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txmarinemom
02-13-2008, 12:47 PM
8 days out from the most scary, by far the most painful, quite possibly the most alone I've EVER felt on the backside of 39 years, an ephiphany occurs to me; so stunning in its simplicity, I feel like a child in comparison to the "me" of 3 months ago.

I realize the most valuable, most poignant moments ... the most wonderful opportunities ... things to make all the difference in a fellow human's day - and the people (oh, the people!) you'd never be blessed to meet if all were perfect.

I swear it's not the meds talking as I sit here, tears leaking, heart bursting - and truly thankful my life isn't perfect ... for I certainly would have missed an intangible perfection (via imperfection), without measure, via each of your absence.

I've cheerleaded/been cheerleaded since I joined (mariaf, vndy, LorDon, geo, geish, Sherie, pnuttro, all the susie's/suzy's, etc. - and too many others to count). I've listened to some very wise people here who gently - and sometimes not so gently - managed to teach me I didn't know a fraction of what I thought I knew. They taught me to really TRY to imagine our similarities - and differences - before I popped off and made someone's day worse (and I wish I could apologize to all I did in my ignorance).

The most joyous things I can recollect in ages happened over the last few days:

- Pnuttro (who lives close enough, but I'd never met) took time from her busy day to come see me in the hospital ... twice

- FeliciaFeliciaFelicia (whom I'd only talked to on the phone, briefly) called today to tell me she was doing well!!! ... I cried, Felicia - you're SO due.

- I got a voice phone/email connection to LorDon ... and it was all I knew it would be ...

- Sherie surprised me with a visit this morning - and groceries for which she refused recompense ... and wonderful company. Yet one of many of this journey I feel I've known forever ...

My thought for today is "I hate that any of us worry about ourselves and our kids. Personally, I wouldn't trade one single second of the time I've spent here - and the things I've learned about how to be a better friend ... and a better person.".

I'm not generally one for sticky, cloying sap, but my advice is run, don't walk, for the nearest shower ;-).

Much love,
Pam

Geish
02-13-2008, 01:07 PM
Yes Pam,
The imperfections really are a blessing in disguise! You are one of the many blessings in my life since I first logged on to this site. To learn that we are not alone. To learn that so many others out there care about us even when they don't really know us. To learn that we are right and wrong, each and every one of us. To laugh and cry at the accomplishments and set backs we all have. Thank you for reminding me and I am sure others of our many blessings.
Happy Valentine's Day!
XO Alicia

Susie*Bee
02-13-2008, 01:20 PM
Pam--what an insightful, from the heart post. It's so good to hear from you and how much you appreciate life and the people who care for you--even though so many of us will never meet you in person.

This is all about growing in so many ways, isn't it? (That's rhetorical...) The struggles, challenges, disagreements, learning, sharing--above all else, the sharing! We're all different but we are all united through our shared problem--and how we deal with it all. That's what has always impressed me on the forum. And how others' ideas give us a new slant to look at things life tosses (sometimes hurls) our way.

I have always found hospitals to be very lonely places. Part of it is because you don't feel good--in fact, let's face it, you are downright miserable. You are in such pain, in fact, that you don't feel like reading or watching tv, or anything else to speak of. So we just lie there in bed, feeling rotten. Which gives us all that empty time for contemplation. Your contemplation has quite obviously led you to a very positive attitude of appreciation for what is/has been/will be happening in your life. What a great comment on a terrific gal! Keep up the good work, looking at the positives, and you'll be back to your energetic self in no time at all. We're all rooting and praying for you! I'm so glad you're at home, doing well, and that people are checking on you. You'll see how it keeps on getting better and better all the time. :)

Sherie
02-13-2008, 02:07 PM
What a beautiful way to look at life! You've obviously brought a lot of joy to people here through your creative and entertaining style of writing. Write that book while you have a chance!

Talk to you soon,

LorDon
02-13-2008, 04:05 PM
Aww, Pam. That post brought tears to my eyes. Once again, I'm stunned by your writing. Speechless, in fact. Ditto what the ladies before me have said. I couldn't have said it any better.

All the best to you during your recovery Pam. Glad to have you back!

Hugs,

mariaf
02-13-2008, 04:50 PM
Write that book while you have a chance!

