The Past 6 Months
A story about adjustment
Last June, as Rich EnDeed was developing into a well-oiled machine, I was suffering from a sinus infection that hadn't been resolved with antibiotics. It had worsened, and my left eye was now almost swollen shut, so I headed to the local Emergency Room.
A CT scan of my head indicated a non-cancerous tumor called a cavernous malformation or Cavernoma, in the middle of my brain. I had no idea it was there, or for how long it had been freeloading in my head, but this unwelcome guest had now exploded and left a trail of blood that was resting on nerves that controlled my memory, attention, and eye function. Surgery was planned for August. I was scared, but determined to overcome this. I went home to prepare myself and my family for the road ahead.
This beast however had other plans. 2 weeks later, before I could have the scheduled surgery, I had a seizure. This would require immediate removal of this intruder and emergency surgery was performed on July 9th. I am a single mother of 4 young adult children. I spoke with them before the surgery through video chats, as Covid-19 was rampant during the summer, and visitation was not allowed. I assured them as best I could. After the surgery, when I became aware of my surroundings, I realized I had lost function of my eye muscles, my memory and the ability to control my emotions.
"Believe you can and you're halfway there - Theodore Roosevelt"
During my four week hospital stay and subsequent temporary residence at MarianJoy Rehab, my close friends and family provided meals for my children, friends and volunteers worked hard to keep Rich EnDeed open and communicate our situation as vaguely as possible respecting my privacy, and prayer chains for healing were said by so many while I and my family navigated this storm.
Now, 6 months later, I'm able to drive again, I've been seizure free since the surgery and the few remains of the tumor have minimized. I am left with some visual deficits however and accept the possibility of future seizures, which makes it difficult to run the store without volunteers to help organize and prepare donations for shoppers (this is the reason we ask that donations be labeled and sorted, as it speeds availability).
I have learned so much over this last half year about myself, about my community, and how quickly the best-laid plans can be derailed. I've witnessed people work hard at understanding when it is inconvenient to do so, and wait patiently for things so desperately needed.
We are excited to reopen Rich EnDeed, even with minimized hours. We look forward to recommitting to the vision of serving this community and welcome the help of others in this mission of providing a judgment free zone to give or receive our surpluses.
Thank you for your love and understanding over the past 6 months.