The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

The Healing Begins

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At last! I’m now in the home stretch. The surgery was this past Friday (the 2nd) and I’m now home and in the recovery stages. My body being a little worn for wear, I realize it will take several weeks before I’m actually ‘rough and ready’ to go. But I’m at least home, with comfortable surroundings and a loving hubby.

Thursday (Oct 1st) was long but not as frustrating as I’d thought. Being the ‘prep’ day, I could only drink clear liquids and forego any food. I kept telling myself that this soon would pass and envisioned future meals during the recovery process. Yes, I was thinking and dreaming of food, but then again, anyone would when denied that very thing. Plus as you sit and watch television every advertisement becomes one about food – a burger chain, a steakhouse ad, a supermarket ad and so on. It’s like they knew what you were going through and were determined to taunt you! But I made it through unscathed.

Friday morning Nat and I arrived at St. Joseph’s at the alloted time. A little confusing at the beginning – the check-in area had been changed – but we found our way and I was finally being prepped for the surgery. With me being in surgery for over an hour and a half, Nat would have to fend for himself. He managed to get some lunch and found a newspaper to read while he waited in the surgical waiting room for the Doctor to advise him of how things went. Being told that the surgery would probably be about an hour and a half, Nat began to worry somewhat when two hours had now past. Dr. Anvari finally walked into the room and advised him that it was a difficult procedure – mega scar tissue from previous operations – but that it was completed. The polyp was removed and there appeared to be no complications.

While Nat was waiting, I was being wheeled into the operating room and soon discovered it’s a small world. As the OR nurse greeted me and began to ask her usual questions – do you know what you’re having done, etc. – we struck up a conversation as the Anesthesist prepped me. It soon became apparent that he was the husband of the doctor at West Lincoln who originally discovered this polyp and that they were also acquaintances of my family GP. As Dr. Anvari walked into the room and joined in the conversation, I immediately felt at ease.

With the surgery finally over the only thing on my mind was sleep. But alas, that wasn’t going to be the case. As with all things ‘hospital’ one never gets any sleep when in such an institution. Checking for your vitals every 4 hours is a requisite whether it’s day or night. What sleep I managed to sneak in was short and restless. Having a high tolerance to pain, I was managing pretty good without using the pain pump, although I did push that little green button a couple of times. No use feeling pain if you don’t gotta!! So Friday night dragged on but with daylight hitting my room I awoke groggy, tired, achy and stiff, but knew this whole affair would soon be over. It was just a matter of time and healing, and those two things I can manage.

Saturday morning as my body began to finally adjust to waking up, the nurse helped me up out of bed to get washed up and ready for the day. Now pumped with pain killers and the like my head was feeling relatively clear – albeit some family members may argue the ‘clear’ bit – but I was getting a little bored. With a liquid lunch under my belt, I was ready for the afternoon and was ever so glad to finally see Nat’s face as he walked into the room. He soon brought me up-to-date with the events of yesterday and I could see the relief in his eyes. Despite the guilt about having any of my sisters take time out of their busy schedules to come to Hamilton to visit me, I was still glad to see Michele show up. After sending Nat home for his supper, Michele and I got caught up on office gossip and I gave her the details of my operation as I knew them. Having worked for a medical malpractice lawyer Michele has a greater understanding of medical procedures and has always been fascinated by what the human body can endure and the advancement of medical science. Her company, sense of humour and understanding is always welcomed.

With Sunday morning drawing nigh, I saw pain management teams, nurses and Dr. Anvari’s surgical team all appear at one time or another. Being advised that I could go home if I could eat a lunch, my spirits were lifted and I wanted to holler, “bring on the food, baby”, but I withheld my excitement telling myself to calm down, take it easy and don’t get too excited. What the head thinks, the body can soon deflate! When lunch finally arrived, strained pea soup, vanilla pudding, cranberry juice and coffee – all things I abhor – I was determined not to get nauseous. My nurse soon brought me some toast and jam and a fruit cup and with that I was good to go. Gail and Bonnie arrived just after 2:00 pm and was naturally surprised at the news. We called Nat (who was well on his way to Hamilton by then), told him to turn around (he was in St. Catharines) and that Gail and Bonnie would be more than pleased to drive me home.

Being home is the one place I’m glad to be. Despite the fact that I look and feel as if I’ve been walked over by a soccer team wearing their cleats, I’m at least healing at home and am able to finally get some sleep. Now if I could just switch from side to side without moaning and groaning in the middle of the night, life would be relatively good. But the healing process takes time and, as this whole affair is somewhat behind me now, I’m willing to be patient and let time heal all wounds – along with a good meal!!

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Author: Twila

Born and raised in a small town in Ontario, Canada, with 5 sisters and a brother. Now retired, my husband and I travel, play golf and am slowly renovating our new (old) home. After my kidney transplant in 1999, we've learned to enjoy life to the fullest. Nat and I have driven across Canada, taken an Alaskan cruise and drove home via the Northern United States. We've also been to Mexico, the Caribbean, the East Coast of Canada and Cape Breton. We've done the "Snowbird" thing, having lived in Destin, Florida for a couple of months of the year. In 2007 we changed our travel plans in order to move into and renovate our new "old" home, but hope to someday get back on the road again. We also love returning to Scotland (Nat's origin of birth) to visit his family and tour the Highlands and surrounding Isles.

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