I never actually made it to the ICU.
I had brain surgery and never went to ICU.
I'm not sure if that means I'm incredibly tough or just really, really unlucky.
Honestly though, once I got into the dark room in the recovery floor, I didn't care where I was...just give me the narcotics, turn off the light, and leave me alone.
But I was in the hospital; a place where getting left alone is Highly Unlikely.
My brain functioning had to be checked frequently:
What year is it? 2012.
Who is the President? Pres. Obama
Where are you? In the hospital.
Why are you in the hospital? Because Dr. Brains just got the alien out of my head.
Along with checking my body functioning:
Squeeze my hands.
Wiggle your toes.
Press your feet up.
Press your feet down.
Can you feel it when I squeeze your toe? Yes.
Any numbness or tingling? Yes.
My left leg constantly felt like it was asleep--a persistent prickly tingling of sensation that was just bothersome enough for me to be constantly aware of it being Different.
The nurses and aides and doctors flowed in and out of the room--constantly checking, tweaking this or that, listening to me breathe, taking my temperature. At this point the narcotics were finally starting to work and I felt a bit as if I were on a carousel, circling round and round with the various medical professionals coming in and out of focus each time I got another dose.
Pretty much, I was loopy and I had no idea what was going on.
My overnight nurse, can't remember her name, told me she was getting married on May 18th--which I only remember because that is my brother's birthday--and that she was using cobalt blue as one of her colors. Which then made me have a dream about antique shopping in Valley Junction looking for cobalt blue vases. I'm pretty sure at some point I incessantly told my nurse that she REALLY SHOULD check Valley Junction for the vases she needs. And I'm pretty sure that she politely told me she didn't need any vases. At which point I think I told her she should go look at Valley Junction anyway.
And she smiled and told me it was okay for me to go back to sleep.
Which is why I want to give a big shout out to the medical professionals of the world.
Throughout the whole time I was in the hospital, I was taken care of. Some of the people I liked better than others...like the one overnight nurse that apologized profusely when she was 2 minutes late with my pain meds.
Or, Stacie, that was my nurse for most of my afternoons and answered all of my bazillions of questions.
Or, Elizabeth, that...well...let's just say I always wondered what would happen if you "Pull for Assistance" in a hospital bathroom and, goshdarnit, now I know.
Or the nurse that was filling in from another hospital and asked me if this was my first crainiotomy. Um, yes.
But then called the pharmacist to see if there was anything I could take sooner because I was in pain right then and I still had to wait 20 minutes before my next scheduled dose of meds.
Or the aides that waited to make sure they would come take my vitals at the same time as the mind/body functioning checks so that I could sleep and be left alone as much as possible.
Or Dr. Adults--the brand-spanking-new-doctor that sent me for that fateful MRI in the first place--who stopped by just to see how I was doing--not because she had any sort of responsibility for me in particular, but just because she cared.
Or all of the Recovery Floor nurses that knew that those first few hours post-op had been Hell so they sent me flowers to make up for it.
I mean, really, what kind of amazing nurses send their patients flowers?!?
And then, Dr. Brains, himself.
He spent years of time and effort and money to learn how to operate on people's brains. Can you imagine the type of stress you have to be able to handle when you are cutting open people's heads?? I honestly cannot fathom it. He probably could have chosen a zillion other careers. But he chose to sacrifice and study & work hard to become a neurosurgeon.
He is willing to take that stress and responsibility into his life to save mine.
And I will be forever grateful.
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