Back Pain, body, confusion, desperate need, Family, fear, Frida Kahlo, Health, life, Medicine, morphine, Orthopedic surgery, Pain, rheum, room, sand paper, Scoliosis, scoliosis pain, scoliosis surgery, shivers, spine, Surgery, water
As I slowly regained consciousness, the smell of medicine, of sickness, of a hospital transpired throughout my senses. I could barely open my eyes they were stuck together by the rheum gathered in each corner. I began to blink, to regain the lost moisture in each eye. My mouth was also dry, it felt like sand paper, and tasted of sore medicine, there was no moisture, I was parched and in desperate need of water. I wanted to stand, I needed to get out of where I was, I needed to find water. But I couldn’t move, I was trapped to the bed, stuck in my place by the heaviness of my body, by the foreignness of my new form. Should I cry? I couldn’t, I lacked the energy to do so. I couldn’t think, what had happened? Why couldn’t I move?
My confusion was interrupted by the sound of the nurse and the doctor approaching. The doctor looked at me and asked, “Can you move your feet?” I didn’t respond I just wiggled my toes for him. “ It looks great,” he gave me a smile, and I am not sure weather he stayed or left, but soon after the nurse said, “ We are waiting for your room, it’s currently being cleaned. Can I get you anything in the mean time?” I asked for some water, and my mama. She came back with ice chips, and said that I could see my family as soon as the room was ready. I grabbed the cup of ice from her, as if I hadn’t had water in days. The extremity of my thirst led to me downing the cup of ice, enjoying each chip as it moisturized my body, and allowed me to feel alive again. It was really all to no avail, because soon after it all came right back up. Vomiting water right after surgery felt like death. The pain left my entire body in shivers, I had never experienced anything like it, and I didn’t want to go through it again. Clenching my thirst was not worth the effort I had to make to vomit, and definitely not worth the pain it left me in. To relieve the discomfort I was in, I was given morphine, and it truly did make every so much better.
I woke up in my room, to my entire family staring at me. They looked worried, concerned, as if they really had no idea what to expect. In fact, I didn’t either. I had two IV’s in one hand, and one in my neck. I had catheter, and a morphine button, an endless supply of “happy medicine,” given to me in small doses every 15 minutes. I must say that I was in shock. Somehow I never really considered the fact that the new addition to my spine would make me feel so much heavier and so stiff. I felt as though I had bricks on top of me and a piece of wood strapped to my back. My entire body was foreign, I did not know how to move in my new shape, any slight adjustments would cause trickling pain throughout my back.
It was then that I realized that I had given up my ability to move, to be flexible, for a smaller curve and for life. The exchange was something I hadn’t considered until that point.