Walk It Off

Ok. So. Last time we gathered together my lovelies, I had just finished telling you part of the story of undergoing surgery for appendicitis. Cody was still pacing restlessly back and forth in our hospital room. I was wheeled into the surgery theater, and all bodies were present and accounted for - except the attending surgeon.

It was one of those moments in my life where you feel uniquely vulnerable. I mean, your dressed in nothing but your undies and a hospital gown in a room full of strangers where the temperature is set to either a degree above or below freezing at all times. The table your lying on is barely wide enough for you to fit on. Meanwhile, your arms are spread out on either side of you like your being offered up as tribute to the mepostdical gods. Then you're drugged up, knocked out and left in what you hope are the capable hands of the surgeon and medical staff only to wake up several hours later in a condition that you hope is better than when you first arrived, boasting several new scars - 3, exactly if you're having an appendix out. 

After surgery, details are very sketchy. I do remember waking up and immediately put my hands over my tummy and asked if everyone was ok. I was assured that yes, everything was alright and there was no harm or danger to Jellybean. This long suffering nurse - patience of a saint. I don't know how long her shift in the recovery room was, or how many patients she'll see during that shift, or how many ludicrous things come out of our mouths ... but this woman deserves a raise for the simple fact that she has to essentially babysit strung out adults. And, on occasion, let us use her cell phone in our drug-induced haze to call our significant other and let them know that we survived surgery.

How I made this call, I have no idea. I barely remember Cody's cell phone number on a good day, let alone post-surgery. But somehow I did it. Now, this call I can only assume was met with relief. From what he told me later, he was told that my surgery was only supposed to be about two hours. However, from the time I wheeled from our room and back again, it had been about four to five hours. I can only imagine the stress and worry that he must have been going through. Somehow, I scootched from the surgery gurney and back into my own bed. Then I slept it all off I guess.

The morning after brought with it the worlds worst type of hangover. The anesthesia hang over. I woke up again around breakfast time, At this point, it's 730am on a Tuesday. We've been in a hospital since late Sunday night and I hadn't eaten anything since before we got the county hospital in Strathmore. I was encouraged to eat, which I was happy to oblige. What exactly I ate, I couldn't tell you. I do have a vague recollection of peanut butter toast. But perhaps in what has been one of the more adorable moments of my life and a complete throw back to childhood, I began to fall asleep while eating my toast.

The first bit of food I had in days, and I was too strung out from the anesthesia to eat properly. Little did I know that this, ladies and gentlemen, would be the highlight of my hospital stay. Well, that and the shower I took before going home.

Now, here's the shitty thing - once you're put to sleep for surgery, your entire body is essentially put to sleep. And for surgeries in the abdominal region they also inflate you a bit as well so as to have more space in work in. So, not only am I trying to wake up, but my insides are trying to recover from having its lights knocked out as well. And how do we wake up a sleepy body and organs? By taking a walk of course.

This is easier said than done when you are now the bearer of three new scars and multiple stitches. Shortly after breakfast a nurse came in, got me to sit up - which was excruciating, by the way and I have no shame in admitting that I cried - and that it was time to go for a walk. Now clad in a hospital gown and a housecoat (I think. It might also have just been the gown and blanket draped over me soI wasn't flashing dat bootay to the whole floor and nursing staff.) and holding on to Cody for dear life, I shuffled my way out the hall. For this post-op maiden trek I made it a whole ten feet before I quit. With more than a little help and two T3s later, I was back in bed and fast asleep.

Lunchtime rolled around, and with it came shift change. Gone were the nurses who had taken care of me so far. Enter The Witch.

This nurse ... man, this nurse. There are no words. Well, there are but I hate to use them as they certainly are not of the flattering variety. This nurse was all business. No pity, no empathy, no time for my bullshit. Aww, you're sore from surgery? Take a walk. It hurts to walk too much? Suck it up, buttercup.

