The work is what keeps me going. Keeps me upright. Keeps me focused on the here and now. And keeps me from slipping backwards into the dark.
When things are humming along and life is good, the work is easy. However, as I recently discovered, getting a little lax with the work can allow the dark to creep back in when it is maybe not expected.
Today marks three years since our last loss. The scariest loss. The one that landed me on the operating table for three hours and gave me the scar I see in the mirror every day. Last year at this time I was ok. The day actually kind of snuck up on me and passed without much anxiety. This year is different.
Last year I didn’t have much going on related to my health. Life was good. Things were moving along and I was continuing to do the work to keep the darkness at bay. But because life was good, the work wasn’t much of an effort.
This year I am coming off of some....call it things.....and decisions about my health and the treatment of my endometriosis. After my June, 2016 surgery to remove a giant cyst and clean up the discovered endometriosis I endured 6 months of Lupron treatment. Then, after talking to Dr. D, weighed my options about management of it going forward, but didn’t really make a decision. Looking back on it, I am fairly sure I just didn’t want to give into the fact that, in order to treat my endometriosis, our journey to have a baby was over. The most effective treatments and pain management were birth control options. I just wasn’t ready.
So I put the decision off. Until the pain creeped back and I endured it for so many months until I just couldn’t take it any more. I called Dr. D and was diagnosed with another cyst that had to be removed.
I had that surgery this past December. It was successful. The cyst causing my pain was gone. But with it they had to take my left ovary and my left Fallopian Tube.....the only one I had left. Our journey was effectively over.
That is a lot to take in. I tried not to let it take over as I approached surgery. I knew before surgery what was going to happen. I prepared myself for it. But it caused me to have to do some more work. Step up my game, if you will.
I started to notice I was more sensitive to pregnant women. That is something that is always a struggle, but it seemed like all of the sudden they were everywhere and I had no escape. (sounds crazy, I know, but that is the best way I can describe it). I started to dwell on the “why us’s” that always stick in the back of my mind, but can usually ignore. My emotions were/are all over the place. And then I realized this day was coming and the anxiety started creeping in.
But I know how to handle it, thanks in no small part to a fantastic therapist and the amazing support of family and friends. I know how to deal with the anxiety and push the “why us’s” back to their hiding place. I know how to regroup and keep focused on the things that are here and now, not the tragedy of our journey. It just takes a little more work sometimes.
So I am doing it.
Remembering, but not dwelling.
February 15th will always be a reminder of the day we lost our last baby and the day my husband and our son could have lost me. It is a heavy day. But I have the tools to get through it. And I will always use them.