Well, yesterday I turned the big 3-0.
It’s ironic, until a week or two ago, I had never understood the hype about turning 30. Some of my friends planned big celebrations while others dreaded it and I… I just never thought much about it. I always figured if I were meant to get married, have kids and all that jazz then it would happen when God felt the time was right. In the meantime, I was always so busy that I couldn’t relate to those who seemed to have an abundance of time to worry and complain about it. Don’t get me wrong, I am loves biggest fan and I would love to have a family of my own. But at the time, it all made perfect sense to me. I was either too busy, in a relationship with who I thought was the right guy or I was working on me, learning the tough lessons I needed that would prepare me to be the best Mrs. when I did find my Mr. Right so… I thought I was where God wanted me to be. And maybe that’s still true, maybe it’s all part of his plan, I don’t know. And honestly, I think turning 30 isn’t the big deal, rather, it brings to light that a lot of things in my life were once a matter of “when” and are now a matter of “if”.
For example, finding Mr. Right and living happily ever after… Sure, there’s still time. But now I have to accept this version of myself and get back to loving me before I can expect anyone else to do the same. And that is going to take a lot of work… A lot of work that I thought I had already done. Because in some ways, I had. I loved who I was, what I was doing, where I was going. I was advancing in my career, saving to buy a house while renting one without roommates. I had a ton of friends (or so I thought), I was going to school and when I was dating, I thought I was finally on the right track. I was being more open and honest, even a little vulnerable at times. I believe there’s always room for improvement so I acknowledged my communication skills could improve and continued to work on them, both for my relationships and for myself. After 28-ish years, I was finally in a place where I thought I was ready to find Mr. Right. Then of course there was the boy whom we all thought I was going to marry and I am sure him breaking my heart has something to do with how I feel now, too. But more so, surgery ruined my super woman perception of myself. And I don’t mean that in a cocky way, I simply mean that I worked really, really hard to finally see myself as worthy and then surgery shattered my whole world and I’ve yet to piece it back together. It’s been over a year since I have worked and the Government told me I had to drop out of school… They say in times of struggle you find out who your real friends are and sad to say, it’s true. As I lay in the ICU for two weeks, two people asked to visit while a hundred or more “liked” my Mom’s Facebook updates… Since I came home last year, no one has tried to call or visit or check in. Once the world knew I wasn’t going to die, on they went with their lives… I hid my birthday from Facebook and the 45 Happy Birthday’s I got last year dwindled to 1 this year. ONE! In addition, I’ve had to ask people for help with utilities and bills. Can you imagine the humility that comes with all of this? I was born and raised to work my ass off. To be nothing less than great. And I was… I never asked anyone for anything, I moved out at 18 and never came home. I was able to spoil my family/friends/dog, get my nails done and go out when I wanted. And I’m not saying this to point out that I had material possessions or to brag, rather, my point is that I took pride in my hard work. It felt good to know that I had something to show for my workaholic tendencies. I lived off my savings for the first year after surgery but now? There’s nothing left. I am about to give up my rental home and likely sell my car for something less expensive. I am asking for help and selling what I can while I fight Social Security for disability. I continue to see doctor after doctor, say my prayers and work my ass off to find a cure that allows me to get back to work but the end result is that I’m still in excruciating pain every waking moment of every day. I’m barely able to walk, sleep, sit, you name it… I can hardly keep my house clean anymore. I used to do it all and now I struggle to walk… Can you imagine? Because of a surgery that everyone was so confident would fix me! I know, I know, nothing is ever guaranteed. But I have medical professional parents and I am that kid that memorizes the risks and watches videos of the surgery and studies the medical staff assigned to my case, their credentials and I picked the best of the best of surgeons. I couldn’t have been in better hands that day. So did I know risks were involved? Yes. But does anyone wholeheartedly grasp the possibility that you may not wake up from surgery? Or that you may end up worse off than before? I can honestly say that I didn’t. I was so prepared and had so much faith in my team that I was as ready and confident as one could be…But at last, Zofran… Zofran is an anti-nausea medication given to pregnant women with morning sickness, it’s the #1 anti-nausea medication administered to car accident or trauma victims, hell, it’s prescribed by your family doctor when you have the flu… So who would think that I could have a spinal fusion with a 14 inch incision in my stomach, cages, plates, etc. and yet, all of that goes textbook perfectly and it’s the nausea medicine they give me when I’m waking up that Hey! Guess what?! I’m allergic to and it almost kills me. It’s EXTREMELY rare to find someone allergic to Zofran. But okay, I fight my butt off, my parents cry, my Mom sleeps by my bedside and 13 days later I go home to my emotional support dog that I had missed more than words. The recovery is brutal but I keep telling myself that I knew this going in that this would suck. “But! I’m going to feel so much better! I am going to get back to work prior to the 3 months I took off. I am going to do yoga and lose weight and it’s going to be great now that they fixed me!!” But then my recovery comes to a halt and no one can understand why. I can walk to the mailbox and back without holding onto anything but that’s about as far as I get. Maybe a little further on a good day. I have to have a cart when I’m at the store. And when the pain increases, I begin to drag my feet and trip myself. I can’t take care of my home, go to work, go to school, do the dishes, walk my dog for long walks… And even from a pain perspective, I broke my arm and maintained for two days before going to the doc so why can’t I just push through this, too? Why can’t I just be tougher than the pain? Who is this new version of me? Two surgeons are convinced I need another surgery but there’s no concrete evidence and other doctors strongly advise against it. So far, there’s no real answers so without an explanation as to why I am not getting better how do I just accept that this is my new life?… I’ve learned a lot of valuable lessons this past year but accepting that this is it, that I’ll never get better and to be kind to myself… Well, those are still a work in progress to say the least. I used to think I had so much to offer someone and now… I can’t help but to wonder why anyone would give me a chance once they find out about all of this… Who would want a girl with no job, medical issues and who knows where I’ll be living or what I’ll have left by the then… Heck, I might just be a girl with a dog (who is the love of my life might I add) and that’s it HAHA! It’s not funny but I feel the need to laugh as if it’s not a realistic possibility.
Then there’s the baby thing… Since not working has allowed me to spend more time with my family, specifically my nieces and nephews, I can’t help but to think, yeah, I’d like to have at least one. But then I am overwhelmed with the reality that I can’t get a car seat in/out of the car and I can’t hold a baby long enough to feed it or rock it to sleep, carry a baby in a car seat, etc…. So is it even possible for me to have a kid? Then of course I think I am 30 now and I’ve never had a strong desire to have kids much beyond 30 so… Is this God telling me I am not meant to have kids?
Anyways, yesterday I went for a drive, just me and my dog. We didn’t go far, but far enough to find some water and a place to spend the day. It was my birthday and my family was busy so I am told we’ll celebrate later in the week. My friends? Well, let’s see. One of my best friends stopped by the night before and I appreciated that very much. The other is in New Hampshire but we Skyped the night before and she texted me so I appreciated that, too. My best friend who hasn’t been around much invited me to come for a BBQ but by then I was already gone. Then my sister, who’s busy, tells me I am weird for going for a drive on my birthday… Gee, thanks. Truth be told, it would’ve meant the world to me to have spontaneously gone to Vegas for the weekend (I’ve never been), spent the day drinking and BBQ’ing with a bunch of friends or hanging out at the river followed by family dinner or something but that didn’t exactly happen so, yeah, I’m going to drive, listen to music and try not to spend my birthday in tears… Which I still came home and cried and spent the night laying on ice packs so I guess it is what it is. *Sigh*