Wednesday, March 7 Continued
That little race around the hallway wore me out! The nurses helped me back in bed, reattached my compression garments, fluffed my pillows, and handed me the morphine button. "AHHHH"! I let out a sigh of relief, closed my eyes and pressed the button. It wasn't long before I was fast asleep again.
I am not sure how long I dozed but it couldn't have been too long, because I awoke to the smell of food. There was actually solid food on my tray this time. I sat up in bed, drank a little coffee, ate a little oatmeal, and turned on the television. I had no idea what was going on in the world. It's weird to be in the news business but have no knowledge of the news!
I started watching 'Good Morning America' when Dr. Ledoux came in, all smiles. "How are you feeling?" he said in a sincere, caring way. "Sore, but better. I actually walked the halls alone this morning," I said with pride in my voice. "I heard." He checked out his masterpiece, my two new breasts and my stomach. "It's looking good," he assured me. I thanked him for all his work, his kindness, and his encouragement. He smiled when he walked out the door, "I'll see you in a few weeks!"
That was the last time I saw Dr. Ledoux in the hospital. Pete was back though, every day, checking in, taking notes, and making adjustments to my pain meds. This day when he came in, he said those dreaded words, "Leslie, it's time to get off the morphine pump." I looked at him with the biggest puppy dog eyes I could muster. "No, not yet," I said. "It's so nice to push that button, the pain just melts away and I fall off into a 'no-problem' state of mind." He smiled at me and said, "Yes, I know, Leslie. But as long as you're on the morphine, it's going to weigh you down, make you groggy and make recovering more difficult. Don't you want to go home?" He just HAD to dangle the "home" carrot in front of me! I agreed that home was nicer than even the quick-fix of morphine and agreed to have the pump removed. Instead, I would get vicodin pills. "Just one more push before you take it. PLEASE??" I asked with a pathetic look. "Go ahead, but it's the last one - so enjoy it!!" Pete told me I was doing great, and said I could have a full solid food diet. If everything continued like it was, I would be able to go home in just two days!
When I woke up again, Tony was sitting in the chair next to the bed. "Hi, honey? How are you feeling?" he asked, as he stood up and approached the bed. "They're taking away my morphine!" I said in a sad voice. Tony laughed, "Oh no, that's terrible!" he said, teasing.
I suddenly realized how gross I felt. I hadn't had a shower since the morning of the surgery - and that was two days ago. I don't think I had even brushed my teeth - YUCK! My hair was greasy and matted, my teeth were fuzzy, and I felt just plain stinky! I rang the nurse. "Can I help you?" she asked. "Yes, can I take a shower?" I pleaded. "I'll be right in."
When she came in - it wasn't to let me take a shower, but rather to let me know I was not cleared by my doctor to even be around water. "Dry bathing only honey - that's the doctor's orders. Gabby will be in soon - don't worry."
Gabby is one remarkable woman. She is so gentle, kind and understanding. It can't be easy to have her job. She's charged with the not-so-glamorous task of making patients like me feel (and smell) better! She would come in with bath wipes and gently wipe down my legs, arms, stomach and face. She couldn't wash my hair though! She was always filled with fantastic and funny stories about her life and her daily routines. I enjoyed my 'Gabby talks,' as I like to call them. I was in such a vulnerable position with no way to care for myself. But she never made me feel like a burden or a problem.
After she gave me a 'bath,' Tony helped me up and over to the sink. I brushed my teeth - boy, did that feel fantastic! I was still really sore and in pain, but today truly was a turning point! I could feel a bit of normalcy in my life.
Several of my friends came by for a visit; Vicki, Ginger, Jeanine, Carl, Julie and Ron Storey, Amy and Jody and more! I have so many great friends! I am blessed to be loved by so many. Times like this make you realize just how important friends are, and make you realize just how important you are to your friends.
All in all it was a jam-packed eventful day! Tony left to get Nicole from school, and brought her back to the hospital to say hello to me. We didn't visit very long though, because I was so exhausted from the long day! She kissed me and said, "I love you, Mommy, I can't wait until you get to come home!" Her little voice always makes me smile. A child's love is so pure! "Me too baby," I said to her. She left with Tony and I took a pain pill. It didn't work as fast as the morphine, but it worked, because soon, I was deep asleep!