Thursday, April 27, 2017

Recovery. It's more exhausting than you'd think.

Well, the surgery went great.

This first week in recovery, however, has been much more difficult than I expected it to.

They did a nerve block for the surgery - which, as an aside, the only other time I've had a nerve block, they started it when I was already unconscious, but this time they started the nerve block while I was awake and HOLY CRAP, that hurt so freaking bad for them to do and it was also one of the weirdest freaking feelings in the world to have your lower leg go completely numb in a matter of seconds - and when the block wore off Saturday morning, I was in so much pain that the Oxycodone (straight Oxycodone, not Percocet) didn't do a thing for the pain for the next 36 hours, even though I'd started taking it while the block was still working like they'd told me to. 27 surgeries in, I have a pretty good grasp on how to handle recovery pain, and this was intense, even for me.

By Sunday night, though, that started to get better, and then the stomach pain from the painkillers set in, which took another three days to really get straightened out.

Plus, there's the whole issue of dealing with this scooter and the fact that I have the balance skills of a baby giraffe. A few mornings ago, I slipped off of it, tipped forward, and fell to the ground, landing directly on top of the metal steering bar. So now my entire shin, the same shin that has to bear all the pressure as I push myself around, is one giant bruise.


(This isn't my exact one, but it's very similar. My right shin landed straight on the vertical bar.)

The rest of this week has pretty much solely consisted of sleeping. Next week, I actually have to leave the house, so that'll be interesting.

1 week down, 5+ to go.

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Major Prayer Answered

Five weeks ago tonight, I was a nervous wreck, honestly. I was so scared heading into surgery because all I could think about were the words "cardiac arrest."

Tonight, though? I'm really just ready for tomorrow. I want to get on with things. Sure, I have a bit of anxiety, but I do before every surgery, which is largely because I've been through several with complications. The anxiety is minimal, though, which is a huge answered prayer.

Maybe it's because I've had so much going on the past few weeks once I got through the last recovery, or maybe it's just because God really is that awesome, but I have really been looking forward to this surgery this whole time and not dreading it, despite the fact that this recovery is going to be rough. This is definitely a huge answered prayer.

Now, I'm just praying that Mom is feeling well enough to take me. Partially because I have to be at the hospital at 5:30 am and I really don't want to drag my 79-year-old grandmother out of the house at 4 am (the hospital is that far away), but mostly because I just really want her there with me. (So far it seems like she's going, but that could change at the last second.)

God is good, y'all.

#27, I'm comin' for ya.

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Friday, April 7, 2017

This is all I have in me tonight..


This world is a sad and scary place sometimes.

I can't wait for the freedom of heaven.

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Friday, March 31, 2017

Same old shit but a different day.

The past two weeks haven't exactly been blog-worthy.

Not that anything in my life really is lately, yet here I am, eight years in, still rambling about the pointless happenings of my life, but I guess that's a discussion for another day.

But surgery recovery is especially mundane. I didn't put on any clothes other than pajamas or leave the house for a solid week after the surgery, and I've only left a couple times since that day.

The good news is that recovery is going well. My foot is healing well and feeling better by the day. This is the minor surgery of the two I have to have, so it's good that this one is out of the way and that it seems to be successful and proceeding well. Fingers crossed it stays that way.

Speaking of two surgeries, I did get the other surgery scheduled this week. It will be April 21. A lady canceled her surgery the same day the scheduler called me, so they were able to get me in way sooner than I expected. I am thrilled about it. It's going to be a much more complicated surgery and a much longer and more difficult recovery, so I just want it done and over with.

The fact that I should be fully recovered by my birthday is just icing on the cake.

Until then, well. it's really just biding time. Nothing exciting happens here. Not in this house. Not in this town.

Can you tell I'm bored out of my mind?

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Friday, March 17, 2017

One down, one to go.

Had my surgery this morning. #26. I know. Try to contain your jealousy.

It was successful. No more steel in my left foot.

Doing about as well as can be expected.

Aside from the time I was under anesthesia, I've been awake since 11 am yesterday, so that sucks. Hopefully I will sleep soon.

I'm glad this is over.

Now that it's over, I can heal.

The sooner I heal, the sooner we can get on to the right foot surgery, the much more complicated surgery.

The sooner I get to that surgery, the sooner I can start to heal and maybe get back to my normal and be able to walk semi-reasonable distances.

I want to start walking around the neighborhood for exercise, but I have to have working feet for that.

One step at a time, I guess.

Hopefully by my birthday in June, this will be over.

Hopefully.

Post-op appointment is in ten days, so we'll see.

One step at a time.

No pun intended.

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Friday, March 10, 2017

Seven

Sunday, March 5th, my nephew turned seven.

My brain can hardly comprehend it.

I would move mountains to keep this boy safe and happy.