Now, admittedly, I can be a bit of a baby sometimes. But I had Cody with me who kept coaxing me out for walks, knowing that it was better to gently talk me into them than to come in like a raging drill sergeant and shove me out the door and admonishing me to keep my knees high - no time for sissy, shuffling walks around here Cadet. Knees Up!!!  A walk around the ward was not enough for this witch. Oh hell no! This woman said I outta be doing laps around the whole goddamn floor! Those instructions I got around supper time, and had gone for what I thought was I good walk compared to the morning and the afternoon walks, so I was feelin' a little proud of myself.

Nope. Not good enough. This nurse basically said to do better. Longer walks, high knees. Yeah bitch, I'll do my best like it ain't no thang, ok?

Anyway, fast forward to be 2am. I'd been napping all day and taking a few small walks. Cody's sister and mother came by and dropped off clean, comfy clothes and some shower stuff for us as it looked like we were gonna have another night in. Bear in mind, Cody still hasn't slept yet other than maybe the occasional twenty minute nap here and there - and I can't even be 100% sure he got that much. So, there we are at 2am - each of us becoming intimately acquainted with exhaustion of whole new levels. But being that tired also makes a body restless and I couldn't sleep. So, we went for a walk. A long one this time. We must have walked up and down every hallway that we were allowed to on that floor. We even went down to the cafeteria to raid the vending machine for potential goodies. Once we get back, there was a nurse there who remembered me from the night before and was genuinely happy to see me walking around, and commented on how much better I was looking, to which I can only assume that appendicitis must make you look like shit and post-op isn't exactly a good luck for anyone either.

Back from our walk, it time to honestly and truly try to get some sleep. The iPad had also been brought so we both tried to squeeze into this tiny little hospital bed and at least try to be close to one another at the very least, snuggle up if we were really lucky. Needless to say it didn't really work out the greatest and what sleep we did get was uncomfortable.

It's barely 7am and this same drill sergeant of a nurse comes waltzing on it with the most condescending "Good morning, how are you feeling?" I have ever gotten in my entire life. She all but kicked us out. We barely had time for breakfast and I don't even think I ate it all as she was in such a holy rush to get us out of the room. When I asked if I could shower first, the expression that crossed this womans face ... like someone had pissed in her corn flakes. I felt absolutely disgusting. It's Wednesday morning at this point, we've been in a hospital since late Sunday.

Finally, showered and dressed, I'm starting to feel a bit more like a human being. I'm still pretty tender, and the stitches sting like the dickens. Not to mention that during the two week recovery process it also came about that I pulled a stomach muscle as well. Once the nurse comes back in and discovers that  we're both dressed and nearly packed up, ready to go home, she hands us our discharge papers - which, by the way, she had prepped the night before. Now, for some reason that has never made sense to me, and after all the walking I did the day before, we're given a wheelchair and all but pushed out the door. Hospital policy is that all patients leave in a wheelchair I guess.

Some things I will never quite understand.

Right. So, two week recovery period. It's hard to get in and out of bed, and our dogs are definitely upset about the fact that they can't come in and curl up on the bed with us. Not that there would be enough room for all of us - with three dogs that are about 50 lbs each, it absolutely makes for cramped sleeping quarters.

When it came time to choose where we wanted to deliver Jellybean, we decided that this particular hospital was at the bottom of the list - specifically because of this nurse and her "walk it off" attitude. That, and several weeks later when Cody broke his hand in a freak accident that only by some miracle didn't kill him, spent hours and hours in an emergency room, we weren't exactly overwhelmed with the level of patient care we received, we knew that this was NOT a hospital we ever really wanted to go back to - even though it was the closest hospital to The Old House and would have made life much easier.  Now that isn't to stay that there were patients at this hospital who didn't receive good care while they were there, for whatever reason. Of all the times I've had to be in a hospital - and being as clumsy as I am, I've been in the ER/admitted more than I would like to admit - I've nearly always gotten excellent care. Heck, even during this whole fiasco we were taken really good care of, but this one nurse just put a real sour taste in our mouths.

Anyhoo, the about covers the appendicitis story. Everything healed the way it was supposed to. The scars are still red and angry looking, but I assume that's mostly due to being an incubator - more or less. The only thing that really sucks, is that now that I feel like a blowfish all puffed up most days, the pain in my side is back on occasion. So, that's a real thrill.

Right then. Until next time lovelies. And if anything bad happens ... remember to just ... walk it off.


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