Running a Marathon Backwards
The last three weeks went by in a blinding flash. Seemingly at warp speed, beginning with the moment I knew I was going to land smack on the pavement.
Yet it feels like ages ago. Almost, but not quite, an agony of slow motion. Hitting the pavement with my chin; the ambulance ride; emergency room; D’s face when he arrived at the ER and saw me; and everything since then.
I had oral surgery on May 2 to reposition my fractured jaw and wire my jaws shut. The operation itself flew by in a heartbeat, thanks to being shot up with a cocktail of who knows what. I was in the hospital overnight, presumably so I could rest, and then demonstrate my ability to pass the 3-fold test for discharge.
Never mind what the 3 items were; it took me until late in the afternoon to finally pass all 3 tests. And never mind that my room was across from the nurse’s equipment room, hall lights beaming through the door into my face all night; nurses coming and going from the equipment room; more nurses coming and going to check on me and on my roommate—or give me another shot of something or take my blood pressure and temperature.
I felt caught in a bad movie, couldn’t sleep, and couldn’t eat anything except vegetable broth. By the time I passed the 3-fold test, it was late in the afternoon and I’d been without food for nearly 3 days. Definitely going backwards. Getting Lucy Pacemaker in early April was a picnic in the park compared with this.
The two weeks since then have been up and down, back and forth, agony followed by brief periods of relief, a total mishmash of reality from which I can scarcely discern the slightest pattern. If I’m running a marathon, I have only vague clues about how I’ll get from here to there.
Yesterday the oral surgeon clipped the rubber bands attached to the shiny hardware still firmly in place around my jaws. Liberated? Sort of. I can talk! But not very well yet. I have profound respect for young people and adults who wear braces. The wires will be on for another month, and I’m still on soft foods—minus the agony of using a straw.
Things for which I’m grateful:
- An outstanding team of medical personnel at one of the teaching hospitals in Philadelphia.
- Family, friends and neighbors who still lighten the load and encourage me.
- Total permission to do nothing but eat, sleep, make more Vitamix glop, keep my mouth clean, and check out of everything else.
- D’s readiness to do whatever it takes to help me. I never guessed he was such a good nurse!
- Emails, cards, notes, comments left here on the blog, and praying friends. Little messages from heaven.
- Music, music and more music; soothing and relaxing.
- Emily Dickinson’s enigmatic poems, and George MacDonald’s heartfelt sonnets.
- My hardworking gut, which has finally decided to come along with me. It got lost for a while when the food dried up.
Speaking of which, it’s time for more Vitamix Wonder Food! Oh—I forgot to tell you I’ve lost my sense of smell and taste. Hopefully it will return. In the meantime, whatever goes into the Vitamix tastes heavenly, especially when I’m hungry—which is most of the time!
©Elouise Renich Fraser, 14 May 2016
Photo found at julipuli.com