After 6 months of fairly regular (and often consistent for days) pain and suffering that prevented me from eating solid foods, standing or walking, or functioning beyond the most basic existence, and causing me to lose 75 pounds, I headed to the Emergency Room on Thursday May 27th where I was admitted, and stayed the next 8 days, being discharged this past Thursday June 3rd. I spent 4 days on Morphine trying to regulate my pain while I was pumped full of a variety of strong antibiotics, saline solution, and Prednisone. Things began improving rapidly by the 4th day, and 4 days later, I was sent home pain free, able to eat solid foods once again, and feeling as close to my normal self as I have since sometime in December 2020. Copious amounts of tests were run, and I have several follow-ups to discuss the results and determine what caused all this and how we prevent it from happening again. Honestly, I truly believed my body was shutting down once and for all and I would never leave the hospital. So you can imagine my state of mind when I learned of Anne Marie’s death, which hit me on so many levels I was almost numb with fear and grief.
In a nutshell, it was a very difficult time.
Fast forward to yesterday. I had spent many days working through my negative emotions, which were now conflated with feelings of relief, surprise, disbelief, and gratefulness that I actually survived and was now home once again with my beloved husband and dogs, functioning and feeling near normal (for me.) I decided I needed to pull myself out of this emotional haze and get back to the very important business of living my life. So I showered, shaved, dressed, got my house in order (aka de-sick-zoned it) and prepared a list of errands I needed to run and items I needed to purchase. You know – normal things healthy people do. Jeffrey drove us all over, allowing me to pick up items for our yard and home, check out a new comic store that had opened, and purchase much needed clothing as everything I own literally hangs on me or falls off of me. (I had to hold up the pants I was wearing by the waist to prevent them from slipping down while we were out in public.) This was my first out and about since March 2020 and getting fully vaccinated in April of this year. we remained masked at all times (unlike the bulk of the people we saw), and did not linger anywhere (except at the department store where I had to try on clothes.) It felt amazing to be doing it, and it was a much needed distraction from the thoughts swirling in my head.
Today, to keep the momentum going, I got out in the yard early (before the sweltering 90 degree temps hit) to do some clean-up and get the porch and patio set-up, cleaned, and in usable condition. It was wonderful to be out in the fresh air and sunshine, listening to the birds and marveling at how quickly our yard was recovering from last years upheavel (septic repair, fence installation, and tree removals.) The trees, most of which we planted upon purchasing and moving in 9 years ago, were really sprouting and the grass was growing back at remarkable pace. After cleaning up tree branch debris, washing off the patio and furniture, and watering plots of seeds I had planted weeks ago during a pain-free moment in the hopes of getting some flowers to grow, we headed out for one or two more errands while our “lawn lady” mowed our property. When we arrived home, I was beyond elated to see how wonderful the yard looked. But don’t take my word for it…see for yourself:
It was an important and much needed shift, after months of sickness and seclusion, to be fostering growth and reveling in being outdoors among the grass and trees and birds and bees.
And, as silly as it may sound, I like thinking that maybe the impetus to get up and go and get back into life as usual was inspired by the lingering embers and energy of a Warrior Queen who taught us all that we should live, laugh, and love without hesitation or apology. And fuck anyone or anything that tries to stand in our way…even if it’s our own bodies.
Stay healthy and safe, all.