Saturday, September 27, 2008

swollen-jawed and feeling loved

Recovery has been surprisingly good.

Initially there was some serious concern (which they didn't tell Neil about until the operation was underway) that I would permanently lose sensation in my lower jaw because of root entanglement with the nerve. Fortunately, the operation went much better than expected and I haven't even experienced the one to two month loss which was then predicted. I was pretty knocked out for the first few hours (although I remember the actual procedure pretty quickly, especially telling the nurse groggily, "I do feel just a bit discombobulated" and being upset with Neil for laughing at me when I tried to explain something in French), but I felt well enough over the last two days that I could really enjoy having my mom here. It was wonderful to be able to spend a lot of time talking with her, even if I was speaking between ice packs that mostly covered my face. I love my mom so much--it was just so wonderful having her here and getting lots of time with her all to myself.

On that note, what I've been thinking about a lot (mostly during the sleepless hours of the night when things seem to just hurt a LOT) is how much love I've felt and how grateful I am for the people around me. From Abigail's question every morning, "How are you today, Mommy? Are you still sick? Can I see your teeth? Can you talk in a loud voice and read stories?" to Juliet's wet smacking kisses to the perfectly cooked custards and delicious scrambled eggs my mom kept making while she entertained the girls and kept them fed and clean so I didn't have to worry about a thing, or the creme brulee that Neil cooked and served up late last night to tempt my appetite, or the yogurt that he spoon-fed me at 2 am when I was so nauseated that I couldn't move while he looked at my puffy face and tear-filled eyes and told me "You're so beautiful, honey," and the hours and hours of rubbing my back through the night so that I could be soothed to sleep when I woke up every hour or so. And I've received so many thoughtful phone calls and emails (including--literally--several dozen from my students!) with good wishes and kind thoughts.

It's a nice thing to think about in the middle of the night when you hurt a lot--how much love there is surrounding you. And how blessed you are by the people in your life. And how you can give back.


Anonymous said...

Dear Rachael...I am so glad that you have the dental surgery behind you. I was so glad when you mentioned your mom was going to be there. She is a wonderful woman and I knew that you and your sweet girls would be in great hands. Uncle Kevin and I wish you a speedy recovery. Love, Aunt Pam

Elise Decker said...

glad you're doing well! eat lots of green jello, it's delicious! (oh, so's banana cream pie...)

Katrina said...

Great excuse to eat lots of milkshakes...

That is scary about the nerve damage. I'm SO glad you are doing ok! I hope you get better soon!

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