The Wrong Brochure

If you have been reading this blog, you may remember that idylic-hospital-based Spring Break I was dreaming about following some major abdominal surgery I just had? Where my only tasks for the day would be to increase activity, decrease pain? There would be jello, ginger-ale, cards, flowers, a stuffed representation of my dog Skye, room service trays, books galore, TV and lots of rest? It was supposed to look something like this…



Right. Well, I had that version of “Spring Break 2016!” for about a minute before reality set in and things went south fast. And I mean fast. One day I’m sitting pretty with my family visiting and have my favorite PJ’s on, enjoying music through my Amazon Echo – feasting on room service, and the next I’m projectile vomiting in a beat up hospital gown at 1 am on 3 nurses, as they insert a tube down my nose to my stomach to pump it out because I could not stop throwing up on my own. I probably do not need to tell you how uncomfortable and miserable this is to have a tube put down your nose and left pressed against your gag reflex in your throat while you are already in the middle of uncontrollable vomiting. I’ve had better days. I’ll leave the other horrors of the recovery process there for everyone’s sake and just suffice to say it was not quite the luxurious, restful Spring Break of my fantasies.

So, what gives? Did I get the wrong brochure? Where the hell did I get the images of me, in my soft pretty robe, hair combed, head lost in a good book – only looking up occasionally to smile, greet guests and the lovely people bringing my unlimited supply of ginger ale and ice cream sandwiches?!! I have looked everywhere, but I simply can not find the pamphlet I should have received – the one with the crazy lady with the filthy hair, in the horrible medical gown, dangling her tortured, bloated, bandaged body off the GW bridge  – ready to jump because she is a gigantic baby with no patience who simply can’t take another second of the unrelenting pain and discomfort inflicted by this surgery. Well that, now that would have been the appropriate brochure for my stay.

Was there some mix-up in the operating room? How is it that I was so woefully unprepared for the crap-storm that was this recovery? My wonderful doctor chalked it up to the length of time since my last surgery and all I’d been through since then (chemo, radiation), and oh yes, the fact that it just generally is a giant suck-fest. Oh, really?! Thanks for clueing me in. I guess how can anyone really explain this kind of torture and pain to you ahead of time though? Doctors aren’t stupid. They would have zero costumers if they told you just how bad it would really be. No one would ever sign on for this kind of nonsense. No, thank you sir.

Or, maybe if I weren’t such a head-in-the-clouds unrealistic dreamer I would have realized, prior to my all-inclusive stay-cation, that the reality is – if you are in fact well enough to rest your fat arse comfortably in bed, eat and drink all you want, read and watch TV and chat it up with your buds- you do not in fact belong in a hospital bed and will be promptly escorted home. What I found out rather unceremoniously is that when you are confined to the hospital, in the year 2016, it is because you are pretty F-ing sick or hurt, and the second you are not, your arse gets launched. That’s the deal. No insurance company is paying for my fat ass to get a little R & R. So the 8 nights I just spent in El Hospital, I can assure you, were neither restful nor serene. Nor did they resemble any kind of a “Spring” or a “Break” in any way, shape or form. Rather, it was 9 days and 8 nights of pure hell, filled with unrelenting pain, screaming  – alternating with moaning, then groaning – then yelling at everyone to stop making so much noise when they breathe – and those were my finer moments:)

Needless to say, I am beyond thrilled to be home. I have a renewed appreciation for each and every pain-free moment, like I had after my 3 surgeries in the fall. How could I have forgotten? I hope not to lose that this time around, to remain grateful everyday that the intense pain has passed. That it is now manageable and I am healing. I can drink, eat, and walk. I have no tubes, no bags, all my parts are functioning, and I plan to never, ever take that for granted again.

2 thoughts on “The Wrong Brochure

  1. My dear Rebecca,

    Well, that sure sounded like fun.

    I believe that in certain circumstances, ignorance is indeed bliss. Ignorance can be the protector of hope. Ignorance of what is to come can be, and in your case was, a good thing. Like you said, who in their right minds would sign up for that program had the (very wise) doctors been truthful about the detail. Hell, who would have a baby if she know what was about to happen? Or they’d all be C-sections. Or born drug addicts from what mom would’ve insisted on. That there are any families with more than one child often bewilders me.

    You did what you had to do, and you‘ll keep doing it. Because what would you do differently? You do it with as much grace and strength as you can. When you temporarily run out…you let them know, and they understand. (On a sick note of bad humor-forgive-I couldn’t help but think while reading that, hey, thanks to hair nazi Paula and the polar ice cap, at least you had hair to throw up in. I mean…just saying.)

    I know that things will get better day by day, and I know you do, too.



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