Yes, Pam, you'd do a great job penning your memoirs I'm sure - I'll be first in line to buy a copy :)

Your post was beautiful and so very true. I have often said that I would not have chosen for my son to have scoliosis - BUT that there have been MANY positives that came from it....the biggest one being the chance to "meet" so many wonderful, giving folks and make new friends.

Hugs,

Linda W
02-13-2008, 06:14 PM
Pam,

I know your current feelings from the heart ring true and are shared by many of us! Glad to hear your brain is clear enough to sense and feel all of the emotions of being on the other side. I hope that your physical pain and discomfort are minimal or at least under effective control. To the great dismay of my family and friends, since my June surgeries, I seem to constantly be humming "You've Got to Have Friends" and have taken to telling people how much I appreciate them. Family members, old friends, new friends you meet in the hospital, neighbors or casual acquaintances who surprise you by dropping by for a visit, to go for a walk with you or bring you a treat, a meal or something to read, the incredibly special NSF on line friends who you may never meet from the other parts of this country and friends you have yet to meet all have more significance when you have had a surgical/emotional experience of this magnitude. How lucky can we get with the opportunity to take advantage of the medical advances that offer us a chance to treat our scoliosis and the many people who have now become our "friends" and such a valuable part of our lives.

Wishing you rapid progress in your recovery and a Happy Valentine's Day.
Linda W.

Suzy
02-13-2008, 08:18 PM
Very well said Pam,

I think as the days go by you will have more Epiphanies. This is such a learning and growing experience. The ability to share our milestones and setbacks bring us closer in ways to each other then our own families. (They just don't understand the joy of the first BM post-op like those here do!) I love that anytime one needs to vent or express how they are feeling there is always someone here. You are a wonderful addition to this family and you have helped us as much as we hopefully have helped you. I knew if you had a new post it would make me laugh and some days I really needed one. Also, giving me more knowledge to help others in getting prepared! I too vote for a book, you really have a knack for putting words together. May your recovery go smooth and these days coast by quickly. Hugs to you! Suzy

txmarinemom
02-14-2008, 02:31 AM
Why's it always gotta be about poop?!?

While I find it uber-cool (not to mention super enlightened n' sh** - no pun intended) we are defacto members of this "1st One After" club, I propose we save ink and paper by recycling membership cards to the next deserving recipient.

If I accidentally throw this thing out of my purse one more time in full view of 50 other customers while digging for my CVS Extra Care Card, I ~cannot~ be held responsible for my actions ...

Susie*Bee
02-14-2008, 07:48 AM
Ahh, but before that first bm... The ironic thing for me was that after a month of being totally humiliated ( at work and elsewhere) from excess (way in excess!) gas from the mega doses of iron I was taking (for blood donation purposes), I was thrilled with passing my first little "toots" in the hospital... I had begun to think my stomach would NEVER wake back up! :eek: Finally the big event happened on day 5 after surgery, and I wasn't allowed any drink or food until then... I was so thirsty for a real drink! Up till then all I got were a few ice chips at a time... So those tiny little barely audible toots were cause for great celebration! :D

skoshi314
02-14-2008, 09:27 AM
Pam and Susie*Bee, you certainly paint a rosy picture! My laughter is not in any way, shape or form meant to be taken as jest but simply as a form of acceptance of what I am in for after surgery. Seriously though, I'm taking in every bit of information I can so I'll know what to expect once I do have surgery. I'm somewhat over the line on the OCD highway so knowing what to expect, in detail, is so helpful in alleviating as much stress as possible!

Susie*Bee
02-14-2008, 09:40 AM
Becky--you've got to sort of keep your sense of humor with some of this. Although I must admit I was totally, absolutely mortified with the gas problem at school!!! I don't think too many people have been asked to, or been able to, donate 4 units of blood in that month before surgery, but that's what I did--hence the mega doses of iron. The main complaint about iron is that it causes constipation. In my case, I did have that, but it PALED in relation to the flatulence problemo! :eek: (You need to realize I'm very conservative and that absolutely killed me!-- I grew up in a family that didn't even dare talk about such things... it was sort of unspeakable and rude. I've come a long way with that, but not far enough to be able to joke much or laugh it off in such a public place.) :o

JoAnn5
02-14-2008, 10:53 AM
Lol!!! I apologize in advance.....

