“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.” – Ambrose Redmoon
Some days are more difficult than others, though this last week was particularly hard. I transitioned into a new position and underwent my third surgical procedure. While I was plagued with information overload for the first two days, by Wednesday I actually began to feel as if I just might be catching on. There’s still much to learn, but rather than being overwhelmed I am simply exhausted…but strangely happy. On a Sunday night, I’m not dreading the return of the work week. I stay busy, am an important component of journal publications, and truly enjoy my coworkers.
I suppose I might have brushed over the surgery part. Since my surgery in December, wound care has noted something protruding under my skin that hurt to touch. It has slowly risen closer to the surface, and wound care became afraid it would pierce the skin and cause another infection. I braced myself for the worst: a flare-up of the RSD and the extreme pain from the last two surgeries.
But I’ve been pleasantly surprised. I returned to work the following day, still a little groggy from the anesthesia. Although I was in pain, it was not what I expected. I was surprised when the pain medication almost completely knocked down the pain. I’ve even started tapering back off of the pain medicine just a few days following surgery.
I still have not regained my stamina and my brain is not as sharp as I’d like it to be, but I’ve discovered myself actually having moments of pure optimism. It’s very uncharacteristic – so much so that one of my best friends almost couldn’t believe it. Don’t get me wrong. I still very much find it difficult to cope with all that has come to my doorstep, but when a step forward reverses, I no longer feel my world crumble. I think and not react. It’s surprisingly liberating. And it proves that anyonecan achieve some level of optimism. While it is no easy task, I have honestly never been happier, and I have never felt so little pain since my diagnosis.
“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow.” – Thomas Paine