Early this Summer just after school had ended and the girls had begun getting adjusted to our new routine, I started getting a nagging feeling. At first it was just an occasional discomfort, a heaviness in my mid section and then as time wore on and we became busier and busier it evolved into being tired and worn down. I pushed the feeling and symptoms down for all of June and into July. Then unusual physical symptoms came that couldn’t be ignored and I began to add a quiet worry to my list. By the end of August I was having a hard time keeping my eyes open and I had started expressing my feelings out loud to my husband. He knew before the words left my lips, he’s always been able to read my face and know exactly where I am.
It’s been months since I’ve chosen to write and share everyday, a large part of who I am has been missing. I’ve lost the piece that allows me to process life outside of myself and share with others, connecting sometimes to people privately through social media and developing channels of information exchange and a knowledge that we are never truly alone in any situation or experience. When I was slowly waking up from surgery this afternoon the first thought that came to my mind was that I miss writing and sharing. I quietly promised myself that I would return to putting my thoughts, experiences, and emotions out into the world with no expectations or idea of what they may attract or detract. My only hope would be that positive connections with those having similar experiences would be made.
After I woke fully they wheeled me back to the recovery room. The nurse dimmed the lights and placed a warm blanket over me. She leaned down and asked if I needed anything. I asked her for my husband. She smiled and quietly left. Through the grogginess, I felt better. The nagging feeling in my stomach was gone and I felt clean. That’s the only word I can think of to convey the physical sense I was having at that moment. Kyle came in and kissed me. I felt comforted and flush. The nurse explained that they had blasted the stones, removed them, and placed a stint for healing. A trip to the ER, two ultra sounds, a cat scan, and a summer of discomfort and lack of energy finally shed light on my situation. In that moment I relaxed a little into the old me, knowing full well with strength and health that a lot of changes would be waiting for me.
Pieces similar to this kidney stone have been taking up residence in my kidneys for more than a year now. I had successfully passed one last year with lots of fluids and a trip to the ER. This Summer three of them found their way out of my kidney and blocked my bladder on one side wedging themselves in, unable to pass naturally. It has put a damper on what I’ve been able to do with the girls, having to call in sick to work a few times, and getting to everything in life that I had said yes to. There was a lot of “letting go” on my part with the fear of disappointing not only myself and family but lots of others who I am connected to through work and volunteering. I’m still not sure which has made me more uncomfortable: all the pain or feeling as though I wasn’t living up to my full potential as a person.
It’s always in these times that love finds you and brings the right words of encouragement and grace from people you know and strangers on the street. For those I confided in, I feel so incredibly blessed. They reminded me, no matter what, health comes first. Not something I have always prescribed to but now after spending so much time in bed this Summer while my children and husband waited patiently for me to return I am a believer. Self care, self love is not a selfish proposition it is a prerequisite to a full and healthy life. When you are strong and happy than you are able to be more and do more for others and yourself. This is the person I want to be. I was called a Martyr by a friend who prescribes to tough love this week. It pissed me off in the moment, but now I know that quietly pushing through the pain was senseless and useless in trying to make things better.
Sometimes when your body shuts down temporarily, it’s asking you to slow down, take a break and reevaluate what you want and need in order to be the best version of yourself. The stones that got stuck and the many more still residing in my kidneys may be my reminder to regroup, refresh, and renew my leases on life. Thank you for connecting with me again or if this is your first time finding yourself reading one of my posts, welcome! This world is much smaller than we all know and if we focus on giving each other little lifts along the way instead of bringing one another down for any reason, we all might just have a better ride!