Sharing the lessons along the way…

Posts tagged ‘healing’

Letting Go Goes Deeper

Run Free Sweet Girl

Run Free Sweet Girl

It is certainly not my first post on letting go, nor do I suspect it will be my last post on the subject.  The last few weeks, the universe has honed my ability to do so more quickly.

I am no stranger to traumatic experiences, nor am I trauma’s biggest fan despite the familiarity.  What I have learned about trauma is that no matter how quickly you pick up the leftover pieces and continue moving forward, the imprint physiologically remains far longer.

Loss and trauma are strange bedfellows, I have also learned.  Not all losses are traumatic, but most trauma involves a loss of something/someone.

With the vicarious trauma professionally, and from simply watching the news about the various tragedies happening world-wide, experiencing a personal trauma in addition, has created a variety of interesting visceral responses.

Nearly 2 ½ weeks ago, I unexpectedly lost my third dog in three years.  The first two were inevitable as they were seniors, but the third was only five years old, and we experienced a painful final 72 hours of her life together.  She was very vocal about her pain and suffering, and no amount of medication was easing that for her.  I chose not to prolong her suffering.

While I chose to let her go, the experience of her suffering remains both in my heart and in my mind.

I went back to work the following week, and while apparently numb, I found myself extra sensitive to suffering of all kinds.  In my semi-conscious waking state for the first week, I saw her eyes and felt her pressing her painful self into me attempting to ease her pain.  The second week was a bit more interesting in my sleeping state.

Nearly every soul connection I have had in the last decade came flooding back in my dreams.  The gist I could gather when I would awaken was the theme of letting go on a different level.  Interestingly enough, Duke was not among them because he was in my dreams the week before all this happened with Ruby.  It was his death anniversary, which is the last time I posted a blog.

Because it is my nature to look for the lesson and potential growth opportunity in everything, I cannot help but to think more about these losses and the residual effects they may be having on my ability to move forward in my life.  Perhaps that was Ruby’s ultimate lesson for me in our relatively short time together.

Grieving, letting go and healing trauma happens as a process.  It appears to be happening on a global scale, and not just in my personal and professional life, so I have to believe that continuing to move forward while being open to the process itself, will promote that healing process.

 

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A Turtle’s Pace

Opportunity

While it is hard to tell for sure, I think the burning torso has come back.  I can’t quite attribute all the burning pain to the three incisions at this point.  What this means to me is that it is going to take more time for that area of my back to recover from the trauma.  The return of this pain could have freaked me out, but I had a talk with myself about it.

Dear Tawny,

I was hopeful this letter wouldn’t be necessary, but it seems you could use some reminders of things you already know.

You forget the amount of trauma that your body has been through in the past three years.  Since your Codman pump was dislodged in 2010, you have lived in pain.  Your body has had five surgeries, along with the repeated trauma of the new pump’s hardware to endure.

After all the heroic efforts to keep a pump, regardless of the consequences to your body, you finally decided to let it go.  You know in your gut that it was the right decision to give your body the best chance at healing.

The pump and its hardware have only been gone for ten days.

Your body will heal from all the trauma.  It knows how.  Your only job is to give it a suitable environment.  Just so you know, being frustrated and agitated about not being able to do more yet doesn’t make for suitable conditions for healing.

There really is no rush, regardless of how it feels to you in this moment.  It may be a while before you really know how your back and stomach are going to feel without a pump. In the meantime, you do what you can.

This is an opportunity for you to apply everything you have learned about cooperating with your body in the healing process–for your pump trauma healing and for your illness.  Behind every challenge is opportunity.

Focus on the opportunity, not the challenge.  There are many opportunities for growth and healing all wrapped up in this one event in your life.

In the bigger scheme of your life’s experiences so far, this surgery recovery is easy stuff.

You’ve got this!

Love,

Tawny

Sum Up Sunday #12

Week 13

This is the first week in all of my life that I felt like a princess.  That feels worth noting first.  It has been quite a challenge for me to be still and let someone else bring me what I need.  It has been a challenge lying around seemingly doing nothing while Mr. Awesome or someone else does something for me.

I feel like I have risen to the challenge of allowing my body time to heal.  I feel like I have surrendered to being a princess.

Except that I probably could have done better.  I became frustrated easily that I was still having incision pain.  I tried hard to focus on the cuteness and good things right in front of me.  I was pretty successful at letting the cuteness prevail.

Although I could have done better.

I always think I could have done better.  I still am pleased that I could lay in my bed for as long as I have laid in my bed in the past nine days.  Yes, I have tested the limits.  I am pretty sure I wouldn’t be walking around the house as well as I am, were it not for my need to test those limits.

My PLS symptoms remain manageable even though I cannot do my regular physical therapy routine.  I am happy about that and proud of my efforts throughout the long and dramatic decreasing of the doses.

Today makes ten days since I had my intrathecal baclofen pump removed.  I can feel where the catheter tubing was pulled from around my body and I can feel where the pump pocket is healing.  I am sure the incisions are healing because they are itching and burning.

I am ready to skip past the next part of the healing process, but I guess I have to choose to participate in that as much as I have chosen to do anything lately.  Tuesday is my follow-up appointment to find out how my incisions are coming along.

I survived week one of recovery and so did my friends and Mr. Awesome, so I think it is ok.   I have tried to learn a bit from week one, but I will keep you posted on how well I apply those lessons in week two!

Headache Break

Headache

(Photo credit: Brandon Koger)

Finally, there was a break from the headache yesterday!  I took another day of lying around with no attempts to work just to be on the safe side, however.

Later in the evening, I tried getting up and starting to prepare my students’ assignments for grading, but that was it.

I have to admit that for a couple of the hours lying in bed with one dog or the other (they took turns), it was nice.

By five, I was over it and ready to do something.  That is why I got up to try to work.  The incisions continue to be healing and need only half of the pain medication, but they are in places that make sitting up uncomfortable still.

Lying in bed for three days in a row while conscious has been a challenge for me.  I entertained myself by imagining the hole in my spinal canal closing up little by little.  I imagined the tiny little cells working together to make it happen.  It was fun for a while each day.

Of course, in my crankier times, I tried to imagine my head exploding into tiny little bits of white light too.  Daytime television only holds my attention for so long, so I had to pass the time with the headache.

Each day still is a little better than the last, even with the headache situation, so I plan on having an even better day today!

Two-Minutes with TheTawny

Welcome to my Two-Minute guided meditation!  If you are stressed, in pain or otherwise preoccupied with your day to day life, this quickie exercise is for you.  I know my pain is making it a challenge to do longer forms of meditation, so I have been sending my painful areas healing energy throughout the day while being mindful of my breathing.  I want to share it with you, so let me know what you think and if it was helpful for you.

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