For to be free is not to merely cast off one's chains,
but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
- Nelson Mandela -

Monday, March 24, 2008

Ostara and new foundations

Thank you so much to everybody out there who's supported me with their thoughts, prayers and good wishes while I was in hospital. At times I literally felt it and it worked like magic, because it all went very well and I'm on the mend.
Will have to take things easy, can't drive for at least two or three weeks, no hoovering, no digging in the garden, no lifting heavy things, and all that. But I'm sure I'll manage that without too much trouble.

If ever I had a lesson in letting go and trusting the process I had it in the past week. On the day I was admitted my sister in Holland was taken to hospital, too. Not planned.
And then the next day, when I came out of surgery, Ken told me that apparently my mother had had some sort of a heart attack and was in hospital, in the special care unit.
Now, in any other circumstances I would have been on the first plane out. But that was just no option. At all.

All I could do was lie there and practise radical acceptance.
In an attempt to do so I dipped deep into the healing energy that was being sent to me by so many friends, and I dipped deep into my own strength. And I cried and cried for hours. The nursing staff was so good about it. I explained briefly what I was trying to deal with and that I would really like them to draw the curtains around me and just leave me in my own 'private bubble', as Owen calls it. And they did.
I wish I could say I've got it all sussed now and that everything's under control, but I would be lying. Well, who wants to be in control, anyway.
I suppose lying in a hospital bed with needles and tubes in your body makes it kind of easy to accept you really can't go anywhere. That wasn't the hardest part.
No, there were other issues that, strangely enough (?) I'd been trying to get a grip on in the weeks before I went in, that were a lot tougher. Issues like what happens with me when my Mum takes ill or feels bad, the mechanisms I then fall into, the denial of my own needs and cravings. Issues about unconditional and conditional love. The different feelings I had about my sister and my Mum. The guilt trip I go on about these feelings... etcetera etcetera.

I was so happy to come home and to be able to speak on the phone with both my sister and my Mum. It was good to know that one of my other sisters (I have three) is looking after my Mum. She knows all the medical stuff, she professionally deals with doctors every day and she'll make sure my Mum gets everything she needs. It gives me space to let go of that terribly twisted feeling of responsibility, which in actual fact has more to do with guilt and therefore creates anger...
My sister came out of hospital yesterday. Talking to her, heart to heart, soul to soul, even for a few minutes the first time, I immediately felt the flow of unconditional love and I also felt it was okay, okay to need each other, okay to be connected. Because the way we are connected we exchange, we share, but we do not absorb each other. I do not need to feel responsible for her in any other way than to give her who and what I truly am.
And I am - in every sense of the word - her Sister.

I am really tired now. The days seem to last twice as long as normally, I have lost my sense of time and even place every now and then. I have tried to help cook a special meal today, but I couldn't stay on my feet for very long.
I did feel a bit sorry for not having done anything about Ostara this year. But I suppose this year I am celebrating Ostara by living it. The time for new beginnings, rebirth and balance.
This year at Ostara I've had the foundations under my motherhood strengthened.
Under a practically full moon.
Slowly but surely the picture is getting clearer, the bits of the jigsaw are falling into place.

This all probably looks like the ramblings of a recovering mind, making not much sense. And I'll stop writing, because the thoughts that are now entering my head haven't found words yet. And certainly not in English ;). But my body is a lot more relaxed now than when I started writing this post.
I'm going to close my eyes and ponder about Ostara and the time of radical changes it brings along.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Headed for Hospital

I will be going into hospital on Tuesday.
The blood tests came back okay, no reason to postpone the operation.
So it's going ahead as planned.
I asked the consultant - a very nice and straightforward Indian lady - to help me find the correct English words to explain to people what kind of operation I was having, without having to go into too much gruesome details and she said: "Just say you're going to have some major pelvic floor repair done and they won't ask any further questions."
So, now you know. :)

I'll be in for at least two, maybe three or four days, depending on how the operation goes and obviously how quickly I recover.
Ken's bought me a portable DVD-player and we're now filling a folder with films I've been wanting to watch for ages, and my favourite music CD's. Considering that and the books that are piling up to go in my suitcase I may have to ask them to keep me in a bit longer.
Just kidding!!

