You know those Funniest Home Videos, the kind that never win, that feature a douchebag trying to skateboard down a railing and ends up rupturing a testicle? Through no fault of my driver, the ride to the B&B felt like that. Last we checked in, I was ousted from the hospital like so much riff-raff even though I was under medical orders not to travel and in need of constant care. I’m not sure why I didn’t pick up on this before, but there seems to be a little oopsie in an otherwise flawless treatment plan. Be that as it may, it was a long ride once off the interstate and navigating winding bumpy roads. My poor aunt was so upset every time we hit a bump that I didn’t feel right letting loose the blood curdling screams building in the back of my throat.
We arrived after dark at the Fox and Hound, an absolutely charming place, and the innkeeper who checked me in was gentleman enough to lug my ginormous bag up the steep narrow staircase. I was half hoping he’d lug my sore ass up there as well, but I think he decided I was a two-man lift after eyeing my generous frame. I really need to lose a few pounds if I ever want to be lifted like Baby in ‘Dirty Dancing’. The room was very lovely with a nice bed, little sitting area by the bay windows, and some old timey looking furniture. I could not imagine a better place to spend a romantic fall weekend, or a worse place to lurch around bleeding everywhere. As I could not get out of bed without executing a cumbersome set of maneuvers meant for someone of much greater flexibility, my mom turned over a trash can for me to use as a bedside table and hand grip. They left me alone to get me some groceries and as I lay there taking in my environs, I decided I was well and truly fucked.
Here’s the deal. Nearly all the literature and advice on GRS talks about ‘you and your companion’ in regards to the post surgery recovery. I simply couldn’t wrap my head around the notion of asking anyone to take 2 precious weeks out of their life and sit with a cranky convalescent. Besides, I am Mighty Michelle and need none of this “help” they so speak of. Understanding I was going to be stuck in this second floor room, barely able to move, and in considerable pain somehow managed to find the chink in my armor. My best effort to prop myself up with pillows left my chin poking into my breast. It’s not as comfortable as it sounds. I kept on a brave face while they put away my supplies, but broke into tears when they were saying their goodnights to head back to the hotel near the hospital.
“What’s wrong?” Nothing. Just a long day. Very sore and all that. Really, I’m… ok….sniff. Ugh, this was so not me, but I was just a little freaked out. What if I couldn’t get out of bed? What if I started bleeding uncontrollably? What if a fire started and finally did away with this rickety old place and the New Hope fire department got a look and me and decided to let nature take its course? Every time I thought of one of these things, my little private pity-party kicked into high gear and the water works restarted. Get a grip on it chica. That’s what I call myself when trying to be mentally tough. Just blame it on the pain meds. They probably would have stayed, but both of them looked bone tired so I managed to put on a chipper face and sent them off to get some sleep. The rest of the night was less fun.
In the wee hours of the morning I had to pee. Getting out of bed, I dumped over my ‘waste basket turned night stand’ along with the mostly full open Ensure sitting atop it. I cleaned up best I could with my foot and a wad of paper towels I threw down. I really didn’t want to get hollered at by the innkeeper, and I for sure didn’t want anyone thinking the chocolate drink was something else. I ambled into the bathroom feeling the unholy fire down below and an angry thunderstorm in my tummy. I won’t go into details, but it was unpleasant. Next thing I knew, part of my surgical packing was on the bathroom floor after falling from between my legs and bouncing off the toilet seat. I had no clue what was really going on down there, so I didn’t know if this was critical stuff or not, but didn’t want to put it back after it was dropped wet side down. I freely admit I turned into a sniveling sobbing mess as I tried to approximate the shape of the packing out of two maxi-pads and stuffed it in where I thought it should go. It was a long night of broken sleep, anguished trips to the bathroom, and many snotty tears.
In the morning, things looked a little bit brighter, mainly because the sun was coming through the window. The innkeeper was savvy enough to understand I had no intention of trying to make it down the stairs to sample their award winning breakfast. I’m also sure they preferred I keep my bloody, smelly self away from the guests who were there for more jaunty reasons, and I can’t blame them. They brought me up a lovely frittata, crisp bacon, toast, a fruit cup and hot tea. Unfortunately I had to eat standing up because I couldn’t figure out how to get under the service tray without dumping everything on the bed. Still though, it was mighty sweet. Every outlook is brighter better with bacon.
Less sweet was the fact that my catheter seemed to have sprung a leak. Though most medical catheters go to a bag that gets conveniently dumped from time to time, this one consisted of a taupe hose emerging from my bandaged loins and capped by a triangular shaped plug. Draining it required standing above the toilet, freeing the plug, waiting for the last few drops to lazily drip out, shaking, then tucking it back in. This all seemed so familiar but I simply couldn’t place it. Anyway, while the ironically flesh colored hose was draining, I couldn’t help but notice that a dampness was creeping down my leg. Just great; like I didn’t feel disgusting enough already. I called Dr. McGinn who impressively picked up on the second ring. Apparently this was common and I should just pee more often. I think I caught her eating dinner.
The best and worst part of this day was a visit from my spouse, son, and mother in law. For a lovely afternoon and evening, I felt loved and embraced. They stocked me up with even more goodies, and I got a wonderful hour alone with my son, who chose to spend the time with Maddy by playing 926 consecutive games of ‘rock-paper-scissors’. I never felt so happy. The bad part, however, was that they had just driven in from Buffalo for the day and were returning home in the morning leaving me alone in my exile for whole additional week. I really should have thought this through a little better.
In our next thrilling episode: The bandages come off, dilation initiation, and Frankenpussy.