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Here I am again, with nothing substantial or intelligent to say. I think back to a year ago and am shocked over how drastically my perception of time has changed. I used to sit with my laptop and wail over how my only time to write was scrunched into a mere two to three hours in the evenings after the kids were in bed. Now, I barely touch my laptop at home. Just as I reached the point of comfort with a transition to a busier work life, we bought a house and moved, and entered a whole new reality to which we're actually still adjusting. In the midst of that, I discovered unhappily that I'd be undergoing two surgeries (both requiring general anesthesia), which took me from the category of "busy, tired, and frazzled" to "rocking back and forth in corner while drooling."

Last week I had the second and worst of the two surgeries, and the recovery was, to put it mildly, pure and utter misery in the form of large facial incision pain, bad anesthesia reactions, and near-narcolepsy. My dad drove twelve hours to help take care of the kids while John worked on the annual pile of wedding photo edits and I involuntarily slept. I woke up every few hours and shuffled out in dirty pajamas, mumbling and groaning and grabbing pill bottles and referring to myself as a homeless person. Occasionally as the days have worn on, I've slept less and done more laundry, spoken in complete sentences, and even started yelling at the kids again to keep it down and stop quoting T.V. commercials to me (although it did give me a genuine laugh when I was smearing Neosporin on the incision down my jaw and Bryce walked in and said, "oh good, mom, you're using Neosporin: Cuts Heal Four Times Faster!"). As I've started coming out of the fog, I've become aware of the fog's breadth and density; it's hovered over me for months as I've juggled more and more china dishes in the air, sweat pouring down my face, eyes always darting from one fragile trinket to the next, thinking at any minute failure would strike and shatter them all, and in my stupid constant worry I'd look up blindly into the gray and try to catch the china shards in my weak, small hands, finalizing my tragic failure in a painful, preventable, and ugly mess.

When I woke up last week from the surgery that removed a benign tumor from a large salivary gland, I looked at the clock in the recovery room and noticed that only an hour had passed since I'd been wheeled into the operating room and had panicked over the feeling of not being able to breathe through the brand new plastic odor of the oxygen mask ("you're 100% oxygenated" they'd said, "just keep taking deep breaths," which sounds very simple to people who feel like they can breathe - but - note to the medical community - to people who feel like they can not breathe, these instructions only incite panic). I'd been told the surgery would take three hours, but somehow I knew this was a good sign. I could feel the left side of my face, and I was able to speak, despite the pain and swelling around my jaw, and asked the nearest recovery nurse what had happened. Her answer was generic and non-informative, but it really didn't matter. The fact that I'd been able to speak normally told me I didn't have any nerve damage, which was the big risk of the surgery, and the sense of relief and gratitude I felt rivaled all the ensuing days of physical turmoil. My most prevalent thoughts on the recovery bed as I waited to be wheeled in to my own room where John was waiting for me had to do with being better, coming out of the fog, and coming back to my life. I might have forgotten that if the following week had been an easy one for me, and so I guess in that sense, I'm glad it wasn't.