So here’s what’s happening.
Last Friday, I noticed that, between my belly button and the “cesarean” scar, my abdomen was expanding. It initially looked like a golf ball, then a lemon, and then an orange. I freaked out because I though my intestines were pushing through my skin, but turns out that, because of how they cut me for the surgery, a little cavity was left under my skin.
Over the course of the week, fluid started to fill this cavity, thus giving me the appearance of having a now-grapefruit hidden under my skin.
Not only does it hurt like hell, but it is mortifyingly disgusting to look at.
In fact, I showed my sister Ellen the other day, and she responded by making a gag face like she was throwing up.
I don’t blame her – I do the same thing every time I am forced to looked down.
Now, I know, rationally, that this will go away. I know this. Just like I know I will be able to run and swim and bike again. Soon. But it hurts, and it’s ugly. And when taken together with the lack of physical activity, I have never in my life felt so ugly. I don’t feel good physically or about myself.
The crazy part of this is that I know this was a good thing – I don’t regret and I am not mad or would ever complain about the donation itself. It was, in fact, the best decision I ever made. I have nothing but positive thoughts about the decision I made to do this. But part of me just wants my old life back, wants my energy, wants to not hurt anymore, wants to just feel good again.
I want to be IronMeg again.
I know that might sounds selfish, but I can’t help it.
And I know I just need to be patient. But when the pain claws at you for days on end, you start to just want to scream.
Las night, I had to go to the store to get another sundress (I can only wear dresses right now because it hurts too much to have anything touch the grapefruit belly). As I was standing in the aisle, the grapefruit belly delivered a stunning cramp – so bad it shot up my back, and I almost wanted to fall on the ground. I stood there, one hand on my sweaty forehead, the other on my belly, willing the tears not to fall and wondering if I needed to call my sister to come get me.
I waited, the pain passed, and I just gave up and went home – no dress.
And this is how it is. Everyday. All day.
Ironman was one thing– but this is the hardest thing I have ever done. Many times, I just cry to myself in my apartment, where I spend most of my time alone, laying in my bed. I cry for the pain, for the grapefruit, for the enormity of the whole donor thing. It has felt really lonely, mostly because I am physically alone.
I had no idea it would be this hard. All of it.
My brother has tried to reach out to me, but I have had limited contact this week. He is doing incredible, so happy and eager to live now, and I can’t let him see me like this – it scared him the other day to see me in so much pain, and I want him to feel all the happiness right now of being healthy. He doesn’t need any negative vibes around his new life.
That is why I tend to withdraw from this blog or emails – it’s just too hard to be that downer – even though I know you all say that it doesn’t matter, it does to me. Contrary to what I was recently accused of, I do not like to be sad, and it bothers me when I can’t shake it. Does it happen? Yes, to all of us. But does it feel good to be sad? No, so why spread that to others? I know I got a lot of shit in the recent post when I apologized for not feeling myself, so this isn’t an apology – more like an explanation of how I operate.
I am not doing a good job at explaining this. I sound like a selfish ass, like I am complaining, and that’s not what I am trying to get across. I think this is all compounded by other stress going on and weighing on me. It’s like when they took my kidney, they stuck an extra ovary in there to make me all weepy – like PMS only it doesn’t end after seven days.
On that note, I can’t say thank you enough for all the calls, instant messages, emails and comments. They do make me feel incredibly better, and like I will be okay – in fact, I kind of depend on them. The funny stuff makes me laugh in the moment, and talking about things other than kidney pain takes my mind off of the things here. I know I haven’t been great these last few days with returning some emails, but I will try to catch up this weekend.
So that’s me. Today.