I feel incredible! It was around a year ago that I realized I was doing better rather than trying to figure out if I was having prednisone or ibuprofen withdrawals. I improved daily after that. Sure, I had a couple games of “What does that pain really mean!” but with the help of yoga and a good chiropractor I was able to find some peace with the discomforts that come and go.
I will always be an open-heart surgery patient. I will always have had a congenital defect. I will always have had a stroke. I will always be recovering and trying to find peace from those past medical events that still haunt me today. But it’s true that time heals all wounds. I am no longer living a nightmare. I am now living.
It was his big, beautiful, smile. It made me smile. I smiled a smile I hadn’t smiled in the last 5 years of smiles. I hadn’t smiled a smile like that smile since I decided that I thrive on a hug a day–shortly after that, the smile disappeared…but
…I smiled that lost smile and I haven’t stopped smiling since.
“You have memories…” I had written a note on Facebook “6 YEARS AGO TODAY” titled The Stroke Story (Part III).
I rabbit-holed through my old blog posts–remembering pain, laughing at my attempts at humor, feeling everything I had forgotten.
I called my mom and asked if she remembered when I was manically excited about succulents, bought a bunch of succulents, and killed the succulents. She remembered.
It feels good to remember the pain and craziness during that time and not be living it anymore. I read the blog posts and I cried.
I am hoping to start writing again–about the past and the present. I have more to share.
I went through my Instagram photos tonight. It was emotional. I am 3 1/2 months recovering. I started Instagram 4 months after my first open-heart surgery, in 2012. The pictures that stand out the most to me are the ones from July 27, 2013 then exactly one month later on August 27, 2013.
Hannah got married on July 27th. I was one of her bridesmaids. I loved every second of that wedding. There was dancing, drinking, eating, celebrating, and so much love. I look happy in the pictures because I was.
August 27, 2013 I knew there was something wrong with my heart.
Waiting on something is hard. Waiting on the unknown is harder.
I am feeling post-op sadness. It took 9 months, after discovering my vein blockage, to have my (2nd) open heart surgery. Waiting to have open heart surgery is hard. I constantly battled my emotions. I despaired every day over my loss of life. I regret it–being in such a state of despair–but I don’t know how I could have prevented it. I wish I had not let the mourning of loss make me lose more but I did.
I mourned for 9 months, I had surgery, and then I was/am recovering. I am 3 months post-op. I am scared about the future, the unknown, getting back to normalcy. I know it will feel so good to regain my financial and emotional independence, but I am so afraid of starting life again.
January I will begin again. It feels weird waiting.
It has been close to 7 months since my last post. Life post medications is not as wonderful as I expected it to be.
I am still off all of my meds and my health is improving daily, but I have been struggling emotionally. It felt wrong to continue writing about my struggles. I am suppose to be “better”!
I had physical issues for 4.5 years. Psychological issues do not feel as important–who wants to hear about that! What if people think I am weak or too sensitive!
I realize now that it is okay to admit a stroke, two surgeries, and too many medication were more than physically hard on me.
Post-recovery recovery hit me like a ton of bricks. “If you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all.” needs to stop running through my head when I try to write. I need to start talking about some things that are not “nice”. I am ready to talk about the last several months. I am ready to tell people what happened during my first surgery, 4.5 years ago, to warrant a second surgery. I am ready to express the anger I have been carrying for 1.5 years. I do hope to share positive things as well. I am not all doom and gloom.
I am a recovering heart patient.
More posts are coming soon!
It is so hard–I took my last dose of prednisone a week ago and I’m still suffering through withdrawals. I am having a hard time keeping it together tonight. I want to give up.
I can’t because I’m not done.