After surgery life can be divided into good days and bad days.  Immediately after surgery, for say the first six months or so, Good Days are those days when the pain meds work or are more ‘good idea’ than ‘necessary’.  Bad Days are those days when getting out of bed mostly happens in order to take the pain meds you wish were more effective. 

I’ve had surgery three times in the last 6 years and I cannot predict if days will be good or bad.  This means, as all of you who live with chronic illness know, that all plans are tentative until they’ve happened.  For instance, I haven’t been able to attend the conference my seminary is hosting this weekend because these past few days have been really bad.  This has meant canceling plans with friends.  This has meant spending a lot of time laying down and not moving.  I don’t like any of that. 

It is what it is.

The hope is that the next set of really bad days will be less bad.  That eventually they will come further and further apart.  That eventually they will be shocking because they are so rare.  Someday.

Right now, it is what it is.  Right now I’m happy that standing doesn’t cause excruciating pain.  This is long hard work.  This is the time no one else ever really understands–that space between sick and healthy.

After My Eyes Open

Rising early in the dark.
Changing into the ever flattering hospital gown.
Watching my family watch me
Fear, Anxiety in the faces, bodies, eyes.
Knowing what they do not.
Knowing that, regardless of what happens next,
this morning is not the end,
not surcease from worry or pain.
This is the beginning.
The beginning of something,
of life somehow different.
This is the calm before the storm,
the lull before battle,
the beginning, the before.
Knowing that, should my eyes open,
the battle for my life will start;
for a life I can live;
for a life I can enjoy;
for a life I can call my own.
After my eyes are open…
        written 2/13/08

It is what it is. And often that means it’s about how I weather the storm today. But I hope for, pray for, plan for, I work toward something different. Something more.