On Friday I had a minor surgery to drain the cyst on my ovary. I'll spare the details, but I will admit that it was both uncomfortable and left me in pain and feeling ill for much of the weekend. Thankfully I'm beginning to rebound and slowly starting to feel like myself again.
I didn't feel sick enough to warrant staying in bed all weekend, but I did feel icky enough to keep me from tackling my weekend To do list. Per my New Year's Resolution, I am not fretting or berating myself. (Okay, maybe a little but I realize that I'm doing it, so that counts for something, right?)
Saturday afternoon we piled into the car and drove to visit a new friend in the hospital. She was scheduled for an amputation the next day and asked to meet with an amputee before the surgery. I will never forget the fear that I felt in the days preceding my amputation, so despite feeling sore, I was happy to oblige.
Meeting with somebody preparing for an amputation always dredges up a myriad of painful emotions that I prefer to keep buried. Seeing the fear in the eyes of somebody else brings me back to the days before my amputation. Sitting with her in her hospital room, I felt like I was transported back in time. I will never forget the anxiety and the gut wrenching fear that I felt before my surgery. Although I knew that I was making the correct decision, I have never been as terrified in my life!
I try to lend a supportive ear during these visits, but I always leave feeling woefully inadequate. I don't know the words that will make everything okay. How do I convince somebody that, although the adjustment will be difficult, they will emerge stronger through the process?
I know that losing a leg is not the end of the world because I have lived with limb loss. I also realize that there is no way I can convince a new amputee that everything will be okay. That is a lesson that each person has to learn and experience on his own.
Saturday afternoon I sat with my new friend and answered her questions, validated what she was feeling, and told my story. I reiterated that I am a happy, active and well-adjusted woman who happens to be an amputee. I wish I could have done more to help. Despite my wanting to rescue her and make everything okay, I've learned that simply lending support is all that I can do. The rest is going to be up to her, but she won't be alone on this journey!