This past few weeks has been a whole new level of experience for me in certain areas. 2 major back surgeries and a “minor” one, in a span of 3 weeks. Months of pain leading up to these procedures; the type of pain that is right at the far end of that 1-10 smiley/crying face ouch chart. And some of that same pain as recently as 2 days ago, when your gargantuan, Harley-riding, Hells Angels buddy holds one of your hands as you muffle your screams with a towel with the other, chewing a hole right through it in the process.
One thing I know is that you are never done learning. I’ve reinforced that belief as of late. For the sake of this discussion, particularly where the medical business is concerned. For those of you who know me, you know that I’m not one to be easily stepped on. As I am “single” and don’t have an advocate so to speak, I learned that where this hallowed profession is concerned, you MUST be ready to stand up and advocate for yourself. You don’t let them type your blood (i.e. stick yet another needle in your arm, three times in 24 hours. Hey, you got my blood type already buddy, right? Well guess what, it hasn’t changed since then. Similarly, “NO!,” you’re not starting an IV on me just because it’s protocol. And get that damned rectal swab away from me. What, are you on commission or something? I swear, the only way they’ll ever get a gown on me –short of in the O.R. itself—is over my cold, dead body. Or as I told the muscle-bound, red-haired orderly –the last one who told me I “HAD” to change into a gown (I think it was for an MRI, or something like that) “Yeah, you and what band of merry lepruchans are going to make THAT happen?”
The flip side of this of course are those who are in this profession not only to pay their bills and buy Porsches and what-not. They are the ones that are always willing to put down whatever they’re doing and at 4am –when you lay alone and afraid, with only the hum of a heart monitor and the drip of an IV for company—take your hand in theirs and have the type of talk rarely reserved for even your closest of friends.
The reinforced “lesson” in this for me? People are the people they are, and extreme circumstances will bring out the highlights and lowlights of their traits.
I’m tired. Flipping exhausted really. My body has been through a tremendous amount of physical trauma over the past months. While I think I’ve done a pretty good job of putting on a happy face for most, I’ve put myself through some real mental and emotional trauma as well. Today alone is but a microcosmic example of “life” for me as of late. After an evening full of procedures and medications, went to bed totally exhausted at 1am. Woken at 5am for first procedure of the day, which at this writing has expanded to 6 procedures, involving 9 medical professionals total. (Actually had a pretty good time with all). In the last, a “pick line” was inserted at my left bicep and runs to my heart. What the hell does this have to do with my back? Well, in the gift that just keeps on giving, the final epidural I got prior to surgery (“the injection gone awry is how I’ve come to characterize it) amongst other things, left me with three very serious, deep-rooted infections (all non-communicable, btw!) So now, I’ll have a nurse coming to my home every day for the next 6 weeks to inject heavy duty drugs. (I just hope she’s hot). (And how much you wanna bet that last comment just pre-ordained me a 400 pound nurse named Albert?)
Later today, I’ll wobble out of Cedars-Sinai Hospital, hobbled partially by having the muscles.nerves.membranes.d
SUMMARLLY, THAT ALL STOPS TODAY.
Because you see, I’m also excited. About my relationships. Business. Adventures. By getting ready to marvel –again—at watching what my body can do. Will do.
Later today, I’ll walk out of Cedars, head held as high as my body will allow, turn my pale face into the sun, raise my arms high, and pledge to myself that he rebirth of my personal Superman begins NOW.
(and until my ride comes to pick me up, I think I’ll just take a nap with the stuffed koala that my beautiful niece Lauren got for me last week)