Saturday, May 16, 2009

Afraid to dream?

Dear, dear friend,

I will soon be heading to NY for my big gig on the OR stage ... will leave June 2. Hope to be home June 13. Probably will be in a halo, won't be exactly sure until they see how my bones look. Dr. B said there's a chance he'd open me up and not like the looks of the bones and not do the stabilization at all, just close me up and send me home. I'm sure not praying for that to happen!

Life is so much different for me than the days I used to travel and perform on stage. I've adjusted and love my life and my home, but my husband is surely champing at the bit to do some travelling, something I really can't do now. I don't know how he'll handle it if I get all recovered and still can't travel, but he'll deal with it, I know. He's just such a gypsy!

I was thinking tonight I'd love to perhaps show Mickey as an agility dog, if I get well enough. He is the smartest dog I've ever worked with, and I'm getting so much more interested in dogs than I've ever been before. Today, I told a woman on the street that I love dogs, and then became aware that that is an unusual statement for me. Dogs were always okay, but it was horses I loved. I think training and showing a dog would be a lot like my life of training horses, something I'd sure enjoy doing. And a lot easier than hauling a horse!

I have lots of dreams, they are very simple ones. Maybe being able to walk the dog and go for small walks. Maybe lose some weight because I could walk. Being able to travel in the car with "mi esposo"...and we'd love to fly up to Alaska. I want to be able to fly home to see my Mom next year, and also feel well enough to fly her out to see me this Fall. I'd love to be able to go down and see my son a couple of times a year. Going through this really helps to put things into perspective, and the important things for me are to be with my husband and my loved ones. Speaking of which, I'd love to be able to come up and see you again some day!

It's scary to dream though. Because I really don't know the outcome of the surgery, or if I'll even get it.

Because of that, I have learned to love each second of each day and not think too far into the future. My husband loves to keep saying, "We have to get you fixed so we can travel and go see places" and he doesn't know that it feels a bit of a burden on me, and I always know he is just meaning to encourage me...and I always answer with a "yep," but given what this journey has led me through so far, I know there are no guarantees.

So, it becomes each day, a single step at a time. Often, it's not a step, it's a standing still, or sitting, or lying in bed. But to be able to be content where I am at, and not setting up too many hopes and dreams...not planning on a future beyond these walls and my yard, it's something someone doesn't attain unless you've been through it. I don't know if that makes sense. My friend, Janice, said once, "I feel like you know something because of all this that the rest of us don't know."

And I think I keep learning new things all the time.

I've come to recognize something in me that I never would have understood if I'd not made the journey. It's odd how that works, you start out and think you have your own goals (to get better, to ride again, to have your life back), and then you realize you have to be content with the goals you have achieved, even ones you of which you were not aware.

It's all knowledge I'd rather not have had the chance to learn. But it does give value to the experience. For what, I'm not sure.

Maybe it'll help me in the future to know how to talk to others. To know not to make promises no one can keep for sure, like: "we'll beat this," or "you'll get better, you'll see." This may sound fatalistic, but I don't mean it to be. I really do have a positive outlook on the surgery.

"On paper," it ought to work. It ought to be "just what the doctor ordered." But I've also learned that we can't predict surgical outcomes or what the central nervous system will do. We really do not have any control. People who believe that positive thinking will cure illnesses? Well, yes, a good attitude goes a long way...but in the end, even positive people get chronic pain and illnesses.

So, I keep trying and pray for the best. I don't give up. I don't let others know that I have fears. I smile and act like getting on an airplane alone headed toward major surgery 3000 miles away from home is commonplace. Hey, I've done it already once before, though my poor, sometimes addled brain really can't recollect much of it.

I cling to the promises and the positive. But I am also aware of the fact that my surgeon has never really dealt with this before, not exactly like me.

The spirit side says, "This is gonna be sooooo great!"

And if one side (the spirit side or the realistic side) speaks a tiny bit louder than the other, it is the spiritual one.

If that were not so, I wouldn't be able to step foot on that plane.

Please hold me in your prayers. If it is God's will, I will indeed one day feel well enough to drive the five hours to your house and I'll be able to laugh out loud with you again!