Friday, August 17, 2012

Heart on my sleeve

I can get sentimental sometimes without the help of pharmaceuticals, but thanks to the corticosteroids I’ve been popping since my brain surgery I’ve turned into an emotional basket case. I choke up at the slightest expression of kindness or concern. It can be embarrassing, but as with almost everything else related to this whole affair, I’ve had to surrender control. My heart is on my sleeve. There’s no hiding the emotion I feel.

My doctors prescribed these hormones not to turn me into a wuss (I presume) but to suppress inflammation, which was crucial to reducing the swelling of my brain that nearly killed me. After two weeks I’m into a taper now and will finish with the steroids on Tuesday. Then perhaps I can get back to keeping that stiff upper lip.

Another good reason to stop corticosteroids is that they suppress my immune system. If I’m going to have a chance of surviving mel’s stepped up aggression in my body, I need every soldier in my immune system on active duty. I don’t want anything holding back the forces.

Of the many emotional moments that have swept over me in recent days, a couple have been with my mom. What an amazing person she is. At 88, she has managed to find an emotional harbor of her own from which she can express her love for me that doesn’t manipulate or smother. We’ve always been close, but the affection in which we hold each other right now is so very sweet. It gives me strength. At my age, to have a mom in my life who loves me unconditionally as she does is better than any miracle drug.

I can’t give Mom creative credit for it, as her poor eyesight precludes picking the particular birthday card she gave me this week, but I’ve copied its sentiment below. This goes way beyond the sappy prose that normally appears on cards like this, and touches me deeply. There's some great advice here for everyone to heed.

Son. Celebrate your experience for it makes you who you are and makes life a wonderful adventure. Honor your wisdom. The lessons learned and the risks taken have all been worth it. You know your own mind and can trust your instincts. Take joy in this gift that is your life. Since the day you were born you have brought such happiness to the lives you touch.

My mom brought me into this world 59 years ago and she stands by me still. Only she gets away with pumping up my ego so extravagantly. There is pure and simple joy in knowing how much she cares.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've spent my life in "heart on sleeve" territory and have often wished for a stiffer upper lip. And since dad died, those emotions are especially close to the surface, even more than a year later. Accepting that's just who I am is something that's come about very gradually (it's only take 52-some-odd years). Your card's prose is a wonderful reminder to celebrate who we are and what each day can bring to us (and us, in turn, to each day).