Bed Rest

On May 25th I had back surgery. Since then I have been on bed rest and I have been waited on hand and foot by both my parents and my boyfriend. My parents came out here (Illinois) just for the surgery and to help with the recovery. They’ve been retired for several years now and own a motor home that they travel the country in along with my dog, Sadie.

My surgery, lumbar microdiscectomy, had been planned for months. And for those months leading up to the surgery, I was excited at the prospect of laying around all day and not having to work. My job had become more and more annoying during the days leading up to my surgery; we had no manager and two new hires who had no idea what they were doing. I work for a company that provides cell phone service for people, I don’t want to say which one for obvious reasons. So with the store crumbling to pieces around me, I longed for the surgery that not only would provide me with relief, but would allow me to rest and relax for the next two to three months.

The night before surgery was a little rough; I had not been nervous whatsoever about the procedure or anything. But something changed the night before surgery. Maybe it was the fact I had gone over a week without nicotine, or maybe I really was nervous finally. But I broke down. I was so scared to die. There was such a slim chance of me dying, but I am a blob of anxiety so of course my natural line of thought was death was an option. The next morning as we drive to the hospital, I was beginning to freak out. I could barely breathe, I could eat or drink anything, and the Chic Fil A I had the day before was coming back to haunt me. Upon arrving to the hospital, I took my anti-crazy pills that I take every day and walked in with my boyfriend.

After checking in and getting my IV, I was injected with some fantastic happy medicine and wheeled away. I was taken into the operating room where the last thing I remember was saying “damn, I am fucked up.” Next thing I know I’m waking up in a recovery room where I was told to stop cursing because of the old man next to me. I patiently waited my turn to get wheeled into a room. Oh I forgot to mention that I had to lee really bad. Well because of my back missing part of its spine, it was hard to do anything. They tried some weird lady urinal thing on me but I ended up peeling all over myself.

Anyways, once I was in a room I actually got to use a toilet which was weird. The thought of being upright and walking after surgery was mind blowing to me. Later I learned it was fairly normal and I wasn’t the special snowflake I thought I was. My parents and boyfriend were allowed in my room and that’s when everyone started doing everything for me. I was being fed, I was being wiped, I was being scooted. I wasn’t able to do anything on my own. I had never felt more helpless and useless in my life. Well that is until if or home from the hospital.

I was only in the hospital for one day which was sort of a shame because the room was really nice but not all good things last. Once I got home, I felt like a toddler learning how to walk and funny enough, my parents were there for that too! In the last week I have been left wishing I could help more than a few times. I used to do the dishes every night, can’t do that for 6 weeks now. I used to be able to pee on my own, can’t do that until the doctor says it’s ok. I used to be able to bathe myself, now I have my mother doing that for me (I’ll explain). I just wish I could help those people that are helping me. My poor boyfriend is running himself into the ground trying to help me and I can’t do anything to alleviate his burden. He even built a “shower” for me in the basement because I couldn’t step into ours upstairs. The basement “shower” is complete with a tarp, a garden hose, and a plastic chair for me to sit on while my mother hoses me down and I furiously wash my hair, face, and body before I freeze to death.

I’m very grateful for everyone that is taking care of me but I had no idea that bed rest was going to be this stressful. I was hoping for long naps and relaxation but instead I found lots of bathroom breaks and guilt. Now, that’s not to say that I’m not sleeping or relaxing; I mean they gave me Norco and Valium so you know I’m having a great time. But I was hoping for more of a “vacation” vibe than a “you’re stuck in the house for eternity” vibe.


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