It’s Spring. And I’m starting to feel alive again.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the depression that ails certain people when the depths of winter befalls us. It’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or more appropriately termed, SAD. A few years ago I started tracking when my own symptoms start and stop. Turns out I meet pretty much every criteria for the diagnosis of SAD. Some day I hope to relocate to a place where the sun warms it year-round. I need sunlight. And heat.
Summer makes me happy.
It’s just easy. Less clothing, less laundry. No clunky coats to hunt down and keep track of. Shoes don’t hurt my feet anymore because I’m wearing flip-flops, which I’d wear year-round if I could. No more getting up ½ hour earlier to pre-crank and de-ice my car. Oh and if your car is anything like mine, the doors often freeze shut so I have to play ice-melt detective before I’m able to even climb in and crank it. Once-barren tree limbs look stunning with their brand-spanking-new green growth. It seems every piece of our surroundings breathes new life.
We’ll see our neighbors again for cookouts and socializing. Before long our pool will be open and weekends will be full of love, laughter and longer days… the songs of frogs and insects will ring late into the sultry hot nights. Fresh avocados, strawberries and tomatoes will be abundant for outdoor enjoyment. And the colors, the colors, the beautiful colors.
Heat. Pure bliss. It’s coming. Wait for it.
Old mama bear is waking up from her long winter’s hibernation. And the weather outside… well, it’s just perfect.
Never have I felt so introverted and withdrawn from my old life, from day-to-day society even. It’s not a good feeling. When this is allowed to continue for a few weeks, a person can start feeling less than whole. What feels like a month or more to me actually has been, as all the pre-op jitters I had beforehand had really started to get to me. For at least a week and a half before surgery I could barely eat. I skipped breakfast and lunch at work, and the few bites I ate for dinner were forced in a subconscious effort to keep myself going. I go back to work on Monday. What seems to have lasted a month has actually been a record two weeks. I’m eager to get back to work, which in essence is a huge part of my ‘normal life’. So for now I’m back… at least in written form. As of today I have 264 unread emails. I’ve really missed reading everyone’s thoughts and posting every now and then.
Of course me being me, the surgery couldn’t go off without a hitch or two. The night and day afterwards my blood pressure dropped to an alarming rate. Each time a ‘team’ of about 8-10 people rushed in, which can totally make a person forget how bound up their bowels are. In all seriousness, it brought back memories of my late grandmother and uncle, who had that same type of team rush in as their own BP plummeted. There was a concern of fluid on my lungs and/or a heart problem, so various tests were ordered including x-rays, labwork and an EKG (I was actually grateful to get the EKG since it’s been about ten years since my last one). With the exception of a high white cell count, the tests came out fine. Come to find out later, either the buildup of medicines I’m on for high blood pressure, the administration of morphine, or possibly a combination of the two was the culprit for the BP nosedives. For the duration of the next week I was kept off my BP meds. Two days after I was released, the nausea set in – of course this came after I bragged about being one of the women who didn’t get sick. Along with the post-surgery pain, I knew my fluid buildup was becoming a serious issue. My ankles looked like thighs and my feet resembled pillows – it was literally cracking my skin on the top of my feet I was so swelled. I couldn’t breathe well or even take in more than a shallow breath. On my second trip back to the doctor that week, I was told ‘Oh yes! You need to resume taking your BP meds immediately!’. I provided a gentle reminder that on Monday I’d been told to hold off on all BP meds until further instructed – Keith was sitting beside me in the exam room and remembers this very well. Bottom line, I was off the meds I urgently needed for nearly a damn week. Pardon my uber-long, exasperated sigh.
That Saturday, one day after I started back on my normal BP med regimen, almost all of the fluid was gone and I could breathe easily again. I don’t even want to even consider what being off of them for another day or two might’ve done to me (the word stroke does come to mind). If I’d ever doubted before how important those medicines are to me I never will again. They are literally my lifeline, and it’s scary to contemplate any natural disaster or other happening mandating my existence without them. Millions of people with different healthcare scenarios are in the same situation, having to depend on prescription medicines for their very existence. It’s yet another stark reminder of the healthcare crisis we’re dealing with in America, as so many individuals are having to do without or not getting the care or medicines they need in order to survive. Just thinking about it boggles my mind. I know that I’m one of the lucky ones, for now at least.