Yesterday I gingerly pulled myself up from the borrowed hospital wheel chair and stepped on the scale as protocol for my oncology check up. I was prepared to see a number that reflected my current state of frailty and weakness but I was not prepared to hear her said “okay, eighty pounds”. Honestly it scared me and I plopped back down into the wheelchair in disbelief. All I could think of is “Shit. I have a long road ahead of me.”
It’s not that a long road wasn’t glaringly apparent prior to that weigh in. It just served as a reminder that the past few months have left me beyond depleted. I am a twenty-nine year old trapped in the body of a ninety-five year old. My lungs are still surrounded by fluid, albeit less fluid than a few months ago. So my lungs need help too. Breathing fully can be a struggle, walking is a struggle, staying out of my own head is the biggest struggle.
Now let’s let one thing be clear, struggles aside I am beyond thrilled to be home. I received top notch care in the hospital from all of my loving nurses, CNA’s and docs. But nothing compares to being in your own familiar space with peaceful silence and comforts unique to you. Most of all, I am just happy to be back living with Cory in this little home we have created together. Just sitting on the couch at the end of the night in front of the television. It’s comforting to turn to my left and know he’s there smiling back at me, making bad jokes, and oozing love and compassion in ways that deserve to be described in its own entry. There is no replacement for being away from your love.
There is another aspect to being home that one doesn’t think much about until you’re actually there. After two full months in bed, medicated, sedentary, catered to hand and foot being home means that you are now doing these tasks yourself. As my doctor reminded me when I was venting how hard this all is I went from zero to doing twenty times more than I have in months. These aren’t huge tasks either- walking from the living room to the kitchen. There have been times I made it to the fridge and just sat on the floor for a few minutes to recover before heading back.
I have been so fortunate to have Cory help me in all the little ways that matter and add up. He never complains. My parents have also made a special effort to be with me a couple days a week when Cory is working outside of the home all day. Not only have they helped nurture me and keep my head on straight, they also have done a tremendous amount of cleaning, organizing, and shopping to make both of our lives easier. I can’t imagine doing this by myself. If I still lived alone it would be bad news bears.
Finally- sleeping and eating. Right now I can only have clear or full liquids. As soon as something goes down my throat it just trickles back down my g-tube into a plastic “bladder” that sits beside me on the floor. Let me tell you that it is REAL strange to see your stomach contents just float by you through a tube just minutes after ingesting it. But keeping the tube open isn’t what’s going to help me gain back my weight and strength. The goal of getting rid of the g-tube will have to be taking in something like a yogurt smoothie or ensure, clamping off the g-tube so my body absorbs and processes it naturally, then staying clamped for a few hours without getting nauseous or throwing up.
Clamping is a mental game. I become too obsessed over it, how long I’ve been clamped, staring at the clock. Dr.Robison suggested doing it when I watch a movie or have some sort of distraction. Slowly but surely I will get there because even though I am grateful that it’s helping me, I HATE it and need it to be gone as a piece in the quest for modified normalcy.
Another true mental game is sleeping. I have only slept fully through the night once and I barely can nap during the day. This is no help when it comes to regaining my strength. I’m exhausted and captured by insomnia. The nights are long and to add complication, I am hooked up to a big bag of TPN AND the gtube so getting around the house when I can’t sleep is daunting to say the least. I’ve tried sleep aids and medications (assuming they stay down) but nothing seems to help. Someday I’ll regulate but for now- these are some longggg days.
So there you have it. Life at home one week out of discharge. It could be better, it could be worse.
I just need to remember everything else I have overcome in previous years, when I go to that place of defeat in my head . None of it was easy or quick and it all took work and patience. This is no different.
Lastly, as always I am grateful to those that have checked in on me, sent gifts, spared a kind word. It means so much to me.
So what’s next? Just adjusting to home until Feb 23rd when I see my doctor again and have my next round of chemo.
I think that’s all I can say for now. Sending love to you all.
Right back at you, my friend!
Every time I feel like I am having a tough day, I think of you and how amazing and strong you are. You just have a way of making people laugh even in a bad situation. You go girl! love ya
I, too suffer from insomnia. Guided Sleep videos on YouTube help immensely. My favorites are rain and ocean sounds. There is a myriad of them and all are fee. I wear ear buds in my Nook for the best sound. I still awaken several times a night, but playing the music again helps get me back to sleep. Nothing, even sleeping pills will KEEP me asleep all night. 😦
Glad your at home and working back at getting healthy. Always in my thoughts and prayers.
Thanks for sharing, Jess! SO happy you are home with your wonderful boy friend! One day at a time, you are getting there! Sending you a ton of love❤️❤️❤️
You are in my thoughts and prayers everyday. Hope Spring brings in new vitality and joys for you. 💐💐💐
So glad you are home. While I can’t relate to all of your struggles, I can certainly relate to some and so I am living proof that it does get easier physically and it does get better mentally. Not being too hard on yourself and your recovery is a great challenge. I promise you that you are stronger than you think you are. I found that what helps me sleep is listening to some boring podcast on Google Play. I find that when my mind is occupied with that, the other thoughts can’t find their way in and then the exhaustion takes over. Sending you and that brother of mine lots of love and positive thoughts.
thinking and praying for you.❤❤❤❤
So happy you are home surrounded by the things you love and are comforted by. Stay positive and keep on kicking ass…you can do this. You are strong and you have lots and lots of people who love you and are praying for you! One day at a time wonder woman!!!
Continuing to send love to you and happiness that you can have this time at home to gather your strength and enjoy this time with your love and your parents. Continued prayers for your amazing story and woman you are as a role model to all of us about how to live in the light. Blessings and namaste dear Jesse. You’re a dear.
You are always in Our thoughts and prayers, so glad you are home. Thank you for the update.
Warrior Jess, wishing you no more uncomfortable clamping, recovered permanent strength, long, deep sleep, and total comfort in your own home sanctuary!