I find that I'm preparing as if I'm going on holiday and leaving Ken and the kids at home. And having similar ambiguous feelings about it.
I'm trying not to make too many lists and instructions, but the control freak in me is having a hard time. Also, I'm not wanting to upset or worry anybody, and after all it's quite a routine operation and all that, but it IS an operation and I am going to have full anaesthesia. So control freak me is having a hard time not to say farewell to the children, just in case... Or is that the drama me?
When I mention even the slightest of this kind of worries to Ken his eyes just go blank in the same way they did when I was giving birth. He just shuts himself off and I know that anything I say will not be remembered or used.

Which is good, probably. Because it leaves me with no alternative than to trust and surrender. From the moment she walked into the consultation room I've had a very positive feeling about this consultant. I could immediately relate to her and within a few minutes we were joking and at the same time discussing in depth the options I had. I explained in a few words why I didn't want a hysterectomy. Unlike my GP she didn't start summing up all the pro's, but she nodded and said: "I see you've done a lot of thinking and researching. Are you satisfied you know enough? Have you any questions left?"
She definitely gave me the feeling that I'm in charge of what's happening with me, with my body.

I knew I'd go on a waiting list and it would be end of April before I could go in. And then I got this phone call a few weeks ago. The hospital, offering me a place in a private hospital in Lancaster, they'd pay for it, and I'd be guaranteed a place in the first half of March!
Not for me. Because it would mean a different consultant and long journeys.
So to their apparent amazement I declined.

Only two weeks later I got a call that I was expected to go in on March 18. Well, yes, okay, that's not the first half of March...
I'm thanking all the people that have taken up the offer to go private, because it has obviously shortened the waiting list!

Anyway, think of me please, while I'm in there. And think of my poor family who'll have to manage without me :)).

Edit: I just read this post again and realised that I've repeated some of the things I said in the previous post. Must be stress showing, after all. At least you can't say I didn't tell you. I'll shut up now, nothing coherent is going to come out anymore.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Silly Cow

That's me.
I'm forever nagging my children about listening to what their body tells them, exercise, fresh air, healthy mind in healthy body, and all those pearls of wisdom, but what do I do to lead by example? Zilch. Nothing. Well, very little, anyway.
Ever since we moved here I've hardly been out and about. Even though there's this lovely path by the river where the dogs can run off the lead, I hardly ever take them there. Ken does practically all the dog walking at the moment. My excuse is that I'm working hard and need to get my translation and stories done, but it's a lame excuse.
For a while now I've been saying to Ken how I really need to get fit, because I'm beginning to get circulation problems, I'm short of breath even after a short walk to the shops, and there's all sorts of other signs, that - would I see them in one of my clan - would get me on my soapbox about healthy living.

So, now I'm getting what I deserve.
Coz that's how things work.
I'm waiting for this operation to have some 'major pelvic floor repairs' done. First it was going to take place end of April, but they've brought it forward to March 18, which I was quite pleased about.
Last Tuesday I had to go in for a pre-operative assessment and it turned out that I had glucose in my urine and then when they did the diabetes test, that showed a too high BM. So then I had to go back the next day for a full fasting test.
Now I'm waiting for the results of that to come back. If I do have a glucose intolerance or a form of diabetes, the operation will be postponed.
Not that I was looking forward to the operation, but I was looking forward to get it over and done with, iyswim.

Now I know for a fact that if I'd done what my body had told me and got fit when I felt I should, I wouldn't have had the high glucose. And I would've just gone in next Tuesday, without a problem.

I'm just so utterly annoyed with myself and can't think of anyone else to blame but me. Me me me. Is this enough of a meme, EF?

As Myrna and Owen are in the middle of learning everything about the digestive system and blood circulation, and were only last week discussing the workings of insuline with their tutor, there is no escaping the facts. When Mr R came this morning they - obviously - wanted to go over it again, and I got everything I've said to them in the past about healthy living and the need of exercising thrown back at me...

Now every member of this family is eager to help me get fit as soon as possible. So, where I used to sneak upstairs and do some work while they went out for a walk or whatever, I don't get the chance to do that anymore. There's no more escaping my own good council.
"Exercise and fresh air keep us healthy and wise."

I hope somebody is feeling sorry for me, coz I get no sympathy here...