I'd always heard the expression, "Sh** a brick..." But never knew what it was like to do so until after my first surgery....

geo
02-14-2008, 12:15 PM
It's a rule in my family that when the conversation (inevitably) turns to sh**, it's time for everyone to go home!!

Ha ha, this post has really made me smile! Pam, you made me think back to all my pre-op posts and all the reassurance I got here. This site has been absolutely invaluable to me before and after surgery. Nowhere else could I find the answers to my minutiae questions, or anyone who understood why I needed to know what color shirt other people wore the morning of surgery.... ;)

Yes, this surgery/vulnerability brings about so many good things too - makes you realize how much goodness there is in people, strangers and family alike.

SusanGP
02-14-2008, 11:19 PM
Pam, I'm so happy that you are on the other side of your surgery and amazed at your ability to express such a wonderful attitude. Scary, painful, and alone, - those words certainly describe what I and I'm sure all of us felt after our surgeries. However I became introverted, didn't want visitors, couldn't get past the pain to talk on the phone or post for quite some time (wah, wah, wah, what a pity party).

I have a friend who would say "I feel like I've been shot through an orchard and hit every tree", don't know why I just remembered that phrase...??

You are certainly an inspiration to us all. "Ditto" again to what everyone else said and if I had your gift with words I certainly would write a book. I have a long story to tell about my post-op sh** experience but won't get into that yet. Keep on getting better and better each day, it really does work that way. Take care,
Susan

trulyaries
02-16-2008, 11:37 AM
I'm just getting caught up with posts. Pam, what a beautiful note! So you are a mush after all! I was worried that the PPT I sent you was too saccharine, but maybe not, for this time in your life.

And then ... and then ... we descended into toilet humor! :D OK, so I have two stories to add, one of which I was too embarrassed to post before.

Backing up a little, after my last surgery, I had my first BM in the middle of the night and the toilet promptly overflowed. My poor niece was cleaning up at 3 in the morning. Worried so it wouldn't happen again, I had a new toilet put in a few weeks ago. So fast forward to this morning: my first BM. It was all those ugly adjectives I won't go into, and I was exhausted afterward. So I flush the toilet and - you guessed it - the toilet didn't overflow but it is now plugged up! :eek: Until I can get someone over to help, I have to go downstairs now each time I have to conduct some more business.

The second story I have was after my last surgery. I was doing so much tooting for so many months. The funniest part was when I would get up in the morning to go to the bathroom. It was "bbrrrt" "bbrrt" "bbrrt" in cadence with each step I took! It was so amusing but I was so grateful no one else was here to hear it - I too would have been mortified!

Susie*Bee
02-16-2008, 05:06 PM
The funniest part was when I would get up in the morning to go to the bathroom. It was "bbrrrt" "bbrrt" "bbrrt" in cadence with each step I took! It was so amusing but I was so grateful no one else was here to hear it - I too would have been mortified!
Yep, that's part of the mortification I went through at school... That "talkin' when you're walkin' " business was horrendous for me... :eek: I just kept hoping (without a whole lot of hope!) that the kids/teachers would think it was my shoes--or else I'd try to "cough" loudly... Sheesh! :rolleyes: I was SO glad for my last day at school, then one day at home, then leaving for the surgery...

trulyaries
02-16-2008, 06:19 PM
Oh Susie - when you're a kid that is SOOO mortifying! I'm so glad you survived and became a caring, empathetic human being. Sometimes I think it's a miracle that we survive our childhood.

Susie*Bee
02-16-2008, 06:38 PM
Oh Felicia-- that was just last spring! I was 56! I'm an elementary school librarian. And believe me, it was truly terrible... I kept hoping none of the kids would really hear me, because they would have started laughing and saying things. You know how kids are! :D At least that page in my llfe has turned...

And in case anybody reading this is getting panicky, I think constipation is the main side effect from mega doses of iron, not gas. It just hit me that way. :eek: (along with the other) :o

trulyaries
02-16-2008, 08:17 PM
Now I'M embarrassed. :o Can I blame post-surgical fog for not reading the posts clearly? Please forgive me!

txmarinemom
02-16-2008, 10:35 PM
Now I'M embarrassed. :o Can I blame post-surgical fog for not reading the posts clearly? Please forgive me!

