Monday, September 17, 2007

ramblings from recovery/ house arrest

Prior to surgery, my surgeon told me I could expect a lingering pain in the ass. That seems to be the last to leave, he said. Well, I can't say I've literally had a pain in the ass since I came off the cutting board, but having metal staples sticking out of my lower back counts in my book as a real pain in the ass!

The surgery I had was to shave off part of a herniated disc on the left side, between the L4 and L5 on the lower part of my spine. This is the culprit that has been causing me a lot of pain, discomfort and has hampered my rough and ready lifestyle on Judy Branch for about 9 months. And it all happened from one heavy log being tossed from the back of a truck into the wood shed. That was my own personal happy 30th bday present to myself last November. I think I'll take it easy this year - and hopefully for another decade or two! After months of playing the ridiculous games that insurance companies make us play, I finally got an MRI and was able to revel in the oooohs and ahhhhs that all the medical professionals did over the severity of my herniated disc. Apparently, I am an over-achiever on more levels than I ever knew!

And now?! Well, I have about a week left of not being allowed to sit for more than 20-30 minutes at a time. No long car rides. No bending; no lifting. And no Judy Branch. That's the worst! I may be able to go home for a couple of days before the staples come back, but after my attempt to drive my car across town today, I can see why they told me no long car trips. Large, sharp metal pieces protruding from one's lower back is NOT condusive to driving - esp. when you have really great lumbar supporting seats like I do in my car.

I'm hoping to be coherent enough over the next couple of days to be able to have some old hometown friends over to play some music. Otherwise, I'm just reverting to my usual : work, work and more work! It won't be all work-work. I'm going to make my parents' really happy by using some of my confinement time to clean out my old room so that they can remodel and do with it as they please. So far, so good. I've found some really great old letters from my aunt Nancy - actually, early emails from the first year I went to college AND the first year I think email became public and mainstream! Artifacts that I'm really glad I saved. More treasure hunting and trash bag filling tomorrow. As long as I don't bend, lift, etc..

I'm hoping to mend my heart and soul a little bit too while I'm here. I go through phases where I'm really happy and confident that I made the right decision to stay one more year and work with the community center and my old job while planning out what the next steps will be. Then I am hit by a surge of doubt and depression. Am I ever really going to fully have the life I want? It is amazing how quickly I can go from feeling like there's immense potential for me to build a meaningful, fulfilled life to feeling like I will always be along, struggling to figure out my place in the world. I don't ever seem to land in between. It's from one to the other.

I am content on many levels in my life. I feel confident in my abilities in my jobs and in my role in my community - which really is intergral to my current career. I feel loved and supported by my families - which include an extended network of kin and friend across the globe, and I am continually humbled by how fortunate I am to love and be loved by such extraordinary people, including, of course, my steadfast companion Bella. I have a really big heart, and I love my family and friends with devotion and passion. I also give this kind of love to my work. And I get a lot back.

But, still there is something missing.