The art of being calm

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a very emotional person – high/low, happy/sad – there isn’t often a middle ground with me.  However, a big part of my recovery process is to remain calm.  At all times.  If I laugh, I set off my costochondritis and my jaw aches.  If I cry…..ugh….I can’t breathe and usually start to hyperventilate.

So, I’m not being melodramatic when I say that every day is a practice in remaining calm.  Being on bed rest this week, I’ve had a lot of time to catch up on TV and movies.  Little Women (1994), while a favorite movie of mine to watch while sick, was a bad, bad idea.  The scene where Jo takes off her bonnet revealing her new bob makes me sob like crazy.  Then immediately after that, there’s a scene of her crying at night.  Beth wakes up and asks her if she’s upset about their father.  No, Jo says, my hair.  That scene makes me both laugh and cry hysterically.

Friends has also been a bad idea, because the reruns on Nickelodeon have been of a great season 1997 where there were many scenes that make me laugh out loud.  What I really need is horror (thank you, American Horror Story!) or something that’s mildly funny.  Something that might make me smile, but not laugh.  Something like Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

Patrick and I started to “discuss” our Christmas plans last night (meaning he was talking, and I was generally grunting my agreement or displeasure).  He said, just tell me what you want to do.  I’m not going to fight with you about it.  That’s my Christmas gift to you (better not be!).  Somehow, things still got heated.  Have you ever seen someone with their jaw wired shut get really heated and start “yelling”?  Not pretty.  And, it’s hard to be taken seriously.  Patrick tried really hard not to laugh at me, and just reiterated that he wasn’t going to fight about it.  So, we still don’t have logistics figured out!

It’s so bizarre not being able to talk or communicate.  I feel like I’m trapped in my head all of the time.  I called my bank to activate my new bank card thinking I could do it automatically over the phone.  But no, you actually have to talk to a customer service representative.  That was interesting.  Or today, when I walked over to CVS to get braces wax and some girl asked me for directions to a spa that I knew.  It’s right there, on top of the hill, I told her.  Oh, sorrrrrrrrryyyyyyyyy, she replied.  I’ll ask someone else.  Sweetheart, I just told you where you were going and P.S. you had the street address number, and  you knew you were on Harvard Ave, so why exactly where you lost?

Good thing I brought my dry erase board with me. I didn’t see the wax right away, so had to scribble a note to the CVS guy.  He looked very freaked out by me.  But it could be that there was a sketchy guy also walking around asking everyone for money to pay for his prescription.

One of the worst things, really, is not being able to communicate to the girls.  They can’t read yet, so the board is out.  Owen can’t talk anyway, so just giving him a smile is enough.  Bree was really freaked out the first day or two by my wires/bands.  Now, she just has this nervous laugh every time I open my mouth.  Emma actually pretends that she understands me when she doesn’t.  I just caught on to this.  I’ll say something, and she’ll respond yes, or smile and nod, and then I’ll ask, Emma, what did I just say?  She’ll give me her princess smile and say sweetly, I don’t know.

Something tells me she’ll do the same thing when she’s a teenager.


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