Motherhood & Words

I’ve started a number of blog posts over the last couple of weeks. Each time, before I could finish the post, things with my health would change and I’d abandon it half-written.

A week ago I was feeling better—not perfect, but better. I could lift a basket of laundry, put the full Brita back into the refrigerator on my own, walk longer distances, and make it through the day without a nap. Exciting stuff, I know. I still had some pain, especially after eating certain foods (likely the result of gallbladder duct spasms), but emotionally I felt so much better. Better than I had in over a year.

It was helpful to read the pathology report, which found that my gallbladder was inflamed, consistent with chronic cholecystitis. Perhaps it’s odd that this made me so happy, but I had been worried that I would get it out and it would look perfectly healthy. Instead, it confirms that I made the right decision.

But then last week I developed some mystery pain on my left side, and I began to worry about all sorts of (probably unlikely) things, and I was right back in that place I had been most of the last year, second-guessing everything. I began to worry that I’d made the wrong decision (not a helpful or productive line of thought).

I’m hopeful that things will turn around very soon. In the meantime, I’m teaching and editing and trying to write a little every day. I’m walking and swimming again. Today was the first time I’d been in the pool in over six months. I was slow, but still, my body remembered how to slice through water, my arms pulling, legs kicking, head turning to breathe every couple of strokes. I felt muscles that hadn’t worked in months come to life again.

So I’ll keep showing up and try to be patient, and hopefully soon I will feel like myself again.

Posted in


I have been teaching creative writing for almost twenty years. Reading about other women’s lives and experiences has expanded my world. To be able to walk in someone else’s shoes, whether it’s for a moment or an hour or a few days, is an incredible gift, providing me with insight into the human experience. It takes courage to write your truths, especially if it doesn’t seem as though anyone cares, as though anyone is listening. Let me tell you: your stories matter, I’m listening, and I’m here to help you find the heart of those truths, to get them down on the page, to craft them, and to send them out into the world. Together, we will change the world, one story at a time.


  1. Kathleen on October 27, 2015 at 10:22 am

    What an ordeal for you, Kate. Certainly not typical. So sorry about this. I am impressed but not surprised by your determination and drive to feel and be the healthiest you can. That’s you! Wish I could wave a magic wand to make it all better. Sending love and hugs . . . Kathleen

    • Kate on October 27, 2015 at 10:34 am

      Thank you, Kathleen. I wish you had that wand, too! Thanks for the love and hugs!

  2. Sue LeBreton on October 27, 2015 at 10:51 am

    What a trial. Glad you are able to do some exercise to help you heal. Swimming can be magical. It can be very discouraging when things don’t improve as quickly as we expect- keep the faith, it will come. Hugs.

    • Kate on October 27, 2015 at 3:06 pm

      Thank you, Sue! Keeping the faith!

  3. Andrea on October 27, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Oh, Kate! That is such a drag. Hang in there. I hope your body bounces back to its usual old–pain-free–self soon!!!

    • Kate on October 27, 2015 at 3:07 pm

      Thank you, Andrea! Me too! xo

  4. Timo on October 27, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    Runs in the family– the whole catastrophe — you are your grandmother’s granddaughter. Remember that 90+5% of you is Hopper Happy 🙂

    What a weird trip.

    believe this guy. And he is funny. But I mostly wanted to share it because he turns his sister into a unicorn. And that is perfect.




    • Kate on October 27, 2015 at 4:51 pm

      Ha, Tim! I love this. Can someone please turn me into a unicorn, too? Thanks for the link, cousin. xox

  5. Angie Mizzell on October 27, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    What!? You’re not a unicorn? I could have sworn…

    xo. You are amazing even in the midst of your pain. I wish I could hug it away, or better yet, make it go away with my magic… wine.

    • Kate on October 27, 2015 at 8:56 pm

      I wish you could do that too, Angie! Thank you, my dear! xoxo

  6. Barb Buckner Suarez on October 28, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Kate: So sorry you’re having to go through all of this. I would imagine the chronic nature of this is the hardest part (or maybe I’m projecting, because that would be the hardest part for me!) Prayers and well-wishes for speedier and fuller recovery. Impressive that you are able to keep working through it all. I hope you get in the water lots more often – sounds like it was healing for you!

    • Kate on October 28, 2015 at 5:14 pm

      Thank you so much, Barb! It was healing, so I’ll be back and hopefully feeling myself soon. Maybe my body is just taking a very long time to adjust?

  7. Heidi Fish on October 28, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Feel better soon! Be patient. Treat yourself with respect and love. I know that feeling of getting back in the pool.

    • Kate on October 28, 2015 at 5:15 pm

      Thank you, Heidi, for these words!

  8. Yvonne on October 29, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    Kate, what a bummer to not feel well. We too often take our good health for granted. I hope that the swimming and walking and writing all work together to help you to feel better! Love ya!!

    • Kate on October 30, 2015 at 2:34 pm

      Thank you, Yvonne!

  9. patricia on November 11, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Oh, Kate. I haven’t been by your blog in a couple of months–I didn’t realize you were going through these health issues! I’m so sorry. I hope that you are truly on the mend, and that you start feeling better and better. Sending healing thoughts your way. xo.

    • Kate on November 25, 2015 at 5:17 pm

      Thank you, Patricia! xoxo