I was watching the coverage yesterday of Rep. Gifford's resignation from the House. People were standing, members from both sides of the aisle were teary eyed, hugs abounded.
What happened to her was horrendous, (as what happened to the other 13 people injured who have not been named and in the news (much less the people who were killed). It has been obvious that she is a very well loved person, within her immediate life as well as professional.
I felt guilty as I watched. Guilty because a part of me was angry and jealous at the love being sent her way. At the amount of help and support she had, and has, to help her in her recovery.
When I was at the neurosurgeon's, to talk about the problem with my implant, the possibility of another surgery was broached: have it removed or have it replaced.
The surgery for putting in the current implant torture. I was given a general anaesthesia and then awakened, repeatedly, as Dr. Barolat triggered the horrendous, excruciating trigeminal neuralgia pain. When the pain was the worst it meant he was in the right place. Could I even agree to such a thing again? I did not know - but surprisingly, even to me, that was not my first thought.
My first thought was - Could I go through this again, completely by myself? Watching the Giffords piece my thoughts went to the same place.
How is it some people have so much support, so many people pulling for them? I had to relearn to walk by myself, no one to cheer me on. I went down to the OR 9 times without anyone to see me off, or even for me to talk to, other then non-involved professionals. (I asked a nurse before one surgery "I know you won't mean it but could you just say the words, "I am sure you will be okay." I repeated my promise, "It's just words, it doesn't mean anything. I know you won't mean them. I just need to hear it." She refused.)
The implant is not working. Each time I change the parameters (of how it works) I feel the tingling of stimulation but then it quickly stops. One time it seemed to help but that lasted only a few hours. It has not happened since.
Yesterday morning, frustrated by the lack of progress, fearful of my options, I turned up the amount of stimulation. And then turned to the TV. The picture of Rep. Giffords and a whole congress, even those against her before the shooting, applauding, crying, and encouraging her filled the screen. How wonderful for her, said my head. How come it is there for her and so many others. but never for me, asked my heart.
To all who are alone with their pain, this blog allows me to tell you you are not alone, even if we do not know each other in person.
To all of you who have family, friends, colleagues who support and help you, be grateful and embrace those who 'get it'. You are very, very blessed.