Monday, March 24, 2014

Self Care

So much has happened over the span of 48 hours, it's a little hard to know where to start,  so before the day is done, I need to honor my commitment and write: something. So, we'll forget about the week's writing plan and just talk about the major shake up that is going on in my life, right this very moment.
My bladder is falling out. Hanging down in places where it is not supposed to. And no amount of muscle strengthening excerises are going to help, because the muscles are shattered. It is freakish and awkward and humiliating. And I didn't even realize it till my spouse pointed it out. Good grief!!! The doctor was kind enough to see me today, and I'll have another appointment with a specialist on Wednesday to talk about what my options are. Miss Muffet was home sick with a cold, so she tagged along. Full of questions. More and more awkward.  It was; however, important for me to let her understand what I was doing (vaguely). "Something is wrong with Mommy, so I need to go to the doctor and have a check-up." And, "Yes, I am going to be o.k." And, "When something is not working right in our bodies, we take care of ourselves. We ask for help. We pray and do what we can to be healthy." 
The very few folks I've told want to say that, "Oh, well that is because you had five kids and your girly parts are just worn out. 15 months ago, I went through 4 surgeries to deal with those falling down, torn, broken parts, and now, here I am again,  with another repair needed and I'm barely in my mid 40s! Am I some classic car that requires ongoing upkeep to keep from being a rusted out pile of junk? Maybe. I do know this: whether I live only one more day or 50 more years, I am LIVING all out with whatever time I have. That, for me, means purr, hum, sing, dance, roar, and worship; certainly not languish.
Understand though, it's not just having kids that did this. It's being a farm girl and lugging around feed sacks and hay bales. Later, it was enormous bags of wet leaves in suburbia.  It's being the she-wolf, who would drag/heft things way too heavy for way too long, because the job needed to get done. It was the impatient girl who felt all things had to fit on my timeline and would forcibly make it happen at the cost of my health. It was lugging around an extra 100+ pounds of fat for more than 20 years and the strain on my entire system and havoc that caused this. It's because as a girl who had had five kids, I had a convenient, weakened girly place for things to go "pop" vs being a guy who would bust a gut hernia. It's all those things, and probably more.
What saddened me though was the doctor's comment that I could just do nothing about it. That a lot of women my age did nothing about it till they were in their 60s or later. And then they faced complications from being 20 years older and having the surgery.  My 97 year old godmother waited till she was 95! Why do we women abandon ourselves in such a way? Just suffer in silence? 
You are worthy of self care. I am worthy of self care. We are better when we can function fully.
My days of hefting and dragging and lugging are over. As much as it chaps my backside to be "helpless", my body has thrown down the gauntlet.  And I will respect that boundary.  I must. Or I will break more and more.
So if I don't offer to carry more than a gallon of milk,  have mercy. And if I turn pale and excuse myself abruptly,  grant me kindness, for it is just my body reminding me how it has suffered.
So, here I am, imperfect. And that's o.k.
Erica Robinson