Saturday, September 26, 2009

Two steps forward, Three steps back

I have hesitated in writing this post, in "going public" so to speak. I have not wanted to admit it to myself, much less to those around me, but I have to, for myself and my family. You see, I have been getting better, every day for months now I have been getting better. But, in the last 2 weeks or so, I have been regressing, and I don't want to admit it to myself or anyone else. My physical strength and energy have been decreasing instead of increasing. My headaches have returned with a vengeance and my entire body hurts, or perhaps aches is a more appropriate term.

So, what does all this mean? Well, it means I am clearly not better and the setbacks are mostly my fault. When I see all of you, my dear neighbors and friends, I desperately want to be better. I want to do what you are doing. I want to run by your side as I see you jog by. I want to go to the games and cheer for our kids. I want to wave to you as we see each other work in our yards. I want to clean my house and make dinners and still have strength left at the end of the day. And so, I do all of these things, to try and be like you. But, I am not like you, not yet anyway. And the more I do, the worse I feel. Strangely enough, I am only doing normal stuff that a mom does, but it is still too much for my body. All the lessons, sports, scouts, errands, trips to the schools, bank, grocery store, etc. have proven once again to be too much for me. I need more rest and less stuff to do.

Last night was a perfect example. I went to Orem to watch my brother's football game. He is a senior in HS and I so badly want to be there, to support him, to cheer for him and to show him my love. But, I cannot drive on the freeway because of my eyesight and depth perception. So, I loaded the kids into the car and we drove the short distance to the commuter train station. We rode the train to Salt Lake, where we met Tolan. He drove us the rest of the way to Orem (it took nearly 2.5 hours from the time I left my house until we reached our destination, a trip that normally takes just over an hour). We ate dinner at the mall, then went to the game. It was Orem High's homecoming game and it was so fun to be there and cheer for Brett and the team. I loved it. I love being there. I loved feeling a part of the excitement. But, part way through the game, our Casen started feeling sick, so we left early. Brett played a good game (playing both offense and defense) and OHS won, and I was so glad I could be there. But, truthfully, we left early for me, too.

By the time we got home (after turning around because we forgot about the other car still at the train station), I was "hammered". My body was so worn out, but I couldn't sleep. My muscles were so tired, I couldn't even keep my eye closed, so I kept holding it shut with my hand, in hopes of getting some rest.

Today, well, today I feel pretty lousy. So, why do I tell you all of this?? I am not trying to complain. I love life, life is so good. That is precisely part of my struggle. I so desperately want to live my second chance at life out to the very fullest that I overdo it and make myself go backward instead of forward. I am telling you this so you can help me, perhaps simply by reminding me to slow down, or maybe even by not inviting me to do the things I so badly want to do. I just need to slow down, and often, I don't know how.

I am still very happy and positive about my long-term recovery. Just yesterday, we discovered another small facial muscle that I can move. And, last week I heard more good news from a neurologist. I have been experiencing a metallic taste in my mouth for about 6 weeks now. It never goes away, though some food tastes cover it up temporarily. The doctor told me this is a good sign, that my taste buds are trying to overcome the paralysis and re-establish a connection, but right now the taste sensors are misfiring. So, I guess the taste of sucking on pennies is a good thing. :)

If you have made it this far, congratulations. I have not meant to sound down, because I am not down. I just need for all of you to help me be realistic with myself and my abilities...I need my very own road signs that say "Slow Down, Recovery Work Ahead. Body Fines Double for Speeding in the Recovery Zone." Love you all.

9 comments:

Burke and JeriLynn Phillips Family said...

Jodi, you are amazing and it is okay to grumble. You do not have to be perfect. It is okay to not do everything. I remember when I hurt my back two years ago and everyone had to take care of me because I was walking around like an old lady. It was very depressing not being my usual wonder woman self, so I slightly understand where your coming from.

There will be a time when you will be able to do more, in the meantime just enjoy smelling the roses and taking a slow pace.

Luv ya
JeriLynn

Brandi said...

Jodi, you have been doing an amazing job recovering. The fact that you realize you need to slow down shows that you are willing to do whatever it takes to get better, no matter how hard that may be. Let your body be your guide, and give yourself rest when you need it, whether you want to or not. It's okay that you're not back 100%. You went through some rough times, and your body will continue recovering over the next few months. Try to take things easy, do what you can when you can, and let others help out when you need it. Someday, you will be able to do all you want to do, and you will look back on this and wonder where all the time went.

Love,
Brandi

Nichole Giles said...

Yes, slow down and rest already. You can't expect to just jump back into life the way you used to live it.

Here's an idea:Take a nap. Play with the kids. Make peanut butter sandwiches for lunch. Take a nap or lay down. Play with the kids. Lay down again. Go outside and lay on a blanket or sit on a chair. Take a nap. Watch a movie or TV show. Take a nap. Let Tolan make dinner. Go to bed.

How does that sound for a schedule? Busy? Yes. Demanding? I hope not too bad. Give yourself a break already. Company and sporting events are a great thing, but maybe you should learn to start telling people no. It's really okay to turn someone down when you don't feel up to a visit. They'll understand.

And believe me, everyone will love you anyway.

Nicki

Els Manning said...

ah...good girl...remember the aa program starts with to admit...he he..no i am not comparing you to an alcoholic. But i think that indeed we dont want to admit it sometimes when we do need help, or can't do something. Hey...call me if you need me to help. I can drop kids off and pick up. I go for Aubri anyway. And if there is anything else...i honestly would love to help.

Perla said...

dear dear jodi ~ i am glad that you wrote this and that you are being honest with yourself and with us. i think this must all be extra hard for you because you have always had an AMAZING amount of energy and have always been the type of mom who made me feel like a total slacker (well, you didn't make me--i made myself) because you did EVERYTHING and did it well. i was so worn out reading about your trip to orem and that was imagining me doing it with the great health that i am currently enjoying. so please, do take it easy.
can i come pick up casen and lindi to play with us this week?

Sherri said...

Well sweetie,

We need to get you to Hawaii for a good longgggggggg visit, so I can just take care of you. Maybe it is that I am your mom and that is just what moms do..it never goes away.... You are always going to be my little girl and I will always want to make everything all better. I've had my break :) !!!! Lying on the beach just soaking up the sun and enjoying the cool breezes. Now that is the recipe for a good healthy recovery. I am sure all of the kids would agree....don't you think? Hang in there we'll figure this all out!!

Love you

britt said...

Sounds like a fun time at your brothers game, but YOU better take it easy! I can only imagine how hard it is to NOT do all the normal things of life and motherhood. But we don't want you regressing. I wish I were closer to lend a helping hand :)
miss and love you!!
let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

Pam said...

I weary of relentless cheerfulness! Ask anyone who knows me. So when you begin telling the darker side of your struggle, Jodi, I am keenly tuned in. None of us needs hard truth when we are flying high. But when we enter the world of suffering, we are desperate to hear a truthful voice who knows what we feel. That is you.

And by the way, life is appalling. Life is not all those sweet things we love to do--those are easy. It's the tsunamis that blindside us that truly make up life. That's is when we need unvarnished truth.
I expect that from you. And I thnak you for it.

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