Today, December 22nd is the one year mark for my overwhelming year of pain and surgeries. December 22nd (neck surgery), February 22nd (neck surgery again due to infection) and September 22nd (hysterectomy) are days I will remember as being filled with fear and uncertainty but at the same time hope and promise for a future free of pain. Over the past few months during my last surgery recovery I have found myself exhausted and unmotivated to do any of the things lingering on my “to-do “list often times getting down on myself about what I “can’t” accomplish. Friends and family are quick to remind me – your body has been through three rounds of surgery, anesthesia and over 20 weeks of recovery it is rightfully so very tired and still in a lot of ways in recovery stage. Some might say what a year of bad luck but as I reflect there are so many things I learned this year – or in a lot of ways was “forced” to learn.
For starters I have an amazing village of people who never stopped asking how they could help, when they could take my kids and even stopped by to keep me company when I was trapped in my brown chair on and off drugs – which probably made for some pretty funny conversations. You know who you are and I am forever grateful for you!
My amazing family – Mom, Dad and In-Laws – every time I asked for help during this year you have traveled many miles to be here – to cook for my family and take care of my kids when I wasn’t able to – such a tough thing for an independent person like myself to ask for and accept. I love you and feel so lucky to have a supportive loving family.
And lastly my incredibly patient and loving husband (CP) and children (TR and MJ) – you have seen me at my best and my worst this year. I tried for such a long time to hide my children from the pain I was going through until one day I just decided that it was ok to let them see me be imperfect and let’s be honest a hot mess. I’ve cried in front of them many times, told them that mommy doesn’t feel good, lied down on the couch and used the TV as my babysitter while I took a nap. They have embraced
me each time with grace and many times provided the comfort I needed to just let go of what was “supposed” to happen and quickly realize that all three of us snuggled on the couch under a blanket is exactly where we were supposed to be.
For better or for worse, in sickness and in health is in the vows but until you are faced with the tough conversations, endless days of caregiving and support those words become more of a reality. My husband has stood by my side, pushed me at times when I was in pain and stopped me from beating myself up with all the expectations that outside sources or I have put on myself as a wife and mother. He made me laugh when all I wanted to do was cry and has declared 2017 the “Year of Jessica” he’s so excited to see what the future holds for a “pain-free” version of me and while hesitant to trust that my journey of pain is over, I too am looking forward to seeing what the puddle of tears at my feet will grow.