I'm so proud I can't stand it. My CG is 3 days ahead of his PT schedule and headed for the end of the hospitalization phase and the start of real rehabilitation at the end of next week.
There's that space between the beats, where we can Really Rest. I'm there right now. I trust the hospital staff, I trust CG's dedication and discipline (it kicks in when he really needs it.. if only he'd realize that he needs it All the Time!) all that man needs is a focus and he can stand the world on its end.
Meanwhile, I'm in a kind of pause, a place where I can look around in the midst of deep feeling. This is a place like where I was in 2000, when I ripped up the roots of my life. It's a much less agonizing place now, because all actions are consensual. Ripping one's life apart from another's is one of the most unpleasant things anyone could ever hope to do, especially with someone you think you love.
What has happened in the past week, with the fear and acknowledgment that, in surgery, you sometimes lose someone, has been a tremendous bonding process, beyond our other hardships.
The conversation of touch saved us both, the night before the procedure. Despite his sleeping pills, he thrashed around in his hospital bed, until I left mine and curled up by his side. Then, he settled and slept peacefully. The experience for me was, to lend my entire Self as support for his healing process. I knew that he was looking for comfort, and when I was there to offer it, he could rest.
Rest, he did. I offered myself as hot water bottle, stuffed animal, "Kuscheltiere", whatever he needed. It didn't matter what, only the meaning of touch. We didn't talk, we just held. And he calmed, and he slept.
He woke up, and they gave him more drugs, and they took him away. I was beside myself, but I controlled it.
Then Joy showed up (she's aptly named isn't she!) and then Tre, (the most important things in my life are joy and trees, but I never figured it would be so damn literal) and these two heroines kept the rest of my day out of the dark.
I let them take him away, joking and laughing as we do, in the face of the awful bloody reality that he underwent, fortunately at the mercy of modern memory and pain avoidance.
We played Scrabble, which we all love, and Tre beat us all, especially after they told me he was awake and I could come down. I got pretty freaked out and couldn't parse the directions in German, but a rough-faced redhead put her arm around me (sensing my deep distress, I still have to hold tears back here) and led me to where CG was being cared for after the procedure. He was pale and seemed like a flat tire to me, but I was grateful for the intercedance of the anesthetics, and kissed him and held my forehead to his. He was completely sentient, if a rather fuzzy around the margins. He knew me instantly, and sought to console me instantly.
How is that, that I, who have scarcely been cut on in my scant four decades, am supposed to comfort one too well used to it?
Touch is the most powerful language, and I have used it in the past week in ways which help me to understand my training in some very deep and powerful ways.
I am humbled, touched, and illuminated.
The biggest lesson for me, which keeps being driven home here in this US Army environs and other factors... step back and have respect and perspective. Appreciate where the suffering comes from, Validate them.
To take another step, is to survive.
To take another breath, is to survive.
These are things we must hold close every day we wake, breathe, and walk.
There are so many things which can stop us. Every day we wake up, and do it again, is a gift to be treasured, maintained and enjoyed.