Friday, December 18, 2015

Will I ever be "me"?

The surgery is over.
The lawsuit is over.

I'm exhausted. There are times I'm not, but pretty infrequent. Today (Friday, a notoriously busy day) it was all I could do to get out of bed to eat and drink. I am back in bed now, and Robert went out to buy stuff for Shabbat because I won't be baking or cooking today. He cooks the meats, and side dishes as well. I usually do a few side dishes and all the baking (challah, deserts). "Usually" means since after NF, of course. The usual before that was entirely different.

I've been trying to work hard on physical therapy myself. I want to badly to be stronger. I think I may have hurt myself, though, so I gotta take it easy. The leg muscles are so weak that my knee buckled (while I was doing pt on the stairs) and now hurts when I go up or down stairs. I just have to rest it. I am back to doing Tai Chi also, which is so good for me in so many ways, but it is really hard on the thigh joints. It seems, from my perspective, that it is mostly thigh joint. Lots of slightly bending knee, and leaning all your weight on one foot. Strenuous, but oddly balancing. My teacher tells me ways to make it less strenuous, and I do that when I remember.

My thoughts recently are ambiguous. I wonder if I can ever get back to playing horn, or doing birth training, or writing my book. I am just. So. Tired. I want all of those things, though. I want to feel productive again after all these years. I just can't pick myself up to start anything, though.

Shifra helped me clear out my practice room. It's our bomb shelter, but I painted it (a while ago, not now) and used it as my doula room where I'd meet couples for classes. It's really a lovely room. I also practice horn in there when I needed to. I practiced in my room, too, though. In the mean time, I said to everyone that it is no longer a dumping ground, it is to be a sacred space that gets respected and kept clean. I have intentions to start doing birth classes, and start to play horn again, and continue my book. But so far I am just too tired. I am just trying to keep up with the needs of my kids and my house (and myself... physical therapy, hydrotherapy, etc). I guess that's really all I can do for now.

I guess the question is, when does recovery end and I get my activities back?
I could have had horn playing work next week- my partner from the orchestra called and asked me if I am ready to play. Had to turn it down. I'd need at least a month to be at a decent preforming level.

I want to set a goal, like at the six month mark after surgery (April), but I am afraid to let myself down. It's happened a lot. Yes, I have been through a lot. But it is still hard not to feel I am letting myself down when I can't do what I want, and love, and am good at, and can make a difference doing.

I still have pain, but less than I had before the surgery, thank Gd. But still have pain. In both hips. And nerve pain acting up recently. And a bad rash on my skin grafts because of the winter dryness (I am trying to take care of it). And the clicking thing in my throat when I swallow, some sort of scar tissue or something since my last surgery (from the breathing tube. I haven't checked it out with my doc yet). And lots of headaches because I am often so tired. And an occasional inflammation and low-grade fever, on schedule with my monthly cycle.

I don't mean for that to be complaints, just like a inventory of sorts.
I guess we can all see why I am not doing the things I love.
I am sad about that. I am really good at what I do. I just can't do it.

(ps- please don't tell me that this is my "new normal"... I don't want to settle for that.)


  1. Hi, shavua tov. Just a quick note to say, give yourself a break. You've been through so much and you have ups and downs. Your body is still healing. So hang in there. You'll get there. You're a very strong person. It takes time to heal. Physically and emotionally.
    We have faith in your ability to heal!!
    Love to all,

  2. Hey, one day at a time. I hope and pray you find the best balance for you. I know you will.

  3. One of the realities about recovery is that is can be excruciatingly BORING, full of questions and lots of nuisances. Keep your goals in mind as motivation and do what's possible in the meanwhile. As the doula room clears, your possibilities can, too. Stay alert for them. You just might figure out how to birth something else, too, such as the book in you. Meanwhile, one step at a time. Make no demands on yourself other than to remain open to life, opportunities and happiness. Your Shabbat tale yesterday was one BIG soothing experience for everyone sharing it with you.

  4. & feel free to vent anytime. Even pressure cookers have escape valves

  5. Sarah love;
    I truly don’t think this is your "new normal" as you say they tell you. But I wonder….

    (allow me a little fantasy theory please), if you would have died, and came back to another gilgul (life-after-death), a completely new opportunity. A new person in a new body, a new circumstance with new lessons and tikun (as when we actually re-incarnate) we don’t
    necessarily, actually probably very seldom, do we bring our old preferences and plans, skills and things we used to love, decisions or things we used to do in our past life.

    So when you ask: Will I ever be "me"? or, when do I get my activities back? From that point of view, the word *back* and *me* would not make much sense, would it.

    Of course I happen to believe in re-incarnation and you may think it's nonsense but, I am letting my mind wander with you since I trust you know I love you and I am only coming from that place of love respect and concern. These are things I ask myself often…

    I was a very successful singer, very ill and miserable, but amazing nevertheless. And when you ask when will I get to do the things I love and am good at "back" again, I wonder how long I lived trying to be that singer that I was never going to be again… As when you say, "I am sad about that. I am really good at what I do. I just can't do it." Then again, this would work as a healing thought only if we believed that what happened to you with the flesh eating monster, as dying —metaphorically—, an opportunity to come back (for some reason) to the same eaten up body.

    And this conversation just reminded me of a poem I wrote ages ago, exactly about that, and I am going to find it for you and maybe even include it in my book.

    Here it goes… I am not a poet, and this is not my mother tongue, but here it goes, from my kishkes from a gloomy gray day of "I'll never again sing" mood:

    The Hall of Fame (Portrait of a retired singer)
    For Edith Piaf

    Enter the Hall of fame crippled hands and all, wheeling my way up to the front. Perfume lingers in the air from the parting breasts of the ladies at court. I take for granted that familiar sound Clap… clap… clap… Golden rings and precious stones won't soften their regal armors. The singer in my veins weakens as the life force leaks out like a liquid thread behind the wheelchair… Life's a bitch! "Ladies and Gentlemen: I am a crippled woman…" The scent of perfume turns to ashes,
    As the fireplace makes The only sound now To be heard….