This surgery has been physically more taxing than my previous two. Yesterday marked 7 days and I tried to tag along to the grocery store and a car ride. By the end of the hour and a half outing, I was beyond exhausted. I had pressure building in my belly, familiar aches that made me concerned it was Endo pain. Immediately, a guilt creeped into my mind, a guilt layered with fear that I am not doing right by my body.
I promised that this time around, I would take as much time off work as advised by my doctor. I would not push myself to do household chores too soon. I would not stress out, not letting my brain silently tally up all the items on my to-do-list or think about what is going on in the day to day at work or how I should be helping more with laundry, vacuuming, lunches, and dinners.
The bruise on my hand from my IV has felt like a sun dial for my healing. Every morning when I wake up and wash my hands, the shifting colors of the bruising has eerily matched my recovery. It started with a deep dark brown, blood purple which corresponded with the intense swelling of my abdomen and sharp pain that came with sitting or standing up. Slowly the bruising faded, as the pain lessened, and is now an exhausted pale brown, barely noticeable unless you were searching for it or under the right light. I am now in that stage of recovery- I feel like I can make breakfast or do the dishes, but then the light shines on me, exposing how tired I am, a tired that is deep in my bones. A tired that is years in the making.
My doctor told me that I would be exhausted for the first two weeks, especially with how long my surgery was. But it is hard to admit. Maybe because I am afraid of showing weakness. Is it weak to be tired after surgery? I know the answer to that question, but have a hard time believing that answer applies to me. After hiding my pain for so many years, under a façade of smiles and energy, I am afraid to show weakness. I am afraid to my admit that I am tired, physically, emotionally, and mentally.
These next two weeks are my time to heal, my time to develop better habits that will help my road to recovery, my road to keep Endometriosis at bay for as long as possible. The first thing I need to do on this road to recovery is admit that I have a chronic disease, that I cannot be Superwoman (as much as I try), and that I need to make better decisions for my health. I think sometimes we all just want to feel normal, right? Normal means having that scoop of icecream, staying up later than you know you should binge watching a show, agreeing to take on as many extra curricular activities that are asked of you.
I am not normal, but I am me. It is time to nurture, celebrate, and make the right decisions for me and what my normal is.