Friday, September 17, 2010

Thanks for the Laugh, King James

At the end of a long slog through day surgery for a superpubic catheter on Thursday, my bro-in-law found some humor that made all of us howl with laughter. His phone has an app that randomly generates a scripture of the day and on this day it was:
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water John 7:38
 Who knew? My new appendage has a scriptural application. So far, this is the only thing I have found humor in during this whole process. The surgery itself was blessedly a few blank hours. I remember wondering 'what is the white goop in the syringe that the anesthesiologist was adding to my IV line' and then waking up in the recovery room. My doc told me that full or partial anesthesia was my choice. I knew that I didn't want to be awake for any part of this. On days when the nerve pain is bad, I wish that I could have a dose of that milky goop and wake up blissfully unaware hours later. 
I was surprised by how much pain I was in by Thursday evening. It felt like a red-hot poker was jabbing into my belly every time I moved. The home health nurse assured me this was normal (why don't they explain this ahead of time?) I for one, prefer to know the cold hard reality rather than be surprised. I am getting better hour by hour. As long as I don't bend at the waist or stretch past a certain point or pick up my 8lb dog; the pain is more a dull ache. 
As a chronic pain veteran, there is pain I can tolerate and then there is pain that must be responded to. The electric icicles that randomly stab my left leg, arm, face and head, and lately my right thigh as well, can't be ignored. These jabs suck all the light from the room and reduce my focus to a square inch of my anatomy. I gasp, I cry, I fold up like a fortune cookie. I don't think I could live if this type of pain came much more frequently.
So, the next chapter opens with the subheading, 'life with a belly cath.' I haven't lived with it long enough to have an opinion. Right now it doesn't seem real that part of my anatomy is running on a new track. I hope that once I work through the initial struggles of adjusting to this new normal; it will be just that: Normal

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