Alive, Kickin’ and Grateful

It will be two weeks tomorrow since my hernia from hell surgery.

Guess what? I LIVED!

It has been pretty nasty but today is a good day and I had a follow up with the surgeon this morning.  He said I am cleared for light exercise and can swim, which is great news, given the excruciating heat wave we are currently experiencing.

I spent six nights in the hospital and they were really awful.  All of the things I feared about pain control and nasty nurses came true, unfortunately.  But, there were also good nurses and things got sorted out eventually.  It was just so frustrating to be talked down to and at and misunderstood at a time when I was vulnerable.

If nothing else, between the nightmarish hospital stay and the sort of domino effect the surgery has had on my body, first I had a chest infection and then a gut issue and now I have a lovely case of oral thrush, I have determined that having surgery to ‘tone up’ the loose skin I have from weight loss is just a non starter.

Two days later:

I will have to gratefully accept myself the way that I am.  Gratefully.

I am working hard on that word and all that it contains.

I have good reason to be grateful.  It is almost my birthday and I am reminded of what my dear friend, Patricia Clark, used to say.  I would ask her if she ever worried about growing old.  Her reply was always the same, “It beats the alternative.”  Grateful.  Pat died of cancer in 2009.  I miss her but remember a lot of her wise counsel.

I can be saggy and baggy but grateful that I lost the weight.

I can be weak from surgery and have some bad pain days (today) and days where I am fatigued (today) but it all beats the alternative, so I am grateful.

Today I read the bad news that my sweet cousin, Kay, who has been fighting cancer for the last six years, is losing.  I am profoundly sad because she has always been such an important part of my life.  I feel so many things at once.  I don’t want her to be in the pain I know she is in now or in any more as she goes through what I know is a difficult process.  I will miss her like crazy, but I want,  what is best for her and I know she is going to be ok.  So much of our family is there on the other side, waiting to greet her.

But I am grateful.  I am grateful for her life and how it has touched mine so deeply.  And I am grateful for my own life, despite my health challenges.  I am still here and that in and of itself is proof to me there is a force greater than humans alone at work.  Because all the kings horsemen and all the kings men shouldn’t have been able to put me back together again but somehow they did.

And I am grateful.