I have to admit that with the fatigue comes forgetfulness, and a sense of being overwhelmed. I've learned from the previous two surgeries that no matter how impatient I get to take it slow; one thing at a time, to be in the moment and present at all times.
When I am able to do that, things seem to go very well for me and those around me. When I get ahead of myself, do too much or am overstimulated, things don't go so well. I have an excellent example and though embarrassing I'm going to share it here. Why not, it is important to be honest about all aspects of recovery if I am going to write about it. Here goes.
Last week with my sister (Queen) visiting I had little energy. I knew she wanted about an hour at the mall which for me at the time was too much. I had what I thought was a brilliant idea. I would drop her off at the mall on my way to Physio which was less than five minutes away. The only time I would be alone would be those few minutes. Barry suggested he come over to the clinic on his break to help me out after Physio when I would be tired and may need help. His office is a 1 minute walk from the clinic.
Everything went as planned until I drove into the parking lot at Physio and saw the handicapped parking was for wheel chairs only.
Now I was in a precarious position. I had counted on that spot by the door to help my plan work. I did have the walker in the car but it is too difficult for me to get it out of the car myself so I had brought a cane for what was supposed to be a few steps to the door. I thought about it for a minute and wondered how many times people who have a disability find themselves in situations like this. So close yet so far at the same time.
I decided to go for it. I got my cane and gym bag and got out of the car. Immediately I felt a little unsteady with the bag. It was a short walk and I could do it I thought. But in case I fell I wanted my phone on me. I reached for it and without having pockets did what most woman do, put it in my bra. Only I wasn't wearing a bra, I was wearing my bathing suit. Yup, here's where it gets bad. I made my way to the door swearing I wouldn't be doning this again. When I got in the receptionist took my bag and asked if I was okay. She also asked why I hadn't parked in the handicapped spot. She said the sign was just to discourage those who could walk to park in the lot. Lesson learned. I was frazzled at this point and was immediately called in the the Aqua therapy room to get changed and showered which I did.
I walked out to the pool and got in with assistance and walked across the pool to the treadmill before either of us noticed my iPhone was tucked into my bathing suit. I could have cried right then and there.
I felt so deflated. I felt stupid, I felt defeated, beaten and done. It wasn't about the phone. It was about this thing called life that is so difficult at times. It is the little things that needle at you and keep you up at night. It is the long slow process of keeping spirits up and putting on a good face. If I hadn't been in public with a physiotherapist by my side I would have laid down and cried. I was too afraid to cry. I was afraid if I started I may never stop.
It's not about the phone; that soaking phone was just the tip of the iceberg. It's about my husband driving down to Toronto to help my daughter move, by himself...again. It's about my daughters and husband driving to Toronto to see a great concert for his birthday, and not being able to partake. It was about my sisters coming to Ottawa for a week of shopping and a day at the spa, that I cannot consider. It's about all the times I wish I could plan a great day of shopping with my girls without pain, a day at the spa, a road trip, an anything; a plan that doesn't have to be derived around my ability level, my fatigue and my pain. I feel the loss, but when is it ever appropriate to show it. Never. I steel myself and I console myself by making sure they do those things with or without me. Because the other thing worse then not being able to be a part of something is when you are responsible for it not happening. My surgeries have interfered with more plans then I can tell you. My brothers visiting, my daughters' "sister trip" together, Barry's United Way bike tour, my brother's wedding. The list goes on. I miss my mother, she 88 and not well. I can't go to Newfoundland now. These are some of the things being ill or injured does to a family. It is never just about the person, the patient. It has a ripple affect.
That's my rant about my phone. It was or could have been the straw that broke this camel's back. It was a rough day but I got through it. My sister and husband knew the right things to do and say. It helped. A lot.
What was the worst of the whole experience was that morning my sister Queen and I decided my phone had been less than perfect for a long time and it was time to deal with it. It is an iPhone 5s and had not really worked well since I got it less than a year ago. Our plan was to go directly to Rogers right after Physio. In the meantime the phone had a very wet experience!
We went to Rogers anyway, knowing full well I wouldn't have a leg to stand on. He said it may have been our problem before it got wet, but it's yours now.
My phone has been in a bowl of rice for three days. There have been two attempts to turn it on in the last day. It isn't working. It may never work, and without a home phone, that phone is my lifeline; but the good news is three days later, I know it's just a phone. My perspective is back and I'm back on track.
The phone will be replaced or repaired and I will keep going and focus on what I can do and not what I can't.