Thoughts From the Proned -- Five days into positioningSep 18, 2023
I'm now on day 5 of literally being flat on my face.
There are some things in life you just have to get through. Like, once you're pregnant and sick, you're pregnant and sick. You just know that every morning, you're going to wake up nauseous. It was never an option for me to all-of-a-sudden NOT be pregnant. Right now, I wake up and I know I'm going to lay face-down for the day, as much as possible.
These days, I look forward to tiny things, like the small amount of time the doctor said I could lay on my right side at night. Or the smoothie Bella brings me. Or just listening to the man fix the fence (he's almost done).
My thoughts have been everywhere. I've been reminded of the patients I witnessed in 2020 who were "proned" in the ICU during COVID. I've thought about my patients, now, who can't move -- are just stuck, bodies aching . . . completely helpless. I've thought about just how much stress one body can take. I've thought about the doctor's face when he told me that I wouldn't heal unless I was flat on my face for 10 days. We recommend a massage chair . . .
I'm tender and emotional. My body stress-quota has become full, at 49 years old. I think that the cup of stressors has finally become full from decades of nervous-system activation and my body is letting down. I hate the fact that my children are watching me actually prostrate, yelling through the pillow on my face to be heard. That has to be scary.
I've thought about my family of origin. How they could quite probably think I deserve any bad thing that comes my way (unless they have drastically changed). How my pathological ex-husband believed that, when he got sick, it was the devil attacking him; when I got sick, I was no doubt a harlot who deserved it. And how much water has passed under those bridges to where the kids and I can laugh about those kinds of things now. The absurdity.
The truth is, the love I have been shown has been raw and real and deeply moving.
I could not accept help for so long because (honestly), a small part of me believed that my lot was to suffer.
I don't feel that way, anymore.
Real love continues to pour out over my mind, spirit and body. It takes real love to
*fly out and cook all of the meals for a weekend, setting us up for success for a week
*show up one afternoon and just do the dishes, bringing flowers and my favorite candle
*rush out to take one of my children to a soccer game so she can sing the National Anthem
*send a recliner (yes -- I GOT A RECLINER IN THE MAIL)
*send a special pillow so my face is not routinely smashed and I can feel more comfortable
*drive people to and from the airport
*send money so I don't have to worry for a while
*fold my laundry (even my unmentionables)
*brainstorm how to rig a device to wash my hair
*insist that my teens put their dishes in the dishwasher
*leave countless audios of encouragement, knowing how difficult it is to read right now
*create a set up so I can get some sunshine in the backyard for a little bit of time, encouraging my body and soul
I could go on and on. My spirit is wrapped in love -- love that I did not think I deserved for so long. Love I thought I had to EARN. Which I did, once upon a time. That was actually the case. But no longer. And never again.
My body aches for being in this impossible place. And I look forward to what else God is giving me. My daily bread. It is a strange thing to be completely, utterly dependent on others. I feel fragile. I'm drinking from a cup of suffering that I fully agreed to sip from decades ago when I signed up for this life. I will continue to practice what I preach and embrace this suffering as i discover wisdom gems and listen, intently, to God as He seems to plead with me to slow down and let Him care for me, provide for me and send me angels. He has forced me to slow down. This is mercy.
I will take what I've learned to be a better mother, counselor and chaplain. To be a better sister and friend. To be better to myself.
"Thank you" is inadequate for all of you who uphold me right now. Please don't stop praying for my children and myself. Five more days. I'm halfway there.
I love and miss you all.