Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hospitalization and Recovery

What I have realized through this process is that I take a lot of things for granted.
·         Being able to sit up on my own
·         Being able to walk
·         Being able to go to the bathroom
·         Being able to eat
·         Wanting to eat
·         Being able to do any of the above on your own
·         Being able to move fast enough to avoid harm
·         Not being a burden on other people
·         Not being afraid
Going into the surgery I figured as soon as I could get out of the hospital I would want too.  But when the doctors did their rounds on Thursday and told me I could leave the hospital that night if I wanted to my immediate response in my head was no way are they crazy the surgery was barely over 48 hours ago.  I think what I said to Kate was maybe we should wait till tomorrow, which she was fine with because she had wanted me to stay until at least Friday all along.
There is a huge difference between visiting someone in the hospital and being a patient that I am not sure I was aware of.  When you can barely sit up on your own, and it is really painful to get up and go to the bathroom the idea of getting out of the hospital and having to do all of that on your own doesn’t sound so great.  As annoying as it is to have people checking on you every hour or so and waking you up in the middle of the night, it is nice to know that if something happens they are there, it is the ultimate safety blanket. 
Don’t get me wrong I was happy to get out of the hospital but there was definitely a part of me that was going to miss it (I mean they get excited when you walk the circle, and are able to get up and pee by yourself), where else to you get that kind of support and encouragement.  When I am home no one is excited when I go to the bathroom, actually sometimes people are upset about it. Stupid toilet seat.) I can understand how people who are chronically sick would be very scared to leave.
When you come home from the hospital, especially in our case there isn’t a huge greeting party, except for Kate she has been my cheerleader throughout this process.  The reality hits that you are fairly disabled.  The first night we were home I thought; let’s take a walk up to the market.  I was going to need to do this anyway when Kate went home for her show so why not get it out of the way to prove I could do it.
While it is only 3 blocks to the market what I hadn’t calculated in my head is that the 1st block has about a 2 story incline.  By the time I got to the top of the incline I looked at Kate and said maybe we should go back, that was all I could do.  This was extremely humbling to realize that if I made Kate mad, which can happen more often than you think, or for those of you who know me, less often than you think, and she left that I was helpless to do much for myself. 
Another realization that hit me was when we were actually out somewhere.  I realized that I was actually in danger and a hindrance to people around me.  I am not moving very fast so if someone makes a quick move, or if I'm not carefaul about what I do I could run into someone.  Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal but if someone hit me right now I would probably fall down and not only would that hurt but what would it do to my incision. All of the sudden I was afraid to be out in public.
"The Illusion of Safety" (this will be a full blog post someday) that I normally live under had been lifted. 

When I saw people walk by who were kind of scary looking I knew that if they attacked us or confronted us there was absolutely  nothing I could do to prevent it, I couldn’t run, fight back, I really can’t even talk that loudly to have a scary voice.  Even last night Kate and I went to dinner in Durham in what wasn’t a horrible section of town, but it was dark and rainy and a guy went by on a bike and took a second look at us.   Instead of going to my door since he was on Kate’s side of the car I went to hers just so I was between him and her, but if he had bad intentions there was absolutely nothing I could do. 
It is hard to not let that fear overwhelm you. I have a much better appreciation for what people go through on a regular basis, and I hope I am able to appreciate the things that on a daily basis I take for granted. 
One of the biggest lessons for me during this process has been humility, and the perspective that God has given me through this process.  My only hope is that I can use what God has opened my eyes too and not forget it.
Ephesians 4:2 NIV – “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”

1 comment:

  1. Wow, it is amazing how God is teaching you. It happens to me all the time in the little things, for you the not so little things.