Sitting Up in a Recliner: Gratitude

Sep 11, 2021

I’m in my hospital room sitting up in a recliner chair. I have an IV in each arm and am wrapped up in a fleece blanket that I brought from home. It’s red and black with white paw prints. I made this blanket for my grandmother years ago. When she passed away, I kept it, as it reminds me of her.

It’s September 2, 2021. It’s been nine days since my back was realigned and refused. It took over nine hours to complete the surgery, and two blood transfusions were necessary. I’ve been having a continuous ketamine infusion to help with the pain. I have two incisions, one on my back with thirty staples vertically down my lower back. There are two tubes coming out of the back incision; one is infusing a numbing medication, while the other one is draining blood. The other incision is on my stomach, reaching from my belly button to my pelvic region. The incision on my belly is glued shut, and has two drains as well.

My surgeon warned me the pain was going to be brutal. He was 100 percent correct. I scream and cry from the pain. The nurses have been incredible, reassuring me they are right there. They hold my hand and wipe away my tears, continually reminding me how strong I am.

As they wipe away my tears, I feel grateful. These humans are risking their lives every day to take care of others. Such a selfless act. I appreciate each person taking care of me.

I’m celebrating the victories, both small and large, including washing up and doing my hair. I sat up in a recliner for the first time, with the assistance of my back brace. I cried from pure happiness, feeling grateful to be able to sit up again. My nurse was crying as well, celebrating this milestone with me.

As I sit up and write, tears roll down my face. The pain is too much, and that’s okay. I’m celebrating that I sat up, even when I don’t feel well.

There’s always a positive, no matter the circumstance. It’s okay if it’s hard to see.

When things get hard, keep going. I promise, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. Life is a blessing, and we often forget that.

I refuse to give up this fight, and neither should you. Keep going. I promise, the fight is worth it.

As always, tomorrow is a new day. I’m grateful I’m alive and on this earth.

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