I sat in that room.
Tears still matting the sides of my face.
I could see movement
a nurse dashing here and there busying herself.
I could hear monitors, my monitors,
beeping steadily away.
And I could not move.
My arm, which I so freely moved hours before, was now strapped down.
My arm had no feeling.
That was to be expected.
Hours earlier I sat still as the anesthesiologist inserted a nerve block in my clavicle.
Slowly, slowly, I felt it run down my arm.
My elbows, wrist and fingers.
It was numb.
Reminds me of my heart sometimes.
I’m okay, I’ll whisper to friends.
Don’t worry about it, I’ll say.
And yet, inside, there’s numbness.
I sat there again.
Under lights much too bright
Now aware of the pain, the discomfort in my body,
yet still, unable to move my arm.
In order to leave I needed to get dressed.
And yet, I couldn’t move.
No matter how hard I willed those left handed fingers to rise
they’d just rest there.
There was no nerve connection.
Sometimes my heart is the same.
The head and heart lose the connection
and I move through life racing around
panting my okays and i’m fines and greats
and yet I’m unaware that I’m hiding.
Or if I am aware
I hide behind the busy.
So there I sat.
The nurse who I joked with hours earlier now guided my hand
slowly into the sleeve of my worn gray shirt
a hand limp and moving only by the will of another.
She carefully lifted my shirt up over my neck
and placed that arm back in my sling
until I was clothed.
I was humbled.
The nerve block gradually wore away
and my arm slowly began to wake up.
As my brain reconnected with the nerves in my fingers
I rejoiced over feeling again.
Even if it meant I could feel the pain.
Feeling the pain meant that the healing could begin.
I’ve lived numb
with that block between my heart and mind.
It’s safer, less risky.
Yet, I can’t go back.
I just can’t go back to not feeling.
So now my heart, my heart hurts sometimes.
Like yesterday when the tears once again rolled down.
When I couldn’t peel an orange.
Or shut the car door.
Or pretend to be strong anymore.
I’m humbled in this journey right now.
Humbled to share my heart.
Right where I am.
Walking The Visual Journey
If you’re following the Brave Art of Motherhood Visual Journey . . . I actually have a picture from back when I started the blog. And it makes me smile.