Sunday, October 23, 2011

Flashes of gratefulness and depression beyond belief keep coming bright before my eyes. I want my house to be my own again. One second later, I don't want people to stop being here. What will happen when they go? I haven't been alone except for the rare hour or so, here and there, for over a month. I live alone, and am used to living my life almost completely on my own (as readers--all 3 of you--know very well). This is different for me. I want my life back. I don't want it either.

My dad and stepmom came. I started my new job from home. It's intense, and this is going to be completely different than what I was used to in some ways...but that is a very good thing. I'm doing federal government affairs now, so all the Congressional antics that keep playing out on Cspan now suddenly are personal. They dictate whether or not I'm up all night, whereas previously, it was the Governors of the states who did that. And they tended to be much less dramatic ;) Joint debt ceiling resolution? Did anyone pay attention to that? Turns out I should have been - because now my paycheck depends on my awareness of its outcome.

A day in the life. Right now, it begins with my mom bringing me oatmeal as I stumble my way into the kitchen on crutches.

One month ago today...I was laying down in bed, and facing surgery the next day. I'm four weeks and two days post-operation. Five weeks away from this whole thing happening. I still find myself re-playing it in my head. But not once--not once--have I questioned this. I haven't mourned my lost vacation, or thought about all the things I was going to have seen. It never seemed real to me--like the whole time we were planning, we were just playing.

Turns out, we were.

And now it's October. My favorite month ever...and I can't be out in it. I got to go out to my front steps today. Cast on, crutches laid beside me, I sat on the steps and small-talked with people going by. Looked at the leaves that have gotten their colors now. I realized they were starting to do that a couple weeks ago when my best friend was here, before Dad took his shift and my college friends came with kiddos and two HUGE gift baskets of stuff that I'll never be able to actually eat. She forced me outside and I sat there blinking in the bright sun and feeling weird about being outside. She talked on her blackberry and sometimes glanced my way and I alternated between wondering why she'd come and feeling grateful as hell that she had.

Look, I said, pointing to the tree. It's starting to change.

I'm halfway to being able to be fully mobile. I'm hoping so much that THIS, this, is starting to change. I'm working from the couch, watching bad TV and learning my coworkers' quirks from afar, and doing it all without learning just yet where the bathrooms are and what the coffee protocol is in the kitchen. I get a little break, to google things like "proposed rulemaking" in the privacy of my own home while I'm on a call needing to know arcane congressional procedural rules (wake up, I won't talk about procedural rules again, I promise).

I get my cast off on Monday, and I get a walking boot on. I start being able to put pressure down on it in about two weeks--I think--alot depends on what the doctors say when I go on Monday. I think I'll be able to go into the office around Thanksgiving. I need to navigate what i'm going to do about thanksgiving, and Christmas, and and and.....


For now, I am trying to heal. I am taking my vitamins. Multi's every day, extra vitamin D. Lots and lots of milk. Lots of mom grilling me cheese sandwiches. Lots of my dad and stepmom cleaning my house. Lots of my college friends making me mexican dishes to freeze since they're my favorite. Lots of my friends here sending me edible arrangements. Lots of food, food, food it seems like. I can't move! Don't give me more calories!!

It's fall and I've fallen and broken. I'm halfway standing, and hoping for healthy winters to come.

"Three thousand five hundred miles away...what would you change if you could?"

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Then there's you

I guess if I needed to learn or remember anything throughout this journey, it's that an awful lot of people care about me. I have always known this, but it's something that I haven't felt in a very long time. It's like I've had some sort of barrier up, or a wall of my own self-centeredness, or a cloud of doubts hanging over my head--to be seen, but not touched. Not felt. Not where it mattered.

My best friend came up to spend a few days with me. She kept her head down, working frantically through her very busy time of year. I felt at times she was a million miles away from me while sitting beside me on the couch. Then she'd turn to me, smile, and ask what I wanted her to fix me for lunch and I remembered. I remembered to be grateful for every card people are sending me; every care package.

Mom was here for two weeks, and my dad is driving here as we speak. I was very glad to have a parent-break of a few days and get my head on a little straighter from so many days of my mother caring for me. I was grateful as all get out for it, but it is easy to regress when you're being actively parented long after you actually require it. I need help, yes, but I don't need parenting.

My dad is bringing with him his toolbox and his guilt about not being here for the brunt of the injury, the surgeries, the doctors appointments. I have no doubt he will absolve his guilt by fixing things that work, and by stuffing my face with things he grills.

I can't wait.

I am certainly not having the October I had planned on, nor that I wanted. I'm in a fair amount of pain still, although it's significantly less. Showering has taken on a whole new level of prep-work, and fixing myself a bowl of cereal and carrying it into the next room? Forgetaboutit.

But, I know, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt....I am lucky still.

Even still.