I was in NYC these last few days to follow up with my surgeon at NYU who operated on me this past July. This trip, we stayed at the same hotel we were in while I recovered, and being there brought some memories of my recovery.
I only stayed one night in the hospital, and my room was filled with laughter and food until I kicked everyone out so that I could sleep. My saintly boyfriend slept in the hospital bed next to me that night, and didn’t complain when they drew my blood at 3AM, or when they changed my antibiotic IV bag at 4AM, or when the team of residents came to remove my drains at 6AM. Well, technically the nurse made him sleep in a chair after 4 so that he wouldn’t get in trouble with the residents.
When we got back to the hotel that afternoon, I was near my limit of human interaction for the day. My pain was manageable, but I was covered in yellow betadine and dried blood left from the surgery. I had rejoined society, and I really wanted a bath. Anyone that knows me, knows that there are few things that make me happier than a great bathtub. This hotel had the MOST amazing tub; deep, standalone, luxurious. The problem was that I had dissolvable stitches in my leg where they removed the nerve graft, and I wasn’t allowed to submerge it.
I was on the verge of a meltdown- I was exhausted, in pain, and I wasn’t allowed to do the ONE thing that always makes me feel better. My poker face is apparently not nearly as good as I think it is, because my boyfriend immediately got to work on solving this problem. He emptied out the bathroom trash can and turned it upside-down and put it inside the tub, creating a pedestal foot rest so that I could bathe without submerging my foot. At that point, I was well into my meltdown and had decided that nothing would work and that it was just a terrible day.
But seeing him working to help me accomplish my goal for the day, that’s love. Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I can be incredibly stubborn- I was committed to being upset that I couldn’t make a bath happen that day. But, I didn’t have the heart to refuse to try out his contraption. So I did, and it was a great bath. Not the luxurious experience I wanted, but it eased the part of my soul that was craving it. Sometimes, it is better to let go of that commitment to a terrible day, in favor of something good. I am so glad for Anthony’s on-the-fly engineering skills that allowed me the luxury of a bath one day post-surgery, but I am even more grateful for his refusal to accept my abysmal attitude when I am in pain.
My appointment with Dr. Rodriguez went well- he was very happy with how everything looked and was progressing. He called me a ‘good healer’. I like to think I’m good at more things, but at least I can say that I am exceptional at recovering from surgery. Wonder how I can put that on my resume. It seemed kind of crazy to fly from LA to NYC for a 30-minute appointment, but I think it was reassuring for me to see Dr. Rodriguez, and be told in-person that everything looks great.