Bless My Heart

the improvement of a southern girl


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Substitutions for Happiness

I am 6.5 months post-surgery. I’ve disappeared for a while, mainly because I hate feeling like I’m being self-centered when I post a lot. Which, I know, is ironic seeing as I have a blog dedicated to my musings. It is what it is.

My body is healed, as far as the surgery is concerned. This is a completely new body, however, and we are still trying to get to know one another. In replacement for my entire reproductive system, I now have a sticky little circular patch on my lower abdomen at all times. It doesn’t seem like an even trade.

To be honest, things aren’t going as well as I would have hoped. I would like to be recovered wholly and completely and it’s just not happening.

I’m not really sure how to fix it.

So I substitute. I substitute for the happiness that I can’t seem to find.

I curse. A lot. 
I leave town. Always hoping that the next town over has something that I’m missing out on. It usually doesn’t. New towns are distractions. Substitutes. 
I eat. 
And then I keep eating. 
I drink. 
And then I keep drinking. 
I smoke (sorry, Mom). Nicotine gives a relaxing sensation over your entire body that is not achieved by previous two things. It works so efficiently that it is easy to ignore the smell. I quit, and then I get completely stressed over something and go right back. 
I seek approval from others. But this doesn’t matter much because I never believe anything good that is ever said about me. 
I plan vacations constantly. Always wondering where the next escape will be. 
I search on realtor.com daily for the next house. Because maybe my house is my problem?

But what IS my problem? THE PROBLEM IS THAT I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE PROBLEM IS!

I have THE best husband in the world. He works hard and he loves me fiercely. I have no void there.

I have two beautiful girls that have brilliant little minds and who love me completely.

I have, probably, one of THE best jobs as a music educator in Northeast Louisiana.

I have a nice house and a nice car and a nice golden retriever to go along with it all.

But still, I substitute for my happiness. I am trying to fill a void that was not there last year. Never so intense and with me as my constant companion as it is now.

I have a slow song that I have on my running playlist. It’s been around for quite sometime but never gets old to me. A desperate song that speaks so much of how I feel. A feeling of not being enough. A feeling of not being what I should be. I have severe insecurities that stem simply from the fact that I KNOW I am not living the life that I am meant for. I am bigger than what I am. Maybe I am unhappy simply because I have succumbed to my own weaknesses and shortcomings way to often? I feel defeated by my own self.

I am not whining. I am not calling out for help. I am just stating facts. Almost every gritty post that I have made has been answered by someone privately that was going through something similar. I am honest, and people benefit from honesty… whether they like it or not 😉

“That I Would Be Good”

that I would be good even if I did nothing
that I would be good even if I got the thumbs down
that I would be good if I got and stayed sick
that I would be good even if I gained ten poundsthat I would be fine even if I went bankrupt
that I would be good if I lost my hair and my youth
that I would be great if I was no longer queen
that I would be grand if I was not all knowingthat I would be loved even when I numb myself
that I would be good even when I am overwhelmed
that I would be loved even when I was fuming
that I would be good even if I was clingy

that I would be good even if I lost sanity
that I would be good
whether with or without you

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One Week Post-Op

Thank you all for the messages and comments that were sent after my last post. They were all very encouraging “virtual hugs” that were much-needed and appreciated. I feel much better just getting the feelings out of my head.

The week has been slow, slow, slow. My pain medication makes me feel better than I really am, so I mess around and pick something up or clean something that I shouldn’t and BAM, back to the couch with an ouch! I’m learning and taking it slower. I try to take the dog on a little walk each morning. The first day we got about 100 ft. Today was the 3 attempt and we got about 2/10 of a mile. Ha! I start with great intentions, but then I feel my belly start aching and we turned around and head home like a barn sour horse. Looking forward to longer walks, though. I think that is key in a good recovery.

I am super excited about it being the weekend now. The Man worked hard all week long, so I was pretty much on my own this week. That was okay during the day, but a 4pm when the girls got off the school bus, it got real – real quick. Last night was a desperate supper of fish sticks and ketchup. Awesome for the girls. Not so awesome for me. We got through it though, and Jerod has promised to help me out as much as he can this weekend. Good man. 🙂

Things to look forward to:

  • My sister (and BIL) is flying in tomorrow from Oregon. They’ll be here for a week. Whoop, whoop!
  • Cold front is coming in tonight. I expect to wake up to a little more Autumn-ish weather. Is it sad that I’ll probably go to bed early tonight just so I can get to my morning cup of coffee on the deck that much quicker?
  • One week closer to be done with recovery 😉 I’m ready to get this behind me and go for a bike ride!


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The low place

It came to me today. The low place that I hadn’t quite reached yet.

It surprised me, because I thought I was past it. I thought I had accepted it. Then, a friend posted a picture of her new baby boy on Facebook. She has two little girls, like me, and was recently blessed with a son.

It covered me like a blanket, my grief. The pictures of the children I still wanted swirl around in my mind. We had names for them. The son, Michael Jonah, or the next beautiful girl, Stella Mae. We tried so, so hard for them. I would like to think that we are good parents. I would like to think that we have given Abby and Savannah a complete and loving life so far in their short lives. It took three months to get pregnant with Abby and only one for Savannah. Jerod held a baby on Christmas and looked at me with a longing smile and by the end of January I was pregnant with our youngest. I thought for sure I would have no problem having more. We waiting a little longer for the 3rd because Savannah was such a handful. It makes me wonder now if it would have mattered. I wonder if we should have stair-stepped them out and dealt with the stress of 3 young babies. At least then, I would have them all.

