Susan Speaks: Doing the Hard Work


Recovering is hard work.

Spin that, twist it, turn it however you like. But the simple fact is that recovering is hard work. It may not seem like it — even I am now a pro with drops, and I’m not doing much more than hanging out on the couch with a cat who’s decided he’s my therapy cat — because, really, how hard is it to sit on the couch all day?

You’d be surprised. It’s hard, and not just because if you’ve followed me for the past year, you’ve seen me happily and gloriously transition to a standing desk.

My teenagers have been phenomenal, helping with laundry and dishes and the boy has taken over the litter pans as his own project, no resentment that his sister isn’t helping with them (she’s getting pretty much the full brunt of the laundry, and they are splitting dishes). It’s working.

We have a hodgepodge of friends helping out with the driving. A few strangers. And last year’s captain of the boy’s ultimate team thrown in for good measure. And food still shows up every now and then, although with less frequency. That’s a good thing. My freezer is full of red sauce and meatballs!

And yet… and yet… snags happen. One happened yesterday: the pressure in my eye is still too high. We have to get it down. No options. We HAVE to get it down. Two pharmacies, two new eye drops and an oral something-or-other, and a lot of crossed fingers, toes, arms, and legs. I’d cross my eyes, too, but … yeah. Maybe not right now.

This would be a good time for more prayers.

But there’s a lot to be grateful for. Kids who bravely face this with me. The cat who’s decided he’s my therapy cat and rarely leaves my side. Health insurance that’s saving me from bankruptcy and letting me keep my house.

And, of course, a sense of humor. Some of the bad jokes are slowing as this progresses from a shocking incident to become a new way of life. Doesn’t mean I’m not seizing opportunities. It just means I’m not searching them out, trying to use levity to keep my cool.

Except… right now, I’m kinda scared. This was a hurdle I knew we had to jump over, but when I’m standing in front of it, it’s a pretty tall one, although the surgeon is concerned but not terribly alarmed. Keep the good vibes coming.

And work! Work is rolling in and I was going to turn yesterday into my first work day, but wound up spending first most of the day at the doctor’s and then a couple hours trying to find the medicines I need. (And in the middle of that, my father had the misfortunate of Face Timing me and I think I scared him more than I needed to, but my transportation was on a strict timeframe, so chatting wasn’t the best idea.)

Overall, it’s a mixed bag. I’m looking forward to working today, on the couch. Sitting on my butt, per the doctor’s orders. Taking my medicines and eye drops and hanging out. And healing. Thursday, I go back to see how things are progressing. And I’m scared of what the answer will be.

Recovery is hard work. But you gotta do the hard work to get the payout. Vision. Standing desks. And clients who write amazing fiction and keep me on my toes.

As one of my favorite clients says, Excelsior.

But keep those prayers coming. I’ll keep doing the hard work.



  1. kathleen shoop

    January 20, 2016 12:35 pm

    Susan–so much difficulty and pain for you right now. I’m glad you have a sense of humor and that you are seeing glimmers of good amidst all the rest. Thinking of you and sending prayers your way.

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