health, love, storyVirginia HartComment

I don't usually include anything too personal on this little blog of mine. It seems unnatural, however, to skip over these past few days as if they didn't happen.

If you're an avid follower, you've seen pictures and mentions of the guy in my life. To explain our nearly 7-year-mostly-long-distance-based-history would require an unfinished novel, but know that he's very important to me. In Friends lingo, he's my lobster. :)

His collegiate and professional athletic career exacerbated, what is believed to be, a pre-existing condition in his shoulder. I'll spare you the many details involved in the length of his injury, but it's unfortunately been a long and trying road for him. On Thursday, he had a scheduled operation that required extracting a rib, a muscle, and extensive scar tissue surrounding his nerves in order to alleviate compression. The anticipation leading up to the surgery-day was enough to drive anyone mad (sincere apologies to my friends & family who heard me say "I know, I just want it to be over with!" countless times). His parents & I watched as they wheeled him away at 8:30 that morning...and after what felt like days of watching the clock, praying, waiting for the summaries of the intermittent stomach-in-your-throat update calls from the OR, we saw him again when he came to at 6:00 that night.

I held good-luck charms all day long. :)

fun little fact:
His old #: 19
His surgery date: January 19th
Hotel room: 419
Hospital room: 1936

I envisioned him deliriously smiling when we greeted him. Ya know, perhaps he'd be too loopy to even know anything was wrong at all, saying funny things and being his usual joke-y self. I bought him a stuffed Bernese Mountain Dog (one of our mutual favorites) from the hospital's gift shop that soon wouldn't leave his side, but he had no interest with any of that right then. Instead, he was hooked up to a million cords and monitors, hunched off the side of the bed in utter nausea. He growled a "hey", his voice raspy from the breathing tube. The feelings I felt before and during surgery had been, unprecedentedly, trumped.

My mother prefaced these last few days with an email reminding me that I had to be strong even if I felt like mush inside. Boy was she was spot-on with that description. I was (and still partially am) one big blob of mush. Observing his small victories like transitioning off ice chips and walking without dizziness was an indescribable feeling of achievement. Unfortunately, many of those achievements were sandwiched between moments that reignited the mush - the winces, the sincere frowns, the needles and tubes, the "hurry back" texts. His out-of-character vulnerability left me feeling weak, but also obligated to be selflessly strong.

After two nights, the hospital thankfully released him yesterday afternoon; he's now home with his family in recovery. Although there's quite a long road still ahead, I pray that this proves to be the help he needed and everything will soon appear in the rear-view mirror...and hopefully, any triumphant outcome will hold an even higher significance given all that he's had to tolerate.

My youngest niece was also admitted to the hospital on Friday morning after a trip to the ER Thursday night. The poor thing was extremely ill and her close-to-nothing frame couldn't handle it. I absolutely hated to think of her in that state, and my brother a worried wreck next to her. She was finally released today; thank goodness.

As my little heart's mushiness solidifies, it sends out love to not only my niece and my #19, but to all those who are dealing with far worse health situations. You & your loved ones deserve medals for what you must endure. As much as I hope to walk away somehow "strengthened" by observing all of this, I also hope that a part of me will always remember what this felt like. I can certainly benefit from its humbling reminder and, if anything, attempt to feel greater empathy for others. They say that if you ever start feeling sorry for yourself, that you should visit a hospital... you feel things, you do things, you see many things that put everything in life into perspective.

May I always remember that perspective.

And may I always remember that mush.

until next time,