fortygirl

Forty Girl…that's me! I am a recently divorced woman in my 40s, and am now a single mother with a career. Join me as I start this exciting new chapter in my life. Let's chat!

What Do You Mean I Am Just a Human?

This week was the week I found out that I am a just (sigh)…a human. If you have read some of my recent blog posts you already know I wrote about a surgery that I recently had. The surgery was a complete hysterectomy, ovaries and all. Needless to say, pretty major on the list of surgeries. The recovery period is 6-8 weeks and that is just the overall physical healing part. That does not include the stamina recovery and hormone balancing aspect. They say it is months before you truly feel like yourself. Which brings me to the profound truth that has recently come to me…

I was told when I had my surgery that there were restrictions…no lifting of anything as heavy as a gallon of milk, no pushing and pulling, lots of rest, limited work, if any, you get the picture. Well, how do I word this…I pushed myself thinking…”I am a superhuman!”…I guess in my mind I was (drums play)…”Super Forty-girl”!!!

Then last week, I feel a little pain, it continues over the next couple of days, and by Saturday night I am miserable! I immediately panic because no matter what I do I cannot get rid of the pain and discomfort. My mind races…blockage? Complication? What is going on? Needless to say, I ended up in the ER. The minute I stated to the doctor that I had surgery as recent as four weeks ago, I knew I was in for the long haul. This was not going to be a simple evaluate and discharge. Now, I am an educator, and I am sitting in the ER the night before the first day of school. Now, not only was it the first day of school for my school, but for my son as he starts First grade, so…emotions set in as I was told I was being admitted. The more frustrating part was that I put myself here. I pushed and pushed myself working to get ready for the school year, did not get enough rest after the first couple of weeks, because I began to feel better. I did not eat a bland diet…so, yes, I am responsible. Goodness, is that hard to admit!

As the doctors came in to visit me, and the tests were run, the message I was being given was one I simply could not process…what do you mean I can’t do it all? What do you mean I need more rest? What do you mean I can’t work ten hour days yet? What to you mean I can’t eat just whatever I want? What! I can’t leap tall buildings in a single-bound? You can’t be serious? UMMMM…they were serious! I also found out that I don’t control anything…God is always in control, and in this situation my body had a big say in the situation as well. My body was telling me “I need a break, a rest, a chance to fully heal, and you are pushing it”. I got the message…I am not superhuman (long sigh).

As I laid in my hospital bed and pondered my situation, I realized that my health, your health, is so valuable. To not take care of our body is simply put…dumb. I also realized that not taking care of ourselves does not just impact us. It impacts those around us. My family was worried, my son especially did not like visiting his mommy in a hospital. My husband and parents worried, and lectured me I might add. The folks at my school were concerned, and stated “we need you, so you better take care of yourself!”. I realized I impact a lot of people; therefore, I needed to take care of me, not just for me, but for the people around me. Does that make sense? I also realized that yes, I am a human, and humans need rest, nutrition, and as much as we don’t like it…to follow doctor’s orders. I am listening from here on out.  So, my message to you is to take care of yourself, because YOU matter to so many! YOU matter to more people than you even know. Oh, and by the way, you are not superhuman either! Does that surprise you? It sure surprised me!

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Life-changer…Yes!

Well, I had my surgery…the Life Changer as I call it. Let me say, I cried throughout the weekend leading up to the surgery…just trying to wrap my mind around the whole idea of the surgery…a total abdominal hysterectomy including ovaries. I knew it was the right decision, but still struggling with the woman side of me…does that make sense? It is hard to explain to anyone not facing a surgery such as mine, but my feelings were mine nonetheless. I have a beautiful son, a caring husband, and doing all that I can to make sure I am around to watch my son grow-up, and be a partner to my husband drove my ultimate decision to have the surgery. I want to have a healthy active life for my family.

The morning of the surgery to say I was full of emotion is an understatement. It made me feel better when my nurse told me that everyone cries when this type of surgery is about to happen. It is just a very emotional surgery…

After waking up from the surgery, pain and feeling as if I have been hit by a truck is putting it mildly! However, I am now heading into week three after the surgery, and I am on the mend. I have little energy, but the doctor says that takes time…more than eight weeks to be exact! I have started bioidentical hormone therapy the day after my surgery, which has kept my hormones from crashing completely. Now don’t get be wrong, I get teary-eyed, and my hormones are not where they need to be, but my body has just endured a complete shock. The great news is, I still feel like me, which I was really worried about. I thought this surgery would inherently change me, but thankfully it has not, well not really. My doctor says I will feel like a new woman, and that the condition I had could only be treated with the surgery I had. So,the right choice was made, the journey to get well is going to be slow, but good things are on the horizon.

Now, I know I said the surgery did not inherently change me, but I still believe this surgery was a life changer, why? Because while I have had to stop myself and rest, I have also had time to reflect. I have reflected on myself as a wife, mother, sister, daughter, Christian, friend, leader…many aspects of myself. I have had time to review what I need to work on, focus on, and…let go. In the challenge of this whole process, one thing I am realizing is that life is too short, health is too important, and every moment matters. I need to quit focusing so much on tomorrow, and experience and appreciate the moment.

