I woke up this morning with a heavy heart with tears welling in my eyes. I quickly (well, as fast as one can move with a “dead” leg and walker) got up as I felt a blog post brewing.
Hope. What is hope? Why do we rely so much on hope?
Hope is what keeps us going. It gives us the motivation to get through our days. It allows us to dream and create a better life. If there is no hope, there is no life, heart or dream.
When I decided to move forward with both PAO surgeries, it was to give me hope for a pain-free, functional active life. I still have hope that once I recover from this most recent surgery, I hope I am pain-free and thus, my chronic pain will not consume most of my thoughts and precious time.
So why, you may wonder, did I wake up this morning with a heavy heart? I was given, or should I say – I gave myself – false hope. This has nothing to do with surgery, but what I have found is that the emotional toll PAO surgery recovery can make the patient raw with her emotions. So when hope is given and then taken away, it goes straight to the core:
About two weeks post op, (shortly after Christmas) I had some conversations with my mom on the phone. I was starting to feel the hope brewing that she was drug free (she was at the time) and wanting to make a change (she is addicted to pain killers and God knows what else). Her living conditions are awful, she lives in a non-licensed “board and care” home, with little care and people transitioning in and out of the home for shorter periods of time. She confessed these people often bring in drugs into the home (I didn’t ask what those drugs were) and that she was not behaving. She said that she cannot perform some of the activities of daily living and wanted to move into a licensed skilled care facility (there would be no drugs there!). Of course, I offered my help; I spoke with my wonderful sister and she offered her assistance as well. “Maybe this is it!” I thought. “Maybe this is her chance for a better life and we can have a normal drug free mom!” We researched medical, assisted living, etc. We were on it!
Yesterday afternoon I got a text from my sister: “Mom doesn’t want to move.” My heart sank. For the past few days I have been struggling with my own surgery recovery-related personal demons and depression. And just when I was feeling better… “This is shitty timing,” I thought. I called my sister and we talked briefly. The bottom line is mom doesn’t want to move. As much as I forced myself to think “OK, whatever. We tried,” my heart sank.
I am sick and tired of false hope. I am tired of people, my mom especially, dangling the carrot of hope – almost within my reach – only to snatch it away. I don’t appreciate being teased with hope. Right now I cannot even think about talking to my mother. If she was anyone else I would have nothing to do with her.
What is my lesson in all this? That I can only rely on the hope that only involves me. I only have the power to change my own life, I cannot make people change. It’s also important for me to recognize “false” hope: more often than not it’s when someone other than myself is involved. From today going forward, I am going to just focus on me: MY self-care, MY surgery recovery. The rest will unfold as it should.