One more day to go before we meet with the surgeon. Heidi is looking and feeling good – relatively speaking. She had a major headache last night but won’t go back to her full dose of pain medication. It doesn’t really surprise me. She’s tough. A few people have seen pictures of the incision. My sister Ruthie, an orthopedic surgeon, responded, “Heidi is the bravest, most radiantly beautiful woman I know. If you ever hear me sniveling, you tell me to ‘get my Heidi on!’ So sorry about what must be the worst head/neck ache ever. It will get better every day…”
We have a lot to be grateful for here, although if you saw her incision you might wonder. But we landed in just the right place, with just the right surgeons and nurses. Heidi is recuperating in this lovely hotel. For my part, I have had a substitute doing great work with my students, the kids are still working together beautifully (I was sent a picture yesterday of the class all showing the sign language symbol for ‘I Love You’), our boys are doing great in school and finishing up final exams right now.
Friends have responded differently to our getting such great medical care. One said that Heidi has a lot of “social capital”. I guess that’s true. Another said that she is “privileged”. Also true. Others say that she is incredibly “lucky”. True that.
We were talking about this at breakfast yesterday. Heidi knows that she is privileged and lucky. And she is grateful to be connected. But she has felt this deeply spiritual dimension that overwhelms her. She believes that she is blessed. Maybe it’s just semantics. But I don’t think so. That big old lump in her brain could have killed her. Back in the day it certainly would have. But she is alive and kicking and carrying on. She has great work to do, much love to share and – lots of life left to live.
She keeps saying that she is thankful, right? Maybe that’s the difference between feeling lucky and feeling blessed. That is the pattern throughout this whole ordeal. Thankful for finding this thing early, the technology that helped to diagnose and treat it (although MRI’s will never be her favorite thing), the docs, the hospital staff, this place to recover, her university pals who swarmed in and lifted off all of the responsibilities that would have nagged at her. She is grateful that she doesn’t have to have chemotherapy or radiation; that once this thing heals, she can lead a normal life. That’s a lot to be grateful for. And she is, you guys. The next time you are around her you will feel it too.
One last thing and then I’ll have to sign off for a couple of days at least. One of the biggest lessons for me is all about perspective. It’s as though I have been fitted with lenses that allow me to see how lucky/privileged/blessed I have been.
When I am swamped at work or dispirited by current events, when the day-to-day rush or little things interfere with my sense of well-being, when I am sniveling about the small stuff I need to “get my Heidi on.”