(Featured the original “Crohn’s End” blog: Daniel’s stay in the hospital during his recovery from an emergency surgery due to a ruptured intestine.)
There were no tubes dangling from me. There was no more “partner.” The next shift nurse would walk in and ask “where is your partner?” She’d be referring to the rack of IV fluids and monitors that was pretty much keeping me alive for the last week.
I hated those things. I felt so much better after having had a meal and walking down the halls without my partner. Dr. Miller told me I could probably leave soon. He took a look at my belly wound and pointed out how the red markings that replaced the yellowish color was granular tissue. I was healing pure, clean, and simple.
Most of the previous indications were that I was going to be there 2 weeks or longer. There was the possibility of infection and need for additional surgery. However, a doctor should wonder when a patient is starting to do their own dressing changes what other steps in the healing process they might be taking into their healing process.
I walked more than normal. I would not sit still and suffer. I would stand, stretch, brush my teeth, shave, scrub myself, work on the website, nap regularly, write, and try to study (this was more impossible than standing). Everything in my body was commanding me to keep going, to not be passive, and to be grateful for what I could do instead of focusing on whatever was holding me back.
I did not have a set schedule. I saw friends and family. My parents came to visit me the most. My father would show up in the room each morning looking haggard but charmed to see me. He was usually sipping on some mocha-like thing that I made me drool. He helped keep my head in the game. He was my coach. He urged me to play defense against my doctors and to keep them on their toes by actually asking them questions. Francoise was a continual force of intellectual inspiration, in subjects other than just French (which is mostly what she teaches me).
Darren and Ginny (my parents-in-law) reminded me to sustain my joy and to not lose hope during my hospital stay. Parker came by and told me that there are always worse things. I pointed at his missing leg, and he said “that’s nothing.” Bryson stepped into my room with his beaming smile and encouraged me to think forward into a different time and place. Curtis and Treva sat beside me and basically let me vent. Heather welcomed my tears. Evan welcomed me to think about things other than my lousy condition.
While on the phone with my brothers and sisters I remembered how connected we truly are and what a magical force our connectedness provides.
My wife was with me during the first couple of days of my stay. She had plans to go to San Diego to see our brother-in-law (of sorts) graduate from college. She didn’t want to leave me. I told her that she should go and that there was nothing for her in this hospital room other than the man who would be exiting it as soon as possible. She understood completely and realized there was more for her in San Diego during my time within the burning infernos of healing.
I can’t say enough good things about all of my nurses. I’m amazed with the level of McKenzie Willamette’s staff. Even the Lane Community College interns were brilliant! I won’t list all of their names here, but these are quality people who each brought personality and compassionate care to the table.
What can I say about my surgeon? Dr. Miller could do what he does in his sleep. I know that sounds scary but the guy is super intelligent and sometimes difficult to understand. Kinda like the body. You know? It’s pretty super intelligent and difficult to understand. Anyway.
Last person needing mention is Dave, from the campus newspaper. He’s a photographer and was doing a multimedia piece on the campus newspaper website about me and this site. I was basically able to make a new friend who ended up being the person who gave me a ride home after I was sewn up.
I could continue on, but I’m not sure about what. This is more of a journal entry anyway. If you came this far, then I’m proud of you. I love you and thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and whatever other strange voodoo you do within those secret chambers of your mind.