It's a mess: progress is progress

It's spooky season, everyone!!! You know what the spookiest thing is right now? The length of time it's taken me to write a new blog post. Scary!!! It just gave me the chills. I've just been really busy hanging out with my new, spooky friends.

Saturdays are for the bros

I know that I have yet to document the end of my hospital journey. Honestly, I just don't really want to think about it right now. I'm sure I'll revisit it, but today is not the day. Instead, let's talk about life AFTER the hospital. My new friends may be dead, but I am most certainly not!

To make a long story short -- I'm TIRED, but we all know I love to keep long stories long and make short stories long.

Now that I'm thinking about my first couple weeks out of the hospital I'm like, "Oh it wasn't that bad!" but actually my family just reminded me that I literally couldn't go to the store for more than five minutes, I did not leave my bed, and I was throwing up. So yes, I guess it was that bad. The first time I tried to do yoga again, I was shaking from just doing a "cat, cow" pose. Mind you, I was doing 1.5 hour long yoga practices a couple weeks before being admitted into the hospital. (Don't worry, I didn't lose my headstand while I was in the hospital. Trust me, I checked to make sure quickly after getting home.)

The first month being home, I could only leave the house one, MAYBE two times (if I was feeling extra good) a day. If I even slightly overdid it, my body was sure to let me know the next day with aches, pains, headaches, exhaustion, nausea, and numbness. It's a strange feeling -- being 20 years-old but feeling like I'm 80. In fact, I'm sure there are 80 year-olds out there who feel better than I did during that first month!

None of my clothes fit me when I got home

The first few weeks, I was neurotic coming off of the high doses of steroids I was on in the hospital. I'm talking pressured speech, shaking, intrusive thoughts, panic, and insomnia. Every social interaction gave me major anxiety, and I would fidget nervously -- even if I was just talking on the phone!

Having social anxiety after finishing chemo and a stem cell transplant is not ideal because EVERYONE wants to talk to you to see how you're feeling (which is very kind, and I'm grateful for the amazing support I have around me). After every conversation I had with someone, I would ask my mom, "Was that okay? Was I weird? Did I mess it up?" My body was already so tired from the hospital and dealing with the anxiety was emotionally exhausting. I literally called my nurse to ask her if I was going insane. (Good news everyone, she clarified that I was NOT going insane.)

I'm two months post hospital now, and I'm still a little more high strung than usual, but I've always been a high strung person  (How do you think I get all As in school?), so that's not surprising.

Post hospital life kinda, sorta sucks and it's hard, but you know what? I get a little bit stronger everyday. I can run an errand for a little bit longer everyday. I can do a little bit more yoga everyday. I feel a little less numbness everyday. I feel a little bit more like a healthy 20 year-old everyday.

Real progress is slow and difficult, but you're still getting closer to your goal. Have patience with yourself. You can't get better overnight.


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