Just another day in paradisePosted: March 22, 2011
Insert a comfy chaise lounge and a pitcher of perfectly mixed margaritas or a bottle of Vueve Cliquot, and I’m good. Add a compelling novel I’m really good.
I can’t conjure up a photo that shows the opposite of my version of paradise, but whatever it is, I’m smack-dab in the middle. Instead of sitting beachside on the chaise, staring out at a peaceful blue sea and feeling the warm rays of the sun on my skin, I’m still in my jammies, back in bed, feeling rotten with no end in sight. Not complaining, just explaining.
This is the portion of the program in which I make a quick mental run-down of all the things that are going right these days. The list is shorter than I’d like, but my expectations are high, and it’s good to have a little perspective.
Sadly, once my blessings have been counted and perspective delivered, the realization of my situation sinks in. Sure, it’s one more week of convalescence out of my entire life. One week isn’t much, right? But the days are long, and the frustrations grow with all the things I still can’t do. Add to that the fact that I still have the drains, when I really, really, really thought I’d get at least one of them pulled yesterday, and I’m blue. Knowing that I will have the drains for yet another week makes me bluer still.
It’s my own damn fault for setting the bar so high, for having the audacity to expect to be nearly well by the 3rd week. I was fully prepared to dedicate two full weeks to feeling crummy, walking hunched-over, aching all over, and feeling like a full-blown invalid. I could give up my independence and my car keys for two weeks, no problem. Those expectations were reasonable. The DIEP surgery was intense, but I was ok with that.
But then I snuck my Super Girl cape on over my hospital gown. After the agony of getting in and out of bed the first few times passed, I spread that cape across my shoulders and pulled it tight around the 17-inch-long scar on my belly (yes, I measured it and no I’m not exaggerating it. Those of you who have seen it know. And I apologize if your retinas were burned by the reality of my gutting).
My cape and I powered through the requisite hospital stay, and I got home a few days early. Once home, the progress rolled on and I was on the mend. This was do-able. This wasn’t so bad. Recovery was within my grasp. Every day got a little bit better, and I began to think the worst of it was behind me.
I packed up my cape, thinking I no longer needed superpowers and that I could return to “normal.”
Super Girl is not known for her brains.
That fast-tracked recovery came to a screeching halt with the appearance of the divot in the newly created right breast. This was troublesome because it was in the same spot as the post-mastectomy infection, aka my arch nemesis, mycobacterium fortuitum. Oh how I despise that bacteria. The only good thing about it has been the education it has forced me to undergo, and the addition of words like nosocomial and gram-positive will surely help my Scrabble game. The divot was followed by a fever, then hardening in the previously soft newly created right breast, and rounded out by some intense pain in the area around the remaining right drain.
In other words, paradise lost.
It has been widely reported that I’m a very impatient patient. These reports are true. I’m no good at convalescing and have no patience for the slow pace and endless days of non-productivity. The list of things I’m not getting done is long, very long. I try not to think about the process of digging out from under this period of doing nothing; that’s way too depressing. I don’t even look at the calendar anymore because there’s nothing on it but doctor’s appointments, and I don’t need the reminder of all the things I’m missing. My tennis team and Payton’s Little League team both forge on through their seasons without me. I haven’t seen a baseball game yet, and even though my poor boy is wearing the dreaded Yankees uniform this season, I’d still like to see him take the field, step up to the plate, and grace my favorite spectator sport with his presence. I would really like to be just another parent at just another game, bum aching from the metal bleachers. I miss the sights and sounds of the ballpark, and in my current state, there’s no telling when I’ll make it there. Opening Day ceremonies are Saturday, and my little boy gets to march with his All Star team from this past summer, with their Sectional and District champion banners. I missed the entire summer of baseball because of the post-mastectomy infection, and here we are in the midst of another season, and I’m still on the DL.
One step forward, two steps back.