Rainbows and Reality
My surgery follow-up was this morning. Sixteen days post surgery and the sun is out.
I can’t stop smiling.
And exclaiming real exuberance at normal annoyances, “Don’t you just love these weeds, those wasps, and this incorrect door-dash order?” I’m finding alls kinds of reasons to have to bend over just because I can, “Look, all this carpet fuzz that needs picking up.”
We have tile.
I’m puking rainbows.
Yesterday I walked a mile. Today I’m going to test my recumbent. Seriously Friends, next is a 5K and then a decathlon and Joe is already about to tie me down.
I promise to take it slow. Doc says we’ll really know in about four more months. Scar tissue needs time to form and then we find out if it’s going to be a stinker and press on nerves.
I am fully aware this is a time of my collective exhale, the expression of months of depression and agony and stagnation. Months of retreating from the grid and all goals into a plane of muted palate. Colors faded. Meals bland. I couldn’t summon much reason to care or try. No longer nurturing dreams, all the while ignoring small humans, I binged every odd, scary, psycho-thriller on Netflix, HBO and Apple TV. There is some weird shit out there.
Doc walked in and said, “Well either you were crazy or I was crazy. Turns out you weren’t crazy, you were right.” He went on to explain, for the manyith time (this is a space for made up words, remember) that this doesn’t just happen and he’s quite blown away in fact. It’s why after two and a half years post-fusion surgery, that January day I sat in his office complaining of severe-life-restricting pain at this site [pointing to my right-SI-Joint], he dismissed the notion outright that something happened to my screws, it was impossible (I fell backwards from a stool around September ‘18 with no immediate consequence, in fact, Joe and I initially concluded the exact same thing) as they were deeply imbedded in bone. I’ll say it again for effect: deeply embedded in bone. But everyday that went by, as bending and sitting and standing and walking become an excruciating chore, as the downstream pain became intolerable and I halted my entire life, we knew, I felt it in my bones, that the screw was the source. Lest we ever forget that Ms. Hepburn gave us, “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible!”
These past many months have produced wide swings of up and down so many times a day that I lived on the upside-down end of a bungee cord suspended over the Grand Canyon. Talk about a headache.
I’ve been here before. I’m familiar with this rainbow ride. Once I realized my previous surgery (fusion 2016) had worked, I popped those pringles and set up residence on endless Pinch-Me-Mode Lane. When you’ve been on some other side for years, life across the chasm becomes a remote control with a broken button. Everything is filtered through the memories of the struggle, of the pain, of the compassion you now feel for yourself and any human being on this ball who’s gone through anything ever. So, like, everyone.
No matter what may come, I hold an utmost evergreen gratitude and a perspective acrimoniously gained that will never be forgotten. Shall everyday henceforth be the puking of rainbows? Of course not. That would be exhausting. The shooting star does extinguish. Eventually one must inhale.
Lo, today calls for celebration and the Byrds are always singing. (Big hint, you’re supposed to click and enjoy.)
Resilience is forged enduring our trials. Strength for whatever’s next becomes infused in our bones, no screws required. These experiences, this intimate dance with the years of the many faces of pain and all its radioactive dust (clearly also watched Chernobyl) that has covered every surface and corner of my life, is the unseen undercurrent of character, of drive, of dreams, of empathy, of quiet, of teaching my children, of self-care, of relationships, of partnership with My Joe, of sorrow, of joy, of expression, of everything that the human condition encompasses.
That is my reality.