I awake Sunday morning to the hacking and coughing of my hospital roommate, a small price to pay for what he had to listen to the day before. My surgeon comes to visit early to check on me and lets me know that I’ll be put back on clear fluids and to eat slow. Taking a look at the incision, he says it looks very good and that the epidural will be coming out soon, also that I’ll have to pass gas and use the bathroom before I’m sent home. Later that morning the nurses come in to remove the needle from my back, In my head I believe it will hurt like hell, but the reality is that I can barely feel anything and its out and removed in seconds. My lunch arrives and to my surprise it’s beef broth, jello, ginger ale and tea, all my favourites! I get up and move after lunch, hoping that will help keep things moving along and it seems to, I remember reading a book and doing some more writing in the sunlight as it warmed my face through the 5th floor window. Dinner comes and I notice that I’ve been moved to full fluids now so sitting on my tray is cream of chicken soup, some pudding and a small serving of mashed or instant potatoes, well things are getting better. I fall asleep that night watching some Netflix and full for the first time in about a week, praying that all the food just moves through.
The morning of Monday breaks and the nurses is in to check my stomach and tells me its sounds encouraging, lots of rumbling and sound coming from my guts…thank god. I have a delicious cream of wheat breakfast and coffee. Into the morning Tracy comes to visit and delivers a Tim Hortons coffee, I’ll tell ya it’s not my favourite, but boy did it taste good that morning….and did its job. About a half an hour later I feel that familiar old feeling that’s been missing for a week. I rush out of bed….and well I don’t need to describe this.
Smiling and happy I buzz the nurse to tell her the good news, Tracy gives me a hug and heads back to work. Now dinner comes on Monday evening and it’s a shepherds pie with some garlic toast, I think I almost cried….That night is a bit uncomfortable as I can now start feeling the staples in my abdomen, since all the freezing is now completely worn off. It’s a weird sensation, a little like constantly being poked by something sharp, especially when I sit up and move. I manage to get comfortable late that night, I needed a bit more pain killers then usual. I manage to drift of to sleep and once again I’m plagued with the weird, crazy dreams that these drugs give me and I wake soaked wet with sweat, “Holy” I think to myself, ” I sure hope this doesn’t happen all the time.” To this date I still have nights filled with wild dreams and I still wake up just soaked, I feel very bad for Tracy, cause it’s crazy.
On Tuesday morning my IV is finally taken out and the Doctor comes by to let me know that today I’m going home. Finally, sleep in my own bed, see my family every day and get to see my dogs that I haven’t seen in a week. Happy, but also apprehensive, as I still have quite a bit of pain I pack my clothes and gather my things, I also enjoy my last cream of wheat breakfast. I walk down to thank the nurses for all their help and care, then back to my room for a final check and a short wait for the discharge papers…
This was my first prolonged stay at a hospital and I have zero complaints, I’m incredibly lucky to live a province and country that I can get the care I need and not leave with an unpayable bill. The care of the nurses and doctors was first class class, even at my worst in there, I was always treated with respect and love, something I will never forget. On my short drive home I reflect on how my rehab will go and put together a food list in my head. I go to open my front door thinking that I’m home now, the worst is over, little then did I know that my time in the hospital although physically painful was actually the easy part…….