Mental Health Monday: Three Weeks In…

old-woman-walker-10045597The wreck happened three weeks ago last night, and the first surgeries were three weeks ago today. Follow up surgeries were one week ago today. Friends (one is an RN) keep telling me that the surgery itself was more trauma to my body, and it takes a long time to recover from the anesthesia. I’m on half the pain meds I was on a week ago, which is encouraging. But what I didn’t see coming was the exhaustion.

 

I’m used to getting stuff done. Lots of stuff. Every day. My mental health has always depended on it. I equate my value with production. So when depression rears its ugly head I often manage not to cave simply because I know the price I’ll pay if I shut down. I never allow myself to just crash. A day in which I do “nothing” is extremely rare.

 

And so I find myself in uncharted territory. I get up off my rented hospital bed and using my walker I make it into the bathroom, and then into the breakfast room. I sit and prop up my leg and open my laptop. Waves of nausea and exhaustion wash over me. I sit and wait for a second wind. Maybe I spend a few minutes on email and Facebook. Or I place an online order  (we’re running out of K-cups for our Keurig coffee maker) or read a blog post or two that I follow. Just as I’m warming up to do some serious writing, I find my eyes physically closing.

 

CasaGirlFriends and family are with me 24/7… I think I’ll graduate to being able to be alone for short periods of time soon. But right now I can’t yet figure out how to carry a glass of water or a plate of food from the kitchen to the table using my walker. Especially since I can’t put any weight on the right foot and have to hop on the left one. I alternately feel like a child or an old woman.

 

So today I’ll celebrate a couple of milestones. This morning I gave myself my anti-coagulation shot (in the abdomen) for the first time. And yesterday I washed my hair sitting on the shower bench. My daughter was nearby with towels and all that, but I did the washing. Baby steps. And now my eyes are closing, and so is this post. Maybe I’ll have more energy by Wednesday. Thanks so much for reading.

 

8 comments


  • You’re an inspiration.
    You have my admiration and my heartfelt wishes for a speedy and complete recovery.

    July 29, 2013
  • Alexis Paige

    Hang in there, Susan. Writing about it–as you can of course–will probably help. I am sorry you’re hurting, exhausted, and struggling. Prayers and love are being sent your way!

    July 29, 2013
  • cindy

    it was good to see you. you just have to take in baby steps even though i know you want to do more. slow and steady wins the race.

    July 29, 2013
  • Susan, I don’t think we can even imagine walking in your shoes right now, or behind your walker. God love you, and keep you … in that circle of faith for complete healing. I am praying for you and have put you on a few other prayer lists! So grateful to still have you with us!

    Big Hug.

    July 29, 2013
  • Doug McLain

    glad you’re gettin better, friend. wish I was there, I have thought of a very redneck way to cable tie or hose clamp a cupholder to your walker. I see a patent on my horizon. thanks for the idea.
    hugs, prayers, and warm fuzzies to you from the red clay hills of Ok’obla.

    July 29, 2013
  • Julie Stell

    I know you’re probably getting more advice than you need, so I’ll try not to be one who thinks she knows everything and what you need to do. Yet, it seems to me that now is the time for listening – not to me, but to your inner voice. The voices that want to pull you down are the ones that can be turned down. The healing voices need to be nurtured and turned up. So many wonderful books to read, music to uplift you. You are in a battle, and you can win – one day at a time. If you can visualize this blanket of love and prayer surrounding you, keeping you warm and safe, you need not feel cold or alone. We love you so much!

    July 30, 2013
  • Cheryl Wright-Watkins

    Susan, I admire your courage and strength during this ordeal. I can’t imagine what you’re going through! And, to think I whined about a fractured wrist and a cast. I’m thinking of you regularly and saying prayers for a quick recovery.

    July 30, 2013
  • Patience with being a patient is a hard practice to follow. It will be so good for you, though. One day at a time. Best Wishes ~

    July 30, 2013

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