Monday, December 17, 2012

Surgery Day


And good morning to all of you.

It is 4:10 in the morning as I begin typing this. I got some sleep last night, not a whole lot but some and I'm grateful for that. I wouldn't want to go into this thing tired. I've gathered a few things to bring with me to the hospital: my paperwork, wallet, a notebook and pen, that sort of thing. The garbage and recycling are gathered and set aside for someone else to put at the curb tonight. The thermostat is set to keep warm the people who are assisting us with the kids and dog today. And now, I'm just over one hundred words into maintaining my streak of 750 words a day. In other words, all is well.

As part of my recovery reporting, I'll set a baseline this morning. I'm 213 pounds, my neck is sore from sleeping last night, and my right arm has a twinge of pain in the bicep and just below the elbow. I also have one hell of a stuffed up nose. I won't be doing a lot of walking or exercise today, but I think I can live with it given that today is my surgical appointment. So there you have it, the beginning point of the next few weeks of my life.

And now what? I keep feeling as if there is something I should be doing, something I should be understanding out of all this, but so far, there just isn't. I'm just here this morning, waiting for what is going to come. I am prepared as I can be mentally and emotionally and now, I just want to get started. I don't have much else that I need to do other than wait and see.

Well, that's not true. I can do one other thing after I'm done with these words -- and writing these words is a kind of preparation. I can meditate for five or ten minutes, just to get myself back in the habit of it. I have been thinking that meditation might be an integral part of my recovery and a step toward awareness (another important part of my recovery). Last night, lying in bed with my mind racing far too fast for sleep, I took some time to notice my breathing, to focus there, and it helped me find the way. I didn't go into it thinking that it would put me to sleep. In fact, I focused on my breath without much of any expectation. I just wanted to focus there instead of being all scattered. Soon enough, the scattered feeling dissipated. I'm wondering, after the surgery, when my mind concentrates too much on pain, discomfort, or even depression, if I can use meditation to let those things fade away. It is most certainly worth a shot.

This morning then, I do have one more thing that I want to try and do. Good. It's a help to have a plan, to have things to keep me busy. I'm up early enough that I have no need to rush, so I might as well take time to do something for myself.

Other than that, it's just another morning before the sun rises. There is an intermittent drip of rain outside, it is warm in here, and even the cats are still asleep. Soon, Stephanie will rise from bed and come down here to get herself ready. The kids will sleep on in their beds. My parents will arrive so that Stephanie and I can go, safe in the knowledge that the girls will be taken care of this morning. Later, the parents will walk the dog and then join us at the hospital. My hope is that my wife will leave the hospital for a little while to go watch our youngest girl sing. Then she will come back to see me. Her father will pick the girls up from school, get the oldest to dance, take them both to dinner. And then, Stephanie will be home to help them into bed and I will either stay the night in the hospital or return home to our bed. Either way, I'll have begun recovering and moving forward.

That's the day. Pretty easy when I put it down in one paragraph like that. Easy for me, I just have to let people do all this stuff while I try to lie still and be a good patient. Oh, and somewhere in the middle of all that, maybe I can sneak in just a few minutes at a keyboard in order to write on. We shall see. Here we go.