Tag Archives: affirmation

Repair, Recovery, and Rejuvenescence

From Merriam Webster, the meaning of rejuvenescence follows the theme of the renewal of youth, and vigor. 

The Good Stuff

I love using fifty-cent words as much as the next person (especially writers/bloggers) but the thing is, the title really fits with the theme here. Truly, each of these words evokes emotions associated to my current circumstances. In the same vein as my previous blog post 30 Pounds of Throbbing Pain this post is a sharing of some of my personal journey towards wellness, physically, mentally, emotionally. A couple of weeks ago I was rushed to the Emergency Room because I was experiencing intense abdominal pain. The sensation could only be described as the feeling that something had ripped loose inside my abdomen, to the point that I could scarcely breathe. Now, in my experience any trip to the ER is stressful, and this one was no exception. Within minutes of arriving, they had started an IV, given me strong pain medication and were performing a variety of tests including a vaginal ultrasound and pelvic exam. As a woman who has given birth to six children, I have had my fair share of pelvic exams. They’re never fun, but over the years (especially during my child-bearing years) it’s become a lot less difficult to manage the stress and emotions that come unbidden during such a personal experience. It wasn’t long before we discovered what was going on, and soon I was scheduled for an appointment with my gynecologist.

discussionSo, the exam. Honestly, this had to be one of the most thorough pelvic exams I have ever experienced. At one point, he handed me a mirror so I could see what he was explaining. It may seem somewhat unorthodox or uncomfortable, but I found it empowering. Perhaps as women we should be more familiar with our genitalia. We should see it, be as familiar with it as we are with our breasts or even our face. I was surprised the emotions that were evoked by having my doctor explain in excruciating  detail every aspect of my vagina and pelvic organs. So, all of that to get to this point, I am suffering from a prolapse of my pelvic organs. Specifically, I have the following:
  • Cystocele – A cystocele is formed when the bladder bulges or herniates into the vagina.
  • Rectocele – A rectocele occurs when the rectum bulges or herniates into the vagina.
  • Uterine prolapse – A uterine prolapse occurs when the uterus falls into the vagina.
Now, I will bet you’re wondering why I am blogging about such a personal experience. I find as a woman, that there are so many things that we DON’T talk about. It’s a fairly common, with nearly one-third of women experiencing prolapse or similar conditions sometime in their lifetime. However, it seems that this is a topic that is rarely discussed by women. It seems that once we’ve had “the talk” with our mother’s (or aunt or grandmother or best friend) about sex, that somehow we’re supposed to figure it all out ourselves. Why all the silence? What are we so afraid to talk about?
This is really why I am sharing this experience. Maybe I’ll be the one story someone reads or hears that tells them this is ‘normal’ and not shameful. That you don’t have to just live with the symptoms, but should feel comfortable (or at least not scared to death) to talk to your own doctor about it.  I am fairly young for the surgery, most women are over 60 before they experience symptoms requiring surgery. My own mother had a hysterectomy following my birth, so it’s not something that was even on my radar. And while multiple pregnancies and vaginal births were likely a cause, so was the sexual abuse that I suffered as a child.
I guess the part that I really feel is important to discuss is that I wasn’t really expecting the flood of emotion that I’ve been feeling. And like my foot/ankle surgeries, it seems that I am just now repairing damage done to me during the years of abuse. At 47, finally, I am having reconstructive surgery that will return my body to where it was pre-abuse.

 article-0-0C42CD2700000578-329_468x365Even with the 700+ words that precede this sentence, I cannot adequately describe the myriad of emotions that I am feeling. I wonder how the recovery process will affect me mentally, when it’s likely that I will be experiencing things so reminiscent of the original injuries.

On Monday, May 19th, I begin the next leg of the journey to wholeness, to recovery, to rebirth of sorts. I realize that this may be long or arduous, but also empowering. I hope that this post (and you) will remind me of this in the dark moments that are sure to come.

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Filed under Panic, Raised by Wolves

My Life Is Sweet

This summer I have made a concerted effort to organize my life enough to be able to spend Fridays at the beach* with the kids. This may seem easy to some, but for me, it requires a special effort to handle my OCD tendencies and actually get out of the house on a timely basis. Last Friday, we were finally on our way at about 2pm (after cleaning the house top to bottom, getting all the laundry put away, getting my mother squared away, and a picnic dinner packed into the van), with just one scheduled stop on the way. I knew it would be a somewhat abbreviated beach day, as there were thunderstorms on the radar, bearing down on our little berg.

The scheduled stop was to drop off packages to Josh so he could ship them for me. While sitting in the van waiting for him to come out of his office, a friend of mine appeared with her 3 kids in tow, obviously there to visit her husband James (who works with my Josh). We exchanged pleasantries, as she inquired if we were going out to the lake, and then she said “I wish I had your life!”

I smiled as we said our goodbyes and went on about the day. But, I have to admit that her exclamation stuck with me. What did she see that was to be envied? Certainly, in my blackest moments I would not wish my life on my worst enemy (this phrase gave me pause, do I have enemies? Sadly, I admit that I do). I’ve recently been struggling through a bout of depression, and despite my efforts to be a positive force, an agent of change, I heard the [not-so little] voice as it started in with “why on Earth would anyone want YOUR life?”…

So, I spent the rest of the afternoon musing, is my life (with all it’s challenges) enviable? Some part of me wanted to say no, wanted to wallow in the pit, to fall headlong into the abyss. Oh, poor wretched creature.

But the longer I thought about it, turning the idea over in my head, examining all sides, I began to see that the majority of me was quietly content. My life is sweet, my life is full.

I would have left this entire topic alone, except that the words came back to me this morning. I became aware of them running in my head as I lay in bed, next to my best friend, my true soul mate, my love and life. Here I am, safe and sound. My kids are all safe and healthy.

I am most blessed.

The song Life is Sweet, by Natalie Merchant (of 10,000 Maniacs) comes to me:

It’s a pity, it’s a crying shame
Who pulled you down again?
How painful it must be
To bruise so easily inside
It’s a pity, it’s a downright crime
It happens all the time
You want to stay little daddy’s girl
You want to hide from the vicious world outside
Don’t cry, you know the tears will do no good
So dry your eyes
Oh, your daddy, he’s the iron man
Battleship wrecked on dry land
Your mamma she’s a bitter bride
She’ll never be satisfied, you know
And that’s not right.
But don’t cry, you know the tears will do no good
So dry your eyes
Oh, they told you life is hard
Misery from the start,
It’s dull, it’s slow, it’s painful
But I tell you life is sweet
In spite of the misery
There’s so much more, be grateful
Well, who do you believe
Who will you listen to
Who will it be
‘Cause it’s high time that you decide
In your own mind
I’ve tried to comfort you
I’ve tried to tell you to be patient
They are blind, and they can’t see
Fortune gonna come one day
They’re all gonna fade away
Your daddy the war machine
And your momma the long and suffering
Prisoner of what she cannot see
For they told you life is hard
Misery from the start,
It’s dull, it’s slow, it’s painful
But I tell you life is sweet
In spite of the misery
There’s so much more, be grateful
So, who will you believe
Who will you listen to
Who will it be
‘Cause it’s high time that you decide
It’s time to make up your own
Your own state of mind
Oh they told you life is long
Be thankful when it’s done
Don’t ask for more, be grateful
But I tell you life is short
Be thankful because
Before you know it
It will be over
‘Cause life is sweet, life is also very short
Life is sweet and life is also very short
Life is sweet

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Filed under Other People's Words