“The most precious document in the world is a clean bill of health.” — Ashleigh Brilliant
I just got out of the hospital, where I spent most of last week. It’s ironic that last week’s post was about not feeling sorry for oneself, because that pre-scheduled post published on a day when I was feeling quite sorry for myself, curled up in misery in a hospital bed wondering what was wrong with me.
It turns out that I had an abdominal abscess, secondary to diverticulitis. They gave me medication to control the pain as IV antibiotics addressed the abscess, but I was not allowed anything to eat or drink all week until the last day, when I was allowed clear fluids for 24 hours before they sent me home. I’m a person who drinks fluids all day long (water, or my precious tea) so going without anything at all was like torture. Sometimes a sympathetic nurse would bring me ice chips, and I cheated a good bit in that way, but it still was hard.
This was the first time ever that I have been a hospital patient, and I’m not very good at it. Other hospital procedures, even my appendectomy, saw me happily on my way home in a day. Not so this past week. I had been admitted from the ER, so I had not brought anything with me other than my phone and Kindle Fire. I didn’t have any of the cozy comforts I might have packed for a scheduled stay. I didn’t know any of the doctors and would not have chosen them myself, but an ER admission brings no choice about anything, as I discovered. The nurses were more agreeable and sympathetic, but they can only do so much.
Perhaps the most painful part was that the hospital setting triggered many sad and emotional memories of Jeff’s long battle with cancer and the weeks we spent together in a hospital room. I thought again and again of all he had suffered, and how bravely he endured it all. I was a total wimp in comparison. Being there alone, in pain and unable to eat or drink, was almost unbearable.
My friend Mary Ann had to cancel her planned trip to see me. This is the 20th year of our friendship, and we have not seen each other for 15 of those 20 years, so that cancellation was part of the crushing sadness of the week. I appreciate my friend Amy for coming by to see me several times and bringing the lovely flowers pictured above.
I’m doing much better now, but I have a lot to digest — or more accurately, NOT to digest — as I face more appointments and a restricted diet. It seems I’ll be giving up many of my favorite foods. For all who have left comments, I apologize for my delay in responding and I hope you have not felt ignored or disregarded. I’ll get to the comments as soon as I can. I’m moving pretty slowly and trying to catch up with all that accumulated while I was out of commission. Thanks for your patience and understanding.
If you are facing illness of any kind, you have my sympathy and more understanding than I could have offered before. If you are in good health, treasure it! It’s a precious gift that we tend to take for granted until it vanishes.