Ah, the gift of another day, I am grateful. I read my first blog post this morning, and I thought it was a great place to begin. If there is a thread that runs through a life, I’d say I usually get ahead of myself. Here, today I will explain “the worst summer of my life”. We will get that behind us and move on. That is what I am doing these days, moving on, firmly planted in a period of acceptance. It took many days to get to moving on, letting in the idea of acceptance settle in. Trust me I was stuck, firmly planted in denial. I was stuck in between “old” Karen and “new” Karen. A very surreal place I must say. I had lost myself in everything that had “happened” to me. I was operating from a place of reaction, I yearned to take action. Confusion set in, I wasn’t sure who “old” Karen was, and I had no idea of who “new” Karen might be. My curiosity was killing me, I just wanted to like my new self, bringing all that was good, all that worked, and a lightness of being with me. It isn’t that I did not like “old” Karen, I did, I loved her, in fact I missed her. Things had changed and she really did not exist any longer. There it is, opportunity and possibilities, a rebirth. I realize that life changing events are just that life changing. Here is how life changed.
I have been coping with chronic pain for the past forty years, stemming from a car accident. There have been periods of time where the chronic pain was in control of my life. There were other times, when the chronic pain subsided and I was able to cobble together a normal existence. Presently, after “the worst summer of my life”, I have a foot neuropathy (dropped foot) and severe nerve pain in my lower leg and foot. Ironically, what appeared to be a simple surgery to repair a couple of screws that were broken in my existing hip prosthetic brought on an onslaught of new challenges. Following the hip revision I experienced a debilitating cellulitis, extreme edema, two hip dislocations and finally another hip revision to install hardware to prevent future dislocations. The takeaway: my hip is fine, but I have what may be a permanent disability and a higher level of chronic pain.
So there, take that Karen! Talk about monkey mind, this has been the norm. I can’t even believe the thoughts I have had, the things I have been worrying about, no rhyme or reason to it at all. Yet, all the while I have doing my physical therapy diligently and employing whatever tools I can to recover. My leg in general is stronger, my incision has healed beautifully, my edema treated with supplements and herbs is gone, my restrictions have been lifted and I may do my full physical therapy routine, I am riding my new spin bike, and I have reopened my vintage jewelry shop on Etsy. Sounds good doesn’t it? It is and I am very proud of myself, I have come a long way, and I am grateful that I have managed to put all of this together. But wait, I also become the master of my Tupperware smile, become an expert of taking care of my husband taking care of me, and worst of all I am feeling extremely ambivalent. I am emotionally flat, wondering if laughter and joy will ever return. The downside has manifested as sleep deprivation, a loss of appetite, monkey mind, anemia, low hemoglobin levels, and an overall sense of dis-ease. This situation has overwhelmed me on every level. I am a control freak and I am can do Karen. Not this time, I am venerable, I am scared, and I have no control over this situation. I finally had to say, “I need help”. I went to see my primary care doctor. I adore her, we have a good working relationship, I trust her and she knows me very well. It didn’t take but a few minutes for her to tell me, “you are not yourself, you are depressed”. Whoa, I am depressed, no that can not be true, not me, other people are depressed, I have never been depressed. Yes I have been depressed, more times than I’d like to admit. My doctor told me how we would address this and I just let go and said, “ok”. She prescribed medication for depression and a sleep aid, the medication would lift me up just enough to get out of my own way and the sleep aid would allow me to get some rest. You know why I said ok? Simple, old Karen would have wanted another chance to manage (control) the situation, I had nothing, I just sat there and agreed, I am depressed and I need help. I was relieved, my shoulders relaxed, I thanked her, hugged her, and went to my car and cried like a baby. I went to the pharmacy, picked up my prescriptions and began taking the medication like an obedient child. The next morning I actually felt better. I had really let go, there was a plan coming to light and I was all in. I made an appointment to see a therapist, my first appointment is this afternoon. Hopefully we will be a good fit and she will be able to help me wade through this period of acceptance. That is where I need to be. No more waiting, wishing and hoping. Acceptance will allow me to move this situation off center stage and begin to move on to a better place. A place I remember, a place where I thrive, a place where laughter and joy are the norm. Now that sounds good, build it she will come. We will see what happens, I am looking forward to the appointment, and I am ready to show up and do my part.
We all have a choice today. We will decide to be part of the solution, or part of the problem? I am certain we all can sustain and grow through life altering events. It hardly matters what the event was, what is important is how we decide to deal with what has occurred. I am curious, wondering what tactics you employ when life has knocked you down? Whatever you are struggling with today, what path will you choose to lift yourself up? We are all coping with something, that’s just life. How will you walk toward the light today? I look forward to hearing from you.
Today I am grateful for letting go ~ accepting help that is available to me ~ my willingness to be open to solutions. What are you grateful for today? May I suggest you keep a gratitude book? More on my gratitude book later, it is clearly one of my most powerful tools.
I pray that you are feeling well and are in the best of spirits today.
Always dazzle, Karen
Photo – Quotable magnets, taken by me.