For the past three (almost four) years, I've been in St. Louis on Mother's Day while my son spends it with his step-mom in Indianapolis. This is sort of a knife turning in an already broken heart. If I didn't adore his step-mom's sensibilities and caring for my son, it would be even harder, I suppose. I'm free to visit him, but I can't afford the extra trip between his spring break and summer break, both of which I get to see him and get good hugs from him to ease the pain.
So I choose to spend this bittersweet "holiday" in St. Louis with my mom. Which is also bittersweet. As many of you know, my mom was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer last year. Statistics on this kind of cancer are not good. Something like only 5% of people are supposed to see their next five years of life after a diagnosis like that. And with my mom being a non-smoker and one of the healthiest people I know, this has caused me a great crisis of faith.
But my mom is also one of the most positive people I know, and after chemo, an additional targeted drug, and plenty of check-ups, her doctor has put her in that lucky 5%! We all knew if anyone could challenge this monster of a cancer, it would be her. But since her diagnosis, I've felt this looming sadness (in my head) whenever I spend time with her because I feel like I have to soak up every little bit of her goodness.
To compound on my already gloomy state, I had a doctor's appointment with another orthopedic specialist yesterday and the news wasn't good. My hips are even more fucked up than we initially thought. I won't go into boring details, but he told me no yoga for now (what!?- killing me) and to walk and swim only if my body can tolerate it. He also told me to err on the side of moving too little rather than too much.
All of the research I've read and heard about osteo-arthritis and arthritis in general is that even though it is painful, moving is highly encouraged. This guy is telling me to slow down even more which is heart-wrenching considering just 5 years ago, I was a capable single mom going to school full-time with two part time jobs. Yes, I was exhausted, but now, I have to excuse myself from situations after I've been sitting for more than an hour and a half. Sitting!
I'm thirty-three years old. This sucks. I'm going to start physical therapy next week and at least the doctors seem to be getting closer to the fact that what is going on with me is not a personality disorder (yeah- I was told that once, in the hospital), but an unlucky series of factors that fucked up my genes at birth. I was born with most of these problems and they just took a while to surface. But now there are x-rays, MRI's, and CT scans that show all of the degeneration. And at least I can rest easier than when I started to believe that maybe it was all in my head.
Shit. I told myself that I wasn't going to blab on and on about all of the bad stuff in this post, but this is just how I'm feeling this week. Maybe by the time I do my next post, I will be feeling a bit better and more positive about things. I know I will. I know this mood will pass. I just have to process all of the things the docs told me in my own way. Sometimes, that means retreating and sleeping. And sometimes that means making plans with my sister to lay in the sun at Forest Park. Which we're totally doing on Friday.