So the gallbladder is gone. To say its removal was a bit more intense than expected would be an understatement, although I am incredibly grateful that Bex went through all the wacky stuff so I didn't have to. When my primary care physician first suggested the surgery, she said I'd go in on a Friday and be back at work on Monday, so I figured ... three days of badness, then normal life. No worries.
This is not how it worked out.
Now, don't panic. I'm fine. It just wasn't the walk in the park I thought it would be.
So Patrick picks me up on Thursday morning. There is truly no better way to go to the hospital on a warm summer day than in a convertible Mustang. Seriously ... it was a great trip. We walk in and are practically whisked away to my little private room. We sit and talk and get caught up for several hours ... they're running behind. No big deal, Patrick's mom will come later and drive me home if need be.
Eventually, it's time to head to the OR. I'm a little petrified, and then the drugs start coming. Oh, blissful narcotics, how lovely you are. I left the room around 2:30, and was back by 4. By 5, they were ready for me to leave. Ma Farbo would drive me to my dad's house, because Doctor didn't want me alone overnight. Doc also didn't want me driving for a week. This was news to me, since I'd been planning to be back at work on Monday. Aging divorcee learns new skills.
I get to Dad's and can barely move at more than a slow shuffle. I think Dad thought I was falling apart. He and Kathie were incredibly sweet to me, Kathie running off to fill my prescription for painkillers and Dad fixing me ice cream. The man truly knows his daughter! I was in bed by 9:30.
And up about every half hour. Damn, they must've pumped me full of fluids at the hospital, because I could not stop with the peeing.
Friday morning I woke up and had breakfast with Dad, Kathie and Mike. I played tough, but I felt like doody. I sat, read magazines, tried not to fall asleep, and waited for Eric to pick me up. Finally I couldn't stand myself anymore and took a shower. It was good to be clean.
Eric arrived and I was on my way, after hugs from Dad and air-kisses from Kathie. When we finally got to Chez Mags, it took forever to get me up the stairs. Lord, everything hurt. Eventually, I made it, and headed straight for bed. Eric went shopping, made me snacks and dinner and watched TV with me and let me nap. By far, this was the toughest day. I was not one with my noggin, what with the Vicodin being more powerful than my own logic. I would start talking and then completely forget why. Getting up from bed hurt. Sitting on the couch hurt. Talking louder than a whisper hurt. And my poor friend stayed until midnight, until he was sure I was out of the woods.
Saturday morning, I woke up with only a little pain, and a strong sense of my head on my shoulders. This was new. So I only took Extra-Strength Tylenol and got through the entire day that way. It was wonderful to feel one with my own thoughts again! There were moments on Friday when I wasn't sure I would ever get my brain back. Anyhoo, I was visited by Di bearing food (and lots of it) and Shakespeare bearing my errands from Target, and it turned out to be a pretty stellar day. Nap a little, eat a little, think a little, heal a lot.
Sunday was more of the same. A visit from Cute Brian followed by Linda from the Gym made for zero boredom and a ton of happiness. Brian brought waffles (who can resist a boy who brings waffles?) and Linda showered me with delicious and beautiful things, including sunflowers and Trader Joe's Sea Salt Brownies. Seriously, do not knock them until you try them; they are ambrosia.
And today I've been on my own. Curled up watching television, doing a little writing, doing a little knitting, and doing a lot of napping. It's been a good day, and I've been thinking about something Eric said to me at one of those moments when, evidently, my head was working on Friday. "This is it," he said. "This is the first big thing post-Christopher. The thing that makes you realize that you're not alone. The thing that makes you realize you don't need him to make it through." And he's right. Throughout all of this craziness, I have not for one moment felt alone. Whether it was a visit or a phone call or a Facebook comment or a happy thought you've sent my way, I know you're out there, loving me. I know I'm not alone. In fact, I'm so much better than simply not alone; I am full of life and love and people who just won't let me forget that.
So even though for the moment I have boo-boos on my belly (and blisters surrounding them because I'm pretty much allergic to everything in the world) and am missing an organ, I'm still whole, complete and perfect, just as I am. In no small part because you're along for the ride.