I went in for a surgery, the first major one. My wife was there through the operation. Checking in, holding my hand, comforting me through the process. I needed her company. It meant a lot to me.
The surgical team was reassuring that my procedure was, “common”. No unforeseen problems awaits me, under the steady knife of the surgeon, was the implication meant by the word, “common”.
As this was being explained to me, I was neither scared or worried. I’d come this far knowing, that the procedure was, in my estimation previously unnerving.
I anticipated this day would come and when it did, I was committed. My wife’s tears ran down her face, she was worried. My first experience of this kind was here, Joanna’s love for me was expressed in her fears.
I fell asleep. And, when I awoke, the surgery was completed. Properly medicated, I was feeling fine. Wheeled into the recovery room with Joanna at my side, the hard part had just begun. As the medication wore off, the pain assured me, I was living.
It was hard to breath. Amazingly, with abdominal surgery, the breathing muscles are interconnected. I was gasping for air, so I asked for more medication. Recovery, really means living with the strain of being familiar with temporary irritation.
In between bouts of medication caused by post-surgical agitation, I was asked to breath on my own. It was meant for my body’s restoration. Previously, I was attached to an oxygen tank which helped get air into me.
The nurse in charge made a point, that soon enough, I was to be taken off the breathing apparatus. Also, I needed to get out of bed and move around, for my own mending.
Walking was difficult, my steps were slow and deliberate. My breathing was more like gasps. I was reminded that we so often take the little things in life for granted. In my condition, inhalation was intermittent, getting a full breath of air felt definitely different.
The next morning after the post-surgery check up, I was released to go home. In my condition I felt like procrastinating.
At home I was comfortable on the big chair sitting upright, Hannah and Isaiah were happy to see daddy come home. They were warned by mom, “not to jump” around me. They’re in there jumping years, the oldest being three.
Hannah, was concerned for me and asked in her toddler language, what was wrong? I, making it easy said, “tummy hurts” and lifted my shirt to show her my surgical scars. “Oh”, she said, “Tummy hurts” was engraved into her mind.
I labored to walk around the first few days, trying to strengthen my condition. Every once in a while Hannah would come by and ask me, “tummy hurts?” And I’d say, “yes”. Whereby, she’d lift up my shirt to cautiously inspect my wounds. Satisfied, she’d say, “oh”, and walk off, somehow understanding my discomfort.
I decided right afterwards, to walk around the block. I asked Hannah to accompany me, on my healing promenade. Hannah, happily obliged with the word “walk?”, running to get her slippers.
With her shoes on, we ventured outside. Hannah at two and a half, her steps were more vigorous than mine. In my misery, I asked my daughter frequently to slow down. Her accompanying me, like my wife’s previously company, helped to fully restore me.
© Copyright 2013 Samuel De Lemos