Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Story Time

Today was much, much better.
I think my strength is coming back.
I got crazy and asked Mr. Nielson to take me to Jamba Juice in the car.
I was craving an Orange Dream Machine.
I hadn't been out for more than a month, and being in the car and feeling 
the hot Arizona heat warm up my cold bones felt pretty good.
 It was just like old times: the boys snoozing in the back seat, and me
 and Mr. Nielson switching the radio stations back and forth and 
talking about how we wished we could ban the ugliness 
of the internet from our pure and innocent children.
 I have a bandage made from seaweed plastered on my neck as a dressing.
It's really good for healing, but it smells so bad.
It smells like poo mixed with barf.
Sorry to be like a 10-year-old boy, but it really truly does.
So, in reality, it is as if a poopy diaper is taped to my neck.
I've been so so so so so sick.
And every time I'd catch a waft from my bandage, I'd throw up.
It was scary there for a little while.
I was severely dehydrated and malnourished.
And as you know, I need all the strength I can get for healing!

So, one night, as I was bawling my eyes out into my pillow, and I happened to notice 
that my pillow case had crumpled up into the shape of a heart.
And then I stopped crying and admired this happen-stance occurrence for a minute
and it softened my heart, and all of a sudden, I felt so much love.
 Then I felt that the Lord was telling me He was aware of my heart. 
 He knew how I felt. 
Then, I promised the Lord that I would endure this better.
Then I felt terribly thirsty and woke Mr. Nielson up,
who promptly got me a drink of water, which was a really
good thing since I'd been so dehydrated.
And I didn't throw it up, either!
Praise the Lord!
Now, I will tell one more story:

One night, I woke up in the hospital after my Hunchie surgery
 feeling super disoriented and in lots of pain.
 I looked over to where Mr. Nielson had always been when he'd
visit me, but this time, he was gone. 
 Well, I lost it and pounded the nurse help button over and over 
again in a frantic search for Christian.
My sweet nurse came in with an Ativan to ease my anxiety.
But I didn't want the darn pill; I wanted my husband.
And then she told me to calm down because she was 
going to tell me a story.
She told me that after my 14-hour surgery in May, Mr. Nielson 
never left my side.  Never.
 No breaks, food, or calls. He sat in my room with a nervous heart 
and with tears in his eyes. 
She told me that after my surgery, I was still sedated 
I was put in my room to recover and recuperate from the intense surgery
and near-death extravaganza.
He stayed by my side, never leaving, just in case I woke up. 
His dedication to me was serious business, and he was terrified at the 
thought of me waking up alone. And so he stayed there,
day after day, for weeks.
She said that on that day, she could tell Christian was incredibly exhausted.  
She urged him to go home to shower and sleep.
She said she'd take good care of me.
Then, I felt a little guilty for being so needy.
These past few years, I've learned that fear drives
my heart and actions.  I wish it didn't.
I will probably have to work on it for years to come.

My nurse, by this time, was tearing up.
She told me she had never seen that kind of love and dedication
in her 20 years of nursing. Ever.
She brushed my hair and asked if I wanted the Ativan.
I said no.
I'd be OK.
When she left, I broke down in tears. 
My heart was bursting and breaking at the same time.
Oh, how much I love my sweet husband.
I tried to pull it together, and I called him. It was 2:00 am.
"Honey, hi, where are you?
I asked as if I didn't know that he was back at his parent's house
my voice audibly shaking.
"Oh, I needed to sleep in my bed tonight but planned on 
coming in first thing in the morning."
He answered back.  I could tell I had awakened him
from a deep sleep, but he was hiding that.
"Are you OK? Do you need me to come back? I will-right now-
it will only take me 25 minutes.  No traffic at 2:00 am."
His sweet voice was assuring me on the phone.
"Oh, no, no.  I'll see you tomorrow.  I just wanted to tell you how 
much I love you.  I love you!" I said to him, holding back tears.
"OK, I'll see you in a few hours. Get some sleep, honey.  
I love you, too!" he said to me.
Then we hung up, and I broke down, and the tears came as 
I curled up in a ball in my hospital bed and started to cry.
I'm crying because why and how did this whole thing even happen?
Crying because I have so much love.
Crying because we should be together, asleep in each other's arms.
Crying because I'm mad.
Crying because I'm tired.
Crying with gratitude because I'm alive.
That night was one of the worst nights on record.
I didn't want any Ativan or pain meds.
Did I need them?  Yes, I did!
But I also wanted to feel.
Even the painful, crushing feelings.
Just for that night.
To feel normal and human, 
two feelings I've missed for the past few years.

I love Christian so much. 
 His loyalty is remarkable.

Months later, now we share our bed again. 
It's a little different these days.
He just had surgery to fix painful scarring on the shoulder and arm
that I usually nestle myself into for the night.
But I just had surgery on my neck and can't nestle in any way,
so for now, we lay apart, except our feet touch.
 Call me crazy, but it feels like we are making out.

He is my love.
And together, we created them:

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