It’s been 6 weeks since my surgery, 6 weeks from the day that would seal my fate. 6 weeks. 42 days. 1008 hours. And sometimes I even counted down the minutes. Lying there, clutching my head, or the moments, seconds before a sneeze and a laugh, the moment where you can choose to fear, or just hold on. I suppose now is when I stop counting. I suppose it’s back in the saddle I go. I suppose things go back to the way they were. I keep telling myself that the real recovery starts tomorrow. That I can’t make those you’re in your 6 weeks of recovery, so go on eat that pop tart, take that nap excuses to myself anymore.
I have no excuses anymore. I wanted an epiphany. I wanted change. I wanted certainty and blindly I believed the surgery would give me that. I thought that all those things that bugged me before, well this momentous event would cause them to pass. I somehow thought in relinquishing control of my life for those long hours, I would gain certainty. The only thing I’m certain of is that I’m completely uncertain. The only thing I know is that I love my work and I love my family and family of choice. I don’t know or understand anything else. Everything I thought I knew, it’s all gone. All I have is a scar, barely visible and the nape of my neck reminding me that something happened. Something I don’t really seem to be able to understand.
I don’t get why I can’t quite make sense of the intersection of my identity and my disability. Or different ability. “You’re ear is not quite dead” the doctor said to me today. It took everything in me not to mumble the word decorative, knowing my reclamation of my body would only make me seem strange. I scoffed at the audiologist as she handed me brochures for hearing aids. I asked her for an invisible solution and she only looked at me, puzzled and stern. When I asked the doctor for the invisible solution she said the option would be to “live with things as they are.” I could live with myself as I am. Slightly softer than normal, differently abled and frustrated that I am not hearing what I want to. For fear of going in circles with myself I will only briefly mention my all too common fear that physical hearing may not make it so I hear what I want from the people in my life.
Ugh, live with myself as I am. Well what the hell does that even mean? I’m confused, slightly ungrateful, kind of annoyed. Yet, at the same time I’m endlessly loved and loving, eternally grateful and not really afraid. I can’t hide behind the shadow of recovery anymore. It’s now or never that I choose to be something, some one. Not that old me who sat there waiting for fate to lead her somewhere, because fate led me here. I’ll be a new me, a vestige of my old self. Or perhaps, I won’t be. My declaration seems to fall flat, I know.
The thing is, I don’t quite know how my life took this path and I’m not quite sure where this path is meant to lead. I feel like a crazy lady sitting in the middle of a trail just waiting for a map to fall in her lap. The thing is, I’ve always been terrible with maps. Even GPS, even the kinds that talk to you and tell you exactly what to do in real time, I can’t figure them out. So what would happen even if I had had some kind of epiphany? I’m pretty sure nothing, nothing at all.
All I can think when I think of my surgery is “welp, that happened.” Then I go on with my day. It’s like the same reaction you’d have if you flipped your plate of spaghetti in your lap, “welp, that happened.” Or when you trip and catch yourself in a hilarious way, “welp that happened.” Or when you laugh until the milk you drank comes out your nose, “welp, that happened.” They are just moments, they happen, you laugh, you cry, whatever, you move on. I spent 3 or 4 arduous minutes holding mirrors up to each other to catch a glimpse of my scar, and when I finally saw it, saw the reflections of my fingers grazing over the red indentation all I could think was how different it looked than what it felt like. And it dawned on me that that was a part of me, that happened. Now I have to figure out how to move on.
The real recovery starts tomorrow. What that means? Well your guess is as good as mine, but it’s going to happen. I’m working hard to find a new path to walk on, one that bridges where I was and where I am going, and I’m hopeful that as we all shift our paths to find what best suits us we can walk along side each other.
Peace and love,