(Full Disclosure: Caleb and I started this as a travel/personal journal for the two of us. Over the past year it has been an efficient way to keep friends and family in the loop with my what’s happening with my health. But first and forever foremost, it’s a personal journal for us. That’s how I try to write for it. I’ve had a couple friends say to me “I can’t believe you’re comfortable sharing these things.” I’m not writing this with the intent of sharing it. Most posts anyway. This is for me. For us. If it’s too much, don’t read it.)
I haven’t kissed my husband in 33 days. 33. If you’ve been around Caleb and I for any length of time, you might describe us as my friend did last week. “Yea, you guys are touchy feely.” We are. We snuggle, we hug, we hold hands, and we kiss. It’s just what we do; it’s how we communicate. This has been the hardest recovery yet and it’s not over. The surgery damaged a nerve that controls the movement in my right arm. I’m still unable to turn my neck from side to side and can only lift my arm about six inches. I can’t lay on my right side and sleeping is painful. Snuggling is out of the question and hugs are difficult. Having that taken away from us has been one of the hardest parts of this for me. Dr. Weisman has prescribed physical therapy and says that with time and work the movement will come back. I’m hoping soon, to say nothing of missing out on snuggles and hugs, it’s also my shooting arm for photography.
The physical pain from this third surgery was more than I was prepared for. Even after two surgeries, I thought I knew what I was in for, but this one threw me. And staying in the hospital made it that much worse. You don’t sleep in hospitals. You’re poked and prodded and woken up every two hours to take meds, take vitals, or have another needle stuck in you. I wouldn’t wish this past month on anyone.
After October’s surgery we simply waited. We waited to hear about appointments, about insurance, and from the tumor board. It was limbo to the nth degree. The loss of control could have been crippling; it was for a bit. We couldn’t do anything. So I decided not to dwell on it. Maybe that wasn’t the healthiest thing in the world to do but I just couldn't handle it. Should I have prepared for the worst? Perhaps. But preparing for the worst wasn’t going to make the worst any more bearable.
Three surgeries in thirteen months is no small thing. In the last week and a half before January 27th I started to lose it a bit. The days started to feel like a countdown clock as I wrapped up projects and started putting things away for “later”. Everyone tried to take my mind off of what I was headed for. Caleb, Tim, Jess, Jared and Marley took me out for a night downtown and I had so much fun. Caleb whisked me away to Santa Barbara the weekend before surgery and we were able to let go of all the worry and just be with each other.