Saturday, April 3, 2010

What I Learned In March

Hello friends!

I'm sorry for the lack of posting this week, but it couldn't be helped. Crafting has been rather dull - and most of it has been related to the secret project anyway - and my other usual sources of blog entertainment (namely the two rug rats who I gave birth to) have been rather subdued this week, despite it having been Spring Break. SO, there's really not been much to talk about.

We did have one little bit of excitement this week - namely my post-op appointment with my doctor on Wednesday. During that appointment, Katy presented me not only with a clean path report, but also with pictures of my surgery. Now, my husband had been very accurate when he told me that the fibroid had been the size of a walnut...but when I saw the pictures I have to say I was stunned. It had not occurred to me that I had been in danger of having the tube rupture...and drat it, that thing was big! If I had needed any further proof that the surgery had been necessary, those pictures did the trick.

Katy assured me that it was just a completely random and that I wasn't in any risk of recurring fibroids. She did tell me, though, that I had the only fallopian fibroid that she had ever seen! (Way to go ME!)

A bit of doctor graduated from my high school just a few years before I did, and our families have known each other for a very long time. I discovered that Katy had moved to Columbia and joined one of the major OBGYN practices in town the same day that we received a letter announcing the retirement of the doctor who delivered our girls. Katy has since proven to be a huge blessing in my life as my doctor, and because of our family history and shared background I always refer to her simply as 'Katy.'

Props to Katy for taking the time during that appointment to sit down with my 7-year-old and explain the pictures in great (and age-appropriate) detail. The Princess can now give you an impressively accurate narration regarding my innards and my surgery if you ask about them...and she also insisted we hang the pictures in a place of honor on our fridge.

I've had a lot of time to think over the last few weeks, and quite naturally most of my thoughts have been centered around the fibroid and what it could possibly mean in my life.

I think it's human....the desire to reason away an illness or accident. After all, there has to be a why, doesn't there? Why did this happen? What does it mean? How can I possibly categorize this so that it makes sense? Is there a cosmic lesson to be learned? We humans don't like random...and we don't like to give up control....and we live in a world where we are almost hyper-aware of everything from our feelings to our physicality. The mind-body connection is promoted by everyone from doctors to scientists to ministers to our friends down the street. In the age self-enlightenment and self-help, everything is supposed to be connected.

Honestly, I'm on the fence. I believe that one's health is definitely influenced by who and what we are and by all of our life experiences ...but I also believe that good people sometimes get cancer for no reason at all. A good, sturdy Midwestern farmer upbringing (pull yourself up by your bootstraps!) balances out the more esoteric experiences in health that I may have experienced. Who knows exactly where the truth lies, and aren't we perhaps over thinking the whole thing anyway? Sometimes I think that the more you fuss and worry...the more you fuss and worry. (And yes, I happen to be quite good at both.) More information is not always a good thing.

Given that, I still believe that there is always a lesson to be learned. I also would be lying if I didn't admit that my gut has been telling me that my body wants me to slow down and pay attention.

So what have I learned?

I've learned that I need to be more patient and more flexible.

I've learned that perhaps I need to slow down and experience life more, rather than constantly allowing myself to obsess over (fill in the blank....I have lots of obsessions).

I've learned that I need to learn to enjoy life more. I don't think it's a coincidence that in the weeks leading up to this my trainer and I were spending a lot of time talking about the fact that I don't really get a lot of enjoyment out of life....a topic that I've also discussed thoroughly with both my acupuncturist and therapist in the last year.

Speaking of coincidences...I would also be lying if I didn't admit that I was a bit spooked by the diagnosis of a fibroid - a condition which Dr. Christian Northrup connects to problems surrounding denied creativity in her book Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom - on the day that I wrote on my blog of feeling creatively blocked. I'm not sure there is a lesson there, but it does give me something else to ponder. (And yes, I do take Northrup's book with a grain of salt...just as I take the advice of ALL professionals with a grain.)

I've learned that I'm very tired of living in fear. Life is short, and things happen. If I continue to live this way I'm going to miss out. Let's face it, I already have missed out in a lot of ways. It's time to grow up. The next medical issue could be more serious...and I don't want to look back on my life with any regrets if something should happen.

Life is returning to normal. Most notably, I was able to go in for a workout on Thursday AM with my trainer - albeit a much easier workout than I am accustomed to. I'm happy to report that the exercise did what it's supposed gave me energy to get through the rest of the day and it started to clear the cobwebs which have been accumulating since all of this started. I have also taken a major step in self-care by saying no to a responsibility that was causing a lot of stress. Maybe there's hope for me after all!


Bonnie said...

Oh, there's hope - there is always hope! Here's hoping the cobwebs continue to clear and that more and more enjoyment is yours!

margene said...

Your conclusion is much like mine when faced with surgery. Twice I was forced to learn the lesson to slow down. My latest surgery, as with all the others, wouldn't have been change by lifestyle. However, the latest surgery's message is I need to take care of my body and keep life simple, plus cherish every minute.

A Day That is Dessert said...

How nice that your doctor is also your friend! Yay to saying no!

I suspect your feelings of fear etc will diminish with time; you've been through a lot! I'm so glad you're ok.

Anne said...

Little steps like getting rid of that stress-laden task go a long way towards a better big picture. I have a hard time with that concept myself sometimes, but it really makes a difference!