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.
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.