If you have read my past few posts, they have been a look back at my time in the hospital, the raw details of what all occurred, and the journey God has had us on. We have now been home about a week and a half, and I’m not going to lie, it has not been easy.
When you are in the hospital, all you want to do is go home – at least that’s the goal. Though for me, I didn’t want to go home too early, for fear of reverting back and then having to go back. Thankfully I have not had to go back to the hospital at Michigan, but the road has been difficult and draining at times. And I never imagined it continuing to be this hard, even now.
This past week has continued to test me to every level I feel and at times has left me in tears, but at other times, had me telling myself, I can do this. I am currently in the middle of my physical therapy twice a week and each time they come, I get this renewed sense of confidence that I CAN DO THIS. The exercises challenge this frail body, but it motivates me to strengthen this weak body too. When the visiting nurses are here, my confidence grows knowing that I can take care of myself. But then the setbacks happen. Then the phone call comes that says “you need to go to the ER right now.” Wait, WHAT?
This past week, it seemed as if all the most odd side effects that could happen, did happen. Who gets a large hematoma by their groin, that is so large that they aren’t certain what happened? When I walked into the ER on Monday, they asked what I was there for, and I had to list 3 things. Where do they start? On Tuesday, I started to get a fever, which of course caused an alarm in me because I right away thought “infection.” Thankfully I was going to Michigan the next day. I learned that because they are low grade, it is a side effect from my lovenox shot that I need to give myself twice a day, to help raise my blood INR (how thick my blood is). As a result, I get a fever every couple of hours and then it breaks. I break out in a sweat and feel a bit ill. At night, I sweat so bad that I soak the sheets (feel free to shutter in disgustingness – yes, I made that word up), but that has been my nightly ritual. It’s frustrating. It’s draining, getting the chills then sweats that often in a night. But this too, shall pass, thanks to my 10 day regimen.
But those fevers have wreaked havoc on my lips. One day I woke up with 4 blisters breaking out on my lips. I could not figure out what was going on because it was making it hard to eat, they were so painful. Well, sure enough, they are a result of those shots. And thanks to Abreva, these too will pass.
At times, I am so tired. I can be in conversation and fall asleep within seconds. This is not me. I can sleep for hours on end during the day, as I know my body needs it. My afternoon naps are a MUST. I order my day around it, knowing this is what I need. But the problem is, I don’t always know what I need.
As a person who is recovering, I have learned that my mind does not think future-oriented. When it comes to our needs, I am horrible at knowing what I need because typically, I am only living within that hour. I can’t explain it, but I think my mind is so focused on just getting through that hour, that the next is yet to come. I used to think that my “resting” at home would be slow and boring, but can I tell you that I feel “busy?” I know it makes no sense really, because I am supposed to be resting. But each hour is filled with: what meds do I need to take, what exercises do I need to do, have I gotten up recently, have I sat down enough, do I need to sleep, what should I drink, do I need to eat, have I done my breathing machine, and have I rested enough? Did I put on my Abreva? Are my compression socks on? It seems so incredibly simple, but when you have to spend the day listening to your body every second of the day, trying to decipher what it needs to heal well, it can be exhausting. This is probably why I can sleep close to 10-11 hours a night! I just don’t want another “last Monday ER happening” to happen.
And then there is this desire to be the mom I want to be. This part will just make me cry as I type this. There is nothing more heartbreaking than having to tell your sweet daughter no, after no, after no. I know that this is a season of life. I know that this will pass. I truly believe it will deep down. But in the moment, it is so difficult. I know she doesn’t understand and yes she can easily move on, but I don’t. I know I need to, but to me, it’s just one more thing that I can’t do. I know that is the worst attitude and that is NOT me deep down, but sometimes it is me. Sometimes I just sit and cry over what I can’t do and I don’t know if that’s healthy or unhealthy, but it is reality for me. I have those moments and then I just move on. And Mazy has moved on long ago. And that is all God!
But what this recovery has meant for me, is that it I can’t do this alone. My weakness truly is God’s strength. I am so desperate for Him! When I can’t do those things I want to do, when my biggest goal is to just take a shower by myself, I realize that I just can’t do this alone. I’d love to say that this recovery has been easy and that I’ve taken it well. Well, I can’t say I have. I know I am only 1 1/2 weeks into it and I’ve already landed back in the ER and back to Michigan, but I am trying to have the confidence I need, to know that I will make a full recovery. Deep down, I know I will. It’s just hard to not have flashbacks of the past. But God has conquered my past and He has conquered my future already, meaning He has already paved the path. If there are more setbacks, well, He will lead me through them. Same with the victories.
I spent this morning listening to music. I thought about pulling up a sermon, but what I needed was just that time alone with God to cry. To express to Him my struggles. To just grieve. To express my need for Him. To sing to Him. It was a time filled with MANY tears, but they needed to fall. It had been awhile and I know I needed to let them go. Each time they fall, they are a releasing to Him. That’s just how me and God work. And He knows that :).
This maybe isn’t the most typical post from Kristin, but I wanted to share what life has been like for me at home. But what I haven’t shared, is the other half of what’s been going on.
My husband, Dan, has now been 150% dad and husband! I am able to do a bit more, but he continues to jump at any need and anything Mazy may need. He has never ONCE complained. He has never once told me no. He continues to selflessly offer himself and his time to his family, while working too. He is THE MOST AMAZING MAN!
And then there is our family and friends. My mom has always been a woman of giving at any opportunity. Talk about a selfless woman who sees a need before a word is spoken. She has been at our home, being that shoulder I need to cry on, doing our laundry, cleaning our home, staying with me, watching Mazy whenever we need someone. My sisters, the same. Watching Mazy whenever I need it. My friends, the same. Taking Mazy to fun places and doing fun things with her, to help her forget about her reality at home. It is so humbling.
And then there are those who bring meals. Who have written a card. Who have sent a text. Who have said a prayer. Who have sent a care package (oh does our daughter LOVE those)! Who have sent a gift card for a meal to take out.
I mean this in the most honest way – WE CANNOT DO THIS WITHOUT YOU. THANK YOU.
When they say it takes a village to raise a child, that is so true. Well, it also takes a village to help someone recover from two open heart surgeries. I cannot do this alone. Thank you for asking how to help. I don’t always know how or always have an answer because I live so in the present of every hour. I am trying to get better at looking towards the future and what we need, but I am horrible at it. If you have asked, it’s not that I am intentionally ignoring you, my mind just stinks at knowing what we need! So if you think of something, I say just do it – I won’t say no!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for loving us. As we have often said throughout this journey and many of you have reminded of this – God’s got this and therefore, so do I.
Thanks for listening.
I have wiped the tears and now I’m ready to conquer this recovery!