Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

Only one day after my surgery I ask to get up and get into a chair. I am able to do it, but it is a complicated process with the numerous places I have tubing coming out of my body. I am determined; I learned my lesson from my last prolonged hospital stay. The sooner you are up and about the better things go and the sooner you can leave. I make it to the chair and am resting when Dr. Hafez stops by to see me. He asks how I am and I tell him I am thirsty, so thirsty and they won’t even allow me to have ice chips yet. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out two packs of gum. He offers me mint or cinnamon. I take mint and chew it. I will never forget his kindness.
I am also determined to take as little pain medication as possible. Narcotics cause constipation, which for me makes everything I am going through much, much worse. I have a phobia of pain medication, I still remember too well all the unsuccessful enemas and laxatives I was forced to take during my first hospital stay. The problem is that without pain medication, I won’t feel well enough to rehabilitate. I meet with the pain management team time and time again, they are trying to come up with a solution.
As impossible as it is to sleep in the hospital, the ICU is even worse. I become irritable and lash out at my mother, trying to make her feel bad for the brief time she has not been by my side. Even though I am in pain and in a bad mood, I am healing much more quickly than the doctors anticipated.

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