We’ve just gotten home from spending the past week in Boston as our daughter, Alice, had an Atrial Septal Defect repaired. She had full blown open heart surgery and woke up like it was nothing. If any of us had our chests cracked open we’d be out of commission for weeks; but not Alice. Alice was standing up in her baby jail hospital crib within 24 hours. She explored the playroom, tried to eat wires, tubes, and licked the bars of her crib, she played with a mountain of toys that magically appeared after her surgery, and she made friends with her roommate; a little girl with the exact same birthdate as Alice.
It was a whirlwind of emotions and stress. We got our surgery date on the 21st and had a mad dash of preparation over the holidays with only a week to get everything ready along with celebrating our first Yulemas as a family. Part of us worried that something would go wrong, despite all logic. What if we were that small statistic? What if our first Yulemas is our last? Alice was spoiled with cake, cookies, French toast in bed, toys, ki sses, snuggles, and visits with friends and family, just in case. Everything became ‘just in case’ all of a sudden.
I hated those ‘what if’s’ that kept me up at night. I was fine during the day as long as I kept busy, but once those lights went out and I was left with my thoughts in the dark, my mind wandered to the worst-case scenario every time. There is so much left for me to show my little Dinosaur; Star Trek, the joys of camping, travel around the world, game conventions, Dungeons and Dragons, reading Harry Potter for the first time … it terrified me that there was a very, extremely minuscule, teeny-tiny itty-bitty, super small chance that Alice wouldn’t get a chance to do these things.
And then I saw her in the CICU and everything was fine. All the worry went away. She made progress so quickly, and her energy level was already improved once she woke up. The surgeon told us that, basically, the hole in her heart was so large that her heart was only pumping about 1/3rd of her blood through her body. She’s full speed ahead now only 6 days later. We can hardly keep up with her!
With everything that was (and still is) going on, I know that self-care is extra important. I haven’t been taking the time to indulge my geeky hobbies and pursuits. My nerd self seems to be withering. Nerdiness used to come naturally, and now I find myself reaching for movie quotes and game stats. I’ve been longing for some online and tabletop gaming. I have so many books to read. And if I want to be a good geek-mom, I need to take care of my geek-self.
I’ve decided to make January NerdCare month at Geekasaurus. I’ll be sharing nerdy self-care content all month long. Maybe you’re like me, stuck in a rut and lacking in general nerdiness. Maybe you also need to get away from the daily grind and back to your gaming groups or start reading that stack of comics by your bed. Maybe you want to begin the new year with good mental, physical, and geekerific health. I’m going to highlight methods and ideas to fill the life bar of our geek selves.
We can’t do a good job taking care of others if we do not take care of ourselves. And I want to set a good example for the Dinosaur. Join me for NerdCare month here at Geekasaurus. Your inner nerd will thank you.