I can’t believe how long it has been since I’ve posted….I haven’t given up on the blog, but the end of the semester was so busy that I had to neglect something.
But now, all exams and papers are graded, final grades have been submitted, I survived the usual post-semester bout of illness and exhaustion (my immune system always seems to collapse for a week at the end of every semester), endured another three-day round of vertigo, and started turning back to my neglected research. And, of course, started to prepare for more doctors appointments. I have so much free time during the summer, this will be my opportunity to find and see multiple specialists, and search for a doctor who will understand and respect my religious and moral values on fertility – the last of which will be no easy task.
I can face it. I can do this. My sense of courage has been renewed – it had all but disappeared last summer, and I’ve finally found it again.
Last weekend, my husband and I went camping. It’s always nice to get out of the city, away from the crowds and the heat, to leave behind electronics and attention to appearance and all the chores and tasks that clamor for completion around the house. We spent a lovely three-day weekend at a state park; my husband enjoys building campfires and cooking over open flames, and I enjoy letting him! The park had a man-made lake in it; we initially thought we would rent a boat and spend time on the water. The weather didn’t cooperate, however, being much colder than normal for Memorial Day weekend, so instead of renting a boat, we went to the neighboring stables and inquired about horseback trail rides through the woods.
This was a huge step for me, a major victory of course. Nine years ago, I broke my back when I fell off a horse on a trail ride in Montana. I obviously haven’t been on a horse since, and for years I was battled panic attacks every time I felt like I was falling, or every time I saw someone (in real life or on a screen) riding a horse. A broken back is most definitely a traumatic experience, and I was having post-traumatic stress. But somehow this spring, the panic seemed to have diminished. I thought about riding a horse, and thought – why not? Why not prove to myself and to everyone else that I CAN do it? That I can face my fears and literally get back in the saddle?
So I did. I got on a horse. I rode a horse for an hour. I didn’t fall off, and more importantly, I didn’t experience PTSD flashbacks or panic attacks, I didn’t spend the hour in total fear. I white-knuckled the saddle-horn, and I certainly had the slowest pace anyone’s ever had while on a horse, but – I did it. I asked God for courage, and he gave it to me.
And if I can do that, I can do anything. I can face down doctors who think my values are crazy; I can finish this dissertation; I can handle the endometriosis pain; I can survive the vertigo; I can keep up the endless struggle to hear; I can face the vertigo episodes; I can ignore the hurtful things that family, friends, and acquaintances say about my childlessness. None of it will be easy, or fun, or short, but I can do it.