When inconvenient or unpleasant things happen in life, my mantra is usually “at least it’s making a memory.” That’s how I approached this last week or so of my life. What started out as a 45-minute, home-the-same-day surgery ended up being a major surgery, another major surgery to fix complications, and lots of icky time in a hospital bed in between.
I learned a really important lesson while I was chilling in a hospital bed this last week: Life is all about attitude.
My default attitude is sass, as most of you are probably aware, and so I hit the ground running with that one. As I came out of surgery number one, still completely groggy from anesthesia, I commented on how the nurse was a bad gurney driver, and laughingly said that it was okay because my sister was a bad driver, too.
Whether I knew it at the time or not, my ability to stay sassy and optimistic even under duress would prove to be the deciding factor in my hospital experience.
I tried to laugh at even the difficult things. On the day we found out there were complications, I had to drink a full three glasses of cranberry juice with this chemical stuff in it, so they could run the CT scan. My stomach hurt so badly that I was literally crying in sadness at a cup of cranberry juice because I didn’t want to drink it.
The next day, after surgery number two, I was laughing about the whole thing, sassing any and all fruit juices I drank with meals, saying “You’re not going to defeat me this time!” The nurses kind of looked at me like I was crazy, but laughing was all I could do to stay sane.
When I found out I had to have surgery number two, I was pretty shaken. The doctors said I had internal bleeding. I wasn’t sure how serious that was, and neither were they. As they rolled me into the operating room and I saw my surgeon for the second time, I greeted him with “Why you gotta be like this? Why you gotta do this to me?” Laughing was a little easier than being scared.
The nurses quickly joined me in the sass. One sassy nurse, upon listening to my complaints of my hospital gown coming undone in the back, began calling me the “promiscuous one” of the surgical floor. Another nurse gave me a “good job” sticker she made out of a file folder label for walking more than the required four walks a day (Mom told the doctors I only walked more for the “extra credit,” what a nerd).
One night while Brandon was visiting me, my roommate yelled from her hospital bed and asked if there was a man around that could give her an arm massage. One of the nurses heard and thought it was hilarious, prompting nurses to show up in my room every five minutes, facetiously asking Brandon if they could have a free arm massage.
There were a lot of moments like that. I found that the only way to lay in a bed for a week without the ability to get up completely on my own or wear anything besides hospital gowns was to laugh, and laugh often.
I’m so excited to finally be out and recovering. I put on pants by myself yesterday, and that was pretty exciting. After some serious cabin fever, I’m finally leaving the house (I couldn’t realistically live without Starbucks tall skim white peppermint mochas for any longer).
I am excited to finally have some normalcy in my life (hopefully) so I can return to more consistently writing for you all. I’ve missed you and your comments, and I can’t wait to begin posting more great content soon.