Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Last week the universe reached down and hit the pause button on my life.  Tuesday night I had pain in my lower right abdomen.  When I woke up Wednesday, it was still present.  I dragged myself to work anyway and led a meeting with anxious faces staring at me as I held my side and suffered sharp intakes of air while talking.  I was pretty much told to leave (stubborn me, I was "toughing it out" hoping it would go away) and after a misdiagnosis at quick care and a trip to the ER where they took a CT scan, it was finally determined to be my appendix.  I sat there, in the ER naked as a jaybird, with a flimsy hospital gown, open all the way down the back on a cold hard gurney all night Weds night waiting for my 6am surgery.  To make matters worse, my blackberry blew up.  My address book was gone, it wouldn't receive email and some keys didn't work, meaning I could not answer text messages even.  Without my address book, I couldn't call everybody I wanted to call.  I sat there, all night, frightened about the surgery, listening to the sounds of people coming in and out of the ER to be treated.  The cute little voice of a toddler, who didn't want "tweezers! NO tweezers mom!".  She was being treated for some kind of bug bite.  Then an elderly couple came in, right next to me, on the other side of the curtain.  I couldn't see them.  Just feet as nurses and doctors came in and out.  He broke his hip.  Days ago.  His worried wife, in her adorable accent soothed and comforted him in between visits of staff.  Their love for each other hung in the air, tangible, I could feel it....years and years of marriage, it hung thick and poignant in the air, causing my eyes to water and my ears to burn.  I felt like an intruder, barging in on very intimate whisperings as he tried to reassure her, trying to be brave through his excruciating pain.  I stared woodenly at my broken blackberry, sitting upright on the gurney, clenching the back of my gown together modestly, even though nobody could see me behind the curtain.  
I felt like some giant had reached down and hit the pause button on my life.  My daughter did not even know what happened to me until the next day.  My mom was there, she was the one who dropped me off at the ER and she was with me for a few hours that evening.  But I was alone for 90 percent of the time, yet I didn't feel alone.  In the recovery room the nurse was great.  Checking on me, answering all of my questions, commenting on how well I was doing and how strong and healthy I am.  Then in the observation room I did what they told me.  Rest and walk, rest and walk.  Every half hour.  Just hours after surgery I walked down the hall, pulling my IV stand with one hand, holding the gown shut with the other, a determined look on my face.  Rest and walk, rest and walk.  Hmmm.  When did life get broken down to these things?  Rest and walk.  Wait for your bowels to wake up.  Can you eat yet?  Yes, time to leave the hospital...11 hours after surgery.   Carefully I pulled my burnt orange sweat pants back on, gasping in wonder at the laproscopic surgery that allows for my stomach muscles to function still.  Able to walk, sit up, lift my legs into my pants with ease.  Wow, this was not like my C-Section almost 15 years ago!  
So I'm home.  Phone is fixed, friends and family all contacted and still resting and walking, resting and walking.  I'm grateful that Bikram yoga gave me such a strong core.  The nurses all commented on how strong I was to be sitting up and moving around with such ease.  They were also shocked because I wasn't bugging them for any pain meds.  It was a dull ache, sure.  I could feel it, but I wanted to feel it.  Because it told me when to rest, and when I could walk.   Pain is not always a bad thing, it's our body, telling us when to go, when to stop, when something is wrong.
I don't know when I'll be able to go back to yoga.  I miss it.  I crave that hot room, my friends, my life.  I even want to go back to work.  I can't wait to go from "rest and walk" to stretch and kick and breathe and move.  I can't wait to get back in there, look into my own two eyes in the mirror and thank God for my health.  For my body that can normally do more than rest and walk.  I chuckle to myself now thinking about my 30 day challenge I was going to do.  I'll be grateful to make it through 30 minutes!  I'm nervous and anxious and scared about getting back in that room.  Will I be starting over?  My body, after just one week of missing yoga feels softer, looser, less defined.  Will I even be able to bend over?  Put my foot in my hand?  
None of that matters, I'll just be grateful to be back.  Meanwhile, I'm trying to soak in the quiet that this pause button has afforded me.  I was forced to be quiet and still in that ER all night, I was forced to listen and appreciate the sounds around me.  No distractions, just life, happening all around me.  I did not sleep at all that night, and it was OK.  It wasn't a bad night after all.  It was peaceful.....it was life.


  1. OH wooooooow!

    Ok first things first... so glad that you are okay!! That sounds like an absolutely crazy night/week. That is amazing that your body was able to handle such a nasty situation so well. THAT'S what it's all about. I'm so inspired every time I hear a story like that. And never mind your body - I am also crazy impressed with how well YOU seem to have handled the whole thing! No freak-outs, no drama... just appreciation for what you have, for everything that life throws at you, the good and the bad and everything in between. So cool, sister. You are true yogini.

    P.S. Yes, you came back into the yoga loop just in time for everyone's reactions/freak-outs over TT in Vegas! I'm not crazy about the location, but I DID think of you this morning. TT is going to be right in your backyard!!! THAT is exciting. You will have a great time with all the visiting teachers who will be coming through your area, and also, if he runs this one the way he's run the past ones, you and your yoga posse will be able to pay 20 bucks to take class w/Boss and the trainees. FUN. You'll have to spy over the fence for us when you get a chance. ;)

    P.P.S. Sorry P.S. was longer than note.

  2. I was wondering why your blog was silent for a while there. I am glad you are okay! Hallelujah for Bikram yoga!!!

  3. First, thank goodness you're okay. Rest, rest, rest. Oh, and yes, walk, too.

    Second, I think this is one of the best posts of yours I've read. Because everything you're talking about is so much bigger than your experience in that ER. The stillness, the appreciation for your health, the ability to settle into yourself and be alone.

    And, mostly, this idea of "rest and walk"---of taking time to heal and then picking up your feet and moving again. We must do this with our hearts, our minds, our bodies. Even a blow to the ego---we must give it some attention, let it gather strength, and then plow ahead. "Rest and walk." I positively love this.

    And as for that hot room... Who cares how those first few classes back feel?! All that matters is that you've returned, healthy. Hurrah!

    p.s. I also thought of you when I heard TT is now headed to Vegas. How fun!!

  4. Dancing J~ Thanks! and TT in Vegas, well that is just crazy! Of course I have been out of the loop and hadn't heard anything about it. I'll be curious to see what hotel they host it at!
    Missus~ Yes, Bikram Yoga for sure got me through this one!
    Hannah~ Thanks for the compliment on the post. It's a bit long, but was completely from the heart. I felt so grateful and raw as I was writing it.

  5. Yea for a stong core! You'll be rocking it soon and probably better than ever. Who knows how long your appendix was brewing up trouble.
    Enjoy your quiet rest....

  6. BC~ I saw the surgeon today. She released me back to work tomorrow and yoga when I feel up to it. I'm sorta scratchin' my head wondering if she knows about Bikram yoga, because she told me not to bend over (which I do all of the time, oops!) but said I could go back to Bikram as long as I didn't do anything "crazy". Hmm, the whole 90 mins is crazy, right? I guess I'll wait a few more days. Not sure what to do. But yes, yea for my strong core! It got me through nicely!