Embarrassed???

Impossible this crew in general, and I'm SO not buying an assault on your delicate sensinsibilities, FFF. I'll even toss in a big *pfffbbbt.* - lol ... while I grudingly admit it made me smile ;-).

Even my non-scoli, warped-humored friends are asking for the latest daily gems.

I actually started on the (first) book today. What's flowing now are recent events ... so simple in their nature, I'm ashamed I couldn't have relayed them before.

Scoli or not, we all see at least one person, obviously hurting, every day. What prevents us (other than fear of our *own* rejection) from directing a warm smile and compliment their way? Are there any among us who have never experienced that unexpected gift - and the warmth it leaves in its wake?

Along with my (admittedly) odd humor, I honestly think people need to be reminded how much it matters to others to know others DO care for them. Yes, we have our own lives, and no, we can't give of ourselves 100% of the time; the goal is to try for some. Giving for the right reasons is quite therapeutic as well.

That topics seques into my next set of books - for teens and tweens.

The very same summer I was forced (kicking and screaming, I assure you) into a Boston Brace, developed sudden, severe onset of communicating hydrocephalus. Within a very short period of time my intracranial pressure (ICP) was 5-7 times normal (not typically compatible with life), my eyes were crossed, my head was shaved - and a VP shunt was placed.

I'll go into more detail later, but the concept of the books/series is "I'm Still Me. Who are You"?.

I've babbled on enough ... I'll move this on to another thread next post.

This is going to be a tough journey reliving Jr. High.

If it makes one tormentor let a child attend school in peace, or one child wonder "who defines "normal" anyway?" I'll have acheived my goal.

Regards, y'all.
Pam

The Slice
02-17-2008, 06:16 AM
Hey Pam, did I detect a little rollercoaster ride? :D LOL I envy your ability to be so upbeat. No, you're not all the time, but nobody is. You ARE awesome!

txmarinemom
02-17-2008, 09:58 AM
Message removed by poster.

The Slice
02-17-2008, 12:46 PM
Pam, sorry. Perhaps I could have used a better description than envy. Didn't mean to "creep you out". As others have said, your wit and humor are a joy. Hang in there.

txmarinemom
02-17-2008, 02:02 PM
Message removed by poster.

The Slice
02-17-2008, 05:57 PM
Pam, everything's cool. Hang in there. I tend to be on the oversensitive side because of issues with self esteem and insecurity, so I often tend to read more into situations. I tend to take life too seriously so my sense of humor (so far as delivery goes) is not as well honed.

trulyaries
02-18-2008, 09:03 AM
An update: My niece-who-I-love-so-much and her family came over yesterday. My niece fed and cared for me and my home; daughter Kara read her latest poetry for me (really good!); youngest daughter Elise unfailingly draws a picture for me; son Andrew and I had some Photoshop/photography discussions; and oldest son Stephen (an honors level pianist) assisted his Dad armed with what looked like some medieval torture chamber tools to work on my toilet. YAAAAAYYYYY - my toilet is now unstuck!

What a talented family - and they do toilets too!!

BTW, I don't know why they bother with "stool softeners" in the hospital. They have never done an absolute thing for me - seems my body is going to move when it wants to move and no amount of "prodding" is going to help. And there was no "soft" involved in the end, if you catch my drift. :D

skoshi314
02-18-2008, 10:56 AM
armed with what looked like some medieval torture chamber tools to work on my toilet. drift.
When you first saw this device, were you a little concerned it was for YOU and not the toilet? haha

trulyaries
02-18-2008, 05:04 PM
When you first saw this device, were you a little concerned it was for YOU and not the toilet? haha

LMAO!! If you saw the shape of those things you'd know your comment is even funnier than you thought! :D

beach_chikie
02-18-2008, 05:23 PM
After my surgery (Jan. 30 08) I had the hardest time going to the bathroom. The nurses gave me countless stool softeners and NONE of them worked whatsoever. (getting personal sorry) I wasn't able to go to the bathroom for A WEEK!! I was so worried that I was going to have to get cleaned out by a doctor lol! Finally, I bought some magnesium citrate (most disgusting thing to drink EVER!) I drank about 6-8 ounces of that and... well you know haha. That stuff tastes terrible, but it was well worth it in the long run :)