Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Passing Notes

Every day, I pack Lucy's lunch for school
And when I pack her lunch, I also write her a note
Just a quick little pick me up note for her to read whilst she eats her lunch
Usually just a few lines (we love you, have fun, be the reason someone smiles today, do your best, don't be a jerk and be proud of who you are) signed Love Mum and Dad, a smiley face, a heart and hugs and kisses (😀❤️xxoo)
I've done this every day since first grade, twice a week in kindergarten
Even when I have traveled for work, I leave notes behind for Sean to put in her lunch box
And when I've forgotten, Sean's remembered
And when Sean's forgotten, she lets us both know about it that night
Lucy has saved all these notes
We know this because one time, we came across a shoe box overflowing with the notes
Some notes were soaked with water stains and the words were blurred or faded
Other notes bore dried remnants of her lunch
But they were all there
Occasionally, I catch her flipping through the notes
She just smiles when I catch her eye and gives me a wink
When I came home from work tonight, we sat at the table talking about her day
Lucy informed me with a trembling lip, tears in her eyes, flushed cheeks and a cracking voice, she does not want me to write notes for her anymore
Honey what happened
I reached over and put my hand on her arm
Sean was in the kitchen busying himself at the sink as Lucy had already told him what happened
A tear slid down her face
X and Y make fun of me!
They make fun of the notes you leave me
And then they try to take it and read it
And today, he got it! X got it!
He took it from me, made fun of it, made fun of me and then ripped my notes!
But I grabbed it from him.....
She trailed off not able to finish …she was gutted
I was gutted
I felt the air leave my lungs and then the room
Lucy fought back tears while I fought to control my temper
I blurted out something I immediately regretted
Sean said my name sharply and gave me a warning shake of his head
I am not even sure Lucy heard me but I should not have said what I said
Lucy then proceeded to repeat some things X and Y have said to her of late
They ranged in everything from X telling Lucy her lunch is not healthy to her clothes are stupid to making fun of the notes in her lunch box
X does most of the talking and taunting, Y seems to be along for the ride
Then the flood gates opened and she told us there was another kid, an older student, who was also making fun of her notes
Is that from your Mommy? She imitated his taunting her in that sing songy teasing voice we all remember the class bully using
And you know what else Mumma?
I was not sure my heart could take anymore
These two girls told me I was gross and disgusting
That I have a big nose and big lips
And that my clothes are awful!
I HATE Linscott Mumma!
I don’t want to go there anymore
Shit got real right there people
I mean Lucy LOVES school
Specifically, she LOVES this school
The tears were flowing and her chest was heaving as she struggled to control the sobbing
I started to say something but she darted into the living room and collapsed on the couch
Her face hidden
I looked over to Sean
I hate that her innocence is being taken away he said
I remember this happening to me when I was her age he said
I know, I said, we all do
I sighed fighting back tears and anger
I called Lucy back to the table
She came reluctantly
Honey, I can stop writing the notes….if that will help….
But I like my notes Mumma!
It’s how I know you and Daddy are thinking about me during the day
What can I do honey? What can Daddy and I do?
She shrugged
I just don’t understand why they keep picking on me, why everyone hates me?!
Honey, I don’t understand why you keep sitting with X and Y at lunch?
Lucy looked at me unable to answer
Luce this is not the first time this has happened with X
I know Mumma
Then why kiddo? Why do you keep trying?
Because I’m the only one without a best friend!
I don’t even think I really have any friends!
I don’t even k now if any of us know how to be friends…....
She trailed off
Dinner was ready and I think all three of us were emotionally drained
As she ate dinner, I sat with her and we chatted about the rest of her day:
