The Winds of Change

Yesterday, I went for my first appointment to be cleared for surgery.  They took some blood (no small task with my invisible veins,) gave me an EKG, and then a chest x-ray.  Then, this morning, they called to tell me I have to come back in because they didn’t get enough blood.  Shocking, I tell you.

Next up is my Covid test in about a week and a half, followed by a check-in with my primary physician to make sure I’m good to go the day before.  Then, April 29th, the big day!  Followed by a month of recovery that will surely drive me crazy…but hasn’t my gastroparesis been driving me crazy all this time, anyway?

Then, the great change…the one I hope for: that I will be able to eat something that I want to eat without fear of losing it later on.  It seems so small and simple, unless you are living with gastric issues.  Then, it is a challenge; a hill you climb several times a day.  So, what seems like a small change to some is a very big one to me.

Change is in the air.  I have written about how stagnant I have felt during the winter and how that feeling is now melting away, and I am glad to see it go. I am noticing change in other people in my life as well.  Like my sister moving into her first apartment, or Sahar adopting a dog, or Mark having a job interview.  I have one friend, Carey, who has, in the past year, completely changed her life around, despite massive roadblocks thrown in her way.  I think about who she was a year ago and who she is now and I am awed by her strength.  I think to myself, I can’t be that strong. 

But I’m wrong.

I know I can be that strong because I have been before.  I have been physically torn apart, ravaged by the side effects of diabetes, which I have had now for over two decades.  I have been emotionally crippled by childhood and young adult traumas that still bite at my feet.  I am stronger than I give myself credit for.

As a child, I feared change.  I remember the first big change in my life, and that was the morning we moved from our home in Buffalo to one in Kenmore.  I like the idea of the new house, and particularly that it had a pool in the yard, but I had just started making friends and getting old enough to explore the neighborhood (or so I thought.  Truth is, Gramma made the decision to move shortly after a gang shootout on the baseball diamond across the street.)  I was very sad that morning, and did not want to say goodbye to my house or my new friends.  I tried to focus on the good things though, like the pool…even though it was only December.

When I got older, change got even harder.  In high school, there was a brief scare during which my father thought he might have to take a job in Rochester, which would pull me out of my school, which would have been unacceptable.  I raged against this for what seems like weeks until finally it was decided that no, we weren’t going anywhere.  I feared the idea of new territory, of a new city, and of a new school, especially.  I felt it again when I went to college.  And then, pretty much regularly ever since.

You can’t escape change; nothing lasts forever.

But you can be strong.  You can be a warrior, like my friends…like the one who saw what she wanted and went out and got it and changed her life.  You can make a decision in the middle of the night to drive to Missouri to pick up your new pup. You can call back that hiring agency and set up an interview. You can move into your friends apartment and out of your parent’s back room.

What can I do?  I can give up my time and my blood and get all my scary testing done so that I can get my scary surgery done for my scary disorder.  Then maybe, things will change, and it won’t all be so scary anymore.

Just gotta be strong.

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