I write to you on the fifth week after my quadruple bypass surgery. According to the professionals, I am progressing right on schedule. Even so, it is slow progress. I am a “let’s get it done and I mean right now” kind of a person. Unfortunately, this is a slower than molasses recovery process. After four weeks I got the staples out and thought I would be ready to go.
I was beyond shocked when my wonderful surgeon let me know I had two more months (not weeks, months) of picking up less than ten pounds. My purse weighs almost ten pounds. This is miserable. No raking, no sweeping, no cleaning, etc. What can you do?
So I am in a situation of evaluating my life. I thought I had a handle on life. Work. That is what life is all about. Doing, doing, doing. I grew up in a home that did not understand the word play. My mother always worked. She owned a five and dime store. I stood on an apple crate to ring things in the cash register when I was eight years old. Work was what I was taught to do.
Each morning you wake up and go through your list of things to do. You prioritize your list and attack it. Each evening as you go to bed you reflect on your list. You think of those things you have accomplished and you get some rest because you have worked hard and you are ready to start another day of doing, doing, doing.
My husband, on the other hand, knew how to play. He grew up in an orphanage and had chores and worked on the farm, but he also learned how to play. In our relationship he pushed the play button and I pushed the work button. I never learned the value of play. Now, I am having a hard time learning how to relax and be still.
Not only does the activity level throw you off, but the self worth and emotional levels are out of sync. When you work all the time, you use your accomplishments to boost your self worth meter. When you are sitting all day and you evaluate your worth at the end of the day, there is not much in the plus column. That leads you to battle emotions of low self confidence, low self worth, hopelessness and depression.
Questions such as “Why did God leave me here instead of letting me die?” “What am I suppose to do with my life now?” “What did I do wrong that led me to have this issue?” “Will I ever get my energy back?” “Did God use this to give me a message?” “What if I don’t get the right message from this?” “What am I suppose to do with all of this?”
My three daughters are doing their best with me. My daughter that lives in Alaska even came down to help out. They are trying to re-educate me. I have a list of Stress Relievers that one daughter helped me put together. Twelve things to help me relieve my stress.
It is stressful to look at it.
I am listening. I am learning. I am trying. I pulled out my Erma Bombeck books. I am reading and laughing out loud. I am watching a movie each night. I am reading and re-reading all of the cards that my friends have sent to me.
I am slowly finding my way to a new life. One year ago that my life was torn apart. I adjusted as best I knew how to through the tragedy. Now I am adjusting again. I know a few things. One, I have a very strong faith. If God left me here on earth then I have a purpose and I will find what I am meant to do. Second, I am an eternal optimist. I will find the positive in the situation. Third, I have a great family and wonderful friends that will help me along the way.
The repairing of the heart will take time but it seems I have plenty of that.