Life & Health Theology

Meditations on Surgery V: Waking the Bowels

January 22, 2010

Another update. I hope that title sounds epic. Don’t read it like a medical journal, read it like a movie announcer with an extremely low voice is announcing a new thriller like “Waking the Dead.” Add orchestral music for effect and make it kind of raspy. That’s how you should read it: “Waking the Bowels…duh duh duh….!”

Jan 20th, 2010

Before I went to bed last night I was moved into a different room. They needed another spot for a lady and two guys had rooms to themselves, so they moved me in with another guy. It was late (for me), and I was almost asleep — but the moving wasn’t difficult for me, I just get wheeled around. I actually enjoy it.

The scenery change was nice, I went from a picture of the Eiffel Tower in Paris to a wolf hiding out in the grass, and I am next to the window now, overlooking a courtyard. The main problem with the room change is it’s a little colder here, and my roommate really enjoys TV. I mean, really enjoys TV. It did not go off from the time got in there until there until they left. And they didn’t just leave it on, they watched it, loud, and talked about it all the time (often conversing with the TV). Seriously. I must confess I got a little annoyed with them when it was 1:30am and I had tried sleeping for 2 hours and couldn’t. My eyes are really sensitive and so the light keeps me awake, and even a tiny bit of noise bothers me. So I finally got earplugs and a mask and slept well after that. It was a good opportunity for God to grow me in patience when I was really tired and uncomfortable.

But now that I have earplugs and a mask, I’m out like nobody’s business. Except I feel bad because the nurses have to shake me to wake me up to check vitals and empty my ostomy throughout the night. I sleep like a baby though. In many ways, I am like a baby actually.

My Aunt, Uncle, and Grandpa came to visit me last night — which is always a good thing. My pastor, Rick, visited in the afternoon while my Mom went to my cousin’s to shower. He heisted me a Book of Common Prayer from the chaplain, even though I’m not Episcopal or Anglican πŸ™‚ I passed my walking tests with flying colors, and thus was permitted to walk without a nurse (just a friend), so Rick and I went for a stroll. I’m pretty much a speed demon so they have to clear the halls when I go out. Races will begin soon.

I need to stop making jokes actually, since my stomach contracts when I laugh and it hurts. Rick made me laugh multiple times, and I continue to avoid Eric’s phone messages (which is why I haven’t called you back, bud). Sean visited after Rick left, and he brought not only a book for me to read, but we also translated a little Greek from the Martyrdom of Polycarp. I got to remember that not everyone is used to seeing my scar (and not everyone wants to), since my first reaction is to lift up my shirt and show the world. Once I get out of the hospital I’ll have to learn a little discretion I guess. It is a sweet incision though… πŸ™‚

The other highlight of the day was that they changed my artwork. I didn’t know they did that in hospitals. I decided to go for a Van Gogh of farmland in honor of Agricola (which is the most amazing board game, ever).

Jan 21st, 2010

Slept well last night, even with my ostomy filling up constantly. I am putting out fluids like Niagra falls. Ate my first solid food: Cheerios. πŸ™‚ I made sure to chew really well so as not to obstruct my stoma. I probably chewed too well. But it was fun. Again, I feel kinda like a kid.

The day hasn’t been too eventful other than eating for the first time. I got to select my menu for tomorrow. On top of that I was told I might be out of here by Friday, or at least by Saturday. They’ll take out the epidural and catheter tomorrow morning and see how I’m doing the rest of the day.

I continue to have tons of people come in and ask me random questions. A lot of it’s repetitive, but that’s understandable so they don’t mess anything up. Every time my surgeon comes in he asks me if I have any questions or if he can do any favors for me. I really can never think of any. So this time I asked if he could get my colon into a medical journal and get me benefits. I think I might just start asking him random questions from now on since it feels like he wants me to ask questions, but I don’t have any. We’ll see. I still get a big kick out of the doctors coming in groves into my room. It’s like they migrate from room to room. So I always try to make it really lively for them if at all possible.

Well, lunch is here, so I’m gonna keep waking the ole’ bowels and get them moving! More later…

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