Life After Brain Surgery

A week ago my family was all meeting up at a parking garage outside of University of Maryland Medical Center Baltimore, gathering our belongings necessary for the long day ahead, and rushing inside to get to where I needed to be by my 5:30 appt time. Sadly, the hospital sent us on a long run around until we finally landed right where we needed to be, but we got there. Tension was high among the group, of course. The nervousness in the air; palpable.

I was asked if I was ready, more times than a few. How do you answer that? How are you ever ready to risk leaving your family behind? How are you ever ready to risk not coming back to them the same as you left them? So I lied. I was ready, yes. I lied and said I was fine. I lied and said I was going to be okay. I was petrified.

Questions began, IV was started, prepping was moving at the speed of light, but I was still stuck. Lingering, waiting for my entire family to hug me all at once. What would be my last thing to say to each one of them? How do you decide that? You cannot scare the kids, Kristen. You cannot upset your sisters, Kris. And my God, don’t let my parents feel my fear.

Last night I was asked what I felt in those moments. What was it that I told myself to help me get through it and make the final decision to go through with it.

The answer is my life. I wanted my life back. The vibrant, exuberant, fly by the seat of her pants girl was gone. She was replaced long ago by a zombie of a woman that was barely surviving this world. She could no longer head out on grand adventures, planned or otherwise. She spent her days hardly able to make it up and down the stairs let alone to a school event with homemade brownies.

She couldn’t make it to concerts with her sisters anymore. She had to cancel plans with friends more times than a few. She couldn’t get outside and run around with her two sons anymore. Life as she knew it ceased to exist.

But this morning. 7 days after the scariest decision of her life, that girl woke up at 5 am without an alarm clock, went downstairs without a single creaking or aching bone (stairs are a different story), and made herself a cup of coffee. Do you realize how long it has been since that has happened? I won’t count the nights where sleep never happened and I got up at 5 to start a day after a night of no rest. I’m talking actually slept for hours, woke up, went down, and made my own damn coffee??

Let’s ask my little baristas when they wake. I bet ya it’s been a while.

Good morning, world. It’s good to be back.

Monday Morning Ready!

Good morning all. I know it’s been a while since I posted anything or read any blogs. My health has been my primary focus lately. Brain surgery in 23 days!! But, while I’ve been basically bedridden, I have been doing a lot of thinking.

I have a million ideas for projects, community involvement, books I want to write, and opinion pieces I want to write. However, my brain is total mush!

Any suggestions for organizing my thoughts and getting these projects underway? 🤔

Moving On

When you realize your worth, you laugh at those that didn’t see it. You pity them for missing out on all the awesomeness that is you. Yes, of course you mourn for the “what could have been”. But you look ahead at what will be!

We have formed these ideas in our minds of what could be. And we get excited about the possibilities. We begin to feel like we are finally heading in the right direction. Being led to our destiny. And then the crash. The realization that we aren’t going to have what we thought we would. That moment when the truth hits is like a knife in the chest; a punch in the gut. Why couldn’t they have just followed through? Those fears that held them back have now crushed your dreams. It’s a terrible feeling. I know.

Moving on, though, is a beautiful thing. When you can feel yourself getting stronger each day. When you can finally hear that song or see that person on social media without feeling weak inside. When you can feel your strength building little by little. One day at a time. When you realize you are worth far more than you ever knew. When you see what you should have seen all along. And then you apologize to yourself. You need to make it a point to do that. Apologize for being blinded by love. Apologize for the way you viewed the world through rose colored glasses and ignored every red flag your inner self tried to point out. Apologize for being human. For wishing and dreaming of what would never be. But warn yourself, it’s probably going to happen again. And that’s OK!!

Too bad they were too scared of what could be. It could have been amazing. But what is to come will surely be better. Because now you are wiser. Do not put yourself down for trusting the wrong person. And do not allow that person to influence the way you view the next person. Do not hide away, either, my darling. Do not cut yourself off from the next possibility. Live your life one moment at a time. Allow things to happen, both good and bad. Because that is the beauty of life.

 

Knowledge of My Ignorance

I found a new book recently that is a daily devotional for intellectuals. It offers various readings each day presenting facts from the seven fields of knowledge. While reading the other night from the area of Philosophy, I came across an interesting idea presented by Socrates. Without the exact quote, the book presented it like this:

Socrates explained that he was no wiser than any other; it is only that he is aware of his own ignorance. That is what made him intelligent, in a sense.

I went online and found a few quotes that were similar and wanted to present them and discuss them here along with my thoughts on the concept.

True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.

 

And


I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance.

~Socrates

Socrates evidently challenged men that claimed to know so much about various topics just to prove they did not know as much as they claimed to know. I think we can learn a lesson from this. It is our ignorance and our lack of knowledge that allows us to see ourselves for what we truly are. The ability to realize that I am ignorant to so much is what provides me with the wisdom in my life. Understanding that my knowledge is limited allows me to respect that which I do not yet understand and strive to continuously add to my knowledge base. However, I know that I will still be learning as long as I live, and I also know that I will never in my lifetime gain every bit of knowledge which exists in the world.

Something that has always fascinated me about those with intellectual disabilities is that they are content in their ignorance. Consider those with Asperger’s and their superior “hyperfocus” on topics which interest them; they continue to learn as much as they possibly can about a topic and are not concerned with their lack of knowledge of other topics. To me, that seems to put them at a higher level than most people. Many of us like to pretend that we know so much (myself included) and we are merely full of useless facts that do not provide anything to the greater good. We like to deny our ignorance of certain things in order to maintain a superiority complex. Those with intellectual disabilities seem to be aware of that ignorance and completely accepting of it. They do not need to know everything. They know what they know, and they are happy in that knowledge.

It makes me wonder if my desire to know so much is commendable or detestable. Should I continue to strive for knowledge or be more accepting of the fact that regardless of my quest to learn as much as I can, I will never learn it all? Should I be content in my ignorance of those things which I do not, and may not ever, understand? What are your thoughts?

~Kristen

Kismet? Or Something Else?

Mesmerized by his eyes

and the dark side that he hides.

His words, like honey, flow through my brain.

Sweet and full of substance.

Never an empty word.

He fills the spaces with thoughts to ponder.

He sends my mind reeling to another dimension.

I become a dreamer and find myself mystified by his nature.

He is something I have never experienced.

I just want to know him on every level.

I want to explore the human condition with him.

He sends this energy through me with written word.

I cannot understand this.

Who is this man?

What is his purpose for me?

~Kristen Ruchalski

10/20/2017

Current Events

Good morning lovely bloggers, 

Is it crazy that I am now working on a novel AND my second book of poetry? I’ve had this sudden surge of creative energy and I cannot let it go to waste. Fibromyalgia seems to be stealing my physical energy, though. Which sucks. 

So, all I’ve got is my writing. I cannot wait to fill the pages of both books with my incredible ideas. Well, incredible to me. I try, but I can’t please everyone. Right? 

I hope you will all enjoy what I write and support my endeavors. By the way, my book currently has 3 reviews on Amazon. It is so strange, yet rewarding, to read what others think of my book. 

More soon my dears, 

~Kristen