Forgiving Myself

During the night, I woke up and forgave myself for lots of things and feel lighter today. Here are some of the things that I forgave myself for:

  • Eating too many potato chips yesterday evening
  • Knowing that during this time, I will not be as able to focus on my Fire Island body and will likely be less “fit” than I usually am for summer;
  • Not responding to all of the amazing individual messages of love and support that I have been getting;
  • Not just easily accepting Antonio’s unconditional love unconditionally; he gives without stopping and reminds me that there is no limit to “us”!
  • Having almost no sexual libido for now – I know that affects Antonio since we usually have a super healthy sex life;
  • The past hurts I have inflicted on others including dear friends who are not in my life anymore or only to a lesser degree than in the past;
  • Not picking up the phone when some of you have called to check in and being shorter than usual when we do talk;
  • Things like not closing doors – whether taxi doors, the door to the apartment or others (twice today, I was in public restrooms and forgot to lock the door when others walked in);
  • Not having the energy or stamina I usually do and taking twice the time for simple things like making breakfast;
  • Getting tired after even just a short visit from friends;
  • Walking down the street and dragging like crazy;
  • Dropping things that I normally never drop and forgetting things that I normally don’t forget – like my iPhone in restaurants;
  • Being super emotional and crying in public given all that is going on right now. (Yesterday, I ran into a friend in Wholefoods and started to cry at the salad bar.)
  • Being afraid for the road ahead – the surgery, the recovery, etc.
  • Not having taken on the suggested complementary therapies that many of you have suggested; it’s even too much to do what I am doing;
  • Feeling overwhelmed by all that is happening and not knowing where to focus;
  • Putting off doing things that I know are important, but just can’t do right now, like completing my will, getting power of attorney and health care proxy in place, dealing with all of the health insurance things I need to get done, following up on trip cancellation stuff;
  • Having to accept help for things that I normally do easily on my own;
  • Not having kept everyone who should know what is going on about my situation in the picture;
  • Feeling a lot older than normal (see last number of points)
  • Not being able to be there for other people in ways that usually are easy for me and ways I love doing.

To add some perspective to the above, I also know that all of the amazing love coming my way is “pay back’ in some ways – what I have put out in the past is coming back to me – karma! I love the messages from friends around the world of all backgrounds saying prayers for me. I have received prayers, messages and Reiki energy sent from Europe, Africa, Asia, South America, North America, the Middle East; from Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Atheists…. I’m the anti-Trump! From friends, work colleagues current and past, from childhood friends and more recent friends, from friends of friends and family. Seems the whole world is sending good energy into the universe for me!

Yesterday evening, I had an informal dinner at home with 7 friends and while I love all of them and was glad to see and be with them, it was too much all at once and I was glad to be back to just Antonio and me when they all left. The best was an earlier visit from just one friend, Aalap – it was easier to be one-on-one and focus my energy. This also speaks to what I will need next week in the hospital and after – while I want and need your support, it has to be in smaller doses. I’ll let you know what we will put in place so that I can see those who want to stop by, whether at the hospital or once I am home, but for now, please keep in mind that my goal is to conserve and focus my energy for healing. And for those of you offering your help, to be honest, I’m not even sure what I need yet, if anything. I’ll let you know – I promise. It may be further along in the recovery process, or even to celebrate with me once I get through this. One thing received that will for sure be well used is the gift from my fellow Board members of Development in Gardening (DIG) – a gift certificate that will be great for ordering in meals when I get home from the hospital.

My 96-year old father who is overall okay, but has his own health issues has offered to come to NY for my surgery, but I have told him not to do so – “What will you do here, Dad? Plus it is a hard trip for you!” His response: “I’ll hold your hand!” Made me cry to hear that, but I have many others who will hold my hand physically and virtually over the next weeks. I’d rather he stay home and pray for me, which he does every day and at synagogue on Saturdays!

And now some practical information about preparation for the surgery for next Monday:

Today I had a full day of testing starting with seeing Dr. Alan Shah who did an EKG and examined me to make sure that I’m ready for surgery. He cleared me with flying colors. Good to hear. He will also be the doctor who sees me after the surgery to make sure I’m doing well as far as overall health indicators.

I then went on to have yet another MRI – # 5 since this all started. This was over an hour of listening to that horrible thump thumpthump with bells ringing in my ears as I lay perfectly still.

After lunch I had my final appointment – almost 3 hours – in which they did a chest x-ray drew blood and took a urine sample. The admissions nurse spent well over an hour explaining how I needed to prepare myself for the surgery and then I met with an anesthesiologist who explained that part of the procedure.

Seems the surgery will be from 3 to 4 hours assuming all goes well. They will make an incision in my skull and I will be completely out of it for the entire surgery. I will have monitors and tubes inside of me making sure that everything is going as it should.

Assuming all goes as planned, I will be in the hospital for three days including one night in the ICU.

The anesthesiologist told me that his father-in-law had surgery with Dr. Golfinos about six months ago and that everything went very well and that the surgeon is one of the best. So all looks as good as we move forward.

So I’m continuing to stay optimistic about the upcoming surgery and recovery. I have to say that everybody at NYU Hospital spent all the time needed to explain everything fully to me and to answer every question that I had. One thing we talked about was my fear of being overwhelmed by too many visitors. As noted earlier in this email, we’re going to try to figure out a way so that I can have the support and visits that will help me, but not so many has to take away the energy that I need for healing.

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