing wrong with being taken care of. In fact, it sounds great. For somebody ELSE. Maybe by me. Other people taking care of me? It’s just not the attitude or expectation that I was raised with in terms of “being an adult.” But it’s something where my attitudes and experience could use some changing.

Doesn’t matter. Here we go, regardless of what I think.