I lost my favourite pair of shoes this week. This makes me sad. I loved those shoes.
They were only part of the reason I missed posting my blog this week. The other was a colonoscopy. Or to be more exact, what happened three hours after the procedure. You hear stories about how the prep for the exam is the tough part. Nowadays everyone has a funny story about that. I thought once I got back home it was over. It had only begun. The pain started and escalated quickly. I knew my only option was to head back to the hospital’s ER.
I also knew it would be wise to only take as much cash as I needed for bare essentials. I took off my watch and good earrings but grabbed my phone charger. I was afraid about what would happen to me. I made my bed. I didn’t think about which shoes to wear.
I was quickly admitted to the ER. The nurse said my vitals were all elevated and I was “credible.” I’m sure it was also noted I had left the hospital only hours before and now there was a problem. They started the morphine. It did nothing for the pain.
Then came the parade of doctors and interns and nurses. All with the same questions. All with the same concerns. Something must have gone very wrong. I was sent for x-rays and a CT scan. Everyone was polite and concerned.
They kept upping the morphine. Hours slipped by. I sent out short emails cancelling work. I read the worried replies. At some point two dear friends showed up at my bedside. Even writing this now brings tears to my eyes. They marched in to take care of me. They showed up. They stepped up. I will never be able to thank them enough. They made me laugh. They put up with my morphine induced proclamations and took some incriminating photos.
The doctors figured out the problem. A fluke. And statistically speaking; a 3-in-100,000 chance of this happening. Very rare. The head doctor had only seen it once before. The nurse took great glee in googling it. I would survive. It may take a while but I would be fine.
The doctor that had performed the simple colonoscopy that started it all came by. She said, “I’m so sorry.” The concern on her face was more powerful than her words. I told her as a Buddhist I was meant to treat this as a time to learn empathy for all the people in pain and in an ER. But I also explained I could only think this way because the morphine had taken hold. She said she was sorry a few more times.
I spent 22 hours in the ER before they found a bed for me. I was beyond tired and only wanted to sleep. During the transfer to the ward they asked if I had all my possessions. I was lying on a stretcher beside a bag of my clothes and had my purse with the bare-bones wallet and phone. “Yes, I’ve got everything.”
The ward was hell and I wanted to get home. I couldn’t sleep and had no paper to write my blog. I had missed my Wednesday post. Within 12 hours I was talking to the doctor, asking to be released. I don’t like hospitals.
He said I was one of the lucky ones and would recover quickly. I still felt like shit but knew he was right. The last four days had been hell, but the worst was over.
At least I thought it was until I took off that dreaded hospital gown and got dressed. My shoes were not in the bag.
I loved those shoes.