Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tomorrow is the surgery!

I have been busy lately. Many phone calls, visits, and emails. The doctor finally said to limit immediate contact with people because if I were to have a fever, they would have to cancel the surgery. That would suck! I am mentally prepared.

At first my diagnosis felt like a death sentence. Everything happened so quickly and we had no idea what was going on. Physically I felt so lousy and weird and it seemed to be getting worse every day. As soon as Brian went with me to the first doctor he was reassured that everything would be fine. He understood the problem, the risks, and the surgery. He is better with logical, probability type stuff than I am. Being an emotional, reactionary, sensitve person, I was just scared. And then after scared, I became resigned to fate. Being afraid, I scared Sachi. I remember her pediatrician saying to me once, "Did you cry in front of your daughter? You should never let her see you do that."

Of all of the traits I may or may not have instilled in my daughter, the high degree of emotionality is one I sometimes wish I could take back. We are similar in many ways besides this. We are both very introspective and self-analytical. We have great conversations about what we are thinking or really cool things we just realized. Sachi and I also both love a good laugh. There was a time when Sachi always wanted to be laughing and she would come over to me and demand to be tickled. When I did, she would fight me off. She was an adolescent and nearly my size so wrestling with her was strenuous and sometimes painful. She just needed to laugh, to feel something strong, stronger than whatever she was feeling.

I think Sachi was born passionate. It's certainly possible she inherited from me but I saw it in her long before nurture could have possibly kicked in. One of the first few times I took her out after she was born, I heard another newborn crying. Sachi was comfortably asleep in my snuggly and even if she wasn't, the sound triggered no motherly instincts or lactation response. It was a delicate plea, a soft request, a minor cry of discomfort or hunger. Sachi was born with an enormous booming cry that commanded attention. I remember thinking if Sachi cried like that baby did, I think I could put her down. But she didn't, she wailed. I suppose it is possible she was just loud but time has shown that she is both passionate and loud like her mother.

Sachi uses these traits in such constructive and useful ways. I suppose this is possible because she also possesses some characteristics which have taken me considerably longer to develop, namely tact and empathy. When I called her yesterday, she was in the middle of a conversation with her roommate so she asked me to hold on so she could finish. I wish I could quote what she said but the words don't matter that much. They just confirmed for me how fantastic a person she is. I could hear all of her strong feelings, desire for changing the world, resistance to injustice, willingness to do whatever it takes, and sense of progress in what she said. I am making her sound like a super-hero. She is my hero. Isn't that what every parent wants? Off-spring who are enough like you to recognize, but an improved version.

Sachi can still be very emotional and internalize some of her anger at the world. When she is down or discouraged, I still see that tiny red-fisted baby refusing to be ignored. She was always very resiliant though. Lately, I have seen her so encouraged. I know that even when the world does not give her exactly what she wants, she not be down for long. Her passion is so strong that she springs back up and she comes out swinging again. Swinging and yelling at the world, "Tickle me!"

I mention all of this because tomorrow is my surgery. I wish Sachi had gone with me to the doctor one of those first few times. She would have heard what I could not and known that everything was going to be okay. My reaction to difficulty is often to shutdown emotionally and distance myself from the pain and fear. It is a protective instinct I developed early on. It's not like logic really takes over. I think what everyone has perceived in me as bravery in facing this ordeal is simply denial. Fortunately, I have had enough time to let my guard down, to look at what was really happening, and to come out swinging. I learned this from my daughter.


Allison Guerriero said...
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Allison Guerriero said...

Wow. I haven't read your blog in a year (after your mom and Suz gave me the URL b/c of the surgery). But I started my own blog this week (about stupid stuff mostly - except one on why SNV is a thousand times better than Madonna) and after I saw you and Sachi last week I remembered reading this last year and was poking around trying to find it again. And you are so right, although I would not call Sachi and 'improved' version of you. You're both wonderful!