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11:21 am: I'm Home, I'm Okay, I'm a Little Bit Broken
I'm home from my second surgery this month and I'm probably better, done with hospitals, brain surgery, and lumbar taps. I'm healing. I'm getting better. I can see that.

And I'm a little bit broken. Not from the surgery or the stay at the hospital. Those were mostly fine, though I'd rather never repeat it. But I'm broken.

I have a false memory. I know it's false. It's even just a looping memory of something that probably happened for less than a minute.

I have found one of my levels of Hell and I'm broken just thinking about it. Right now. My eyes are watering up and I'm shaking. I have to look away, watch Chuggington with my daughter for a few minutes, breathe deeply and forget what I'm remembering just for a few minutes so that I can come back to it for a few more to write about it.

That's broken.

It was after the second surgery. I didn't wake up during it or anything like that; talk about hell. No, this happened afterward, in my room, when I woke up from it, and the pain.

That's all that existed. Pain. My eyes were closed. I was rolled into a ball, my arms against the sides of my head, The pain. The pain was worse than anything. Nobody was there. I could ask for help but nobody would answer. Nobody was there. I was alone and in pain so bad that if someone had hinted this would last forever and offered me a bullet to the head, I'd have taken it. In a heartbeat.

And I was alone. Nobody was helping me. Nobody was comforting me. Nobody was there trying to help. I was alone, calling out how horribly I hurt, crying for help and nobody was there. The part of my memory dealing with this moment tells me it lasted a minute, and that it lasted days, months, forever. It might be a 30 second loop on repeat for all I know. I don't know. I was alone and in pain. Nobody cared. Nobody knew.

But that's stupid because they were. Laura was there, telling nurse aides that the answer "no, he can't have any other pain medications because there's nothing on the chart" wasn't enough; making them getting doctors on the phone right now. Jenna, the best ICU nurse in existance was there finding ways to make the room more comfortable, darker, keeping people walking by as quiet as humanly possible, everything she could do. They were both right there the whole time, working hard to make me feel okay. They were both right there, with an army of people behind the scenes helping them.

I know this because both Laura and Jenna tell me this is what was going on.

I was not alone.

I've never been more alone.

I can't remember any of their help. I don't remember them being there. I try hard and can't; I break down trying. I try not to think of it and then something stupid will pop it back up in my head and I'll actually burst out into small, hopefully unnoticed, tears.

I'm getting better. I'm healing. I'll be alright. But I'm a little broken. Seeing one of your personal hells will do that to you.

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[User Picture]
Date:October 28th, 2014 04:31 pm (UTC)
Also see: What I Learned on the Ventilator.

I hope your experience wasn't as bad as mine. I do.

But I've been there, and at least I can tell you I know how it feels.
[User Picture]
Date:October 28th, 2014 04:32 pm (UTC)
That's what I keep thinking about, your experience on the ventilator. I haven't read it in a while but will reread.

Thanks. I figured you'd understand, and I'm sorry you understand.

Edited at 2014-10-28 04:33 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:October 28th, 2014 04:39 pm (UTC)
If you need to talk, I'm here.
[User Picture]
Date:October 28th, 2014 10:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I know. I wouldn't really know where to start.

But seriously, thank you. I'll take you up on it if I need to.
[User Picture]
Date:October 28th, 2014 11:14 pm (UTC)

I hope that this fades, and soon.
[User Picture]
Date:October 29th, 2014 12:26 am (UTC)
I understand. When my back went out in 2007, it wasnt just a bad back. I could not move an inch, for 3 days without literally wanting to literally die. I didnt call an ambulance for relief at a hospital because to move me would be worse than the pain I was in.

I took 30 days worth of muscle relaxers within 5 days, every time I woke from the stupor of the pills, I took more...just to sleep the pain away, which wasn't sleep, it was a semi coma.
I get this. And it IS hell.

I am glad you are better, my friend. It will always stay with you, that memory, so make it better...make every day just one iota better than that, just one step over the next day better and better....it will get better.

We have a lot to be thankful for. We saw Hell, and we flipped it off with a middle finger and we kept on going...maybe not by much at that time, but these days...these days, so well worth the trip to Hell and Back. It's what keeps us going, knowing what could have happened.

Much love, 'Miah. Glad you are on this side of the veil.
[User Picture]
Date:October 29th, 2014 12:32 am (UTC)
...and as for being alone during that time...yes.
No one else can feel what you are going through. Bodies and faces and voices were there...but no one could help, could take that away. You are on your own...its scary as hell.

Just know now though, you have sooooo many people there for you.
[User Picture]
Date:October 31st, 2014 11:02 am (UTC)
I'm glad you're feeling better, and really glad the surgeries are over with. I have to wonder if at least part of what you experienced is common with after surgery, because I had it too.

For me it wasn't being in pain, but waking up (or at least I thought I had woken up) after surgery in the recovery room. Like you said, I was alone and no one could hear me. And yet - like you - I wasn't alone.

For me at least, it was almost like... walking through another place, in order to get back to my body. It was a horrible, lonely, isolating place where no matter how loud I screamed, no one could hear me.

I had a completely different kind of surgery than you did, completely different body parts.

Anyway, rest, and keep healing. I believe you'll get better with each passing day.

~Laura's friend Mara :)
[User Picture]
Date:November 8th, 2014 04:55 am (UTC)
here from Ferrets LJ

I know what you were going through, when I was in hospital for 9 months, the first 4 weeks I was in ICU, they had my family in three times for the 'we don't think she's going to make it, come and say your goodbyes' and each time I rallied, just that little bit more.

But what I remember from that is the dreams I was having while I was basically so out of it that it was almost a coma, I was trapped in these never ending dreams, endlessly replaying in my head, and I couldn't get through to anyone, I knew they were there but I couldn't make anyone understand me, or help me, all I wanted was to be out of these endless repetitive scary dreams.

I wanted them to wake me up, so I could stop dreaming/hallucinating, when they finally did let me wake up properly I was too damned scared to go to sleep again for weeks, because I would dream the same dreams and this time I knew that I would never wake up.

Even now some three years later I still can't sleep properly, I have nightmares/flashbacks/mini hallucinations and endless dreams about still being in hospital and still being trapped.

I would not wish those feelings on anyone, ever.

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