By: Jennifer Murray

Glimpses of Normal…

sunbeams coming through trees

Photo Credit

My road to recovery post abdominoplasty surgery has been a rough one – full of unexpected turns, bumps, and setbacks. It has been the furthest thing from pleasant that I could imagine. However, the last two weeks of my life have showed some glimmers of a “normal” that I have not experienced in YEARS.  They haven’t been out right obvious, and most have gone unnoticed by those around me.  It’s been in the small moments like:

* Playing the piano for the first time in two years. (I could not sit on a piano bench even for ten minutes before, because I couldn’t support myself without intense pain.) I had dismissed it as being too busy with the boys or being overly distracted. It wasn’t until Brad pointed it out how long it had been since I last played that we started to put it all together.

* Enjoying a card game around the kitchen table without being in too much pain to have a good time.

* Being able to take care of the boys more consistently. I’m still a little spotty (ie: my 10:30 start this morning), but it’s improving.

* The ability to take short rests when my back is feeling fatigued versus being down for the day.

I’m still not back to so many motherhood duties – laundry, housework that involves bending over or picking things up from the floor, and my cooking has been basic at best, but I’m hoping as I add things back into my routine weekly that I will have improved enough physically to continue my progress.

I’m still not allowed to concentrate on building my core muscles, because they were not only significantly separated, but severely atrophied.  My surgeon said they were tissue paper thin, and he had to be meticulous in sewing them back together without tearing my wall. This progress will continue to be slow as my back will have to compensate for my very weak (but put back together) abdominal wall.  

And while my progress may be small increments that are only detected by Brad and I, there has been something different about my countenance that has been evident to many around me.  I’ve heard things this weekend like:

“You look so healthy!”

“Something about you looks entirely different!”

“You look so much more alive!”

I always wondered what was wrong with you after I spent time with you.  I knew something wasn’t right, but I didn’t know what was going on. You just looked not well.”

I never knew how much of my pain I wore on my sleeve. I was desperately trying to smile through my discomfort and I guess I did an awful job hiding my misery.

I feel the need to apologize to so many for my absence, self-focus, and negativity the past couple of years. Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to engage in some conversations in the next few months as I continue to recover and hopefully regain even more strength.  I’m so thankful for those who have stuck with me, and for the abundance of people who have helped our family through this recovery. God has once again been faithful to us, and we continue to thank Him and give Him glory for bringing us through this trial.

Hope is on the horizon, Friends! 

18 Responses to “Glimpses of Normal…”

  1. @JustHeather
    July 25, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

    No apologies needed! You did what you had to do to get through every day of the last four years. I am so amazed by you. By all that you’ve been through and all that you are. I am so, so glad you are on the road to recovery. I can’t wait to get to know the healthy you.

  2. Elyse
    July 25, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    Jen-

    I truly believe attitude matters the most. Because you are goin into each day with a positive attitude; that is helping you tremendously. You are so amazing through thick and thin. Yes it has been painful but you, I believe, took it in stride. I have enjoyed reading about your recovery. You’re a rockstar.

    {{}} xoxo

  3. debi9kids
    July 25, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

    Jen,
    Don’t be too hard on yourself. You did such an amazing thing… bringing those healthy boys into this world. Your body did an amazing job and it was just tired, as it should’ve been.
    Don’t apologize for feeling pain. We all do and you have done so normally with a big, proud mama smile planted on your face.
    So glad you’re starting to feel better!
    Debi

    ps See you on Pinterest 🙂

  4. Kate
    July 25, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    YAY! So glad things are getting better! My favorite…that you could play the piano!! Feels good, doesn’t it?!

    Love you friend! Praying you continue to heal quickly and CORRECTLY!!

  5. Anne
    July 25, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    Sooo glad to hear you are finally almost back to normal 🙂 I couldnt have taken all the pain.

  6. leah
    July 25, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

    oh man, someone really said to you, “I always wondered what was wrong with you after I spent time with you”??? yikes =)

  7. Angie @ Just Like The Number
    July 25, 2011 at 6:42 pm #

    I am so, so glad to know that things are finally looking up again. I would never say that I thought you weren’t “right” before (I thought you were awesome from the first moment I met you), but I definitely noticed a spunkier Jen than I’ve seen before the other night at our gathering. I loved that, and I’m so happy for you.

  8. Danielle
    July 25, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    Praising God for a wonderful recovery! Praying that the muscle strengthening and back strengthening are miraculously faster than expected:-) Rejoicing with you!!!

  9. Barbara Manatee
    July 25, 2011 at 10:02 pm #

    I’m so glad you’re starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel! If the past few 8 weeks have been this tough…I can only imagine how tough life was before the surgery. You are one strong, brave woman to have endured all you have and still have such faith and humility.

    Hope you’re back to yourself very soon!!

  10. Angela Mackey
    July 26, 2011 at 10:14 am #

    Praise God. I am so glad that you are getting better and better. May He continue to guide and comfort you as you heal!

  11. Sioby
    July 26, 2011 at 11:33 am #

    Jen, I have always thought you were amazing! This confirms it. You are so strong! And so sweet. And so humble. I have been thinking of you & your family a lot. I am so glad to hear you are feeling better each day! God is so good.

  12. designhermomma
    July 26, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    I love the Jenn I knew before, and I love the “new” Jenn as well.

  13. Kathy @ House of Hills
    July 26, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    Well, I’ve just “met” you in these years of pain and have thought you an amazingly lovely person. So, wow! I can’t wait to see you/chat with you now that the pain is lessening.

  14. Ashley Pichea
    July 26, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

    Praising God that your recovery is coming along well! Will continue to pray for you as you regain strength and stability!!

  15. Tricia (Once A Month Mom)
    July 26, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    Seriously woman? You are the LEAST negative person I know. And now I know you had a reason to be I couldn’t think more of you. Love you and so glad life is getting better for you.

  16. Mandy
    July 26, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    I have to agree with Tricia! I would never label you as as negative or self-focused person!! Never! Cannot wait to see you, happy and healthy, if you were such a precious friend while hiding the pain!! We are gonna partay! 😉

  17. Elizabeth J.
    July 29, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    A friend shared this post on facebook… and the “glimpses of normal” caught my eye. I was diagnosed with a rare life-long illness over four years ago, and it has only been in the last year that I have improved enough to catch those “glimpses of normalcy.” Doesn’t it just thrill you to the core when they happen?!
    Blessings on you, blogger friend. May your good days soon outnumber the bad.

    • QuatroMama
      July 29, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

      Praying for your lasting better health! Thankful for your encouragement. =)

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