My dear friend, Morgan took on the most important task of coordinating my beautiful inner circle of friends so their care would be non stop for the entire first week. No easy task as gathering women in three hour shifts and food delivery is not as simple as one may have thought as she sifted through the real offers to help and the lighter versions of the offers.
When anyone goes in for surgery besides the fear of infections and MRSA (a staff infection that lots of people get by being in the hospital, how ironic) there is the perpetual worry of constipation. I’m not talking about a missing a day kind of constipation that happens to us every once in a while. I’m talking about anesthesia and morphine induced constipation. Serious constipation that can cause you a return to the hospital, that causes a headache so intense you think you are going to have to call the rescue to the emergency room.
The last time I had surgery, this happened to me and it was something I was really conscious of this time around. Apparently my plastic surgeon with his vast experience was on to this as a likely possibility and prescribed stool softeners for seven days prior to surgery. I don’t take anything usually, but decided that since this wasn’t his first rodeo, I’d follow his recommendations.
My veteran nurse friend, Kathy, was on DAY THREE duty which in some ways was my real DAY ONE, but for the sake of continuity it must be neat and orderly you must know this about me by now. She brought over her version of relief, four ducolax tablets and a shot of miralax, a guarantee bowel movement, right? I had already eaten about seven prunes and nothing was happening. I could feel the start of that pulse headache and was starting to panic. I could hear the nurse from the day before trying to ease my fears by reminding me that I hadn’t really eaten that much of the yummy hospital food so there wasn’t much there. This kind of gave me some comfort, but I simply couldn’t relax until this was neatly checked off my stupid list because free pass DAY THREE, grilled cheese sandwiches, mac and cheese and grape nut pudding was finding its way into my diet at the speed of light.
DAY THREE was a huge adjustment as I loved being home, loved my house, Kath called it the honeymoon phase of hospital return. I napped on and off and as my stomach seemed to be expanding I tried to stop obsessing which we all know is not helpful to my plight (neither is all the cheese and white bread, I know) Kathy stayed with me all day until my boyfriend returned. I don’t have much memory of this day other than the comfort of great care and absolute surrender that all would be well and I would get better slowly, but surely.
I slept pretty well that night albeit on my back with a protruding stomach that could have put me in a freak show but I just kept surrendering knowing that this too shall pass, I had already gotten through DAY ONE- THREE. I knew that each day would be easier and easier, after all the delightful care of female love, boundless love from total strangers because of my writing so openly and the sanctuary of my home was all a winning combination of healing powers.
Wonder Women powers activated.
Alayne and Kathy. Morgan and Alayne (both photos way before surgery)