She loves her teacher, is looking forward to seeing Mrs J the adjustment counselor tomorrow (I am totally telling her about this incident Mum!) and she still misses her 1st and 2nd grade teachers but she hugs them when she sees them
Yeah kiddo?
I don’t want to leave Linscott
I know honey
Besides, another school may not have a Walk-a-Thon
But Mumma
Will it always be like this? Will I always feel like this? Will I always get picked on?
*sigh* No Pal, it won’t always be like this….but it may be for awhile
Well, at least I have you and Daddy….and my notes!
Indeed you do kiddo
The rest of the evening progressed as it normally does
When I was putting Lucy to bed, she asked me when I found my best friends
Well, in high school I had a friend I was quite close with
And then in college I made some good friends but you know what kiddo, I made my dearest friends as an adult – when I moved away and was living on my own
And I’ve made some really good friends as a Mum….you know, other moms
But you know what Lucy? I don’t really think I have a best friend - but I have some really good friends who I know will take care of me when I need them to….who will make me laugh when I need to laugh and let me cry when I need to cry
Like A and Mrs H?
And P?
Especially P
J is a good friend to me Mumma, he is one of the kindest people I know
He is kiddo
And he has been in my life forever
Pretty close I say
H is really kind too, but I think everyone would say he is too old to be my friend but when I get older, I feel like we could be good friends
I bet you could pal ….
She snuggled deeper under the covers
Mumma, I love my notes, I just don’t want anyone to read them
So, we decided we would create a secret language, a coded language, that only we would know and from now on, I would write the notes in our invented jibber jabberish code so even if X and Y and kid #3 get the notes, they’ll have no idea what it says!
After Lucy fell asleep, Sean and I sat at the kitchen table trying to understand how we should be navigating these white waters of parenthood
Days like today make us question what we’re doing wrong….and right for that matter
Look, here’s the thing, we know Lucy has her own struggles and challenges
We know Lucy is loud and according to some accounts obnoxious
She does not always know when to quit and sometimes, she has an attitude the size of Texas
She can be competitive and bossy and gets pissed when someone does not follow the rules…and she tells them in a tone that can come off as bossy and mean…
And she has a fantastic temper – she’ll bite your head off if she thinks you are trying to take her place in line or that you are trying to get something before she does
Also, she rolls her eyes and slams doors like they are Olympic events – and she would bring home the gold in both
And we’re working on all those things with her – at home, at school with her teachers and adjustment counselor and her therapist
We’re working hard on those things
And Lucy is completely self-aware and knows these are things she needs to work on…and she owns that
She doesn’t always like to but, she owns it
So do we
But here’s the thing about Lucy – for all her “faults,” she is not a mean kid
She is actually quite empathetic and really quite sweet
It is rare Lucy makes fun of someone or mocks them
She just does not have that mean girls streak in her
Sure, she’s reactive and if you go after her, she’ll come out fighting but she’s a good kid
One time, in 2nd grade, Lucy said something mean to a classmate - completely unprovoked and for no good reason
When her teacher called, and told me what happened, the teacher said it was so out of character for Lucy that for a split second, she was not sure what had happened or that it was in fact Lucy who had said it
Her teacher then proceeded to tell me Lucy was so upset about what she had done she herself could not bear to punish Lucy anymore
That night, Lucy told us about what happened before we even asked (Lucy has always, since she was a tiny kid, told on herself!)
She then sat down, on her own, and wrote the other child an apology note along with one to her teacher
Lucy knows herself
And she knows she’s not everyone’s cup of tea
She knows that right now, she may not have a best friend, or many friends, but she has her Mum and Dad
And our unconditional love and support
And sometimes, that’s all you need ….
Unconditional love and support….. and a secret language

