27 August 2005

all sewn up

The last time I awoke from anesthesia, I laughed. I looked blurrily at the faces above me and giggled as best I could with wads of cotton in my mouth. I found it amusing that they were telling me I was done—that my wisdom teeth were out.

This time, vomit filled my first moments of consciousness as I was wheeled on a gurney down a hallway. My abdomen felt like it had been stomped on repeatedly. Then, all of the sudden, the pain dissipated.

Although I was delirious, lucid, rational thoughts rapidly ran through my mind. I realized something in my IV alleviated my pain. Maybe it was morphine. Oh, that’s kinda cool. Now I can say I’ve been on morphine. That makes me think of the song “Old Fashioned Morphine” by Jolie Holland. Gosh, I love her name. Bela Lugiosi was addicted to morphine. I don’t think I’ll get addicted to it, though.

In the midst of my musings, the resident who assisted my doctor visited me. He was cute. Dammit! Why don’t they tell you to wear lipstick to pre-surgery? I could have wooed him before he sliced into my abdomen. Slice into my body they did, he explained to me as I lay in the recovery room. Instead of laproscopy, they had to cut a six-inch incision to remove a grapefruit-sized, benign cyst.

Of course, my first thought was Hmm, should I blog about this?

I didn’t pursue this thought at the moment, being more concerned with avoiding the immense pain that accompanied any movement of my body. I did develop an immediate, profound appreciation for strategic breathing, though. Coordinating any movement I had to make with my breath helped a lot.

That first night in the hospital was fuzzy. I don’t recall the nurses that attended to me, except for hot male nurse. However, I thought better of flirting. Good thing, too, as I watched him empty my catheter bag during one visit.

To help prevent blood clots, they strapped these things that were like giant, inflatable maxi pads on my legs. One nurse told me they would feel like getting a leg massage. Not so much. It was like constantly getting your blood pressure taken but on your legs.

Despite the inflatable leg maxis, I slept fairly soundly. (Thanks, narcotics!) I found it so thoughtful of the hospital to pipe in the soothing, nighttime sound of crickets. (Thanks, narcotics!)

During my hospital stay I was introduced to the “scale of pain”. Incessantly, nurses asked, “On a scale from one to ten, what is your pain right now?” I also got used to nurses and doctors regularly telling me, “Show me your incision.” I’d lift my gown up, feeling I should be getting Mardi Gras beads each time. Instead, they handed me Percocet.

After two days and nights in the hospital, my mom drove me home to Cleveland. Let me tell you, after being gutted and patched back up, a simple car ride is more akin to the rickety Blue Streak roller coaster. I tightly grasped the “oh, shit” handle most of the ride.

My loving parents took good care of me, taking turns pulling me out of the chair for the first few days, putting on my socks and fetching me food. Even after it was necessary, my mom still gave me a bendy straw for my drinks. That’s love there.

Now I’m back in Akron, trying to not be a busybody and give myself a hernia (although that would mean bendy straws, again). I’m glad to be back in the blogosphere though perhaps could do without the whole going back to work thing.

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