This is why I write
Just when I could use a lift, I received the most wonderful text from a friend. You can skip down to the third section if you don’t want to read the set-up.
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As I post this, it was exactly one week ago that I had come out of surgery on my vocal cords.
“Gina. Gina, can you wake up? Don’t talk. Don’t try to talk.”
“Gina, dear. Can you wake up? Be sure that you don’t talk. You can’t say anything, but can you show me your eyes?”
Cracks appear. Eyes slowly open.
“If you want to say anything, you need to write it. Here is a pen and some paper.”
In the worst handwriting ever to come from me: “I was having such a nice dream when you woke me!”
As the grogginess dissipated, my handwriting improved. The No Talking rule remained. Seven full days now.
I am afraid to say that I have talked. In a few situations, where something caught me off guard, I have uttered some two word phrases. Always two words. The first was, “My arm!” as I had to quickly move it out of the way of my granddaughter. Several have been, “O, Lord,” which turned into prayers for strength. Each utterance has been soft; I don’t even know if I could speak loudly if I tried to.
And if you are curious, no, I can’t tell you if the pitch is higher or the same. Each utterance as been too soft. Too quick.
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I need strength. After a half-a-day of depression on Saturday, it returned yesterday. I so badly need this silence to be done.
My world feels so small right now.
As Julie was on her way home last evening, I realized that I had not been asking her about her day. As soon as we can, either as we eat or right after, our practice is to fill each other in on our day. Often, I have news, even if only to discuss my latest encounter with Barb the Impaler. Julie always has lots of work stuff that is helpful for her to talk out.
She got home late last evening. I was done eating. As she finished my delicious chicken thighs on rice with steamed broccoli, I wrote her a note. “How was your day? How has your week been?” As she talked, I nodded my head, I shook it, I smiled, I frowned. She said how exhausting certain things can be. I wrote, “You do exhausting work.”
She asked about my day. I handed her my pad. “I wrote a lot. I had lunch. Then I got depressed.” She asked about the depression. I summed it up, “My world is so small right now.” She commiserated with me.
And that was that. We turned on Netflix.
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This morning, I rejoiced that I hit the one week mark, that I only have five days to go, but I could not shake the depression. I went to work writing, working on chapter 27 of my book.
Yeah, I’m finally writing my story for a book. If you would find me a publisher, I’d be ever so thankful!
At 10:30, I checked my phone. I had a text from a friend, a woman who used to be a member of one of my churches and with whom I grew very close.
She wrote, “Just wanted to say praying for you and very proud you are finally going to be you soon with these surgeries. I got a new coworker recently whose brother started the hormone replacement and starting his transformation and she was angry and confused. Had her read your posts and she is flying out to be with him for his first surgery. You truly are an inspiration. Love and miss ya!”
She. Made. My. Day.
Since my late twenties, when I figured out what my gifts and skills were and what fulfilled me and brought joy, all I wanted to do was to help people. I found my niche as a pastor. To lose that the way it happened hurt so deeply.
I took to blogging in order to educate and proclaim—to educate about all things transgender and to proclaim the Lord’s love in Jesus Christ. In this way, I have been able to continue to use my gifts and skills, and to be fulfilled and experience joy.
But too often being physically cut off from people has remained a thorn in my flesh. I have a long way to go, to get physically reconnected way more than I am. To re-enlarge my world.
Feeling so disconnected this past week, the walls have closed in on me. If I could at least go jogging!
I remain optimistic. I know that I will get through this just fine. But I’m still in the midst of it. It’s like when you have a sore throat. The pain does not allow you to remember what it is like to swallow without pain, and you can’t imagine not having the sore throat anymore. That’s where I am with not being able to talk.
So, for my friend, with whom I’ve not texted in some time, to pop into my life this morning was the best medicine. Using the above comparison, my throat doesn’t feel quite so sore right now.
Though I cannot talk, my voice is being heard.
And people are receiving help.
And this gives me joy. And gratitude. And that wonderful feeling of fulfillment.
Thank you, Lord. It came at just the right time.
One week under my belt.
Five days to go.