Sometime at the end of last week I realized that I was exhausted.
Shocker, right? That the experience of preparing for and worrying about and the getting through brain surgery would tire me out? Yeah…well… it seems obvious in hindsight, but I was still sort of surprised to find myself so tired.
I think because we returned home from Baltimore and I just sort of jumped back into life. And I didn’t really keep a slow pace, or anything close to it, to help me in taking in all that we’d just been through.
It makes me think about a few years ago, when I worked with a group in Australia. At one point we hosted the National Leaders Meeting, and our entire base was in a frenzy for the weeks leading up to it. We were hosting leaders from all over Australia and New Zealand for a week, and every waking moment was devoted to being ready and pulling the conference off really well.
The conference came and went, and afterward our base leader, Ken, gathered the staff together. We were all sort of over-tired, yet hyper (not an uncommon group energy when most of us were in our early to mid-20’s and swept up in this thing called the Holy Spirit.)
Ken told us that we had been running full tilt on a treadmill for weeks now. And he said that it is easy to just keep on at that pace, even when the race is over, because you are just accustomed to it. But he advised us to be conscious of slowing down the treadmills. Notice that the frenzy is over, and we all needed to downshift a bit. No one can keep up at that pace very well for very long.
My anxiety and worry and thinking about surgery really ramped up in the weeks leading up to the surgery. I was fixated on all of us being healthy and well. I had to think of things to do with the kids that wouldn’t expose them to a bazillion viruses and germs. (Think: lots of time at freezing cold playgrounds). Then the surgery came. The ICU (which was pretty terrible) and the recovery room (so so much better). There was just so much energy and emotion in all of that. I didn’t realize how tired I was because adrenaline takes over when it needs to. And I couldn’t be fully “there” and present with how tired I was or overwhelmed or sad because…that is all too much to stand up under, sometimes.
But- now two weeks later. The adrenaline has worn off. The Monkey is still doing very very well. But life is moving along and I think I just tried to jump back in with it. Oh, with an extra 6 hours of physical therapy a week. And Christmas presents. And purging toys and clothes to make space for the gifts they’ll unwrap next week.
This is all stuff I enjoy and want to do, but- duh- I really just need to turn down the treadmill.
So now I am doing those things “they” tell you to do like: resting while the kids are resting, and taking friends up on their offers to watch our kids. And putting shows on the ipad because it really will not rot their brains too much. I haven’t cooked a meal since about a week before the surgery- (thank you to the friends who are feeding us!) And I should probably exercise and eat better, because I know that would help too. And ignore the temptation to blog at 12:30 a.m. Oh well- win some/lose some.
That’s where I am at this stage, a couple of weeks out. Recovering. Tired. Thankful thankful thankful. (That needed to be said three times. It is all in the mix.)
***Our surgeon let us know that the tumor was, indeed, benign. We were told this was most likely from the beginning, but are certainly happy for the confirmation.***
All images from Robinson Imagery. Sara and John met us on the Sunday morning before the surgery to take pictures of us as a family. These pictures will always remind me of that crazy week when we weren’t really sure how everything was going to unfold. I’m really thankful for them.