For what was supposed to be one night in the hospital, it has now turned into 7 nights and possibly more. The pain, at times, is unbearable and I want the hell out. My arms are black and blue from needles and ports, along with my back and legs from surgery. I want out. The nurses are all exceptionally sweet and diligent in their duties, tending to my every need. I want out.
I watched in agony as my towel dropped to the floor this morning, reaching for it while envisioning one of those grabbers (I think I should get one). I insist on showering and doing everything I possibly can on my own, but when I drop something, it has to stay. Bending down breaks me into a sweat, trying to backcomb my hair breaks me into a sweat; all efforts to do anything are tiresome. Sitting up in a wheelchair for two hours makes me feel like I’ve done a Super Beast run. I look in the mirror and see the Michelin man, envisioning myself parading around the streets of New York with that stupid Stay Puft hat because the fluids have bloated me to upwards of 150 pounds.
Last Wednesday night I decided, at 3 in the morning, that I was going to sit up in bed and try to walk around. What happened moments after, I don’t remember, but can only describe. Thankfully, I had called a nurse to help me out of bed because, as I pushed the button on the bed to raise me up, my blood pressure lowered drastically. 61/42. For two minutes, Joey watched in shock as I sat staring into nothing. Nurses yelled my name and pounded on my chest, but still no response. 6 of them stood around in fear speaking about calling the trauma nurses. The thing I remember is seeing Joey’s face while yelling my name, then turning to a nurse as she yelled it, too.
That was the night that started my journey to where I am today. I had 4 blood transfusions to get my hemoglobin stable. On top of that, I have this bag that I have to maneuver my legs around every time I get out of bed (see above to refer to exhausting tasks). It’s my gold. The key to getting me out of here. I just have one more hurdle – that f*&%king bag. As longs as everything is in line, I can go home the next couple days.
All of this and I’m still laughing, telling the doctors I have truck nuts (inquire within if you’d like more information) while asking whether or not my blood pressure is stable enough to leave.
I’ve cried. It sucks. It gets boring and lonely sitting within four walls. My loving hubby visits every day for hours, but I send him home at night to sleep in a real bed with a real fuzzy Koko beast…it’s no place for a spouse to have to be.
Today, I had a particularly rough meltdown alone. It hurts to cry, it hurts to laugh, I’m stuck here until they deem me fit to leave. Most importantly, I am cancer free. After a morning of showering on my own and sitting up for a few hours, I was exhausted. My voice was shaky from the pain, but the thought of the drugs they give me for it made me more upset. They give me terrible headaches and don’t even work for very long. As I sat, unable to move in my chair, I looked out the door and saw something – a woman fighting just to walk around to get exercise, her IV behind her. The skin of her head glistened, pale in the lighting. She looked gaunt and tired from the a seemingly long battle she has been fighting. This made me cry more. All of these things that I’m upset about, but I forgot about the things that I do have. Yeah, I have surgical complications that I am hoping are not life-long, but some things I do have:
The opportunity to even think of going home tomorrow.
A 97% cure rate.
I’m cancer free.
To that, I pondering the idea of decorating my catheter bag with my fabulous silver, bronze, and gold markers for the nurses. It will read: