Have any of you ever had a day where you feel like you have no purpose in anything you do, go to bed and repeat? Well that was my life every day in the ensuing months post-operation. Despite the many moments that made me just want to cave in and succumb to this new lifestyle, I refused to give in.
“Purpose. Must find purpose.” I was determined to not live my life by simply waking up, spilling food all over myself, wandering from room to room forgetting I had just been in there or asking myself “why” I walked into that room, working on my naming skills, trying to read and write simple words learned in kindergarten, watching some TV without any idea as to what the show was even about, sitting at my piano attempting to play just one bar of music, going to bed and repeating. It was a nice thought but reality set in.
After being released, I was still battling a deadly infection and this meant that I would need medication and additional care. When I saw a car approach the house and two nurses come walking to the door, I thought to myself “Are you shitting me?” Luckily they only came to put in the port for the IV and teach my parents how to administer the medication intravenously for the next two weeks. I couldn’t be happier when they left. “See ya! Bye, thanks for coming!” Wait though – I’m supposed to let my mom handle giving me medication through an IV three times a day for two weeks??
As if I hadn’t known already, that summer reinforced upon me what an awesome mother I have. She was meticulous in giving me the IV and doing it at the same time every day…yet, I think she was around the nurses a bit too much as she started asking the typical questions such as: “From one to ten, what level of pain are you in? Do you have a headache? Do you remember what you had for breakfast? Can you tell me where we are? What is your name?”
While it was great to be in the comfort of my own home and surrounded by my family and friends, life was difficult and I was going nowhere fast. I had moved out of the hospital but not out of the woods. Something as simple as taking a shower became a hassle. In order to protect the IV port from getting wet, my poor mother had to cover the port with a medical sleeve, but then for extra measure, she would wrap my arm inside a plastic bag, tape the bag tightly and then cover it all with saran wrap. Yes, I’m serious. I felt like Randy from “A Christmas Story”…”Can’t put my arm downnnnn!” Oh, the triumphs and battles I endured.
At the end of the day though, I didn’t care. I was alive and I felt that my brain was getting stronger every day even though it was not showing to those on the outside. While I could never express it, I felt alert and oriented to my surroundings and cognizant of the activity that was taking place around me. My purpose became clear – I was to smile and enjoy the little things in life, simply because I could, and that I did.