I feel incomplete.

We stopped trying in 2010 when I was diagnosed with melanoma. We didn’t resume until I was sure I wouldn’t have to undergo cancer treatments. We tried. Months and months. A positive test. So many dreams. So exciting. A miscarriage. So heartbreaking. A cyst. A surgery. Healing. Hope. Try again. Another cyst. Another surgery. All my chances are gone.

And now I am not whole.

I don’t know where to go from here. I feel like I am mourning a dream. I’m not 34 until the 27th of this month. Both of my sisters got pregnant for the first time in their late 30’s. Unwed teenagers get pregnant with unwanted children every day. Why is this my path? It’s frustrating and maddening and ultimately just sad. I’m sad.

Do I need a new hobby? Do I need a new puppy? Do I need to finally go get my horse ranch? Do I delve into fitness and become a triathlete?  I have a void that I must fill.

I don’t want to be told to “be thankful that I have my two children”.

I don’t want to be told that “it’s God’s will”.

I don’t want to be told anything, really. I just need to speak my grief, so that I don’t have to hold it inside anymore.

 

***edited to say that once I posted this, I felt guilty. I don’t want special attention and I know that I am not the only one that has gone through this. I write through my grief with my blog. I don’t like talking about it. I write, and I feel better.


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Words from the hospital bed

Well, I just lost my whole post that I just typed out with an IV stuck in my hand. So this one will be shorter 😦

I am in my second day of recovery after having a supracervical hysterectomy. The cyst had the ovary twisted down and behind my uterus. It was all (to spare you the ugly details) “messy” in there. My doctor got the general surgeon to oversee the operation because the mess was all dangerously close to my bowels. The procedure ended up being about two hours long. Apparently I made it a fun morning for Dr. Wilson.

Yesterday was horrible. I was in severe pain that was not alleviated by the morphine pump, at all. By the early afternoon I asked for something extra and that helped a little. I slept well enough and having a much better day today.

I appreciate the friends that have checked on me and the family that is helping out with the girls, but I couldn’t have done it without this guy. I snapped a photo of him when he wasn’t looking.

This guy has bent over backwards for me these past few days. Helping me in and out of bed, retrieving this and that from around the room, sleeping in that little Lazyboy chair last night without complaint, and helping me with the shower this afternoon. I am thankful, beyond measure, for having this man to share with me in moments of ultimate joy… and these moments of humility and immense pain.

My first meal of solid foods just arrived, so I am going to go enjoy my supper. And then probably sleep. And sleep some more 🙂 I’m here till tomorrow afternoon. GRMC room 242, if you are looking for something to do 😉


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Waiting

Waiting on a hurricane, waiting on tomorrow. The storm should be in town just about the time I go under the knife. Trying not to linger on that thought. This is my last day with my band. I’m going to try to not stress out all day long and just accept the situation I’ve been given. I don’t want my beginners scared off because I’m freaking out about the mess in the room 😉

On another subject… I continue to remain speechless over the reaction to my Why I’m The Band Director blogpost. I am touched that it has reached so many people (over 4k!), and honored that it continues to be shared. Thank you!


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An ultrasounding “Ugh”

I had my first checkup/yearly appointment last week with my OB/GYN since the surgery. I was a little disheartened when I had to remind him of what my story was, but I understand he has a ton of patients and can it can all get a little foggy.

After a talk and review we decided I ought to have an ultrasound to check things out and make sure nothing else was going on. If I got an all-clear, maybe we could do a dye test in a couple of months and see if all my parts were still open and ready for baby-making. I do love my little blonde babes…

Yesterday was my appointment, and not 1 minute into the procedure had passed before a nice big round blob appeared on the screen. I think I heard the technician sigh. She knew I was hoping for a nice happy uterus and ovary and to be sent off with happy baby-making wishes.

I have, what looks like, a 5cm endometrioma. Not to be confused with the 9cm serous cystadenoma I had previously removed. It looks like it is hanging out with my left ovary. You know, the only one I have left. I don’t really want to say more about it because at this point it is all just speculation and an image on the screen. My doc was out of the office yesterday and today so I won’t be able to talk to him about it till next week.

I’m pretty sure I’m having another surgery.

*sigh*

I want to say that it is okay. “Just one of those things”, is what I told my mom. It’s true. I believe that. It’s just one of those crappity crap crap sucky a$$ things that happen to people. To be honest, I’m getting better at this. I didn’t completely go over the deep end this time. Just a few tears in the technician’s room (I think I hid those pretty well). A couple swelled up on the walk to the car when I finally got out of the damn building with all the damn people and put my sunglasses on.

A couple of tears might have fallen. But mostly. I’m just getting numb.

Numb, after realizing that my baby-making days are long behind me. My body is sick. I don’t know what I have to do to fix it. Did I not eat enough vegetables? Should I have been taking my vitamins daily since I was 12? Do I drink too much? Am I not getting enough sleep? Should I give up caffeine? Do I lie too much? Should I be a nicer person?

What the eff was I supposed to do? I shrug my shoulders and sigh, because I won’t ever know. This is just it. This is just what my life is.

And like I said. I’m getting better at it.

On a side note – I would appreciate any women that has had anything similar, or has had a partial or full hysterectomy to give me a little of your story (the doc has said before that this might be coming). I private message on Facebook or an email would be great if you don’t want to comment. I’m starting my research. Thanks.