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It’s all so emotional.

The nurse’s notes report that I am doing remarkably well, but I am feeling remarkably stuck this morning. Our bodies can do incredible things, and my body is no different. I am now four days out from surgery and have been disconnected from all cords and wires. My vitals are strong. I am fully independent, and I am eating (small amounts). But I am stuck. My surgeon said I can think of her as a plumber putting my pipes back together, and I can’t be released until we know the seal is tight. That is the last thing to do, and my body simply will not do it. I’m stuck. I’m stuck in a blue room, on a grey day, with a tye-dye bathrobe and a distended stomach.

And it is getting to me.

I feel guilty for feeling this way. So many people are suffering on this floor. My roommate got a severe infection after she lost her baby, and she is in more pain than I can ever imagine. She was never able to grieve; the pain wouldn’t let her. Antibiotics aren’t working and the first procedure proved ineffective. She is struggling, but she is strong. Other friends up the hall are getting used to an entirely new normal after surgery took the entire colon. They have been faced with setback after setback, yet they are still strong. I’m focusing on my bowels. Other people are focusing on life as they know it (or knew it), and it feels like I don’t have a right to feel anything but gratitude.

There are wins. Only three days ago I was ambling down the hall like a baby deer learning to walk, and last night I was trying not to dance down the hall when a good song came on. Only three days ago I was on a strictly-timed tylenol regimen and a morphine drip. Now I am only taking tylenol as needed. Only three days ago I was limited to tea and jell-o, and I am now eyeing leftover pancakes. Only three days ago I couldn’t sit up without feeling nauseous, and I am criss-cross-applesauce, as my son puts it, writing this now. And yet, my body refuses me this one thing. And my anxiety takes over.

I have two more burst veins on my arms (one on each), so I now have seven pieces of tape securing the last IV to the back of my right hand (I need more tape--it is peeling). It’s become a third appendage. We are not using it, but it remains intact just in case I take a turn for the worse. I have joked that if this IV fails we will have to find a vein in my neck, but I jest only partly. My arms are furious with me.

I’m not out of the woods and will not go home today. And that leaves me feeling lost, but of course, I know I am not.

I am a patient person with all things except myself. I expect myself to perform at the highest capacity at all times. I need to recognize that pushing harder to an end that I have no control in reaching can be poisonous to my recovery. I am doing all that can be done.

I am frustrated. But I am fine.


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