So yesterday morning I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of the residents, which was of course delayed a few hours because it was a weekend. I had been told that I would be able to start food, so my Dad sat next to me, ready to feed me a bagel after getting the good word. They came in, examined me, and said, "ok, continue with the liquid diet for today and Dr. Calliendo will be in to see you later." I freaked. After no food for almost five days I was in tears, "Wait!! Wait!! You can't leave me like that!! You told me I could have food!! I farted on FRIDAY night, and I was supposed to get food ONE day after that, which would have been last night and now it is SUNDAY morning and you say NO FOOD!! ARE YOU NUTS?!" He just looked at me and giggled, "One more day of liquids never killed anyone," and swiftly left the room. Ok, maybe he was right and maybe I overreacted, but I was grumpy. The resident team had changed since I was in the hospital in March/April and I was not too fond of this new group. In fact, the chief resident from my last visit came in and sat with me for an hour yesterday afternoon, chatting it up with me, telling me how success stories like mine are the reason she became a surgeon. I told her that surgeons like her are the only reason why success stories like mine can happen. I got teary-eyed when she left, and I think she did too. She was my rock during my whole last surgery and I am thankful every day that people like her are walking this earth. We exchanged emails and we will definitely keep in touch.
I decided to go for a walk a few hours later and my Mom came to find me and Billy on the other side of the hall yelling, "Dr. Procaccino is on the phone!!" He wasn't on call this past weekend, so I hadn't seen him since Friday. I somehow found the energy to run to my room as quickly as I could, which wasn't very quick I must admit. I scooped up the phone and said, "Dr. Procaccino, save me!! You have to get me OUT OF THIS PLACE!!!" He laughed and said, "have you eaten yet?" Of course I told him about the residents that morning and how they cruely refused to feed my 110 pound, starving frame. He said, "Ok, eat and as long as you're ok in a few hours I'll let you go home, but you must promise me that your belly is NOT distended, that you are NOT nauseuous, and that you will come in to see me on Friday because I am going away and I want to see a smile on that pretty little face of yours before I take off for my summer vacation." I was elated. "Yes! I promise I will be OK before I leave this time and I promise I will come see you. THANK YOU SO MUCH, THIS PLACE SUCKS!!" And so, just three or fours hours later I was on my way home.
I had a lot of trouble with the hospital this time around. I guess I had never been hospitalized for more than 1 week in 1 year and this year I had 3 hospitalizations over a 3 month period, totaling 17 days in the hospital. I know it could be worse, but that was the upper end of what I could deal with and still stay sane. I am very happy to be home, but not as happy quite yet as you might expect someone to be that just got rid of a bag of feces that was hanging on their side. Yes, it's great to be rid of the bag, but it was replaced with a gaping hole in my side that I can't even look at without getting faint or nauseous. I am also using the bathroom about 20 times/day and up all night and emotionally, that is tough seeing as I've gone through all of this to get rid of that problem. It also burns a whole lot when I go to the bathroom. I am told this will all slowly get better, but for now that just sucks. The pain is still fairly severe from the surgery, but I am sure that will get better soon.
I guess in a nutshell what I can say is that I am having a little bit of trouble keeping up the optimistic attitude for this long. To put it bluntly, this whole ordeal has sucked. But I just keep telling myself how lucky I am to be alive, how lucky I am that my health isn't worse, and that things will only get better from here. And hey, it's really sunny and warm outside and I'm not in the hospital anymore, so that's enough to put a smile on my face for a while!