It has been an incredibly rainy period in Birmingham of late, the kind of rain that settles in so deeply that you feel it in your bones and wonder if you will ever see the sun again or if it ever will be dry. Our front yard is now a swimming pool and the streets glisten with small rivers of rainwater as they make their way down the hill. The positive side is that everything is vibrantly lush and green, flowers blooming riotously; the downside is that I begin to wonder if our house will start sliding down the gooey wet Alabama clay and end up on UAB’s campus down the hill. I actually love rainy days when I can stay at home and listen to the peaceful sound of the pounding rain and rumbling thunder. However, having to venture out into the meelay of wet streets and crazy drivers completely unnerves me. Oh, and wet dogs…or, I should say, that unforgetable wet dog smell.
I left the house with Cooper early this morning in pouring rain, leaving behind a very confused Sophie. The girls are rarely apart, but it didn’t make sense to take Sophie along for moral support when the weather was so bad. We had an 8am appointment to have Coops’ blood work re-checked after her bout with pancreatitis. As I sat waiting for the test results with my dog at my feet, I thought about how grateful I am that we got her to our wonderful vet in time to keep things from progressing any further. We came far too close to losing our sweet girl. The vet came out smiling, sitting next to me on the bench and showing me a comparison of today’s blood work with that of two weeks ago. Every single indicator had dropped from the very high end of the spectrum to the normal category with the exception of one having to do with the liver, and it was just over the high line. I was so relieved that I almost cried. We’re to keep her on a very low-fat senior diet from now on and check her again in August when the dogs go in for their semi-annual checkup.
I got good news for myself yesterday, too. I went in for my post-hysterectomy check-up and received the all-clear from my doctor. He said that it looks like I have healed well and that I can gradually resume all normal activities. Heck, I even lost about ten pounds during my recovery. He told me to expect that ‘running out of gas’ feeling for a while yet as I get back to yoga and kickboxing, but that’s okay. I am just grateful that I can officially return to my normal life without worrying that I’m going to hurt something. After running errands today, my first order of business was to do a ceremonial short-but-effective kickboxing DVD. I’m back, Baby!
Each day is taking on more and more normalcy. I’m practicing daily again, exercising, going into the office some (it’s summer break, so I can work at home), and am out and about on my own as I need. I feel like I can carry my weight around the house and yard during a time when Dan is slammed with his final weeks at the theater before he retires, something that means a lot to me. Independence- what a wonderful feeling!
I am grateful for the good news and the progress. This has been a challenging summer for several people that I love, a summer filled with loss and sadness, health challenges, and other issues. Life. I believe in my heart that each experience that challenges us is filled with opportunities to develop compassion and understanding for others. As have we all, I’ve had my own share of those difficult times- some of them in the past weeks. I am doing my best to learn and grow, and to be there for my friends who are swimming through the tumultuous river of life as so many of them have been there for me. We are all connected, and we are stronger when we hold hands to face challenge. We can share the strength we gained from our own battles to help others be strong enough to make it through.
For now, I will lift my face to the skies and let the rain fall, washing away sadness and fear, leaving me stronger and ready for whatever comes next.