As people have sent me flowers, cards, well wishes, brought meals, stopped by to visit, even bringing gifts for my son…I am moved by the genuine goodness of people, something that I think I may have been questioning prior to this life-changing event. God truly does work in mysterious ways, and many times life events show us so much more and become about so much more than we ever thought.

My surgery was a life changer, one that has made an impact on my life in many ways, but a new journey has just begun!

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Life changer…

Monday I am having surgery. A total abdominal hysterectomy to be exact. I have researched, not necessarily  a great idea I might add. I have had much discussion with my fabulous doctor. She took time to discuss my options, why this was the right procedure to have, truly cared about my decision, and my comfort and understanding of the procedure. At the end of the day though, all my doctor had to say to me to truly get me to understand the seriousness was…without this procedure Cancer is coming your way. UMMMM…the “C” word is not an option. I am sure anyone can understand that! I have a six-year-old son and my need to be present for his life is a priority, as is being a wife to my husband. So, accepting the total hysterectomy was agreed upon.

The surgery date has been set…this Monday…again logically I “get it”, but emotionally, as a woman, I am struggling. There is just something bizarre about having my reproductive organs removed, it is final, there is no going back. Now, my reproductive organs have been an issue of discomfort for me since I was ten years old, yes, ten. I have struggled with infertility, monthly discomfort, the list goes on and on. I have had atypical uterine cells, MRI mammograms every six months…so, you get the picture. Still I have cried and struggled with this upcoming surgery. Now, I know in my core that it is the right decision, that I will feel better than ever…eventually, but this time leading up to the surgery seems to have my anxiety at an all time high.

My doctor is a believer in balancing holistic health with modern medicine, so she is all about the bioidentical hormones…so glad! She has created a hormone specifically for me. Knowing this has helped, because the last thing I want is to be thrown into menopause, followed by no desire for belly button time with my hubby…that is not an option either. 😀 So, I am two days out from my surgery. I know it is what I need to do, but I guess fear of the unknown…the after the surgery, has me so concerned. Oh, and did I mention a six-week recovery? Wow! Laying around, taking it easy for six-weeks? I am thinking the healing process needs to take about three weeks…I think that is all I am mentally going to be able to stand. I have a feeling that is all my family is going to be able to stand too 😃. I am just not used to sitting idle! Oh well, doctor’s orders, right?

Well, I have prayed, because I know God is with me throughout this entire process…daily as a matter of fact. My faith is so important. How can anyone not have faith? I get so much comfort knowing at anytime I can pray to God and he is there for me…Whew! So glad!

Well, another chapter, another experience, another journey in my life begins…onward with prayers…here I go! Oh, by the way, did I mention six weeks? Uh oh! Prayers, for sure!

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Who Gets The Reward? YOU!

We, as a culture, tend to be focused on getting more. You know it’s true! As a matter of fact marketing strategies are set on that human feeling of comparison and having more. Have you ever thought the following…I will be happier if I looked like that person, had that car, was able to buy that or go there? Sad to say, but these thoughts have crossed my mind a time to two, well, maybe three or four…you get the picture!

Well, yesterday my husband and son had just finished with soccer practice, and we were on our way to dinner with my parents. As we were leaving the soccer park we saw an elderly lady pulled over on the side of the road. She looked distressed, so my husband pulled over to check on her. She had gotten lost trying to find her church. Normally the church bus picked her up, but tonight they had not. My husband sought more information as to where her church was, and sure enough she was headed in the opposite direction. It was a that point whatever decision we made was going to make a difference…we could have just given her directions and started on our way to dinner, or we could make a better choice that would curtail our plans a tad. We made the better choice…I knew where the church was, and we were heading that direction for dinner. I am so proud of my husband because he cared enough to stop and check on the lady, and he offered to drive her vehicle and follow me to the church.  When we arrived at the church, another lady in the parking lot came over to check on the lady. I am sure it had to do with some stranger driving the woman’s car, being led by another car with strangers in it. Both ladies were so apprciative…truly appreciative.

It was in that moment that I felt a great feeling…we had made a difference in another person’s life by changing our plans and taking time to help someone else…someone in need. I was proud of my husband for his caring, proud that we had taken the time, and I also realized we had just set an example for our 6-year-old son watching from the backseat. While the lady we helped was thankful…WE got the reward! Our evening was made better because we took the time to help someone else. The focus was not on us, it was on someone else.

That right there, my friends, is the key…helping others. Taking the time to be aware of what is happening around you, and offering to help someone else. In other words, take the focus off of yourself for a while. The bonus? Our son was able to witness his parents showing care and concern for another human being, in a safe environment, of course.

Last night the reward was ours…simply because we agreed to take time to help someone else. Who will you help today? The reward can be yours…I guarantee you will feel great!

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