I was sliced open from above my belly button to my pubic bone; it was a “BEEG Cut” as Dr. Jacome said. My greatest concern prior to going into surgery was whether or not they would get the many feet of intestines back into my body the same way that they were, or would they go in funky and be all uncomfortable. Dumb fear, just like Dr. Genesen (only the kindest and most compassionate doctor in the universe) said, “They will plop right back in there, just like they were.” He was right. The other major concern was what sex would be like with all of my missing parts. I am pleased to report that there was no difference in that department. Everything still works; Score! My real concerns should have been my recovery….duh!
I was in the hospital for 12 days; four of those days I literally didn’t care whether I lived or died. I did not even think about it. I was in oblivion. Being in that state is quite interesting; it is as though your instinctive “fight for survival” just disappears, it evaporates without notice or warning. You no longer feel anxious, sad or afraid. A serene peacefulness just encompasses your body and soul, and all is right with the world. You no longer have that instinctive urgency to fight to live; you just want to close your eyes and stay in that happy, peaceful place. It is a very odd place to visit, yet having been there I can now understand how terminal patients may feel at the end of their life. Happy, content and at peace; certainly not what I had expected. I would have thought that I would have been kicking, fighting and screaming until I gasped my last breath.
Of course, during those four days I had an intern nurse with me 24 hours a day; shaking my feet, forcing me to drink water and just plain annoying me to no end. At one point he said, “Come on, Michele, you blood pressure is falling to 50/30.” I replied, “So, What do you want me to do about that? “Please just leave me alone.” I wouldn’t allow anyone to open the shutters or turn on any lights. I was sick, I was tired and I just wanted to go to sleep. Of course, now I am very grateful for all of those annoying people, prodding me and forcing me to do things that I did not want to do; because now I get to be here to battle my next challenge; leukemia. Why in the world would I not want to stick around for that party!
Yes, that is just my sarcastic humor. I have never regretted, for even a single moment, living through that experience. I have enjoyed many blessings since those days and still am totally enthralled with life. I am ready to fight for it and hope that my battles will keep me from entering into my previous state of oblivion.