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

World's Best Sister

This past February, I sent my brother a coffee mug for his birthday
It said World's Okayest Brother
Made me laugh really hard 
Made him laugh too
Not long after I sent my brother that mug, I decided I should get my sisters the same mug....
But with a twist
As I am sure you know, I have five younger sisters
Really I have 6 ... my brother's wife who has been with him for 20 years, given us three nephews, attended countless family holidays and has been made to cry by at least two of the Kearns girls
If that does not make you an official sister, I don't know what does
That's a grand total of 6 sisters, all younger than me
So I have ordered 5 coffee mugs which say World's Okayest Sister
And here's the twist
1 says World's Best Little Sister
This weekend, we'll all be together for the first time in who knows how many years to celebrate my parents 50th Wedding Anniversary
At some point over the weekend, I shall gift my six sisters, at the same time, the six mugs
All six mugs will be wrapped and passed out..... RANDOMLY
May the odds be ever in your favor

Breakfast is served!

From June 23, 2017

We recovered from last night
We made it through the morning with minimal opposition and when Sean left for work he promised he'd put the door back on this weekend
Lucy sat at the kitchen table reading whilst I threw together her lunch and snack 
But then it occurred to me I also had to make breakfast
Nothing was striking her fancy: cereal, toast, scrambled eggs, an apple with cheese....
The clock was ticking
Lucy was lolly gagging and I was quietly getting myself worked up
I took a deep breath and gently prodded her
Last day of school kiddo! We can't be late!
Ok Mum, just surprise me she said sticking her nose back in her book
I threw the refrigerator open again and looked harder
Three minutes later, breakfast was served:
Orange Jello (it was sugar free) with a dollop of whipped cream and a hard boiled egg
And two gummy alligators leftover from her trip to Chutter's Candy Shop (I substituted those for her regular gummy vitamins because I am that cool of a Mum)
I tossed the plate down in front of Lucy and with an exaggerated bow and in my worst French accent wished her Bon Appetit!
Lucy looked at the plate and its contents
Then looked at me
Oui Oui?
Mum?! What is this
Breakfast is served! I said sounding like Meg Ryan mocking Kevin Kline in the underrated, and most quotable, movie French Kiss
Oh Mumma! Is this what happens when children push their parents over the edge?!? We get Jello for breakfast?!?!
This is only the beginning kiddo, only the beginning.....!

I took the door off the hinges....

From June 22, 2017

The last week has been tough
Lucy has been out of sorts more than I care to admit
Meltdowns, temper tantrums, crying jags and defiance at its best illustrate the past few days at our house
I chalk it up to end of the year angst ... 
It's the last week of school and everyone is just done
We all try to keep it light with Field Day, Ice Cream Socials and a Community Cookout.....
But who are we kidding
We're just all fucking done - mentally, emotionally and physically, we all just need a break
Last night, in a lucid moment, Lucy said her outbursts can be attributed to the fact that she is nervous about third grade
About what we ask
Her response?
Oh for fuck's sake - multiplication?Seriously???
No, we did not say that to her
Instead, we gave her a cash course on multiplication:
Anything x 1 is that number
Anything x 0 is zero
Multiplying by 2s 5s and 10s is like counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s
We did not touch 8s or 9s because they still screw me up,so does 7
Not the point
Point is, we distracted her from being nervous
But don't think for a minute that distracted her from being a twit
Tonight at pick up, she started ramping up
And you know when you know its only going to go downhill from here but you should try to make it go up?
And you know when you know as a parent you should really try to right the sinking ship?
Well, I failed ...
at both ...
It ended with some yelling, stomping and door slamming...lots of door slamming
And no one slams a door like a girl
So in the process of having a fit and falling into it, I took her bedroom door off the hinges
Not one of my finer moments but the door slamming stopped
And then, I see this memory pop up
Look at that little sweet potato pie!
My favorite is the one in the high seat, pony on the top of her head and that goofy open mouth grin/laugh
She still makes that face
I had her in bed by 7:30
She needed it and so did I
She asked me to sit with her for a few minutes
So I did
She grabbed my hand and closed her eyes
A few minutes passed and I heard her muttering something
Luce, what are you saying
I'm doing the Our Father, it helps calm me down and makes me fall asleep
Oh, ok
I was not sure what else to say so I just sat next to her
She fell silent and I gave her little hand a squeeze
She opened one eye and with a little smirk said
Too bad we don't have any Holy Water you could throw on me huh?!
I'll have Sean put the door back on in the morning.....

Lucy hates the last day of school....

