Posted by: Kate | March 22, 2011

Treading Water

I’m still here.  No, really, even if my typical stream-of-consciousness babble and self-conscious angst has fallen silent of late, trust me: it’s all still going on in my head.  I just tend to isolate and hibernate when depressed, and while I’m not in the fog of crushing misery that I expected to experience right about now, I’m also not exactly bouncing around all cute and happylike.

Every moment of every day, I could stop and figure out where I was a year ago.  And it’s never a good thing just lately.  “Oh, the 22nd?  Right… that’s the day when it took two aides to help me onto the commode in my room, and then I had a physical therapist tell me I looked pretty good despite my complete inability to stand or roll over or lift my feet up on my own.  And that night was the one when they moved me out of the SICU at 2:00 in the morning and…” Yeah.

It’s hard to describe the complete wave of terror that rolls over me when I allow myself to think about the way things were just a year ago.  It’s this sense of fear, like somehow it’s going to happen again even though I know that’s not very likely.  It’s a sense of vulnerability, because I was told it would take two years or more to physically recover from the effects of the surgeries and coma… and then around Year 3 I could expect potential problems with things like adhesions and old scars and so on, maybe.  We’ll see.  It’s a sense of misplaced guilt, as though somehow I should have known how sick I was even though I had nurses and doctors telling me I was fine, this was normal post-birth discomfort, it was probably just gas pain.  It’s anger.  It’s hurt.  It’s disappointment that I’m still broken, physically and mentally, a year later.

Not the kind of thing that sends me running to the computer to bang out a blog post, ya know?  I decided to give in and force myself to post today because maybe someday I’ll want to look back and remember some of this time.  Maybe someday I’ll develop a sense of peace, or acceptance at the situation and my recovery, or pride, and want to be able to celebrate how far I’ve come.  Maybe someday I won’t ache quite so much.

For now, it’s just not the kind of thing I enjoy thinking about, but the good news is, I have a ton of things I could do to distract myself.  The house – our new, four-bedrooms-for-five-people house, to which we moved last Thursday in a stunningly and delightfully uneventful day characterized by cheerful and efficient movers,  clear roles for each of the adults, and the inexpressibly helpful input from my mother and sister (who gave up two spring breaks in a row for me, though I hope this one was a little less horrifying than last year) – it’s a disaster.  Moving boxes as far as the eye can see, and many of them are my responsibility.  I am not physically able to handle more than three or so boxes per day, which means that if it was entirely reliant on me, we would finally be unpacked in about 2014; thankfully, Willem is phenomenal in a million different ways and works like crazy during his so-called “free time” to  unpack and organize and generally do the things I feel like I should do, and I want to do, and I’m so ashamed and disappointed in myself when I just can’t.

I get it, I need to go easier on myself, I need to accept my own limitations, I need to remember that I am the only person on the planet who thinks I should be working harder than I already am.  I still haven’t learned how to do any of that… maybe someday.

Anyway, so, I’m still here, and I’m super-busy, both with moving-related things and other projects (a big one being, I finally, after a full year of acknowledging that I really should but never being able to handle the act itself, applied for disability; it was just so hard to admit that this might well be permanent, and that I’m not just home with the baby because I wanted to spend time with him – I’m home because even if Isaac wasn’t here, I would not be able to handle any sort of work yet… which I hate, hate, hate, but I was finally able to overcome that resistance and start the application process.  My therapist will be so proud.).  I’m hanging in there, sometimes by the skin of my teeth, but still hanging.  And as this emotional tsunami washes over me, I’m still treading water.


  1. You will be glad you did write. I think I told you about the 70 pages I wrote when Rebecca was a year old. I still have them, and she has said that, when she is ready, she wants to read them, as it’s about her too.

    Believe it or not, that day does come. I cried at various milestones; her bat mitzvah ON her 13th birthday nearly did me in, but the next year, I didn’t cry on July 12. I could whole-heartedly participate in her joy. She, for some odd reason, LOVES her birthday, though it was so traumatic for me. And now memories of the trauma don’t bring the pain that they did. I do mourn what my cognitive abilities (and my figure) used to be, but I get the present of her and my healthy daily lives to make up for it.

    So glad about the house. Hope that fourth bedroom is a yarn room/office!

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