Home after eight days in hospital–I could (should…will) write an expose on how Western medicine gets it so wrong–I’m “being gentle” with myself with as much patience as I can muster. I text Dr. Liz, one of Dr. T’s P.A.s, and staunch advocate of my discharge, Friday night:
“To be home with my mom and the kitties today was the greatest gift you could’ve given me. We sat and talked, we walked the hallways, she knitted with Sebrina asleep against her leg, me in bed a few feet away. I walked to the lobby with her and hugged her goodbye. Thank you.”
I miss her fiercely, Mom, sure I tripped a wire at our parting, and can expect another tumble down the well. But, no. I play catch up on Oprah and Deepak’s latest meditation journey, an on-line class to “awaken my inner goddess,” (I’m a single woman in her 40s, after all), sleep, and savor welcoming kitties, our view, the sun seeping in and silence.
Yes, I’m back at the starting line. No one tells me I’ll lose all strength and stamina with a sliver of lung, but there it is. Gone are five minute jogs on the rebounder, up to a half hour most days. I bounce a minute several times a day, holding breasts and bandages like a lover, unaccustomed to the burning calves of a beginner. A post-op back pain digs in its heels as I wait for my lung to collapse, not knowing if I’ll recognize it.
Your twice-accused junkie leaves the hospital without the proffered Percocet script. It’s no match for the spreading molten lava under my chest while there. A searing burn, like branding cattle, leaves me cradling my left breast much of the day. Days. It’s the tube, damnable tube, snaked into my chest during surgery, causing gasps at sizzling flesh. Dr. Liz squints her eyes before removing it, warning me it will be uncomfortable, before I take a sorry deep breath.
It sounds like the squishy, Ethel Merman “Ta da!” of the baby alien from that guy’s gut as she yanks it out, but no pain. Then. Now, yes. The chronic shortness of breath is gone, though.
I just have to learn to breathe again.