Waking up was like a distant dream. I was so drugged-up numb by the morphine, in shock by my reality, and in no way was I capable of much. I could tell you that if I could have, I would have walked right out of that hospital. I wanted to escape my reality. I felt like Jenny in that one scene in Forrest Gump when she prays to god to make her a bird so that she can fly far, far away. I too wanted to be a bird, and so badly did I want to fly far, far away. It obviously didn’t happen. I was trapped and forced to face the truth. I was going to need some help to do absolutely everything I was once capable of doing by myself. That truth was difficult to face. Needing help from others was not an easy reality to accept, especially when in my own mind I was so sure I could still do it.
Borrowed from Ranta Sara Rez
Doctor Mark Sinclair came in the next day with a teddy bear and carrying his doctor-type clipboard. He asked me once again to move my toes, and said that everything looked great. He then said, “You know you tried to stand up when we were stitching you up,” and somewhere in a distant memory, I remember the hands that pushed me down. Incredible isn’t it? I was about to walk out during surgery. Thankful I only remember the hands pushing me down and nothing else. Right before he walked out he also mentioned that my physical therapist would be there in a few hours to help me get out of bed.
It was not long after that I had a nurse and a physical therapist come into my room. They were both geared-up and ready to help me stand. At that point I was lying down face up, with a few pillows supporting my right side. My mom removed the pillows, as the nurse pushed me onto my side, and then the physical therapist slowly lifted me to the center, so that I was seated on the edge of the bed. Sounds like a smooth enough process, doesn’t it? It wasn’t. Every movement caused extremely sharp pain, and I just wanted to hold my breath and not feel it. The therapist had me sit there for a while, and that too was extremely painful. There was so much pressure on my spine and my hips that I felt unsure of whether or not my stitches would resist. After a few minutes of sitting there, the nurse came on my left side and the therapist on the right side, they grabbed me under the arm to support me while I stood up. I held on to the shoulder of the physical therapist while the nurse gave me my walker. When I stood up I was taller, I was stiff, and I was immobilized. I couldn’t move too much, but I was so happy to be standing, and yet in so much discomfort. I decided I wanted to walk all way to the end of the hall way, and when I was done I felt like I had ran a marathon. I was so tried and in so much pain, but some how it was all worth it. I was moving and I was now on my way to recovery.
My happiness of success faded quickly with the arrival of some unexpected visitors.My father was one of sixteen children. Most of my aunts and uncles are people I don’t know with the exception of a few great ones, most have evaded being part of my life, and part of my family’s life. So when the time came to visit me in the hospital, I truly wished they hadn’t. I didn’t want people that were not part of my life to see me in the condition that I was in. But of course, they came. The herd of them walked-in, and all I can think of was how do I get them to leave? I was angry that, after so many years, they showed up in my life then. I couldn’t do anything else, I just cried, and asked someone to take them away. I don’t know who it was who kicked them out; I was too drugged-up to remember. I think about now, and I am not sure I would do anything different. They were never part of my life, they never made me feel as though they considered me as one of their nieces, and because of that, they didn’t deserve to be part of my life.
The days at the hospital are all faded together, I am not too sure in what sequence it all happened but I do remember that the experience was enough to make me want to hide from my reality, from the pain, and from the fact that I needed help to do just about everything. I was disabled, I was weak, and I was humblized. To make matters much worse, my monthly visitor came during my time at the hospital. So I was no longer just in pain from my surgery, I was now physically discomforted by the fact that I had my period, and all I wished I could do was escape.