Sweet amazing grace

the combination of valium and pre-op anesthetic
is my amazing grace that teaches my heart to fear
and grace my fears relieved

the medical staff asks me 
to place my head on a purple foam rest
cradled i am 
remarkably calm 
as if on my plum yoga blocks
i slide over 
to the operating table
and after that 
i recall nothing -- 

11pm to 2am 

twas supposed to be only an hour-long operation
my mom alone in the waiting room recounts to me -- 
after midnight, all of the lights went out
as she waited and waited and prayed and prayed
for an update

i wake up, i vomit a smidge
the medical staff strips me naked 
and wipes me down thoroughly
warm washcloths along my neck & limbs 
i am aware that this is my second NG tube
and second surgery in a little over a month
june 28th july 31st
oxygen tubes in my nose, catheter 
and other IV tubes in my arms and hands 
(my veins are small) 

post hysterectomy complication
trauma to my body 

21 staples removed
16 pounds lighter
now i'm no longer doubtful, 
of what i'm living for

'tis grace that has brought me safe thus far
i feel so alive and 
feel like a natural woman


Second time around

Our daughter is six years old today. I am one week post-op since my second major abdominal surgery this summer. 

Two major surgeries a month apart. 

I absolutely need a cathartic ugly cry. The kind where I need tissue after tissue to wipe my eyes and blow my nose and takes a long while to stop. It hasn't happened yet. I suspect because I want to be strong for my partner, our daughter and my mom who have all been trooping alongside me since my hysterectomy on June 28th. A. has been doing it all, taking care of N. and home. Mom, who may as well be a saint, slept over and remained with me every night during both of my hospital stays, not to mention the tag teaming cooking and laundry she's done with A. It's so true -- in sickness and in health whether it's my partner or my mother. Despite all the chaos, N. has been self-entertaining and able to roll with every trip back and forth to the hospital. I know it would be absolutely fine to let it all out, but it just hasn't happened yet no matter how many hallmark movies or masterpiece theatre shows I view. I've come close a couple of times only to amount to a tiny well up. 

Admitted to the emergency room on July 31st in the afternoon, I'd not improved at all since I'd been home the first time on the mend -- barely eating, dehydrated and in constant peristaltic pain and gas pressure and unable to sleep. The second surgery lasted longer than expected, but I was out of the operating room by 2am. The chief of trauma surgery had never seen my situation before in her 27 years of experience. More complicated than your typical hernia. My intestines seem to have poked into my layers of stomach wall which were probably already weakened probably by two surgeries given my previous C-section and recent hysterectomy.

I just wanted to be home before my sweet sassy girl's birthday. Before my birthday. And I was -- finally home on August 3rd. 

So here I am sitting for the moment, alone, in a hotel room. We decided to gift N. with an adventuresome local hotel stay complete with Build-A-Bear, pool time, and eat in room service. While my feet and legs are still swollen from all the IV fluids they pumped into me when I was in the hospital, I am deeply grateful to be on a healthful road to recovery this second time around.

Still waiting for my ugly cry. 

And tomorrow morning, I can confidently say . . . I survived 45.