I think I might finally be back.
If you read my last post, you know that I went in for surgery a second time. If you really aren't interested in the gory details of this most recent 'hospital adventure' then just skip this post. I think I'm getting better...finally...so my next post should be more normal, whatever that means. Plus, I've had a ton of emails and facebook messages asking how I am, so I thought it might be better to just respond here.
So you know I'm a hard 'stick', which is the hospital jargon for the fact even the most skilled needle-wielding professional would probably rather babysit for Kate Gosselin than try to successfully insert an IV into a random part of my body. Needless to say, that was one of my anxieties going into the 2nd surgery (besides the fact they were re-opening a 6 inch vertical scar in my abdomen...yuck).
Well, I've been home now for 6 days. I have 20 staples and almost that many bruises all over my hands and arms. I can't seem to get my sleep pattern back to normal. One day I slept for 36 hours, another night I didn't sleep at all. I have this horrible rash on my back and chest and have been itching for days. The only relief I can get is scalding showers, which I think actually makes it worse but I just can't help it. You know when something itches so bad? And you know you shouldn't scratch, but finally you do, and for that moment it just feels terribly good and you don't care. You just scratch gloriously until your skin is numb. I'm constantly wiggling and searching for things that will reach. It's making me crazy.
But yesterday the sun was out and I went for a walk with my husband. We took my dog, who always cheers me up. We had this really great conversation about life and empty plates and yard work. And suddenly I realized that the fog is lifting and I'm starting to feel like myself again.
These past several weeks have been really hard. I feel like everything has been moved off of my 'plate' and only the bare necessities have remained. I can't work, I can't read, I can't write, I can't be on the computer for more than a few minutes a day. I can't cook or unload my dishwasher or do laundry. I can't even ride in a car without a lot of pain. All I can do is just lay down and rest. Breathe and heal.
I 've been thinking about my empty plate. A couple of months ago, it was full of stuff. Work, family, ministry, friendships, commitments. Today it's empty. And I have to admit it has given me a new outlook on life. The reality is, I am not doing anything and the world is still going about it's business. To my utter shock, nothing has been ruined or has fallen apart. I'm understanding that I've never really been in control of anything in my life, and I'm pretty small in the grand scheme of things. It's actually pretty great. It makes me wonder about life. And love. And why I'm here on this planet.
If, at the end of the day, my life is defined by how I look or feel or by what I own or how I spend my days, then where does that leave me? Or any of us really? Why am I here? What should my plate look like as I flounder headlong into my forties?
I'm thinking today about what I'm going to put back on my plate.
I've decided to take this time to really reconsider everything I'm committed to in my life. Sometimes I've prayed and ended my prayer with "Whatever it takes, God." That's a scary prayer if you really think about it. I guess maybe this is what it takes for me to really make the most of the life I've been given. So for that, I am grateful. Whatever it takes, God.
Thanks for listening. I'd love to here what your thoughts are on this, so leave a comment or send me an email or something.