From June 20, 2017

Lucy loves the first day of school
Fresh pencils, new markers, a new folder most likely adorned with a kitty or a tiger and a box of crayons that increases in count as she gets older mark the rite of passage to a new school year
I gave up buying her "school clothes" because really, there is no difference in her world
For Lucy, the first day of school is a Holiday
So it should not surprise you when I say Lucy hates the last day of school
And as Lucy closes in on the last day of school (this Friday), she is getting anxious
She'll have no routine, no constant and for her, that is sometimes a bigger battle than we realize
But worse, she'll have no Mrs Plamondon
Last week, Monday to be precise, she started to get morose about the impending end of school days
On Friday, she observed she had one week left
By yesterday, she was in tears
This morning, when she woke me up at 4:46am, she was downright inconsolable about it
Mumma.....Mumma.... she said as she nudged me
I grunted
Mummmmm-aaaaa she hissed into my ear
I snapped to attention
What's wrong honey?!?
I'm sad
What now? I shook my head trying to clear it
She sighed and I heard that lump in her throat threatening to turn her voice into a choking sob
A tear dropped from her eye
I threw back the covers, pulled her to me and hugged her
Did you have that bad dream again I whispered
No! but thanks for reminding me about that Mum! she snort cried, I don't want to leave Mrs Plamondon...
The tears were now falling from both eyes and her voice was cracking
I gently guided her out of our bedroom and into the spare room where we could talk without waking Sean or Ziggy who was now sprawled out on Lucy's bed
We climbed under the covers and lay on our sides facing each other
She threw her arm over my shoulder and held my hand with her other hand
Yeah pal
She took a breath and blurted out
I'm sad school has to end and Mrs Plamondon won't be my teacher anymore and what if I don't get Ms Dabrieo and what if we move this summer and what if Mrs Plamondon moves or quits and what about Mrs Raposa? I barely even see her and now I won't see her at all in summer and I just got to do Lunch Bunch with Mrs J and now I won't even get to see her every week and why can't I just stay in school for the summer? We have to be off for two whole months and it won't even be fun because the Club isn't even open yet and if I can't go to school can I just go to work with you and now we're not going to Universal and.... I love Mrs Plamondon......her voice gave way and she stopped talking
I brushed her hair out of her eyes
She scrunched up her face trying to stop crying
Honey... I stopped and just let her cry because sometimes, we all just need a good cry
A few minutes passed and she wiped her eyes and nose on my hand
You know how you always ask me to stop growing up? And how I always tell you I have to grow up...that I want to grow up?
I chuckle...I do Luce
Well Mumma, I don't really want to grow up....I just want it to stay the same like it is right now with me, you Daddy, Ziggy and Mrs Plamondon as my teacher...
I hugged her closer
I know honey
She threw both arms around me
Mumma! I just want to be 8 forever! And in second grade!
I kissed the top of her head
Me too pal, me too
I rubbed her back until she drifted back to sleep
I watched her for a few minutes and tried to remember what I felt like at her age
And then I remember being the same way as a kid
I remember adoring my teachers thinking they were the smartest, coolest people I would ever meet in my whole life
And I imagined they all led perfectly glamorous lives
And I remember being more upset about not seeing them over the summer rather than not seeing my friends
I remember worrying about growing up and what I would do without the safe confines of my little world in Orrington, Maine which revolved around my parents and my siblings and the summer months in ORA baseball/softball
But I did it
I grew up, slowly but surely...and not without bump and bruises and lots of mistakes along the way
There were classes I barely passed in college and the time I had to come clean and tell my Dad I started smoking because it is a long ass drive from Syracuse, NY to Orrington
Then there was the time I wanted to drop out of college
But I graduated, with honors
And moved cross country to Illinois - jobless
But then I landed a great job landed which led to some everlasting friendships
There was a blackout here and there and one or two nights in a holding cell
But I can remember at least two midnight runs into Chicago in search of a tattoo parlor, countless nights at the bar (Fanmarker) admiring Bill and his ass (Dunbar was there too!) and a whole lot of laughs
There was a heartbreaking loss of a job and a heart broken and mended over countless relationships
There were friends made and lost
Weddings attended followed by baptisms and sadly, funerals for some who were far too young and a couple divorces
There were at least three apartment moves then another cross country move to Medford
A new nephew, the loss of grandparents, a new sister-in-law and more nephews
And then there was Sean
And love
And marriage
And Lucy
And now, on the cusp of 45, and another brother-in-law and a niece, and a house, and a new job and a hysterectomy, I long for the simplicity of being 8
Until I look down at my sleeping daughter and realize 8 is not as simple as I think
Because if 8 were so simple, she'd not have dried tears on her little cheeks and her arms would not be wrapped around my neck
If 8 were simple, she'd not worry about growing up and having to leave her Mum and Dad
And she'd not worry about Ziggy dying...or us...or her grandparents...
At the breakfast table, Lucy babbled on about her last test of the year, the Community Cookout we'll attend tonight at school and the ice cream party her class is having Thursday
Hey Goose - you ok?
Yeah Mum! Why wouldn't I be?
Well, you had a tough time earlier this morning...I trailed off not wanting to make a big deal about it
I know Mum, sorry about that ... I was just having a moment ..
She paused as she dropped her breakfast dish in the sink
I do that a lot don't I..have moments...?
You do, I answered carefully, but we all do pal, that's part of growing up and growing old....and it's what you do with those moments and how you react to them that count
Lucy turned and looked at me
So maybe I should work on the reaction part and not the moment part....right Mum?
I nodded
Lucy grinned as only she can - that grin that tells me she is about to say something pretty stinkin' cheeky and says over her shoulder as she walks away to get shoes and socks on
So that's why I have a therapist!
I'm starting to wonder why I don't have a therapist .....

