Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Washout



I grew up sleeping in the same bed as my great-grandmother. She spoke French and broken English, couldn't walk and scooted around the house on her bottom so she wouldn't face the indignity of a wheelchair. I loved her deeply, particularly when she woke me up the middle of the night to watch professional wrestling, a great passion of hers. Below our bed rested her bedpan, the color of urine itself. It was emptied once a day so the smell of urine permeated the room. I never thought much of it until recently when I was forced to use bedpans myself for my hospital stay. The colors had changed -- most were pink or blue, but in my mind, I saw that first bedpan of my life and thought about thought about how my great-grandmother never complained about it.

I was too sick to complain about my bedpans. The surgery I underwent is called the washout which means that the doctors take all your organs out, wash the stomach cavity in saline, wash your organs in saline, and then put them back. I couldn't so much as imagine walking to the bathroom so there you have it. I got to the point where I could talk to almost anyone while on the bedpan and even in a particularly surreal moment while covered with a sheet, a priest came in before the aide took away the pan and offered me communion. So there I was with the host in my mouth, thinking about my sins and healing while sitting on a pan of my urine. It doesn't get much more real than that, I'm afraid. And while I usually hate New Year's Eve, this one doesn't seem so bad. I'm thankful for the little things, like using a regular bathroom and walking. I'm thankful for the new year, glittering before me like a fabulous mirage, one day and then another, money before you spend it, all possibility, no regret.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"May all your troubles last as long as your New Year's resolutions." Joey Adams

Cocktail Hour
Drinking memoir suggestion: Wishful Drinking Carrie Fisher

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy New Year's Eve!

7 comments:

the walking man said...

Things like that surgery do have a way of offering perspective, yours was alright before this; DO NOT rinse and repeat. Best of futures to you kiddo.

Cheri said...

I told my mother about you and we all send our prayers to your recovery.

Me_Again said...

Happy New Years, may it be a blessing in disguise.

Heff said...

Happy New Year, Gorgeous !

Charles Gramlich said...

ahh, the feel of clean intestines!

I joke, but egads, I would not like to go through that. I suppose it's better than the alternative though. Glad you are with us for the new year. Have a good one.

Scott said...

Michelle,

Wow. I had no idea what you went through. Ouch. I'm so glad you're doing better. Take care, Sweetie! :)

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