Tuesday, March 26, 2019

#livingmytruth

Ughhhh. I'm so over people talking about how they're "living their truth." Pardon my French, but what the hell does that mean?

I understand what it's supposed to mean––that you accept yourself. That you don't live up to others' expectations and definitions of you. That you live loud and proud, as one HuffPost contributor puts it. (Never mind that this contributor is a "modern day mystic." Barf.)

Is this real life?

The only time that "living your truth" can even be remotely okay is if we're all on the same page about the Golden Rule; otherwise, all bets are off. What if a white supremacist said, "I'm just living my truth?" What if a bigamist said he was just living his truth? What if the president of the United States said his truth was to keep immigrants out of the country? Too extreme? Okay, I'll tone it down a bit. Imagine a mother spending hours and hours working out and achieving the body that she wants, only to neglect her children because she puts so much effort into herself. Imagine a couple who wants to "live their best life" in a huge house they can't afford. Or someone who focuses almost solely on herself because she's spent the last year fighting health problem after health problem and "doesn't have the energy for anyone else." (That's me, by the way.)

I get it, I get it––the point is to be honest about who you are with yourself and with the world. But c'mon––it's really just an excuse to be selfish. And again, it's based on some illogical assumption that people everywhere know what "good" means. If you want to be honest with yourself and with the world, then be honest. Just don't call it what it ain't: truth. (And especially not "Truth" 'cause then we have a serious problem.)


Thing I'm thankful for: massages

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Gratitude is Being Able to Urinate

Until last year, I thought my lowest point in life was the time I was on the toilet AND throwing up. I had gotten severe food poisoning from ice cream, and it was three days of awful pain and exhaustion.

Then I had major surgery, and I learned that pain can be much, much worse.

The worst part, though, was not being able to control one of the most basic bodily functions. I haven't explained this in full on this blog, except to say that I had to go home from the hospital with a catheter. That sounds . . . not terrible. But let me tell you the details. (Trust me; I have a point.)

When you have major surgery, the anesthesiologist administers lots of intense drugs that basically put your organs to sleep. People react in so many different ways, but this is how my body reacted: I couldn't urinate on my own. My bladder kept filling up and up and up––so much that it was holding around two or three times the amount it was supposed to. I would sit on the toilet just waiting and waiting for my urethra to wake up, but it never did. After several days of being in the hospital and not being able to urinate, my doctor said I had to go home with a catheter. I was scared my body would never remember how to urinate again––so, so scared.

I won't go through the embarrassing and painful details of getting the catheter set up; instead, I'll explain what it is: a long tube that goes up your urethra and to your bladder, so that urine can freely drain. At the end of the tube is a bag, where urine is collected. If you have a catheter, you don't "go to the bathroom" the way normal people do. You go to the bathroom when the urine bag is full, and you drain the bag into the toilet.

So. Imagine having a tube (and attached 2000ml bag) between your legs all the time. Every day, all day. Sleeping is complicated. Showering is complicated. Getting dressed is complicated. Walking in public is embarrassing. Walking around at home is awkward because you have to carry the bag in one hand, which only leaves one hand free to do things. Having visitors––depending on the visitor––is also embarrassing.

After a while (about 7 or 8 days), I started to get some feeling back in my urethra. It wasn't completely back to normal, but it was enough sensation to know that I had a tube in there. It was enough to feel irritated and to feel pain sometimes. Soon after that (10 days), I was able to get the catheter out. It felt amazing. When I urinated by myself that first time––I could've cried. I think I did cry a bit, actually.

But the ordeal wasn't over. Because more often than not, people get urinary tract or bladder infections after having a catheter in for so long. That was me. Just a few days after the catheter was removed, I had a difficult time urinating again. AND it was accompanied by severe abdominal pain. It was awful.

Why am I blogging about this, you ask? Because for the last year, I've had health problems, and this weekend was no exception. I had severe lower back pain and couldn't get around very well. One of my friends kindly said, "I'm sorry, Sara. Back pain is the worst." And it is bad. It is definitely bad. Lots of things are. But I will say this: I feel like I'm doing alright if I can urinate on my own. It's a funny thing to say, but I'm serious about that. Nearly every time I sit on the toilet and things are working properly, I breathe a little sigh of relief. I feel like things are gonna be okay. The world is okay, and I have plenty in life to be grateful for.