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Down But Not Out!

FullSizeRender (26)You know those life events that take you out? Yeah, that’s pretty much how I have spent the last few weeks.

I recently went in for what I told myself would be minor hand surgery. A bone was removed from my hand, some tendon work done and carpal tunnel fixed. A slam dunk when you have a brilliant surgeon who also happens to look like a GQ model.

My doctor, Dr. Glenn Cohen, did a remarkable job on the hand, checked in with me like I was his mom, and babied me along the rocky road of recovery.

I had two large pins holding my hand together as it was nicely cast. I thought I’d sail through the recovery. After all, I’ve given birth, had a hysterectomy, survived 2 major foot surgeries, and a root canal. It would be pretty hard to knock this old broad down with a simple hand pinning. I laughed at the thought.

The real laughter came soon after as I began to cope with the inability to do much of anything for myself.

The funniest times had to be watching Steven struggle to put my bra on for me. I noticed the beads of sweat glide down his forehead. Clearly he was no match for a one clip frontal bra. His face would begin to redden as he would whisper to me not to panic. All I could feel was pity. For him and for myself.

After about two weeks he got the hang of it. Only twice did he cuss and once grumble aloud how he would never understand how I was able to “contain” them on a daily basis and how his fear was that he would lose an eye. Awesome.

That was just the tip of the iceberg. He struggled to learn how to take care of a grown woman who could not open a jar, cut her own meat, dress herself, shave her armpits, or fix her hair.

I struggled to let things go and learned that it was not the end of the world to walk around with one hairy armpit, eat my meat with my hand, forgo fashion opting to wear stretch pants for weeks, and sport curly and unruly hair.

Life in the slow lane was challenging.

Leaving the cap off my toothpaste was lifesaving. Learning how to roll out toilet paper with one hand, hold it with my elbow as I tore it off with the other was epic. And meeting my new neighbors as I appeared at their front door in my pajamas with a can of dog food asking if they could open it for me was humbling.

At first I resented my neediness and tried to power through, resisting help. Stubbornness is a blessing and a curse. Once I accepted my fate and looked into the face of the man who was standing by me, I got it. This was my time to lean in, to trust and to let go.

After that, there were dozens of laughs throughout the weeks, lots of naps, boredom, pain meds, old movies with a cat on my lap and a dog by my side, and ice cream. Lots of ice cream.

The cast just recently came off, and as Dr. McDreamy promised, my hand will be better than new. A good doctor/surgeon is worth his weight in gold. Especially one who texts you to see how you are doing. I wish all docs were as fabulous as this guy! 

I come out of my self-imposed reclusiveness a much smarter woman (hard to believe, right?). Trusting, letting go, leaning in; are all things I have never been good at. Truth is, I’ve never really had anyone in my life that allowed me the privilege.

I do now. And I’m keeping him.

The fiancé and the surgeon!

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mel glenn - Dear Tammy,
I was wondering what happened to you; now I know.
What is remarkable to me (who faces some medical issues of my own,) is your remarkable sense of humor. You must have been in pain, but you were able to see the “up” side of this experience.
Also, you saw you were not alone and were able to trust a valued partner. All the kudos go to you.

T.O. Weller - Welcome back Tammy!!

I can’t help but feel empathy pains when I look at those photos and yet, not once do you mention the pain.(Isn’t it great when you find guys that are actually keepers?!?)

I was also checking the BAM conference schedule this morning and there you were! Can’t wait to see you in person. 🙂

Gail Mills - What a story…I was wondering what happened to you. Missed your humous insights regarding life and things. Happy to hear you are doing well now! Looking forward to your… Witty. Words of Wisdom.

Marilyn Tichauer - OUCH!!

Tammy - No kidding! It was a super ouch for a while. But I’m on the home stretch! xo

Tammy - Hi Gail, so happy to have been missed! Am on the mend and will get back to my regularly scheduled random rants. So happy to know you will be on the other side. Thanks for that.

Tammy - Hi Mel, I’ve missed you! Yup, there was a lot of pain. Much more than I anticipated. I marvel at the technology and the genius of my surgeon. There were plenty of down sides but they all seemed to be pretty funny when you live them. But the big payoff is a new hand and a man that I have learned is very “leanable”. How wonderful is that?!

Tammy - Hi T.O., yup, it will be such fun to present at BAM. Vegas, baby! I never looked at those pictures until everything was out of me and I was over the hard spots. If I saw the extent of it, it would have freaked me out more. It was uber painful at first but when faced with either laughing or crying….I’ll choose a giggle ever single time. Looking forward to meeting you IRL!!

Lisa at Grandma's Briefs - The letting go and letting someone else do it is hard, hard, hard. Congrats to you for managing it. And figuring out how to best manage your toilet paper. The hubby-to-be AND the hand surgeon sound fabulous. You’re clearly in safe hands on both fronts.

Continued healing thoughts headed your way as you reach the point of better than ever!

Tammy - No kidding, Lisa. Super hard! At least it was for me. Creativity was the name of the recuperation efforts. Tough business being so unable to care for yourself. Tough on both of us. But we mostly laughed our way through it and he was pretty damn amazing. There is medal for this man somewhere!

Tam Warner Minton - Oh, that looks really painful! UGH. I hope I never have anything happen to my hands!

Cheryl Nicholl - I’m on my way to my second hand surgery for carpool goddess surgery ( correct spelling btw)’ I love it when I can manufacture an emergency that forces me to shut-down and be served by the minions. You should think yourself lucky!

Tammy - Thank you, Mary. Hand surgery was a bit more than I expected. Our extremities are very sensitive. I’m sorry to hear your pending issues. Keep your sense of humor and a stash of chocolate with you at all times. I highly recommend Dr. Glenn Cohen. His specialty is hands/wrist/elbow. Truth is, I traveled 300 miles to see him and I’d do it again. Yes, he is THAT good. Take care of you and keep me posted on how you are doing!!

Tammy - It has been a bit of a bitch, Tam. I hope you NEVER have any problems with your hands. We just don’t realize how much we depend on them for damn near everything. Be well!!

Tammy - You bet it is, Haralee! Comfort food is highly under rated. So glad you enjoyed the read. Ever so happy to have you here!

Tammy - I so agree, Terri, it could have been worse had it been my right hand. Something tells me I will find out before this life is over, as I feel the similar pain in my good hand growing. Oh, woe is me! I will put it off for as long as I can. Having these two fabulous guys in my corner has just made my life that much better!

Tammy - Lee! An ordeal it has been, my friend. NOT awesome. I’m mortified to hear of Anne’s pending surgery. Good news is that it is so common these days…a slam dunk, as they say. 3-4 days in the hospital and you are walking around like an athlete. You are SO right, Lee, it is the caregivers that do all the work. God bless you! Steven saved me, in more ways than one. I am beyond happy that you both have each other. Blessings like that are rare. Love to you and to beautiful Anne. Retirement? What the hell is that, anyway?

Tammy - Cheryl, I had carpal tunnel surgery last year on my right hand. It was a cake walk. I expected this to be as well. Truth is, it kicked my butt big time. I was rendered completely incapable of so much, and the pain was extreme. Hard for a controlling little busy body like me. I don’t have minions (can I borrow them next time?) but I was waited on hand and foot. And, yes, I consider myself extremely lucky! Thanks for being here!

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