The fight to not be overwhelmed by the risks of my decompression surgery for my Chiari Malformation has been one of the biggest mental battles of my life. It was a surgery that sent me down this road of struggle over the last year. Recently, I started seeing the decompression surgery as a godsend.
Last year, a neurosurgeon dismissed my Chiari and I was left with a diagnosis that had not provided me with anything but more pain and heartache. It sunk me so far into a hole, I wasn’t sure I wanted to come out of that hole if that was what life had left for me.
And then one evening, I experienced a moment that made me sicker to my stomach than I had ever been, something that rocked me to my core and scared the living shit out of me. That moment kicked me into beast mode and I contacted my doctor the next day (turtles can be beasts too). She has been amazing and she introduced me to a doctor that looked deep at my MRIs and provided me with more answers than I ever expected.
Hope aside, I was scared and still working to get out of my own way. Chronic illnesses – they never really tell you how to make life work with them. Well, a repeat of that moment that scared me straight kept coming up. Similar in fashion each time and threatening to darken my hope while providing me with drive to keep going.
What a complicated and fickle web we weave.
It was after one of the darkest nights of my life just over a month ago that helped me realize I had my focus on being a burden when I needed to be looking towards a future of relief and happiness. I dropped the idea of clearing the cluttering and concentrated on one thing, the better outcome.
With that drive in tow, I wanted to find a place that meant so much to me that I could visit. Now, I can’t drive. Things that shouldn’t be moving move and being a passenger in a vehicle is less than ideal because not being in control anymore makes it harder to relax.
The feeling of not having control over your life is one of the worst kinds of gut punches.
When I decided I wanted to find a place to visit, drive aside, I knew I wanted to see it before the surgery. It was also a place I wanted to see as soon as I was recovered enough from my surgery. It had to have significance and it had to be a joyous occasion. The choice was instantaneous; a place my husband and I only shared. A place only we could understand the importance.
After we were married, we took a little trip north. Just us. It was a bit of a drive for me as I didn’t like highway driving, but I had my man by my side and I knew I was safe with him. There were two little shops we hit while we were there.
For years, I’ve wanted to go back. If for nothing else, but to enjoy an anniversary together. Enjoy the world, just the two of us. This was the place I chose. It was the place I wanted to celebrate life and hope and love. It was a place of connection and my desire to connect to the world again has been tugging at me with every string of my heart.
Last Monday morning, before I got my steps in, I wondered if I could make a long drive. After I got my step on, I realized I had to make this happen. Four weeks and two days. One last trip before the surgery for hope – My first trip after in celebration. Both trips for renewed faith.
I had come to accept what I thought was my fate months ago, but all those little moments that scared me shitless made me never want to forget all those moments of happiness I’ve experienced. It made me never want to stop trying to be happy.
If for nothing else, we as human beings have to find our way while getting out of our own way to have any chance at happiness.