The Odyssey & Jello Poop – Part 7

There was significance to this day, over and above the fact that it was now I and not Harry Potter who would be forever named “The Boy who Lived”…

I was doing well-ish. The wound had mostly stopped bleeding, the heart was mellowing out, most of my tubes and wires had been disconnected, I was able to walk without support. It was time for me to graduate. They informed me I would be moving to the Honeymoon Suite. Much like all the other times I was paroled, I gathered my meager belongings and got ready to be set free, to the confines of my own room. Mostly, because I was doing well, but partly because a whole new crop of people were coming up from surgery and the step down room was about to get all busy up in there….

I couldn’t be party to that, I was a senior now in the Thoracic ward, it would be up to me to set an example for the freshmen coming up behind me – to help and guide them – to give back. Even though I didn’t have the benefit of a mentor during my recovery, I would be different – I would take someone under my wing and show them the ropes, help them navigate the choppy waters. I would help them climb the tough, rocky face of the mountain back to health or at least to where it didn’t hurt to exist… If I could help just one person then my struggle would not have been in vain.

I relished the satisfaction that would come knowing I had come through a difficult situation and now I could help lessen someone elses pain, for example I could teach them the Hum-Cough (Patent Pending), warn them to not alway believe everything the nurses tell them, to share and impart the knowledge and wisdom that comes with experience. I hung around while all the new patients were being brought in, looking for the right person to shine my light upon, it was 5 new people being brought in, none of them women. Just a bunch of old guys, well screw that, no one helped me… figure it out yourselves & good luck with the chest tube and catheter…. and I left for my suite.

One part that I spared you all was the whole Bowel movement issue. It’s one of the big, big gauges after a surgery – when you have your first movement, it’s a sign that everything is starting to work again and believe me, until you have it, it’s a very big topic of discussion amongst the nurses, doctors and physio people. You couldn’t go 3 steps without someone asking if you’d done it yet…. and hey, since we’re talking about poop, here’s a tip for everyone….

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There is a story that goes with the whole BM situation, and as close as we all are… I just can’t bring myself to share it with you, were I you, I would be thanking my own personal god for that little nugget of omission…. What I will say is that yes, eventually it happened but what was most interesting is what happens when the majority of your food intake has been Jello…. and I’ll leave you to it…..

My room was nice, it was quiet, it was………. lonely. After 6 days you get used to the talking, heaving, choking, coughing, spitting, machines and just general controlled chaos. The nurses right there, keeping you on schedule…. well, all that ends right then and there the minute you graduate, you get sent down to the haunted boiler-room and basically fend for yourself. Oh sure, every so often the dirty screws come by and check the cells are locked and throw some meds your way but you are startlingly left on your own… you even begin to miss those Bulgarian shot putters you had for nurses, at least you do the first time your new nurse comes by……

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…it gets worse, when in his husky, cigarette rasped voice he says, “I’m here for your sponge bath”……. it was the first time I cried in the hospital…..

OK maybe I’m embellishing slightly, but you are left very much alone and now you notice something, you start getting attended to by the student nurses, until now they had been pretty hands off, the only people dealing with you reeked of experience but now, whole different story. You were checked a few times a day, with meds being dropped off, vitals taken and so on, but no more physio, you were expected to start piloting your own ship, taking charge of getting back on your feet, asserting your independence.

Normally only in the step down room are you still wearing the heart monitors but I was special. So I still had the remote broadcast thing, so they could always stay on top of what my crazy ticker was doing. I’m happy to say that later in the evening, as I walked around for the first time, mine was not the highest, fastest heartbeat on the screen, I had been supplanted by a couple of chaps now in the step down. This pleased me, not that they were high but that I was somewhat lower. My rate was till beating double my normal, about 120 or 130 while gently, slowly walking around the 12th floor. At rest it would drop to right around 90-100. High, but livable.

I was still getting regular visits from all the medical teams, Surgical, Neurological, Cardiology and to that you could now add an Endocrinologist. Blood hell I was keeping half the hospital busy…. my walking was really improving and although getting out of bed in the morning was still very, very difficult, you stiffen up incredibly during the night – once up and moving it got better…. see here a pic of my earliest steps, true enough I still needed assistance, but I was up and mobile….

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Sorry, this lighting makes me look asian, ignore it…. Really that was it, pretty uneventful other than the move to the private room – we’re really close to the finish line now, 2 more sleeps, then I go home….and start my new life as the Bionic Man…..

Have a Great Day

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