Thursday, May 11, 2017

A Robot Operated on Me

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

I’m proud of myself today
For the first time in ten days, I took a shower on my own, put on a bra and, got dressed (and by got dressed I mean in real clothes, not pajamas) and I left the house

Not bad considering last Monday, I had a hysterectomy

Yes, I put it out there, a hysterectomy
The kind where your uterus and fallopian tubes are yanked from your body and destroyed
And by destroyed, I mean tossed in an incinerator and burned

So yeah, I put it out there, I had a hysterectomy

And I’m about to put a lot more out there because as much as I probably should, I do not have a therapist

Plus, I write in hopes that someone else struggling will realize she is not the only one going through something like this and yes, this is something you should be able to talk about without being embarrassed or feeling like you’ve said something you should not
And, because if we can applaud athletes free flowing, we should be able to handle what I’m about to share

Because see here’s the thing: I never told anyone what was going on
A few times, I would speak of it in generalities but for the most part, I did not say a word
I was embarrassed
I had no idea how to even bring it up or with who
At times, I was scared
Mostly I was embarrassed

And if you know me, you know I pretty much embarrass myself daily
But this was just too much
Even for me
But now that it’s over, I can totally handle it

In my late 20s, I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome
By the time I was 33, endometriosis had also made itself at home in my woman parts

I had Lucy at 36 - really I was on the cusp of 37
By the time I was 38, I started getting my period again and it was a very different one to what it was like before I had Lucy
It lasted more than seven days, usually 10
And sometimes, it showed up when it was supposed to and sometimes I’d go a few months with no period
A sick joke if you want more kids

At 39, my doctor suggested if we wanted a second child, we may want to consider alternate methods – specifically fertility treatments
My endometriosis was worse and I had now developed what is called Menorrhagia, or heavy menstrual bleeding with passing clots because fibroids were invading my uterus and to boot, my ovaries were dysfunctional
My periods were so heavy, my doctor advised me to not use tampons and put me on iron as I was slightly anemic

By the time I was 40, I would begin having no less than two procedures a year (surgical and medicinal) to alleviate the side effects I was having from the endometriosis, menorrhagia, fibroids and crappy ovaries

From 42-44, specifically to last Monday, I endured what is without a doubt every woman’s worst nightmare……

 15-18 day periods

And when I say 15 day periods, I mean I would bleed for 15 days straight with no relief
My relief came on days 16, 17 and 18 when I would spot
If I were lucky, I’d get almost 18 days before I started again
Usually I’d get 15
Sometimes only 7

Day 1 would start as if it were day 3 of a “normal” period and would get progressively worse
By Day 6, there would be tears and I would be back out buying pads even though I had purchased in bulk no less than three weeks ago
And not just any pad, but the number 5 Always Pad…you know the super duper overnight maxi
I’d wear two at a time
And still have to change every hour
By Day 8, I was tired, light headed and sleeping as much as possible
By Day 12, I would be cranky, exhausted and would not allow myself to be anywhere there was not a bathroom within my line of vision
By day 15, I could barely get myself out of bed

Plus, I was upped to iron twice a day to combat the now severe anemia which had set in
So now I was tired, bleeding for 15 days and couldn’t poop

I can’t tell you how many times we cancelled on friends, did not attend something or, I would stay behind and let Sean and Lucy go
And then there were the games, activities, outings and karate lessons I missed because I either too tired, bleeding too heavily or so emotionally distraught I could not even leave the house

I was exhausted – and not just because I had turned into a constipated anemic but because I had to mentally prepare myself for the 15 day Armageddon that was my period
I had to constantly think ahead to what we had to do, where we had to be and then figure out a way to reschedule as much as possible
And if that didn’t work, I just laid in bed and cried

