Day one-post-op hits, and I wake up. Not sure I want to-and it is a good thing I have a high pain tolerance, as I call for a push of Delaudit and some anti-nausea meds to be pushed into my IV line. I also get a shot of heparin at this time. 20 minutes later I ask to be disconnected from my leg pumps-they strap them on to keep you from forming blood clots in your body and i hobble to the bathroom sporting the newest accessory, an IV pole. Very chic and stylish. IO’s are necessary now-you measure everything that goes in and out-helps to make sure you aren’t taking in water anywhere (like a leak, but hey–my surgeon is amazing.) Small nap later and I go on toward the rest of the day-up you go, time to do a barium swallow. it winds up being like 2 oz of radioactive fluids that I swallow (this set tastes like absolute battery acid, probably caused by the fact that my stomach just got cut into a sliver, and the proton pumps are a bit pissy about it.) But tiny sips and i wind up getting the whole mess down in sections as the doctor looks at me in wonder-like I am supposed to be bitching and screaming about my “terrible fate”. Hey, I made the conscious decision to get fat as a way to stay safe. Guess what…That does not work. all you get is fat and the rest of the shit stays the same and adds to it the teenagers who moo, or make horse sounds, elephant sounds and ask what a nice hippo is doing at a place like this on a Saturday night. People are cruel, no doubt.
back to my room and i get to lie down again for a little while (until the results come back that say, hey, no leaks), and then She comes! Linda. the nurse of all NO BS nurses. Out of bed, drink your water, I AM kindness and compassion and I WILL keep you alive in spite of yourself and your namby pamby whiny attitude. Guess what? I got up, drank about 7.5 ml (just over a tsp at a time. 1 tsp.) every 15 minutes and played with nausea through 3 oz of water. Then i swapped out an ounce of water for motrin, which really helped, btw, but had the strangest consistency. As an adult I take very few liquid medicines. and while the flavour was not unpleasant–the texture is somewhere around blended worms. Or jellyfish. Those tiny quarter sized ones that you accidentally step on on the beach because you can’t see them. Yeah, I have texture issues.
But I made it through the 5 cups sitting in front of me. Thing is, I didn’t think I could. I was, in fact, certain at the bottom of cup #1 that there was no way in hell that I could do this and I had a very real, very full-on anxiety attack with the glaring sound/light and resonance that only an OMG What the Fuck did I DO to myself??? can bring. The light blacked out and all that went on in my head and surroundings was, PUT MY STOMACH BACK!!!!!. I have no idea how long I was lost in that, but eventually, my heart slowed, my breathing stopped being labored and my vision cleared. I realized that yes, I was in pain. Yes, I was going to be for a few days (day 4 now and feeling pretty good, believe it or not. walking helps move things around and makes me feel better). Pain stops. When it does, you can hear the silence of the universe. I heard that. And through that I heard God’s voice. I had prayed that this be my answer, and He had granted this opportunity to prove my own commitment to my own self worth and care. How many times had I sat with my hands on a weapon that I hurt myself with? How many bottles of pills had I swallowed through the years? How many times had I actively sought death? And now I commit once again to seeking life. To finding that which had been taken from and hidden from me. To fulfil the promises made to me: Life and that more abundantly.
Surgery is 4 days in the past, but my real commitment was when, 3 days ago, 1 medicine cup of water into my day, I chose life. I choose life.