Thank you for these words, Sierra! Today is indeed a day to rejoice, and celebrate this new step toward equality. Such a long way we’ve still got to go, but this is a step in the right direction.
Sunlight glares down on my face without the barrier of window glass for the first time in nine days as I hoist myself out of the passenger seat of my own car and inch my way toward my front door. The grass, a vivid green, is in need of the lawnmower. But that’s of no consequence – it forever seems like my yard needs a little attention. The important part is, I’m home. After-all, that old saying, “there’s no place like home,” is so very true.
My husband unlocks the door and holds it open for me. I walk in and slip out of my shoes. It’s dark in the house, until I pull the chain over the couch. And warm and a bit musty smelling too. Not quite like home. But still home. As I walk from the front door toward my bedroom, my fingers skim over the back of the couch. I pause in front of the fish-tank. Several fish are missing. I’m not surprised by this, they were mine to feed, and I’ve just been released from a nine-day hospital stay.
Something, I’m not sure what, doesn’t quite feel right. This isn’t quite home. Not yet. Not right now. It’s far too quiet here, too…
“Dodge, Mama’s home.” I say this out loud as I continue toward my room. I don’t see him, but that’s nothing new. He’s probably sleeping under our bed.
Just before the bedroom, I turn into the kitchen and flip on the light there as well. I open the refrigerator, just because. The cupboards. Peek into the washing machine in the mudroom just off the kitchen, and look out the back door into the back yard. The pool appears to have lost some water. Didn’t I get everything tight when I set it up the other week? Damn, I can’t even use it all summer. Bummer. Back through the kitchen and into the living room, I sit in my husband’s rocking chair and look around. Everything looks familiar, but still doesn’t quite feel right.
My husband joins me in the living room and sets the cat on my lap.
Too much emotion, tears stream down my cheeks, and I bury my face in his downy-soft fur. Not impressed, he only tolerates this for a short moment. But that was all I needed. Now it feels like home.
My back itches from sleeping on my back and sweating profusely. My legs itch because I haven’t shaved them in probably more than two weeks. Shower. In my own bathroom.
I savored the feel of the less than stingy spray of water sluicing over me. Able to move about in my shower without rapping my elbows on the walls, I took my sweet time taking care of business.
Once dried off and dressed, I head back out to the living room and have a seat on the couch. I nibble some on the sub we picked up on the way home, but can barely taste it because of the medications the hospital has me on. My phone rings. Mom is bringing the kids down for a short visit. I tell her that’s fine, even though the efforts of the shower had me wanting to take a nap.
A short while later, the front door opens and my son comes in. I can’t speak. I try to tell him, “Come here, Buddy,” but no words slide from my tongue. Instead, I hold my hand out and sit on the foot stool so I can wrap my arms around him. Mom comes in with my daughter, and I thank God I have two arms; one for each of them. It’s been over a week since the last time I saw them. Far too long for a stay-at-home mom to go without seeing her babies.
Tears. So many of them. And kisses and hugs too. Now this is home. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I hear Mom and my husband talking to each other, giving me a few minutes with the kids.
Now that I’ve had nearly a week to process everything, I still have five more weeks of lifting restrictions (which means I can’t pick up either of my kids) and a no driving restriction, and seven more days of this God-awful antibiotic. I also still have goop on my arms from all the medical tape from IVs and blood draws. Worse yet, I have several weeks worth of waiting to make sure there is no cancer in the fibroid they took out. But honestly, I don’t really think too much about that. I’m too busy with the kids. I had my niece over for several days to help me out while I recover, and she was amazing. It may not seem like much, but it was huge.
Mom and Mom… I cannot thank them enough. I know neither of our mothers will accept anything more than a hug and a thank you and an I love you, or maybe taking them out to dinner one night. But between the two of them, they had the kids the entire time I was in the hospital, and for that, I’m grateful. It was one less thing for my husband to stress about when he already had plenty, not being at the hospital the entire time with me, relying on phone calls for updates and information while he was at work. He did take a couple days of vacation initially, but money is tight, and working helped him not dwell on everything that was happening. Even now, nearly a week after my return home, I don’t think I’ve fully sorted through all the emotions, and I’m sure there will be more to come. It’s been an adventure. One I hope to never have to repeat, or be on the other side of. But one that will only make me stronger in the end.
In case anyone has been wondering, I have not abandoned you! I promise! I sent out my last Topless Tuesday post out shortly before midnight on the 9th. I had some things I’d wanted to comment on, but honestly, dealing with what I thought was the flu sort of took me out.
To the emergency room. Yep, that’s right. Two days after my most recent post, I ended up in the ER. And then transported to a sister hospital with specialists. Long story short, I had to have a hysterectomy. (Which I’m fine with. They asked me if I would be okay if they had to, and I said, “Take it anyway!”) I recently returned home, after this nearly-two-week-long adventure.
A few highlights:
I had that room with a view. A really great view, I might add. It over-looked the Mississippi River between St. Paul and Minneapolis on the U of MN campus. I was 7th floor, so I got to see yachts, barges, and the rowing teams go by. I also got to see a really spectacular cloud-to-ground lightening strike this Saturday morning while one of my docs was mashing on my tummy.
I also had three different roommates. The first, I’m more than happy she left. The first thing out of her mouth? “I thought I was getting a private room.” (They didn’t have any at the time.) “Well can I at least get a window bed?” She was carted off pretty quick, which is fine by me.
The second, I barely remember; she was only there over night. The other two were both quite pleasant, and we even had some nice conversations.
Oh wait. You probably wanted some details on the surgery. Well, it went well, aside from needing a blood transfusion both during and the day after surgery, which ended up being on Saturday, June 13th.
One of the oncologists (probably the scariest aspect of all this, because… cancer) checked the mass in my uterus and at first look, appears to be nothing than my fibroids having grown together and starting to die. They’ve sent it off for biopsy as well, just to be sure. But it’s roughly the size of a football, and they shave it apart, 1cm at a time to check for cancerous cells. But the good news is that they’re optimistic.
There were some battles; one with my elevated heart-rate, one with my low potassium. And one with my dang temperature. All of those have been remedied though.
I barely got any food in my stomach because of all the different things they wanted to do to me – like CT scans and draining some fluids in my stomach. Which is probably fine, because my taste-buds are totally screwed up right now. Anything with more than about 200mg of sodium dispersed throughout it is too salty, pepper suddenly is spicy, and anything sweet I can barely taste.
I also remember the events, just not what order they happened in. I can remember what/when before surgery, but then after, it kind of becomes a blur.
Except coming home. That was just this past Saturday, the 20th of June. That was a far more emotional event than I thought it would be, and is best left for a different post while I sort through everything I thought and felt when I walked in my front door for the first time in ten days.
For now, I am back, and it may take me a little time to get back into this whole blogging thing, but I am back.