Friends were starting to ask if we were mad at them because we kept cancelling or not attending something we had been invited to
I was caught in situations almost daily whereby I knew if I moved too far to the left or too far to the right, I was going to have blood running down my leg
And no matter how calculated I tried to be, it still happened
Then there were the doctor’s appointments
The numerous ultrasounds
The prescriptions, the procedures performed

It has been exhausting

Sean has been patient and understanding and protected me in ways no husband should ever have to
And poor Lucy…she is scared to death of having her period because as much as we tried to shield it from it, we could not

My period dictated our every move

My doctor first suggested a hysterectomy over a year ago
I remember the lump that formed in my throat
Can’t we try something else?
She sighed
We’ve tried everything
I’m not ready for that I responded, it’s so final
She patted my leg as I cried harder
We have to do something
Ok, I sobbed, can we just try something again?
So we tried yet another hysteroscopy and D & C followed up with another round of provera
Then we did an endometrial ablation

Then in September, I was having a terribly hard period
I called the doctor, went in for a visit
It was not a period, it was a miscarriage
I could not tell the difference

When I say I could not tell the difference between a miscarriage and my period, that should be clear indication as to what I had been experiencing

I cried on her table again
I thought, I said between sobs and snot, I could not get pregnant after the ablation
It’s not likely you can get pregnant she corrected me, and unfortunately, the pregnancy usually result in a loss
Are you fucking kidding me I ask
She patted my leg again, I wish I were
I didn’t even know….I trailed off
It was quick, what’s known as a chemical pregnancy or sometimes a missed pregnancy
Is missed pregnancy someone’s attempt to make it not sound so bad?
She chuckled, lame attempt huh?
Yes, pretty fucking lame Doc
She hugged me and wrote another prescription for provera and I scheduled a follow up for November

Which I skipped because I was so mad
I also skipped my period for the month of November

As December came to a close, I thought hey! Maybe it’s over!

In January, I got my period…twice
Once for 15 days
A break for 5 days
Then it started again and lasted another 12 days

In mid-February, I finally went in to see her
I can’t take it anymore I cried yet again on her table
I know she said
I’m tired I said
I know she said

I went for an ultra sound the next day
At my follow up the next week, she had me do another ultra sound
She was convinced the read (on the first one) was wrong because the endometriosis was twice as thick as it had previously been

It was not wrong, and the second ultra sound showed even more growth,

We could do another round of…
No I said, no more
Ok, well, then, let’s get you into Boston
Great I say
I need one more ultra sound at the hospital, the one I just did is not comprehensive enough
Ok I say, no problem
It was scheduled for the following week
I went for the ultra sound and then back to her office for the follow up
It was the second week of March

I went back to my doctor’s office for the review
I did not have to sit on the table this time, I just sat in the comfy chair in her office
The tissue was indeed twice as thick as it had been and it was everywhere it should not have been
We booked you an appointment in Boston at Brigham and Women’s
Ok I say
Here is what I am recommending she said, the removal of your uterus, including your cervix and the fallopian tubes
What about my pearls I ask
Your ovaries? I’m gonna let you keep those she says, I think you’ve been through enough, we don’t need to put you through menopause
Thanks Doc 
You’re welcome she says

We already booked you an appointment – for May 19
My heart sank
That is two months out!
I know she says, it’s the best we could do
My heart sank
There was s rapping on the door and it flew open before Dr W could answer
The Nurse Practitioner who I also adore was out of breath
Someone cancelled she said! Someone cancelled with Dr G! There is an opening with him this Friday!
I’ll take it!
Don’t you want to know what time?
I don’t care I said, I’ll take it! I’ll figure it out, I can’t wait until May 19

I am not sure who was more elated at that moment, my OBGYN who has been taking care of me since 2002, her NP who I have also known since 2002 or me

Sean and I went in on March 25
We spent half an hour talking to Dr G before he did an exam
At one point, he suggested the Pill and or an IUD
Until he read a section of my file again
He finally put the papers down, looked at me and said the only thing that will fix this is a hysterectomy

