Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Some sort of epiphany

I have had this feeling of gloom and doom for a while now.  It's just been an underlying depression that I couldn't exactly put my finger on, but I was just feeling kind of blah.  

I know some of it comes from the election of Donald Trump.   But, usually something like that passes.  It is intense, but fleeting.  This was different.

Then, I think I finally figured it out.   I "lost" my "H" drive- an external hard drive on my computer.  I had all of my thousands of pictures stored there.   I had worked so hard on taking and storing and organizing them.  
The pictures were not actually "lost".  They are all still around.  But, not the way I had worked so hard to create and organize and file them.

I have tried to explain it and have not been able to articulate my feelings.  

Then, the other night, I couldn't sleep.  I got up and started to write/ draw out what I had "lost".  It was all of the work I had done to create a system that I loved.   I have had lots of suggestions such as "they are all there, you just have to re-organize them again".

I started to think about what it was I felt I had lost.  I thought of it as an object.  I told it to Nick this way;  imagine you made a beautiful guitar (which he has done), and it broke into a thousand pieces.   And you were heart broken.   And you were told "you have all the pieces, just put it back together".  Like it is that simple.   It is the loving care and thought and time that went into the beauty of the guitar, not just the "pieces".

I wrote down what I felt represents, somewhat, the order and system I had created, and why I felt too overwhelmed and too hurt (?) to just "replace" it.

I had made folders for every month since 2004.   For every month.  Plus I had made folders for special subjects.  and sub folders of those folder.   I had done a lot of photo shopping and cropping on a lot of my photos.  I don't know if I can ever pick up all of those broken pieces and put them together again.  I don't think my heart is in it.

But being able to articulate what my loss was, and to have it understood, took away that feeling of helplessness.    

It has been and is genuine grief.  No, not over a "living" being, but a piece of myself.   So, now I can get back to feeling like I am going to be alright.

Here's what I drew up in an effort to try to help it make sense to anyone else.  Mainly to Nick because I know he cares about it more than most anyone else would.

This represents all of the folders and work I put into my now lost filing system.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

So far so good

The last week or so I have been contemplating my future.  Not that I am not always doing that anyway.  But, I found a lump in my breast.

I am a lactation consultant,  I know what breasts feel like.  Some are lumpy, but when a lactating breast is lumpy, it is usually a plugged duct.   I have not been a lactating mother for a very long time.  So, I did not imagine I had a plugged duct.

I was quiet about it for about a week.   I was able to get an appointment with my gynecologist to get an order for a mammogram.   I could have gone to get one without the doctor's order, but, I wanted her to write the order in a way that assured that the lump would be seen and studied.

I kept saying, "it's fine".  "I am going to be just fine".  "It's probably nothing".  But I had not really convinced myself.

I had always told myself that if I had breast cancer I would be fine and get through it.  If I needed to have my breasts removed, I would be okay with that too.

Then, for a brief moment of my life, I faced that possibility.  And I felt sad.  These are the breasts that fed my babies.  That have known life and love.  They are a part of me.

The fear of the practical things in life getting disrupted.  Like who would run the weekly drop in breastfeeding cafe' that I have held weekly for the last seven years.  Who would water my house plants, and keep the bird feeders full.  What would my kids think?   How would they cope?

And I kept smiling and telling everyone "oh it's all going to be fine".

Yesterday I had a very complete mammogram,  a 3D mammogram and an ultrasound.   When the tech said she was going to get the doctor, I braced myself for ...well.. whatever would come next.

The doctor came in smiling.  She shook my hand as she introduced herself, and she said I am just fine.  Nothing wrong.  No cancer.

I texted my sister because I know she was as worried as me if not more.  I texted my husband, and told him I was on my way home VIA the bird seed store.

I stopped at the grocery store and came home and cooked a good dinner.

And when I went to bed, I wanted to cry.  Cry hard.   I have had too many friends who did not have good news.  I cannot imagine how they felt, but I am sure they cried.

But, I didn't cry.   Nick came to bed and he read the names of various community center courses which we re-named into silly words and activities.  We laughed and laughed.  And I slept better than I have in a long time.