On Tuesday of last week I had my final day of work at my amazing workingfromhome gig. I had begged to be flown to Seattle for my final week of work so I might pass off some of my tasks, but mostly say goodbye to people I've worked with in total over five years.
Mostly I wanted to avoid the way last Tuesday went down.
At around 4pm my boss called and we talked nonsense as we usually do, and finally got to the point at hand. Saying goodbye. Goodbye to all these years of working together. While we chatted he asked me to open the email he'd just sent. I did, and in it was a picture of the staff in our warehouse, surrounded by the books I've worked to market and sell, all waving goodbye one last time.
We hung up, I turned off my computer, left the office and sobbed some more.
The worst possible way to end a job you've loved.
The alarm went off Wednesday morning and we dressed.
Loose clothing, sturdy shoes, don't drink water even though you want to.
Driving in the dark to the hospital.
On the drive I wonder when I'll be able to drive again. Will I drive in a week? Three weeks? Six?
Will I be healed before the move?
How long till I'll be able to walk the dogs again?
How bad will this hurt?
The timing is horrible. I should have waited.
My nurse is lovely. Just the kind you want in times like these. She's warm and friendly and talks to me like she's my mother/best friend/sister and I feel like it's going to be ok.
The IV is horrible. I can't listen to my nurse talking anymore. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MY HAND? I whisper scream.
Sorry. I know that doesn't feel great.
Tears begin to slide down my cheeks. She apologizes for the pain and I tell her it's not the pain that's making me cry.
My chest starts to heave and I can't stop it.
I'm so scared.
He holds my hand but it wont help. In the end I have to do this alone.
Two siringes of happy drugs into my IV.
Can you feel it?
Can I have more?
Of course. Here's another.
I slide into a world that is liquid. Pull the sheet over my eyes as the doctor takes the world's largest needle and dives into my groin looking for my femoral artery. Before I know it the tube is in place. The portal to the happy drugs has been established.
Ok Ashley, we're headed to surgery now.
I close my eyes…
I'm finally awake. I've been moved, jostled, forced into a chair, told to eat this, drink this, does it hurt?
No it's lovely! A fucking vacation.
I try to go to the bathroom but it's too much. Trying to sit on the toilet my war torn hamstring revolts. I sob and sob, I'm sorry I can't I can't I can't. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry I can't.
I'm back in my chair. More drugs, little more time, it's ok.
My chest heaves and heaves and I know it's more than the pain causing me to spiral out of control.
Take a deep breath he says, holding my hand. It's ok. You're ok.
The car ride is miserable. I feel sick, high as a kite, no position is tolerable and it takes forever.
We're home. I have pills, water, blankets. A warm dog next to me.
Want to watch some tv?
I nod, close my eyes and I'm gone. Every four hours I'm jostled awake by the alarm. My hand reaches for my next dose. As it kicks in I slip back into a place where things are comfortable, warm, happy. I want to stay here forever.
Want me to help you to the restroom?
I crutch, slowly, awkwardly into our tiny restroom. It hurts, but I can go.
Do you need help up?
I reach for him. Brace myself and begin to stand. The world spins. I feel like I'll be sick and die all at the same time. No, no, no, no, no I mumble. I'm sweating and shaking and next thing I know he's holding me and saying something into my hair. Why is he holding me? I'm way too hot for this.
Ashley? Ashley? It's ok you passed out. I've got you.
What the fuck is happening to me?
Since Wednesday a lot has changed. I've healed. Pain block catheters have been removed. Pain meds have been spread out. Less and longer between. A nurse/patient dance has been established. Routine in our chaos. Bandages changed, first hair wash given (OMG washing my hair never felt so amazing), and world ending constipation has been battled.
Every day gone is one day closer to being healed.