That which does not kill us…..

Photo by Robyn Dally
Photo by Robyn Dally

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger”, Friedrich Nietzsche. I read a bit of this guys stuff in college and I thought he did not have that great of a grasp on the human condition, but this one quote sums up the year we have had out here in the Pasture.

The whole deal really started at the end of last year. I had another UTI–you know-the bane of the post-menopausal woman. This time I did not bounce back after a dose of antibiotics. I had asked for further consultation on my problem and got an appointment with a specialist for January 19th, coincidentally our 43rd wedding anniversary. And I got steadily worse waiting for that date. At that appointment were sonograms and cultures and an appointment for an abdominal CT and more antibiotics. Once the CT was processed, I was called into the office for a serious conversation about fistulas and diverticulitis and infection. Turns out that the only way out of this situation was surgery-a pretty serious one. Two surgeries really, one to remove all affected tissue and create a temporary colostomy and a second surgery in a month or so to return my tummy and bowel to where they belonged. Whew.  I was truly blessed with two doctors who really took my situation seriously and communicated honestly and compassionately.  That was what I prayed for, not simply to be healed, but to be delivered to the skilled hands of people who would care.

Wow. No more particulars will I share, but let me tell you, it was a hell of a ride. I thought that whatever it is that makes me the sarcastic, quirky, sassy, artistic  and somewhat profane woman that I am- had been burnt completely away. I was wrong, I’m still here. All it took was patience-the one thing I forgot to pray for.

Meanwhile back at the farm, the Piper was dealing with a cancer diagnosis for his father and our beloved boxer, Lucia, suddenly fading quickly. My treasured spouse was juggling checking on me in hospital, driving his dad to some appointments and cleaning up after Lucia. Without even more detail, we had to make the decision to let Lucia go soon after I returned from my first hospital visit. Thank goodness both of our girls were around to help us through that one.

Life was not easy for the next month, I was fighting a pretty big battle toward healing and my father in law was fighting an even larger battle toward death. I went in for a second surgery and was discharged the day that the Piper’s father passed on to his reward. I like to say it that way: “passed on to his reward”. I believe that all things travel in a circle and that good things wait for those who lived thoughtful lives.

It is an old saying that bad things come in threes.  Let’s hope it is true and that the rest of 2017 will be a skate.

I do not think that the Piper drew a free breath until the day I was taken to my room after the second surgery. I was being transported by a fella who apparently got his gurney training on the bumper cars at the county fair.  I was too drugged to remember clearly, but  I announced, quite icily, that I would get myself off of the stretcher and on to the bed without his “gentle” care. We can be thankful that the little profane part of me was also drugged.

All of this, today, was to let you all know where we have been for 7 months or so.  I will leave you with a quote from a much wiser philosopher than Dr. Nietzsche-Bob Marley:

“No woman don’t cry. Everything gonna be alright”.

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