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!