He is wild and exhausting and stubborn and sometimes frustrating, but he's also sweet and snuggly, fearless and free, smarter than most people think he is, and the silliest, funniest little boy I know.

I could not be more proud to be his Auntie Mal.

Keep dancing, Blake man. I love you to the moon and back.



These are so awkward, but hey, you try taking pictures with a sugared-up seven-year-old. ;)

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Saturday, March 4, 2017

At War With Myself

I should be going to bed right about now, but I need to get this out. (Also, I'm listening to Ed Sheeran's new album for the first time, and I don't want to stop.)

Okay, so remember how I mentioned that video I got from one of my soccer boys for Valentine's Day?

Truth time: I still have that video saved to my phone and have played it I-don't-even-know-how-many times in the past two and a half weeks.

Every single time, it makes me smile as wide as my mouth can stretch and gives me this warm feeling of being loved that is like wrapping up in a blanket on a cold day, but there's also been this recurring thought that I really, really wish would get out of my head.

I see my brother's face in the video, and I hear him saying the words "I love you," and as though it's out of my control, I think, I don't know how I got this lucky. It's not supposed to happen like this for me. 

Three and a half years of knowing him and the rest of my brothers, and a large portion of the time, my brain still cannot wrap itself around the idea that I actually deserve their love. It still searches for answers as to how a "girl like me" got chosen by "guys like them," why the good-looking and popular athletes who could have the attention of anyone on campus decided to love the semi-outcast, not conventionally gorgeous girl with health issues. Why did they pick me? I keep asking myself, as if that's something that really makes a difference after all this time.

Besides, I already know why they "picked me." I already know what they love about me. It's not like they've kept it a secret. They've told me time and again why they're grateful to know me and why they love me. They've never once made me feel like I was their "charity project," like a lot of people in high school treated me," yet I somehow still have trouble just accepting what they have told me, even though, in my heart, I know it's true. It's not like I don't believe they're telling me the truth. It's just that part of me still doesn't understand why it's true.

The good-looking, popular guys used to always be the ones who made my life hell. That's exactly why I was scared of these soccer boys in the beginning, and I've told them as such. I didn't think they could actually care about someone who was so completely different from them and anyone they usually hung out with. But when I learned they really were different from all of the others, when I learned they actually were who they appeared to be, the question became why are they wasting their time? That was the same semester my seizures came back; it would've been a hell of a lot easier for them not to bother with me than to invest in me and my life on top of everything they had going on.

Instead, Chirag and Justin sat at the ER with me for hours one day.

Justin and Bryce picked me up from the ER another day then spent close to 90 minutes taking care of me.

Bryce - how many seizures did he take care of me through between soccer and Reformation??

Isaiah brought me drinks when I was too sick to even leave my room.

Reafe, Tunji, Ricky, and Isaiah showed up to be my bodyguards.

So many of them carved time out of their schedules to spend time with me, whether it be lunch or dinner.

They listened.

They prayed.

They hugged.

They were always there.

Some of them are still always here.

And they've never even wanted a thank you for any of it.

I have a soccer ball sitting on my shelf signed by almost every boy from that year, a daily reminder of the memories that we share. I haven't forgotten any of it. So why is it that I still sit around wondering why I'm even in this position? It's been almost three and a half years. Will I ever accept this love, whether or not I think I deserve it? They believe I deserve it; isn't that enough?

One of them has reminded me many times that they all love me to death. He knows my insecurities, a lot of them do, and they've never judged me for them or been put off by them, so it's not that I'm afraid that I'm going to ruin things. It's just frustrating. I'm tired of spending time wondering why instead of just enjoying what I have.

It's been three and a half years. Is this ever going to make sense? Will I ever believe that I'm enough, that I deserve to be loved, that there doesn't have to be some crazy explanation for "guys like them" to love a "girl like me?"

"We accept the love we think we deserve." - from The Perks of Being a Wallflower...if this is true, Lord, please let me believe I deserve this, because I'm tired of my head being at war with itself.

I am crazy loved by some amazing guys who are the best friends a girl could ask for.

That's the truth.

That's what matters.

And that's more than enough.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

26 and 27

Yes, that's right, ladies and gentlemen. I'm having surgery again.

Please, please, try to contain your jealousy. We can't all live the exciting life that I do.

All jokes aside, I am indeed having both of my feet operated on again.

The left foot will be done March 17th, provided I get cleared next week (which I don't see why I won't).

That should be a pretty simple surgery, as my surgeon (the same guy who did the original surgeries back in 2010) is just removing the steel he put in there during the first surgery. The steel is pushing up off the bone where it's supposed to be into the top of my foot, so I constantly have a bruise there, and will often get this stabbing pain where it feels like someone is trying to cut the steel in half. The pain is making me instinctively walk on the outside of my foot to try to relieve the pressure, which just adds to the pain.

