I won my lawsuit from my car accident. I won a settlement for the damage done to my car, my family, my children.
All of it.
None of the money I won will give me back the months that I lost.
None of that money will give me back the hours spent in an ambulance and a hospital. Surgery and physical therapy. Painkillers. Crying. Days out of work. Pain to lift a container of milk.
None of it will take away the images or the memories.
None of it will give me back the moments that I lose every single time I drive that curve and see that car coming at us.
None of it will give me back the months I lost holding my baby daughter, comforting her, cradling her, rocking her.
The money was rewarded for many reasons, one of which was pain and suffering. The amount we received, I don't believe, equals the pain and suffering we actually endured at the hand of the other driver.
I rarely complain about my shoulder. I rarely talk about the ache that I feel when I carry one of my kids for too long on that side or on my shoulders.
I rarely complain about the pain that I feel when I put my purse or my briefcase on that side of my body.
I almost never talk about the pressure and pain that I have when it rains or snows or is humid and the weather changes so drastically that I have to pop 3 or 4 Motrin to help me deal.
The pain is real and I hate to think about it.
So, I've lost 35 plus pounds. I love that I've been so determined and driven to be able to do this. I love that I am in the best shape of my life. I love that I've wearing and shopping for clothes that I would never have dreamed of wearing before. I am just happy.
But I am in pain.
There is one pain that I will not discuss.
Leave if you want.
My knees are my weakness.
They are shot. Years of sports took care of that. Years of being overweight sealed the deal.
I had my worst knee reconstructed when I was 20. It was horrendous. Close to a year of physical therapy. Horrendous pain. Worrying about whether I'd walk again, let alone play sports. Horrible depression.
And the pain has returned. In both knees.
When I had my first done my ortho made it clear that once I was done having kids I needed to have both knees replaced.
REPLACED. I am not 75 years old.
I vowed never to return to him unless ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. (I love him. He is an AMAZING physician.)
Tomorrow, I am calling him.
It hurts when I stand.
It hurts when I sit.
It just plain hurts.
And I am completely fearful of what he is going to tell me.
I would relive my car accident.
I would tackle severe PPD all over again.
I would do just about anything to not have to worry about what he is going to tell me.
I love running
I love exercising.
I love being an athlete again.
He doesn't take those things away without good reason.
I am fairly certain my knees will present him with good reason.
I'm not done having children.
I'm not done running or shredding or doing jumping jacks.
I am just so afraid of the replacement.
I am just so afraid of what comes next.
But the pain.
The pain is just too much and for me to admit that lets me know that something is really wrong.
So, tomorrow I make my appointment. Then I go on vacation and I run.
I run on the streets.
I run on the sand.
I ignore the pain. I pop the pills. I pretend it's not there.
Nothing can make up for what could be lost if he says what I have a feeling he will say.
But I can no longer ignore the pain.
I'm facing it and dealing with it and I'm not even close to ready.
Friday, July 24, 2009
I won my lawsuit from my car accident. I won a settlement for the damage done to my car, my family, my children.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 12:08 AM
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Before we had kids of our own my husband had really never interacted with children on any type of level. He would spend time with my extended family but his interests never were surrounding the babies or little kids at the parties we would attend.
Since having kids, he has shown that he is an amazing father and provider and loves his children unceasingly and unconditionally.
There are days when he will be angry and frustrated with our kids and it shows. We both have them. But we always come back to the fact that he adores them and loves being able to spend time with them and play with them.
One of the things I have found since becoming a mom, and even for some time before that, is that I am constantly aware of children around me no matter where I go.
I see that child in the shopping cart who has managed to wriggle out of her seat belt and is reaching for the Oreos on the top shelf while her mom is bending down getting the whole grain organic graham crackers.
I spy out of the corner of my eye the child who has escaped his father's hand at the zoo and is now running straight for the penguin exhibit but doesn't see that the tram is coming right through that same path.
I notice the toddler who has managed to undo the lock on their front door and has escaped into the driveway in nothing but a pj shirt and a pull-up. Wait, that's my kid......
Anyway, I seem to have become more aware of kids around me because I have kids or maybe it's a mom thing or that nurture instinct.
I don't know.
I just know that I was convinced that my husband didn't have it because he never seemed to catch those things.
Last night we went out for ice cream and we were coming out of the ice cream parlor walking towards our car, our kids grasping our hands, when all of a sudden- literally split seconds- my husband handed me my son's hand and was chasing after a little boy sprinting across the parking lot.
All I heard was, "One second, hold on buddy, be careful." And then I looked my husband had put his body in between this little boy and the path of a car backing out of a spot.
The boy's parents were steps away but I guess didn't see the car or didn't realize their son would take off like that. I'm not really sure. But they smiled, grabbed their son's hand, and walked in to get ice cream.
And we got in our car and left.
I didn't say a word to my husband. There was nothing to say. He did what any parent would do.
Hopefully, what any decent human being would do.
His action, though, showed me that I haven't given my husband enough credit.
