It’s been a while since I last posted… a year and nearly ten months, holy cow…but I have one hell of an excuse.
I think. You be the judge:
If you haven’t read my last post or you don’t remember it, you might do that now. I’ll wait.
Yeah, so it turns out that the pancreatitis thing wasn’t over yet. In fact, at my very next checkup, the doctor took one look at me and ordered me directly to the nearest ER. Who had me airlifted for emergency surgery to a hospital an hour away.
The surgeon, the incredible Dr. S, did her best to piece my insides back together–from what I was told later, it was a bit like tatting lace. Things had melted to other things and had to be pried…well, never mind.
That was September 4th.
Since then, I’ve had five major surgeries (only three planned), about twelve procedures under general anesthesia, and countless adjustments, stitches, rebagging (think ileostomies and colostomies) and retubings. At one point, I was sporting approximately eight drains around my waist, a hula skirt from hell.
Coincidentally, my torso looks a bit like target practice for a small, hungry shark packing a twenty-two.
I spent around eight months in various hospitals, under various levels of sedation and the really good painkillers.* Not to mention various Dante-like circles of PT, learning to sit up and maybe do a little walking, as someone followed me with a wheelchair, just in case.
When I left the first hospital, for a specialty one nearer to home, the nurses and staff lined the corridor and gave me a standing ovation… because (i was told much later) most of them weren’t sure I would make it.
That changes a person, knowing that kind of thing, even more than the 140 pound weight loss (I didn’t eat anything by mouth for a long time), or my new 4-inch belly button. Or having to resign from my beloved job (who am I, if I’m not a librarian?)
I couldn’t write for the longest time, either, even after I came home, this time possibly for good, two months ago. I was tired and empty and in quite a bit of pain.
But bit by bit, I’m getting stronger. I walk a little every day, sometimes without my walker. I no longer have a stomach tube and am down to six medications, only one of which is longer than my thumbnail.
Money and insurance are worrisome, buy I’m working on applying for Medicaid and Social Security. I’m also looking for a stay-at-home job that doesn’t involve stuffing envelopes or fraudulent practices.
And better yet, I have incredibly supportive friends who have stuck with me through all this mess (including those of you who keep asking me when I’ll be blogging again–this is all your fault!)
And I’m writing again. Maybe not well, but there are words now, and sentences, and maybe stories, too, however rusty and convoluted.
And I am here. Battered and bruised but not beaten.
How have y’all been?
*It is a terrible thing to put someone with a fraught imagination on heavy drugs when they have no outlet. At one point, and I’m not kidding, I refused to wear my socks because I was convinced they were pregnant…and when they died in childbirth (because they aren’t built for it, obviously), I tried to convince the nurse to call a funeral home so they could have a decent burial. She’ll be telling that story for decades; I should be getting royalties.