Thursday, September 5, 2013

Dancing in the Dark

"What are you laughing at?” I asked my son and daughter-in-law while we visited them and the grandbabies in Kentucky.  They passed me a video baby monitor of Tully, their two-year-old, who’d been in bed for an hour or two. The picture was pretty super-spy high tech since it was filming in the dark, but the image was unmistakable. Their pajama clad redhead was on her feet in the crib, dancing and swaying at her own private party.
“And a little child will lead them,” Isaiah said.
I had a hysterectomy three months ago today.  I was asleep when it happened and when I woke up, I was missing quite a few original body parts. It’s scary what can happen to you when you’re not paying attention.
The doctor told me it would take 6-8 weeks for my body to heal. I wasn’t allowed to lift anything heavier than my head off the pillow. My sister-in-law gave me permission to be treated like a princess for two months, which made my husband a bit of a bondservant. Oh.  That’s what it meant when he promised ‘for better or for worse.’
I feel really bad about that.
Every night for the first month I woke him up once or twice to help me get out of bed for pain meds, new ice packs and bathroom visitation.  It was like having a newborn in the house again, only bigger. And whinier. I needed help with everything.  Getting in and out of a chair. Getting in and out of my clothes. Getting in and out of the shower and the car.  Why he doesn’t have a sprained back, I’ll never know.  I guess all that carrying me through life for the last 37 years paid off.
Two weeks after my surgery I finally experienced what most of my friends have been talking about for ages—my very own hot flashes.  Private summers, power surges, no-spring-chicken fevers.  I.Had.No.Idea.  And I apologize to my friend for laughing that day she walked through my front door, straight into the kitchen, and stuck her head in my freezer.  Now I understand.
I found some meds that relieved those personal visits to the tropics, but not everything is hunky dory in EulaLand.  Turns out it was eight weeks for the surgery to heal. It’s taking a bit longer for my soul and body to adjust to the new normal.
I feel like a two-year-old again. Every day I need a nap.  But I don't want a nap.  I want to do what I want to do. Most days I don't have a choice about it, though. I need a nap, cuz I can actually stay awake until ten or ten thirty at night if I take a nap.  And if I don’t take a nap? Been around any toddlers when they reach their melting point?

This is so humiliating. 
So there I lay this afternoon, listening to Zen music on the TV, counting elderly sheep who can’t jump a fence, trying to relax and turn off my brain, and after forty-five minutes—nothing.  I knew I needed some sleep but just telling somebody to go to sleep works about as well as telling Congress to balance a budget—no comprendo.

I finally decided laying there for a while was better than nothing and got up. Every day I am better. I wish I was back to normal right now, but I have so much to be thankful for that feeling fatigued for a few months instead of worried about cancer seems like a small price to pay. So while I keep recovering and finding my own unique way back to me, as bewildering as it is sometimes, I'll at least be good and take my naps. And I'll try to keep in mind what my granddaughter does when she can’t make sense out of down time, either.

I’ll dance in the dark. 
Poor Rob. I hope he doesn’t mind another redheaded pajama party.


  1. You are a riot, Eula! You are the queen of painting a story picture with words and using just the right snarky comment to cause a quick unexpected shock and laughter to follow! I can just see it all in my mind including your cute satisfied grin for getting the frustrating occurance off your chest! I think I will go read it again for another good laugh. Your posts are becoming addicting!

    1. Three cheers for addiction! Keep coming back for more and pass the word. This may be the only winepress that's non-alcoholic. ;) Thanks, Kim! Love your encouragement!!