~Be proactive in my own care. During this entire ordeal, I have spent many hours waiting for return phone calls. Having worked for many years on the other end of the phone, I've tried to be very patient, pleasant, and understanding. I truly know how it works behind the scenes in physicians' offices. However, the time comes when you must INSIST on getting answers, and DEMAND that someone pay attention to you. I really don't like doing that (and it really should never be necessary), because I know what it's like dealing with a chronically whining patient who calls 20 times a day. I never want to be that way. It was either Whitney or DJ who kept reminding me that in a month these people won't remember me anyway, and to keep calling them. Haha.
~Do the best you can do with what you have. My entire week was focused on the fact that I had a postop problem.. and how best to address it. I saw three different doctors within four days.. one in the ER, one at a walk-in clinic, and finally the surgeon on call for my out-of-town surgeon. My sweet mama was playing taxi mom, carting me all over town, while often being the recipient of a snappy attitude. By this time I'm dealing with a big ol' case of frustration, and a little bit of self-pity, thinking that nobody (providers) really care, and do these people really know what they are talking about??? But, the best I could do is whatever they told me to do. Late Friday night and yesterday morning I was feeling pretty low, and quite fearful that I was getting worse. After a nap yesterday afternoon, I was delightfully surprised to see that the wound looked significantly better, and the soreness had ramped down a notch or two. Finally!!
~The saga is not over. Once the band was removed, the esophageal spasm/swalowing/vomiting issues were gone. However, over the past few days, I have had episodes (at least once daily) of the same spasmodic symptoms that lead to all kinds of unpleasantness. This has me pretty bummed. At the time of band removal, I threatened to "slit my wrists" if this symptom didn't go away. Of course, I was joking, but.... I really need for this symptom to go away. Perhaps it is meant to be the thorn in my side, but I am sure praying that with time it will leave never to return. It is a horrible feeling!!
~I really do have more strength than I ever gave myself credit for. Hopefully I am not a boastful person, but I am giving myself credit where credit is due this time. Throughout the entire process, even immediately after the initial surgery, it has been a hard row to hoe, and I worked very diligently to do the right things, to keep the very best attitude, even in the hardest of times. I look at other people who go through trials and challenges far greater and tragic than anything I've ever experienced, and I just say WOW. People who suffer and survive, overcome, and flourish should be our true heroes in this world. It is true.. God will never lead you where His grace will not keep you. And though at times I tend to try to carry the world on my shoulders instead of letting God shower His mercy and grace on me and let HIM carry it, He is always there, ready to bear the load, and restore me. Thank you God, for your blessings.
~Sometimes you just gotta let it go. Blessings can sometimes be found in the most unusual places or circumstances. My dear friend Danette called yesterday afternoon to discuss business, and during the conversation I pretty much lost my composure and bawled like a baby, trying to tell her what was going on. Such a sweet, kind, and compassionate woman. I'm sure my babbling between sobs didn't make much sense to her, but the details didn't matter at the moment, and she was such a blessing to me at the moment I needed it. I must have continued bawling for another 10-15 minutes after we hung up. My sweet daughter hugged on me, rubbed my shoulders for a bit, then went straight to my bathroom, got my bottle of Zoloft and said "Take it. NOW." So I did. It was a cathartic moment, though, and I felt better after the dam burst. Sometimes you just gotta let it go. There's no reward, except maybe a stomach full of ulcers, high blood pressure, etc., for keeping it all bottled up inside. So, to my dear friend Danette, thank you for being in the right place at just the right moment. Close enough to me to love me through it, distant enough not to advise me or try to "fix" it. Just to listen. Exactly what I needed.
~Friends and family. Absolutely the best blessing on earth.
I have no clue what this week will hold. I'm sure there are more frustrating moments ahead with phone calls (or maybe lack thereof), more sitting in waiting rooms and missing work. Aaargh. Hopefully, though, the uphill portion of the battle is behind me and soon this will all be just a blip on the radar of a life fully blessed.