After a week in the hospital, a week after some pretty major surgery, I have returned home.
While I do have some heavy duty pain medication in the storage locker, I have yet to avail myself of such things. My pain is manageable and nice to have.
Masking pain can lead one to over stress the body's inherent limitations as it works to heal itself. A little pain to remind you to slow down, watch where you put your feet and be more aware of your surroundings is a good thing.
Would I rather be pain free? Of course. The surgery was performed to alleviate a pain I get at least once a year. An occurrence which has been going on since the mid-90s. The normal bout lasts 3 to 5 days. The most recent lasted over a month. The knowledge that that particular affliction will (according to the odds makers) probably never recur is comforting.
I'll take some pain now to avoid more pain later.
I'm not going to go into any details of what the past week entailed, the suffering and the loneliness experienced. At least not right now. There are certain details I want to fade from memory. Other details need to coalesce to a point where I can make sense of them.
Having a morphine based pain reliever at your beck and call may help you sleep, even if somewhat fitfully, but the line between what is real and what is only in your head tends to blur from time to time.
I was having conversations with people who live hundreds of miles away. Those loved ones who only haunt my dreams also stopped by. The very real mental image of beholding the face of a loved one who no longer walks the earth is startling. Talking to them is very surreal.
And very heart rending.
Eventually you realize that it was all in your head, yet it blended seamlessly with the environment I was in.
There were times I pressed the button, not just for the pain, which was very real, but in vain hopes of reconnecting with my other worldly visitors.
I truly believe that there is a thin veil which separates us from the other side. Nothing which is lost is ever truly lost. Love does conquer all. But it takes time.
Scenes from a Garden...
Rose of Sharon - The national flower of Korea
Oddly enough, I kind of miss the hospital. My third roommate was a very nice fellow. His wife was also nice. We chatted quite a bit.
I also miss the hospital staff, the doctors, nurses and CNAs* were all very professional and yet caring at the same time.
I think it takes a special person to be a nurse. Mine were superb. The nurse will take your vitals, administer your meds and be your advocate with the doctors (at least mine did that).
The CNAs are the folks who come in the middle of the night to check on you, adjust your pillow and covers, maybe chat for a while if it's not too busy. Mine were truly angels of mercy and grace.
There are also the folks who bring your food, those who keep the place clean. Important cogs in the hospital machine. Mine were all very friendly and pleasant.
I miss them. I really do.
But it truly is good to be home. Anya and Sasha were overjoyed at my return.
So I sit here, slowly recovering and marveling at the miracle of modern medicine...
...watching the skies over my beloved New England...
As I ponder the infinite...
* A certified nursing assistant, or CNA, helps patients or clients with healthcare needs under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN) or a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).The individual who carries this title needs strong work ethic and ability, but issues of liability and legality prevent CNAs from performing certain procedures. (Source)