With each appointment I walked in expecting to hear that my injury isn't really as bad as the last doctor said, but as I walked away I left realizing that actually it is worse then I thought. I had the x-ray done thinking my doctor was just being cautious only to get a phone call that I needed an MRI. I went into the MRI telling the technician that I didn't need any help taking my shoes off or getting on the MRI table only to leave with him insisting on helping me sit up and putting my shoes on for me. I walked into pain management expecting to be told I just needed to wait it out only to find that not only were they ready to give me the steroid shot into my spine, but my insurance company had already agreed to pay for it. I walked into the surgeons office to find that if I had met with a younger, newer surgeon they would probably suggest operating, but since he had been around for a while he realized that if he did operate because of where my back was injured I would be signing up for three more surgeries every other year for the next eight years ending with chronic pain for the rest of my life. Instead he thought I better continue on with PT, informing me to expect up to two years before I was back to normal and thought I might have some on again off again arthritis. The surgeon was the best news giver of them all and I still wasn't happy with the news he gave.
I spent most of July with ice packs, and heating pads strategically placed around my spin and hips as I dreaded my next PT or chiropractic visit. I listened to my boys play outside and watched every season of every HGTV show available on Netflix. On the few days I felt normal enough to move I over did it by trying to catch up on all the things I was missing out on. Even when I was trying to "take it easy" one wrong step would end in more intense pain lasting for days. In the end no matter what I did I caused myself greater pain. When I returned to the ice packs, and heating pads I found my spirit deflated.
For years I have talked about, almost obsessed over slowing and seeing the small things. It seems that finding joy in the mundane goes along with parenthood. To find joy in the small not just the mile stones of life, not simply the first word, the first steps, the very last diaper change, the first day of school, but to find it in the daily grind. All those nights that my sweet baby boys screamed and all those days I passed through blurry eyed, a whole day of punishments because he insisted on eating the dish soap, covering himself in the baby powered or taking a bath with his clothes on, somewhere in all that there was joy. But this summer...
This summer is different. Now they sleep through the night. Now they obey. Now they know right from wrong. Now they know what is safe and what isn't. Now they are easy and fun. This summer it is because of me that I search for the joy.
This summer I have hardly seen the joy. I have gone to bed many nights frustrated reflecting on all the things we didn't do rather then all those small joys. The way they took care of me. Those times they offered to make me lunch. The many times they got an ice pack for me. The way they played together. They way they did extra chores so I wouldn't have to. The way they helped me cook dinner. The way they snuggled. All those joys I let slip by.
Next time, because it's a fact of life that my body will fail me guaranteeing there will be a next time, I intend to see the joy in the mundane as it comes along.