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The Chaos Mini-Series

Welcome to my chaotic life of FIVE small children and a traveling husband! This blog is actually a "work in progress" and serves as a loose outline for a humorous non-fiction book I strive to publish by the end of this calendar year. Each entry builds upon the one just prior to it so it is best to begin with Part I. This story begins just four short years ago when a tsunami of unfortunate, tragic and hectic events brutally pounded us one right after another. As my family and I endured and eventually overcame each wave of misfortune, we kept our heads (barely) above water and held high, eyes wide open and hearts on "stand by" as we witnessed new opportunities and blessings emerge from the CHAOS...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Reality Settles in- The Road to Recovery...Part IX

Staying in the city to recover was getting to be quite costly so we decided to take up an offer made by family friends to come out to the ¨burbs¨ to wait out the rest of the mandatory recuperation period (sentence.) So off we were, mom and I, to Riverdale, a suburb of Manhattan to stay for the remaining two weeks.

It was all so lovely; lots of foliage, spacious green areas for walking, resting, meditating and perfect for healing. The house itself was a cozy country home with all the details that rendered it ideal for any kind of physical or spiritual revival. The hosts were as generous and gracious as can be and we couldn´t have asked for a better situation.

However, I needed to prepare myself for the marathons that awaited me and this was on my mind. I had three small children who desperately needed their mommy and were too young to understand what was transpiring and could not yet fully grasp the concept of time. Inherent in the duties of caring for the children were a lot of chores and tasks that required tremendous strength and stamina. Also, I was now a month and a half more pregnant than when we had left and getting larger and clumsier by the week. This, of course was notwithstanding the lack of (additional) grace that resulted from the brain surgery.

My new house back in Latin America was a disaster as we had fled so quickly like refugees and I was anxious to get back to make it our home. I needed to put some thought into where to store and place our family’s belongings as everything had been haphazardly put away by countless friends and strangers alike. There were many jobs left unfinished. The friends that were helping tend to our children, supervise the help and insure the overall security of the home were also ready to return to their normal lives as well. I had a lot on my mind, everything BUT my recovery.

I was beginning to get frustrated and agitated with myself for not being able to perform simple chores successfully and efficiently as I had anticipated. For some reason, I thought this one month hiatus was going to be a breeze and totally unwarranted. When I looked in the mirror, I was so disheartened to see this disfigured face staring back at me. I did not recognize myself and I felt trapped inside this warped and feeble body. I did not have patience with myself and was mercilessly unforgiving. I had become this pathetic remnant of the independent woman I had always been.

So, I guess it is not anything unusual that after about four nights into the stay, I began awaking abruptly at all hours of the night with a rapid heart rate, panting and fraught with anxiety. The left side of my nostril was 90% closed as a result of the facial paralysis and therefore I was unable to get air. This became a big issue at night and I felt as though I were asphyxiating. I would shoot Afrin into my nose like a strung-out junkie just trying frantically to take in air.

My poor mother who was there by my side had no idea what to do for me. Each time this happened, I felt an impulse to run out of my imprisoned mind and into the forest to hug a tree. Sound crazy? I was utterly distraught by the fact that I was detained in another part of the world and not permitted to fly home to my children. The worst part was that there was no medication I could safely take to help ease my physical pain or mental anguish. Hadn’t I already put my unborn baby through enough agony? I now had to toughen up and go through these panic attacks and massive head-throbbing aches drug-free!

There were literally no outlets available for me to discharge my stress. Physically, I could not push myself too hard and working up a sweat via exercise would have been dangerous at that point. I was not entitled to any alcoholic beverage because of both the baby and the delicate situation in my head. I was unable to strain myself in any form. The rules were: no screaming, no lifting, no pushing while evacuating, no sexual relations, no grimacing and no exaggerated expressive facial movements.

I was unable to express myself and my true fears in any natural way. My soul was held captive inside a faint shadow of the outer shell that I had once known and trusted so well….

To Be Continued…

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