The right foot surgery is going to be much more complicated as he will be re-breaking the joint where my foot meets my big toe, lengthening that tendon so my toe lays flat down (the tendon is currently very contracted so my toe almost always is pulled way back), and then fusing it in place so it doesn't move at all. He was originally just going to lengthen the tendon, but because of my nerve damage, if he only did that, there is a good chance the tendon would start contracting again, and I'd be right back in the same position I'm in now. It's putting way too much pressure on the ball of my foot and causing massive amounts of pain; I'd really prefer not to go through this again, even if it means having a permanently immobile toe.

So yeah. The next few months are going to be LOADS OF FUN.

I'll be real, y'all. I know I need these surgeries, and I am looking forward to the help they are going to give me, but I'm so tired of this. It's only been six months since my last surgery, just shy of seven by the time this next one comes. This will be 27 surgeries before my 25th birthday. That is not fair by any means of the imagination. And I know that life isn't meant to be fair, but I feel like I live my life in this constant cycle of finding new problems and having to figure out how to fix them just when I think my life is getting back to normal, and I'M TIRED.

It makes me feel broken. People constantly having to cut me open to fix things in me makes me feel like I am broken.

And on top of that, you say the word surgery, and all I can think about is going into cardiac arrest last summer, so even though I usually don't experience any anxiety about a surgery until the night before or even day of, it's still two and a half weeks out and I'm already a ball of nerves.

I'll be okay. Right now, I'm just tired and frustrated and nervous. I'll figure out how to deal with it, though. I always do.

That's pretty much the story of my life, it seems.

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Saturday, February 18, 2017

I'm getting the message. It's totally clear. I really gotta get out of here.

Last night, my mother told me she still sees me as a kid, not an adult.

Like, she insisted I'm still a kid. Straight to my face. When I'm 24 years old.

I've often felt like she treats me and talks to me like I'm still a teenager, but this is the first time she's ever actually confirmed it. And then she had the nerve to get annoyed when she realized I was angry about it.

She either doesn't understand or doesn't care why what she said is disrespectful and hurtful, so she's yet to apologize to me, so I've stayed in my room the entire day and completely ignored her because I'm not going to pretend that she can say crap like that to me and then just expect me not to be hurt by it. I've taken care of her day in and day out for the past six months, and she thinks I'm not supposed to be hurt when she tells me she doesn't see me as an adult.

But you know, if there's one good thing about this, it's made me realize just how long I've spent seeking validation from her and just how utterly stupid that is. I was hiding rejection letters I'd gotten from her because I was so worried about her being disappointed in me, and now I'm like, so what? Her opinion doesn't change anything. I don't owe her success. I don't owe her an update on everything I do. I don't owe her explanations. I don't owe her the right to lecture me about how I could be "better," especially considering the state of my sisters' lives. My worth has zero reliance on what she thinks or feels (or anyone else, for that matter).

This whole thing the past 24 hours has just reiterated the fact that I have to get out of here. I have to get away from my selfish, dysfunctional family and be my own person, so they stop thinking they have control of me and I stop forgetting who I am outside of them. That's the largest part of why I'm so scared these last schools I'm waiting to hear back from are going to say no; because I can't stay here. I have to get out of here. I have to be on my own.

I've spent my entire life fighting through things no one should have to, proving friends, enemies, neighbors, teachers, schoolmates, doctors, family, and even myself wrong. I'm not going to sit back and let anyone, especially my mother, tell me that that doesn't make a difference, tell me who I am.

I've got God for that, thanks.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Sometimes you just need to hear the words.

Dude. Real talk?

Most of yesterday sucked.

I got another PhD rejection letter which, so far, brings the total to 4 rejections and 0 acceptances, which, you know, is just fantastic for a girl's self-esteem.

I wasn't in a good mood because, well, Valentine's Day. And I was in pain.

Mom's been super, super sick lately.

So it just felt like everything was gonna go wrong.

And then I decided to do something that would make me feel good but also make other people feel good, too, so I sent video messages to three of my favorite guys. That alone made my mood perk up a good bit, but then I got a response from one of them that honestly turned my whole day around.

There's something about hearing the words, "You know I love you. I always do. I always will," that just brings such peace to my soul sometimes. Don't get me wrong, I'm always very much a words of affirmation person, but there are certain times more than others where hearing the words really calms me down, and yesterday was one of those times. It's really hard for me to be so far away from everyone that I love, and because Mom's so sick, my relationship with her has been tense and stressful and distant, so I've really felt like I have no one. But getting the message I did from my brother, it came at exactly the right time to remind me that even though there's no one physically near me, I am not alone. I am so crazy loved.

So for the rest of the day (and let's be honest, a good portion of today), I've replayed that video as many times as I need or want just to make myself smile and remind myself of the truth, of how lucky I am to have this love in my life.

Because there's nothing wrong with just needing to hear the words.

(And then Matt came over for a few minutes last night, so I really got a special treat on top of my day turning around.)

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