I haven’t written in a few days, mostly because they have been quite busy. I can scarcely complain. Mostly, they have been filled with love.
Life has gone on around me as I have prepared myself both mentally and physically for surgery. It’s the holiday season– the busiest, most wonderful time of year– and I have had to adjust to working my new lifestyle into my actual, pre-existing life.
On Friday night, I had the annual holiday party at my ambulance company. Although the party always features a delightful open bar and a delicious buffet (which I even helped pick out, sigh), it did not exempt me from my strict liquid diet. There were plenty of things that could have tempted me, but I stuck to sipping seltzer (with a splash of lemon and lime), and even found some sort of perverse joy in chewing the ice cubes in my glass. (Ah, chewing. I missed you, old friend.) Although I could not partake in the usual trappings of a major social event, I still had the loveliest time with the best of company. So many people offered words of encouragement about my weight loss efforts, and although I am rarely the type to ask for help, I was humbled by such generous offers flooding in from so many.
Last night was my weekly overnight ambulance shift, and my last shift for the next few weeks as I take some time to heal. I avoided the endless supply of junk food at headquarters and instead savored my time with my crew, and my privilege to help others.
I slept very little last night, but started my Sunday morning in the usual way, talking for a bit with friends. I helped set up for the children’s holiday party and, again, avoided a buffet with all of my favorite breakfast foods– eggs, bacon, sausage, and hash browns. I happily watched as the children and grandchildren of my peers hurried about in a frenzy waiting for Santa to appear, some even watching for reindeer from the meeting room windows. I got to hold my nephew one last time for the next few weeks (as I will not be able to lift more than 20 pounds or so until my incisions heal).
In the afternoon, I was supposed to go to the annual Solstice/Festivus party held by good friends of mine, but I knew yesterday that I wouldn’t be able to go and still accomplish everything I needed to get done in time for my surgery. Truth be told, I am still behind where I wanted to be.
Current status: I have cleared my nails of any residual polish, and I have removed all of my jewelry (except for my new Fitbit– another new development over the past couple of days). I have plans to drink another liter of water before midnight because I feel a bit dehydrated, and it’s not going to get easier to get fluids in tomorrow (unless we’re talking via liter bag). I have a half-packed overnight bag, plans in place for the cats while I’m gone, and someone to take me to the hospital. I have proxy paperwork preemptively filled out. I have my insurance card and photo ID ready. In a few minutes, I will do my best to navigate the first of my two pre-surgical showers. It is a curious development for someone who has never had surgery that I will have to take both an antiseptic evening and morning shower, scrubbing myself down with a sponge full of chlorhexidine, but apparently, that’s where we are.
But for all I have yet to do, and all I might not be able to fit in (my apologies to the oven that is just not getting scrubbed out tonight– not that I’ll need it for a while), I have been met with the most wonderful outpouring of love from the people I cherish most in this world. Many have called, texted, and reached out via social media to offer prayers and best wishes, and to tell me the wonderful ways that this commitment I have made to my body will change my life. I reached out to others, trying to say the few things I felt still needed to be said. I am confident that everything will work out fine, but I did not want to walk into the unknown with any regrets.
And that’s where we are.