Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Post-Op Report


It's the day after my surgery and things couldn't have gone any better. Yesterday, after I had written the day's essay, my wife and I drove to the hospital and checked in. Every single moment of the day went as scheduled. I was wheeled into surgery exactly at 7:30, taken out at 9:30, in recovery until 10:30 or so and then in a room after that. My parents and wife waited with me as I lay in bed for a while. I ate some crackers, drank water and ginger ale, then tried to go for a walk, but the anesthesia was still in me enough to have me seeing stars. (I have some difficulty with anesthesia and fainting.) I lay back down ate a bit more, took a nap, and when I woke walked around the hospital wing. I felt great! I walked around three or four more times, ate some more food, drank a lot more fluid, used the bathroom, and then when the doctor came by I asked if I could go home. He happily sent me on my way.

Getting to sleep in my own bed next to my wife with the kids and dog down the hall was a treat I had hoped for but not expected. Nothing heals the body and soul like family.

This morning I woke up early, came downstairs, made coffee and got myself comfortable on the couch. It was like any other morning aside from an dull ache in my neck and a lot slower steps. The girls woke up and all went off to school. My parents stopped by and I think I stumped them by not needing much of anything. Mom brought over her applesauce (just apples boiled down and unsweetened the way God intended, god damn it) and they had grabbed my prescription too.

By the way, I'm on 800 mg. of Tylenol and it is plenty. What a strange, wonderful surprise to not need something stronger.

My day was a simple one of sitting and lying on the couch with my Nexus 7 tablet in hand. I read the news, listened to some music, caught up on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook, and replied to email. I pet the dog when she got bored and wanted to make sure that I love her. I moved the cat when she had camped out on my legs long enough to cramp them up. I scooped the litter, walked out to get the mail, and walked to and fro in the house just to keep myself loose.

I didn't get bored. I didn't have anything to rail against. I was just happy and content. Part of that is the simple fact that the surgery went so well and I came out of it with flying colors, but the bigger part, I believe, is that I'm much more happy and content than I was the last time I had surgery on my neck. Back then I was depressed about so many things, confused and lost, angry at more things than I now care to admit. I'm not that way any more and today was as much proof of that as I could have asked for. I spent the day simply being who I am and feeling safe and secure in the love others have for me.

Speaking of love, that has manifested in many ways today. This evening it came in the form of one friend delivering dinner for us along with magazines and a movie. The dinner, homemade macaroni and cheese was delicious! Then, as we were eating, another friend texted my wife to check the front steps and there, waiting patiently, was a fine bottle of bourbon! I haven't sampled it yet, though it sounds so good I really want to, but maybe tomorrow evening. My oldest daughter has been entertaining me with iPhone tricks and her creation of the silliest holiday care imaginable. My youngest has been singing at high volume and skating through the living room in her socks.

More than anyone, Stephanie has showered me. My favorite moment came this afternoon when she walked in the front door. She didn't do much, just smiled with her whole body, radiating love that doesn't fit into words but makes me feel greedy getting to save it all for myself. Everything is good in the light of her smile.

So I'm not sure how much I'll be writing about surgery after this. I had expected to have so much more to say, but now I think it's just going to take a bit of time to get my strength back up and to be cleared by the doctor for normal activity. Lucky for me there are plenty of other things for me to consider as I write on.