Often times, I tend to find when life is running at a semi-operable rate, a speed bump will inevitably show up. And guess what? It always seems to be at the most inopportune time. Fighting the constant one step forward and two steps back routine can leave a person winded, worn out, and feeling defeated. It’s during the times when we barrel through, despite the weight dragging us under, that we really see what we’re made of.
February 24th was the start of a five-day weekend for the kids due to parent/teacher conferences. We started the day with conferences for the older two, strolled around the building while they proudly exhibited their projects that were displayed on the walls, made a stop by the Book Fair being held at their school library, and then headed back home to dive into all we had planned for the long weekend. There were to-do lists, plans, big ideas and, as per usual, more packed into our extra days off than we had time to accomplish. But we were sure going to try! Little did I know, just a few hours after I went to bed that night, those plans were going to be long gone and the weekend completely turned upside down.
I’ll spare all the gritty details leading up to the point of diagnosis, but the long and short of it is that I wound up in the ER expecting a much different outcome – I expected I’d be back home that same day – and instead found myself being transported via ambulance and admitted to the hospital with a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in my lung).
Two nights, more vials of blood than I can count, a prescription for painkillers and pretty expensive blood thinner later, I was going home. On my husband and I’s anniversary, of all nights. Suuuuper romantic. Not to sound unappreciative. I was glad to go home and thankful I was alive. I’m just a bit stubborn about my plans going awry from time to time.
It had been an emotional few days to realize that, at 31, I was dealing with a blood clot. That in a matter of a few hours, I had to make hard life choices I wasn’t ready to make and didn’t know if I ever would be – like not having anymore children. That I had been essentially ‘put in a corner’ by my own body and forced to give up taking birth control and start talking about permanent solutions. That I now had to deal with worrying about things like brain bleeds and what activities I could or couldn’t do – like the trip to the sand dunes we had planned for that weekend that was now not possible because of the dangers of my medication, or getting race-ready with my new dirt bike that I’ve only been able to ride a couple of times.
Plus, it was period week. So there’s that. I was a basket full of all kinds of crazy woman emotions tied up in a bright red bow and doped up on pain meds. I was a hot mess, to say the least.
I went home and hit the bed like a good little patient. I didn’t object when Brandon waited on me, when he handled the laundry or the dishes or the kids. I didn’t even try to micro-manage or rearrange everything he’d loaded into the dishwasher. I stayed put. I was determined to allow myself the down-time so that I could hit the ground running by Tuesday at the latest. Ha.
Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. (That is what I imagine my body was saying when it heard my thoughts about getting back to the daily grind.)
After a week of continuing chest pains, being completely winded when talking for even five minutes, and making it no further than from the recliner to the bathroom or my bed to the bathroom, I called my regular doctor. Much to my dismay, he informed me that my sunshiny view of life bouncing back to normal wasn’t going to be the case. In fact, I found out I’d have a much longer road in front of me than I’d imagined.
It’s incredibly frustrating for me to be limited in what and how much I can do. I’m a person that likes to do as much as I possibly can without being dependent on anyone else. I generally don’t like to sit until the end of the day, and I almost always have more to do than I can realistically get done. I’m good with that. I run better with a full plate. And I definitely function better in chaos. Realizing that my stamina is running around 20% and will be for quite some time was a huge blow to take.
I’d like to say I took the positive route, held my head high, and focused on the fact that I’m still here and will eventually get back to normal. However, that’s not what happened. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t get me down. The fact was, I had a lot going on and a lot of big plans – for the blog, for my personal and family life, and a huge project I’ve had in the works for some time. And I was like a train getting derailed by tracks that had been ripped out of the ground. I dove into a funk that left me feeling incredibly defeated and just plain exhausted from all of the road blocks.
Then, I received a message that would become the light in the tunnel. A friend had reached out with a job opportunity in her office. Part time, but great hours. I worried about my ability to handle the job considering my new health conditions, but with a pile of medical bills I can see coming a mile away from the ER, hospital, my new expensive meds, and more checkups and MRIs I’ll be having in the next year, I really couldn’t turn it down.
I gladly accepted the position, and being that I haven’t worked in over five years, had long since said goodbye to my pre-third baby wardrobe, and had merely t-shirts and jeans (and, let’s be honest, some yoga pants), I needed to go shopping. Badly. You know what? I’ve never been a retail-therapy kind of gal, but getting out of the house and doing something purely for myself was incredible and much needed! I got a sense of independence back because it was my first time driving since going to the hospital. And besides a couple of quick jaunts out with the family to grab some to-go dinner after Brandon got home from work, it was my first real amount of time out of the house as well. Talk about cabin fever! That shopping trip was just what I needed to get a little pep back in my step.
It’s now been a week and a half since I started work. The job is incredible, my co-workers are fabulous, and the atmosphere is wonderfully relaxing – which is exactly what I need since any increase in heart rate sends my chest pains through the roof and makes it difficult to breathe, let alone accomplish anything. It’s hard coming home and not being able to do much more than get dinner ready before my body tells me I’m done for the day, but that’s just reality for me right now. And in all truthfulness, the days I am home, I get worn out much quicker and am able to do much less than the days I’m at work.
In spite of the positive outcome of the newly acquired position, I’ve had set backs. Namely, this past weekend when I spent just over an hour trying to rearrange bedrooms to move Benjamin to his own room and big boy bed and ended up stationed in bed the rest of the day and night with excruciating chest pains and an inability to breathe well. Barely more than an hour, and my body couldn’t handle it. The ugly crying that ensued afterward while I complained to Brandon how much I absolutely hate the limitations currently placed on my body aren’t something I’m proud of. But, it’s the ugly truth. I have good days, and I have bad days. And that’s just the way it’s going to be for awhile. I’m not guaranteeing I won’t have another break down or two and feel sorry for myself for a few hours – or a day as was the case this past weekend – but, I am guaranteeing that I’ll push past it and get the heck over it. I have plans. Big ones. And come hell or high water, they’ll come to fruition. Just maybe not as soon as I’d originally intended.
On that note, this month’s Operation Year of Organization has been put on indefinite hold. When it comes down to it, I just don’t have what it takes to do the extra building, moving, and rearranging. So, OYoO will pick back up in April with a room we’re all dying to get organized – the KITCHEN!
In the meantime, it will be quiet on the blog for the remainder of March. I promise I’ll find a good balance between going to work and maintaining my blog, but these next two weeks are just going to be for focusing on making it through without over doing it. I can’t make any grand gestures for April beyond getting back to our monthly organization schedule, but I’m hopeful for more. I’m just
patiently taking it one day at a time.
I miss you. I miss writing. I’ll be back in full swing before we know it. In the meantime, let’s just walk the bases together.