I’ve had a very busy day and I’m exceptionally tired now, but I feel that certain glow of achievement you can only get after a sense of accomplishment brought on by a success, whether physical or moral has been attained. Today may seem like an ordinary day to many people but to me it marks a number of firsts to be noted:
- Today is the first time I have been out of the house for more than two hours and away from my home comforts, safety nets and out of reach of my bed for six weeks! It is unbelievable how much more tiring you find life when suddenly there is no option just to ‘stop and have a lie down’ any time you want. It’s like being on edge all the time but in fact it’s just what everyone else does. All day every day.
- Today was the first time back in the car for a long journey since the slight nightmare that was the home trip from the hospital on the 21st December. [N.B.The fact my dad ‘helped’ by pulling the seat back I was just about to lean on and we ended up a little bit lost in the middle of New Cross and it took over two hours to get there made it a nightmare. The fact I was a touch fuzzy on morphine throughout made it only a slight one…]
- It was also the first time I then made the same journey back again at the end of the day.
- My first interaction for longer than 2 hours with someone outside of the family. I would not be surprised to discover how many calories you burn just sitting talking as it takes one hell of a lot of energy to talk, listen, keep up with and keep going on a conversation.
- My last day on the mega strength pain pills.
In short, today I went back to my usual home, visited the boy and spent some time in the house. it was only for about 3 hours but as it took an hour and a half to get there and a little under three hours to get back, it made for an exceptionally long day. But a good one I feel.
I hadn’t told anyone I was returning, mostly because I didn’t want anyone to suggest visiting or anything else remotely similar, today or at any future point as I think it would have been too much for me at the time. Also I just wanted to be able to focus on one thing at a time and deal with one little situation on my own, break it down and work through it piece by bite-size piece. And I did! And I feel proud of myself. And at the same time I am also sitting here laughing at myself for being proud of doing something other people do all the time!
My mum often says “you’re not ‘other people’. You’re you and you’re individual”, and I think in this case she may have a point. Because while I sit here and smile indulgently, quietly mock myself at my enthusiasm over my meagre achievements I would have carried out without a moments thought not less than three months ago, part of me also hides the beam of pride at myself for overcoming this miniature wall of adversity and silently pats me, very gently, on the back.
Like a child learning their steps in the way of the world I am, at some stage going to have to accept that for now, I am child like in my progression and the smallest hurdle should be greeted with courage and determination but equally should be rewarded with praise and encouragement to enable me to face the next.
This whole illness, operation and recovery is perhaps one of my biggest hurdles so far and certainly one of my steepest learning curves and yet somehow I cannot seem to see how far I have to go but also just how far I have come. In fact at times I have trouble seeing past my own inability to circumnavigate the walls this presents me with and see only my own lacking ability; my own failure. For what are walls obstructing the path but obstacles to be met one brick at a time, one layer after another until it is small enough to step over without a backwards glance and instead I look only at the wall I have yet to face. I should remember to look at what is left behind when I need a reminder.
And right about the time I can take that backwards glance and see the rubble left behind me I think is about the time I will finally admit to myself how far and how much I have really had to overcome. About the time I am on the other side of that wall and probably as it’s receding in my mind, perhaps doubting it was ever really that big in the first place.
Until then, I’ll just chuckle at my efforts to take on the bricks.