Sean squeezed my hand
We know I said
I was just hoping I could find a different solution for you
I don’t think there is one
No he said somewhat sadly, there is not
It’s ok I said, I’m ok with this
Ok well them let’s see, I will do an exam and then you will go see my scheduler and she’ll book the procedure date which will probably be a couple months out

Sean and I shot each other a glance
We were both thinking two months was an eternity

The doctor saw our exchange and we voiced our concern with the time frame
I am just guessing he said, I usually run about two months out but wait and see what Catherine says
We nodded
The thought of even another month like this terrified both of us

Sean was sent to the waiting room whilst I had my exam

The nurse who was assisting said to me before Dr G walked in

You have 15 day periods?!?
I do I said
I believe the phrase you are looking for is Holy Shit
She laughed

How have you dealt with it?!
I sighed and swallowed hoping to keep my tears at bay
I don’t know…..

Dr G arrived and we chatted for a few more minutes before he started
He wanted to make sure I understood why he was making alternative suggestions in his office

You are still young enough to have a baby he said, but then I look at your condition, at your records, your ultra sounds….

I know I said, and I appreciate that
And Dr W was doing the same thing
But you have to understand my quality of life, my husband’s, my daughter’s, our quality of life has been miserable the last few years
And I am not sure enduring this any longer will be good for any of us

Ok he said, we take out your uterus then!

He finished the exam up and sent us to see the scheduler

As she flipped through her book, I flipped through my date book looking at everything we had going on
April was crazy – we had tickets to a couple plays, Easter, Mum’s surgery, Lucy’s Birthday Party, and Lucy’s First Communion were already on the docket

May was almost as busy and I had just learned that morning there was a possibility my co-worker and I would be traveling to Sweden for at least one if not two weeks of training

Ok she said, we’re looking at May
That is way better than June Sean said
Yeah it is I said…but I was already thinking I would still have to go through probably two periods before the procedure because I was confident I’d be starting any day

How does May 1st sound she asked

For a split second, neither of us said anything
I think we both figured it would be mid to late May so when she said May 1st, we were completely caught off guard

I’ll take it!
You don’t have to decide now you can…
Nope! We’ll take it Sean seconded
Yep, I said, we’ll make May 1st work, book it

So she booked it

And on April 1st, I started my final 15 day period

And on that Monday, April 3, I went to the dentist again because my tooth was still bothering me
He was trying to adjust the bite and hit my nerve while drilling
On Tuesday, I had to go back again because it was still bothering me
On Wednesday, my boss got fired
On Thursday, I got Jury Duty

But I did not care because come May 1st, I would no longer have to endure 15 day periods

So last Monday, I had a hysterectomy
Specifically, I had a Laparoscopic Robotic Hysterectomy
A robot, controlled by my doctor, made 5 incisions in my abdomen (the one in my belly button hurts the most)
That same robot, and my doctor, then yanked my fallopian tubes out of one of the incisions and my uterus (and cervix) were shoved out my vagina

I could go through the whole day for you….

How we arrived at the appointed hour and knocked around the waiting room for a bit
My emotions were all over the place and I was having mini freak-outs
Fortunately, Ryan Seacrest’s debut on the new Kelly and Ryan Show was playing and as Sean has an even bigger crush on Kelly Ripa than I have on Dwayne The Rock Johnson, he was pleasantly distracted
and I could have my freak outs in silence with no interference

Then I could tell you how we were finally called into the pre-op and as with any day surgery floor (yes indeed, this was a day surgery which means….I was sent home mere hours after this was performed), we were moved through almost like cattle
I was quizzed on my name and birth date every few minutes because all women want to be reminded they are on the verge of 45 just as they are about to have their lady bits removed from their inner sanctum

Then I could tell you how once I was settled into the bed with an IV safely started, the barrage of doctors and nurses started to come by
I quizzed all of them to make sure they were not tired, hungry or otherwise delusional
We all made sure we were all clear on what was being removed, who was doing what and where things should be when they were done
And I was my usual funny witty charming self
They took great delight in my request that my uterus be named (Sally) after they informed me they would be delivering it 
They laughed even harder when I double checked and asked them to confirm my pearls(ovaries) would be left in place

And then I could tell you how I came out of the procedure with no complications except I am a hot mess when it comes to anesthesia and apparently, they doped me up but good
So I do not remember coming out of it
I do remember crying when she told me I had to pee before I could leave
And I remember crying as I got dressed