I often wonder if fatherhood has affected him in as great a way as motherhood has affected me. Everything is different because I'm a mom. Almost every choice I make and every step I consider I put my kids' and their well being first. Almost.
I know that my husband works hard, very hard, to make sure he can provide for our family. And I know that we are at the forefront of his mind. But I wonder if being a father is one of the first characteristics that he mentions when someone asks him to tell them a little bit about who he is.
I wonder if he says, "Well, I'm Mountain Dad and I've got two kids."
I wonder if he defines himself by his fatherhood status. Because sometimes, most times, I find that I'm defining myself by my motherhood status.
Last night I saw that fatherhood has affected my husband in a way that is different from what I had initially thought or expected. I saw that he, too, has become aware of other children and has emotionally opened himself to something that I don't think he ever thought he would.
It was a positive change that I saw in my husband last night. A refreshing one. One that made me love him that much more and made my respect for him grow that much more.
And it also made me feel good to realize and know that he is a dad all the time, not just when he needs to be.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 3:27 PM
Monday, July 13, 2009
I made my first trip in Babies R Us yesterday in probably more than a year.
The husband and I are finally getting around to childproofing our home. Our son was only born 4.5 years ago and our daughter 2.5 years ago.
The boy never really got into much of anything. Don't get me wrong he made messes and we had to put certain things up higher than others but true childproofing was almost unnecessary.
Then we had our daughter.
Oh. My. God.
If it is there, if it is available, if it can be gotten into, there is a very good chance she will get into it.
The weird part is that there is almost always a purpose. It's almost never just for shits and giggles that she does things.
She loves to go into the fridge That's probably he most favorite place to be. She always has a purpose in going into the fridge. 9 times out of 10 she's going into it to get something to eat. The other one time, she's looking for something to tempt her taste buds and just doesn't find it there. Inevitably, though, she leaves the door wide open and things in the freezer will melt or food will get left out. It's frustrating.
We bought a fridge "lock". This could work out well for my weight loss endeavors, too!
The garage is her second favorite place to go. We keep our juice boxes and older toys in the garage. We have plans for the garage but right now it's just storage. Many days I will find her sitting in the garage playing with a random toy that we haven't had out in months, or years, while sucking on a juice box.
We got a special lock specifically for the garage. I know either my husband or I are going to have problems figuring out how to work the stupid lock!
Her final favorite place? The bathroom. This child LOVES the bathroom and all that comes with it! She plays with the soap and the lotion. She's enamored with toilet paper. But what do I find her doing in the bathroom more than anything else? Going to the bathroom!!! She's sending me a message- It's potty time! How can I mad at a child who is effectively potty training herself?!?!
We have a lock for the bathroom doors and we use them but we're now moving forward with potty training boot camp. We go on vacation soon and it would be a lovely present to all involved to have all children OUT of diapers!!!
As I stood in front of the safety center at Babies R Us, with cribs and bedding to my left, I thought about the extreme differences in my two children. I thought for sure that we would of had to babyproof everything for our son and when we didn't I sat back and was certain that none of our other children would require babyproofing.
Boy, was I wrong!
At least we're prepared for the next one to come along because if number 2 has been like this I can't even imagine what number 3 will bring along!
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 11:30 AM
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Tell me a story.
Tell me your story.
Write me your words. YOUR words. Not the words you think I want to read or the words you think you're supposed to write.
Write your words. Simple, but expressive.
I don't need veiled language. I don't want extensive and overly dramatic metaphors. I don't want you cover your story in bullshit.
I want to read what you have say. I want to hear what you want to share but I can't.
You want to share your story of your sordid past? Share it, but put it out there. Don't hide behind the words.
You want to tell me about your children and their lack or manners or their extensive achievements? Tell me and make it clear. Don't make me dig through piles of extra letters and phrases that only hide what you really want to say.
You want to express your undying love for your husband or your deep seeded anger and resentment towards him? I want to know about it. But make it real. Make it palpable not covert and confusing.
We are simple, at heart, yet complex in every single way. We have these stories to tell and we want to share them. Why do we cover our stories with drawn out words and phrases that only serve to mask the true story we are looking to share.
I have a story to tell. It is ever changing and developing.
You have a story to tell. It is complex and unique.
Do not hide yourself behind your words and your complexities. The stories need to be told and shared.
We want to hear them.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 10:20 PM
Friday, July 3, 2009
Been awhile, hasn't it?
Not much to talk about, I guess.
I could talk about the end of my school year and how it was welcomed but bittersweet because I do enjoy my job and my co-workers so much.
I could talk about my kids and how my daughter is off the wall but hysterical and my son is becoming more and more like a little boy than a toddler each day.
I could talk about my 35 pounds gone off my body and how I feel really good and how I want to keep pushing forward.
I'm just busy. I'm out there living it all and more and enjoying it. I want to write and I will. It's forthcoming.
But for now, tell me what have you been up to?
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 5:01 PM