Time flies when you’re having fun.
It’s been 2 years since The Surgery.
Yep, in capitals, because it was really one of those life-milestones, one of the things that divides things into Before and After.
It’s not as if things are all that different now than they were before; I still have FMS, my back is still a mess, my knees still hurt, and gravity is still doing its thing in places I would prefer it avoid. I was happy before; I’m happy now. The laundry list of medical problems (and if I list them all I’ll probably just get depressed, and these days my life is not about getting depressed) has quadrupled, but it’s nothing unmanageable. Life has gone on.
Still…things are different.
Before this day 2 years ago, I was walking the Y swimming pool, honestly wondering if it was the last time I’d see it. And walking was the best I could do. These days, I splash in another Y pool, a full on (albeit kind of slow) hour-long (usually) swim, and instead of pondering final visions, I moan about the goop floating in the water. I take for granted that I’ll see another day. Maybe I shouldn’t, but that I take it for granted doesn’t mean I’m not deeply grateful.
I can look back and laugh about it, especially those hours after the surgery, when I was convinced that the morphine they’d given was going to make me stop breathing, and I was determined to keep sucking in breath after breath. When I was awake, that is. And I look back and still marvel at the Spouse Thingy, how he stayed there until late in the night, making sure I had enough water to make up for the lack of my diabetes insipidus meds, making sure that when I was finally coherent enough I could reach the call button and ask for more, making sure that I could pour it by myself and reach the bedside table. The one thing the surgeon was most concerned about was that my electrolytes would go haywire; the Spouse Thingy keeping such a careful eye on my fluids kept things on an even keel, and the doc was amazed at how perfect my blood work was.
I don’t know too many men who would sit there from dawn until nearly midnight, patiently, not even flinching when puked upon. And I don’t know too many who would do it and then not complain that they came home to a significant doggy-accident and a really pissed off hungry cat. I didn’t know about that until weeks later.
Things may not be all that different, but I think I’m all the more grateful for it.
So today we’re going to a birthday party; the birthday girl is turning 1 year old. In her honor, we’ll spend the day with good friends, watching the kids play, laughing with each other, talking and possibly gossiping, eating and drinking. We’ll have fun. And I’m sure once or twice the thought will cross my mind of what I was doing 2 years ago, and how happy I am to be going to a party for an almost-toddler.
We’ll be celebrating a real birthday.