And then I remember nothing until the next day
And even that next day is fuzzy and not so clear

My sister stayed with us to help
And for three days, I sat on the couch
The pain was nothing like I have ever experienced – made my C Section feel like a walk in the park
I winced, groaned and cried with every move
But I made myself get up and walk around the living room because they told me walking was one of the best things I could do
By Thursday, I was walking around our circle – sure, it was a slow pace but I was moving

My sister made sure I was hydrated
Sean showered me
And my Lucy just kept smiling, telling me she loved me and tried so hard to do everything she was being told to do with no arguments or negotiating

My sister had to leave on Thursday afternoon but Sean stayed with me Thursday and Friday
I wasn’t great company but there was something quite comforting about just having him there with me

Saturday, Sean and Lucy attended various First Communion celebrations for some friends
I was left home alone for the day
It was good for them to get out of the house and have fun
It was good for me because I had a proper cry about everything
You know what cry I speak of - that cathartic cry we all need every so often which cleanses our body and soul as only a good cry can

I cried because I will not have more children – I can no longer grow people
I cried because I really wanted to grow one more person

And I cried because I have Lucy and that makes me pretty fucking lucky

I cried because I think of all the lost and wasted time these past few years
I cried because of how much all three of us have had to endure

I cried because I was lonely on Saturday – I wanted someone to knock on my door and come in and talk to me but no one did
I cried because I did not know how to ask for help and because I did not even know what to ask them to help me with
I cried because I realized I had blurted out at a PTO meeting a couple weeks ago I’m getting my uterus shoved out my vagina and the women at that table were so empathic and caring and sad for me
I cried because I finally realized I do have people and they do care for me

I cried because I know this has been hard on Sean – he’s had to handle everything over the past week from laundry to bedtime to meals and it’s a lot….and we’re better as a team….and I was only one week into what is supposed to be a three-week (minimum) recovery
I cried because he’s held his own and I am so proud of him

I cried because a week is the longest I have ever gone with snuggling Lucy
And laying with her at night in her bed talking is my favorite time of day
I cried because this poor kid has tried so hard to not make a mistake all week because she keeps being told to be on her best behavior because Mummy is in pain – and that’s so much pressure on a kid…
I cried because she’s held her own and I am so proud of her

I cried because the doctor said don’t pick up anything – and by that I mean you won’t be able to pick up a gallon of milk so no lifting!
I did not believe him so I tried to lift a gallon of milk
He was not fucking kidding
I cried because I could not turn from side to side without pain radiating from every direction
I cried because my belly button hurts

And I cried for me
Because there is something so emptying about a hysterectomy – figuratively and literally
And I don’t know how to fill that void
So I cried until there was nothing left

And then I took a nap
I woke up an hour or so later and my eyes were puffy and I was thirsty
But somehow, I felt better

Sean and Lucy got home close to 9
They had been out all day and were knackered
And it was good for them
And it was good for me

Sunday, I woke up and felt better
I was still moving slowly but I could go up and down the stairs without whimpering

Monday was a tough day
I started doing some work from home and probably tried to do a bit too much
I’m amazed at how tired I get so quickly
I slept terribly Monday night

But Tuesday was ok
The morning was tough but by the afternoon, I was feeling better
And then Tuesday night, I slept better

And today, Wednesday morning, I woke up feeling the best I have felt in over a week
I showered, unassisted
I got dressed by myself  
I put on a bra and real clothes, not clean PJs but an actual shirt and skirt
I left the house by car for the first time since last week
I went to a PTO meeting and laughed
I hugged Lucy without worrying about it hurting
And it was good for me

I had a hysterectomy last week

Procter and Gamble’s profits may drop slightly and I am going to wait a bit longer before I try to pick up a gallon of milk but I am going to be just fine 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Spring is.....

Lucy brought home a project last week to work on

It was titled Spring is...

Each page started out with a phrase which the kids had to finish and then illustrate

Lucy worked so hard on it

She put thought into each and every page and labored over the illustrations

When she finished, she proudly showed us her completed book

The bee picture made me laugh aloud...I think it was the eyes

The last page with all the animals may be my favorite - her detail was impressive

But it was the second to the last page that made me catch my breath

Here's the finished product: