...for I have sinned. Tonight, I committed the sin of envy. Hot, bitter, stinging envy. Let me set the stage a little. You might have noticed, but I'm a little, um, proud. I know, big shock, right? I hate to admit that I can't do something, or to ask for help or special treatment. But, I'm learning to be smarter than that and to ask for help. So tonight when Jim and I went to the movies, I asked him to drop me off at the door. The parking lot is vast, and since I'm having trouble just making it up or down my stairs these days, I knew I'd never make the trip through the parking lot. Jim, being sweet and wonderful, was entirely okay with it. It helps that I bought his ticket. And after the movie, we waited for the huge crowd of people to leave before Jim helped me totter down the theater stairs (i hate those stairs, with the staggered long and short steps. regular steps are hard enough, but those are horrid) and went to get the car to pick me up at the doors while I used the bathroom.
And this is where the envy comes in. I tottered into the bathroom, leaning over and nursing my side, walking all slowly and carefully. And as soon as I walk in, I see her. There's the pretty, tall, leggy blonde at the sinks, fixing her hair in the mirror. She's standing up straight and tall and she's moving like she's pretty and she knows it. She was wearing wedges and short shorts and some cute little summery top (it's finally warm enough to wear that, outside the theater. i gotta say, inside the theater, it was freezing. like, the ice in your drink doesn't even melt cold) and she was working it. And I won't belittle her for how she was dressed, or for how she carried herself. Girlfriend was working it. And so she should have been. But oh, I was jealous. Hunched over, moving like an old woman, I was jealous.
See, I used to be the girl at the mirror. I used to stop and check my hair out and secretly think that those heels I had on made my legs look long and skinny and toned. Tonight, I just washed my hands and shuffled down the long corridor to wait for Jim. I miss being the girl at the mirror. I miss standing up straight and thinking that I'm feeling mighty fine. Lately, I just feel old and sad and kinda sorry for myself. I hate that. I hate whining to Jim. He's sweet and pretends like he's not tired of hearing me tell him how sore I am or how tired I am after a long, tiring day of not doing anything.
I feel like I've been backsliding a little the last few days. I understand, mentally, that my body was healing up at an amazing rate. And that my poor, battered body can only sustain that rate of healing for so long. I get that, I do. And I know that I need to be gentle with myself, and to be patient. That this is a process that is going to take time, and isn't going to be fun or easy. But emotionally, I know that just climbing the stairs to the bedroom or walking a couple hundred feet down the block is exhausting. And it wasn't this bad a couple of days ago. I wasn't this tired, this frail. Logically, I know that I can already breathe better, now that my lung has re-expanded. Emotionally, not being able to breathe deep, deep down any more scares me. I get out of breath, and I can't grab big deep lungfuls of air. My chest just won't move far enough yet. So I use all my self-control and I try to breathe in nice, regulated rhythms so I don't hyperventilate and pass out. And it still scares me. Not having enough air, feeling like you're suffocating with nothing near your face, is a horrible sensation. Fighting it, being rational and knowing that it will pass, is scary as hell.
I'm strong, I'm tough as hell, and I'm going to get through this and be well again. But sometimes, like tonight, I just wish, for a few minutes, I could go back to how I was before any of this insanity started. Ignorance was bliss. Or I wish I could fast-forward to August or September, when I can have those big, heaving lungfuls of air, when I can suck air down as greedily as anyone who's been holding their breath for six long, long months. I wish I could get past the scary, hard parts that are taking so much life out of me and making me feel so old so very, very fast, and just move right through them. I wish I could cut to a time where people don't need to reassure me, or ask how I'm doing, because they can all tell that I'm all right. A time when I can run, and move, and laugh, and simply hug someone without them handling me like I'm made of china. Knowing that those days are coming, that it's only a matter of months, of weeks, really... That's what keeps me from losing all hope. That's what keeps me moving forward, what makes me keep shuffling on Jim's arm to the end of the block every night before bed. Because one day, not too far down the road, I'm going to look back at this, and I'm going to be proud of me.
And that's way, way more than I'd planned to share with y'all. But you've been with me from the start on this, and I suppose there's no sense holding back now. I don't mean to make you worry, I'm monitoring my physical condition, and if things get too bad, I will contact my doctor. I have a follow-up scheduled for next week, where I'll discuss my progress with them. In the mean time, it's definitely time for a nap before my next pain pills. I hope the weekend goes smoothly for you all, and that you get some of the sun we're finally getting to see.