Journal prompt: Have you ever been hospitalized or had surgery? What were the circumstances?
My first surgery occurred 8 months after I was married. We had struggled with “relations” and we finally discovered the reason. I had a tennis-ball sized cyst in my most private of areas. Thank goodness it was benign and it was removed in an out-patient surgery. I was sore for awhile, but the recovery wasn’t too bad.
My next surgery occurred in 2005 – three weeks after my Bethie was born. JJ, Beth and I were living with Joey’s parents, while he worked away from home. Joey had been able to spend a week with us after Beth was born, but had gone back to work. We had already blessed Beth in church and we were just getting into a routine. I remember nursing Beth and getting both kids to sleep at about midnight. I had started not feeling really well and was up most of the night. The pain got worse and worse and I started throwing up. I thought for sure I had some kind of flu. When it was morning I took JJ upstairs and asked my mother-in-law if she could watch him for the day. Then I spent the rest of the day hovering in pain between the bedroom and the bathroom. I was definitely grateful that Beth was a newborn and just slept most of the time. I did nurse her when she needed it. Finally about 6pm, Joey’s mom came downstairs and said that she thought it might be my appendix. I couldn’t believe it because I had always heard that with the appendix, it hurt on the right side. I hurt clear across my stomach and back. But the pain was so bad that I didn’t complain when she hauled me and the kids into her car to head into town to the hospital. In the ER, I finally found relief when they ushered in pain meds into an iv line. After lots of tests, they confirmed my mother-in-law’s suspicions – that my appendix needed to come out. I sent the kids home for the night with my mother-in-law and was alone in the hospital. As I waited for surgery (an accident came in and they had to delay my surgery for several hours) – waves of emotion swept over me. I felt bad that I was leaving the kids with my mother-in-law alone and that she was going to have to deal with a newborn who wouldn’t take a bottle. I felt scared about having surgery and just felt so alone. I talked to Joey on the phone and even though he wanted him there terribly – I felt like he should stay at work. I was just so grateful that I was finally not feeling the pain – thanks to the meds. But I was tired and emotional and I was sore from not being able to nurse. FINALLY, I was taken into surgery. Everything went well and I woke up the following morning to another room and my husband waiting for me. He had disregarded my worries and came anyway. I was so grateful. I guess I had other visitors (my cousin and his family) when I was still coming out of anesthesia but I don’t remember it. I guess I was pretty silly under the meds and said some pretty funny stuff (none of which I remember). My parents ended up visiting as well. The worst part was not being able to nurse and not seeing my kids. I did pump and that helped. I remember having an awful nurse. My arm started hurting so badly and it turned out that the iv had gotten plugged. They had to move the iv to the other side and it took the nurse several tries before finally getting it in. I coudn’t even move my arm for awhile after that. It was such a relief to finally leave the hospital and come home to my children. My amazing mother-in-law had taken such good care of them – but my little baby was very happy to finally get to nurse. I actually was able to bounce back pretty fast and life went on.
My next and hopefully my last surgery occurred the week before Thanksgiving in 2011. I started having troubles a couple of months before that. I wasn’t digesting food well and it didn’t matter what I ate – I was always in pain. I lost about 20 pounds (which wasn’t a bad thing) – when Joey finally got me to go to the doctor. After several testing throughout a couple of weeks – they decided that my gallbladder had to come out. It was an easier surgery – I was in and out within a few hours, but boy was the recovery painful. I was sore for a few weeks. Life without a gallbladder has its ups and downs, but its nice to know that 2 of the organs that our body does not necessarily need are gone and I won’t have to go through that again!
My 2 other hospitalizations were the birth of my children.
Each Tuesday, I am going to be offering prompts or ideas. If you don’t write in your journal regularly – I am going to encourage you to write just ONCE A WEEK and answer the question/idea that I give on Tuesdays. These ideas hopefully will spark a memory and you will be able to capture that in what you write/record so that it can be left for your children/grandchildren/family/friends. Give as much detail as you can when answering.
Will you do this for me? Will you do this for your families? You can write it down in a journal, you can type it up on a computer or journaling software, you can take a recorder and talk, you can videotape your answers, you can even scrap a page with the journaling. It doesn’t matter how you do this – it’s just important that you do it. The memories, the dates, the information is the only real thing we can leave to our families when we are gone.