I’m no stranger to difficult times. My life has been one challenge after another with enough sunshine and rainbows to get me through. I wouldn’t change it. Often in retrospect, those struggles were some of the best times of my life. These kidney stones, and especially the stent, is not one of those times.
The physical pain and the worry of being down for the count for my kids and my job (our only income) left me a balled up knot of a person. I cut myself off from everything. I knit through the nausea, the spins, the pain. It kept me grounded, but not connected. This went on for weeks. Weeks of waiting my turn for ‘sound’ surgery and weeks of working in a haze of bladder relaxers and pain relievers. Weeks of clawing through the day so I could ball up at home.
Finally, I called a friend. I had been holding my phone in my hand for days debating on calling. Text messages started and deleted. I’m good with messy. I’m not good with feeling broken. I was broken. So I called the one person who could snap me out of it and wake me up to just how cut off I really was. I had to open back up to start healing and it was a lot harder than I thought it would be. All I could manage was a little opening where I could let the world slowly filter back in.
It helped a lot. I was still in pain, still angry, still ‘wintering’, but when I remembered to be open I felt better. I worked at finding the right amount of open I could handle, adjusting to each environment. I laugh to myself to see how easy as breathing this all is when I’m working. When I’m one on one with another person as their guide, it all just flows effortlessly. I mean, there was effort put in through all of this, but it was easy. The same could not be said while I was home, but I tried.
The day to remove my stent came. I have some childhood trauma that I have only begun to deal with that makes these sort of things even harder. I was eager to be done and very afraid it was all a lie. That I would be forced to cope for yet another week. I read while waiting for my X-ray. I knit while waiting for the urologist. Everyone seemed to know it was simply coming out today, so I relaxed just a bit. He told me I still have a 4mm one, and I held my breath. Then he proceeded to explain what he was about to do. It was weird, but painless. The stent was out and I waited for the relief.
Instead I felt tired, worn out, and ready for a nap. I was sluggish the rest on the day. Thankfully I had the next day off and the kids were in school. I allowed myself rest and that included just existing. I drank a lot of water and made sure to eat. By the day after that I felt like I had emerged from a cocoon. The despair of being a ghost of myself was gone and I felt joy.
Everything is still hard. The craziness of our new home is only beginning. But I feel like we’ve all come through this storm more together. Which is good, because we’re not done yet.