Sometimes I feel like this kidney thing never happened. I am my usual full-of-adrenaline, I-can-do-anything self, like when I was up in front of a middle school auditorium yesterday morning, heading a PTA meeting, or selling myself to do a TV appearance for Stewardess last night.
And then I hit the wall.
As I sat in the principal's office after that long meeting, the room started to swim, I felt like I couldn't breathe, I needed to be home. I never ask for help, but I interrupted the conversation around me and ask if they could please get me a cab. Unsteady on my feet, I had to leave the building with my arms around 2 people and sit on stairs outside until a taxi appeared. Then, it was a 3 hour nap crash at home after which I never totally recovered.
Out of the blue (things like this happen in my life), I got an email from a producer asking if I'd be a talking head on a travel channel show about the golden age of stewardesses. We spoke for half an hour last night and, as I am with my projects, enthusiasm ran rampant for half an hour. I got off the phone shaking, laying in a daze until I could muster up strength to finish my night.
I've been coordinating dinners, going on dog walks, dropping people off at school, having animated conversations with just about everyone I know who can't believe I'm out and about, making plans, planning events, trips, meetings, birthdays (mine is Sunday, Iz's is next week), shopping for presents, living my life as if nothing's changed.
As if acting like I'm ok will make it ok.
But it doesn't.
My body was assaulted in a way it never was. I went through anesthesia for the first time. Had 4 days of heparin, antibiotics, a couple of days of morphine, even more of percocet. There were the anti-nausea drugs and stool softeners. I spent my time in the hospital getting no more than 2 or 3 hours of sleep at a time, without being woken up for blood pressure or temperature checks, or for some sort of drug dose.
Active is my default mode - I walk for miles because when you live in the city that's what you do. I have a vigorous vinyasa yoga practice and am (was) at my studio 4 days a week.
My body that's used to moving and sweating and stretching doesn't know what to do with this.
And my mind, that had found a grounded place before surgery, is spiraling out of control.
I've lost my center. I've lost my breath, my balance, the calm I'd found before being sliced open.
I've never been here before. I don't know how to do surgery recovery. And I'm finding I'm not very good at it.
Yes, every day is better. Yes, the swelling is going down. Yes, my mind is sharpening and I keep feeling more and more like myself.
But then I twist the wrong way. Or that fatigue throws me up against a wall. Or my brain can't put words together to finish a sentence. Or I panic because I don't know how to handle feeling this way and I don't have faith that I'll be fine in the end.
I'm tentative in everything I do. I'm walking cautiously through nervous, navigating this strange unknown where I'm fine and not fine at the same time.
I lost knowing that I'm ok in the here and now.
Or at least I've lost how to find that place for the moment.
But, there's the smallest of glimmers way, way down deep that I'll find my way back.