19 days and counting...and I want to be selfish.
How do you want to be selfish, Melissa? Well, easy, I want to put if off, I am ready, but I'm not ready. Sure, that doesn't sound too selfish to a lot of people, selfish would be going through with it. But it is not. For the last 6 months I have been affecting the lives of others by how I feel. Examples:
My husband. 3 years ago he started dating this vibrant, fun, happy girl. Now, he is married to a girl that can't even get out of bed in the morning without his help. Now, how is that fair?
Work....last year, they hired someone that was aware of a condition she had, but still went to work everyday with a smile on her face. Now, they employ a zombie who is either on pain meds or muscle relaxers 95% of the time who is lucky to make it a full 40 hours.
Parents...had a daughter that was there for them when they needed help around the house. Now, have to worry about how she is doing on top of themselves, coming over and helping her around her house.
Selfish isn't going through with the surgery and asking my loved ones to help me through recovery. Selfish is not going through with it and continuously affecting the lives of those around me. You see, the best way to describe this is I wear a multitude of masks. You see me walking through the office and I'm giggling and laughing, always optimistic. You walk into my office and I am slumped over in my chair looking at anything but my computer screen because the glare hurts. You see me being compassionate, putting everyone else before myself. You see me pretending the pain isn't there, making excuses like, "Oh it doesn't hurt today, I think I just slept wrong. No, I'm feeling ok, its just cold in here and my eyes are blood shot". The face behind the mask is just me. Nothing exciting, but all the same, a person that wants the life back she once had. When walking the dog didn't mean ouchies, that sleeping a certain way didn't mean pain for 2 days, that coughing didn't bring tears to my eyes because it was going to hurt.
This weekend I was asked by a few family members, including my own mother, is this really the only option? Yes, it is. Because people aren't aware, enough research hasn't been done. That is why gaining awareness is the most important thing! If I had the money I would get a billboard and say, Yes Chiari is real and it hurts, donate money for research today!! But, I don't make that much money!
So, let's do this. Let's get the band aid put on the problem so the energy I have can be used to raise the awareness and help others gain understanding. It's a start, and I feel like it is what I am supposed to be doing. And then of course once the recovery is over I can focus on being me again. So no more masks, the smiles will be real, and brain will fit in the skull like it was supposed to in the first place.
My new nickname at work is "Brain". It is funny how it means something so different to me then one would think. In high school, being called Brain was like social suicide. That meant that you were smart, probably not considered attractive the popular boys and you had a 'bright' future ahead of you. In high school I don't think I would have minded it too much. I definitely wasn't the smartest cookie, and I wasn't the most attractive. In fact, I think plain Jane is a perfect definition for who I am. I was all personality, and I still am today. If I didn't have a personality, what would I have? A big brain. Yea, not so much on the fun side. So I take the nickname Brain with a smile, because even though it means I have a big brain, it makes me feel smart. Why isn't that the case, you think if a person's brain didn't fit in their skull that would mean they were super smart, I missed that train. Dang. But even though the smarts weren't there and I was a plain Jane, it worked for me, still does.
So, here we are, 19 days away from the beginning of the rest of my life. I can hang the masks on the shelf and just be me, because that is the best look on me anyway! :)