Amidst the cold weather and insistent rain here in Seattle the city is a buzz after last week's football win that will send the Seahawks to the Superbowl for the second year in a row. It's actually nauseating how many people are decked in green and blue, how many houses and cars are adorned with a 12th man flag, and how a common salutation is "Beast Mode." Needless to say, I am not a Seahawks fan, for many reasons we don't need to get into. This does not mean I will be pledging my allegiance to the Patriots, it just means I am so discouraged by this year's Super Bowl. Anyways, back to my point...Earlier this week as evening began to hover over Greater Seattle I was driving home and with the quaint background music of a favorite song playing in my car and I was surveying the scene of Seahawk pandemonium. Of neighbors laughing together, kids playing on the street, of a few houses with blue and green lights and all I could think of was if this were my own reality show they would be filming a girl surrounded by happy people who was almost always is lost in her thoughts, in a somewhat depressive trance, who doesn't even remember what it feels like to be happy.
I sent out an update to my family last week that I then forwarded to a few close friends to tell the basic un-progress of post-op. Essentially, after arriving in Seattle after the holidays my pain began to dramatically increase. I went to my surgeon where they ran a series of tests (hooray for more medical bills) that were inconclusive. I had blood work done and a urine sample, as well as swollen glands show that I was fighting off an infection. After, physical examination my doctor said, "well, I forgot to mention this the first time but normally individuals with your amount of endometriosis take more like 6 months to recover instead of 3. I'd like us to carry out all of the 3 month guidelines to 6 months and then see where we are at. Hopefully by about a year you will really have your body back and be able to do everything normally." First, I quietly laughed to myself because I will never have my "body" back and I haven't known what normal feels like for almost two decades. I've also just turned 31 and am in full-fledged menopause. It didn't gradually happen over time it came at me like a robber in the night. Second, you're telling me that for 6 months I'm not supposed to lift more than 5 pounds. bend or carry? The problem that i'm having is that every time I try and push myself to take the next steps in recovery I begin to bleed. Anytime I bleed I am told to take it completely easy the next day as bleeding can cause adhesions which will cause reason for another surgery. He also mentioned that at six months if I am still in pain, while this surgery rid most of my disease we were unable to get all of it and it wasn't a cure for my endometriosis and I will live with that pain forever. I have four months to get out of pain or I might totally lose it, and I am not kidding. The final kicker was that between pre-op and now I have gained 16 pounds. It has been very hard to understand why as I have barely had an appetite and was not exercising profusely prior to surgery because of the pain. The doctors say they are not sure why but perhaps it is just because my physical makeup has changed but it is not a good indicator of how I will react to hormones. As a recovering anorexic this is very devastating to me. I wanted my body to go to shambles when I had my babies not over the fact that I can't ever be a mama. I tried on all of my pants this last week as we have to go to Arizona soon for a wedding and not one pair would zip. Some I could not even get over my legs.
While the physical update is bleak the emotional seems even harder. My mom texted me earlier this week to tell me she was babysitting a good family friend's baby who I love so much. And it hit me like a ton of bricks. Will my mom ever watch my baby? Will Nate and I ever make it to the other side of this? Will we ever even have the money to adopt? Will our hearts ever be ready for that? I am making strides by seeing a counselor and I feel like I've gotten to the point where I can smile for people and play the happy "Chronically Ill Katie" game again. Where I don't share much, definitely hide my tears, and assure people that I am fine. But it's certainly a game. I still cry every day. I'm still completely broken.
I love living by water. Or vacationing by water. In Seattle this is common, but it's even more common in the city or by the beach. Often times when you wake up in the morning it's foggy. So during the morning hours you're pretty bundled and it's very damp outside. You may venture out for a walk, but not without warm clothes, but a lot of times people stay in their beach houses and drink a warm beverage and read. But not to worry, by mid morning/early afternoon the fog has burned off and it's sunny and everyone head out to be in the sun and enjoy the beach.
Well, right now I'm worried the fog will never lift. That perhaps I'm trapped in one of those days at the beach where the sun never comes out. Instead everyone stays in their sweats all day and huddled inside. What if I'm always huddled inside? In the dark. Like I am now. I am desperately searching for a light switch that I think should be labeled "hope" that has some sort of latch to hold onto that allows me to see some sort of life or light out on the distance.
If I wasn't 31, I'd call my parents Mommy and Daddy, and I would beg for them to just make it all go away. To "fix" it because it hurts more than I knew was possible. When I think and really realize that no baby can really come from me I weep. And I weep for the road that took me here. And to be honest I am exhausted at the journey it will take to find daylight, for the fog to burn off.
There's no doubt it would be absolutely the toughest task of a football player's life to make it to the Super Bowl. And besides just that it would be the hardest game of his life. It's the best of the best, up against the best of the best. I would say maybe this is my Super Bowl but I doubt that because I don't think my journey ends here. But I at least need to make my way through some of this fog because I need to see more than just my hand out in front of me. I need to find peace in issues regarding how we will pay for everything (http://www.gofundme.com/hcpdk4), in that I can't go back to work yet, in the changes in my body and how i will manage and what I will wear. I need to rest, to let myself cry, I need to grieve-I need not pretend and I need to have a goal to experience my own authentic joy. That's my game plan right now. It's not Super Bowl but it's a start. It may just be lighting a match but any light is better than none and if I focus on that I don't need to concentrate on any of this Seahawks mania. I have too much else at stake.
Because by the way, they're not even the original 12th man. Go Aggies.